As Nehemiah was making preparations for the dedication of the new Temple, he sent invitations to all those in the surrounding communities. He sought them, Verse 12:27 says, “…to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and with singing,  with cymbals, harps, and lyres.” He had a great time planned for everyone. And so they came. We read in 12:43 that “…the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.”

Jesus gave many invitations in the Bible to the crowds and to individuals to follow him and to come to him for healing and health and wholeness. Some suggest that all of Jesus parables and lessons contain invitations in them, some clearly obvious, others more subtle. Also, Jesus tells the story about the official who sent out invitations for many people to come and celebrate with him. We don’t really know the occasion but it was a significant one and he had a great time planned for everyone. Luke 14:18 says “But they all alike began to make excuses.” So, the official sent his servants into the streets to bring in anyone who would be willing to come and celebrate with him.

The point of Jesus’ story, of course, was that “The good time” he has planned for us, can be ours simply by accepting His invitation. Those who reject it will miss out on the best things of all; celebrating with God through all eternity. Paul gave the Philippian jailer an invitation, “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” It’s an invitation to faith, which opens the door to the eternal “good time” God has planned for all those who believe in Him.

The Bible ends with an invitation to everyone. Revelation 22:17 says, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come! Let the one who hears this say, Come! Let whoever is thirsty come; whoever wishes may have the water of life as a free gift.”

“Search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)