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About this series
The Four Great Invitations
Lessons from My First 50 Years with Jesus
Do you have a mentor? That one person with lots of life know-how you completely trust for sound wisdom and guidance? Well, if not, in this series, Chip will be that mentor for us as he shares some insightful experiences he’s learned from - through 5 decades of walking with Jesus. He’ll unpack how these lessons are rooted in 4 essential invitations Jesus challenged His disciples with throughout the Gospels. Don’t miss how these biblical insights can encourage, motivate and comfort you through all aspects of life.More from this series
All I want you to get is there’s a series of invitations – you are bombarded by them every single day. And some of them are small and insignificant and don’t mean much of anything, and some of the invitations that you receive, based on whether you say yes or based on whether you say no literally shape your destiny.
You are and you will become how you respond to invitations from people and even more so, invitations from God.
In this series, I want to talk about the four great invitations of Jesus. He invites us to come, He invites us to follow, He invites us to abide, and He invites us to go.
I have the privilege of getting to come to the church where my son is the lead pastor. He said, “Dad, what I’d like you to do is, you know, we get a lot of good Bible teaching. I want you to teach the Bible, but I want you to mentor our church. I want you to teach it through the lens of your journey and your life and be honest. Share the good, the bad, and at whatever you’re comfortable, share the ugly.” And so, that’s what I’d like to do.
And here’s what I want to tell you about this journey. Each invitation, we are going to learn about a love from a faithful Creator in the midst of our worst failures and times when we have struggled the worst, that there’s an invitation that He will be with you, that He will love you.
You’re going to meet a Savior who is caring and compassionate and kind, who is not surprised by your mistakes or your sin, who you don’t have to go and hide when you blow it. And you’re going to find a God who is so loving and so holy that He is compelled to not allow you to stay the way that you are. And that some of the things that even in the midst that this couldn’t be good, this couldn’t be kind, how could God let this happen? You’ll look back in a decade or two or three if you live that long and the Lord doesn’t return, and you’ll see, as I will share, some of the worst things that you thought were happening in your life were some of the kindest acts of God you have ever received.
Because you didn’t know what you needed protected from. You didn’t know what you needed to become the kind of person that you will become. You didn’t know at all what God’s ways and plans and the mystery were. And I’ll just tell you this, there were a handful of men and women in my life over the last fifty years that they blazed a trail and it was just so good to stop and talk and ask them when it felt like God couldn’t be in this, this is so hard. Everything from going through the time in my marriage where I didn’t know if I would make it, time with one of my kids where I thought he was going to die, time with another one where he said, “I don’t believe in God and I don’t want your God, Dad.” And time where I sat and wondered whether my wife would be with me much longer when she had cancer.
Life is hard, but Jesus has given us an invitation. And the invitation I have put in your notes, it’s from Matthew chapter 11: verse 28.
Jesus says, “Come, come to Me, all of you that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,” and then He gives a reason, “for I am gentle and humble in heart,” and here’s the promise, “and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
When He said this to the first audience in context here, if you go back and read Matthew chapter 11, just before this, Jesus has done miracle after miracle after miracle. I mean, stupendous miracles in two or three different cities: Capernaum, Bethsaida.
And despite all the miracles, the people reject Him and the people don’t believe. Jesus says, “If the miracles that I have done in these cities would have been done in Sodom and Gomorrah or Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented.”
And then after all that rejection, He turned to a group of people who are observing how people responded and begin to ask about their own lives. And here was the invitation, “Come to Me. Come to Me, all of you that are weary.” It was a picture of, they were weary under the oppression of Pharisees and religious rules. They were weary from a Roman government that pushed them down. They were weary and heavy burdened for taxes that – most of the people were desperately, desperately poor.
And then they were like us. People that you just, I mean, “Is life ever going to make sense?” You know, most of us live the if/then. “If I can get into school,” or, “If I ever get married,” or, “If we can ever have a child,” or, “If my health ever shapes up,” or, “If we could ever own a home,” or… We play this game where happiness or contentment or satisfaction or meaning or purpose or life, it’s always over the next horizon.
And one of the things about being a follower of Jesus for fifty years and living another eighteen is I will tell you, after pastoring for almost forty, I have just have thousands of conversations. And I hate to be the big spoiler alert, is that once you find that person, then you’ll ask God for something else. If you ever get to buy the house or if you have the house then you’ll want to fix it up. And if you have one house and you start making a lot of money, you’ll want another one in a little bit different location. And if you ever…
And I’m just telling you, there’s no end, there’s no end, there’s no end. And then there comes a day when you get honest, and you realize you are weary and you realize you don’t measure up. And you realize that the goals and the dreams…
And then we play the game when we become parents, well, “If my child is smart,” or, “If my child gets into the right school, or whether they make the traveling team or if they can…”
And we play all these games and people get weary and weary and weary. And we are looking at a world where people are so discouraged and so anxious and so depressed and so confused. And it’s into the chaos then and into the chaos now where Jesus says to each one of us, “You come to Me.”
I am for people whose lives recognize their need, who you recognize that this world, no matter what you get or how much you get or who other people think you are, it never measures up. You keep grinding and grinding and grinding. He goes, “I want to give you peace, meaning, satisfaction, purpose. I want to give you life itself. And here’s the prerequisite: You need to come to Me.” And we’ll talk about what that means and what it looks like.
And then notice it’s not just a moment, it’s not just an event, although it is a moment and an event. It says, “Come to Me all of you that are weary and heavy laden,” just, in other words, there’s a lot on your back. There’s a lot of pressure. “…and I’ll give you rest.” And then notice He says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me.”
In the day, they would talk about the yoke of the Law or the yoke of the Roman government. In other words, a yoke in that day was a picture of two animals together, right? You know, you have the two oxen pulling together? And to come under a yoke would be a metaphor for submission. It’s a metaphor, “I’m going to do life with this person.”
Jesus says, “Come to Me and let’s join together and I want you to do life with Me and then I want you to learn from Me. I want you to learn what life looks like, how it actually works, how relationships work.”
In fact, everything is super counterintuitive with Him. There’s a set of values in the world that are going this way that if you have success and money and power and fame, then you’ll be a someone, then you’ll be secure, then you’ll be significant. And Jesus says, “No, actually, if you want significance and security and meaning and peace, there’s a whole different set of values and I am going to teach you and I’ll be with you. And we are going to do life together.”
And then He gives them this great line. He says, “For I am gentle and humble of heart.” See, one of the things that we all have is a warped view of God. It can get better and better and better, but the more warped it is, the harder it is to come to Jesus.
When I was growing up, I went to a church, and it wasn’t a bad church in and of itself. This particular church was not a very good church. It didn’t teach the Bible, the people who were there didn’t take it very seriously, they said one thing and lived another way. By the time I was about fourteen, fifteen years old, I opted out; “I don’t need this.”
And when I began to meet people who said they were Christians, basically, most of my experiences were people that were very hypocritical.
And then, now and then, even back then with only three channels – can you imagine? – I would watch a little TV and people who talked about God on TV, it seemed like all they wanted was your money and I just thought, I don’t know about this Christianity, but I don’t buy it. I just don’t buy it at all.
And so, I became a profound skeptic. And my view of God was, from my church experience, that His arms were crossed, His toe was tapping, if it was fun, He was against it. And I just felt like there was always guilt hanging over my head and no matter what I did it was never good enough. And so, I just finally realized, Forget it.
And so, I rejected Christianity. I believed in some vague way someone made the universe but, you know what? Who that is and what they are like, I really didn’t know. The Jesus of the Bible stories that I learned as a kid, I mean, I don’t know if there really is a real Jesus or not, but that’s where I came from. But I never ever imagined that when Jesus says He’s gentle, in other words, He’s safe, He leans in, He doesn’t want to create a box that He knows you’ll hate and then gets you to do something that would be the worst thing for you.
He is a God who cares and is compassionate and who made you and created you and has a plan for you. And He invites you to come.
And so, as I was thinking through how to share that with you, I just, like, in your notes you might jot down, first, there’s an invitation. It’s to come. The audience is for people that have ears to hear. You never come unless you see your need.
Third, you’ll notice there’s a promise of rest. And this isn’t just physical rest. This is rest in your soul. It’s getting up and having a sense of, “I am who I am, I am where I need to be, my life has focus and meaning and peace and direction. And I love who God made me to be. And I’m on a track that gives me absolute significance and satisfaction, each and every day, waking up being just who God made me to be.” That’s the offer. And then He gives us a process where you take His yoke and you learn from Him.
And so, let me share a little bit about my journey and I’ll let you sort of think through.
Your family of origin, I don’t know about you, anybody here get to choose your parents? Yeah, I didn’t either. But an all-knowing, all-powerful, sovereign God either directed, allowed you to have the parents that you had and if allowed, He’ll take even the most difficult situations and use them for your good.
And my parents were the Great Generation. My dad, at about sixteen or seventeen went into World War II. He was a great athlete. He actually got a football scholarship at a prep school to go to a private high school. At about sixteen and a half or seventeen, he signed on to be in the Marines.
And being a big, strapping guy, they made him a .50 caliber machine-gunner. So, at seventeen, if you can imagine, going to Afghanistan. Well, to him it was Guam, Iwo Jima. If you know your World War II history, it was the bloodiest battles of anywhere.
And so, I had a dad that I grew up with who, the good news was he lived or I wouldn’t be here. Bad news was he saw things and did things that no human being should ever have to experience. Despite protecting our country and all the rest, it still doesn’t change what happens. And then all the guys he went in with didn’t come back. So, he had the guilt of being a survivor and he had the trauma. My dad died at about eighty-six years old and even despite becoming a follower of Christ in his mid-fifties, he had nightmares until the very last years of his life.
Well, my dad, they didn’t do counseling back then, and weed was not really popular at the time. And so, my dad found with two or three beers he felt better. With five or six beers he felt a little bit better. With about eight or ten beers he was a pretty nice guy to be around. And so, from about two thirty or three o’clock, as a schoolteacher, he would go to the bar and he would drink until suppertime. And he came and was a very functioning alcoholic.
By the time I got to be about fourteen or fifteen, he missed a lot of suppers. And he was becoming less functioning.
Saturday mornings were very typical. At nine a.m. a guy named John would come over and they would have two cases of beer and they would sit at the table and tell stories from nine a.m. until nine thirty or ten. And I remember he would get up to go to the bathroom and I would go and I would pour out the beer thinking I was rescuing.
If you know anything about the research on alcoholic families, it’s literally, produces very dysfunctional families. My mom was emotionally intelligent, a guidance counselor, a teacher, an amazing person. And she became an enabler. And so, our whole life was, my dad had a very violent temper. When he blew up, you better run for cover. Never abusive in terms of hitting us and things, but scary.
And so, my mom always wanted to keep the peace, so in a classic alcoholic family, the oldest child usually rebels, which my sister did. The middle child usually becomes invisible, which my other sister did. She had an eating disorder and got down to about eighty-some pounds.
And the youngest child often becomes a rescuer. That’s where I came in. Now, on the outside, you would have thought, I mean, both parents were very educated. Both thirty-plus hours past their masters. My mom did all of her coursework, was working on her dissertation. Out in the community, we just looked like the really, really good family.
And my dad taught me a number of things that were really, really positive and really helpful in terms of my life. He taught me that if you want to be happy, here’s the mantra: be successful. Successful people are happy. And he wanted to help me be successful.
So, as a small child I can still remember I was two or two and a half. He was, in the summers he would manage the swimming pool, a teacher during the other year.
And he liked to show me off. And so, he got me to go to the high board, you know, the three-meter board. And the whole pool would stop and I can still remember climbing up it, climbing up it, and then I would get like this and then he would say something and then I would fall. I couldn’t swim. I’d fall in and dog paddle and everyone would cheer.
When I was three, every day before I would leave the room, there was a little easel and there were letters on the easel, and I was learning to read when I was three. I can still remember as a kid he would walk in and sometimes take me to the bar and say, “Okay, Chip, show them! Spell intercontinental ballistic missile.” I’m three years old. “I-N-T-E-R…” I’m not sure I even knew.
But you need to understand he literally said things by the time I was six, seven, eight years old, “You know, this country needs a great president. You could be that person.”
Now, on the one hand, he built a lot of confidence. On the other, he created a performance addict.
And my dad taught me a number of things that were really, really positive and really helpful in terms of my life. He taught me that if you want to be happy, here’s the mantra: be successful.
He literally said things by the time I was six, seven, eight years old, “You know, this country needs a great president. You could be that person.”
Now, on the one hand, he built a lot of confidence. On the other, he created a performance addict. And I remember becoming a workaholic by the time I was twelve. I had eight or nine lawns, two paper routes, and lent my parents three thousand dollars at six percent interest.
And by the time I graduated from high school, I had a basketball scholarship, a pretty girl, and I graduated in the very top of my class. The end! Great life, right?
But I remember being in an apartment off of Ohio State’s campus. I grew up in the Columbus area. And the apartment was empty and there were about twenty-five or thirty of us sitting in a big circle, passing a joint around. And I was sitting next to a girl, I still remember her name, Jackie.
And so, as it’s coming around, you know, as one famous president said, “I didn’t inhale.” I actually didn’t, I passed it on. I was so small and so skinny I thought, Man, I can’t do anything that is going to hurt my body, because, man… I thought all I cared about was basketball, but I was so desperately insecure, all I really cared about was impressing people and trying to find significance and longing for someone to love me just for me. Because what I had learned was the only reason anyone every cared about me is what I could do or what I had accomplished. And I was a prisoner.
But the benefit of becoming friends with Jackie was her boyfriend was about two years older, about six-three, about two-twenty and very mean. And so, she was really safe. He would kill you if you messed with his girl. And so, we became friends.
And as we were sitting there on the floor in the big circle, she looked at me and she looked at me and she goes, “You must be really happy.” I said, “Why is that?” And she named my cute little girlfriend and then she said, “You know, you ended up real near the top of the class and, you know, your dream. Your basketball stuff, you got a scholarship.”
But something happened where I thought, Oh. I never even thought about whether I was happy.
I was driving home, it was about two a.m., that, “You must really be happy.” And I already had projected to the next set of goals. And then I thought, So, why am I here?
And I remember, probably it was my first adult prayer. I kind of got real quiet, got in the house, and I remember, literally remember, sitting on my bed and there’s a window right next to my bed. And I looked out and it was a really starry night. And I thought, You know, someone must have made this.
And I said, “God, I don’t know if You exist or not, but here’s the deal. If You exist, what do You want from me? I mean, if, I don’t know if there’s a God or not, but if You exist, what do You want from me? And then here’s my proposition. If You can reveal Yourself to me in a way that I can really understand, I’ll do whatever You want me to do."
And so, that was my kind of first adult prayer. And I prayed it. And the guy that taught me so much, he was a basketball coach. I was lined up to do, paint houses with him before I went away to school. And there was a delay for a week. And the same day I got my summer job, was going to delay for a week, the football coach for reasons I don’t know – as you can see I did not play football – said, “Hey, Chip,” maybe he asked a number of other people, talk about the providence of God. “I’ll pay your way to this camp. The best basketball players in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio are going to be there.” I said, “I’m in!”
And so, I go to this camp and as I go to this camp, it was like, okay, great. And then I’ll never forget, literally, it was a Good News Bible, a little bit smaller and it had a little cross. And on the bottom it said, “FCA.” Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Well, I didn’t know what the Fellowship of Christian Athletes was. All I knew was Tom Landry, who was the coach of the Cowboys, was going to be one of the speakers. I mean, Bullet Bob Hayes, Roger Staubach, you all don’t know who I’m talking about. But Google it. Cowboys. They were great.
And then I walked in, it was on a college campus and there were about six hundred athletes, and all I – when I used “Jesus” it was with other words connected to it, but not in prayer. And I heard people saying “Jesus” out loud and they had Bibles and they gave you a t-shirt with a cross on it. And I thought, Oh my lands. It’s 1972, I’ve been dropped in the land of Jesus freaks. I am – this is, these are the hypocrites, these are the weird people, not going here.
So, every morning for twenty minutes before you ate breakfast, then you did a lot of really fun sports, is they had, they called it “quiet time” or something. And so, they gave you this Good News Bible. And so, I did like this and I sat like this and I looked at five hundred and ninety-nine guys and said, “If you suckers want to believe this crap, you can. But I’m not.”
And so, I wouldn’t open my Bible. Day one, day two, day three. And then each day, some guy, I can’t, so, his first name was Max. Some guy named Max got up, opened the Bible, read a paragraph, and talked for twenty or thirty minutes.
It actually made sense. When I grew up going to church, some guy would talk for about ten or eleven minutes and we lit a lot of candles and we sat, kneel, stand, sat, kneel, stand. And I had everything memorized and I could be thinking about the NBA and going, “And also with you.” You know? I had it down.
And I’m not, by the way, I don’t mean that critically. I just, it was just, it was just words, because there’s no reality. And so, day four the peer pressure got to me. In fact, I dug out a Good News Bible so I would have the exact. And so, you know, I don’t suggest this is how God always leads people, but what I did is I did this. Everyone is looking around, I’m thinking, this is, like, day four.
And I looked down. It said, “So then my brothers, because of God’s great mercy to us, I appeal to you, offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him. This is what He really wants from you.”
And again, I had never heard of the Holy Spirit before, but it was like, Pfff. Literally, I could see myself in my room, in my mind, God, if You exist, what do You really want from me? And this verse said, “You.” Not your money? No. Not going to church, a bunch of stuff? No. You. I want you.
And then the very next verse said, “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you’ll be able to know God’s will, what is good and pleasing to Him,” what’s actually perfect for you. Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo. So, I mean, I read that verse and literally I saw pictures in my mind. And I saw me with a girl, dating and talking sweet and telling her what I wanted her to hear for ulterior motives. And then I had this picture come to me that, you know, in a classroom, with the teachers and parents and all this stuff. And I gave them the all-American boy stuff.
And then I had this picture, this video came up of me in the locker room. And I was always the shortest and the skinniest, always recruited the biggest, baddest dude on our team to be my enforcer. And I had the mouth and he had the brawn.
It was like – if the dictionary, if it came up and said, “Chameleon,” it was like there was my picture. And I would pretend to be different people with every different group, because I was so desperately insecure and so afraid and had no rest in my soul and so longing, I didn’t know what to do other than play everybody off one another so that somehow, someway, because you’re only as valuable as what people think of you.
And then, the next verse, it says, “And because of God’s gracious gift to me, I say to every one of you, do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Instead, be modest in your thinking and judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you.” And all I can tell you was, I was scared and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. And later that afternoon, I was coming off the field and they would put you in these, they call them huddles. And you’d have about ten or twelve guys and you play all the, you know, flag football, basketball, all kind of stuff. And then they would throw a bag of ice in the middle and you, they’d talk about God and things.
And if you can picture this, I couldn’t have been a hundred and thirty-five, a hundred and forty pounds. And skinny little kid. And the fullback for Illinois was here and the wide receivers for the Atlanta Falcons was here, and they are walking off the field and this, those wide receivers look very small on TV. They are very big in real life. I still remember his quads were, like, this big. I’m going, Dude, man, that’s amazing.
And I could hear about every third word and I heard a very intimate conversation. And the fullback was struggling with something; I couldn’t make it all out. And this guy was talking about what was more important than his NFL career and his wife and his faith and Jesus, but he wasn’t cussing. And I saw the gospel. Again, I didn’t know any verses about, “By their love you’ll know that the Father sent Me.”
All I knew was something happened inside as I was walking behind these guys, I thought, I have never seen a grown man love another grown man ever in my life in this powerful, non-sexual way. And something just welled up and said is, I want what they have. But I didn’t know how to get it. I had no understanding. All of a sudden, I’ve got all this new information and these Jesus freaks, and I’m a skeptic and I don’t believe any of this stuff. And all my bad background. All I know is what God really wants is me and I’m the biggest hypocrite. And that night, that fullback got up and he sang the Lord’s Prayer.
And I can’t, I can’t, again, I don’t, I didn’t have any background with God. He sings the Lord’s Prayer and I start to water. Why am I crying? I don’t understand. And then a guy got up with some chalk and he started drawing something. And he was drawing the story, I would learn later, it’s called the gospel, or the good news. It wasn’t a transaction, it was a declaration. It’s that God did something good and he who has ears to hear. “Whoever would like to come to Me, this is how you can actually come to Me and have rest for your soul and purpose,” and all the things that I looked for. And he drew this picture. In fact, I’m going to put it up. This is my little version of this picture.
So, he gave this verse in John 5:24 that says, “Truly, truly,” or, “verily, verily I say unto you, he that hears My word and believes on Him that sent Me,” and this is what just, it’s killer, not will, “has eternal life.”
Jesus, what does it mean? How do you come? “He that hears My word,” what you’re hearing right now, “and believes,” put your trust in, not intellectually agrees with, “believes on Me has eternal life and will not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
And so, that picture is over here, that was me. How do you like my stick figure? And he explained that all of us blow it, all of us have sinned. And he explained that the wages of the consequences of our sin before a holy God is we fall short. I mean, Mother Teresa may have been a ninety-seven out of a hundred and Billy Graham a ninety-six point five, but they still fell short.
And with a holy God, there’s just, there is no hope because He is absolutely pure and holy. But what we couldn’t do for ourselves, He did. Jesus is the bridge. John 1:12 says, “As many as receive Him, to them He gives the right,” the word is “the power,” or, “authority to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name.”
And afterward, I saw that and for the first time in my life, I recognized coming to Jesus is not being religious. It’s not intellectually even agreeing that Jesus was a person or even that He was God or even that He was the Savior of the world. Those are important.
But it’s actually a transfer of trust that you believe that what He did on the cross paid or covered for your sin. And then His invitation, I’ll still remember this, literally that man, he said, “Jesus is saying this to each one of you athletes in this room, ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man, if any woman, if any student hears My voice and opens the door, I’ll come into him and live with him and He with Me.”
And all I can tell you was I was so aware that I was at a crossroads in my life. And I thought, If I allow You to come into my life, if I get this right, You want to forgive me, but You want to give me a new life and You want us to do this life in the future, together. And it wasn’t like I thought I had to stop this, this, this, or that. But I realized I can’t play God. I can’t mess with Him.
There were some things that I knew I was doing that if I was going to get on this path, those things were going to have to go. And I didn’t know if I wanted to let them go. And then I kind of replayed in my mind, I am so tired. I am so weary of trying to project that I’m something that I’m not. I’m so weary and laid down with grinding it out, trying to be this and that and get these people to like me and, whoo. God, I’m not sure exactly what it means for You to come into my life.
In fact, my prayer was like a letter. Dear Jesus, this is Chip. I didn’t know how to pray. Whatever it means for You to forgive me right now and for me to trust You to come into my life, I want to do that right now.
And Jesus says, “Come to Me,” and the promise is, “I will give you rest.” And very imperfectly I said, I want to do life with You, but I don’t know how to do it. But I prayed and I asked Christ to forgive me and to come into my life, in June of 1972. So, I had this little Good News Bible and I, when I got home, I put it underneath my pillow. I didn’t want my parents to think, you know, I went to a camp and now I’m a Jesus freak.
And when people weren’t looking, like in the morning, I started reading through the New Testament. And I remember thinking, How could, does someone have a recorder underneath my bed? How could anyone know this about you?
And then at night I would read it before I’d go to bed and then I would hide it under my pillow. And then I still remember about two weeks later, because I had such a, I mean, a mouth that was unbelievable. Foul. I just quit cussing. And then I remember it was a month later and a big law had come in from instead of twenty-one to eighteen you could drink. And so, my buddies said, “Hey, man, you’ve got to come with us.” So, I go with them, and we go to this bar and, in fact, it’s not just a bar. I mean, it’s a super sleazy place.
And I remember sitting in this booth in this really dark place and feeling dirty. And I remember turning to my friend and this was so weird. It was like, “Man, I’m just not into this.” “What? Man, Chip, we have been waiting for this! Come on, man. Blah, blah, hey, ah!” I said, “I just, this just isn’t for me.” And I remember I got up and I left. God changed my desires. Life is hard, but Jesus has given us an invitation. You are and you will become how you respond to invitations from people and even more so, invitations from God.
My wife Theresa who couldn’t be with us, she’s sick this morning, my subtitle that I put for this was, “The Four Great Invitations: Lessons from My First Fifty Years with Jesus.” And she said, “Well, do you think you’re going to get fifty more?” I said, “No. I think I’m going to get forever.” These are my first fifty years. I’ll have five hundred years, I’ll have five thousand years, I’ll have five million years, I will have five billion years, I will have a google years in the presence of a faithful, kind, loving, holy Savior because in 1972, Jesus said, “Come, I will give,” it’s a gift, and I came.