What’s the best invitation you have ever received? Was it to travel to a new country, or get accepted into the school you applied to, or attend the game of your favorite sports team? As exciting as these options are, you will never find a greater invitation than this one.
In Philippians 4:6-7 the King of the universe invites you to gratefully, specifically, and continuously bring all your concerns to him. He says,
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (CSB)
That sounds so comforting, but read the verse carefully. This invitation is conditional. It requires that you be “in Christ Jesus.”
How Do We Get Access to God?
The King of kings offers you constant conversation with him, but only if Jesus Christ has let you into his throne room. After all, you cannot present a request before a king unless he has welcomed you into his presence. There is no other way to get into God’s throne room. Jesus is the only one who can grant you access (John 10:9).
In the book of Romans we learn about why Jesus is the only one with the authority to let us into the throne room of God:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1 NKJV)
Peace with God comes “through Jesus Christ.” This peace can only be yours after you have been justified or declared innocent before God. Unless you have been justified, you cannot stand before God, because you are not innocent. The Bible tells us that by default, all people are convicted criminals in God’s kingdom (Romans 3:23).
This sounds harsh, right? I am afraid it’s true. We don’t just break the King’s law; we serve lesser gods and other masters (Romans 1:25). In fact, we do this day after day, even when we try to live good lives. We continuously offend the eternal King.
Not one of us can earn our innocence before God. No amount of good deeds we do can outweigh the debt we owe to him. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and that we are headed for eternal destruction for not honoring the King as we were created to worship and obey (Romans 1:21).
God’s Offer of Peace
The King is no ordinary King: he is gracious and kind and long-suffering. He offers to declare you innocent from all your crimes, and to give you a new relationship with him of peace and love.
All you have to do is take God at his word that Jesus, being God, earned God’s favor on your behalf through his perfect life, death, and resurrection. Jesus has already paid for your crimes by dying on a cross. His act of sacrifice absolved you from your sin, and through his resurrection he offers you God’s favor; you only have to believe in him and forsake the life of a rebel.
was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1: 10-13 NIV)
Anyone who has laid hold of Jesus’ offer, believing him to be his or her Lord and Savior, has been eternally adopted into the kingdom of God as his child, not as a convict. As a son, the King welcomes you to bring every one of your requests to your Father who sits on the throne.
Will You Receive the Invitation?
Friend, God has taken your crimes upon himself that he might also bear your cares. He has invited you into his house to stay eternally. You have only to acknowledge your need for his Son.
Will you trade your life as a rebel for a relationship with your King?
And if he is your King, will you accept his invitation and bring him your cares today?