16 May The Power of an Invitation by Brian Asbury
My salvation story involves the grace of God working not only in my life but in the life of my entire family. God used my grandparents in a vital yet seemingly simplistic fashion. When I was four years old my parents experienced some struggles in their marriage. They both worked full-time jobs at the local hospital but different shifts. My dad worked the morning shift while my mom worked the night shift. Being so young, I did not understand the situation completely but I noticed a change in my parents. They fought often and the time we spent together as a family began to diminish. This behavior continued to the point that my dad moved out of the house. My parents decided to file for divorce and had all but signed the papers.
To give a brief backstory, my mom was raised in church. Her father was a lead pastor at a church while she grew up. Later in life, her parents moved to Uganda to serve as full-time missionaries. My mom accepted Christ as a young child yet chose a different lifestyle as she grew older. She left home and enlisted with the Army where she trained to be an x-ray technician. While serving in the military, she met my father. My dad did not grow up in church and did not have the same morals my mom was raised to have. They left the Army, got married and shortly after both accepted a job at the local hospital. Four years later, I was born. Up until I was four years old, we did not go to church or have any religious affiliation whatsoever.
As my parents were ready for a divorce, my mom far from God and my dad having no relationship with Christ, my family was about to fall apart. It was at this point that God used my grandparents, my mom’s parents, in a way that changed my life and the life of everyone in my family. They did not sweep in and talk sense into my parents. They did not get upset with where things were headed and turn their backs on us. They did not act self-righteous and proclaim to have all the answers. What my grandparents did was not complicated or intricate, they simply invited us to go to church. To this day I cannot explain to you what motivated my parents to attend church, but we did. That Sunday my whole family went to church and that morning my dad accepted Christ as his Savior and my mom rededicated her life to Christ. Jesus completely changed the trajectory of my family. My parents began to heal their marriage and they are happily married to this day. I was saved that summer at vacation Bible school at the same church.
I tell that story to first proclaim the greatness of God. His love and grace changed the lives of my parents and because of that, I chose to follow Christ as well. He is the reason why I am who I am today. The second reason I tell that story is to express how vital and life-changing a simple invitation can be. Far too often we pass up the easy opportunity to invite someone to church. The unfortunate thing is that sometimes that’s all they are waiting for. I understand that every situation is different and every person is different however we often neglect offering a simple invitation to come to church. Sometimes, that is all someone needs to return to Christ. So I want to encourage you; take that step, say those words, it could change a life forever.