The Invitation

Most of us have never hear of Albert McMakin, but many of us have been impacted by a simple decision he made over 83 years ago. At that age of 24, Albert had recently become a Christian, excited about his new faith. Shortly after his conversion he heard of a man coming to town to teach about Jesus, and Albert wanted his friends to go. One friend was a fifteen-year-old boy named Billy, and though Billy was opposed to going, he reluctantly went when Albert asked Billy to drive his dairy truck to the preacher’s meetings.

After the first meeting, Billy was hooked. He went back night after night and heard the message of Jesus by the preacher for weeks on end. On November 1st, 1934, Billy responded to the preacher’s invitation to receive Jesus, and his life was changed.

Billy grew in his faith, and at times would even share his faith with others, though he was initially rather shy about it. Over the years Billy found himself time and time again with the opportunity to share his faith with others and point people to Jesus.

This past week Billy died at the age of 99. From the time of his conversion 83 years ago until now, God used Billy to impact millions upon millions of lives. This wouldn’t have happened if a young man, by the name of Albert McMakin, hadn’t taken the simple yet courageous step of inviting a young and worldly Billy Graham to come and hear the good news of Jesus from a preacher.

The Bible speaks of Andrew, who, like Albert, we know very little about. In the book of John, we read that Andrew first heard about Jesus by John the Baptist, and hearing John’s statements decided to follow Jesus. John records that Andrew’s first action as a follower of Jesus was to find his brother Peter and take him to Jesus (John 1:41-42). Scripture tells little more about Andrew, but there are lots of passages, as well as books upon books of church history, that tell of Peter’s influence and impact on this world, pointing millions of people to Jesus.

I doubt that any of us will ever do the things the Billy Graham or Peter did, or have the kind of influence that either of them had, but we all can be like Albert McMakin and Andrew. As followers of Jesus, we can take the simple, yet courageous step of inviting our friends and family to Christ. Who do you know who has not yet come to understand and know the love of God? I encourage you to invite them to join you at church this next Sunday, so that they can hear the Good News of Jesus. You never know what God might want to do in and through you and them. So be courageous, invite them, and let God take care of the rest. (