The Three Excuses: Reflection

“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go to the roads and paths!  Urge the people to come to my house.  I want it to be full.  I can guarantee that none of those invited earlier will taste any food at my banquet.’ ” (Luke 12:23-24)

The scary reality: We are, each one of us, replaceable in God’s kingdom.  Although there is no other person just like us, and God desires all to come to Him, He will not keep a seat for us if we are not willing to answer His call.

And we will miss out on His banquet.  We will miss out on the Kingdom of God.

“It is done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:6b-8, NIV)

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The Three Excuses: Excuse #3

I recently got married, and that’s why I can’t come. (from Luke 14:20)

This person is so overcome with relationships that he loses out on God’s kingdom.

Do I recognize this person in myself?

It’s hard to believe that the very relationships God gives us with parents, spouses, children, friends, etc., can be the very relationships Satan can use to destroy us.  Satan can keep us so involved with our families and friends that we don’t have time for God.

All my relationships must be under the authority of Jesus, and less important to me than Him.  This is not because God is egotistical, but because everyone and everything good does revolve around Him!  If we leave God out, or if we try to rank Him as less important than earthly relationships, we will completely fail not only towards God, but also in the very relationships we are trying so hard to value.  No one can take the place of Jesus in our lives, and only bitter disappointment is on the horizon of such expectation.

The scary reality: the man in this parable is being called to forget his relationships to come into the presence of the king—and he chooses his stuff.  But his life is taken from him as a consequence for his refusal to come.  In the end, he loses everything, his family & friends and, far worse, his eternity.

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  Whoever does not take up their cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.  Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for My sake will find it.  (Matthew 10:37-39, NIV)

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The Three Excuses: Excuse #2

I bought five pairs of oxen, and I need to see how they plow.  (from Luke 14:19)

This person is so overcome with work—achievements and supervision—that he loses out on God’s kingdom.

Do I recognize this person in myself?

My job can become a big distraction that drains my life away from God’s purpose, if I’m not using my job to glorify Him.  But what about the little jobs?  What about housework, cooking, checklists, even attempts to be busy in self-good works instead of God-good work?  Can I become so busy trying to earn praise from God that I don’t hear His call in my life?  My acts of service, my blog, everything I do is worthless if I do it to try to merit my relationship with God.

The scary reality: the man in this parable is being called to forget his personal business to come into the presence of the king—and he chooses his personal business.  But his life is taken from him as a consequence for his refusal to come.  In the end, he loses everything, his career dreams and, far worse, his eternity.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.  The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.  So God did what the law could not do.  He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have.  And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.  He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4, NLT)

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Published in: on August 4, 2011 at 11:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Three Excuses: Excuse #1

I bought a field and I need to see it. (from Luke 14:18)

This person is so overcome with material possessions—acquisition and inspection—that he loses out on God’s kingdom.

Do I recognize this person in myself?

Home mortgage is a big expense that can distract me from God’s purpose . . . but what about the little expenses?  For years, I was plagued with various “collection addictions”.  I would try to collect everything in a set.  It started all the way back with Happy Meal Toys.  I wanted every single one, and when I got them all, rather than enjoy them, it was time to start a new collection.

What about when I spend money on myself that God has given me to spend on others?  This is the most difficult part of material possessions for me to fight.  I have to ask myself, Do I need this?  Does God have a better use for this money, like feeding children who have nothing to eat?

The scary reality: the man in this parable is being called to forget his worldly stuff to come into the presence of the king—and he chooses his stuff.  But his life is taken from him as a consequence for his refusal to come.  In the end, he loses everything, his property and, far worse, his eternity.

And He [Jesus] said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’  And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax,eat, drink, be merry.’  But God said to him, ‘Fool!  This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’  So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21, ESV)

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