Thursday, April 21, 2022

Your Excuses, My Excuses: The Invitation

Your Excuses, My Excuses: The Invitation 
by David Brenneman 

"But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is ready now.’ And yet they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I purchased a field and I need to go out to look at it; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I took a woman as my wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here those who are poor, those with disabilities, those who are blind, and those who are limping.’ And later the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and the hedges and press upon them to come in, so that my house will be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my dinner.’” Luke 14:16-24 NASB 

When Scripture speaks, it can often be painful to those living a life they shouldn't be. The problem begins of whether to listen to its invitation to stop and return to God or to refuse at the high risk of becoming dull of hearing to the Word of God. 

But indeed what does it say of us all, at some point in our lives it reveals or is revealing: "All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the wrongdoing of us all." Isaiah 53:6.

In the four Gospels we read over and over again of the dull of hearing, those with hardened hearts in the lives of the Jewish Leaders.  We indeed see Jesus often calling them out on account of this. 

I will be the first to admit that there's been moments in my life where I wasn't listening well enough, or thought I understood well enough, put up a hand to God and said "I got this! I know where it's going and can handle it!". I have also gone my own way and just as Scripture predicted life went almost to the grave for me. Proverbs 14:12 NASB "There is a way which seems right to a person,
But its end is the way of death."

But jump ahead a few chapters in Proverbs. "Every person’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord examines the hearts." Proverbs 21:2 NASB. 

We either like what the world is offering or are deceived into seeing it as something that it isn't.

In all reality it is either we believe God or we don't.

We can be the most creative, in all the wrong ways, with our excuses.

Are we any better than those we read about in the Bible?  Just as the Bible says of God, and of His Christ, that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever, look at the storied history of mankind.  We too, because of sin are still the same as yesterday, the same today as well as will be until the end of the book of Revelation. 

We either willingly obey God's Word or we don't. 

We either create excuses or we create what we call reasons to do something else that is more appealing to us.

We are well versed in self-deception without, obviously, realizing it.

The unbelieving are yet still in darkness of this world. Until they see the light of Jesus Christ they will not understand the things of God.  Scripture tells us that in 1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB "But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

It's why it's so important to the Believers in this world to live a life that's ready to meet Jesus. To live a life that is Christ to this world. To share in the work of God to this generation. To keep inviting all who would come.  

We cannot move one person from Hell to Heaven.  To be truthful, not even God can. 

Once a person dies without Christ Jesus for salvation, their judgment is sealed. 

Once the invitation to come to Christ is tossed for the last time, and they die, there's no hope left for them.  Regardless of anyone's personal feelings on it, that's the truth about that personal invitation from Jesus to come and receive the gift of salvation. All the excuses in the world will never add up to why you said no to God’s invitation. 

For the Believers of this world, we have really no excuses to not live in obedience to Jesus Christ.  We will offer excuses but by no means are they justifiable reasons for not living an obedient life. 

"The distance was too great..."
"The time it would take..."
"The people..."
"That was my day of rest..."
"I can't because...:
"Please, God...not that..."
"I need my sleep..."

We can be fantastic inventors of excuses. 

Our sin nature brings out the worst in us.
It twists what God meant for good into what isn't.  Even as God is working all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.

We prosper by His hand in our lives and rush off to be places and do things with it rather than ask Him what should be done with it. We see our ideas as more worthy than His thoughts on not just prosperity but opportunity. We consume our time in things and entertainment for personal enjoyment and comfort rather than seeking out what would be right in God's eyes. I know. I've done it.

We easily go astray. Whether you are a believer or not. We are easily like sheep having gone astray each one doing whatever is right in our own eyes. 

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.  These things isn’t referring to every want and desire of your heart. It's seeking out what you are to be doing for your Savior. 

When Jesus does return, will your life reflect a life that was ready for Him?

Will a review of your life show a life that was living for Jesus?

This is for me as well as all of you my Dear Readers.  Scripture tells us to examine our hearts.  To see if there be any wicked way in me.  

Have you settled for things in life because of your excuses?  God wants to give us His best, but is constrained by our level of obedience. 

Believing that God can prosper you, heal you, do whatever you want in life in an instant, apart from obedience, means absolutely nothing.  

Scripture again: Apart from Me you can do nothing. 

Go look in the mirror and for once be asking God to show you what you are really like. To show you what parts of your life that are really you living out your excuses.  My prayers on my way to work include asking for help in doing what it is He’s put before me to be doing.  It's His fields that I am working in. We who are in Christ are workers in His harvest.  We, at some point accepted His invitation to come to Christ for salvation, now we should be inviting others.  

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