Monday, January 8, 2024
Excuses? Food for Thought
Excuses? Food for Thought
by David Brenneman
"Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus *said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”" Matthew 8:18-22.
Was interesting that something similar of nature was in the exchange between Elisha and Elijah when Elisha was commissioned.
"So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him. He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him." 1 Kings 19:19-21.
Do we make up excuses, reasons even, for insisting on doing things we want to do in life rather than following where the Lord Jesus wants us to be and to be doing?
Are we instead living out what we want before we are living out a devoted life to Christ?
It's food for thought. It's for you to decide whether it's true or not. Whether your career is more important. Whether your business is more important. Whether your hobbies or entertainment is more important. Whether even your family or friends are more important.
Jesus said "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." Matthew 10:37.
In many many places in the Old Testament we read of the children of Israel turning away to do what was essentially what was right in their own eyes.
Could you pray a prayer like King David wrote of to Jesus that if indeed there was something between him and his God that he should take his life?
David was a man after God's own heart. David indeed messed up his life with Bathsheba. However, we still read of the very high regard that the Lord had for David.
Me, personally, I had struggled way more in my past than I do today with putting more time, energy and effort into my walk with Jesus Christ. I, unfortunately, can recall way too much worthless information about fictional things than I can God's Word. However, in the right place and right time, the Spirit indeed does bring to remembrance what I have read of God's word when it's needed and necessary.
Jesus also asked us all to consider the question of what would it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?
What are you and I ever going to gain out of growing in Christ by giving Christ, the Savior of our souls the forgiver of our sins, the leftovers of our lives?
On that day that I know my Bible says and I'm fairly certain yours does too...on that day we are to give an account of our lives before Jesus...will we suffer loss because we put our wants and desires before what the Spirit showed us that Jesus wanted of us?
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
My Dear Reader...be sure of your salvation. Be sure of your priorities in living life for the One who loved you enough to take your place on that cruel cross.
If the only treasure that ever is stored up in Heaven where moth and rust do not destroy are people...what are you doing to add to that treasure?
Our deeds done in the body that count towards that crown of righteousness we give back to Jesus are only what we did for Jesus to reach people for Jesus.
It's not going to see be about our successes in life towards anything else.
Are you making any excuses for not giving Jesus your all? Are you making up this reason or that reason for giving your Savior your leftovers? Does your free gift of salvation mean so little to you?
Food for thought for sure.
You ought indeed to take stock of how 2024 will be for you and your Savior.
Nothing else could be greater towards making the most of every single opportunity.
Surely you should realize that Satan is very comfortable with you pursuing anything else that does nothing to grow you in Christ Jesus. The more work you do in that area, the less effort he needs to give of himself towards that end. You're essentially doing his work for him.
What excuses need to go? What are you holding onto that is so precious to you that it's truthfully keeping you from the righteous life that God desires for you?
Are you willing to ask Jesus to show you what you are holding onto that needs to go?
Are you willing to ask that question?
Are you afraid of that answer?
The Disciples dropped everything to follow Jesus. Were Jesus gathering Disciples today and tapped you on the shoulder and said "Come, follow Me!" would you be willing enough to do the same?
News flash...coming to Christ for salvation is doing exactly that. Becoming a disciple that makes disciples.
January is usually the most popular time of year to reevaluate life. Make sure you ask the only One who matters for all eternity for your answers. Don't trust you. Don't trust anyone who will tell you what you want to hear.
Food for thought. Let your light shine before men in such a way that people see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. Sounds exactly like setting your mind on things above and not on the things that are of this world. Sounds like seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.