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Bible Verse

"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household." Acts 16:31

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Making Excuses

Making Excuses - If it were not for this and that, and the other.
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“And They all with one consent began to make excuses”  
( Luke 14:18)

The purpose of this message is not to condemn you or make you feel guilty of things you have not done in your life.  It is to motivate you to see the daily opportunities our Heavenly Father has given you and to act on them.  Many have made excuses for why they did not do something.  The doctor has told us we need to start exercising, lose weight, stop unhealthy habits, and start eating better.  Maybe you have had an excuse for why you have not begin to work on these important needs in your life.  Possibly it is a result of having put off getting additional education or just improving the gifts and abilities the God has given you.

But praise the Lord for those of you who have ask for God’s help and have set goals and accomplished the.  At one point you quit making excuses and stepped out on faith and allowed God to bless you.  Today’s message is about a man who represents God offering an opportunity to his friends, and the excuses they gave to Him.  

In Luke 14:16-24 our Lord tells us of a story that He is using to compare to the Kingdom of God.  We see an invitation from a very good, kind and generous man to all of his closest friends.  Instead of being grateful for this invitation to come to a great supper”, they all rejected His offer by giving excuses.

While this is a message to all those who have not received the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, it is also an invitation to those who call Him their Friend.  This rich and generous man sent His servants  to deliver the invitation to specific people who He knew well.  You an I are the people of this message.

The message for you and I is to “come, for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17).  The Lord Jesus has done everything necessary to provide you the opportunity to come and fellowship with Him and use your gifts and abilities to serve Him.  The Lord wants you to come and have some great fellowship with Him.  But, Many are saying “If it were not for this, and that, and the other, I would come”.  I would read my Bible more, pray more,  or help others more, but not now.  God is ready to bless you now, but you are making excuses.

As you listen to the excuses in this story, you see that they are very weak.  The Lord is also giving you an invitation to receive His blessings by living a life that would be pleasing to Him and a blessing to others.  “Depart from evil, and do good, seek peace, and pursue it.  The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are upon their cry.  The face of the Lord is against them that do evil…” (Psalm 34:14-16).

We have a choice.  We can accept His invitation and live a life of purpose and blessing to others, or we can keep making excuses.
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”  (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

You are invited to produce good works through the power that the eLord has put into your life.  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.  Every brach in me that does not produce fruit, He takes it away.  Every branch that produces fruit, He purges it (Makes it better) so that it may bring forth more fruit…I am the vine you are the branches.  He that abides in Me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without Me, you can do nothing.”  (John 15:1-5).

The sad news of this story is that those who were invited and made excuses would no longer have an opportunity to enter the house of this loving and generous man.  The excuses they gave kept them from receiving many blessings.  “For I say unto you, that none of those who were asked to come shall taste of My supper.” (Luke 14:24)

The good news is the invitation became open to others.  If you reject the offer of eternal life and blessings in this life from God, you will lose the opportunity and others will receive it.   The invitation has been extended to “whosoever will”.   “Then the Master of the house said to His servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, and  the crippled, and the disabled, and the blind.  And the servant said, Lord, it is done as you have commanded, and yet there is still room.  And the Lord said unto the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in that My house may be filled.”  (Luke 14:21-23)

Today your Heavenly Father is giving you an invitation to accept Him and follow Him, and to Love Him.  Will you say YES?  or will you say, “I would, if it were not for this, an that, and the other?”.