Greeting in Christ’s name. We’re pressing on in Light Year 2010, living by the light of Christ who said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ß His light enables us to live the “abundant life” and not get derailed by excuses. We all have a little (or a lot) of the “excuse maker” in us, don’t we? Some, however, are dominated by excuses. Though many commute on this train together daily, there’s no real fellowship in going nowhere, getting derailed or pulling into destination “Dead End”. One essential, powerful, necessary, creative, positive, life-building, personal, God-given skill is “excuse elimination”. But it must be activated.

From Jesus comes a case study of the horrible end of excuse makers. His parable in Luke 14:15-24 focuses on three who derailed their lives. You’ll want to read the parable for yourself, but here’s the story:

  • There were three. One was in real estate. One was in live stock, The other was newly married. God loved them each and all had a future in their hands to create.
  • Each received a personal invitation from God to His “feast”, signifying God’s unequaled salvation – delicious, plentiful, free, satisfying and sacred – something God alone could offer. As Scripture says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
  • Each had previously said “Yes”. But now when God sent word, “Come, for everything is now ready.”, they each said, “Please excuse me.”
  • Upon examination, each excuse was transparently false. (This is where you’ll want to check out the biblical account.)
  • The consequences were dire for each one. The real estate guy was buried alive by commerce without God. The live stock guy was eaten alive by capitalism without God. And the newlyweds lost out on real love without God. This could be a commentary on life in the USA today.

Here are some conclusions and consequences each one of “us would-be excuse makers” needs to heed:

First, don’t trifle with God. Your relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ is first and foremost. Here’s a bell-ringing reality check: If there is no God, nothing matters. If there is a God, nothing else matters. Scripture says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Second, timing is critical. Inexcuseable excuses will still and steal your life one opportunity, one minute at a time. Time with God leads to eternal life, love and fulfillment. The Scripture says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

Third, each one was held accountable to God for his thinking, priorities and actions. Jesus said, “I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.” God can not only open doors, He can close them.

Fourth, our lives can have many possible outcomes – we cast the deciding vote by our right of choice given by God Himself. There’s a feast with God, or there could be a famine in your future – exclusion from God’s blessing. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, abundant life.” (John 10:10)

My simple, stark, spiritual truths today come unadorned with platitudes aimed to please, but rather offered to empower you through Christ. Our life begins to break down at the exact point where our excuses prevail. Our best life begins the day we eliminate excuses that don’t work and embrace Christ.

Christ’s invitation to the feast of life still stands – but your clock is ticking. God still says, “Come for everything is now ready.” We get what we get ready for. Get ready and get to His feast!

I leave you with Jesus’ words: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” (Matthew 6:6)

Love in Christ, Chuck

P.S.: Share your “former excuses” story? Let me hear from you.