Summary: Jesus wants to spend time with us. Do we accept the invitation or make excuses?
Jesus wants to spend time with us . . . do we accept his invitation or make excuses?
Jesus has summed up the human heart – these are the main things that keep a person from experiencing a personal relationship with God.
An excuse is a hint of a reason wrapped in a lie.
1) First excuse (ground) viz. Work
a) why would some people place work before God?
i) Provides a sense of self worth
(1) Able to provide
(2) When I was 21, there was only one experience I had which beat the independence I felt when I passed my driver’s license, and that was receiving my first pay cheque.
(3) Having a job says “I don’t need anyone”
ii) There are immediate rewards
(1) People place work before God because there are immediate rewards. With Christianity the visible rewards are not so immediate . . . there are rewards, most of them are out of this world!
b) If work is taking the place of God, is work wrong? NO. God intended for us to work. He wants us to feel good about ourselves. But this must not become the focus of our lives
i) When we start working longer hours to bring in more money so that we can buy more things, or so that we can climb higher on the corporate ladder, what is that? PRIDE
c) Work meets one of mans basic needs which is to have a sense of worth – when taken to the extreme it turns into pride.
2) Second excuse (oxen) viz. Toys
a) Equivalent “I have just bought a new car and want to take it for a test drive, sorry I can’t make it to your party”
b) Boys never grow up, their toys just become more expensive
c) Why would someone choose a hobby or toys over their relationship with God?
i) Another of man’s basic needs is enjoyment
ii) When pushed to the extreme this need for enjoyment becomes The lust of the eyes
Whatever you see you want and are never satisfied
iii) Liking things more than God – it could be anything
d) God is not a kill-joy, He wants us to have fun
i) In John 10:10 Jesus says he has come that we may have life, and that in a barn dance
3) Third excuse (marriage) viz. Relationships
a) This is possibly the best excuse
i) In OT for the first year of marriage, not allowed to go to war.
b) Another of man’s basic needs is that of belonging – a need to be loved.
c) Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
i) Bruce Wilkinson explains this verse as Jesus saying that in comparison with your love for me, your love for your parents and family should seem like hatred.
d) Very often people get into relationships not because they are wanting to love the other person, but because they are wanting to be loved . . . The lust of the flesh
4) Jesus’ response to the excuses 
a) Poor – don’t own fields
b) Maimed – cant test drive oxen
c) Lame and blind – not married
Let’s invite people who wont make excuses
d) Jesus is tired of people who make excuses
e) Vs 24 . . . no second chance
i) A time is coming when God will say “Enough!”
Can I borrow your plough? When you don’t want to do something, any excuse is good enough.