Summary: Many profess to love the lord but with reservations. Their mantra is “I love you Lord but...” Excuses arise when they are called to follow Jesus Christ in sacrificial discipleship or to live separated holy lives.
I love You Lord, but...
Many profess to love the lord but with reservations. Their mantra is “I love you Lord but...” Excuses arise when they are called to follow Jesus Christ in sacrificial discipleship, to commit to having a consistent walk and witness as a child of God, to faithfully be present both in worship and service to the Lord, or to live separated holy lives. Excuse making is nothing new. Our Lord deals with this matter in the parable of the Great Supper where we have three who said “Yes...but”.
I. The Invitation and the Response.
A. Luke 14:16 The Great Banquet –
1. Banquets in the ancient world were often held to mark some transition or change in a person’s life (e.g. the returning prodigal) or of the relationship between individuals (e.g. the marriage supper for the king’s son in Matthew 22)
2. Invitations would go out. Those who accepted the invitation were then counted. The feast was prepared based on the number of people who accepted the invitation. Simply the more people coming, the more food had to be prepared. Both the amount and type of meat prepared would depend on how many accepted the invitation.
3. To accept an invitation and then to back out at the last minute would be rude. The invited guest was obliged socially and morally to attend the banquet.
B. Luke 14:17 - The second invitation
1. After the meal was prepared based on the number of acceptances a second invitation would go out telling everyone to come for everything was ready.
2. Matthew 22:4 “Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’
3. To refuse to come once the invitation had been accepted was and is not only rude and insulting but places a financial burden on the host.
C. Luke 14:18 – “they all alike began to make excuses.”
1. There is a difference between a reason and an excuse. The main distinguishing characteristic between a reason and an excuse is the issue of responsibility. An excuse is an attempt to evade full accountability for something that you did or didn't do. A reason, on the other hand, is an explanation for one’s action.
2. Someone has said, “The heart has its reasons but the mind makes the excuses.”
3. Billy Sunday called excuses, “the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie”.
D. A Trio of Excuses Luke 14:18-20
1. But they all with one accord began to make excuses: While the excuses are different, the reasons really all the same
2. Excuse 1 - Luke 14:18 – Materialism
a) One is concerned with material things . He just bought a field. This is either a bold lie since no one in the middle east without examining and knowing all about the property. What he was saying in no uncertain terms the material possessions he had were more important to him than his relationship with the host.
b) Matthew 6:19 - Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
c) When John Stuart and his family first came over from Scotland, our family brought many cherished personal belongings that reminded them of the "auld country". Amongst these treasures was an old hickory-shafted putter that he had owned since he was a child. he bought it at a flea market for about five shillings. Whenever and wherever he played golf, he took the putter with him. He was much too busy to play golf on a regular basis when he arrived in North America, so eventually he stored his golf clubs in the shed at the bottom of the garden. He thought they would be safe there, because He kept them under lock and key. Several years passed by, and then he was invited to take part in a golf tournament for a local mission. The organizers were trying to raise money for homeless people. he suggested that they could put up his Scottish putter, which had been hand-made in St. Andrews, as a special prize. They were delighted with the offer, for they believed it would help raise a lot of money. He went back to the shed and unlocked the door. he looked for the putter in the golf bag, but it wasn't there. He turned the bag upside down, and suddenly the steel head of the putter clanged on the ground. The hickory staff had been completely eaten by termites. His cherished Scottish putter was no more! Jesus cautions them about setting our hearts on material things, which will eventually rust and decay. They have no eternal value, whereas life with Him is everlasting. That's where our real treasure lies, and if we cherish God's kingdom while we live here on earth, we will have riches above and beyond all that we can ever own or compare. – adapted from John Stuart firstname.lastname@example.org