On Excuses

by Pastor Mark Jordan

Read Luke 14:15-23

I’ve been thinking a lot about a passage I used in a sermon a few weeks back. Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven, and using a parable to illustrate three excuses people typically use to keep from going all-in for God.

First, Jesus talked about people who put work first. God honors hard work, but not to the point that it usurps His place in your life.

Secondly, Jesus taught about people who put their hobbies and novelties ahead of God. God gave us creation and everything in it to enjoy; problems arise, however, when we worship the creation and not the Creator.

Lastly, Jesus warned about putting your own family ahead of God. That probably sounds harsh, because God gives us the family as the system for how we are to live and work in the world. When we recognize, though, that God builds the family, it makes sense.

And therein lies the essence of the lesson. God wants to be first in your life. When you put Him first in your work, in your play, and in your family, everything is better…everything is stronger. Think about what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount…

Seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33, (NIV)

Jesus taught about putting God first and getting all of your commitments in the right order. When you do that, everything is stronger, better. Don’t make excuses about why you can’t. Get it right, and see what kind of righteous results God blesses you with!

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for loving me in spite of the excuses I frequently use to keep from putting you first. Forgive me. By the power of your Spirit, help me to seek you first, and see what happens when I put you first at work, play, and home. I ask this in Christ’s holy name. Amen.

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