Psalms 1:1-2, Psalms 16:1-11, 2 Timothy 3:1-5
We are looking at the flimsy excuses which people give for not entering the Kingdom of God. (Parable of the Great Supper, Luke 14:15-24)
“Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am on my way to try them out. Please have me excused’.” (Luke 14:19) Sound familiar? “I have bought a new car, and I want to try it out. We are taking a trip on Sunday.” “I have built a new cabin and plan to stay there over the weekends during the summer months. I’ll worship God in nature.” “I have bought a new camper and new fishing equipment. They say the fish are biting good. Might see you next Sunday. Depends on how the fish bite this weekend.” “I have bought some new skis. The snow is just right for skiing. Got to take advantage of the snow. Besides, everyone is going to the slopes. Have me excused please.” “A new TV series is starting on Wednesday night. Sorry I will miss Bible class. Have me excused.” “Spring is in the air. Time to get the garden planted. Please have me excused this time.”
Sad it is that the toys of sensual pleasure are more real to us than the delights of spiritual discoveries. The novelty of picking up a moon rock seems to thrill us more than picking up the Bible. Low attendance at a party is more disturbing to us than low attendance at worship services. Missing a favorite TV program disturbs us more than missing a good Bible class. The garden not growing disturbs us more than the church not growing. Learning a new recipe excites us more than learning a new verse of Scripture. Fishing for trout is more exciting than fishing for the souls of men. The excuse of the one who said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am on my way to try them out”, is the same type of excuse that many give today. The interests of novelty are more important than the interests of the Kingdom. Such people are fools, for they accept the second-best or worse, when they could have the very best! These people miss out on the delights of the Kingdom Banquet!
They miss out on the mental delights. The Christian life delights the mind! While the sinner is feeding his mind on the husks of the world, the Christian is exploring new frontiers of knowledge and wisdom!
They miss out on emotional delights. There is an aesthetic heightening in Christian conversion!
They miss out on spiritual delights. There is a great contrast between the ever-dawning hope of the Christian and the ever-increasing despair of the unbeliever. Poor indeed is the man who puts the interests of novelty before the interests of the Kingdom!
“God, you are the source of all joy! You give me all things richly to enjoy! The pleasures of sin last for only ‘a season’, but the “Joy of the Lord’ is eternal!”
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I will gladly accept God’s Invitation to His Banqueting Table where heaven’s delights are lavishly served!