I was recently reading an update from the director at Heart Cry Missionary Society and was confronted with personal conviction in regards to the excuses in my life regarding the Great Commission. God has made it so very clear in His Word that we are to preach the Gospel to EVERY CREATURE. We are to GO into our neighborhoods, our jobs, our cities, our nation, and our world so that we might reach the lost for Jesus Christ!
Recently, our daily devotional readings brought us through Luke 14:18-20 and although I have read this passage many times before, it came alive to me this morning in a new and convicting way. Listen to the responses of these men:
“I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused… I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused…. I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come” (Luke 14:18-20).
These excuses are no different then what you would hear from three people today. What I thought of when I read these excuses was how similar they were to thoughts that have been in my mind at one time or another in my life. Similar excuses today might sound like: 1) I have a mortgage, debts to pay, and possessions I am not willing to let go of. 2) I am trying to start a business and “make it happen”, I need to invest my time here. 3) I am married, I have children, and I can’t go because of them. 4) I’ve invested too much time and energy into building a career to throw it all away and follow You.
These men weren’t even being called to go to a distant land but simply to come to a banquet, analogous to the Wedding supper, where men shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God. God is calling us to the same thing today. God is calling us to Follow Him, to go into the harvest field and labor for souls, to preach the good news to all creation and to give away all that we have for the sake of Christ. He is calling us to the greatest banquet of all time and we cling to what would amount to nothing in comparison. In Luke 18 we read about the rich young ruler and Jesus reminds us of an important truth.
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30.
God will give us more than we ever had before if we leave it behind for His sake. I have been reminded this morning that my excuses, what I consider sacrifices, are nothing in comparison to what God desires to give to those who leave it all behind for the sake of His Kingdom. I pray that God would help me to trust Him with my time, talent and resources and that I wouldn’t cling to possessions like the rich young ruler did.