“Who me?” This is the response I receive from people, who then look at me stunned when I attempt to get them involved in the work of the Lord. And then right after I get the “who me,” question, all the excuses start to flow out of them like Niagara Falls. And when you have been in ministry as long as I have, it’s very rare to hear an excuse for the first time. In fact, I’ve often wondered if people have a church excuses text book that they all quote from, because their responses are so similar, and in some cases, identical.
And I guess I have heard every excuse imaginable from people who claim to have given their lives to Jesus yet still refuse to give Jesus and His ministry any of their time or talent or money, let alone anything else. And other than attending church on Sunday mornings semi-regularly, they have made no other true commitment to Him at all. And should you suggest this to them in any way, immediately they are offended.
Jesus had to deal with excuse makers, and there is absolutely no evidence that He ever accepted any of their excuses as valid. In fact, Jesus replaced the excuse makers with someone else, and they lost out entirely.
“16 But Jesus said to him, A man was once giving a great supper and invited many; 17 And at the hour for the supper he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, Come, for all is now ready. 18 But they all alike began to make excuses and to beg off. The first said to him, I have bought a piece of land, and I have to go out and see it; I beg you, have me excused.19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to examine and put my approval on them; I beg you, have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and because of this I am unable to come. 21 So the servant came and reported these [answers] to his master. Then the master of the house said in wrath to his servant, Go quickly into the great streets and the small streets of the city and bring in here the poor and the disabled and the blind and the lame. 22 And the servant [returning] said, Sir, what you have commanded me to do has been done, and yet there is room. 23 Then the master said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges and urge and constrain [them] to yield and come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall taste my supper.” Luke 14:16-24 AMP
It is likely that those who were too busy for Jesus felt a temporary relief when their replacements were found. But then that relief must have turned to anguish once they realized the gravity of their disgusting decision to not fully obey the Lord. There is an eternal cost to such a decision.
What is wrong with the Body of Christ today? From whom did they learn such blatant dishonor and disrespect for the King of kings and Lord of lords? Who told these people that giving your life to Jesus meant something other than actually giving your life to Jesus? Was their salvation prayer nothing more than a salve for their guilty conscience?
Your time, talent and treasure are all part of your life. So then why would you think that you are being asked for these things, when you were already supposed to have surrendered them all to Jesus when you were born again?
Perhaps the answer to these questions can be found in one or both of the following categories: First, perhaps the ministers have done a poor job in communicating these truths from the pulpit and through their own lifestyle examples; or is it that the people have been hard of hearing, or just stubborn, rebellious and hard-hearted; or is it both of these things combined. Regardless, this must get changed in the Body of Christ immediately.
I say this because when you read your Bible, it is impossible to come away from it and not fully understand that the Lord requires a 24/7 totally sold-out, red hot commitment of everything you are and everything you have to Him. For you to give anything less means that you and you alone are the lord of your life, and that Jesus Christ is not.
“So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33 AMP
It is time to give up on all the excuse making, and fully surrender everything you are and everything you have to Jesus. This is exactly what I did, and my life has continually moved upwards ever since. And unlike most of the church people I deal with across America today, I gave Jesus my life, and not just my Sundays from ten till noon. And because of this, I don’t feel that I am being taken advantage of or that I am cheated in any way when I am asked for something extra, or to add another night of the week to my schedule of service to my Savior, or when an additional offering is received for the work of the ministry. Do you?