The Excuses For Non-Attendance

DATE POSTED: Tuesday, 2023-05-10

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SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 14:15-20
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!” Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

OBSERVATION: Unfortunately, things are not much different today than in the day of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus warned then, and I believe He continues to warn today, that when a banquet is prepared for us, and we are duly invited, there should be no reason for us to find excuses for not attending. I believe the Holy Spirit inspired me to compare this story by Jesus to the spiritual banquet that is prepared every week for us to meet with other believers in the presence of the King of all kings and receive the blessings of God, just as we would do at a banquet table with food. Take a few minutes to meditate on this with me today.

APPLICATION: I was touched as I read this story this morning. Perhaps for the first time I saw the tie between the direction Jesus gave to the Pharisees about hosting a banquet and the parable, or story that followed concerning the invitations to attend the banquet. I saw a deep parallel between the parable and our regular church services each week. I believe that if any of us knew, and was concerned about, the sacrifice, preparation time, study and research time, prayer and concern that went into preparing for our time together each week, we would probably bend over backwards to attend church and be thankful for the work of our pastors and church leaders. But could it be that we have become so self-centered and hardened to anything done for us by others, that we have forgotten everything our mom ever taught us about appreciating any and all things others may do for us? If we are truly following the will of God, is there anyone too good, or too evil, for us to share the love of Jesus with? Perhaps if we could take a close look at today’s Scripture and ask God to bring this to remembrance every time we push others away, or reject their invitation to be with them, we might seek the face of Jesus more frequently and beg His forgiveness while asking Him for strength to follow His will for our lives in all walks of life. Friends, this whole idea of accepting one another, and sacrificing a little bit of self in order to be a part of their joys and sorrows, all started with God, for He caused a Son – His only Son, to be born through miraculous means, so that He would ultimately be a substitute for the sin of all who choose to accept Him. This was done for those who we tend to turn away from, like criminals, known sinners, those who reject Christ, and of course, our God saw fit in doing this miraculous act for those He knew would accept His Son Jesus as Lord of their life. Nationality, nor color, nor male, nor female were exempt from the provisions made by God to enable our acceptance into heaven. I wonder how God must feel when He watches as we segregate those, we feel are unworthy? If only we would learn to do what God expects and commands of us, while letting Him be God and touch the hearts of those whom He loves and cares for. The Bible says that when Jesus arose from the dead, He went on to Heaven to prepare a place for us. It is totally God, in all of His wisdom and love, who will accept and/or reject those who will make it to heaven’s doors. We are not expected to help God decide on the sentence for each one. However, the Word of God teaches us that we are to love, encourage and spur one another on to the joys of heaven and our living God. It is virtually impossible to do that while allowing Satan to have his way in forcing a wedge between us and those God has placed in our path. So when we think of a banquet being prepared for us, think of the one meant to welcome us home to glory, and also the one each week where God chooses to soften our hearts so that we may not only hear His Word declared, but also allow it to minister to our heart. Prepare yourself for loving your ‘neighbor’ as much as we all love ourselves. God is love, so any thought we hear of hatred, revenge, or staying away from His church and His people, is a sign that Satan is way too active in our lives.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Time with Jesus will cause us to desire eternity with Him!

PRAYER: Lord, I believe if You made us as sick as we claim to be when it’s time for church, or as poor as we claim to be when we neglect giving to Your ministry causes, or any of the other multiple excuses that we make in life, especially when You are just waiting to bless us, we will be in deep trouble. Please Lord, forgive us for our ungrateful and evil ways. With the mouth, we say that we are Your child, but way too often we still act as if Satan is still in charge of our lives. Lord, I am serious about Heaven, and also about pleasing You in all that I do or say while still here on earth. Please give me strength and determination to live more in line with Your commands, Your will, and Your desires for me to be of Christian service to others that I come into contact with. I want others to see so much of Jesus in my life that they will desire and commit to a personal relationship with You. Please touch the hearts of all who will read this devotional. If they already serve You, I pray that they will become more committed to Your will and way. If they are still following the evil one, I pray that their hearts will be softened, and their eyes opened to You saving grace. May this be a day of decision and drawing closer to You in every way. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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