Thursday, September 26, 2019

"Heaven is a No-Excuse Zone"

Isaiah 29.11-12 NKJV

“The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, ‘Read this, please.’ And he says, ‘I cannot, for it is sealed.’ Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, ‘Read this, please.’ And he says, ‘I am not literate.’

Everyone had an excuse. The literate could not crack the Book because the Book was “sealed.” Others could not read Isaiah’s vision because they were “not literate.” Their excuses didn’t work. The illiterate must learn to read and the literate must break the seal.

Nothing should stop me from fulfilling God’s will for me. The same God who helps the illiterate to read and the literate to break the seal can help me perform His purpose. It will not be easy, but “I can’t” is no excuse. 

Luke recorded a parable Jesus told about a man who threw a party and no one wanted to come. The invitees “all alike began to make excuses” (Luke 14.18) and chose not to attend. The offended host promised, “…none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet” (Luke 14.24).

It’s hard to make time and space for Jesus. I easily resist His gracious invitation. There’s ‘no room in the inn.’ I’m too busy, full, or preoccupied to notice the divine opportunity. My excuses seem legitimate, but they are excuses nonetheless. Like the boy in Gary Larson’s 1986 “Far Side” cartoon, I pretend to be ignorant and raise my hand in defiance: “Mr. Osborne, may I be excused? My brain is full.”

If I can’t do it, I must figure it out. “I did not know” is not a valid excuse if I reasonably could have known. If there are obstacles, I must remove them, or at least try to. When I look for excuses instead of opportunities, I find plenty of good reasons to miss God’s best.

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