The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/18

Posted on | October 18, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/18

Scripture reading: Luke 9:57–62

What’s Your Excuse?

To another Jesus said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” (Luke 9:59)

Over and over again in the New Testament followers of Christ are commanded to take the Gospel into all the world. Yet many who sit on church pews hearing the call Sunday after Sunday feel somehow that it does not apply to them, convincing themselves that they have been exempted from the missionary mandate to the church. How is this possible? Many have sought to justify their disobedience by offering one or more of the five classic excuses that have been responsible for keeping millions stuck in their pews.

1. “But I’m not called.” If you are waiting for an audible voice from heaven or an angelic visitation, then perhaps you should realize that very few in the Bible or in the history of the church have had such an experience. Why wait for a call when we have such clear commands? Jesus simply said, “Go! Preach! Make disciples!” It is a matter of obedience. Most of us don’t need a call but a kick in the seat of the pants.

2. “But the needs here at home are so great. I’ll stay here and send money.” OK. So show me where you are pouring out your life in service now, here where you live. And show me where you are giving sacrificially in support of those who are taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The fact is, this excuse is all too often a pious-sounding justification for blatant disobedience.

3. “But I’m not qualified.” Then get qualified! If you are not qualified to work for the Master overseas, then you are not qualified to work here at home either. The truth is that God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called! It’s not your ability that he wants but your availability.

4. “My family comes first. This is my top priority.” Really? Beware idolatry! The New Testament has numerous examples of those who missed God’s will for their lives because of their idolatrous obsession with family (e.g. Luke 9:59–62). Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:37).

5. “But going overseas in this day is so expensive and so . . . well, dangerous.” Well, bless your little heart. Do you mean that there might just be a cost involved in following Jesus? Do you mean that you might have to live by faith and perhaps take some (gasp) risks? Imagine that! A cross in the Gospel. We forget so easily that martyrdom has always been included in the job description of those who follow Christ (Mark 8:34).

The truth is that all too often our excuses for non-involvement in missions is in reality a pious camouflage for disobedience! Let me make a suggestion. Rather than waiting for a “call” why not do what Isaiah did? Volunteer for service! And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours. —David Livingstone

point to ponder • You don’t have to ponder if you don’t want to. Don’t ponder a thing.

prayer focus • Missionaries throughout the world.

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