Pastor Linda Settles
The Best Yes!
Excuses! Excuses! Some of us are real good at giving excuses, aren’t we? You run into the Pastor at Costco and your face feels flush! You haven’t been to church in a month of Sundays. What can I possibly say? And before you know it, without thinking, you mutter, “I’ll be in church on Sunday!” Whether you realize it or not, you just RSVP’d.
When you get an invitation to an event, whether it’s the Pastor, a relative, or a co-worker, sometimes you RSVP yes, but in your heart you really don’t want to go. Then when the time comes around, you feel bad, so you make up some excuse that in your mind sounds more important than the invitation. Surely the host wouldn’t expect me to come now! Excuses, excuses!
This is what we see being played out in Luke 14. The gracious host had invited many guests to come to his banquet. During Jesus’ time, when someone invited guests to a dinner, the invited guests were told the day but not the exact hour of the meal, so a runner would go out and announce that dinner was ready. So, naturally you didn’t plan much for that day because you had a dinner to go to whenever it was ready.
The host would need to know exactly how many were coming in order to butcher the right amount of animals and have enough food prepared. So, the implication is that each invited guest had already said that they would be at the banquet. They had RSVP’d. And the host expected them. But this is what happened…
18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ 20 Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’
One had to check on some land he had bought, another had some animals to try out, and another had just gotten married. Fine things to do in and of themselves. But their actions also show that the gracious host’s invitation was not at the top of their to-do list. They had different priorities.
Our priorities determine how we spend our time. If we look back at how we spent our time over the past week, we would get a clear picture of what is important to us. There have been many weeks when my calendar has gotten off track. And I have a physical as well as a digital calendar!
Now, think about your RSVP to God. Each and every day God wakes us up. That’s no small feat, considering how some of us snore to beat the band! Each and every day God lays a brand new day before us. A day for us to play, to work, to love, but also for us to spend time with Jesus. Time spent with Jesus is time well spent. But if we fill our days with other things, you may find that you’ve squeezed Jesus out of your day. And yet, the next morning He wakes us up again and lays a brand new day before us. Netflix can’t do that, sports can’t do that, our friends can’t do that. Only the All-Mighty, All-Loving God can do that.
Perhaps we need to give consideration to our Gracious Host. Consider the time that God spent preparing this world for us, making it beautiful and blessing us with family and friends. The One who constantly extends an invitation to us to come and be with Him…
Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you with Me. Revelation 3:20
May we not be like the guests who gave the host excuses. But may we give Jesus our best YES! And your best yes may mean saying no to some other things. But I encourage you to make yourself available to the Lord and be blessed by His Presence. It is the best YES you’ll ever give!
Join us for worship this Sunday for the sermon series: You’re Invited! This week we’ll preach on The Best Yes. We hope to see you in-house at 10:00am (masks optional), or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
Breakthrough Prayer Amazing things are happening just because we are praying! And I hope that we can hear some of your stories of answered prayer at the next State of the Church this Sunday!
The Word on Wednesday (WOW) Dinner is optional, but if you are coming for dinner, be sure to sign up on the website or let the church office know that you are coming (314-469-6740) so that we are good stewards of the food. Then bring your family and let’s have Food – Fun – Fellowship, WOW! Dinner 6pm, classes 6:30-7:30pm.
State of the Church this Sunday, Sept. 25, after worship. Stay and hear highlights from your Pastor and Leadership Board. We’ll hear Breakthrough Prayer testimonies, and we will address any questions or concerns from the congregation.
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.