Luke 14:15 says, “Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, ‘What a privilege it would be to have a share in the Kingdom of God!'”
Jesus responds with the story of a man who prepares a great feast and sends out many invitations. When the preparations were complete, the man sent his servant to notify the guests that it was time to come. Sadly, each had an excuse. In the end (v. 24), Jesus says, “For none of those I invited first will get even the smallest taste of what I had prepared for them.”
This passage leapt off the page at me. Every day, we’re given opportunities to participate in building the kingdom of God. This might happen by writing a letter of encouragement to a grieving widow who lives down the street or in our community, by sharing our time with women in crisis at the local pregnancy center, or by giving money to help a student pay for Bible college tuition or send a child to a Christian summer camp. Perhaps the invitation to share in God’s kingdom comes in the form of using one’s spiritual gifts in public, or participating in a short-term ministry trip.
Partnering with God in building His kingdom may not always feel comfortable. Sometimes it’s downright scary. Most often, we feel stretched beyond our capabilities. We’re afraid of failure, of appearing inadequate, of looking like an idiot. We’re concerned about how we might appear to others, and whether or not the details will fall into place. When we focus on those things, we lose the joy that’s ours when we simply say yes to God.
God invites us to join Him. When we say yes, we experience a spiritual feast that defies imagination. We see Him provide whatever’s necessary for the task. We experience His enabling. We know the joy that comes from obedience.
When we make excuses, we deny ourselves that spiritual banquet. We miss out on even the smallest taste of what God has prepared for us. Why would we choose to RSVP with an excuse – “I don’t have time” or “I don’t have the finances” or “I’m not gifted for that type of ministry” – when the Holy One, the Creator of the Universe, has invited us to share in His kingdom?
“Oh God, fill our hearts with a greater understanding of who You are. Grow our understanding of Your character, of Your greatness, of Your majesty. Fill us with a sensitivity to Your Holy Spirit and to His nudges. Thank You for inviting us to a share in Your Kingdom. Give us the courage to say yes to that invitation, and no to excuses that would hinder us from the feast You’ve prepared. Amen.”