Greetings again my Brethren.  Well here we are in a new year.  I hear many Christians say 2020 was horrible, the worst year of their life and I shake my head and think what have we, in the last 40 or 50 years been through to make such a comment? Oh how soft America has become.  I truly hope God does not come calling in 2021 to see what America is made of. America has drifted so far from God.  Our government and society has drifted from Biblical morality and truth, oh my friend I would not be too surprised if God would not visit America in strong ways to test the amount of His word that has been delivered to the people.  I often think of all of the countries around the world where the Gospel message has been preached and taught yet there seems to be little spiritual growth or even a desire. The same countries keep asking for help and I wonder when will it ever be enough. When will they be held accountable for what has already been given to them?  I am not jaded for giving, I still travel and give, but there must come a time when all of the countries around the world must stand on their own two feet in God.  America my friend is in trouble and the future looks bleak for her unless she truly turns her heart back to God.  If certain things play out I will be surprised if America will be around in 10 years as the America I was raised in. Oh well we all make choices and recently most of the American people have chosen darkness over light.  Back to Gods call. As America is lost there is a huge danger of allowing conflicting interests to become an excuse to justify unwillingness and lack of interest by individual Americans and the nation to answer God’s call. Jesus shares with us in Luke, “Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.18And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”  (Luke 14:16-20)  Now these excuses today probably would not be used, but excuses are excuses and we all have them.  Still our excuses we give to God will never measure up to where God would say, “okay you are excused.”  This parable sadly plays out day after day all over the world; God calls and people who God has called (now God knows they are able to answer His call) allow conflicting interests and a sheer lack of interest to drown out in their mind and heart the call of God in their lives. You know God is not very good at accepting excuses.  You know when I think of excuses I think of Moses (so I will not have to think of my own) when he tried to tell God he was not a good speaker, And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”  (Exodus 4:10), but God wanted nothing to do with that excuse and replied,
11And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”  (Exodus 4:11-12)
You know we are really good at making excuses when we do not want to do something and usually, most times, they are a bold face lie that God and the person knows it is a lie.  I invite many people to our Home Group Meeting and when meeting time draws near I remind them of their commitment to come, but  . . . some of the excuses I hear. Usually family is blamed most often like in the passage in Luke.  sickness is used as the next lie why they cannot come.  If they only knew I and God know their heart and if they just told the truth we both would respect them more.  Back in Luke we see God has set a banquet  table full of all that we need to answer His call on our lives and all we need to survive.  The table is set and many were invited. “Deep calleth unto deep.”  God’s servants have been sent to gather in the guests who God called to the supper.  BUT one by one the invited guests made excuses.  What arrogance and pride.  Now the parable only mentions three guests, but in verse 16 it says He “bade many.” Please notice all three excuses were self-indulgent and conflicted with a self-interest that God was not involved with. All were personal in nature. When we make excuses to God we will have our self-life involved and God’s concerns will not be important.  I discuss this topic in January because in 2021, God will be spreading a banquet table before us bidding us come and dine. The question is will we make excuses or answer His call?    

Next month we will continue  looking at some areas we may not think about. Do you hear Him calling? Please know God is calling. Walter Beuttler said if you build God a temple He will inhabit it. Have  you built God a temple?  If you do He will abide and wait for you.  Written by David Stahl