Our time on this earth is drawing to a close, either by the return of Christ Jesus, or by our own “expiration date”, whichever comes first. And so, knowing that, our priority should be on doing that which is most important FIRST, then doing those things less important. So, what’s YOUR first priority? I’d like to help you pinpoint your priorities in this New Year, so you can get it started right.  And if you find your first priority isn’t what you thought it was, now is the right time to fix that.

There are many good endeavors; marriage, raising a family, building a home and a career, but there is something far more important than those, namely, taking care of your soul. Many go to church each week, and/or do good things in their community and family, and these are good to do, but they do not save your soul. Only Christ Jesus can do that, but you know, He can’t do that without your participation. Yes, that’s right, YOU have a part to play in your salvation. He has provided the means by which you may be saved, but YOU must be an active participant.

Jesus told a parable in Luke 14:16-27 which I’d like to share with you today.
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And 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.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.


What is the purpose of me using this parable? I find many Christians who are comfortable going to church each week, but they never seem to bear any real fruit for the Kingdom of God. They KNOW they are called to be His children. They KNOW God loves them, but how does God know THEY love HIM? By showing up at church each week and doing their two hours?

You can be in a barn, but it doesn’t make you a mule. You can have a huge toolbox of automotive tools, but that doesn’t make you a mechanic. But if you are daily using those tools fixing cars, THEN I’d say you are a mechanic. If you are daily serving the LORD, taking the time to put His Kingdom first, studying the Word of God, and acting upon it, THEN I’d say you are a Christian.

I find an interesting thing about the servants of the Lord who prepared a great supper: It wasn’t enough that they PREPARED the supper, they were told to invite the guests, too. As we see in the parable, one by one, the ones invited began to make excuse why they couldn’t come. The excuses weren’t the focus here, the fact that they MADE the excuses is, though.

The LORD invited us ALL to partake of the Wedding Supper, but so many have this or that excuse: they’re too busy is the biggest one. One said he just married, so he couldn’t come. I guess his wife said NO, so maybe he had the only valid excuse. But it doesn’t end there. The Lord told his servants to go out to the highways and hedges and COMPEL them to come in, that his house would be full. I find that word “COMPEL” deserves to be defined. It means, “to necessitate, compel, drive to, constrain (a) by force, threats, etc. (b) by permission, entreaties, etc. (c) by other means, (d) to drag with force.

When the LORD says He wants His house filled, that’s exactly what He means, even if you have to drag them there. Why? So they can learn of Him and experience His love firsthand. Well, we all know nobody has been dragged to church lately. But WHY NOT? WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE? Don’t want to offend anyone by sharing the Gospel with them? Afraid what people will think of you? Not “politically correct” enough?

Verse 24 above says it all: none that were bidden to His supper who made excuse not to come will have entrance to His Kingdom. Surprisingly, those who were “COMPELLED TO COME”, that is, dragged in, were all welcomed. Did you see that? That included the halt, maimed, blind and the poor, it didn’t matter to the Lord if they were pretty or not, as long as they came.

Well Christian, you have your instructions. The LORD has prepared a great feast for all who will come, He has offered up His most precious Lamb, for the salvation and blessing of all who show up. Believe it or not, your job is to invite them all; rich, poor, pretty, ugly, whatever. And if there is still room, go out and find more and DRAG THEM IN if necessary, that His house may be filled. It’s pretty hard for your pastor to get a bunch of empty chairs saved, so fill them with people needing salvation. I’ll do my part, will you do yours?

Anyone claiming to be a follower of Christ, who makes excuse not to do the work of the Kingdom is not fit for the Kingdom of God. So, WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?