Daily Bible Reading for Sunday, February 18th:



Will Christ Accept Your “Good Reasons?”

Landscape with the Parable of the Sower - 1557 - Pieter_Bruegel

Landscape with the Parable of the Sower – 1557 – Pieter_Bruegel

Excuses.

Pick any goal or responsibility that didn’t quite turn out as was expected. Is there a good reason for it or just an excuse?

Is there a difference?

If we contrast the account of Jesus’ three prospective followers (Luke 9:57-62) with the parable of the sower, (Luke 8:4-8) some similarities pop out. I’m looking mostly at the people represented as being eager to follow the Gospel when they first heard about it.

Think of some reasons why a new Christian might fall away after obeying the gospel:

  • It is hard to leave that old lifestyle
  • Dear old friends are left behind
  • Family pressures
  • Learning to read and understand the Bible is a challenge
  • The feeling of being out of place with the “experienced” Christians

In both of our passages, we see reasons for whom are presumably new followers of Christ, but are the reasons much different for a “mature” Christian falling away – or being slack?

  • That other lifestyle looks interesting
  • There are some “really good” people out there
  • No support from extended family
  • Bible reading habit never really developed
  • Not growing relationships with other Christians

Excuses

Good reasons

Excuses

Good reasons

In the end, the result is the same. We were never given any exceptions to the requirement to follow the Gospel.

To not fall in that trap, we have to put a lot of effort into prioritizing what is required over what is a “good reason.”

To avoid the trap, we have to recognize an excuse for what it is.

When we look at the three prospective followers, some might say the reasons they gave for wanting to do something else first were pretty “good reasons.” Jesus didn’t see it that way. It seems like this would worry us more than it does.

Just as an experiment, let’s practice what we would say to Jesus on judgment day to explain why we put him second. How would that change your priorities?

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About Butch Adams

In addition to writing this blog and contributing elsewhere, I have served as elder and deacon in the various places I have worshiped. In these duties, I have concentrated my attention on the area of education - both in outreach to seekers through the Internet and inside the congregations for ongoing Bible scholarship. Comments and thoughts about referenced material in the article above are Copyright 2018 by Butch Adams . Any referenced material belongs to its owners and every attempt has been made to use it according to their wishes.

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