The parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:16‑24)
The numerous testings that my family and I myself have been through – and we are still passing through – have influenced both my past professional life and my spiritual ministry. That exhausting and exasperating situation was putting under severe test my physical and psychic forces. I was tempted to neglect a certain number of my duties. Carried away by the “turbulence” of events, my spirit was always in search of excuses for certain absences and gaps. It was then when I began to think and ask myself the following questions: “Up to what point can I excuse myself? Up to what point can I justify myself?”
The first thing that came to my mind was the parable of the Great Supper, which is the object of the Bible, in Luke 14:15‑24. My conclusion was simple: My excuses ought to be true and valid. Even if they are true and valid, they should not be transformed into pretexts… And I should never use my intelligence to evade truth and my duties…
That parable was initially intended for and applied to Israel who was the first invited to participate in the Gospel of Christ. Israel has rejected it almost unanimously as a nation (Mt.10:6; 15:24; 21:33‑46; Joh.1:11‑12; Rom.1:16; Ac.13:46), and we the Gentiles have, actually, taken their place – in a certain way (Ac.15:13‑18; Rom.11:1‑32). This parable can also be applied today to unbelievers. This is a parable, which speaks to us of a lack of appreciation of God by them and of his call to salvation. All guests renounce the invitation by giving different excuses for their refusal. The same excuses are still being used nowadays by the people of the world. In these verses we see that, either for material goods or for reasons having to do with their jobs or even on account of their attachment to their loved ones, they renounce to participate in what God has prepared for them free of any charge. Behind all this was, of course, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life as it is written: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Mat.6:21; Luc 12:34). It should, however, be noted that this same parable can also be applied, by extension, to Christians who present excuses to justify themselves for certain Christian duties that they have neglected or that they continue to neglect.
The Gospel has been spread all over the world because it was not limited only to the Jews! People of all nations, colour and race are invited to the salvation by Christ! The gospel must be spread all over the world! (Mt.28:18-20; Ac.1:8; Mrk.16:15)
The problem of the validity of excuses
The persons, to whom the invitation was addressed, seemed to have initially accepted the invitation or gave the impression that they had accepted the invitation but they refused it later. It is important to examine their excuses more closely:
- · It is a poor affair for a man to buy a piece of ground that he has not yet seen. It is a worse affair to buy five pairs of oxen without having tested them. Such an attitude shows an extreme lack of prudence. If we suppose that those two guests had already seen, the former the field and the latter the oxen before buying them, but they simply desired to examine them more closely, their excuses were very unsatisfactory. The field of the first was not going to move away from its place and the oxen of the latter were already part of his property. They could, no doubt, postpone their visits to see the field and try the oxen at another moment of the day or on another day. They could avoid dishonoring the master who had honored them by his invitation.
- · The third excuse, that of the one who had married a wife, seems to be less credible. In reality, he could have left his wife for some hours. He could have done it on many other occasions, sooner or later. He was asked not to divorce his wife but simply be absent for some hours to participate in a banquet of someone who wanted to honor him by inviting him to a supper! Let us not forget that false excuses are a kind of lies. Someone said: “An excuse is worse than a lie, because an excuse is a hidden lie.”
The reaction of the master and of God
Given that their excuses were not valid and not well founded but pretexts of ridiculous character, the master of the feast was right in being angry at them about their refusal. In addition, their participation was just for a few hours! He had understood well that they either wanted to deliberately offend him by their refusal or they did not appreciate both him and his invitation. Even if their act did not have a deliberately offensive character and was due to their love and anxiety for the object of their attention and attachment, they surely had shown a very bad appreciation of priorities. They were excluded by their own act.
The anger of the master found a way out from his urgent problem to avoid the waste of food, to save face and to give them a lesson: Then the master gave instructions to his servant: Bring in the poor, the handicapped, the blind and the lame to come… As there was more room, he told his servant to compel other people so that his house be filled…
The means that the master used are not mentioned, but if we apply this parable in relation to God and men, it is clear that God uses truth, exhortation, reproof, teaching, magnanimity, love, mercy, gentleness, perseverance and, very often, more drastic and severe measures to make men turn away from Hell and the wrath to come. But He does not oblige anybody against his will.
Discussion of the parable
Mutatis mutandis, God gives a universal opportunity for salvation. He sends messengers to make it known to all human beings. Men, however, show an inexcusable negligence, a terrible indifference. That negligence becomes manifest either by a refusal or by an indefinite postponement: Their refusal or postponement is accompanied by a lot of excuses, the greatest part of which cannot be accepted: The worldly spirit, the worldly worries, the professional commitments, the family obligations, the indifference etc. They do not prioritize properly the divine requirements, though they are “conscious of God’s invisible attributes, which are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom.1:20).
When worldly cares and worries absorb a man – and especially a Christian – he is hindered from developing spiritually and the result will lead to shame: When common daily cares are mixed with the sin of anxiety his spiritual life is to be eaten away as from gangrene. The result will be unavoidably an unfruitful life. And if that “illness” develops unhindered, that same illness may lead to spiritual death. He who lives in such a way, replaces God by an object, by a job, by a person: That is a form of idolatry! For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (Eph.5:5). Property, work and personal relations which are blessings in themselves may become the worst obstacles or idols in our spiritual life. They may suffocate the good seed of God and may lead to unfruitfulness and to spiritual death. This is the reason why, as the Lord continued His discourse, He spoke of the cost of true religion, which has to do with self‑denial and cross‑bearing (Lu.14:26-30).
Excuses that God cannot accept
Our God is a reasonable God. There are cases when our excuses are well founded and reasonable but very often they are not. God accepts those which are reasonable and well founded. There should not be, therefore, either exaggerations or pretexts. Let us examine cases of excuses that God does not accept.
I do not know exactly how the Lord sees things but let me mention some representative cases:
Adam and Eve: The man accused his wife and his wife accused the serpent that had seduced her. “And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate. And the LORD God said to the woman, What is this that you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Ge.3:12‑13). Was the blame finally on God who made the “mistake” of giving the woman to Adam? Was Adam ignorant of the commandment of God not to touch that fruit? Was it only his wife who was responsible for what had happened? Or was it only the serpent responsible? How could their excuses stand? One considered himself victim of the other! Have you ever seen someone who is always able to find or invent excuses? I can guarantee you that you can expect nothing from him!!! Have you known such persons? They are the source of trouble to everybody! All they are interested in is not to be responsible, not to be guilty and only protect their so-called dignity. It is a great sin that we present ourselves as victims of somebody else and live in a state of self-pity and not assume our own responsibilities. It is a great sin to believe that whatever we suffer from is the fault, or the sin of others.
If we love the truth and want to abide in the Lord, we will tell the truth in our heart and admit it publicly, if necessary. “LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart;” (Ps.15:1‑2). So, he who tells the truth in his heart the same walks uprightly and works righteousness.
Aaron: What should we say about Aaron who accused the people and presented excuses for the golden god‑calf he had made for that faithless and rebellious people? (Ex.32:22‑24). The way he spoke to Moses reveals that he himself knew that the people were set on mischief and that he had accepted and had adopted their mischief! Why then had he accepted that compromise solution? Most probably just to protect himself! What about us?
Do we consent to other people’s sin or doubtful compromises in order to protect ourselves, not to be persecuted and get rid of their sinful or annoying insistence?
King Saul: What should we say about King Saul who usurped the function of the priest under the pressure of fear and of his desire for victory? (1Sam.13:12). Let us suppose that he could be excused because he acted under the pressure of fear! But how can we explain the fact that, in addition, he kept part of the forbidden spoil? (1Sam.15:21). His faithless impatience and fear of defeat, of evil or of disaster and the lack of respect for God’s will pushed him to do things, which were not permitted! Furthermore, his idea about things to be sacrificed to the Lord was better than that of God transmitted to him through the prophet!!!
Let us remind ourselves, just for a moment, of Military People who make a “coup d’état” – usurping the function of politicians – in order to protect their country from disorder and confusion. What do they achieve, in most cases, at the bottom line? They create problems for themselves by becoming prisoners of the conditions they create and they accumulate disasters in their own countries! The result is that, in most cases, people swing from one extreme to the other, as in a pendulum! Their so‑called good intentions do not help both themselves and the people they were supposed to protect from disorder and corruption! Sooner or later, things revert to their former confused situation and that, after a lot of losses, disasters and bloodshed!
The same principle holds good also between husbands and wives when wives try, with different kinds of excuses, to usurp authority that belongs to their husbands. That is also true for children who want to decide the way their parents should spend their money; for employees who criticize their superiors and usurp authority that does not belong to them; for pastors who, arguing that their congregation is not spiritual enough to decide for Church matters, decide themselves on behalf of and for the account of the congregation, usurping the sovereign authority that belongs only to the congregation not to themselves. This results in hindering the spiritual gifts of God’s people from becoming manifest and exercised.
Governor Felix: What should we say about Governor Felix who afraid and trembling – as Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and the judgment to come – answered, “…Go for this time, but taking time later, I will call for you…”? (Ac.24:25). He did not want to humble himself and admit the truth! What a terrible mistake to postpone the adoption of truth in order to avoid a so‑called humiliation! Man is exalted by humbling himself, as it is written in Job 22:29 and elsewhere in the Bible. Those who accept to humble themselves do not humble themselves one to another but to the truth. Truth does not humiliate those who humble themselves but exalts them and recommends them to other people’s conscience… God gave him an opportunity of salvation but he neglected it. He postponed it indefinitely! What excuse is he going to present before the Judgment Seat?
I must admit that my spirit is at a loss when I try to imagine what kind of excuses will be offered to God by those who, having known the call of God for their salvation and have neglected to respond to it positively! Some in order not to be humbled, others in order not be put ‘out of the synagogue’, whether religious or social, others for material goods and others for other reasons neglect or reject the light because, in reality, they prefer darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil… Light not used or applied becomes sooner or later darkness. They will remember one day, before the Judgment Seat of God, the blood of Christ shed for them for their salvation as well as their refusal to make use of opportunities offered for their salvation! Bitter tears will flow from their eyes, but it will be too late! Strangely enough, there are people who have helped others to find the Truth, to adopt the Bible as their only guide in their life and who are outside God’s kingdom living a materialistic life! What are they going to say or pretend when they will be before God’s Judgment Seat?
King Herod: What should we say about stupid and wicked excuses such as those of King Herod who promised to the daughter of Herodias with oath in an inconsiderate and rash way, that is, to give her anything that she would ask?… What was the excuse for committing the crime of beheading John the Baptist, an innocent and holy man? The promise with an oath!!! Who pushed him and obliged him to keep such a stupid and criminal promise? The Word of God? By no means! It was his egoism, his arrogance, his so‑called dignity before his guests, camouflaged behind an erroneously interpreted commandment demanding him to keep his vow! Could his vow or promise go against the Law of God and put an innocent man to death? Herod knew who John was. He respected him and listened to him gladly. He knew he was not worthy of death. He was trapped because he entered Satan’s territory…
His so‑called excuse to keep his vows was valid for him and may be for some of his guests, but not before God. He lost his face and his integrity before God! He remembered that vows should be kept, but did he not remember that vows should not be kept when they were not according to God’s Law?
Those who judge: There is no excuse for all those who judge others. When I say “judge” I mean judge; I do not mean, “discern”. By judging others they condemn themselves IF they examine themselves deeply and honestly they will find out that they who judge do the same things (Rom.2:1). Self‑justification is equal to self-condemnation! The Word says:
- · “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” (Ps.130:3)
- · Is there any one who only “does well and does not sin?” (Ec.7:20)
- · “There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness.” (Pr.30:12)
I very often remember a word from the book of Job: “Though I were righteous, my own mouth would condemn me; though I were blameless, it would prove me perverse.” (Job 9:20). Do you remember the case of the adulterous woman? “Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last…” (Joh.8:9). And “…if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” (1Jo.3:20)
The fool has said in his heart, There is no God: Foolish people, whether educated or not, often say: “There is no God!” (Ps.14:1). Such a statement is inexcusable: They ignore or they want to ignore that: “…the unseen things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being realized by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, for them to be without excuse.” (Rom.1:20). They dare say that the world has been made by itself and just by chance! How stupid! There is no excuse for such ignorance or willful blindness! Let them prove to us that there is no God. One day they will see who is right…
Comparing with other people’s behavior: What should we think of certain people who argue that it was on account of the bad conduct or a bad or inconsiderate word that a pastor or a priest or a member of a Church that has said that he/she decided never to come back to Church or to give his/her heart to Christ because they consider that they are all hypocrites, except themselves, of course? We very easily divorce from the Church! Do we so easily get divorced from our wives or husband when we disagree on something, or if our children just said something that has hurt our feelings? It is good to mention also the excuse that many, very many people, use to justify themselves, that is: They compare themselves with the sins of other people that are apparently worse than they are. In other words, they try to clean themselves with mud‑water!!! Let us tell the truth to God and assume our responsibility and guilt!
Confusion between “having sin” and “committing sin”: One of the most pernicious and harmful sins of believers is the fact that they excuse themselves saying: “We are weak human beings and it is normal to fall into sin.” The Bible says, and in particular the apostle John, in his first epistle (1Jo.1:4‑2:4 and 3:6-9) certain very important things which are misinterpreted by many believers:
- · We have sinned in the past; is there anyone that has not sinned?
- · We have sin in our lives now; there is sin in our life that we do not know BUT, as the days go by, light comes and shows us all things that are not according to God’s will. What counts is that I get rid of each and every sin I know so that my conscience does not accuse me of known sins.
- · Irrespective of whether there is sin in our life we do not know, we are called not to sin in things that we do know.
- · God, if we sincerely confess our sins with godly sorrow, He does NOT ONLY forgive us but He ALSO cleanses us from the passion, the bondage and/or the power of sin!!!
- · Finally, he who abides in Him does not sin… and everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God…” (1Jo.3:6‑9)
The conclusion we arrive at is that there is no excuse for an up-and-down life, for not living a pious life. He who has called us to this pious life it is He that will do it for us (1Thes.5:24). We must, therefore, understand the difference between “having sin” and “committing sin”. There is, therefore, no excuse when we sin and let our conscience condemn us! By what I have just said, I do not preach sinless perfection but I preach that there is no excuse when we sin, because the power not to sin has been given to us through Jesus Christ’s blood and through the power of the Holy Spirit. The possibility of a Christian falling into sin is not excluded but what is excluded for a true child of God is to practice sin, to continue sinning!
Have we done, in the measure that it was possible to us, what was really possible with the fidelity due to the Lord and not according to the theory of the “non perfect” Christian which accepts and tolerates many things which are not in conformity with the Word of God? Let us not make the excuse: «We are weak human beings. To fall into sin is normal». If yes, God’s command to love Him with all our being and to live a holy life is not and cannot be of application! Now, we can escape with some intelligent excuses, BUT, shall we be capable of presenting the same excuses before God’s Courthouse (Judgment Seat)?
Christian life is too difficult: There are people who argue saying that Christian life is too difficult to live and too hard for common human beings. Those who say that Christian life is too difficult, too hard to live, either deceive themselves by excusing themselves and/or try to deceive others. They also say that God is too demanding: He reaps where He did not sow and gathers where He did not scatter and requires that from us! (Mt.25:24‑25; Lu.19:22).
It is true that God’s law concerning love toward God and toward our fellow-men is very exigent! Our God, however, as I mentioned before, is a reasonable God. He does not ask us to do things that we cannot do. He who calls us to do something is the Same who assumes the responsibility to give us the power to do it: The Holy Spirit! “Who goes a warfare any time at his own charges?” (1Cor.9:7). And, “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” (1Th.5:24). Is it not true, consequently, that «…to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. »? (Jas.4:17). The commands that God prescribes for us are certainly not above our strength and out of our capacity (Dt.30:11-14). “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1Jo.5:3). Lazy or indifferent people say: it is too difficult for me or it is too dangerous for my life; I may even be killed (Pr.22:13). May God help us to avoid such silly excuses! Jesus, our Lord, Himself also said: “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt.11:30). How can they say the contrary? He who calls us to do His will, He will do it, provided we accept His will, we consent to His will. He “who supplies seed to the sower” (2Cor.9:10) “will supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Php.4:19).
Oh, if I knew…: I must humbly confess that if I had paid more attention to certain words of wisdom of the Bible I would not have become, in certain cases, victim of the enemy. What should I say? It was the wickedness of my neighbor, the sin of my enemy, of Satan? The purpose of my enemy is to do me harm! My duty is to protect myself. John, the apostle, says: “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.” (1Jo.5:18). There is also another verse from the Bible which is a key to the comprehension of what I have just said: “Oh, that (if) you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa.48:18). We very often lose our happiness, our peace, our joy, because we do not pay due attention to the commandments of God… And what should we say for those who say: “I could not imagine that it was so! I could not imagine that the consequences would be so painful”!
Wrong priorities: What should we say about those who commit themselves to do something for the Lord, to serve Him faithfully but who do not keep their promise and say in an indifferent way: “I was so busy, I was so preoccupied with this and that”? They were so busy with their own things but they had no time for the Lord!!! They have no sense of guilt although they have put, as their first priority themselves, their job, their leisure, their needs, their social relations! Let our words be few before the Sovereign God of the universe. “Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD deceitfully (that is: negligently)…” (Jer.48:10).
Do you remember the words of the prophet Haggai? The House of the Lord was in ruins and the people were occupied in building their own homes (Hag.1:2‑5). Do you remember their excuse? “The time has not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built.” On account of their personal desires and lusts, they had reversed the proper priorities. First, their own business and then God’s work! What a clever pretext not to be bothered and be left alone to continue building their own business! Some, may be, say: The moment to take care of God’s work will be when I would be retired and I would have my pension… I am afraid that some of us will hear God saying to us: “I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me. Then they will also answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You? Then He shall answer them, saying, Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” (Mt.25:43‑45)
It is not my problem: Let me now use one more example of an unacceptable excuse: Cain was not only guilty of having assassinated his brother Abel but he also lied and wanted to refute all responsibility “…”Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Ge.4:9). How often do we stay away, far off our fellow man’s problem and pain, which sometimes are created or provoked by us? “But whoever has this world’s good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (1Jo.3:17-18).
On the contrary, the best example of uprightness is given to us by one of the criminals who were crucified with Jesus.
He did not try to justify himself but spoke the truth both in his heart and publicly. He said: “…Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong. Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom. And Jesus said to him, Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Lu.23:40‑43) What a lesson for us all!!! May God open our eyes and our ears to hear the message coming from this wonderful story! It is only then that we will receive the same blessing that the “honest” criminal enjoyed… However, many of us say: “…Because I am innocent, surely His anger shall turn from me: I have not sinned.” (Jer.2:35). But the Word of God continues and says: “Only acknowledge your iniquity…” (Jer.3:13).
Please, notice that, for the Jews and the Romans, Jesus was a common man worthy to be put to death. On the contrary, for that “honest” criminal Jesus was an innocent man and something more: a divine heavenly King! How was it possible? The “honest” criminal had, on account of his sincerity and of assuming his responsibilities, been the object of a privileged treatment from God: His spiritual eyes were opened to understand that Jesus, the man who was dying on the cross, was the divine heavenly King, and that He could take him to His heavenly kingdom! Incredible but true!!!
I can tell you, on the authority of the Word of God that the same blessings of spiritual light, of spiritual insight and of heavenly heritage are also for you and me if we are honest, by telling the truth both in our heart and, if necessary, publicly, that is by assuming our responsibilities and guilt!!! Notice, please, a wonderful verse: “Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you”, or better, as it appears in the Greek text: “I will make you understand my words.” (Pr.1:23).
Excuses that God can accept:
God consents to ‘converse’ with those who have true excuses and encourages them. He converses with those who are aware of their true weakness such as their personal incompetence, their lack of social position or, or, or but accept to humble themselves. Here are some examples concerning: God has condescended to converse with Moses (Ex.3:11; 4:1, 10; 4:1‑12); with Gideon (Jud.6:12‑17); with Jeremiah (Jer.1:6‑7); and with Mary, Jesus’ Mother. God has given them explanations, instructions, even proofs, in the form of signs, to encourage them. It is not the proper time to refer to them in detail.
Conclusion: What counts is our motivation! God has no “conversations” with people who live in indifference, in wickedness, in pride, in arrogance etc.
Closing, I would like to put or rather recapitulate some important questions to all of us without exception:
- · Do we do, in the measure that is possible, all that it is INDEED possible to us… with the faithfulness due to the Lord and not according to the theory of the “non‑perfect Christian”, which accepts and tolerates many things that the Word of God does not permit? We can escape now with some intelligent excuses before men, BUT, shall we be capable of presenting the same excuses before God’s Judgment Seat?
- · Are we servants who have done all the things we were commanded to do? Are we “unprofitable” servants or are we more than unprofitable? (Lu.17:9‑10). Is it not true that “… to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”? (Jas.4:17)
- · Do we make use of the excuse: “We are weak human beings! It is normal to fall”? If so, then the commandment of God to love Him with all our being and live a holy life is not and cannot be of application! There is and there will be no excuse for not having done our duty in the Lord: “Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things [are] possible to him who believes.” (Mrk.9:23). And Paul declared elsewhere, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Php.4:13). So, there is no Christian task that is too difficult or too hard for a true Christian.
- · Do we use our intelligence in order to find some loopholes to our obligations and for the accomplishment of God’s will in our life?
Dear friends! If our treasure is God’s will we will never try to find inexcusable excuses! And if God’s fear is in us we will repent and cry bitterly if we ever fall into sin. If we resist that evil spirit, the evil spirit of taking refuge in excuses will flee. Let us not forget that excuses are a kind of lie or hypocrisy. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1Cor.10:13). Consequently, if we fall into sin there is no excuse. The temptations and testing that God permits in our life are not beyond our strength. In other words, God does not prescribe for us things which are either too mysterious for us or are far off. They are things, on the contrary, which are very near us, in our mouth and in our heart, that we may do them (Dt.30:11-14). And let us never forget that “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”!!! (1Th.5:24) BUT let us never forget, also, that there is no forgiveness of sin, without repentance; there is no forgiveness of sin or of false excuses if there is no confession of them (1Jo.1:9); there is no revival without contrition of heart, without repentance, without mourning for our sin, without confession of our sin, without rejecting our sin and without consecration to God! (2Ch.7:14).
If we fear God in our heart, if we hate sin, if we deny ourselves and our interests – in case they go against the will of God – if the Lord and His will become our treasure, if our repentance, our trust in Him and in His Word are continuous, profound and sincere, then we do not risk to fall sick of that illness of “excuses” and die spiritually on account of it. If, finally, we love God the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with our entire mind and our neighbor as ourselves (Lu.10:27), then and only then, we will no more have problems of that kind. On the contrary, the Lord promises to him who keeps the word of perseverance in Him (Re.3:8,10) that He will give: Favor and Power: He will open to him doors that no one will be able to close… power against the enemy, power to do his duty. He will eliminate obstacles and will give authority, assurance and boldness and mainly great faith! He will protect him against temptations; He will give him victory and will make him pillar in His Church. He will not permit that any one removes his crown. His spiritual progress will be manifest to all. He will give him more light and blessings.
As for me, I ardently desire and from the bottom of my heart, when the Lord will call me home from this world to be like the servant of the parable and tell Him: “…Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.” (Lu.14:22).John BALTATZIS