Enough with the excuses, God says: Follow Me!
By Janie Magruder
GCU News Bureau
No offense, but our buts are getting too big, Travis Hearn of Impact Church told a large Grand Canyon University Chapel audience Monday morning.
We have too many reasons for not following that never-changing guiding light that is God’s Word, excuses that include but are not limited to: But … I’m too young, I’m too old, I’m too afraid, I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I don’t know the Bible well enough, I can’t … Lord.
Hearn, who is both senior pastor of the fast-growing Scottsdale church and chaplain of the Phoenix Suns, said all those rationalizations are contrary to what Christians are called to do, which was the title of his Chapel talk: “Following God’s Word: What-ever! that might cost.” He made no bones about challenging, not merely encouraging, believers to consume the Bible at face value, not as if it were part of a large buffet from which you may pick and choose what you like and don’t like.
“The standard for your life is the Bible, nothing else,” Hearn said.
And just as many Christians focus more on what God can do for them than for what they can do for God, too many go to church but are not part of the church, he said. That needs to change.
“There are a lot of conditional Christians, complaining Christians,” he said. “God requires committed and captivated Christians.”
Reading from Luke 9:23-26, Hearn told GCU students and staff (and made them repeat it twice) that they must take up their cross every day — deny yourself, surrender your life, What-ever! you want to call it — and follow Him. Jesus (“the sermonator,” as Hearn called Him) was clear about what it takes to be one of His disciples:
- “I must do whatever God asks me to do.” The excuse about not being smart enough to proclaim God’s Word doesn’t hold water, Hearn said. “God’s not looking for the most educated, he’s looking for the most dedicated,” he said.
- “I must go wherever God asks me to go.” Jeremiah’s faulty rationale about being too young didn’t cut it with the Lord, as evidenced in Jeremiah 1:7: “But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, ‘I am only a boy.’ You must go everywhere I send you. And you must say whatever I tell you.” And then there’s Jonah who ended up in the belly of a whale after refusing to go to Nineveh, a rotten place filled with sinners, to preach against them. “That place would be like God asking you to drop everything and go preach to ISIS,” Hearn said.
- “I must give whatever God asks me to give.” And that’s pretty much everything you have, but it’s all part of God’s big dreams for our lives, Hearn said.
“I would have never imagined God would use me in the ways He’s used me,” said Hearn, whose parents divorced when he was 5 and who was stopped for drunk driving and thrown in jail while he was still in high school. “When you give everything to God, He’s going to give everything back to you in ways you never dreamed or imagined.”
- For a replay of Hearn’s talk, click here.
- Next week’s Chapel speaker: Christian author/speaker Mark Mittelberg
Contact Janie Magruder at (602) 639-8018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.