Excuses, Excuses

Posted on 04/03/2011 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:


hi,i'm chris, 34. I've been in UK immigration detention fr 2 1/2 years. I'm a christian, but all this has mde me mentally ill. I'm now on a 40 day fast wth prayer. pleas pray wth me that i get released frm here back to my family, and also that my pending asylum claim succeeds. May God be glorified and give me a testimony to share with you. Many thanks and blessings to you everyone.
   -chris

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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.

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POWER IN THE BLOOD

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you over evil a victory win?
There's wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary's tide;
There's wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow.
There's wonderful power in the blood.

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There's wonderful power in the blood.

There is power, power, wonder working power
In the blood of the Lamb;
There is power, power, wonder working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

TAKE A LITTLE TIME

Thank you,  Lord,
I   just want to thank you,
I   just want to thank You;
(repeat)

I just want to take,
    take a little time right now
to say thank you, Lord
for all you've done for me.
(repeat)


I SEE THE LORD

I see the Lord seated on the throne, exalted
And the train of His robe
Fills the temple with glory
And the whole earth is filled
The whole earth is filled
And the whole earth is filled
With His glory

Chorus

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord
Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord

Verse

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord


*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


Father God, thank You for this chance to come before You in this place. Thank You for using me, a willing vessel. Lord, I ask that whatever I say brings glory to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

For a few moments, I want us to think of phrases that we use that are excuses.

Such as:
I know God is with me, but...
I believe in God, but...
I know I'm forgiven, but...
I'm healed, but...

We all have used phrases like these. We say things that have a "but" clause. A "but" clause is something that goes against or has a negative connotation to it.

When we say a "but" clause, sometimes is can mean we are making excuses.

We say things like "But God..." Put a whine into the phrase...like this (whine) "But God..." and I feel myself cringing at the thought of what is going on.

Everyone has made excuses at some point. It is easy to do. Let's talk about some excuses.

The first ones are excuses we give God. Examples: God, I can't do that. It isn't in my DNA.
I can't go to a foreign land or across the country thousands of miles from home. Go find someone else.

God says, "Go!"

I say "But God...I'm not like so and so. I can't leave my job. I don't have the money. And so we whine whine whine.

When we give excuses to God, we are sayingto Him that He made a mistake in His plan and we decide to disobey Him.

And sadly too many of us don't realize what we do when we give excuses to God.

Moses did it. Let's read Exodus 4:1-17.

1 Then Moses answered and said, "But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’"
2 So the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "A rod."
3 And He said, "Cast it on the ground." So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail" (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand), 5 "that they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you."
6 Furthermore the LORD said to him, "Now put your hand in your bosom." And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. 7 And He said, "Put your hand in your bosom again." So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh. 8 "Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. 9 And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river[a] and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land."
10 Then Moses said to the LORD, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."
11 So the LORD said to him, "Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? 12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say."
13 But he said, "O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send."
14 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and He said: "Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. 16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs."

In verse 1, Moses gives an excuse that what if the people didn't believe him or would not listen to him.

God showed him a sign with his rod.

In verse 10, Moses spoke about his mouth and how he is slow of speech.

God said He would send Aaron, Moses' brother, with him.

It is not good to ask God to send someone else instead of us like Moses did.

But God...so and so is better equipped you might as well say. What a scary place to be.

The second excuses are given to other people.

Examples:
I can't right now, I'm busy.
I would do that, but...
I don't want to get my hands dirty.
I just painted my nails.

I found a few examples in the Bible of people giving excuses to Jesus. Reading from Luke 9:57-62.

57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that  someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."
58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
59 Then He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
61 And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house."
62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

See these people wanted to follow Jesus, but when Jesus said to follow Him there were certain things they needed to do, these same ones gave excuses.

Sadly, even when The One who came to save them walked the earth, people gave excuses to His face.

Oh Lord help us!

The third excuses are said to ourselves.
Examples:
I was going to clean, but...
I shouldn't eat this, but...
Every time I do that, I get rejected. No more!

Excuses! Excuses!

We must rid ourselves of excuses. Jesus because someone is blind doesn't mean they should only sit in a chair for the rest of their lives.

Just because someone can't sing, play and instrument, or paint a beautiful painting doesn't mean that God didn't give them a talent.

Just because God gave you a certain gift doesn't mean you covet someone else's. And because you have said talent doesn't mean you hide it because you somehow think it is lesser than someone else's.

Do not give excuses for being lazy, disobedient, or whiners. Do you think God likes excuses?

There should be no excuse for Christ-like people to excuse themselves from showing compassion and the love of Christ.

I am tired of hearing excuses! I don't want to live my life so that I can give excuses for my idleness!

Lord, forgive me for giving excuses for my laziness. Forgive me for disobeying You when you ask me to do something. Forgive me for placing what I want to do ahead of Your plan. I am so sorry, Lord. So sorry.
Join me here at the altar. Let's declare a No excuses lifestyle from this moment forward.

Lord, I declare a no excuses lifestyle for me and those of us here. I want Your will to be mine. I want to mirror Your actions. Make me like You, Jesus. In the name that is above all names Jesus Christ, Amen.