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Scripture Reading: Luke 14:15-24
1. “No excuses” was the explanation of Karl Malone when the Utah Jazz lost Game 7 of the 1996 NBA Western Conference Championship to the Seattle Supersonics: “We win like men and we lose like men.”
2. A mark of maturity is not making excuses for one's faults, failings and sins. The adults in the room take responsibility and accountability for their words and deeds; no excuses, 1 Cor. 16:13.
3. Excuses are self-justification for action or inaction (Jas. 4:17).
a. An excuse is different from an explanation, cf. Lk. 14:18-20.
b. In spiritual matters, excuses are used to neglect God-given duties.
c. Excuses help convince us we can neglect our spiritual responsibilities of holy and obedient living.
d. Such excuses help us lose our souls, Jas. 4:17; Rom. 12:11.
4. Consider some excuses for neglecting our duties before God.
I. EXCUSES USED TO RATIONALIZE SPIRITUAL NEGLECT.
A. Personal Incompetency (Moses), Exo. 3:11, 13; 4:1, 10, 13.
1. God answered every excuse Moses offered.
2. We often conclude we are not right for the job God has given us, cf. 1 Cor. 15:10; Phil. 2:12.
a. Elder, deacon, preacher, class teacher.
b. Parent, helper of the fallen, etc.
3. God’s grace has brought us to this point and will sustain us in every godly endeavor, 2 Pet. 3:18.
B. The Difficulty of the Task, Prov. 22:13. (fear)
1. Can become an excuse for laziness.
a. Overcoming Satan, 1 Pet. 5:8-9.
b. Resisting temptation, 1 Cor. 10:13.
c. Withstanding opposition to your faith, Rom. 8:35-39.
d. Teaching the lost, cf. Mk. 16:15.
e. Understanding the Bible, 2 Tim. 2:15.
2. See opportunities, not obstacles, 1 Sam. 17:46.
-Be a class teacher, lead public prayer, preach a lesson, lead at the Lord's table... Faith, not fear.
C. Personal Weakness (Jeremiah), Jer. 1:6-7. (inexperience)
1. The Christian’s strength to serve comes from God, not himself, 2 Cor. 12:8-10; Phil. 4:13.
2. “Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing; Were not the right One on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing.” ("A Mighty Fortress is Our God", Martin Luther) Heb. 13:5-6
D. The Hardness of the Master, Matt. 25:24-27 (solid, firm, rigid and unbending).
1. Some even try to blame God for their disobedience.
2. Our God is righteous and just; He is not a tyrant. He will not be mocked; we reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7).
3. God never expects from us that which we cannot give -- But, He does expect of us all our ability allows, 2 Cor. 8:12.
E. We do not See the Need, Matt. 25:44-45.
1. We are not the one who decides our spiritual obligations; God is.
2. Cannot excuse ourselves with “I don’t see the importance/need of that...”
-Water baptism to be saved; singing only; work of the local church; God’s MDR law; modest clothing, no social drinking; etc.
F. The Pressures of Life, Lk. 14:18-20 (income, labor, family).
1. All these are worthy endeavors, but were used as excuses to justify wrong priorities. (cf. play v. worship, Heb. 10:25)
2. This an argument for convenience over conviction.
G. Personal Inconvenience, Acts 24:24-25.
-Considering what Jesus and His apostles endured ought to shame us from using this excuse for our neglect, Isa. 53:3-5; 1 Cor. 4:9.
H. Ignorance, cf. Acts 3:17; 26:9-10 (1 Tim. 1:13); Eccl. 5:6.
1. God calls us to steadfast obedience, not senseless and sinful excuse-making, 1 Cor. 15:58.
2. Christ has spoken to Jews and Gentiles: We have no excuse for our sin, cf. Jno. 15:22.
3. The gospel is God's call to be forgiven and live free of excuses for sin.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: June 16, 2015