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The Abuses of Excuses

posted Apr 11, 2010, 12:45 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Apr 11, 2010, 12:51 PM ]

April 11, 2010                     

Key Passage: Exodus 3 – 4:17 

“The Abuses of Excuses” 

“I am the King of Excuses…I’ve got one for every selfish thing I do…”  DcTalk (Jesus Freak – 1994) 

A Gallup poll released in 1997 found there’s little to no difference in ethical behavior between the churched and unchurched.  Why?  Because we live in a society where people, Christians included, are constantly making excuses for the decisions they make and the way they act.  For the love, could we live in a time when people take less responsibility and make more excuses?!?  Consider this: “obedience puts us right in the path of God’s will.”  Guess what the major stumbling block to obedience is?  You got it – EXCUSES!  One point we can make to help us stop making excuses is to consider the life and sacrifice of Jesus.  The Son of God died a horrible, humiliating death for us.  He made no excuses to get out of that terrible and unfair death on the cross.  In light of what he’s done for us – when he didn’t have to, all of our excuses for not serving Him seem petty and ridiculous.  It’s really a matter of priorities, isn’t it?  When your house is on fire, suddenly all of your pressing tasks can be set aside without a thought.  But what if your soul is on fire?  To help us all feel a little better about our chances, let’s take a look at Moses – arguably the most obedient follower of God in the OT – yet he started as the “King of Excuses.” 

Quick Sidebar: “I AM” – The most common and important name for God in the OT is a name our English versions can’t even translate.  In Hebrew the name had four letters – YHWH.  The Jews wouldn’t even utter it, lest they accidentally take it in vain.  So whenever they came to this name in their reading the pronounced the word “adonai,” which means “my Lord.”  The word “Jehovah” originated from an attempt to pronounce the consonants YHWH with the vowels from the word “adonai.”  Most importantly, in Jesus Christ we have the unspeakable privilege of knowing Yahweh as our Father – I AM WHO I AM – the God who exists, whose personality and power is owing solely to himself, who never changes, from whom all power and energy in the universe flows, and from whom all creation should conform its life. 

Exodus 3:11 – 4:17               The 5 Excuses of Moses (see if these sound familiar): 

1. “I’m not qualified” (3:11)     see also Deuteronomy 31:6 

2. “Frankly, I doubt you, God!” (3:13)  see also Ephesians 3:20 

3. “This will never work!”  (4:1)  see also Philippians 4:13 

4.  “I don’t speak (fill in blank) well” (4:10) see also Luke 12:11-12 

5. “Why can’t someone else do this?” (4:13) see also 2 Corinthians 9:6; 12-13 

Q: God gave Moses miracles and assurances to counter each of his excuses….what has he done in your             life that gives you boldness to step out in obedience?

Q: In our church, the 80/20 rule applies: 20% give 80% of our tithes; 20% do 80% of the work here; 20% attend 80% of the time.  What will it take for you to become part of that 20%?  Better yet, why can’t we move beyond 20% to 50%? 75%? 100%!? 

BOTTOM LINE: “Obedience puts us in the path of God’s will.”  I wonder how many people are living miserable lives right now because they refuse to do what God has told them to do.  Rather than moving forward, they, like Moses, continue to make excuses.  Instead of obeying God they try to come up with reasons why they shouldn’t have to obey.  Instead of trusting God’s promises they trust their own fears.  Folks, cowardice is serious sin that does serious damage.  We trick ourselves into thinking it’s the least of the sins, that our fear really doesn’t hurt anyone.  Make no mistake - fear inflicts tremendous damage, because we either withdraw in fear, refusing to impart the life of God in ourselves to others in need, or we dominate others in fear – leaving a path of broken lives in our wake.  What will you do today to put an end to the excuse making and mark the beginning of walking in complete obedience?