Tag: excuses

Excuses on Judgement Day?

Scripture reading for February 10th: Romans 2

Key Scriptures: Romans 2:1-5 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”

How easy it is to become judgmental of others and condemn bad behavior and ungodly attitudes! Paul warned the Jewish believers against judging the Gentiles or others while still doing the same things themselves. This is hypocrisy and is spotted and ridiculed by others on a regular basis. But even worse, this behavior is sinful and unless repented of will bring God’s wrath on those practicing it. Just because God’s wrath is not evident today does not mean that God has overlooked it. Without our repentance, He stores it up for the day of wrath. He is kind and patient with all sinners, giving time to repent. It is His goodness that leads us to repentance–a change of mind and behavior. There will be no excuses when we stand before God.

Genesis 3:12 “The man said, “The woman whom You gave me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I ate.””

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing kindness and patience with me, a sinner. Thank you for sending Gospel messengers to lead me to repentance and faith. I ask the Lord Jesus to defend me on the day of wrath, not my worthless excuses.

Romans 2:15-16 “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”

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Will you follow Jesus “wherever”?

Scripture reading for January 12th, 2014:  Matthew 8

“When Jesus saw the crowd around Him, He gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.  Then a teacher of the law came to Him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”  Another disciple said to Him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  But Jesus told him, “follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.””  Matthew 8:18-22

Two different men approached Jesus desiring to follow Him as apprentices.  Far from recruiting them and promising them fame and fortune for their willingness to learn, Jesus came back at them with strong statements of truth.  The first man was willing to follow Jesus “wherever” He would go. This man was told by Jesus that He had no place to go and stay.   Would he be willing to give up a home and it’s comforts to follow Him into the unknown?    Was this man willing to live by faith and trust Jesus for the future?

The second man asked Jesus for a leave of absence to bury his father.  We are not told if the father was sick and his death imminent or if this was a matter of this man waiting on time and chance to fulfill the obligation to care for his family.  Jesus firmly told him to come now!  Someone would always be there to bury the dead!  His was a ministry to those who wanted eternal life and urgency was required!  Check your own heart today!  Are you willing to follow Jesus “wherever” and “now”?

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Excuses!

Scripture reading for April 11th: Luke 14:7-35

Jesus was eating at the house of a prominent Pharisee and they were watching Him very carefully.  Jesus was also watching them!  He noticed how they all tried to pick places of honor at the table.  He used this setting to teach them humility and warned them not to try and take the place of honor, but to take the lowest place.  Then the host could place them where he wanted.   This would be less humiliating than the host removing them from their seat of honor.  Jesus put it simply:   “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be  exalted.” (Luke 14:7-11)

Jesus also told the host, this prominent Pharisee, that when he had a banquet he should invite the poor, crippled, blind, and lame.  This would bring blessing to his house, because God would repay him at the resurrection of the righteous.  (Luke 14:12-15)  This evoked a response from one at the table,”Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus answered this man with another story about a certain man who was preparing a great banquet and had invited many guests.  When the appointed time for this banquet came, the servant was sent out to remind the invited guests of the feast.  All the invited guests had excuses!  One bought a field and must go see it.  Another just purchased some new oxen to work his field and must try them out.  Still another had recently married and must be with his wife.  This angered the host of this banquet, and he ordered his servant to go out into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, crippled, blind and lame.  He wanted his house to be full, but none of the invited guests who made excuses would have a place at his table! (Luke 14:21-24)

As we ponder this teaching of Jesus, we sense that the “certain man” is God!  He invited the Jews to His banquet first, but many made excuses!  These would be shut out, and God’s servants would be sent to the Gentiles!  God’s house would be filled!  The humble pay attention and respond to God’s invitation while the proud are left out.  Remember, the lowest seat at His table is far better than being left out!  Don’t make excuses!

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Excuses!

Scripture reading for April 11th: Luke 14:7-35

Jesus was eating at the house of a prominent Pharisee and they were watching Him very carefully.  Jesus was also watching them!  He noticed how they all tried to pick places of honor at the table.  He used this setting to tell them about humility and warned them not to try and take the place of honor, but to take the lowest place.  Then the host could place them where he wanted.   This would be less humiliating than the host removing them from their seat of honor.  Jesus put it simply:   “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be  exalted.”  (Luke 14:7-11)

Jesus also told the host, this prominent Pharisee, that when he had a banquet he should invite the poor, crippled, blind, and lame.  This would bring blessing to his house, because God would repay him at the resurrection of the righteous.  (Luke 14:12-15)  This evoked a response from one at the table, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus answered this man with another story about a certain man who was preparing a great banquet and had invited many guests.  When the appointed time for this banquet came, the servant was sent out to remind the invited guests of the feast.  All the invited guests had excuses!  One bought a field and must go see it.  Another just purchased some new oxen to work his field and must try them out.  Still another just got married and must be with his wife.  This angered the host of this banquet, and he ordered his servant to go out into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, crippled, blind and lame.  He wanted his house to be full, but none of the invited guests who made excuses would have a place at his table! (Luke 14:21-24)

As we ponder this teaching of Jesus, we sense that the “certain man” is God!  He invited the Jews to His banquet first, but many made excuses!  These would be shut out, and God’s servants would be sent to the Gentiles!  God’s house would be filled!  The humble pay attention and respond to God’s invitation while the proud are left out.  Remember, the lowest seat at His table is far better than being left out!

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Demands of following Jesus!

Scripture reading for April 2nd: Luke 9:51-10:12

“As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51)  Jesus was a man on a mission who had a goal in mind.  The end of this goal was death by crucifixion, a resurrection and return to His home in heaven.  He knew that He must prepare His followers to carry on the mission here on earth of reaching the entire world with the good news of repentance and faith.  These disciples must be fully committed and follow His instructions implicitly.

When the disciples went ahead into Samaria to secure a place for Jesus and themselves to stay, they found opposition and rejection in a certain village.  When James and John heard about this, they asked Jesus about calling fire down from heaven and destroying that village and people.  Jesus rebuked them!  Following Jesus was not just a power trip.  There would be rejection and suffering. He had not come to judge, but to save!

As they walked along, a man came to Jesus and said, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” (Luke 9:57-58)  Jesus did not take every person who expressed interest in following Him.  He made demands on them and plainly told them of the difficulties of the journey.  Following Jesus may require great hardship and physical discomfort to reach those who need to hear the message.

Jesus asked another man they met to follow Him.  This man asked for time to bury His father first.  It is likely that the father was ill or maybe just old and this man felt the need to care for the father.  Jesus told him to let the dead bury the dead and to instead go and proclaim the kingdom of God!  Jesus demanded a willingness to leave even family responsibilities to do His will and work!

Another man said he wanted to follow Jesus, but wanted to go say good-bye to his family.  Jesus told him, “No one who put his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” When one chooses to follow the Lord there must be no turning back.  Fitness for God’s kingdom requires a focus and complete surrender.

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Excuses!

Scripture reading for August 5th: Jeremiah 1-6

“The word of the Lord came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”” “Ah, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” (Jeremiah 1:4-6)

Have you ever made excuses for why you can’t do something?   Has your mom or dad or preacher ever asked you to do something and you looked for all the reasons why you couldn’t?  Have you felt fear rise in your heart at the thought of beginning a new job or going to school?  Because of sin and Satan, we are creatures bound by fears and centered on ourselves.  Change is often difficult and we become our own worst enemy by positing endless excuses.

Jeremiah was a young man when God spoke to him about a plan for his life.  This plan would take Jeremiah out of his comfort zone and involved public speaking.  Jeremiah was being called to speak before nations, not just the local people.  He immediately thought up some excuses!  “I can’t speak” and “I am only a child” came first into his mind.  Public speaking is one of the top fears even today.  I know personally that as a young man, I was terrified to get up in front of people.

God immediately rebuked Jeremiah and told him to stop his excuses.  God made promises to Jeremiah to calm his fears.  He told him that He would be with him and rescue him!  What comfort that should have brought!   I wonder if Jeremiah’s mind raced to think of the kind of dangers that God might rescue him from?

God also touched Jeremiah’s mouth and put His words in his mouth.  He spoke a prophetic word to Jeremiah that would define his mission.  “See today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1:10)  He then gave him a vision of an almond tree.  This tree was the first tree to bloom in Israel and signaled the coming of spring.  Everyone watched the almond to know when spring had arrived.  God promised Jeremiah, “I am watching to see that My word is fulfilled.” (Jeremiah 1:12)  God knows how to deal with our excuses!

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