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I AM RESOLVED…

To Give Up My Excuses

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   Three statements:

1.    God has heard them all.

2.    They are only good for those who use them.

3.    Some have as many of them as Carter has Little Liver Pills.

 

B.   All of these statements refer to our Spiritual Excuses.

 

C.   Excuse

1.    An explanation for being excused

2.    A plea made for the release from an obligation

3.    A justification as to why something cannot be done

 

D.   This year our theme is:  “I AM RESOLVED.”  In this lesson, we want to address the subject:  “I Am Resolved…To Give Up My Excuses

 

I.             WE DO MAKE EXCUSES

 

A.   Excuses made in the following areas:

1.    Not serving in the kingdom

2.    Not attending the worship services

3.    Not studying our Bibles

4.    Not praying

5.    Not evangelizing

6.    Not giving of our means

7.    Not fulfilling our duties in our relationships

8.    Refusing to submit the authority of the elders

9.    Treating others badly

10. Engaging in sinful behavior

 

B.   A list of our excuses:

1.    Work

2.    School

3.    Family

4.    Feeling bad

5.    No excitement

6.    Poor leadership

7.    The preaching

8.    Hurt feelings

9.    Hypocritical members

10. The weather

11. The darkness

12. Lack of knowledge

13. Lack of ability

14. Lack of time

15. Lack of financial resources

16. Age

17. Church problems

18. Do not like someone

19. Lack of appreciation by others

20. Lack of participation by others

 

II.           EXCUSES ARE NOT NEW

 

A.   Excuses were used in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve.

1.    Adam (Gen. 3:12)

 

And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

 

2.    Eve (Gen. 3:13)

 

And the Lord said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done?  And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

 

B.   Moses was a man of many excuses.

1.    When he was called to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, he uttered at least five excuses unto God.

2.    His last one is found in Exodus 4:10.

 

And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant:  but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

 

a.    He was not slow of speech when it came to making excuses.  He was quick tongued.

b.    He was eloquent in his presentation of his excuses, especially this one.

 

C.   Israel made an excuse as to why they could not take the Promised Land (Num. 13:31).

 

But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.

 

D.   Elijah ran to a cave with his excuse in hand (I Kings 19:14).

 

And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord of hosts:  because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life to take it away.

 

E.   Jesus taught about those who make excuses (Luke 14:16-20).

 

Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:  and he sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.  And they all with one consent began to make excuse.  The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it:  I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have brought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them:  I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

 

III.         FACTS ABOUTEXCUSES

 

A.   They are easy to make.

 

B.   They are easier to make the second and third time.

 

C.   They seem legitimate to those who make them.

D.   They get us out of our Christian service.

 

E.   They ease the conscience.

 

F.   They allow subpar performance.

 

G.   They weaken our spiritual lives.

 

H.   They often lead us into sin.

 

I.     They bring failure.

 

J.    They hide the real issues that we face in our spiritual lives:

1.    Lack of love for God

2.    Lack of spiritual interest

3.    Fear

4.    Selfishness

 

IV.         GOD’S REACTION TO MAN’S EXCUSES

 

A.   One of the reactions that God has toward our excuses is anger.

1.    How God reacted to Moses’ excuses (Exo. 4:14).

 

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses…

 

2.    How the man reacted to those who excused themselves from his feast (Luke 14:21a).

 

So that servant came, and shewed his lord all these things.  Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant…

 

B.   In addition to anger, God also does other things to the ones who make excuses.

1.    He punished Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:16-19).

2.    He corrected the excuse of Elijah (I King 19:18).

3.    He turned from those first invited to the feast and extended the invitation to others (Luke 14:21-24, esp. v. 24).

 

For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my feast.

 

V.           OVERCOMING OUR EXCUSES

 

A.   Admit when we play the “excuse-maker” (Prov. 28:13).

 

He that confesseth his sins shall not prosper:  but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

 

B.   Replace excuses with positive affirmations.

1.    Elijah needed to replace the words, “I, even I only, am left,” with the words, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel.”

2.    “It will be difficult” should be replaced with, “We can do anything we set out minds to with the help of God.”

3.    “I am too busy” becomes, “I will prioritize my life to do the things that benefit my soul.”

 

C.   Take action:  Do the things that you have excused yourself from in the past.

D.   Commit to your spiritual growth (II Pet. 3:18).

 

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and for ever.  Amen.

 

E.   Make spiritual things important to you (Col. 3:1-2).

 

F.   Resolve to be obedient to God (Heb. 5:9).

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   “He that is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else” (Benjamin Franklin).

 

B.   “Maturity is when you stop complaining and making excuses, and start making changes” (Roy Bennett).

 

C.   “When you were making excuses, someone else was making an enterprise” (Amit Kalantri).