Man often tries to make excuses when he is asked to do something he does not want to do.  Israel looked down on other nations and talked about their sinful ways.  She held herself above them because God had chosen her as His people.  Paul warned concerning this attitude, “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:” (Romans 2:1-6).  He further told the Jews that God would judge mankind with righteous judgment.  He stated that the Jews failed to keep the law of God, while the Gentiles do by nature the things contained in the law” (Romans 2:14).  Paul stated, “For there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11).


            Man often tries to excuse himself before God.  When God called Moses to lead Israel out of bondage we are told that Moses tried to get out of the work God had prepared for him.  We are told, “And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11).  Moses used the excuse that the people would not believe him (Exodus 4:1).  God gave him signs by which to prove His word.  Even after such powerful proof of God’s presence with Moses, he still resisted.  We are told that it was not until the Lord became angry that Moses finally consented to go and do as the Lord commanded. (Exodus 4:10-31).


            When God called Jeremiah to be a “prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5); Jeremiah doubted himself and his ability to carry out God’s plan.  Jeremiah wrote, “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth” (Jeremiah 1:6-9).  God informed Jeremiah that no task was too great as long as He was with him.  He stated, “See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10).


            People often make the same or similar excuses for failing to obey God today.  They may say:  “I am only a child”.  “I am only a woman”.  “I am only one man.” I am only a senior citizen.” Such statements are concluded with many excuses.  Therefore, some refuse to worship God because they feel unworthy or because they live worldly lives which they know cannot please God.  Paul stated in His letter to the brethren at Ephesus “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).  In his letter to the brethren at Colossae Paul stated, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”  (Colossians 1:9-11).


            In spite of adverse conditions Paul refused to say “I am Only”.  Instead he stated, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV). Paul encouraged the brethren at Philippi to “stand fast in the Lord” (Philippians 4:1). It only takes good men doing nothing for the church to fail as a congregation of God’s people.


            Will I, will you use the excuse “I am Only” and cause the church to turn away from the salvation that Christ has provided for mankind (Matthew 28:19-20)?  Will I, will you allow the world to be lost because I (you) never mention Him to those with whom you come into contact each day?


            Let us be “workers together with Him” so that He will fill us with His grace and our faith and labor will not be in vain (II Corinthians 6:1).


                                                                                                                                                    - - PER


  April 2020  
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