A reason I Love My Church is it challenges my excuses for failure and pushes me to follow my dreams to succeed in all of life. The Lord doesn’t want to hear our excuses. Excuses only say something is bigger than, more powerful than, and more important than God.
I LOVE MY CHURCH
By Pastor Delbert Young
Scriptures: Luke 14:18-20, Luke 14:21, Proverbs 26:13, John 9:1-2, John 9:3, Corinthians 12:9, Luke 19:9-1
A reason I LOVE MY CHURCH is it challenges my excuses for failure and pushes me to follow my dreams to succeed in all of life. The Lord doesn’t want to hear our excuses. Excuses only say something is bigger than, more powerful than, and more important than God. The Lord didn’t appreciate Adam’s excuse (“it’s this woman you gave me”), or Eve’s excuse (devil – God doesn’t like us blaming the devil), or Moses’ excuse (“I don’t speak well”), or Gideon’s excuse (“bad family”), or Paul’s excuse (“thorn in my flesh”).
Jesus told a parable about excuses. People are invited to a great banquet of life.
Luke 14:18-20 “But they all alike BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSES. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please EXCUSE me.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please EXCUSE me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
Crazy things happening in a marriage and not coming to his banquet are only excuses. To Jesus, we MAKE excuses. Excuses are not reasons. The Lord God has invited each of us to a great banquet of life prepared just for us, but all alike make excuses. We all, if not cautious, come up with excuses and miss the banquet of life. Jesus went on in the parable to explain what happens when we MAKE EXCUSES.
Luke 14:21 …Then the owner of the house became ANGRY and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
There are no excuses when it comes to the banquet of life. Even people poor, crippled, blind, or lame are not excused.
I want to talk about living a “NO EXCUSES” life. What are your excuses for not chasing the life you want? Too poor? Not educated? Too short? Too tall? Divorced? Physical handicap? Too sick?We make an excuse proclaiming something about us isn’t good enough to succeed. In so doing, we are saying God’s not good enough.
Maybe, someone’s excuse is, their looks are why they can’t succeed. Maybe, someone uses the excuse they went through an unfair situation, i.e. divorce, cheated out of money, bad breaks in life, discriminated against, etc. I’ve had people tell me, “I’m the wrong skin color,” “Wrong family.” WeALL ALIKE have a tendency to MAKE EXCUSES, which, in our mind, approves our inabilities and gives permission to fail. In actuality, we put more faith in our excuses than in God. The excuse can be physical, mental, emotional, pointing blame, but to God it’s laziness.
Proverbs 26:13 THE LAZY PERSON IS FULL OF EXCUSES, saying, “I can’t go outside because there might be a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”
We attempt to convince others and ourselves “there’s a lion in the road.” What’s your “lion in the road”? The Lord’s not interested in excuses. They upset him and he says we are lazy and don’t want his banquet for us.
Though you have what you call a “disadvantage” doesn’t mean you use it for an excuse to sit back and settle for where you are. God has something great for you and for you to do – banquet. You might not look like everyone else, or do it exactly like everyone else can, but if you will love God, be serious with God, and will not use your “disadvantage” as an excuse, then what you thought was your “disadvantage” will become your great asset. God will make your disadvantage an advantage.
Joyce Myers is a well know Bible teacher. In her early years, she hated her own voice. It’s a very odd, coarse voice. If you’ve never heard her, the first time you do you might ask, “Is that a woman or a man?” She asked God for a not so odd, more feminine voice, but didn’t get one. During the course of time, she found her odd voice actually brought her attention, recognition, and uniqueness. What she thought was a “disadvantage” and handicap was actually an advantage.
You need to stop seeing something about you as “odd” and see yourself as “unique.” You are not too short or too tall. You are just right. You have just the right personality, looks, and talents. WHEN GOD MADE YOU, HE WASN’T HAVING A BAD DAY. When he made you, he said, “That’s very good. I made another masterpiece.”
Certainly, there are things we would like to be different about ourselves, but we can’t allow those to stop us from pursuing life. In high school, I had a friend named Kathy Conner. She was an inspiration to me and to anyone who had the opportunity to know her. Kathy was born with one arm and hand much smaller than her other. Some people would say Kathy has a deformed arm and hand, but not Kathy. Kathy would simply say one of her arms and hands is smaller than her other. Kathy is beautiful on the inside and outside. She always had this huge smile on her face. She allowed her special arm and hand to make her special and memorable. I don’t remember most of my high school friends, but I remember Kathy. Judy reminded me how she played sports and was as good as anyone. I’m sure you know people who inspired you with what we thought a disadvantage. I spoke with Kathy’s husband Tim Conkle. Kathy is now retired from teaching school, active in church, and goes to Alaska helping build churches and minister to addicts. Tim told me she is as beautiful and happy as ever. Kathy is a “NO EXCUSES” person.
David Ring is a unique evangelist. The thing that makes David unique is Cerebral Palsy. He was born with it. To top that, David was “Orphaned at age 14, he was cast about from family to family with nowhere to call home. He endured constant physical pain, humiliating public ridicule and constant discouragement. Yet in the face of these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, David emerged not victimized…but victorious!” Despite his numerous “disadvantages,” David is a husband, father, well know national speaker, and author (Just as I am). David doesn’t talk or walk like most people. He could have allowed that to be his excuse. Instead, God used David’s uniqueness by literally giving hope, encouragement, and healing to hundreds of thousands of people. David says, “I have Cerebral Palsy–what’s your problem?” In other words, there are no excuses.
If you take what God gave you and use it as a stepping stone, not a stumbling block, you will be VICTORIOUS, not a VICTIM. Stop saying, “Why did he/she get healed and I didn’t? Or! “Why did this happen to me?” Or! “Why didn’t my marriage work out?” Or! “Why is my pastor so good-looking, and I’m not?” (I’m kidding.) Stop focusing on “Why” and focus on God even when you don’t understand. I don’t claim to understand, but I do know this: God is a good God and he has a victorious future for you no matter the disadvantage. If you will shake off the self-pity, stop trying to blame anyone including yourself, and focus forward, then no “disadvantage,” heartbreak, or handicap can stop you from becoming everything God created you to be.
God wants to take what you call your LIABILITY and show you it’s your ASSET. God wants to take what you call your DISADVANTAGE and show you it’s your ADVANTAGE. God may never REMOVE IT, but he will USE IT.
Well, it’s “so-in-so’s” fault I am this way. There is a wonderful story in the Bible about a man born blind and blame.
John 9:1-2 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Teacher,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?”
We do the same thing today. It’s his fault, her fault, dad’s fault, mom’s fault, preacher’s fault, the dog’s fault… That’s not what Jesus said.
John 9:3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “He was born blind soTHE POWER OF GOD COULD BE SEEN IN HIM.
Can you believe your “disadvantage is so God can show his power? Jesus ministered to the blind man and told him to go wash his eyes. When things don’t go your way, or when life doesn’t deal you the hand you want, don’t get bitter, blame, and give up. Instead, go wash your eyes. Get the mud out of your eyes and get a new perspective on life. You are not seeing correctly. Realize you are a prime candidate for God to do something supernatural. Instead of blaming and giving up, say, “God, I’m ready!” Say, “I refuse to live defeated and depressed. You didn’t create me to be a victim. My situation is an opportunity for you to show off you power. So, I’m ready.”
Tony Melendez was born without arms. Today, Tony does anything you or I do, but uses his feet to do what you do with your hands. He was a prime candidate for God to show off. Tony plays the guitar with his feet. “Tony has traveled across the United States and forty foreign countries, making countless television appearances, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Geraldo, CBS This Morning, The Late Show with Arsenio Hall, 700 Club, Robert Schuller, and prime-time network specials for Variety Clubs and Very Special Arts. He also performed at The World Series, where he sang the National Anthem for the fifth game of the 1989 series.” Tony has a “NO EXCUSE” attitude about life, so he enjoys the unprecedented favor of God who continuously gives to Tony amazing opportunities.
Some of you may be thinking of all the reasons you can’t be all God wants you to be or all you want to be. “My voice is odd.” “I have a physical problem.” “I’m not like everyone else.” I’m asking you today to wash your eyes! All those things you call disadvantages are actually advantages waiting to come to life.
Thinking about my own life, when I first began in ministry, I felt I had so many disadvantages. I wasn’t an orator who could amaze people with my words. I have never been able to “work the crowd” emotionally – make you cry, laugh, etc. I can’t “huff and puff” like some preachers. My temperament is a “Lion” or “D” meaning impatient, aggressive, and demanding. That doesn’t work well when ministering to people. I told the Lord many times, he needed to change me. The apostle Paul did the same things.
2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time he said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.
The things I thought were disadvantages were actually advantages. We are going on 24 years and without those traits in my life, I would have given up long ago. I found God made me this way. It’s really in the areas I thought were disadvantages, God made advantages. I’m not afraid to teach the tough things. God uses me to change lives because he uses what I thought were disadvantages.
What are your excuses? What is it you think is your handicap or disadvantage? WHAT IS IT THAT KEEPS YOU FROM TRULY BELIEVING IN YOURSELF and pushing into what you want to do in life? God knew all the issues you would face.
There is a man in the Bible named Zacchaeus. He thought he had a disadvantage. He was very short. He didn’t “MEASURE UP” and dealt with that all his life. “Shorty.” “Peanut.” “How’s the weather down there.” I’m sure he questioned God about his height. Is short height a disadvantage? I read people in Japan who are 3-4 inches on average shorter that Americans live 4-5 years longer. Stop complaining. Zaccheaus wanted to see Jesus, but there were so many people. He was at the back of the crowd. Zacchaeus did what he did all his life. He climbed higher. Instead of having no view, he had the prime view. Everyone else could have climbed up a tree easier than he could, but didn’t. So, when Jesus walked by, of all the hundreds of people there, who was it that caught his attention? With whom did Jesus want to spend the day, eat, and fellowship? It was Zacchaeus.
Luke 19:9-10 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save THAT which was lost.
WHAT IS YOUR “THAT”? What about you, do you feel doesn’t “measure up”? What is it THAT you think of as such a disadvantage, handicap, liability, etc? What is it THAT keeps you from believing in yourself and coming to God’s banquet made for you? God came to save it and use it!The very thing Zaccheaus’ thought was his disadvantage brought Zacchaeus’ entire house salvation and the blessings of God. It put Zaccheaus in a “high” place and special place with God. Zaccheaus’ “THAT,” was saved, and saved others.
There are things in all of our lives we think of as disadvantages. We use them to MAKE EXCUSES. It might not be a physical thing. It could be something from our childhood, home life, a bad experience, skin color, nationality, etc. We think “if only” THAT had not happened, I would be successful. No. God will use THAT to save you and your household. Nothing in life “HAPPENED TO YOU.” Everything HAPPENED FOR YOU. Get rid of “if only.” Get a new perspective of “THAT.” It will save you and others.
As far as God is concerned, there are NO EXCUSES. My friend Kathy had a unique arm and hand making her a very inspiring memorable person. Joyce Myers does not have an odd voice. She has a voice that gives her recognition. David Ring could be sitting at home a victim of Cerebral Palsy saying, “If only….” Instead, he is a victorious, unique speaker. Tony Melendez could be hidden away begging in Nicaragua. Instead, he enjoys the amazing favor of God ministering all over the world playing his guitar with his feet and toes.
The very thing you think pulls you down can be the very thing God uses to lift you up. Inside of you is everything you need. You are a child of the Most High God. Say, “I am going to become everything God created me to be and do everything God created me to do.” If you will live a “NO EXCUSES” life, God will bring you to his banquet. Every stumbling block will become a stepping stone. Nothing has happened to you. Everything has happened for you. New doors will open. Supernatural opportunities will come. You will find yourself at the right place at the right time. You will begin to see your dreams come true.
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