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July 25, 2015

Text: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:12-14

Excuses are in great supply. That is because we use them so frequently! The dictionary says  excuse  means “to try to remove blame from”.

The other night I had a dream. In the dream I was headed to work. I got into the office building but before I went to my place I wandered around talking to others in the building. Finally I realized that I was two hours late for work. You are right! I began to try to find an excuse for my boss. The dream ended without my having settled on the right excuse.

One of the most often heard excuses for one’s sin is, “I’m not perfect.” Nor is any other person except Jesus. This is often a ruse to point the finger at everyone else and spread the guilt around so as to lessen yours. This statement does affirm the truth written Paul. “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 4:22b-23

King Saul had been instructed to kill all of the  Amalekites and their animals. However, when the battle was done Saul spared their king, Agag, then took as plunder the best of the animals. As they returned they met the prophet Samuel and Saul said to him, “I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” I Samuel 15:15c When Samuel pointed out his disobedience, Saul said, “But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”  I Samuel 15:21 No! The guilt was Saul’s. The warriors who took spoils had to bear their own judgment, but Saul was the one who was directly answerable to God. Take responsibility for your transgressions right up front.

Sometimes, when you have disciplined yourself from your “pet sins”, Satan makes an end run and puts a “trojan” (computer term) in your brain suggesting that you deserve a “day off”. You know that it is wrong, but for one brief hour you regale yourself in some sinful pleasure. You say to yourself, “I’ll never do it again,” but once you get your foot into the quagmire it is harder to get out.  “What the true proverb says has happened to them: “‘ the dog returns to his own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”‘  II Peter 2:22   Satan always entices with pleasure, and compels you to serve as his lackey.

What about those excuses? To be sure, an excuse to evade guilt is nothing more than a convenient lie. First of all, you are lying to yourself; then you are lying to God! To lie about your sin is a vain attempt to misguide your friends, etc. However you tell it, it is wrong. “Do not lie to one another…” Colossians 3:9a 

Be honest with yourself, God, and others. Remember the tax collector in Jesus’ story about two men who went to the temple to pray. He is in bold relief to the Pharisee who prayed about his egotistical self-righteousness.  He prayed of himself, “But the tax collector, standing afar off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Luke 18:13



One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    You convict me! How many have I made up!? How easy it is to blind oneself to sin!–Thanks. LS

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