Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NOT ANOTHER EXCUSE!

Pastoring a Baptist church for many years (12 1/2 in Marion, AR) I have come to hear some of the worst, as well as some of the most creative excuses one could ever imagine come out of the mouths of seemingly good church members as to why they can not possibly serve the Lord. To be quite honest with you I kind of get a kick out of some of the excuses because the church member gives it to me with such enthusiasm and such defensiveness you would think they were on trial for murder, rather than being asked to help serve food at a student event, attend a special program, or do something as simple as go to Sunday School. All the while you know in your heart that the excuse of how they really needed to go and "check the thermostat" at their Lake house this weekend isn't really quite as "urgent" as it was presented.

Excuses....why do we make up creative lies called "excuses" and use them as a basis for not serving God or others in and through our local church? It is a question that has been asked throughout time. It is a question for which there seems to be no definitive answer that will suffice. Yet, rather than just say, "I do not want to serve others. I am not interested in children who need care. I do not like Middle School boys. I had rather go watch the Hogs, Tigers, Rebels, Vols, or Monkeys play football every weekend", we creatively and sadly make an excuse.

In his book, The Applause of Heaven, author Max Lucado tells the story of Robert Reed. If there was ever a person who could have offered Jesus an excuse, Robert Reed would have been that person. His hands were twisted and his feet are useless. He cannot bath himself, feed himself, or comb his own hair. His shirts are held together with  Velcro and his speech drags like an worn out audiocassette tape. Why? Robert has Cerebral Palsy. The disease keeps him from driving a car, riding a bike and going for a walk. However it did not keep him from graduating from high school or attending Abilene Christian University where he graduated with a degree in Latin. Having Cerebral Palsy did not keep him from teaching at a St. Louis Junior College or from going on five overseas mission trips. Additionally his disease did not keep him from becoming a missionary to Portugal.

Reed moved to Lisbon, alone, in 1972. There he rented a hotel room and began studying Portuguese. He found a restaurant owner who would feed him after the rush hour and a tutor to help him learn the language. He then stationed himself daily in the park where he distributed brochures about Christ. Within six years he led seventy people to the Lord. Robert Reed didn’t see fit to offer excuses to the Lord. (Max Lucado, "The Applause of Heaven")
 
Now...tell me your excuse again???