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No Excuses
By Tom Brown

           It's human nature to make excuses. Consider Moses. He was uniquely qualified to lead Israel out of Egyptian slavery. After all, he grew up as the adopted son of Pharaoh. He understood the politics and government of Egypt. He knew the temperament of Pharaoh. Who else better to lead Israel to freedom than Moses?

            Yet, he made excuses as to why he was unqualified for the task:

Moses said to the Lord, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The Lord said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it" (Ex 4:10-13).

            Even great saints have been known to make excuses. Moses was not "slow of speech and tongue" as he claimed. Stephen comments on Moses' ability, "Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action" (Acts 7:22). You see, God never calls you to do something that He will not equip you to do. You may think you are not equipped, but in reality, you are fully capable of fulfilling God's call on your life. As an old saying goes, "Whatever God calls for He provides for."

            As a child of God you are capable of being holy. I know sometimes people say that sainthood is for someone else, but sainthood is for all of God's children. You are capable of being holy.

People with Limitations

            Ray Rios is a high school student who is a member of my church. He was born without fingers. His right hand has just stubbles. Yet Ray is a top baseball pitcher for his school. The Cincinnati Reds has even scouted him. Ray could have easily concluded that if God wanted him to play sports, God would have given him two good hands. But in Ray's mind, you just need one hand to pitch.

            Have you heard of Mordecai "Three Fingers" Brown? He helped win two World Series. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1949. He was called "Three Fingers" because on his throwing hand he does not have an index finger, hence, three fingers. Yet his lack of an index finger proved to be a blessing. He was able to pitch spinners that batters were not used to seeing. His handicap was actually a blessing.

            David Ring came to my church and shared his own personal story of triumph. He was born with cerebral palsy. On top of this birth defect, his mother died when he was just a child. He was tossed to different foster families and was eventually raised by his older sister. He was so depressed that he attempted suicide. But his sister took him to church and there, for the first time, he heard the clear gospel message. He surrendered his life to Christ. David had a new purpose. He told his pastor in his very difficult to understand speech, "Pastor, I want to be a preacher."

            "David, that is admirable, but son, you can't talk right. People will not be able to pay attention and understand your preaching because of your cerebral palsy."

            David Ring ignored his pastor and started his ministry. As it turns out, more people have heard the gospel from David than from his own pastor. David's speech impediment has actually opened doors for him. There are plenty of preachers with great voices, but not many like David's.

            David likes to begin his message with stuttering words, "I am David Ring. I have cerebral palsy, what's your excuse?" Those words convict the listeners.

            You may have a physical challenge, a personality issue, maybe a divorce or financial problems or simply major difficulties. Yet do not allow these circumstances to dissuade you from following God's will for your life.

Bumble Bee

            I can relate to Moses. I grew up with a speech impediment. I took speech therapy throughout my elementary school. Thinking I was cured, I started pastoring and preaching the gospel. One day I ran into a speech therapist. We got to talking about our professions, when she asked, "Pastor Tom, have you ever thought of taking speech therapy?"

            "Funny you should ask. I took speech therapy all through out my elementary school."

            She looked embarrassed but forced her opinion anyway, "Uh, well, have you thought of taking some additional therapy?" What! I wasn't cured!? This expert still noticed my speech impediment. I did not know I had one. Thank God I didn't know this because I might have talked myself out of entering the ministry.

            It reminds me of the bumble bee. Experts of aerodynamics have studied the bumble bee carefully. They have taken note of the bumble bees fat body and tiny wings. After studying them carefully, they have concluded that bumble bees cannot fly.

            I'm glad that the bumble bees haven't read their conclusions. I think God gave us the bumble bee on purpose just to teach us a lesson that what is impossible in the natural is possible with God.

You are a Masterpiece

            Ephesians 2:10 says, "We are God's masterpiece" (New Living Translation). A masterpiece is an invaluable piece of art. You are "art" not "science." Scientists see us a product of nature, not God. God is first an artist, before He is a scientist. You are a product of an Artist, not of a biologist. God made you. And you are made for a purpose. You are priceless to Him. You have a job to do that only you can do. There is more to you than neurons, muscle, skin, and bone. You are spiritual. It is your spiritual side that connects with your divine purpose. Follow your heart and God will lead you.

Gideon

            The Lord called Gideon to "save Israel out of the Midian's hand" (Judges 5:14). Gideon's initial reaction was excuses, "But Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." Unlike Moses' unique qualification, Gideon seemed to have a legitimate reason for being the unlikely candidate as the leader of Israel. Maybe you feel the same.

            I know I felt this when God called me into the ministry. I was not born the son of a preacher man. I was born the son of a bar owner. I grew up poor. I grew up as a child of divorce parents. I know today this is not rare, but when I was younger, I could not think of any of my friends that had divorced parents. None of my cousins at the time had divorce parents. My sister and I felt different.

            Even though I did not have the pedigree or status to be a successful minister, God called me anyway. He does things like this to show off. He wants everyone to know that He is the One who does the work, so that no one can brag.

            God called Gideon, who was the last choice as far as man looks on things. God said only one thing that Gideon needed to hear: "I will be with you" (v 16).  That is all you need to hear. God is with you! If He is with you, you can succeed at fulfilling the dream God puts in your heart.

Tony Melendez

            Tony Melendez wanted to be a great guitar player. That is not unusual for kids to inspire to be. But what is unusual is that Tony Melendez was born without arms. This did not detour him. He figured God gave him feet for a reason, so he learned to play the guitar with his feet.

            He became so good at it that the Pope asked him to play for him. Tony is a skilled guitarists, yet he has only his feet.

            Have you ever said to yourself that you wanted to play an instrument? Yes? Then what's your excuse?

            The Apostle Paul felt that he could be better used if God would remove the thorn in the flesh. But God answered, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9).  Sometimes it is our weakness that God uses for His glory.

Like Eagles

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
(Isa 40:29-31)

            This beloved passage is claimed by so many. They want to soar like eagles. What you might not know about eagles is this: Mother eagles kick their baby eagles out of the nest. At first they do it slowly. They start tearing apart the comfortable nest their babies lay on. The baby eagles think their mother is being mean. How could she be tearing apart my house? If she loves me, she wouldn't be doing this!

            It is her love for her babies that compels her to kick the babies out of the nest. She knows they can flymore than that, soarbut they don't want to take the risk, so she makes them get out of the nest. Soon the babies realize they can fly.

            God will often make us so uncomfortable with our weaknesses. He will begin to push us to our abilities. He does this because He knows you can do much more than you think.

            What is God calling you to do? Start a ministry? Begin a business? Get married? Have children? Support your church? How about simply living holy before Him?

            I can tell you, God knows you can do it if He calls you. Now quit making excuses.

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