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No More Excuses August 18, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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Jeremiah 1:1-10
In 2005, I was a hospital Chaplain intern. We met as a class in the mornings and covered our areas of responsibilities in the afternoon and evening. We all looked very official. We were required to wear suits. We had badges that served as our identification and entry into restricted areas. Often I would walk into a patient’s room to visit, introducing myself as the Chaplain and be greeted with a similar response, “you don’t look old enough to be a Chaplain.” Granted, God has blessed me with a youthful appearance especially when I am clean shaven. So I started wearing a slight beard. I would respond, “how old was Jesus when He started His earthly ministry?” In case you don’t know, the minimum age for a Rabbi was 30 years old. I was 32 at the time. Jesus’ earthly ministry lasted about three years depending on who you ask. So, He started at age 30 and died at 33, still very young in comparison to the expectations of many.
Who determines the ‘proper’ age of one who is used by God? Here in today’s passage, God tells Jeremiah that He set him apart before he was even born. He was appointed by God as a prophet from before he was even formed in the womb. In First Timothy, Paul tells his young apprentice, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Tim 4:12) It is not a matter of age, it is a matter of calling. We all have some growing up to do. We start off small when we are born and grow physically. Similarly, we start off as spiritual infants when we are born again and spend the rest of our lives growing in spiritual maturity. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.
Who is called to preach? Who is called to teach? Who is called to make disciples, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Who is called to go? The King James Version says, “go YE therefore…” The “ye/you” is plural. It means all of you. In the south we say, “y’all.” In Arkansas, they say, “you-ens.” Do you know what the plural of “y’all” is? All y’all. Everyone who has been saved by the blood of the Lamb is called to speak. We are God’s mouth piece. It is not left up to the Pastors of churches alone. We all, who are the witnesses of His glorious works of salvation, are called. We are commanded to go on His behalf and tell others about what God has done for us. For me. But, you cannot testify nor give witness if you have not experienced it. But, then again, if you have experienced it, what is keeping you? You cannot tell what you do not know. But, if you do know, you cannot make excuses. Jeremiah tried in verse seven.
So, what’s keeping you? Are you afraid of being politically incorrect? The most politically incorrect person I have ever heard of was Jesus. He fought the system and bucked the establishment. He represented everything the Pharisees and the Romans were opposed to.
Are you afraid of your reputation being tarnished by what people will say about you? There is no one in the whole world that matters more than God. Only His opinion of you will determine your place in eternity. Would you rather be right with Him and gain eternity, or would you rather be right with the people around you who have little to do with nothing? Jesus said in Luke 12, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”
Are you afraid of looking silly for not knowing the right words to say? God promises to give us the words we need, when we need them.
Are you afraid of looking foolish? “God was pleased with the foolishness of what was preached to save those who would believe.” (1 Cor 1:21)
The populations of our churches are declining because people have become more concerned with image and political correctness than God’s desires. But I for one would rather be a fool for God than in my right mind for the people. “If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (1 Cor 5:13-15) People do not determine my place eternity. We who have accepted the free gift of salvation are compelled. We are called to witness on Christ’s behalf. We are the hands and feet of Christ, but we are also the mouth piece. So speak the Truth. Tell people about the Lord. Tell them what He did for you. Tell them how you know you are going to heaven one day. Tell them your story.
No more excuses.



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