Summary: It’s time to quit the excuses before we miss the party. This sermon was presented at an on-going Breakfast Ministry for the Homeless
This morning I’m going to give you guys an opportunity to change seats. This will be your only chance though. I want to make sure that you are comfortable where you are.
Now for the reason why. I was led to pray over certain chairs here this morning before you came in. I feel God is really going to be working on some of you sitting in those seats this morning. I don’t even remember which seats they are, but He does.
So lets talk this morning about "Buts". We all have them, they are usually pretty big, though some may be bigger than most, but we all have them. Some are so big that others try to hide behind them. Some of us use them more than others, however they always end up getting in the way.
But I can’t
But I’m over 40
But I don’t have an education
But I don’t have any money
But I’m in the wrong job
But I’m in bad health
But I’ve been through so much
But I don’t have anything to offer the church
But, but, But…My what big buts we have. Notice how they all start….But I
God had a big but too, you know. His all started with But, God
This little phrase shows up 66 times in the Bible. Where as our buts are excuses, Gods buts are his response to Satan’s challenge.
The world says no – “but God” says yes.
The world says can’t – “but God” says can.
The world says won’t -- :but God” says will.
The world says stop – “but God” says go.
The world says don’t – “but God” says do.
The world says defeat – “but God” says victory!
See the difference here. Our but is an excuse. An excuse not to do something. I heard a quote the other day that puts it into a little perspective;
The origin of every excuse is the failure to do something.
Deion "Prime Time" Sanders, outfielder for the Atlanta Braves and cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons, is the only athlete to have hit a Major League home run and scored an NFL touchdown in the same week. Sanders grew up on the mean streets of Fort Myers, Fla., where exposure to some would-be athletes spurred him to make a success of himself. He explains: "I call them Idas. ’If I’da done this, I’d be making three million today...If I’da practiced a little harder, I’d be a superstar.’ They were as fast as me when they were kids, but instead of working for their dreams they chose drugs and a life of street corners. When I was young, I had practice; my friends who didn’t went straight to the streets and never left. That moment after school is the moment we need to grab. We don’t need any more Idas
Getting Off Our Buts
So now that we all understand our buts, lets look at ways of getting off them.
The Parable of the Great Banquet
15When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
16Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ’Come, for everything is now ready.’
18"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.’
19"Another said, ’I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20"Still another said, ’I just got married, so I can’t come.’
Let’s give you a little background here. It was the custom then to send out 2 invitations. One to announce the event and the other to tell the invited guests that it was all ready. In this parable, the certain man that Jesus is referring to is God. God is preparing a huge festival/feast for us and has sent out the invitations to us. Once god has it ready, he’ll send out the final invitation….what will your response be?
Now we are going to get this down to a personal level. For months here, I’ve heard Travis and Ellis invite you to church up stairs. I haven’t heard the numbers that have responded to the invitation, but I’m assuming quite low. Though I am sure the excuses are quite high. Or should I say, your buts have gotten bigger since I’ve been here.
The excuses that these invitees made are the same excuses we use today. The first one says hey, I just bought a field and I need to go check it out…please excuse me. . God is offering what we are desperately seeking, and we confuse our priorities, We put the priority of business/work over the priority of God.