Summary: The church is more than scattered splinters, there is power in agreement. It is called synergism. United we stand.
TEAR DOWN THE EXCUSES
By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr. Kyfingers@aol.com
I. WE ARE EXPERTS WITH SPLINTERS.
A. When I was a little boy in the fifth grade, my Dad pastored a church in southern Ohio.
The altar was a beautiful, shiny, slick piece of wood.
When no one was looking I would run with all I had, jump on the altar and slide the length of it.
My Mom would scold me and occasionally whip me for slidding down the altar.
One day Mom said she would correct me no more, and that was God’s altar and He would watch over it.
I was in the church one day all by myself, it was summer time and everyone was standing out front of the church.
I ran as fast as I could and hit the altar to slide across the church, a
big splinter off the altar went through my pants and buried into my flesh from my bottom to my knee.
My Mom and all the women took me in the back in a Sunday School room and I had to pull down my pants and let the women gather around and dig that splinter out of my leg.
It still pains me to think about this, not just the huge splinter, but having to drop my drawers in front of all the women.
Mom was right, that was God’s altar and He took care of it. I am 54 and I have never desired to slide down the altar ever again.
A piece split off or broken.
Sliver, a small needle like piece.
A faction broke away.
To be broken in many pieces.
To have no wholeness of integrity.
A long piece of usually squared wood.
A part of the plow.
Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
D. MANY OF US LOVE TO PICK AT SPLINTERS IN OTHER PEOPLE
AND CHURCHES INSTEAD OF SEEING THE BEAM WE CARRY.
E. GOD GIVES BELIEVERS WHITE ROBES!
WHAT COLOR ROBES DO JUDGES WEAR? BLACK?
Do you think God is trying to tell us something?
F. We can never correct our problems looking at others.
It is a great sin to hide behind other people’s splinters, and fail to correctly identify our own problems.
II. WE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH WALK WITHOUT EXCUSE.
Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself;
for thou that judgest doest the same things.
A. TO MAKE EXCUSE IS TO ACCUSE?
Being without excuse
To release from responsibility.
To make an apology.
To try to remove blame.
To grant exemption.
To express regret for failure.
III. WE CAN HIDE BEHIND THE SPLINTER OF GIVING EXCUSES --- I DON’T HAVE TO:
A. Life, the family, and church have been reduced to terrible manipulation when all we want to do is --- HAVE TO’S.
B. In love it is --- WANT TO --- I GET TO...
C. Where are our desires?
Psalm 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more,
as ye see the day approaching.
IV. WHAT ABOUT THE SPLINTER OF COMPULSORY BEHAVIOR?
DO WE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE IN OPTIONAL AND REQUIREMENT?
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites,
in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
A. ARE WE FREE MORAL AGENTS AND CAN’T WE MAKE CHOICES?
B. CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES.
1 Cor. 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
C. 11 Sam. 11:1 David’s choice to not go to battle will cost dearly. Playing hooky will hurt David and his family.
D. WE WALK IN A DAY THAT TO DISCUSS REQUIREMENTS IS BAD TASTE!