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Summary: How can we open the window to the future that God desires for us, a future filled with fulfilled promises instead of fallen dreams? We do that by throwing away our excuses. What can some of those excuses be?

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Permission is granted to reproduce the following

Sermon Outline for corporate worship distribution. The manuscript, which follows the outline, contains the text needed to complete the handout. For further sermon resources or help, contact Pastor Tony S. DiCostanzo at adicostanzo@pastors.com.

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TODAY’S MESSAGE:

Drawing Closer to God: The Intimacy Factor

“When Excuses Fall Short”

Exodus 3-4

Excuses are the nails used to build a house of

failure---Don Wilder

In Exodus, Chapter 3, the intimate relationship between God and Moses begins as God confronts Moses with a mission. So, how did Moses accept the mission? Did he do it with bold faith and valiant courage? No. This intimate relationship began with excuses. It began with excuses that needed to be replaced with actions. Are you longing to go deeper and wider in your relationship with God? Putting an end to excuses is the first step.

When God called Moses, he gave excuses. We need to examine them carefully so that when God calls us to serve, we respond correctly by faith.

Excuse # 1- I’m not ______________.

But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" (Exodus 3:11)

Excuse # 2- I don’t ________ ____________.

Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ’The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ’What is his name? ’Then what shall I tell them? (Exodus 3:13)

Excuse # 3- I don’t have the __________.

“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." (Exodus 4:11)

What is God calling you to do? What excuse can you replace with a faith-based action?

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Introduction:

How would you respond to God if He came to you and said?

“Listen I have an awesome mission for you to accomplish. It will be part of my plan to redeem the world to myself. It will involve miracles, signs, and wonders. It will involve the splitting of the Red Sea and the leading of a couple of million people out of bondage to freedom—all of whom you will lead.

How about it?

What would your response be?

Would you jump at the chance or would you come up with a few excuses as to why you weren’t necessarily God’s best choice?

Moses didn’t waste any time. He said, “Look, I’m not your guy.”

He then rolled off a bunch of excuses, all of which didn’t really impress God. We do the same and here’s an example:

Illustration: Ten Most Used Excuses:

1. I forgot.

2. No one told me to go ahead.

3. I didn’t think it was that important.

4. Wait until the boss comes back and ask him.

5. I didn’t know you were in a hurry for it.

6. That’s the way we’ve always done it.

7. That’s not in my department.

8. How was I to know this was different?

9. I’m waiting for an O.K.

10. That’s his job--not mine.

Bits & Pieces, November, 1989, p. 18.

Let’s first clarify that not all excuses are bad. They can be valid and reasonable if our intentions and motives are pure, and if they’re genuinely based upon what we believe to be the truth in that given circumstance.

But the extent to which we can give illegitimate excuses never ceases to amaze. Listen to the following:

Illustration: According to a UPI news service, the Metropolitan Insurance Company received some unusual explanations for accidents from its automobile policyholders. The following are just a few:

--"An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car, and vanished."

--"The other car collided with mine without warning me of its intention."

--"I had been driving my car for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had the accident."

--"As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision."

--"I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment."

--"The telephone pole was approaching fast. I attempted to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end."

--"The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him."

--"The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth."

--"The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran over him."

However, we know this goes beyond car insurance claims and, even, doing personal favors for those we love. We’re talking about something much deeper.

Obviously, we need to examine ourselves and determine the motive and content. Why? Because we could be losing out on God’s desired plan for our lives and that always leads to—at very least--frustration on our end as we move out of God’s desired will for us.

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Rick Gillespie- Mobley

commented on Jan 1, 2016

Thanks Tony For Your Message. It was encouraging and will help me in my preparation today for my message.

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