In 2 Corinthians 8:7-12, Paul reminds the church at Corinth of the promises that they had made to assist in the offering to the church in Jerusalem. They had committed but had not followed through on their commitment. They were to finish what they started as a demonstration of sincere love and as a response to God’s grace. They were to finish and complete the task according to their ability.
Some of us need to finish what we started. We were excited and eager last year. We entered this year on fire. We made a commitment and decided that we were going to be different. But once we faced the same old temptations, we went back to our old ways. Pleasing God was no longer a priority. We started well, now we need to finish.
Finish. No Excuses! The truth of the matter is that excuses usually only satisfy those who give them. We use excuses in an attempt to justify being less than who God has called us to be. “I would be more but my family is dysfunctional” “I would be more but I don’t have any money.” “I would be more but I’m not educated.” Excuses!
We use excuses to say no to God. My job, my school work, my parents, my church, my schedule, my skills, my extracurricular activities keep me from participating in ministry.
We use excuses to minimize our failures and justify our sins. “I would not have said that if you wouldn’t have made me mad.” “At least all I’m doing is watching porn.” “We need to do something before we get married to make sure we are compatible.” “We’re living together to see if marriage is going to work for us.” “I lied in order to protect you.” “What I did wasn’t that wrong, it’s not like I’m out there killing people.”
As long as we make excuses we will never make a change. You must come to a point where you quit making excuses for yourself. You need to take responsibility for yourself. Realize that although it may not be your fault, it is still your responsibility. It may not be your fault that you got knocked down, but it is your responsibility to get up.
No excuses! Finish. Jesus died so that you could finish! Jesus rose so that you could finish! Jesus lives so that you can finish! It is not enough to have good intentions, we must honor our commitments.
We have been exploring the impact of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church. As we study the book of Acts, we see that the Holy Spirit was active. In fact, Acts could rightly be call the Acts of the Holy Spirit instead of the Acts of the Apostles. In Acts 13 we see that the church was active in serving the Lord. The Holy Spirit spoke while they were ministering, serving the Lord and fasting.
It is as if the saints in Antioch were expecting God to do something great among them. To take it a step further, they weren’t just expecting God to do something great among them. They were asking God to do something great among them.
In the Spirit filled church, there is a sense of anticipation and expectation that God is going to move. We should expect the Spirit of God to speak to us and do great things through us. Too often the church doesn’t expect much from God and we end up getting what we expect. We should be working, worshipping, fasting, and praying in anticipation and expectation of a Word from the Holy Spirit.
Often our thinking is limited by what we know we can do. We need to think beyond our limits and dream beyond our resources. Why do you need God’s power if you can do it in your own power? Time and time again, our heavenly Father has demonstrated that He is the God of the upgrade. He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to the power that is working within us. The work of the Spirit is not limited by our imagination. The work of the Spirit is only limited by the limitless power of God.
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.