Monday, July 31, 2023

Sermon and Announcements July 30


Tuesdays 9:30 Bible Study

Sunday School 9:00

July 31-Aug 4 6:00 – 8:30 pm VBS at Methodist Church

Aug 5 2:00-4:00 pm, Born Park, CUIC ice cream social

Our Upper Room subscription was inadvertently canceled.

Please tell Nancy Born Martin if you would like to receive it

again. We will resume the subscription if enough want this

devotional. The Daily Bread devotional is in the back of the sanctuary.

Needed: Children’s message volunteers. Sign up in back.

Donation Box: AC bills

First Sundays: food donations for food banks

Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362

Keep in Your Prayers

Pam and Tom; Carolyn Fansler; Iva Traughber Brunner; Nora

Hanaver; Todd Henricks; Jonah Martina; Jan Bower; Larry

Traxler; Michelle West; Michelle’s mom; Carolyn Hirsch; Eli

Brunner; Nancy Fansler; Joe Waltz; Doug Larrick; Ron &

Kathleen Petersen; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Tina

Wilhelm; Mindy Sawyer; Carl and Wilma Cable; Mike and Carol

Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler;

Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Patty

Cripe; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests;

healthcare workers and first responders; victims of disasters;

victims of shootings; shut-ins; the Nigerian church; Haitian

Brethren; Ukraine

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Champaign congregation.



July 30, 2023

No Excuses!

Jude 17-25

We are going to take a look at what God expects of His

people this morning. This can take at least a couple of

different turns. I shared with you a few of the issues the

church and society are dealing with at this time a couple

weeks ago. We could expand that in more detail and in

many other directions but we are not going to do that


As we begin today, I would like to share with you one of

the dominant themes God has established for His people

beginning in Genesis and going consistently all the way

through to the last verses of Revelation. It may not be

what you would immediately think. For one thing as we

have looked at the Ten Commandments as well as a

couple of the other rules or laws given to Moses found in

either Genesis or Leviticus, we see God establishing a

stand to live by for His people. Jesus made it clear what

should motivate us to do our best to obey those laws.

Love. In fact, as we look at the laws given to mankind

through Moses by God when Jesus was asked what is the

greatest commandment this was his answer. We see this


Matthew 22:36-40 NIV

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart

and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first

and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love

your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang

on these two commandments.”

So, one can truly and accurately say love is the most

dominant theme in scripture. However, this is not the only

dominant theme God gave us throughout His word. There

is one more. Personal responsibility, no excuses. In the

beginning after God created man and woman, what

happened? There were lots of trees in the Garden of

Eden. They could eat from every tree or of any plant they

wanted except one. God commanded that they do not eat

from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And what

happened? Eve allowed herself to be deceived by Satan

and at of that tree. She hadn’t anymore than finished

eating when Adam came along and she convinced him to

eat as well. When it became apparent to God what they

had done, what did they do? Eve made excuses, “Well the

serpent tricked me!” and what did Adam do, “Well the

woman you gave me talked me into eating of the tree!” In

both cases, “It is not my fault” was their excuse.

The next major event in scripture happened with Cain and

Abel. One offered the best he had to God; the other did

not. When God questioned Cain about his mediocre

sacrifice, how did Cain react? He refused to recognize his

error and drew Abel out to a field and killed him. When

God asked Cain where his brother was, he said he did not

know. Again, refusing to take responsibility for his own


From that point on God’s relationship with His people

would go back and forth as people would sometimes

admit to their sins and at other times try to pretend, they

were doing nothing wrong and make excuses.

In the New Testament Paul went as far as to say this.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The

one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

In verses 6-9 Paul goes into detail about what lead him to

share that warning. Once again, no excuses. It is up to

you to do the right thing in the eyes of God and as an

example to others around you. With all this being said,

what does the Lord expect of the church today? Are we to

honor and value the commandments God gave to Moses

all these thousands of years ago still today? Did Moses

make them up because those are what he thought were

the right way to honor God? Did they apply to God’s

people thousands of years ago, but it is a different world

today? We know so much more than they did back then,

after all.

In biblical times it was often thought that every bad thing

that happened to a believer happened because they or

their parent or family or village committed sin. Jesus

dismissed this belief to a degree when he was asked

about a man who was born blind. In John Chapter 9 we

see this situation. Jesus’ answer was this.

John 9:3 (NIV)

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this

happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

I cite this example because in reality the majority of

things that happen to us in life is a direct result of the

choices we make but not every one of them. When we see

bad things happening in our lives more times than not,

we can look at a choice we made that brought it on. One

pastor once said this very simple statement, “Choose to

sin, choose to suffer.” Yes, it is true. Some things happen

we just do not understand and may never understand in

this life. However, let’s get back to the title of today’s

message, No Excuses.

If we believe God gave Moses those very detailed rules or

laws, why did He do it? There are a couple of reasons but

the main one was because God created us and know

what is best for us. If we were capable of obeying all of

them, we would live an incredibly happy, healthy life. But

because sin entered the world with Adam and Eve, it is

simply impossible to obey them all. Satan is alive and

well and still tricking and deceiving even the godliest men

and women. That is why our salvation, our victory is in

what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross.

I had hoped to wrap up our look at the church and society

and what we as God’s people are to do in this modern

world today, but I apologize, it is going to take one more

Sunday. We are going to stop here this morning and look

next Sunday at what it all means to you me and God’s

church in today’s world. Can we live a “no excuses life”?

When we look at God’s word and how we are to apply it to

our lives, what does that really mean? I pray the Holy

Spirit will give us those answers as we seek to serve God

and be His arms, feet, hands, ears, voice and heart to a

world he wants to have fellowship with.

Pastor Larry

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