NO EXCUSE

No Excuse! 

Luke 14:16-20Verse 18 is the crux of the matter. “And they all with one consent began to make excuse.”  

July 1969, Lackland AFB, TX, Basic Training. It was my second week in Basic and our Flight was standing outside the barracks in formation but relaxed. Unfortunately, Brother Mario was too relaxed. I had my hands in my pockets. 

My brothers and sisters who were ever in the military will tell you that is a tactical error. Suddenly my instructor got right in my face and in that voice only a drill sergeant can use, said, 

“Airman Smith!!! Why are your hands in your pockets?!?!?!?” (I am sure that people in San Antonio could hear him.) 

And then I uttered words that I wish I could have recalled. “Uhhh, because they’re tired?” (I can hear my fellow veterans laughing and laughing . . .) 

“They’re tired?!?!?!?” he roared. “Well maybe some exercise will help them get un-tired!!! Give me 20!” 

Sometime later, a few days as I recall, once again we were standing in relaxed formation. Evidently everyone else was standing kind of at attention, except me. I was just standing and looking around. Now, my hands weren’t in my pocket this time, but an instructor, not one of ours, came charging in through the Flight and started chewing me out for not being at attention. 

“Why are you just standing there with your thumb in ‘bum’ and your mind in neutral? What is wrong with you boy! Don’t you know how to stand at attention?!?!?” (I am sure people in Dallas/Fort Worth heard him!) 

But this time, Brother Mario had learned the secret! I straightened up into attention and said, “Sir, no excuse, Sir!” Which is exactly what I was supposed to say. The sergeant continued to chew on me for a few minutes and then left. 

Just after he left our drill sergeant came up and several members of our Flight told him about the situation and how this other sergeant grilled me up and down. My sergeant looked at me and asked what I answered the other instructor and I told him, “Sir, no excuse, Sir!” and he said that was the correct answer. 

Romans 1:20-21 says this, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” 

Those who reject Jesus and the Father will be without excuse. They will stand at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20) and meet the God of all creation and they will not be able to point fingers at any other person and blame them for their unbelief. 

Yet we, who have knelt, prostrated ourselves before Him, wept bitter tears over our sins, and tell Jesus, “Sir, no excuse, Sir!” for our willful disobedience, are encouraged to stand and receive His forgiveness! 

Oh, the mercy, grace and compassion He has dispensed to us! How can we not speak of His glory? How can we not proclaim the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Savior of the World? How can we not? 


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