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The New Pastor's Training Manual

Devotionals for Pastors - Excuses
By Ed Wrather

DAY 12

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.’ - Matthew 17:19-21.

Excuses, many of us have them. We have a reason why God cannot do something in our lives or in some place. Some can’t go to church because they don’t have time. Some can’t read their Bibles or pray for the same reason. But then what would be the point they reason? because they have too many problems for God to help them. Or, it may not be the number of problems, it may be the size of their problem that is too much for God. The result? Little prayer and even less godly living.

We see the same excuse being used in churches of smaller numbers and communities in rural areas. We can pray for revival and expect revival to come in places like Malawi or New York City. But there is no point in asking God to do anything in our small community because it is not possible. I love the story about Blunt Baptist Church in a rural area of eastern Oklahoma. A few years ago they had dwindled down to six members and were planning to soon close the doors of the church for good. They called a retired pastor to help them through those last days of their church. Their new pastor, Leroy Reid, had a different vision. His vision was of 100 people being saved in a year. In six months 100 were saved and in a year 140 people had been saved. Blunt Church still has its doors open.

Do you want to have revival in your life? Do you want to have revival in your church? You can! It all begins with you. The great English evangelist Gypsy Smith was once asked how to have revival. His response: “Do you have a place where you can pray?” “Yes.” “Tell you what you do, you go to that place, and take a piece of chalk along. Kneel down there, and with the chalk draw a complete circle all around you - pray for God to send revival on everything inside of the circle. Stay there until He answers - and you will have revival.” We can have revival or we can have our excuses.

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