Have you ever had someone trick you or deceive you? Satan is called a deceiver. Have you ever excused your sin? Satan teaches us to make excuses. God calls us to confession. Giving an excuse is an attempt to totally or partially justify something that has happened. Confessing is to totally accept that I am without excuse and the guilt of the matter lies totally on me. Today sadly many are excusing sin rather then confessing sin. They want no accountability for how they live and in doing so are living in decption. How is that though we say we love God when we do not take responsibility for our sins? It is difficult to look at ourselves head-on and see the sin that God sees. It is so easy to make excuses to others, who often see us for what we are, and the sins we commit yet we have an excuse. Why is it that the sins we try to hide the most, are the ones that keep coming to light, until we finally say, 'No more excuses'? The answer is that our love for God is not what we would like others to believe it is and certainly not what we believe it is. I am afraid that we have become self deceived. One excuse that we might use is "it is because of how I was raised', or 'I am around that kind of thing all the time. Or no one is perfect. The truth is that our surroundings cannot make us sin. 1Cr 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. Only our hearts will allow sin to flow. Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Sadly today few like to have their sins exposed. Rather we would like to find others who have the same problems or have worse problems and thus justify or at least cover over what we do. True lovers of God comes to the light to be exposed and they make no excuses for what they have done, turning from the error of their ways to honor the God that they love. Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life. Jhn 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. Jhn 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. Another pet way to justify our sin is 'God made me this way' or 'it's my personality'. but scripture says; Ephesians 4:20-26 'But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil' Ephesians 4:29-32 'Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away with you, with all malice: And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.' We are new creatures and we so we should be what we have been made into, not what we were. The scriptures also speak of what happens to those that hang onto sin. Romans 2 :5-9 'But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; For there is no respect of persons with God.' Some have a perception that they are justified to sin because they feel others have hurt them or falsely accused them, whether it is true or not. 2 Tim 3:1-7 'This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.' Proverbs 22:10-13 'Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea strife and reproach shall cease. He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend. The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.' Luke 6:43-48 'For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: Unless we believe what the Lord has given and we diligently seek to live as He has called us, any claim to loving God is useless. Works do not save, but works are the evidence that we are saved. Excuses do not come from the Lord, but from Satan and we need to chose who we will follow. True love is not mouth service, but action without excuses. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do as a Christian is confess to the Lord my lack of love. Listen to what He says; Jhn 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. In other words if I do not keep them I do not love Him. That is what it says! Until we are willing to accept what the Lord says about us we will never be able to love Him and follow Him as we ought. He says again; Jhn 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. You notice that if we are not keeping His commands we are not loved by the Father. That passage is not a contradiction to the passage that says God so loved the world. This is speaking of a relational love, not an unconditional one. Those in the relationship have a different love from God when keeping His commands. Now someone might object and say is this a teaching on sinless perfection. absolutely not. We all sin from time to time, but we can still be commandment keepers. A commandment keeper is a person who holds all of God's word equal. In other words they do not see one command greater and keep it at the expense of another lesser one. True commandment keepers do not have certain pet sins that they hold onto thinking that it is not that bad. True commandment keepers strives to keep all God has given and sets aside nothing and in those times that they do fail and sin they are quick to seek His forgiveness through confession with a pure heart to not do it again. So are we sin excusers or sin confessors? Do we love God or are we deceived? Jhn 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.