New Century Version (NCV)
5 We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law.
6 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply?2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way[a] of life. 5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be[b] in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self[c] was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body[d] may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed[e] from sin’s claims.[f] 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.[g]
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey[h] its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts[i] of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts[j] of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.
15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone[k] as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred[l] to, 18 and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 19 I am using a human analogy[m] because of the weakness of your flesh.[n] For just as you offered the parts[o] of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness.[p] 21 So what fruit was produced[q] then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification[r]—and the end is eternal life! 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I have called this frog “the excuses frog” because he is full of them! It is obvious from his posture everything he is saying is simply because he doesn’t want to do anything but what he is doing now.
A true friend will not purposely let you down and make excuses for it. They are quick to apologize, quick to make amends, and quick to put others first. Have you ever had a friend that made you feel second, third, or even fourth? You know who a true friend is when you are the one that has the need! Just as I would never deny my family help in time of need, nor would I deny a friend if I know there is a need.
“A man was giving a large banquet and invited many. 17 At the time of the banquet, he sent his slave to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’
18 “But without exception[a] they all began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. I ask you to excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m going to try them out. I ask you to excuse me.’
20 “And another said, ‘I just got married,[b] and therefore I’m unable to come.’
21 “So the slave came back and reported these things to his master. Then in anger, the master of the house told his slave, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in here the poor, maimed, blind, and lame!’
22 “‘Master,’ the slave said, ‘what you ordered has been done, and there’s still room.’
23 “Then the master told the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and lanes and make them come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will enjoy my banquet!’”
What is Jesus saying? Those who give Him second place in their lives will not enjoy the blessings of this life and many are in danger of missing heaven altogether! In this passage Jesus was talking in types and shadows about the Jews that would reject Him. The ones that were in the byways, lame, blind. hopeless then were given the opportunity to enjoy and have the blessing that was intended for the Jews.
There is a blessing through Jesus and the acceptance of Him and His “friendship“, and there are blessings that come in human form God has brought to be a friend in times of need for you. There is a scripture that says in order to have friends you must show yourself friendly. Do not look and think you have nothing in common or of worth to share with those God brings into your path. A friendship is nurtured and a friendship is not one-sided. They are not there to just listen when you need to vent, they are not there to be the only one who gives when help is needed, you are not the only one who needs companionship. You need to give a listening ear, you need to give what is needed in time of help, and you need to give attention and love when someone says, “I just really need a friend right now”!
If you are a true friend you will listen, have patience, look deeper than what is being said to the heart, and love regardless of circumstances! Jesus is the epitome of what friendship should be. Has He ever interrupted you to say, “I am too busy to listen to this. I’ll get back with you later….love you!” Has He ever said, “I am tired and I just really don’t feel like messing with you today?” Has He ever interrupted you to say, “Yeah, I hear you and I have been through the same thing, let me tell you!” Has He ever talked about you behind your back? Has He ever told others all your faults? Has He ever disrespected you and how you felt about something? Now, the big question….have YOU?
I run from people who say, “I don’t know why but I just cannot ever seem to keep a friend!” If you will notice these people will blame EVERYONE but THEMSELVES! When someone says this, there is a reason why so many have run from this person. People do come in and out of our lives, but when you have never had a lasting relationship, it is time to stop blaming others and do a deep and very honest SELF CHECK!
Don’t be an “excuse” maker, dear reader! Be honest with yourself and ask God to help you be the friend others need just as He has been and always will be the friend you need! Blessings in abundance!! See you next time!