September 17, 2018

It’s no longer Monday morning but we are going to get into today’s blog very shortly. I pray that today is a day that God is using you in a mighty and amazing way. He wants to. Do you believe that? Then follow Him in obedience and see what He can do today!! Remember: Sympathy without Action is not Compassion! God has called us to Compassion!!
I was thinking today . . . which usually gets me in trouble . . . about how easy it is for us to say NO. Sometimes we chide people who say YES to everything and we tell them oh you need to learn how to say NO to a few things. I do this with my wife because she is very much a YES person. I tell her, “Honey, you can’t do everything. Sometimes you need to just say NO.” And usually it’s because her husband is feeling a little neglected (shocker, I know). And there are those rare people who do take on too much and they forget to prioritize. They end up doing lots of things that keep them busy but don’t really accomplish their goals in life. But today I want to talk about those people . . . and when I say “those people” I mean most of us . . . who find it all too easy to say NO. These are the people who have perfected the art of saying NO. Ma’am would like to buy a subscription to the Star-Telegram? No thank you, we don’t read the paper. Sir, we are running a special on alarm systems in your neighborhood and many of your neighbors have already signed up. Let me just stop you right there and say NO! Ma’am who do you use for your electric? NO! Sir, would you buy a candy bar for . . . NO! And we are bombarded all around us from our front door to when we walk in the door at the grocery store with people who want something and so, in order to protect ourselves, we have learned to just say NO and we have gotten very good at it. And not only are we good at it but people tell us to be strong and they tell us YES you have to tell them NO and then we start to feel good about ourselves because we are strong and empowered and we can tell anyone and everyone NO!!!!
Now don’t misunderstand. There are plenty of times when we need to say NO. But what I want you to hear today is that I believe we have built up this natural inclination to say NO to so many things in life when God steps in and asks us to do something we just reflexively say NO. We don’t think about it and we don’t seriously pray about it with an open mind and heart and we don’t truly even consider it. We just simply say NO. And usually we have a ready-made excuse that we can pull out much like we do with the guy selling meat who drives around our neighborhood. “No thanks, my freezer is stuffed with sirloin. Maybe next time.” And we do this with God. “God, you know I’m already swamped” or “God, I’m just too tired and all I want to do this weekend is sit in my recliner and watch football” or “God, you know I would help but my back has been acting up again and . . .”
“Why is obedience to God important? Answer: Obedience to God proves our love for Him (1 John 5:2-3), demonstrates our faithfulness to Him (1 John 2:3-6), glorifies Him in the world (1 Peter 2:12), and opens avenues of blessing for us (John 13:17).” Do you get it? God wants us to say YES! This week’s Memory Verse is key for us in being obedient. “Faith is necessary to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and if our faith is genuine and true, we will live a lifestyle characterized by righteousness, modeling the example set for us by Jesus Christ. We obey His commands, not because we have to, but because we want to, because we love Him. We are enabled to obey because, once we believe in Christ and are saved, we are remade. We are not the same people we once were. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’”
So what am I saying? What I am saying is that as you grow closer to Him your answer needs to be more and more YES and less and less NO. At the root of this problem is the sin of selfishness which we are looking at this month on Sunday mornings. We say NO because at the root we are selfish and even when God clearly tells us to do something we say NO because it is going to require something from us. Our answer to God needs to be YES, YES, YES LORD YES!! You want me to tithe? I don’t know how I am going to be able to but YES! You want me to talk to my neighbor about Jesus? I’m terrified but if that’s what you want then YES! You want me to get involved in a small group like “Experiencing God”? You know how busy I am God but YES! You want me to go where on MISSION?? Really? YES LORD YES!!
I want to wish a couple of family members a Happy Birthday. First to my father-in-law, Ray Olsen, who turned 95 yesterday I wish a very Happy Birthday! And then to my grandson, Cameron Fuller, a very Happy Birthday tomorrow!!
And lastly, I want to just say to all of those at FBCWS . . . Change is Coming!! You heard it here first. Be praying and get ready!!
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?