Continuation from Thursday Newsletter – January 12, 2023
Continuation from the Thursday, January 12th weekly Newsletter.
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Growing up, I used to sing a song called, “Standing on the Promises of Christ My King,” (written by Russell Kelso Carter in 1886) and the idea is that we’ll all stand on something in this life, and ultimately, we will stand on what we think is real. There are lot of really bright people that are only standing on what they can see, touch or feel, so if they’re not feeling it, they have to manipulate themselves into feeling it… , “I just need to have a positive mental attitude,” but we all know it doesn’t work when people tell us, “You need to change your attitude,” when we’re not feeling it!
Paul was a guy who knew about suffering/disappointment, in fact, he was in prison headed for martyrdom when he writes, “All of God’s promises are ‘Yes’ in Christ. There is something about this man named Jesus that is so powerful, that all of the promises of God find their ‘Yes’ in His life and teaching and death and resurrection,” and he lived in that, and he say to us, “All 7457 fabulous promises that God has made to you are ‘Yes,’ so read thru them, savor them, treasure them, immerse yourself in them because they are all GOING to come true… YES’s because of Christ,” and you can live in that if you want to!
When you live in the promises of God, it will prompt a 2nd “Yes” in your life, so let’s read about the 2nd “Yes,” For no matter how many promises God has made they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him (Christ) the “Amen” is spoken by (Not God) us to the glory of God.
So, there’s the “Yes” that God says to us, and then there can be the “Yes” that you say to God.
When Paul talks about God’s “Yes” to us he uses the actual word, “Yes” but when he talks about our “Yes” back to God he uses the word, “Amen.”
In our day this word “Amen” is viewed as churchy… , but that’s not the way it would have been viewed by the people in Paul’s day, in fact, in Israel they loved the word “Amen,” it was kind of a “Yes” on steroids, you could translate it, “So be it” or “Yes” or “You go boy” or “Bam – You’ve knocked it out of the Park.”
When you start to believe that all of God’s promises are a “Yes” to you in Christ and you start living in those promises, the natural response will be, “God, I want to make my life a great ‘Amen, Bam, Yes’ back to you God.” That is what we’re called to do, and what I want to do in the time that remains is to walk you thru some ways that you can make your life a great “Amen, Bam, Yes,” back to God! (Are You Ready?)
Q – “What is God mostly concerned about,” (People) what God loves more than anything else is people and He has placed us in this world and… “Yes” to us, not primarily just for our sakes but so we can be a conduit of God’s “Yes”… LOVE… GOODNESS to other people.
Q – “How do I make my life a ‘YES’ for God and for other people?”
Profound Statement: Every time you are with somebody you’re giving them a little “Yes” or you’re giving them a little “No.” Because we are people with “Wills,” we either “Will” the good/blessing for somebody which is the “Yes,” or we “Will” the bad for somebody and that’s a “No.” So, I want to make 2 quick observations about the encounters you will have with people this week!
1 – “There is no such thing as a neutral encounter. Our interaction will move people.”
2 – “There is no such thing as an encounter that you have with somebody in which God isn’t interested.”
Let’s talk about those “Yeses” back to God and to other people!
1st – There’s the “Yes” of good will!
At the core of you is YOUR WILL, and your will is to will the good for every person.
2nd – The “Yes” of acknowledging people!
This seems like a small thing, but there is power in just acknowledging somebody. Paul writes this to the church at Rome, 2 Corinthians 13:12, “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” “Pass on my greetings to the people in Rome,” Paul was telling us to be a people who acknowledge each other.
The idea is, you walk down the street and there will be other people coming at you and you can GREET them… ACKNOWLEDGE them… LOOK them in the eye and let them know with your words or smile, “I welcome you into my life,” that’s the “Yes” of acknowledging.
Or you can live in such a way as to AVOID contact… SHUT other people out, and that’s like a little, “No,” and we live in a world/culture that has really become increasingly cold! Paul is saying, “In this new community called the church, I want you to GREET each other ACKNOWLEDGE each other… LOOK at each other.”
3rd – The “Yes” of showing preference to people!
Paul put it like this, Philippians 2:3-4, “In humility value others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others,” every encounter I have with somebody else is an opportunity to… “You go first.” Again, this is a small thing, but life is all about the small, practical things.
4th – The “Yes” of bringing relief to people!
This is the “Yes” of serving somebody. This is kind of the signature in the early church, it was so humble, it’s what made it great, Paul told the early church to, Galatians 5:13, “Serve one another humbly in love.”
5th – The “Yes” of joy!
We’re invited into this “Yes,” not because your CIRCUMSTANCES are good… SMART RICH… YOUNG… UNTOUCHED by suffering or sorrow, but because all God’s promises are “Yes” in Christ. That’s the reality in which we live, that’s the ground on which we stand, all God’s promises are, “Yes” in Christ, “Amen, Bam, Yes” therefor I will live with joy!
2 Samuel 6:16, “As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.” The ark represented the presence of God, and David was so filled with Joy that God’s presence had returned to Israel that he began to dance!
The ark was a kind of foreshadowing of what has happened thru Jesus and His promise to send Holy Spirit; and now, God is as close to me/you as the air you breathe and therefor you can respond in one of 2 ways, with a “Yes” or a “No.” I can be David or I can be Michael, I can dance or I can despise, “Why Don’t You Dance?”
You have this ONE LIFE and all God’s promises are “Yes,” so “Why Don’t You Dance?”
“Why Don’t You Dance? Why don’t you write the word ‘Yes’ down on a card and put it on the nightstand next to where you sleep, and no matter what is going on in your life, when you wake up in the morning, why don’t you… , ‘Yes’ to life… people… your work… God? Why Don’t You Dance?”
We do this, not because IT is a good thing to have a positive mental attitude, although it is… IT makes things more pleasant for us, although it does… OUR circumstances are going great, because maybe they’re not, we do this because God has made 7457 promises and every single one of them IS “Yes” in Jesus… FINDS their fulfillment in the way Jesus lived when He was on this earth… IS explained by the teaching Jesus gave to us… WAS paid for when Jesus went to a cross and gave up His life and shed His blood for our forgiveness… WAS guaranteed on the 3rd day when the stone was rolled away and He defeated death!
And I know the Bible doesn’t say it, but I’m pretty sure when Jesus came out of the tomb He WAS saying, “Yes! Yes! Yes” … WASN’T just walking, He was dancing, maybe doing the Hokey Pokey or the Macarena, that’s why we say, “Yes” to God, that’s why we dance.
That’s why the Bible ends the way it does, a lot of people have never read the final words of the Bible, but they are glorious words, John writes, Revelation 22:20-21, “He who testifies to these things,” in other words, Jesus, bears witness to these promises, the one who defeated death, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon,'” it may not look like soon when you suffer, when you struggle, when people live/die, I understand that, but in light of eternity, in the eyes of God it will be the blink of a moment, “Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen,” we say amen to that, “Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” “Let it be so! Yes! Bam! Whoopee!” That’s the way the Book ends.
Let’s pray. Would you bring before God whatever “No” you have, that disappointment relationship… heartache… hurt… loss, and just hear God’s “Yes” over you. Just immerse yourself in the “Yes” of God, the God who… , “I love you… I’m so delighted that you’re living on this earth… I thought you up, don’t you know that I made you and as you receive my love into your life by accepting the work of Jesus, who died on a cross for you so one day you will look just the way I designed you.”