June 3-4, 2006
How about the Mavericks? I like the announcer, Marv Albert. Every time Dirk would score, he would go, “Yes!” What a great voice, “Yes!”
Today we’re talking about yes. It’s a little word, a word that we use all the time. And I would argue that we’re the sum total of the word. We say yes in our minds, we say yes, and we articulate sounds and make that three letter word, “yes”. We say it a lot.
And then, we also say the opposite of yes, don’t we? We say “no”. We say, “No, I’m not going to do that. No, I can’t show up.” When someone’s talking we think to ourselves, “No, no, no,” or maybe, “Yes, yes, yes.”
Over the next few weeks I’m talking about yes and no. Say yes and stick by it. Say yes, and it will serve you well. Say yes and commit to it.
Do you say no without giving an excuse? Can you say no in a no-holds barred way? Just no.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:37 these words, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ be ‘No.’”
Why did Jesus say it? He was talking to a bunch of Pharisees. The Pharisees had devised this system of swearing. I’m not talking about cussing. But they devised this system of swearing by heaven and earth and the city of Jerusalem, and they were swearing by body parts, and… Basically they were trying to sidestep the truth.
And Jesus said, “Hey guys, let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’” He was saying if you’re a true Christ-follower, your character should be so noble, your conversation so rich that when you say yes, you mean it, and when you say no, you mean it. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. If I say the right yes, it will lead to great success. On the other hand, if I say the wrong yes, it will lead to a big honkin’ mess.
We’ve all said the wrong yeses before, haven’t we? Whenever you talk to someone who’s experiencing a problem, maybe they made a dumb financial move, or maybe they’re in the relational weeds, or whatever it is—if you ask them, “Where did the wheels come off? Where did you have the problem? What happened?” they don’t say, “Well I just said one wrong yes and then I stumbled down the staircase of life.” They don’t say that.
Usually, it was a lot of little bitty yeses that led to this big mess. It’s those little yeses. Yes, yes, yes, yes, then aaaaah! They fall into the abyss of rebellion and problems.
I knew this guy years ago, and I called him the yes man. Every time I made him laugh, he would laugh like this. “Yes, yes, yes yes!” I played a game in my mind. I thought, how many times can I get this guy to say yes in one conversation? One time he said yes over a hundred times!
Say yes, the right yes, to God’s principles. If I say the right yes to God’s principles, then I’m going to meet the right people, and then I can say yes to his purposes. If I say the wrong yes to the wrong principles, I’m going to meet the wrong people and end up in the wrong places and missing the purposes God has for me.
Yes and no. The right yes or the wrong yes. I say the right yes, I’m going to be a success. The wrong yes, my life will be a colossal mess.
2 Corinthians 1:20, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.” +
Think about the promises of God. Think about God sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins and rise again. If God didn’t go back on that promise, he’s not going to go back on any other promise.
The verse continues, “…and so through Him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
We can say “Amen” to the promises of God. What does amen mean? It means “so let it be.”
I grew up around preachers. My father’s a preacher. Certain preachers say “amen” a little bit too much. I’ve talked to some preachers, amen, they say amen all the time, amen? I’ve played golf with some preachers. They’ll make a putt, they’ll go “Amen!” I knew one that used amen as a question. Amen?
So we can say amen to the promises of God. Let your yes be yes. Let your yes be yes—a word of commitment, a word of decisiveness, a word of affirmation.
In our culture, though, we know how to give the empty yes, don’t we? You know—the “if something better comes along” yes; or the decaffeinated yes. We’ve taken yes and we’ve spayed it, we’ve neutered it, and we’ve hollowed it out. Yes doesn’t mean yes anymore. In our culture yes means maybe.
“Maybe I’ll stay with my spouse, but if someone better looking cruises by… Maybe I’ll stay with him, but if he says this or does that or doesn’t do that, I’m out! Maybe.”
Yes, no, maybe so. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.
Think about, just for a second, the last week. Think about how many times you’ve said yes—yes to God, or maybe no to him. How many times did you say yes to the important people in your life? To your mate? To your kids? How about your friends, the people you run with? What did you say yes to with them? Think about the choices, those moral intersections, those opportunities. Did you say yes?
We’re the net effect of yes and no. It is literally staggering to think about how often we say it. “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’” Jesus said. What should we say yes to? That’s a good question.
Say “Yes” To Establishing and Building a Deep and Dynamic Relationship with Jesus
For starters, we should say yes to Jesus. I was thinking about that. He gives us the ability to even say yes to him. We’re made in the image of God; God said yes to us. He placed man and woman in a perfect environment. It was nirvana. (I’m not talking about the band.) Yet we said no to God’s yes. We sinned. God said yes, we said no.
Before we said no, though, God gave man the gift of work. Did you know work is a gift from God? And God told man to manage the garden. And that should put to rest the debate over what’s the oldest known profession. It’s landscaping!
God said yes. We said no because we sinned. Well, in our no-ness, what did God do? He said yes again. He sent Jesus Christ to die on Calvary for all of our junk, for all of our nos. And now he gives us an opportunity to put our yes on his yes.
So when you think about God, he’s a yes God. He said yes, we said no. He said yes again on top of our no, and now he says, “Say yes to my yes.”
Many of you are just one yes away from making that commitment. You’re one yes away from saying, “Jesus, take control of my life.”
I cannot force you to say that; you have to say that. It’s your choice, it’s your prerogative, it’s your option. It’s your move. Have you said yes to Jesus? He gives us the ability to say yes. He can’t force us to say it, but we’re built for yes.
And the moment we say yes to Jesus, here’s a slam-dunk deal. This is a win-win situation. The moment we say yes to Christ, what happens? Well, the first thing he does is, he comes into our lives, and he places the person of the Holy Spirit in the depths of our being. The Holy Spirit is totally committed to taking self-centered sinners like you and me; he’s totally committed to this yes thing. He gives us the ability to say yes to what God says yes to. That’s big. He gives us the ability to say yes to what God says yes to. So there’s no way I can ever understand what God says yes to until I know Jesus Christ personally.
We’ve got to say yes—yes to God, yes to God’s principles, and yes to his priorities. And speaking of priorities, I’m going to turn to Matthew 6:33. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God,” that’s the priorities, right? “…and His righteousness,” that’s purity, “and all these things shall be added unto you,” that’s the promise.
So we’ve got the priorities, “Seek first the kingdom of God.” That’s saying yes to Jesus Christ, yes to a deep and dynamic relationship with Him.
Then the purity part. This is unbelievable! Once I receive Jesus Christ, check this out, I receive the righteousness of Jesus. So when Jesus comes into my life, not only does he come there, but his righteousness dominates my life. So when God sees me or sees you, he sees the righteousness of Jesus.
Without Jesus, after my best sermon or best book or best wedding or best funeral or best whatever, I fall miserably short of the righteousness of Christ. There is no way I will ever, ever, ever be 100% righteous away from Jesus. And you won’t, either. That’s why you can’t work your way to heaven. I don’t care if you keep your nose clean and pay your taxes and throw some money into the offering plate when it’s passed; or you work for the United Way or Habitat for Humanity—good for you! Those are wonderful things, but you will never achieve a righteous life. We can only receive the righteousness of Jesus.
We’ve said no, God has said yes. And Jesus is totally righteous. And once we receive him, we receive the righteousness of Christ. So we’ve got the priority and we’ve got the purity. And then the promise. “…all these things,” Matthew 6:33 tells me, “shall be added unto you.” All these things.
So often, I think too many preachers and pastors concentrate on just the blessings of God, just the benefits of God, just the upside of following God. And yeah, we’ve got to talk about those things. And believe me, there are benefits, there are blessings. However, we need to fall in love with God, we need to say yes to Jesus, because Jesus is God, because he’s sovereign, because he’s holy, because he’s the ruler, and I’m not.
Now, once I say that yes, things will be added to me and things will be added to you. And God will meet our needs—not our greeds, but our needs. That happens when you say yes and I say yes to Jesus.
Lisa and I got married twenty-four years ago. On June 26th, it’ll be 24 years. When I said yes to her at the altar, I didn’t realize the implications of that decision. I’m realizing the implications more and more each and every day, and so is she. What if I had bolted the moment I said “I do”? What if I had said, “Okay, I do. Yes, I’ll love you. Yes, in sickness and health. Yes, in poverty and wealth. Yes, as long as we both shall live. Yes, Lisa, yes. Before Jesus I say these things.” And what if I had said that and then turned and cruised and just moved away. What if I had very little contact with her for 24 years? We would have a horrendous marriage. I would’ve missed out on this amazing 24-year journey God has taken us on.
When we say yes to Jesus, we’re hooking up with him. We’re committing to him. We’re saying “I do” to him. We’ve got to spend time with him. We’ve got to say big yes to receive Christ, but then those little yeses to walk with him, to talk with him, to hear his voice, to know his word, to follow his purposes and his principles, and to walk with his people down this incredible journey he has for us.
And I’ve got to ask you, are you spending that time with Jesus? I’m not talking about some legalistic thing, “I’ve got to have my daily quiet time 22.3 minutes a day, and I’ve got to get up at 4:30 a.m. everyday.” I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about spending time with him.
When I miss 2, 3, 4 days of spending quality time with Jesus, I cannot believe the freefall that I take. I cannot believe the depravity that emerges in my life.
Say yes to Jesus. We’re built for yes. Yes Lord yes Lord, yes, yes Lord, yes, yes, Lord. Everyday, that’s what he wants from you, and that’s what he wants from me. He wants us to say yes.
That’s what’s so cool, when we lift our hands in worship. It’s like a big Y, isn’t it? Yes. Yes, Lord, have your way with me. Yes, Lord, where do you want me to go? Yes, Lord, what do you want me to do? Say yes to Jesus.
Also say yes to his church. Many of you today have said yes to church attendance. Thank you for being here at Fellowship. I really appreciate that. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25 that we’ve got to come together regularly, corporately, for worship. Something supernatural takes place when people open up the word of God and teach from it. It’s amazing. I can’t explain it, but God just does it. If we’re not a part of weekly worship, we’re disobeying God.
Are you a part of a local church? Have you said yes to church membership? Obviously I’m biased toward Fellowship Church. I would love all of you to join Fellowship Church, but I know that’s not going to happen for everyone. Maybe it’s another church. There are some great churches in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We’re in the belt buckle of the Bible belt. This is it! But don’t just test the waters; don’t just kick tires your entire life. Land the plane! Don’t just circle. Land the plane! Join a church, because there are many things you can’t do unless you’re a part of a local church.
If you take the word “church” and read the New Testament and just lift it out of the New Testament, over 90% of the time it refers to a specific local church. The church is the heartbeat of Jesus; it’s the bride of Christ. You don’t say “I do” and then bolt. You’re with the bride. You love the bride. You’re about the bride. Church attendance, that’s important. Don’t let the golf course, or a game, or a tournament, or a trip or whatever consistently keep you from the church. Now and then it’s cool to miss. We don’t check everybody off every week on a little poster and say, “Oh, you missed church last week. Shame on you. Our membership office is going to call you up and reprimand you.”
We don’t do that. But so often I’ve talked to people after services and they say, “Ed, I almost slept in today. I almost didn’t show up today. Someone invited me to play golf or go to the lake, but I said no to them and yes to church. And I am glad I did, because I needed that word. I needed it.”
Something supernatural takes place when we’re a part of the local church. It’s the little yeses that lead to great successes.
On either side of our front door, we have two lamps. And when we got these lamps, they were clean and shiny. They were beautiful lamps. We’ve been neglecting the lamps. And last week I walked outside and was just enjoying the beautiful weather, and as I turned and looked at our front door, I was horrified. The inside of the lamps was inches deep with bug carcasses. These bugs had died, and they’d crossed Jordan. I thought, how many bugs were in these lamps? It was an interesting thing, something the Discovery Channel should do a documentary on. I wondered how many bugs. Who knows? Millions? Billions? I don’t know.
So I thought, I’m going to clean these bugs out of the lamps. This was fun. I opened up the lamps, got a vacuum cleaner, and I just sucked all of those bugs out of the lamp and into the vacuum cleaner. That was a fun thing. I felt power when I did that.
And then, when the lamps were clean, I looked at them to admire my work and thought, the lamps became jammed with bugs, not overnight, but one bug at a time. One little bug flying in at a time—then another bug and then bug after bug after bug after bug. And then they began to make everything dirty, and you couldn’t really see the lamps very well.
How do you screw up your life? One bug at a time. One wrong yes at a time. It’s not just one big honkin’ yes and then you fall down the stairs of life. No, no, no. A bunch of little yeses lead to giant messes. That’s when we need to de-bug our lives and say those little yeses, the right yeses, that lead to great successes. And that is spending time with Jesus, and that is spending time in his church.
It’s frustrating for the leadership of Fellowship Church to try to build the church around people who sign up but don’t show up. Do you realize that 30% of the volunteers who sign up don’t even show up? “I’ll be there, man. I’ll help with the nursery. I’ll be there. I’ll help with the kids’ church. I’ll be there. I’ll help with kids’ camp. I’ll be there in the parking lots. I’ll be there as a greeter. I’ll be there as an usher. I’ll be there with our security.”
But 30% of the people don’t show up. Our yes doesn’t mean yes; it means maybe; yes, but if something better comes along; yes, but if someone better looking comes along; yes, if I feel like it; yes, but if the Mavs are on; yes, but if I have an opportunity to travel.
Yes doesn’t mean yes anymore. But to those of us who are believers, what did Jesus say in Matthew 5:37? “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes.’” It’s a term of decisiveness, a term of commitment.
“But Ed, I’ve said yes to Jesus, or I’m thinking about saying yes to him, but I have doubts and questions.”
Awesome! I have doubts and questions. God is bigger than your doubts and mine. God is bigger than your questions and mine. Doubts and questions mean that I have faith. They mean that you have faith, too. Say yes to Jesus. Establish that relationship with Him. You’re made for it; you’re one of a kind. Love his church.
What’s going to happen when the roof caves in, in your life? We live in a fallen planet; bad things happen to good people. Let’s talk about it. What are you planning on counting on? Who’s going to take you through those tough times? When you get the phone call, when you have the setback, when you end up in the deep weeds? Are you going to rely on your select soccer team? Your tennis group at the country club? Your neighborhood association? I mean, those people mean well. They’re good people. But Christ followers, those of us in the church, we can encourage one another and support one another and help one another and do life in community. We’ve got to be a part of the bride of Jesus. So say yes to Jesus, yes to the church.
Say “Yes” To the Most Influential People in Our Lives
Also I would say that we need to say yes to the most influential people in our lives. How many people are married? Marriage is not the greatest thing; it’s the hardest thing. But if we do the hardest stuff, it can be the greatest thing. My marriage is an illustration of Christ’s relationship to the church.
Husbands, let’s talk for a second. You’re the spiritual leader, and I’m the spiritual leader of the home. Women are dying for you and me to lead. We’ve got to step up and be the leaders. The word “husband” comes from two Anglo Saxon words, house and band. We keep the home together, literally. That’s why we’ve got to say yes to Jesus, yes to his church, yes to our spouse. Have you said yes, husband, to your wife? Yes to romance? Yes to meaningful conversation? Yes to nonsexual touching? Yes to doing those special things for her? Yes to a date night? I’m going to talk about a date night until everyone here who is married goes on a date night. So just hold onto your theater seats.
Hebrews 10:25, I cited that verse earlier. Christ followers are to connect in this special experience once a week called corporate worship. Husbands, worship with your wives on a date night at least once a week. Worship through romance. Worship through sex. Worship through communication, at least once a week. Don’t get into the habit of throwing a newspaper in her lap and saying, “What movie do you want to see?” And some of the young couples here have all these little kids running around. It’s more difficult for you just to get ready for a date night. You’re like, “Forget a date night, it’s too much work!” But the work is worth it.
Guys, we’ve got to step up and lead in this domain. What you used to get her is what you use to keep her. We don’t retire our jersey in the family room and say, “That’s my romance jersey right there. I got her; I had it going on back then! But now, no, I’m just going to sit back in the La-Z-Boy and watch ESPN, 24-7.”
We get married; women are waiting for romance. But we’ve retired our jersey. I know, I’m preaching to myself. I’m talking to myself. Date your spouse. If you don’t date your spouse, guys, you’re going to date somebody else. I’ll say it again, if you don’t date your spouse, you’re going to date someone else.
And let me put it in a good way—you’re going to commit adultery with someone because of this sex drive and this thing about being a man. You’re going to date someone else and spend all this money when you get divorced from your wife, and you’ll give it to the attorneys. You’ll be messed up, your spouse will be messed up, and your kids will be messed up. Another one bites the dust.
And don’t even sit there with your self-righteous self and say, “Ed, you’re being pretty hard on those of us who are divorced. I can’t believe it, I thought you taught grace.” I’m all about grace. Divorce is not the unpardonable sin, no. But there will be consequences to sin.
Right now I could jump in my car and rob a convenience store; I know how to do it. I’d get caught, they’d arrest me, and I’d go to prison and be behind bars. I could hit my knees and say, “Lord forgive me! Lord, I’m sorry! Lord, I want to turn from my sin.”
Would God forgive me? No doubt about it. Would I still be in jail? Yes. You get the picture. God’s not going to remove the consequences of that decision.
So don’t have an affair. I take that back: have an affair with your spouse! That’s what you should do. Take all the energy, all that creativity, all that money, and put it into her. Have an affair with your spouse. Have a date night at least once a week. A pediatrician was the first person who told me to lead out in this issue. Not a pastor, not a marriage counselor, not some theologian. It was our pediatrician.
The twins were six weeks old and she said, “Ed, have you taken Lisa out on a date?”
I said, “A what?”
And eleven years ago we started this date night thing. It has revolutionized our marriage. And I’m going to talk about it until all of us do it. It’ll change your life. Because if you don’t date your spouse, you’re going to date someone else. Take a trip together, couples, at least once a year. Don’t go with your family, because that’s not a vacation. Don’t visit your in-laws; that’ll totally mess you up. That’s an obligation vacation. You need a vacation after that. That’s horrendous.
I talked to a couple the other day, “Yeah, we’re going on vacation!” I said, “Really, where are you going?” They said, “We’re going to see her parents in Lubbock.”
“Well, I can’t afford it, brother.” My man, you can’t afford not to. Put it on the credit card. You are investing some serious capital in your relationship, because so goes the marriage, so goes the family; so goes the family, so goes your parenting; so goes your parenting, so goes the community; so goes the community, so goes the city; so goes the city, so goes the state; so goes the state, so goes the country; so goes the country, so goes the world.
We can literally change the world. It’s all about the marriage. And men, we’ve got to keep the marriage at the forefront of the family dynamic. I wrote a book about it called Kid CEO. Don’t spend any money buying it, let me give you the Cliff’s notes of it. Well, on second thought, why don’t you buy it?
But men, we get married, we say yes to our spouse, and then we chase the career because we’re rewarded at the office with the corner office, the parties, and the perks. We don’t feel rewarded at home by being a godly husband, a godly father. So we’re into the company parties, we’re into the perks, we’re into the bonuses!
But the marriage is really where it’s at. I’ll talk about work in a second, but this is where we’ve got to invest, where we’ve got to step up. What am I saying, guys? I’m saying, “Get your as in gear.” Love your wife as Christ loved the church. You thought I said something else. Where is your mind? As Christ, as Christ!
Let me talk to the wives here. Women, let me tell you something about us guys. We are so weak it’s pitiful. We’re so insecure. All these guys are walking around like they’re so hard and big and bad. But really we’re sensitive. We’re always worrying about what other people think. Your husband wants you to affirm him, to put him up, ladies, on a pedestal, to say, “You’re the man, you’re amazing, you’re awesome.” We need that. Women are much stronger than men, it’s not even close.
Have you said yes to that? I’m sometimes around couples and I see these women, especially, over dinner torch their husbands! They publicly just throw him in the grease, especially in front of Lisa and I.
“Ed and Lisa, you tell him!”
Ladies, don’t do that. I know you want him to change. He ain’t going to change that way, not by torching him. Don’t torch him publicly, and don’t torch him privately. Yeah, you can speak the truth to him. But remember, we’re delicate. We need that affirmation.
Ladies, too, I know you’re very tempted to orbit your life around the lives of your kids, because maybe he’s chased the career thing and he’s way over there. And maybe you’re doing the other thing, so you put your kids on the pedestal, and once they feel the warmth of the spotlight, they’re not going to give that up without a fight. So you orbit everything around them, and you see what happens. If you want to be a great parent, have a great marriage. If you want to have great discipline, love your spouse.
Have you ever been to a fashion show? I have. Fashion shows are hilarious because people wear all these weird clothes that no one would ever wear! And I love how people walk. It’s hilarious! And all these designers, and all these important people are watching their every move. They’re into the shoes, outfits, dresses, and suits. And they’re picking apart everything.
Hey parents, you’re on the runway 24-7 and your kids are watching you. Lisa and I have four sets of eyes watching our every move. They’re seeing how we love each other, how we talk to one another, how we romance one another, how we forgive one another, how we defer to one another, and how we do special things for one another. The marriage has got to be the most important thing, because kids leave and spouses stay.
Let’s talk about sex. It’s an important part of marriage. It’s not the most important thing. I’ve read some books where it says the number one desire in a man’s life is sexual fulfillment. I don’t believe that. I think it’s emotional connectivity. But guys connect emotionally through sex. I don’t think sex is number one.
Ladies, let’s talk about sex. Husbands, look at your wives for a second. Wives, look at your husbands. You are looking at your only sexual option. And the Bible tells me a lot about sex, and if you’ve got a problem with me talking about sex, you’ve got a problem with God. The problem’s not with me, it’s with God. He’s the one who’s made it up; he’s the one who invented it. And we should talk about it in our homes, but the second most important place we should talk about it is in the local church. One of the reasons so many people are whack regarding sex is because the church has been strangely silent talking about what God was not silent to talk about and create. And at Fellowship Church we’re going to change that.
Scripture says the only way a husband and wife should say no to one another is if they both agree to fast and pray. I’ll say that again. It got very quiet just then. Scripture says the only reason a man or woman should say no to one another regarding sex should be if they both agree to fast and pray. Now, sometimes you’re going to say no. But say no with an appointment. “No, tomorrow.” It’s the 24 hour rule. And read about a man’s sexual drive, ladies. I believe husbands need that intimacy at least every three days. Now I’m not trying to say how many times a week you actually do it, but I am saying and quoting various doctors and scholars and theologians about it. Because if that’s not happening at least every three or four days, then so often sexual stimuli becomes overpowering to the man. I’m not giving men an excuse to jump into porn or to lust or to whatever. But I am saying that if both of you are healthy, stop depriving one another.
I might buy this tape myself, this is good! We’re talking about every subject known to man, here, aren’t we? We might be here until 1 p.m. Go ahead and settle in, I’m just getting going!
Husbands, say yes to your wives. Wives, say yes to your husbands. Say yes. When I’m saying yes to Lisa’s needs and she’s saying yes to my needs, we’re hitting on all cylinders. That’s what it is.
But if I begin to say yes to my needs, that’s where I mess up because I’m the leader. God has given me as the husband the responsibility, the authority in our relationship. I’m not talking about superiority. I’m talking about authority. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord. Get your “as” in gear.
Now, let me talk to singles. If you’re single, lift your hand. Say yes, singles, to spouse selection God’s way. If you’re a believer, only hook up with believers, only date believers. You can fall in love with the wrong person. Can you imagine being hooked up with an unbeliever in marriage, just for a second?
Let’s say you’re a believer, you fall in love with this nonbeliever, and you say to yourself, “I can change this person; they need me; I can tweak them. Yeah, they say they’re a Christian. He only has a little anger problem. I can change him.”
Okay, let’s say you say yes to one another before God and the witnesses. You’re a believer, the other person is not. Try raising kids. Try building a house with two sets of plans. Try reconciliation. Try communication. Try sex. You’re going to fall down the staircase of life. Your marriage will never hit on all cylinders; it’s not going to happen.
Don’t you see the genius of God? God said, “Only hook up with believers.” God was not talking about spiritual apartheid; he was not being capricious or cruel; he was not being discriminatory. He was being loving. So a lot of you men and women, single men and women, you’ve got to say yes to doing it God’s way. Say, “Yes, I’m going to wait for sex until marriage. Yes, I’m only going to date believers who have a dynamic and deep relationship with Jesus. Yes, Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes, yes Lord.” Let your yes be yes and your no be no.
I talk to a lot of singles, thirty-something, forty-something, and fifty-something singles who are believers. Singles, let me give you a word—a lot of you think too much. I’m talking to Christian singles. You over-think! That’s why I’m all for getting married when you’re young and stupid. Get married when you’re just dumb as a stump. All this e-Harmony on steroids, 565 principles, what in the heck is that about?
If Lisa and I had gone through all this stuff, we’d never have married one another! I’ve got dysfunction in my life; she has it in her life.
Too many people afraid to commit, you’re afraid of the yes. You think, “If I say yes to this person, what if somebody better looking or who has more money comes along?”
Just say yes! All these thirty-something, forty-something singles are praying for Mr. Right or Miss Right, “Lord, bring her into my life.” They’re right there in front of you! Don’t pray about it anymore, just get married!
“Yeah, but a couple of aspects in our personality profile don’t coalesce. And Dr. Neil Clark Warren and Dr. Phil had a show about it the other day… And Oprah said…” Oprah?
Too many singles say “I don’t” to the yes, and it’s keeping you from saying “Yes” to the ultimate yes! That’s good, right there. Let’s say yes to the most important people in our lives. All these single guys have these unrealistic expectations in women, and all these singles guys are walking around with your bald-headed self, big ole’ spare tire, big ole’ butt, and you’re looking for Angelina Jolie with the character of Mother Theresa? Hey brother, look at the mirror! Look at yourself. I don’t care who you are, stuff wrinkles and sags. It doesn’t matter who you are.
“Well, there’s cosmetic surgery, pastor.”
Well great! There are some great plastic surgeons here in Dallas. And they can prop you up and help you and liposuck all this stuff, but it’s going to sag and wrinkle and crinkle. I don’t care; it’s going to happen your whole life.
Speaking of cosmetic surgery, it’s hilarious. Now and then I get this question, “Ed, you’re a pastor and you’ve gone to seminary. What do you think about cosmetic surgery?”
That has got to be one of the dumbest questions. I’m going to write a book one day, ”Dumb Questions Asked to Pastors.” I say, “What do I think about cosmetic surgery? If you want to roll the dice and put yourself under general anesthesia, go for it! Go for it. Furthermore, did you comb your hair today?”
“That’s a cosmetic procedure! Did you have braces? That’s a cosmetic procedure! Do you have on makeup? That’s a cosmetic procedure! So go for it. Now, if you obsess over it, that’s crazy.”
We’re talking about every subject today, aren’t we! Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes, Lord. That’s what God wants. We serve a God of the yes.
Say “Yes” To Our Mission in Life
Have I talked about the marketplace yet? Have I? No? I’ve got to talk about that real quick. That’s another thing I have down here. We’ve got to say yes to our mission in life. This will be short. I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes. Say yes to our mission in life. What has God called you to do? You might perform surgery—good for you! You might preach sermons—good for you. You might score touchdowns for Jerry Jones’ Cowboys—good for you. You might coach kids—good for you. You might teach students—good for you. You might sell real estate—good for you.
“Whatever you do,” Colossians 3:23 says, “work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
“Yes, Lord, I want to lead out in my business with integrity. Yes, Lord, I want to lead out with character. Yes, Lord, when I say yes I mean yes. Yes, Lord, I want to be honest. Yes, Lord, I want to go the second mile.”
And when we do that; when we realize we’re working for God, what’s going to happen? It will snap the heads of others who are watching us on the runway of life.
But be careful, now. Don’t allow your profession to become an obsession. Don’t redline with your profession. I went through a period of time when I was redlining in my profession. I was putting 40 hours a week just in message preparation. That’s redlining, man.
I remember when the twins were small, we had three kids in diapers, Lee Beth was five, and I hit my knees in the living room and said “God, I can’t do this anymore. I’m going to give you twenty hours of sermon preparation because I have to lead the church and do many other things than just speak.” And I said, “After twenty hours I’m going to shut the Bible and notes and books and walk away from it.”
And I can’t tell you how God has multiplied my time. When we say yes to Jesus every day and yes to His church, our time will be multiplied. We say yes to the most important things in life, our relationships, and our time will be multiplied. It’s amazing what we’ll get accomplished.
We say yes to marketplace endeavors. When we cheat, we don’t cheat on the side of our profession; we cheat toward the significant relationships—first being Jesus, second being our spouse, and then our kids.
Have I said everything there is to say about yes? No, I haven’t. And that’s what I’m going to talk about next week—the power of saying no. We should say no because of a bigger yes, and we’ll talk about that next time.