Google+ 09/20/13 "Yes, Jesus!"

2 Corinthians 1:15-19

New Living Translation (NLT)

Since I was so sure of your understanding and trust,

I wanted to give you a double blessing by visiting you twice—

First on my way to Macedonia and again when I returned from Macedonia.

Then you could send me on my way to Judea.

You may be asking why I changed my plan.

Do you think I make my plans carelessly?

Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”?

As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.”

For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.”

He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you,

And as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says.

 

In part twelve of our thirteen-part devotion series entitled, "The Best Laid Plans," we turn to the apostle Paul for a very important example for all our lives.  Certainly because of his past, Paul understands what our Christian focus should be at all times.  By many obvious standards, Saul was the biggest sinner who ever walked the earth.  He committed virtually every sin possible, most of which were perpetrated on Christians.  When the scales were removed from his eyes after his Damascus Road experience, Saul became Paul and could truly see.  In today's Scripture, he is speaking to the Corinthians about his plans.  Paul has decided to change his route and visit the church at Corinth twice!  What a blessing that should have been for the Corinthians.  Unfortunately, one the reasons that Paul wanted to visit them twice was they were one of Paul's "problem" churches.  Corinth was a very wealthy city.  Because of its location, Corinth was a crossroads for travel and commerce.  Because of the varying cultures that were always present, the church at Corinth seemed to always be conflicted and in turmoil.  We could learn much from the Corinthians about what not to do in our churches.  Paul had to send two massive letters (which are really four) and visit them to keep them on the straight and narrow path.  They continued to forget what Paul reminded them in today's Scripture lesson.  Jesus is the chief cornerstone and the person that always said "yes" to God.  Paul refers to Him as God's "YES!"  Jesus had no problem deciding between "yes" and "no."  We really need to hear these words.  As a pastor, I am amazed at the lack of positive, definitive decisions in churches.  Most ministers seem to have a problem saying "yes" or "no."  Remember that the Bible reminds us that without a vision, the people perish.  Could this be the reason that so many churches decline or fail?  Paul certainly thought so, which is why he was going to Corinth twice.  As we determine our plans, and re-evaluate them every day, let's remember Jesus.  When God calls us to act, be decisive.  Don't waffle between "yes" and  "no."  It is important to note that an absence of a decision really IS a decision.  When we, as ministers, refuse to take a "yes" or "no" stance, we are not silent.  Our voice has been heard, loud and clear.  A lack of willingness to stand with Jesus, announces our separation and lack of agreement with Him.  It is my contention that more people have been hurt by pastors in churches through inaction than any other way.  We must listen to Paul and put Jesus first in all our planning.  When we do, the only phrase we will ever utter is, "Yes Jesus!"