Summary: The results of obedience for a Christian.
Focusing on Truth – a study in Ephesians
Lesson Eight: “The Domino Effect-part 2”
Subtitle – “The Effects of ‘YES’ ”
Two words we hear all the time - yes, no. Yes, no. Each and every day we’re faced with dozens of decisions – things or people or places or events that we must say yes or no to.
*Yes, I’ll have chicken for dinner tonight. No, I won’t have beef.
*Yes, I’ll go to work this morning. No, I won’t stay even a minute after 5:00.
*Yes, I’ll call my sister today. No, I won’t have time to eat lunch with my brother.
Yes, no, Dozens of times a day. Big decisions, little decisions, major decisions, mundane decisions. It’s part of what makes our freedom so great, isn’t it? The choices that we have. We can walk into McDonalds or Bestbuy or Market Basket or Sears and we find thousands and thousands of products just waiting for us to say yes or no to them.
Saying YES or NO is something we learn when we’re very young - YES to chocolate cake. NO to lima beans. YES to playing video games. NO to washing the dishes. Yes and no are among the first words a child learns! And there is no question that they remember what NO means.
People in church know how to say YES and NO as well. YES, I will put money in the offering plate; no, I will not work in this area of service. YES, I will sing out, but NO, I will not clap my hands. We say YES and NO all the time, no matter where we are or what we’re doing.
As we move along in our study in Ephesians, I want to talk about what happens in our lives when we say YES to God. Last week, we talked about the spiritual domino effect that takes place in our lives when we obey God. The domino effect began with a compliment that Paul gave to the Ephesian church in verse 15 (sheet) – “Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for Christians everywhere, I have never stopped thanking God for you…” The Ephesian church was well-known by their faith in God and love for each other, and we said last week that faith and love are the ingredients for obedience – in other words, if you desire to be live obediently to God, you must demonstrate your faith and love. In turn, their obedience had a domino effect – it laid the groundwork for Paul to pray a wonderful prayer beginning with Paul’s asking for an expansion of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in verse 17.
Everything that Paul prayed in this prayer hinged upon the obedience of the Ephesians. And that’s where we get into our message today – the benefits that Paul prays for hinge upon our initially saying YES to God in obedience. And as Paul prays, he show us what could be if we would say YES and obey God in our lives – he shows us the effects of YES.
But even as we plunge forward, let’s face it, we don’t always say YES to God, and we don’t always live in obedience, do we? Our church (like every other church) is composed of people who are incredibly flawed and who like to live life their own way. But what would your life look like tomorrow if you began saying YES to God today and obey Him in a specific area (and ultimately every area) of your life?
Back in Ephesians, this church was composed of a bunch of people who said YES to God regularly. Today, I would love it if The Journey were to follow the example of this church and be a place of faith in God and love towards others. I challenge you to take a step of faith today and say YES to God, and watch what happens in your life. I want to share with you two effects of saying YES from Paul’s prayer:
1) Saying YES to God deepens my relationship with Him
Read verse 16-17 (on screen) When I say yes and live in obedience to God (vs. 15), and I pray for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to work in my life, God becomes more than something I read about in the Bible. He becomes more than a theory, God becomes more than a name, more than a deity to be revered. As I say YES to God, He becomes REAL, Someone that I know! Paul prays that the Spirit of wisdom and revelation will come and cause us to grow in our knowledge of God (the same term used in every translation).
Some people would read this and think that Paul is simply talking about knowing more about God – gaining more head knowledge. Gaining more knowledge about God is good - who He is, what He does, how much He loves us. Just being able to understand how God operates and what God has done in history are tremendous areas to grow in. What is one of the primary ways that we can grow in our knowledge of God? Reading the Bible – a chapter a day.