Summary: We should be careful not to make promises we can’t keep. We put our mouth in motion before our mind is in gear. Sometimes our mouths write checks our body can’t cash! As much as we like to keep our promises sometimes we fail. But all of God’s promises are
We’re on a journey through 2 Corinthians I’m calling “Hope for Cracked Pots.” Today I want to speak on this topic: GOD’S FAVORITE WORD IS “YES!” One of the most beautiful words in the human language is the word “yes.” Whenever a young man summons enough courage to ask a young lady to be his bride, there is only one word he wants hear: “yes!” When you apply for a job, you want to hear, “yes, you’re hired.” When you apply for a home mortgage, you want to hear, “yes, you’ve been approved.” I can remember as a kid in school having my first crush on a girl named Sandra. I wrote her a note that said, “Dear Sandra, I like you, do you like me? Check yes or no. Like, David” She checked “yes!”
Do you remember the old toy called a magic 8 ball? You could ask it a yes-or-no question and shake it up to get the answer. There was never anything spooky or supernatural about it - it was just a silly toy. In fact, President Eisenhower kept one on his desk in the Oval Office as a joke! Inside a magic eight ball is a 20-sided shape (called an icosahedron for you crossword puzzle junkies). On each of these 20 sides a different answer is printed. Even Toyco (and later Mattel) knew that people most want to hear “yes” because of the 20 possible answers, 10 were yes, only 5 were no, and 5 were neutral - like “ask again.” So whenever you shook it up, you had a 75% chance of getting “yes,” or “possibly”.
Let’s try it today. “Will this be a boring sermon?” (Signs point to yes) Let’s try again, “Will (name) stay awake during this message?” (Outlook not so good). Next, “Will the Mavs win the NBA championship this year?” (Signs point to yes). Will the Rangers win the World Series? (Don’t count on it). Finally, will any of the Dallas Cowboys be arrested in the off season? (Yes- definitely). Maybe this thing does work!
On the other hand, we don’t really like hear “no.” From the time we were children we’ve learned to cringe when we heard the word, “no.” When you were little and started to do something wrong, your mom or dad would shout, “no!” And Bill Cosby says that the no’s get louder and faster as they get closer to you to grab you, “No! No no no no no no ... I said no!” Or when you got a little older and wanted to go somewhere with your friends, but your parents said, “no, and that’s final!” It’s a bummer to hear, “no.”
Sadly, many people conceive of God in the same negative terms. To them, God is a cosmic killjoy who watches from heaven just waiting to catch them doing something wrong. They imagine Him shaking His finger at people saying, “No! No! Bad person! Stop that right now!” But the God of the Bible isn’t trying to spoil your fun by constantly telling you, “No!” God loves you and He wants you to enjoy life to the fullest. I believe that God’s favorite word is, “Yes.”
Before we read 2 Corinthians 1:12-20, let me give you a little information to help you understand this passage. There were some people in the church at Corinth who didn’t like Paul. They claimed that he had broken his promises. Apparently, he had told told them that he would try to visit them on a certain trip. When his plans changed, some of his critics used his change of plans to accuse him of duplicity and deceit - and they even cast doubt on the message of Christ that he preached. So if these words sound like Paul is defending himself, he is. But Paul uses this dispute to declare the “yes” of God’s promises. With that background, let’s read our text: Now here is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace. For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus. Because I was confident of this, I planned to visit you first so that you might benefit twice. I planned to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea. When I planned this, did I do it lightly? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner, so that in the same breath I say, “Yes, yes” and “No, no”? But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.