Summary: A message to go with Rob Bell’s Nooma #20 - Shells Available here:

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Dakota Community Church

June 29, 2008

Saying, “Yes” - then “No”

Begin by screening Nooma #20 – Shells

I think most of us at times feel overwhelmed by the pace of life in this modern age.

Our increased connectedness has many wonderful upsides; I have pictures of my sons from Facebook that I never would have even known existed, It so easy to avoid unnecessary trips back to the store for that item I cannot remember, and a quick one line note makes keeping in touch with old friends an easy task.

Not everything about these new toys and times is positive though.

We are aware of so much more than we can do anything about. There are so many options, so many really good causes, so many great needs that all gain our attention and all seem impossible to refuse.

I think Rob does an excellent job of capturing this problem in “Shells”.

Let’s begin by looking at the passage of scripture from Jesus’ ministry that deals with this issue.

Mark 1:32-38

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"

Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come."

We see another example of this in the case of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus:

John 11:5-6

Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

There are many directions that we could take a discussion using the issues raised in this DVD but I want to focus on three points that I feel are key to us here at Dakota Community Church.

1. Know your “Yes”.

Rob begins by pointing out that Jesus does not say yes to every need because He has already said yes to the key need that God has called him to.

Before you can say no to any of the worthy causes that seek your help, you have to have said to the ones that God has called you to.

What has God called you to do?

Have you sought that direction or begun down that path?

How could Jesus just leave all these people in need? How could he not stay in one place until every worthy need was met?

Luke 9:51

As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.

Luke 13:22

Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.

Luke 17:11

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.

Luke 18:31-33

Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."

Luke 19:28

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

So the question is, if you are bogged down and overwhelmed, and you know you have been doing too much… where are you supposed to be going?

What are you supposed to be doing?

What has God called you to say “yes” to?

I have said yes to planting and pastoring this congregation. I have said yes to all of the positive and negative duties that go with that yes; the feeding, the equipping, the caring, the listening, and the accountability.

I have said “yes” to being a husband to Kathy and a father to Joel, Caleb, and Silas.

Most importantly:

What are you not supposed to be doing?

What have you said “yes” to out of guilt or coercion?

What have you said yes to that you should have said no to?

– Which brings me to a hugely important next point:

2. Be honest.

Some things in life have to be done.

I know that all of you who are teaching Sunday School right now against your will are thinking that this message is your ticket out.

If you say yes to bringing children to a small church… you say yes to taking a turn in the classroom! Jesus was going to Jerusalem for a few days of rest and relaxation that he was looking forward to.

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