Summary: The no’s of God can lead us into very exciting and fruitful things as we trust in the Lord in all things!
1. (N.O.) No. A very UNPOPULAR WORD for sure.
a. No. Not right now. No. It’s not possible.
b. No. You can’t have it. No. You can’t go there. No. No. No!
c. I know for sure my kids aren’t too excited with that word!
2. And Just thinking about it gets some of you on edge!
a. You’re on the other end of the word NO today.
b. You don’t like it. You don’t understand it. But it’s there.
c. You wanted such and such… the answer was NO.
d. You really desired it… answer NO.
e. You tried & tried & tried… every time it’s been NO.
SO THE QUESTION IS: Can God use the ‘NO’S’ of life?
• Is there really a reason in all of the NO’S?
Romans 8.28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
APP: I’m amazed at how often we BALK at the NO’s from God.
• Our hearts are set, our minds are made up, and when God denies us… oh how we can get SO UPSET!
• But I’m glad that God tells me NO at times!
• As I look back, I’m so blessed to see that God didn’t give me everything I wanted throughout my life.
• He saved me from so much pain & agony & distress.
Ps. 37.23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
• Might I add that His STOPS are also ordered by God.
APP: Will God use frustration? Can he bring joy out of heartache?
• YES!!! It’s through frustration that God is using to break our self-will, to break our self-dependence…
• He lets you get to that place where you cry out, What now?
2 Cor. 12.8-9 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
• God’s NO’s are JUST AS IMPORTANT as His GO’s.
That’s how the church in Philippi started… with frustration.
• Paul the apostle really wanted to go into Asia with the gospel.
• But twice, the “Holy Spirit forbid” them.
• God wanted Paul to go into the area of Macedonia where there were people RIPE & READY to hear the gospel!
• So they move into the area of Macedonia and a wonderful work of God started with some women praying at the riverside.
• THEN a young demon-possessed girl was saved.
• THEN Persecution came. Paul & Silas were thrown in Jail!
• AND God broke them out, a jailer got saved, and they headed off to a city about 100 miles away… Thessalonica.
• Out of a NO. Grown from frustration. A Church is born!
At the time, Thessalonica was a city of about 300K.
• For that day it was a large city, a mega city, an important city!
• Originally it was called THERMA because of the many hot springs there but Alexander the Great renamed it after his sister.
• Today it’s the second largest city in Greece, named Thessaloniki with over a million people calling it home.
• Let’s look at Acts 17:1-9 for a look at the foundation of this fellowship.
I. (17:1-9) Thessalonica
1. (1-3) Paul sought out the synagogue and began to preach.
a. Paul’s pattern of evangelism was to go to the Jew first.
b. They would be familiar with the OT & would have a foundation to build upon.
c. It was also a place where he would be welcomed.
• He would be recognized as a prominent rabbi.
• He would then be asked to share his insights.
Notice the methods Paul used here to share the gospel…
#1 He REASONED with them.
Literally… to dialogue, or ‘mingle thought with thought’
• He listened to what they had to say and then began to compare it with the truth of God revealed in Jesus Christ.
#2 He EXPLAINED it to them.
Literally… to ‘open the mind or cause understanding’
• He provided very sound and clear answers and reasons. He gave them not just the WHAT but more importantly the WHY!
Luke 24.31 “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
#3 He DEMONSTRATED that the Christ had to suffer & rise again.
Literally… ‘to set the table’
• He closes with the truth so clearly laid out that all one had to do was reach out and taste and see that the Lord is good!