SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

What Part of 'NO' don't You Understand?

3 John 11 “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.”

 

To many Christians today, one of the most misused words in our language is YES! One of most useful words is NO!

 

It has been awhile, but I remember Nancy Reagan's “Just Say NO to Drugs” campaign. I also remember the ridicule it received! These were the same scoffers that derided the abstinence programs.

 

A Biblical truth, that will make itself perfectly clear, is that no one will amount to anything in their service to God, who cannot use the word NO properly.

 

It is a small word in any language! This is probably due to the fact that it must be said quickly and emphatically, before we, by procrastination, say maybe or yes. It is one of the first words a child learns, and one they seem to forget first as they grow older.

 

Men have lost all, for the simple fact that NO could not be said to this activity or that. One of the most precious gifts of all, time; slips away if we cannot say NO! Some may give into a little temptation and miss out on great things that God has offered to those who can learn to say NO.

Conformity, getting along, and going with the flow (all forms of saying yes!), are highly valued in our misguided society. Thus to say NO, is often difficult. Only the most independent minds can do it, and it requires great courage.

 

To be able to say NO is vital to the righteousness of God, as well as nonconformance to the things of this world. The essence of righteousness is to be able to say NO to temptation. It should not surprise us that the word NO is used over 1,500 times in the scriptures (not counting various other ways to say it, such as: reject, refuse, abhor, do not consent, do not be deceived, do not be conformed, abstain, etc…).

Non-conformance to the world is demanded of the child of God!

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

 

As a demonstration of the power of NO over temptation, our Lord illustrated the effect of NO on Satan himself. In Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; He said NO three times.

Sometimes I don't think we appreciate the magnitude of this example (especially those of us who often say yes the first time!). Does Satan have to take us up to a mountain, or just show us the view out of our front window?

 

Samson, who is known in God's word as the strongest man, demonstrated that his strength was true as long as he said NO! However, when he could not refuse a woman's seduction, he became weak and was lost to a final demonstration of godly power (Judges 13-16).

 

In the 39 th chapter of Genesis; an example of the power of NO, stands as a testament of this tool, for all time. We find Joseph, who is sold into slavery by his envious brothers, and is bought by and Egyptian named Potiphar. Joseph was appointed by God's blessing over all that Potiphar possessed, except his wife, note:

Genesis 39:7-10 “And it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”
8 But he refused and said to his master's wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. 9 There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
10 So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.”

 

There are several lessons that exist in this example of Joseph –

 

First, is that saying NO once, and then giving in, is not acceptable. NO must be used every time evil and temptation presents itself. What a terrible underestimation of our adversary, to think that he will go away after the first failed attempt.

 

Second, is that Joseph was acutely aware that to give in to wickedness in any form, was to sin against God. By this we learn that saying NO to temptation, without uttering a single word, is saying yes to God!

 

Third, we learn that saying NO can have consequences in an unjust world and among the societies of men. Just as Joseph would be cast in prison by Potiphar and would know suffering and persecution for not giving in to evil, God would still be with Joseph and ultimately bless him, just as He will all who find this same strength.

 

Proverbs 1:10 “My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

 

NO is a word that says, just because everyone else is doing it, doesn't make it right! Remember, if Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

 

It is a word that says just because it seems right to men, doesn't make it right! Truth is the sole purview of God, thus righteousness is established by Him alone!

 

NO is the definition of strength of character. It is easy to say yes and go along! It is far more difficult to say NO and take a stand to be different. There is strength and honor in being able to say NO!

 

NO is something a child should learn to say, away from its parents! We want our children to be independent as long as they do everything we as godly parents say!!! I think that until I was about thirteen years old, I thought my name was NO!

 

NO is a word that says we should choose our friends and associates with great care!

 

NO is a word that says, preserve us from evil, Almighty God; but failing that, give us the strength to say NO!

 

Learn to say NO! Say it emphatically! It will protect your honor. It will protect us from violating God's word! Let us not forget to say yes at the proper times; but, understand that ‘yes' has meaning only in the presence of NO!

 

Hebrews 12:25 “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven”

 

We cannot really and truly say yes to Him, until we say NO to the world!

 

James 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

 

What Part of NO don't We Understand!