DANIEL: The Grace to say No!
Dr. Miles Seaborn
Daniel 1 and 2
Key Verse: Daniel 6:4
"But they could find none occasion nor fault,
forasmuch as he was faithful."
INTRO. For many years, the story goes, the pastor
delivered his sermons seek by week for exactly 20
minutes. He wore no watch and there was no clock in
the auditorium. Yet his delivery required precisely
20 minutes, no more, no less.
At last the inevitable happened. One Sunday, the 20
minutes came and went and the pastor continued
preaching. Thirty minutes, forty minutes elapsed and
on he went. Eventually, after more than one hour, the
pastor closed his message which had been - the
conclusion which had been prompted by the scowls and
yawns from his congregation.
On the way home, his wife asked, "How on earth did you
happen to preach for more than an hour today?" Until
then he had never even told her the secret to his 20-
minute sermons. He decided it was time to do it.
"As I walk to the pulpit each Sunday, " he said, "I
slip my hand in my pocket for a mint which I put in my
mouth as I begin to preach. The mints dissolve in
exactly twenty minutes. When it is dissolved I always
conclude the sermon."
"And what happened today?" his wife prodded.
"Today?" the preacher retorted. "I got hold of a
Someone observed that the bishop's answer to the young
preacher's question about what to preach is still
appropriate. "Preach about God and about 20 minutes."
My friend Luther Joe Johnson, pastor of the First
Baptist Church of Richmond, Va., has added, "the
sermon need not be eternal to be immortal."
Where on this earth and in what Christian conscience
do we find the grace to say no. Many of the troubles
and the sorrows found in our lives today and in this
world in which we live are due to someone's inability
to say no. No one who has examined the Lord Jesus
Christ and trusted him can ever be accused of
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