I’ve been reading the New Testament chronologically. I’ve read the New Testament many times but never chronologically. The stories and teachings are more than familiar. Still, I hold fast to the truth of Hebrews 4:12, “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.” I believe that a person’s soul and intents of the heart can and will be changed if they read the Scriptures, even in the absence of teaching. In reading chronologically, I’m reading the same story by a different author many times over. So, each day I ask God to show me what He wants me to glean from the familiar passages that day; something new, a different perspective, what is he telling me today. Again, His word has proven to be true. Still alive, still powerful, still speaking, still current, never antiquated, still direct, still personal. Of all the messages in the gospels, the one, for now, is the word yes. He’s telling me to find the YES!
Saying yes doesn’t mean never saying no
We live in a culture where we talk a lot about self-care, which sometimes requires us to say no to things. God doesn’t overlook that. He knows we need rest; He knows we need to talk with Him. He acknowledges that in providing the Sabbath. Mark 2:27 says, “The Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath.” The Sabbath isn’t something else we have to do; it’s what we get to do. Saying yes, doesn’t mean we never say no. When He needed rest, the Scriptures say He departed, went to the other side of the lake, found privacy, but there’s never mention that He denied someone earnestly seeking Him.
Over and over, Jesus says YES! Yes, to the paralytic, yes to the blind, yes to the centurion, yes, to the criminal on the cross, yes to the Samaritan woman, yes to the hungry, yes to Mary Magdalene, yes to dinner with the tax collectors, yes to His mother Mary about turning the water into wine, yes to being made human, yes to the cross, yes to forgiveness, yes to me, yes to you!
How often do we say yes? Saying yes creates responsibility. Yes requires action, saying yes requires commitment, yes is often inconvenient, yes, may require your time, yes, may be financially costly. Yes, requires engagement. Yes, often requires sacrifice. Saying no is easier. Saying no usually ends the conversation. Saying no removes responsibility. No, is often selfish, Yes, is usually selfless. Bob Goff wrote a book titled Love Does. The premise of the book is that love does things. Donald Miller wrote the foreword; he said, “Love does things; it writes a letter and gets on a plane. It orders pizza and jumps in a lake. It hugs and prays and cries and sings. It’s a lot like finding the Yes! YES does and NO doesn’t.
Say yes to giving your focused time to your family, yes to telling them you love them, yes to helping someone when it’s inconvenient. Christmas is a season of love. It’s the ultimate gift to humanity. God made human and born an infant because He said Yes to us. If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, I encourage you to say YES to Him.
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Read more articles by Lisa May at goodnewsfl.org/author/lisa-may/