The Power of a Simple Word; Yes

Yes is a simple word, but it carries a lot of power. It is the difference
between an open heart and a closed heart. It is the difference between a lot
of emotional and spiritual pain, and the freeing grace of the good news of the
gospel. Recently I heard a teenager reporting on her recent mission trip about
how God changed her life by the simple word “yes.” She described the difference
between a heart which was saying “no, no, no” and what happened inside
when she said “yes.” She told the story of how her heart change came about.
Her mom wanted her to go on an international mission trip. She said “no” she
did not want to go, and resisted strenuously. But mom and dad insisted she
should go. Finally she consented to go, but it was not because she wanted to
go; it was because she “had to go.”

While on the mission trip she and some other girls were talking about what
faith in Jesus was really all about. She said she finally understood the message
of the gospel—that faith was not about organized religion, but a vital living
relationship with Jesus Christ. Something clicked inside when she said “Yes”
to Jesus. What a moving story of her heart change—saying “yes” instead of
“no.” Her face shone with joy of the Lord. I was moved to tears of joy and
gratitude for the power of a simple word. The power of a simple “yes” opens
your heart to “spiritual truth” – walking in an open, positive, freeing relationship
with Jesus. She will, the Lord willing, live in the continual benefit of
saying “Yes” to Jesus.

The power of the word “yes” is also illustrated in Doug’s life. Doug
Burnette, founder of Onesimus Ministries in 1978, asked for the privilege of
going back to prison as a chaplain with the desire to help other believers as he
was helped while at Chester County Prison. In 1966 Doug found himself in
prison as the result of wrong choices. He knew he needed a lot of help to put
his life in order. When he said “yes” to Jesus, a new way of life opened up to
him. Even after Doug said “yes” to the Lord, he still struggled with temper
issues. But God changed his heart. Two preachers lead Bible studies on
Tuesdays and Saturdays in the chapel. He began to compare what the one said
on Tuesday with what the other said on Saturday. He said, “Thank God, they
both said the same thing.” One of the pastors said to him, “Doug, you don’t
have to live this way.” He pondered the challenge. He asked himself, “What
do I have to lose? If I take the pastor at his word and say ‘yes’ to God’s call to
repentance and grace, and nothing really happens, or changes, then I have not
lost anything. But if I say “yes” to God, asking for the forgiveness and grace
He promises and He ‘changes my heart,’ then I gained a great deal.”

He found the power of saying “Yes.” Doug testifies when he asked Jesus to come into his broken, messed up life, the Spirit did make a very significant change. He said, “For the first time in a very long time I ‘slept like a baby’–no nightmares, just peaceful sleep.” He had been “set free” on the inside, even though he was still in prison. It was the power of saying “yes” to the Lord. He told some friends on the block, “I got saved last night.” Some were skeptical, “Sure you did. The religious experience will soon fade and it will not make any difference in your life.” Doug’s response, “If I do lay aside the Bible and the freedom I found in Jesus, it will be a most foolish thing to do.” Thank God, Doug continues to say “yes” to the Lord.

“Yes” is a simple word, but many times it is hard to say. Hard, you ask. Yes, it is hard to speak because there are forces in the spiritual world which do not want you to say “yes” to Jesus.

There is battle in the spiritual world over the allegiance of your soul. The Devil and his minions want to keep your heart in bondage with a “No.” Jesus very much wants you to say “yes” to forgiving grace. One of Doug’s favorite verses is John 8:32 “You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

Go ahead, say yes to Jesus. What do you have to lose? Nothing but the bondage of “no” which holds you back from the forgiving “…grace of a loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.” Thank you, Jesus, for grace “….that is greater than all our sin.”

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