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What does it mean to say YES to God?
By Tim Mossholder
Saying YES to God
is the most important choice
you’ll ever make!
Why? Because God waits for your permission to unfold his incredible plan for your life — a plan that includes healing from pain, freedom from sin and guilt, and the reality of never-ending life. Rather than forcing his plan on anyone, he patiently and lovingly waits for us to say YES to him. It’s truly incredible: The creator of the universe waits for you and me to say YES to him.
Some people never say YES to God. They live their lives saying NO — rejecting God’s plan and choosing to live by their own rules and desires. The problem is, if you live by your own rules, you’ll die by them as well. God’s word, the Bible, is clear about this: every plan but his leads to death. Only his plan leads to life. The Bible tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
What is “sin?” All sin is simply saying NO to God. Sin says, “I know better than God. I’ll live my own way and make the choices I want to make.” But no matter why someone says NO to God, the result is always the same: death. And death isn’t just what happens when you stop breathing. Ultimately, death is separation from God, both now and for eternity.
That's the bad news, because, as the Bible tells us, every one of us has sinned. Romans 3:23 says, "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard." So the bottom line is that every human has been separated from God because of sin.
But here's the good news! No one has to die outside of God’s life-giving plan. When you say YES to him, you go from death to life, from being separated from God to being so deeply connected to him that you're now part of his family.
Here is God’s promise, spoken by Jesus: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).
That's really good news — and it's available to anyone who says YES to God's free gift of life.
Saying YES to God means:
- You believe he is real.
- You trust what he said is true — his plan is the only way to have real life, both here on earth and forever.
- You choose to live your life continuing to say YES to him.
It’s that simple. If you have done these things, then God has heard your YES, and his promise and plan for you has been secured. As you continue reading, you’ll discover what the Bible says about this amazing choice you’ve made.
Who did You Say YES to?
You said YES to the ONE TRUE God.
When you said YES to God, you weren’t having a religious experience — you were entering into a relationship with the only one who can save you. There are other religions with other gods. But only Jesus died for you, only Jesus rose from the dead, and only Jesus has the power to save you! No other religious leader can make those claims.
Jesus wanted to make sure we really understood that he is the one true God, not just a “good idea” or “one way out of many” to get to heaven. Jesus said to his followers: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
You said YES to the God who LOVES YOU.
Some people think of God as a cruel judge, waiting to zap people with lightning bolts every time they make a mistake. Nothing could be further from the truth! The fact is that God is desperately in love with every person on earth. The Bible goes so far as to say, “God is love” (1 John 4:16).
God’s love is so great that it reaches even to the worst of us, those who have said NO to him a million times or even have hated him. Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” God loves sinners — that means he loved us even before we said YES to him.
Because God loves us so deeply, he has given us the most incredible gift: his own Son. 1 John 4:9-10 says, “God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love — not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
You said YES to the God who makes PROMISES.
Not only is he the one true God who loves us, but he is also the God who makes promises— the Bible is full of them. Read these promises out loud and realize they are for everyone (including you) who says YES to God.
- God Promises Never-Ending Life: “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die’” (John 11:25-26a).
- God Promises Freedom from Sin: “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9).
- Jesus Promises to Return Again and Take Us to Heaven: “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:3).
- God Promises to Hear Us when We Pray: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
You said YES to the God who is always FAITHFUL.
One of the most incredible qualities of God is his complete and total faithfulness. He not only makes promises, but he keeps them! Hebrews 10:23 says, “Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”
The issue of God’s faithfulness is so important, because if God were not perfectly faithful, then it would be foolish for us to put our trust in him. But since he is faithful, we can put our full confidence in him and everything he says. Listen to these important truths: “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through” (Numbers 23:19)?
No matter who in your life may have let you down and broken promises to you, God will never do that. He backs up his word with his forever-faithfulness to you. 1 Corinthians 1:9 reminds us of this truth, “God is faithful. He is the one who has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
What did You Say YES to?
You said YES to SALVATION.
When we say YES to God and his plan, he actually saves us. The Bible is very clear — before we accepted God’s offer of salvation, we were spiritually dead, headed for an eternity completely cut off from God. When we say YES to him, however, he rescues (or “saves”) us and moves us from spiritual death to life in him.
God’s word tells us, “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead” (Ephesians 2:1, 4-5a).
And this salvation is not something we can earn. God knows we could never be “good enough” or “work hard enough” to deserve his salvation, so he gives it to us freely when we say YES to him. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
When we’re saved from death, the Bible calls this being “born again.” This idea reminds us that just as there was a moment in time when you were born into this world, there must be another moment in time when you say YES to God and receive spiritual life through him.
One of Jesus’ closest followers, Peter, said this about people who have said YES to God’s salvation, “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).
You said YES to HOPE.
Hopelessness is all around us in our world — and for good reason. Without God, this world (along with all its trouble, pain, worries and death) is all you get. Even if you manage to live a fairly happy, pain-free life, it will still come to an end someday. Where is the hope in that? It is only when God enters our lives that we can truly move from hopelessness to hope.
We have hope because of who God is and what he has promised us. These things remain constant and true, even during the middle of difficult challenges. Listen to the words of Jeremiah, a faithful servant of God who was going through a very painful time. “The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:19-23).
Jeremiah knew that his source of hope wasn’t based on his painful situation — his hope was found in his loving, faithful God. No matter what you are facing right now, no matter how bad it is, you don’t have to be trapped in hopelessness. When you said YES to God, you entered into a relationship with the one who is bigger than your problems. With God, you can make it! Romans 15:13 encourages us with this: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
You said YES to FORGIVENESS.
Do you know how Jesus died? He was taken by hate-filled people and nailed to a cross. It was on that day that God’s perfect, sinless blood was poured out for you and me. Jesus sacrificed himself for us so that we could experience forgiveness for our sin and have a restored relationship with God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 puts it this way: “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
When Jesus died on the cross, it was the single-most defining moment in history. All humanity now had a way to “be made right with God.” Jesus offered his own life in order to pay the price for the sin of the world, including yours and mine. Why did he do this? So that we could experience forgiveness for every sin. When we say YES to God, we are forgiven and no longer have to carry the weight of guilt and shame for all we’ve done wrong. No matter how bad we’ve been, God’s forgiveness is total and complete.
God promises, “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool" (Isaiah 1:18)!
You said YES to FREEDOM.
One of the worst things about sin is, without Jesus, we are trapped in it. Sin is an addictive force that we just can’t walk away from in our own power. The Bible tells us that before we said YES to God, sin was our master and we were its slave. But now that we said YES to God, we have freedom from sin's control — it no longer has authority over us!
God himself paid the price so we could be freed from the grip of sin. “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sin” (Ephesians 1:7).
This freedom we now have doesn’t mean we’ll never sin again — it means that we don’t have to. God has given us the power to say NO to sin and to make right choices instead. Romans 6:16 tells us, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.”
No matter how trapped you have been by sin, God can set you free. Drugs, lust, pride, hatred, habits, and addictions are no match for the incredible power of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Just as you have chosen to say YES to God’s salvation, now choose to walk in his power and live free from a lifestyle of sin.
How do You Keep Saying YES to God?
It’s one thing to say YES to God and begin our relationship with him, but it’s another thing to keep saying YES to God for a lifetime. Accepting his promise of salvation is pretty easy — after all, Jesus did all the hard work — all we have to do is receive and trust in what he has promised. It’s more challenging, however, to live in such a way that our relationship with God will continue to grow. We actually have to work at it!
Below are five action points that will help you keep focused on growing in your relationship with Jesus. These are not things you have to do to be saved. These are things you get to do because you are saved!
Get PLUGGED IN to a local church.
God’s Word tells us to, “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22b). Nothing will help you continue to keep saying YES to Jesus like being involved in authentic relationship with others who have chosen to follow God. The best way to do this is to be an active part of a church where people love Jesus, study the Bible, and join together to serve others.
Get BAPTIZED in water.
If you have not yet been baptized in water, then take this step soon. Baptism is both a public declaration that you have said YES to God, and it’s also an important step of obedience as you live your life continuing to say YES to him. Acts 2:38 says, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you...”
(CLICK HERE to discover more about water baptism.)
Get into PRAYER.
Prayer is simply talking and listening to God. He loves us and wants to grow in relationship with us. We are taught in Philippians 4:6 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
Get into GOD’S WORD.
The Bible is truly amazing. It contains everything we need to come to an understanding of who God is, how he wants us to live, and how we can have a relationship with him through his son, Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.”
Get away from SIN.
When you said YES to God, he forgave you and completely took away your sin and guilt. We don’t need to keep repenting for old sin — it’s already gone. But part of continuing to say YES to God means learning to say NO to sin. The Bible teaches us, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12). This is a great promise! Even though saying NO to sin is a lifelong challenge, God gives us the help we need so we can do it in his strength.
How to Say YES!
If you’ve never said YES to God by putting your trust fully in Jesus, you can do it right now. There’s no better time than this very moment. To say YES, you can say a simple prayer like this:
“Jesus, I believe you’re who you say you are in the Bible — that you are the Son of God who loves me, died for me, and rose again in power. Thank you for forgiving me of all my sin so I can be alive in you forever. Jesus, you are now the Lord of my life. From this day forward, with your help, I will follow after you.”
The Bible tells us, in Romans 10:9-10, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”