For Paul, the only thing that mattered was to know Christ.
Everything else—even his own life—he considered disposable.
“I will let everything else go,” Paul said, “if I can just get a tighter grip on Jesus.”
This is the yes-and-no focus of life that I believe Jesus was pointing to.
Paul got it. Few of us do.
- MIKE GLENN, The Gospel of Yes
This has been on my mind a lot:
What’s the most important thing about church?
About faith? About Christianity?
Is it mainly about “no’s”? Being told what you can’t do? Is that supposed to be the good news?
And I’m glad I did. While it may not contain ground-breaking truths, it does contain new ways of explaining them. Confirmations of promises. Assertions of the gospel’s simplicity. Affirmations of God’s “yes” in Jesus.
Glenn begins with his own journey of “What is God’s yes for me?” and heads straight into the gospel of Jesus. We can live out our “yes”—serving our purpose in life—because of Christ’s sufficiency in giving us redemptive grace. Living for something, not just against things.
Simply not doing wrong isn't enough. Being against sin isn't the same as being for Christ.
When we trust in Christ to save us, we’re free to take risks. We can enter into the yes of new or deeper friendships and ministries and places that otherwise we’d have been too reluctant to enter. It’s not about “sin management,” but about following a Savior.
Sure, we all want to go to heaven. But under the sin-management paradigm, getting to heaven is no longer about Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf and his invitation to follow him in a new life. The focus on sin makes getting to heaven a matter of keeping score.
...Being a Christian becomes a spiritual frequent-flier program. If you work at it hard enough and accumulate enough points, you can fly for free.
Thankfully, it doesn’t work like a frequent-flier program. Instead, the truly good news is it’s not about our earning points, but rather accepting the work Christ already accomplished and we’re allowed to enjoy.
It’s not struggling to find our own way, but being found by Christ.
I always laugh a little when someone tells me they found Jesus. I remind them Jesus wasn’t lost; they were. Jesus found them.
The Good Shepherd is still searching for and finding his lost sheep.
The good news of the gospel is not that we can get to God. The good news is that God in Christ Jesus has come to us.
Glenn continues with chapters like these:
- God Says “Yes” a Lot
- The “Yes” of the Cross
- The “Yes” of the Resurrection
- Surprised by “Yes”
- One “Yes” Does Not Fit All
and more. The book ends with seven sessions of discussions questions on Going Deeper with God’s “Yes”.
And before someone brings it up, yes, God does give us “no’s.” But once we understand that our ultimate “yes” is in Jesus, even the “no’s” are seen differently.
Jesus is God’s divine “Yes.” And that “Yes” is given to us. That’s the best news I know.
Christ invited us to follow him and in doing so to find our purpose within his purpose.
Jesus knew his why, and his why now becomes our why.
More quotes from The Gospel of Yes:
The “Yes” of Forgiving Others, Chapter 8
You can hold on to your anger, or you can hold on to Jesus, but you can’t hold on to both. Forgiveness is how we let go of anger and hurt to get a firm hold on the “yes” of God offered to us in Jesus Christ.
Forgiveness is releasing the person who hurt you from the expectation that he could ever fix the harm he did to you. He can’t.
Once you have been wounded, only Christ can heal you. He does that by first giving you the grace to forgive those who wronged you.
Surprised by “Yes”, Chapter 9
Richard Rohr said, “It is as though we are all suffering from a giant case of amnesia.”
He’s right. We don’t know who we are until Jesus tells us.
...Jesus finds us, and in this finding, everything changes. Everything changes because we change. In our encounter with Christ, we find out who we are, and we understand the divine purpose to which we are called.
The “Yes of Authentic Relationships, Chapter 12
If you love God with everything you have, sooner or later he will bring you someone who needs to be loved.
Many people have a hard time believing God would love them because, frankly, no one else has.
The “Yes” of Simplicity, Chapter 13
So why don’t I live in the freedom I claim Christ gives me?
Simple. I have to face the hard truth that in a lot of ways I am not completely convinced of the message of the gospel.
I don’t believe that my value as a person is secure in Christ’s love for me. ...I can’t believe that his grace to me is just given to me, freely, and that no matter how hard I try, I can’t do a single thing to deserve it.
Finding “Yes” in It All, Chapter 15
He promised he would always bring a “yes” with him to whatever situation I was in.
No matter the circumstances, no matter how loud the “no” that I was dealing with, Christ would bring a “yes” that would give meaning and hope.
* * *
How have you heard “yes” from God lately?
Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah
for the review copy of this book