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James 5:12b – Let your "Yes" be yes and your "No" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (NRSV)

2 Corinthians 1:17b – Do I make my plans according to ordinary human standards, ready to say "Yes, yes" and "No, no" at the same time? (NRSV)

A news service interviewed me after I returned from Africa, asking about life in ministry, to which I answered, "I've never been bored. I've found that when I say 'Yes' to things, doors open. The more I say 'Yes', the more doors open. When I said 'No', doors closed, so I learned to say 'Yes'."

"Yes" can be such a wonderful word when used in the context of following Jesus Christ. We always need to say "yes" to every invitation from Jesus to obey Him. "Yes" indeed opens doors, some unimaginable before that first tentative step following Jesus. I've said "Yes" to many invitations and tasks that "ordinary human standards" would mock, and I've said "No" to a number that would have forwarded my position and prestige. There have been very few regrets for the "yeses" I've given and the "noes" that closed certain doors. I don't know where the next "yes" will take me, but I do know the One who says "Follow me", and my prayer, as always, is that that journey forward will keep me close to Christ.

Think about the open opportunities before you as you begin your day. Many things that require consent will present themselves as the day proceeds and you need to know when a "yes" and when a "no" is best for your journey of faith. Maybe my prayer for today will help guide your way!


    Discerning God,
    help me consider this day
    how I live my life
    and how I choose the direction I take.

    Do I make my plans according to ordinary human standards,
    ready to say "Yes, yes" and "No, no" at the same time?
    (2 Corinthians 1:17b)

    Discriminating God,
    help me understand
    how crucial are the words I speak to others
    as I seek relationships in my life.

    Let your "Yes" be yes
    and your "No," be no,
    so that you may not fall under condemnation.
    (James 5:12b)

    Disturbing God,
    help me to find clarity in my relationship with You,
    with others, and maybe especially with myself.

    Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No";
    anything more than this comes from the evil one.
    (Matthew 5:37)

           – Written by Kenn Stright, posted on re-Worship.

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About the author:

Kenn Stright <>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wise words, Kenn.

    So well said. Stay safe.

    Great message my friend.

    Great post and prayer. Thanks, and blessings Kenn!

    Thanks, Kenn for sharing this challenging devotional with us. Blessings.

    Hello Ken,
    Discerning whether to say “yes” or “no” is most important thing I, we, do each day. I appreciate the reminder, lest I forget.

    Hi Kenn,
    Greetings. I enjoyed learning about your philosophy – yes, opens more doors. Your message presented a real challenge – can we say yes to Jesus when He says, “Follow me.” Thanks for your motivational message, today!

    Good morning Kenn,
    Scripture helps us to apply God’s Word to our everyday life. James is full of practical advice that helps us each day. As I pray your prayer for today, God will help me understand when I should say yes and when I should say no. Thank you for sharing a little of your story to help me think about the decisions I make each and every day. Spring has sprung which is a really good feeling as God’s world comes back to life and we see the buds swelling and hear the birds singing.

    Thank you for writing this inclusive piece about your life, Kenn. Somehow it reminds me that my son, too, is a Maritimer, which is way far enough for me than if he was in Africa. Your writing always surprises and helps me.

    Again, THANKS.

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