There is bad news and…
August 19th, 2019
I refer to this devotional as a ‘Good News’ blog. There is a good deal of effort that goes into writing this devotional series, but the reality is that if it were not for God’s inspiration, it wouldn’t exist.
We have a responsibility to the Gospel to not manipulate or distort it in any way. I (we) can explain and point out things that the Holy Spirit brings to our attention and share these things with others. In fact, we are compelled to share the Good News, but we are never to use the scripture to ‘sell’ the ideas we dream up on our own.
Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!
1 Corinthians 9:16 (NLT)
This isn’t anything that any of us can avoid. All of us have a responsibility to share the Good News, through our lives, our testimonies, and the scriptures themselves. Each of us stands with Paul in this.
Harsh penalties for altering the scripture in any way is frowned upon in numerous passages.
And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.
Revelation 22:18-19 (NLT)
Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
Proverbs 30:6 (NLT)
“So be careful to obey all the commands I give you. You must not add anything to them or subtract anything from them.”
Deuteronomy 12:32 (NLT)
Yet we find those who willingly manipulate scripture to fulfill their own objectives.
There is nothing wrong with seeking answers in God’s Word to questions we have, but there is a serious problem when we attempt to make God’s Word conform to our ideas and support motivations of our flesh.
Even without malicious intent, we can find ourselves attempting to justify our behavior by using scripture out of context, and distort the message contained in it. God’s Word is His Word.
Our responsibility to the Good News, involves the sharing of it with the world around us. Starting with the Great Commission.
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:19 (NLT)
The Holy Spirit works through God’s Word to deliver a message to the human heart. Disciples of Jesus are not made without the Good News of Jesus! He has commanded each of us to share the Good News in the effort to make disciples of all nations.
This is a life and death issue.
And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.
Mark 16:15-16 (NLT)
If we don’t take the propagation of the Good News seriously, people will face eternal death, as we enjoy eternal life.
There will be tears in heaven. I believe those tears will be when we realize just how many opportunities we have had and neglected to share the greatest news of all. Jesus tells us that He will wipe away those tears. I personally believe that those tears, even though Jesus wipes them away, will linger in our memory well after they are gone. We are responsible for the world.
Something that was borne out this week in our Sunday School lesson in Genesis is that every person on this planet is a relative of ours. We all came from the lineage of Adam and Noah; therefore, there isn’t a person walking the earth today that isn’t our long-lost cousin. And if they are lost in sin, they are truly lost!
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (NLT)
The Great Commission was no surprise to anyone that reads the New Testament. Jesus reiterated it over and over again that OUR job was to be HIS representatives when He ascended to the Father.
There are a multitude of reasons that He has imparted His Spirit in each and every believer, but one of those key reasons is that we are to be His witness. Remember Jesus said He was the ‘Light of the World’? (John 8:12) No one gets to heaven without going through Jesus. He represents himself as a doorway to us, and a gate for his flock.
But He turns this responsibility over to us, as He designates us as the Light of the World also.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)
This is a massive responsibility which he places in our hands! Sadly, this also is a responsibility that is shirked by thousands upon thousands of believers.
Jesus had every right to transfer this responsibility to us to be the Light. He told us this, with the delivery of the Great Commission; He says so in verse eighteen.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
Matthew 28:18 (NLT)
At that very point in time Jesus could have said, “Here hold this scroll and watch this!”, and with a single word proclaimed to every man woman and child on the planet that He was Lord of All! Then, backed it up by forcing it upon His subjects! He didn’t. He wouldn’t because it would violate the plan He and the Father had put in place before the formation of the universe.
Instead, He transferred that responsibility to you and me, to share His Good News to the world. To all our relatives, no matter where they are. Regardless of if they are praying in a mosque, an agnostic who is a member of the ‘Freedom from Religion’ coalition, the Hindu that is seeking to lock Christianity out of India, or the homeless person we see street side as we drive through certain neighborhoods.
Every one of them are our distant cousins. Every one of them is our responsibility, to reach with the Good News. Every one of them needs to hear the unaltered message from Jesus, that He died for them, so that they may live with Him eternally, free of the debt of sin we have incurred.
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
“Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”
1 Peter 2:9-10 (NLT)
The confusion of speech at Babble resulted in tribalism and separation of one people into many people groups. God’s in His amazing brilliance has started to gather us back into one people once again; His people, His Children, His family; all assembled under the banner of His Glorious Son, Jesus Christ!
It’s our mission, each of us, to be ministers of the “Good News”!
In His Grace!