Tag Archives: Good News

All Things New

weekly theme #5 All Things New*  

week containing the first Sunday after Christmas

Jesus changed everything, but through my eyes, some things look unchanged.  I still see the fruit of false beliefs.  I still see sin.  Looking to the future is the only place I see all things new, and I long for that time.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  (2 Corinthians 5:17 New International Version)  The old doesn’t always seem gone, and the new doesn’t always seem to have come.  This conflict between scripture and my life has troubled me for yours, but the New Living Translation helped me in just five words.  Instead of “…the new has come!” it says “…a new life has begun.”  The new me is in process; it is not completed.  I will not always make steady, straight-line progress, but I will progress.  My new life is well underway, and I can propel it by intentionally making small, righteous choices.

Many small choices make a life direction, and this new direction as an ambassador of Jesus is heading toward great honor and responsibility.  Too often, I forget my duty as an ambassador and start to operate as a rogue agent.  By my negligence, I deny my duty, allegiance, and even my King.  Despite my wanderings, the King, this perfect King, continues to mold me and trust me.  He lets me remain his ambassador.  How can I help but love him?

“And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making all things new!…It is finished!  I am the Alpha and the Omega – the Beginning and the End.”  (Revelations 21:5a & 6a)  It seems to me that humanity is not destined for continually generating new spiritual ideas but to come full circle and realize the end is actually the beginning.  We come up with a new buzzword or idea, but we soon replace it with another one.  (seeker-sensitive, emergent, missional, etc.)  All these words have sincere followers, and all of them carry elements of truth.  So it is easy for us, the Church, to allow our methods and terms to become distractions from our message, the Good News of Jesus the Christ.  I must guard myself from begin so zealous for an aspect of my faith that I forget that the end is also the beginning.  I’m going back to the Garden.  The Omega is the Alpha.

*A Guide To Prayer For Ministers And Other Servants by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections.  I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used.  It truly lives up to its title.

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The Power Of The Gospel

weekly theme #36*     

week containing the Sunday between July 3-9

Some people refer to the Gospel as the Good News.  Good News.  I’m so familiar with the Good News that I treat it as commonplace.  I don’t appreciate just how good the Good News is!  Moreover, the unbelievable news is that God gives me the authority and honor to tell others the Good News.  The Good News includes death, life, redemption, and unity.  It includes all people, time, and creation.  It is open to all and demanding of each.  It is simple and also complex.

The Good News was God’s plan from the beginning.  That fact, in itself, is good news.  The God of love, power, and wisdom has a plan for all creation – in part and in whole.  The Gospel is Good News not because it promises heaven on earth, but because the God of heaven and earth came and lived among us.  He modeled a life that included betrayal, opposition, and all sorts of pain.  Nevertheless, he also modeled redemption, love, and resurrection.  The Gospel does not erase or prevent pain and difficulties, but it allows hope, even joy, through those trials.  As David said to his LORD, “You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and wine.” (Psalm 4:7)

I’ve struggled to find a definition for joy that clarifies how it differs from happiness.  The best I’ve heard is joy is “a sense of happiness even when there seems to be no reasons for happiness”.  Jesus is the substance of the Good News, and that is the greatest reason for joy.

*A Guide To Prayer by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections.  I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used.  It truly lives up to its title.

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