Tag Archive | Good News of Jesus

Luke 5:16 ” But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

During His ministry here on earth, Jesus often sought out quiet places to pray.  But why?  It tells us in Mark 1:35, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”  The answer to “why He did this” is in what happened the night before.  The town of Capernaum had witnessed Jesus healing someone in the Synagogue…and so later that night the entire town converged at the house where Jesus was staying…bringing in tow every sick and demon-possessed person they could find.  And it says Jesus healed them.  When we give much, our emotional gas tanks gets low.  And the only way to fill them is to find a place of quiet reflection so that God can renew us .  Jesus was practicing the discipline of silence in order to replenish, restore, refresh, and revive His soul…and it’s something we could do well to imitate.

Revelation 3:3 ” Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.”

What was John telling the Church in Sardis they needed to remember?  It was the Gospel Message…the Good News of Jesus.  We should never discount or dismiss the wonder-working power of the Gospel.  For within its message is the Holy Spirit at work in hearts and minds.  And when we hear and receive the Good News, it’s then our responsibility to obey and repent.  For true repentance is a moral reorientation of our soul…a acknowledging of the error of our ways and a turning towards truth and righteousness…of turning to God.

Mark 16:11 ” When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen Him, they did not believe it.”

It could have been me doubting the unbelievable story the women were recounting about the empty tomb, the angels, and their words –  “He is Risen!”  Now we usually just give the apostle Thomas the bad rap of doubting the resurrection…but in Luke 24: 9-11 it tells us that when the women came back from the empty tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others…but no one believed them, for their words seemed like nonsense.   How many times had Jesus told the apostles about what was to happen?  How He must suffer, die, and then be raised from the dead three days later.  Still they did not believe it when it really happened.  Yes, I could have easily been among those doubters when the words, “He is risen!” echoed across that room.

Luke 23: 39 ” One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: ‘Aren’t You the Christ? Save Yourself and us!’ “

It could have been me speaking with such irreverence towards Jesus.  The Greek word for “hurled insults” in this verse is Blasphemeo, where we get the word blaspheme from.  The robber who reviled Jesus, mocked Him by saying, “If You call Yourself the Messiah, then show us by rescuing Yourself from Your own impending death!”  So any time I operate in disbelief and mistrust of the Lord…I’m basically hurling insults His direction also.  Yes, it could have been me.

John 19: 15-16 ” But they shouted, ‘Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!’ ‘Shall I crucify your King? asked Pilate. ‘We have no King but Caesar,’ answered the chief priests. Finally Pilate handed Him over to them to be crucified. “

It could have me with that agitated crowd yelling, “Crucify Him!”  Or worse yet, it could have me standing within that frenzied crowd too scared to open my mouth and object to the injustice I was witnessing.  Would I have just stood there silently condoning the atrocity as it played out before me, more afraid of man than God?  Yes, that could have been me.

Colossians 4: 5-6 ” Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt so you may know how to answer everyone.”

In this verse it tells us how we should approach evangelism and share the Good News of Jesus with others.  It’s about being encouraging not convicting…listening not preaching…and having conversations not sermonizing.  It’s also about not having an “us versus them” mindset, but rather thinking “we” as a group.  Finally, it’s about living with integrity but also being vulnerable and transparent about our own struggles.  For none of us is a perfect Christian without faults and flaws.  And when we can show this side of us…we become more believable.

I Corinthians 15:1 ” Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.”

The Apostle Paul was telling the Church in Corinth to focus on the Gospel Message, not on the person that had presented it. There was disunity and infighting in the Church depending on who they had heard the Gospel from…Paul or Apollos.  Paul wanted them to move on from that and rather center their minds on the Good News of Jesus…not on man.  For too many times we can get caught up by a dynamic, charismatic personality and end up following the person… not Jesus.  For if you think about it,  the Gospel Message doesn’t need theatrics or drama for it to be powerful and life-changing.  All it needs is an obedient soul sharing its story.