Tag Archive | Good News of Jesus

Mark 4:26-27 ” He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.’ “

A man of folk-lore and legend in the Midwest is John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed.  During the 1800’s he wandered the country-side of large parts of Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia planting apple orchards…some of which still stand today.  This American pioneer nurseryman spent his lifetime scattering seed in hopes of a harvest someday.  In these verses, Jesus is likening the kingdom of God to the mystery of germination and growth and what man’s responsibility is in it all.  We are told to plant or scatter seed…the Good News of the Gospel Message, and then to allow God to do the rest.  For God’s kingdom grows in His time, in His way…always moving forward. So just like Johnny Appleseed, we are to be sowers of hope and leave the progress up to God.

Galatians 1:6-7 ” I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all.”

Paul used the word gospel twice in this verse but both had very different meanings.  The first meant the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ…that by way of His death, burial, and resurrection, we might have eternal life.  The second gospel could not have been farther from that truth.  It was distinctly different and deceptive and was leading the Church of Galatia astray.  In II Corinthians 11:13-15, Paul called these teachers, “false apostles and servants of Satan masquerading as apostles of Christ.”  They came proclaiming a ‘new and improved’ Gospel Message that was categorically incorrect and flawed, but the people were accepting it.  Paul here was charging them to be vigilant and discerning…for if the message did not proclaim justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone…it was a false gospel.

Luke 2:14 ” Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”

God’s glory came to earth…His transcendent and infinite greatness, the sum of His perfection took the shape of a tiny baby born in Bethlehem.  God’s peace came to earth…the gift of reconciliation with our Creator came to us in the form of the Gospel Message, the Good News of salvation.  God’s favor came to earth…His Good Will was lavished on us while we were yet far from Him, His Good Pleasure not to see any lost.   Isaiah best sums it up, “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.  And He  will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Acts 8:4 ” Those who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went.”

The early Church was forced to disperse after the stoning of Stephen, “for on that day a great persecution broke out against the Church at Jerusalem.” (Acts 8:1)  Because they no longer had the support and encouragement of the Body of Believers around them they could of given up, gone into hiding, and denied their faith…but they didn’t.  For it tells us in this verse that wherever they went they declared the Word of the Lord to those around them.  They refused to allow persecution to silence them, and instead became Itinerant Evangelists sharing the Good News of Jesus.

I Corinthians 15: 13-14 ” If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

The foundation of Christian faith is this, “We believe that Jesus died and rose again…” (I Thessalonians 4:14)  But stop and think about this for a minute.  How absurd does this really sound?  You actually believe that Jesus was crucified, died on a cross, was buried…but 3 days later rose from that grave alive?   How delusional can you be?  And if you do truly believe this “fairy-tale”, you must be living in a fantasy-world!   But this is exactly how the world views the Gospel Message…some far-fetched implausible story.  Except, within this story is something that all of mankind is constantly searching for… peace, hope, and freedom from guilt and shame.  For the resurrection of Christ is the basis of our hope as Believers, and it is only by our faith that we are set free from the penalty of sin and death.

II Corinthians 5:19 ” …that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

The chasm between God and man was too wide, so He sent His only Son to atone for our sins… in order that we may be reconciled.  And so , “We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11)   But there’s also responsibility attached to this reconciliation, for II Corinthians 5:18 tells us, “All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”  So as Believers, we are called to serve others with compassion, and share with them a message of hope – The Good News of the Gospel- that they too may repent and believe…and be reconciled.

Ezekiel 34:11-12 ” For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I Myself will search for My sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after My sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.”

All of mankind can agree….”I have strayed like a lost sheep.” (Psalm 119:176)  But the wonderful thing about these verses in Ezekiel is how proactive the Lord is.  It’s Him that is searching us out, looking after us, and rescuing us from the thick darkness of sin.  Jesus is called the Good Shepherd who gathers and watches over His flock and tells us in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”  And like the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus will leave the 99 on the hillside to go looking for the one that has wandered off. (Matthew 18:10-14)  Have you strayed away from the Lord?  Know that Jesus is actively looking for you today.