Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Good News People in a Bad News World

"Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people" (Matthew 4:23).

John Wimber once said, “You cannot preach the Good News and be the bad news.” His point was well made. There exists in our society today a Christian stereotype -- the angry, right-wing, Bible-thumping, unrelenting, fundamental crusader denouncing the wickedness of a world gone mad with sin. You know, the kind of person that brightens up a room by leaving!

Thankfully this isn't true of many. Indeed, the vast majority of true believers have quietly been about the business of being and doing good. However, this is not newsworthy stuff. In a fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world, this is rather corny and sentimental. Therefore, only the hot-headed zealots make the news.

But, shouldn’t we fight? Yes and no. Yes, we should fight; but, no, not with the carnal weapons of the world. According to Scripture, ours is a fight of faith waged in the theater of prayer. We should not fight; we should pray. And, after prayer, we should obey the directives of the Lord.

Jesus said, “Not everyone that says to Me, ‘Lord. Lord.’, shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but, he that does the will of My father which is in heaven.

As followers of Jesus we must have more than a superficial faith, more than a mere acquiescence to the virtues of Christ -- we ourselves must be possessed of these truths. We must be men and women who have truth in the inward parts of our lives, foundational in the core of our characters, and who live it before others. In other words, we must become Good News people in a Bad News world.

It is so easy to talk of the things of God. Words are plenteous, and audiences are a dime a dozen. What is needed today is men and women who walk the things of God.

The song writer put it well, “Don’t talk of stars shining above. If you’re in love -- show me!” Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Charles Spurgeon was sharing with a class of ministerial students about the importance of making their facial expressions harmonize with their sermons. “When you speak of heaven,” he said, “let your face light up, let it be radiant with a heavenly gleam and let your eyes flash with divine glory. But, when you speak of hell....your ordinary face will do!”

Friends, let’s talk of heaven and show them Jesus in our faces. Let’s talk of love and show them Jesus in our deeds. Let’s talk of glory and show them Jesus in our conduct. Let’s become Good News people in a Bad News world!


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