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July 18, 2018, 9:17 AM

Good News!



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“If you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.” (Acts 13:15)

People have enough discouragement! They are bombarded with bad news from every angle. They know that sin rages, sickness ravages, sorrow reigns. They don’t need anyone to tell them of wars, conflicts, riots, crimes, disasters, illness, and death. These are facts of life for everyone everywhere. What the battered hearts of people cry out for is “a message of encouragement.” In Acts 13:13-41, the synagogue ruler said, “if you have a message,” and Paul responded, “Listen to me!” (vv. 15-16). Paul knew just the message these worshipers needed to hear.

First, Paul called it “good news” (v. 32) – the good news of a promise fulfilled. “What God promised our father he has fulfilled for us” (vv. 32-33). A “Savior” was promised (v. 23), and Paul shows how God worked through the history of Israel, from the Exodus to the resurrection of Jesus, to bring the promise to fulfillment (vv. 17-33). Second, he called it a “message of salvation” (v. 26) – for the death and resurrection of Jesus was God’s way of redeeming us from sin. The innocent died for the guilty (v. 28), but “God raised him from the dead” (v. 30). Sin and death have been defeated, and Jesus’ claim to be the Savior has been vindicated. A power for salvation has been turned loose in the world through the gospel message (Romans 1:16). Third, he called it a proclamation of forgiveness (v. 38). – “through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” The “law of Moses” had defined and condemned sin, but it could not redeem the guilty. Jesus, enduring the Cross, makes it possible for God to be just and yet justify those who trust in Jesus (Rom. 3:25-26). “Through him,” therefore, “everyone who believes is justified” (v. 39). God forgives and accepts every sinner who trusts in Jesus.

What a message of encouragement! God has acted in Jesus Christ to deliver the lost from sin, guilt, and death, and to bestow upon them eternal life. There is good news today! And, we who know this “message of encouragement” ought to share it! Sin brings death. People are dying in their sins. They need this message of Christ more than food or breath! Are we speaking to them? Paul said, “Listen to me!” (v. 16). Can we say that? Do we have that confidence in the message? Do we believe that its power can be channeled through frail human speech? Paul proclaimed, “We tell you the good news” (v. 32). He would not wait for others to come along and tell them. He would not waste time on idle or divisive talk. He was with them, he had the opportunity and therefore the responsibility to tell them Good News himself. Has not the Spirit sent us, putting us in touch with the people where we live and work, in order that we might tell them of Jesus? Paul declared, “I want you to know” (v. 38). He cared for these people. His heart yearned to capture them for Christ. He wanted them to know the pardon and peace that Jesus provided. Do we care? Are we burdened for souls? We who know should make Him known. We who have received the message ought to share the Good News.

God forgive us for wasting time on negative conversation when we have Good News to proclaim.

Let us join in prayer: Loving Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens


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