Tag: good news.

Sharing with the Nations!

Scripture reading for March 5th:  Luke 2, Psalm 46, Proverbs 15

Key Scriptures: Luke 2:10-13 “And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!””

Luke tells the story of Jesus’ birth and the announcement of an angel to the shepherds who lived and worked near Bethlehem.  They were told not to be afraid but were invited to see for themselves the sign:  a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  Suddenly, the heavens were alive with a mighty angel chorus praising God and pronouncing God’s blessing of peace to those on earth!  Shout the good news!

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I believe the good news of Jesus Christ!  I believe it is for all people of all nations.  Use me to share that good news!

Psalm 46:10-11: “Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

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Saved by His Mercy!

Scripture reading for October 10th:  Isaiah 39-42, Titus 3

Key Scriptures:  Titus 3:4-7 g“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  

Our good works cannot save us.  It is only Christ’s mercy and His washing through His sacrifice of His blood and body on the cross that we are made righteous and justified.  This justification is by faith in Christ Jesus alone.  Through grace we become heirs of the promise of eternal life in God’s holy family.  Amen!

Isaiah 40:9  “Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up and fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing grace and the washing from my sins by Jesus Christ.  I will proclaim this “Good News” to all today.  Amen!

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Ambassadors for Christ

Scripture reading for August 2nd:  Psalm 65-68, 2nd Corinthians 5

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 5:17-20  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The  old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the ministry of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.  We implore you, on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”  

When we repent and are reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ, God makes us His ambassadors to the rest of the world that is still hostile to Him.  We received the gift of reconciliation and the forgiveness of our sins and share this “good news” with others.  We actually represent Christ, as His ambassador and call people to come into Christ and the kingdom of heaven.  What a glorious mission!

Psalm 67:1-2 “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.” 

Prayer:  Thank You Lord for the privilege of being Your ambassador and for Your decree to share the good news with all nations and peoples.  Amen!

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Worthy of suffering!

Scripture reading for May 10th:  2nd Kings 17-19, Acts 5

Key Scriptures:  Acts 5:40-42  “. . .They called the apostles in and had them flogged.  Then they ordered them not to speak in the Name of Jesus, and let them go.  The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.  Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.”  

The disciples were threatened with death and flogged by the Jewish leaders for preaching and healing in the Name of Jesus.  They were ordered not to preach in Christ’s Name again.  However, the disciples were not afraid of men but feared God.  They counted the suffering for Christ as a badge of honor!

2nd Kings 19:19  “Now O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that You alone, O Lord, are God.” (King Hezekiah’s prayer at the threats of the King of Assyria.)

Prayer: Lord, thank You for these examples of the boldness and zeal of the early disciples and godly kings of Israel.  May we honor You with boldness in the face of suffering.  Amen.

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Rejoicing in the oil of joy!

Scripture reading for December 14th:  Philemon,  Hebrews 1-4

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 1:8-9 “But about the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and  righteousness will be the scepter of Your kingdom.  You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has set You above Your companions by anointing You with the oil of joy.  (a quote from Psalm 45:6-7)

The writer to the Hebrews pointed out that God spoke prophetically through the sons of Korah concerning Jesus Christ.  Christ would be God’s Son and rule on an eternal throne.  Righteousness would be the scepter of His kingdom and rule.  The Son, like God the Father, loved righteousness and hated wickedness.  Because of this integrity of character, God anointed Jesus with the oil of joy!  Hallelujah for a joy-anointed Savior who anoints His people with the Holy Spirit and joy!

Rejoicing in the anointed Jesus:  “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, . .”  (Isaiah 61:1-3)

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Our Anointed Savior!

Scripture reading for August 15th:  Isaiah 57-61

Key Scriptures:  Isaiah 61:1-3  “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and to provide for those who grieve in Zion–. . “

Jesus Christ quoted this passage from Isaiah when he began His preaching ministry in His home town.  He was asked to read before those gathered in the synagogue and He chose this passage to announce His ministry.  He was filled with God’s Spirit and anointed to preach good news.  He would bind up those who had broken hearts and proclaim freedom to those in prison in the darkness of sin.  He would proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.  This is where He stopped with the reading!

Thankful for the anointing:  “The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him.  Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.””  (Luke 4:17-19)

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Share your hope–respectfully!

Scripture reading for November 10th:  1st Peter 3

Key Scriptures for over-comers: 1st Peter 3:13-16  “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.  “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.”  But in your hearts set apart Christ as lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”  

Believers are always being watched by the worldly people around them.  We must seek to represent Christ Jesus in all we do, even if people of the world judge us harshly or even persecute us for our stands of faith or good works.  We must also be ready to share our testimony and reason that we live such different lives marked by joy and good works.  This sharing must be done with great respect and gentleness, seeking to win them over to the Blessed Hope we personally know!

Observations for over-comers:  Our lives should be marked by joy and hope and faith in God’s Word.  We must be prepared and ready to share our reasons for this joy!  “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  (Isaiah 52:7)

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Jesus preached the Kingdom!

Scripture reading for January 6th:  Matthew 4

Jesus had an awesome spiritual experience at His baptism!  He was filled with the Holy Spirit and got to hear His Father tell Him He loved Him and was pleased! Immediately, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and was tempted by Satan for forty days.  Jesus had to face spiritual warfare and suffered temptations like all humans but unlike everyone else, He remained faithful to God and His Word!  Jesus defeated each temptation with a Scripture quote telling the Devil truth. (Matthew 4:4,7,10) Satan had to withdraw and Jesus returned in the Spirit’s power to begin ministry to the lost! (Luke 4:1)

Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum  by the Sea of Galilee.  He began to preach saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”  (Matthew 4:17)  He also healed every disease and sickness as He went preaching the good news of the kingdom.   (Matthew 4:23)   The good news was that God loved all men and desired to see them turn from their selfish ways.  Repentance is a change of mind about who has the right to run your life.  It may also be described as a change of Kings and kingdoms!  In the kingdom of God, truth is the language of God.  Jesus was the Truth in human flesh and lived by that truth.  (John 1:12, John 14:6)  We are born the first time under the kingdom of darkness and Satan’s lies.  Repentance means turning from that kingdom to the kingdom of heaven!

Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven near to each person.  We have opportunity to respond to the good news as long as Christ has not returned! Today is the best day to turn to Him!  Now is the only time we know we have!  If you have not responded, please do it now!

 

 

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Beautiful feet!

Scripture reading for August 1st: Isaiah 52-57

When you think of beauty, are the feet the first part of your body to come to mind?  Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, made particular mention of the feet of those who would bring the “good news” of God reigning on Zion. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)  God would Himself come to Zion and lay bare His holy arm and all the earth would see His salvation!  (Isaiah 52:10)

Isaiah saw the servant as “high and lifted up and highly exalted”.  This servant would act wisely, but would be marred and disfigured.  In His suffering, He would sprinkle many nations and bring His salvation to those who did not know!  (Isaiah 52:13-15)  Isaiah saw this servant  as one with no natural beauty that would attract us to Him.  (Isaiah 53:2)  He was actually despised and rejected by men and was a man who knew sorrow intimately.  He took our infirmities and carried our sorrows but we assumed that God was punishing Him!  (Isaiah 53:3-4)

When we think description of Isaiah’s description of the Servant and what He did for us, we better understand beautiful feet!  Our Savior walked on this earth on human feet!  He willingly walked in total obedience to God so that we can walk in healing, salvation and freedom!  He offered His feet to be nailed to a cross for us!  He was “high and lifted up” on that cross!  Those feet took our Savior to the place of suffering on our behalf.

We can continue Jesus’ mission by taking this message of “Good News” to a lost and dying world.  We may not be much to look at, but the beauty of our feet is that they are obediently walking in the path of Jesus Christ!  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

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Preach Good News to all!

Scripture reading for March 12th: Mark 16:1-20, Psalms 55:1-23, Proverbs 11:7

Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, just as He said He would.  Death could not hold Him and He showed Himself alive to the women, the disciples, and others.  The eleven remaining disciples had a hard time believing  the reports of those who had seen Him.  “Later Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were eating; He rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.” (Mark 16:14)  These men should have been expecting the resurrection because Jesus had repeatedly told them about the crucifixion and coming resurrection.  To whom much is given, much is required.  A rebuke is a sign of love to those who can be corrected by it.  (Proverbs 13:1) (Revelation 3:19)

Jesus had final instructions for these disciples.   They were not to sit around feeling sorry for themselves and thinking of the good old days when Jesus was with them.  They must now go into all the world with the good news of Jesus Christ and preach to every creature.  Some would believe and be baptized unto salvation and others would refuse the good news and be eternally condemned. (Mark 16:15-16)

Those who believed had Jesus’ promise to confirm the good news with signs that would follow them and the preaching of the Gospel.  They would drive out demonic forces as they spoke in His name.  They would lay hands on the sick and see people healed in His name.  If they were poisoned or ran into satanic opposition, God promised to protect them.  Jesus would give them support.

Jesus was then taken up into heaven and  seated at the right hand of God.  (Mark 16:19)   Acts records that Jesus was taken up into heaven on a cloud and would return the same way as He left.  (Acts 1:9-11)   Jesus had told the high priest and elders that they would see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Might One and coming on clouds of heaven.  (Mark 14:62)  From that position of power and authority, Jesus prays for us and watches over us as we preach the Gospel to every creature.  This is His plan to reach the entire world!  When this command is fulfilled, Jesus will come again on the clouds for His Bride, the church!  What exciting days we live in!

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