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Archive for the tag “The Gospel Message”

The Message

When disaster strikes and we have nothing left, who do we turn to? In the message on Sunday, my pastor said “Is Jesus enough?” What are we left with, when everything is gone? Pastor Andy Stanley said on Sunday, “Worry not.” Worry is about tomorrow. When we worry, we bring tomorrow’s trouble into today. Is Jesus enough for today? Is Jesus enough for tomorrow? Can we really trust Jesus to meet our needs? What if He doesn’t come through? What then? I have trusted Jesus as my Savior, but have I trusted Jesus as my Lord? That means giving Jesus every aspect of my life; things that I know I have no control over and the things that I think I have control over. That means He controls the day – where and when – how and why all belong to Him. Today is His.

Is Jesus enough? How do you actually know that Jesus is enough unless you have nothing but Him? If you have everything you need, do you still need Him? Jesus isn’t a magic genie waiting to fulfill our wishes. He is King of kings – He is Lord of lords. He is God who created the world and everything in it. He is the One who was before the world began. God separated the waters; gave boundaries to the seas. He placed each star in the heavens and calls them by name. He knows the beginning from the end – He has already seen each and every aspect of what we endure. He knows the number of hairs on our heads. He understands our frailties. With all of that knowledge of who Jesus is, it takes a real encounter with Jesus to actually believe what we know.

Back in the first century, people didn’t have the written Word – all they had were eye witnesses to the events that unfolded. The disciples followed Him daily. They witnessed the miracles (but it wasn’t enough); they heard His teachings (but some didn’t believe). They saw Jesus’ love to the outcasts – the sinners (some were outraged). Everything changed with the most important event: His death and resurrection. The ones who witnessed this big event spread the word. In order to have impact for the world, Jesus has to impact our own lives. We have to feel the nail prints for ourselves. We have to live our lives in a way that gives Jesus opportunity to become real to us. When we witness the resurrection power at work, everything changes.

Trust becomes essential to the message. When we encounter the risen Savior as Lord, we can trust that He loves us and has our best interest at heart. When we trust in Jesus as Lord, it means our lives will have impact. Trust that He knows what we need and when we need it. Believe in the One who sent Jesus for us. And learn not to worry – easier said than done, but essential in our testimony of God being bigger than our problems. Nothing is impossible for God. Jesus gives us His peace, and we can trust that in all things, we can have contentment because of Jesus. Jesus is enough. When we witness the resurrection power at work, we have an awesome testimony to share that will impact the world around us. Scripture tells us that not a detail will be missed – trust Him in every little thing.

Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.

“This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.” John 6:35-40 (The Message)

In Those Days

These are the opening words to Luke 2 – the Christmas story. In those days, there was political unrest. God’s people were under oppression and felt hopelessness. They had been praying for a new king. There had been prophecies about a king from the line of David who would one day come again. For centuries, the people of God had been under the oppression of other governments, other kings. They were looking for the promised one. In the middle of one of the most powerful kingdoms ever established on the face of the earth, a little baby was born. In the silence of that night, a baby’s life would change everything. A star was born that would guide travelers to the place where they could worship the newborn King. There had been silence for the last four hundred years. God had not spoken. God seemed to be absence from the scene, yet God was working in the powerful kingdom to build roads, to build the infrastructure that would support the message traveling beyond the borders of Israel.

Most of God’s people were looking in the wrong place for salvation. Most of God’s people didn’t have a real clue about God’s plan of redemption. Oh sure, they had prophecies; they had the holy word of the God from their Holy Scripture. But most didn’t understand it. I dare say that the high priest didn’t have a clue much less the average person on the dusty streets of Jerusalem. God had a plan. And they failed to see what God was doing in their midst. We, on the other side of the story, can only shake our heads and wonder why didn’t they understand? Yet, the generations that will come after our generation may actually say the same thing of us. Why didn’t we interpret the signs of God that He is obviously demonstrating to us? He is at work but do we actually see?

The next thing in God’s redemption plan is for Jesus to return. I don’t know God’s timetable – His ways and time is not our own. God has been doing some amazing work to set the stage for the next act. The major thing that has really occurred in the last two thousand years (in my opinion) was the translation of the Bible into a common language. It seems since the day of the translation, men and women have understood and acted upon the Word in greater ways than in the previous thousand or so years since the church was established. Many died for the translation to occur. The religious rulers didn’t want the common man to understand it. They were afraid that their power would diminish and give the power to those who would be faithful with it.

When the Bible was translated, everything changed. People finally read the Word for themselves and were changed by it. They had a new heart and a new spirit. Innovations have further moved the Gospel to mankind. The stage is being set in our own time. Are we paying attention to all that is occurring? We turn a blind eye to the injustices. If you are reading this blog posting then you probably have more than one Bible in your house. We read it but do we take it to heart? Does it change us? The Day of Jesus will come sooner than we think. The Bible teaches that we are supposed to pay attention to the signs and wonders that are occurring. God’s Plan is going to be fulfilled. In these days, we have a responsibility to tell the story of the Glory that came to earth in the form of a baby to redeem those who are far from God. It’s the part we are to play in the Plan. How will they hear if we don’t tell them? How will lives change and hope restored if they don’t know there is One who came to heal them? We have a great treasure in the Word. It’s our responsibility to know what is in it and share what we know. It is also our privilege and joy.

I hope in the future when we look back “in those days” we will see such an overwhelming response to the Gospel it can only be explained because the Glory was revealed in those days!

God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. Romans 1:2-5 (NLT)

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