THE JOY OF SHARING THE GOOD NEWS
A normally quite withdrawn man was not behaving like himself. He face was beaming with joy, he was talking faster than normal, and he was speaking to everyone he saw. The reason for his change in behavior was because of his excitement over his firstborn child. His wife had just delivered a healthy baby girl, and he could not wait to tell everyone he saw about the good news.
When something exciting happens in our life, it is only natural for us to burst at the seems to tell someone about our news. I am sure all of us can remember several times in our life when we got excited and could not wait to share our news. If our news was life changing, we usually never get tired of telling others about it.
Well, every Christian should be even more excited about the greatest news that we have every received. Of course, I am talking about the news of Jesus and everything that goes along with it. While a new job promotion, a new baby, or a successful surgery is great news nothing can top news of the great love God has for all of us and what He has done for us through His Son.
Romans 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.† 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.† 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.† 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.† 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.† 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. †
Everything we experience on this earth is temporary, but the good news of Jesus Christ is something that will stay with us for eternity. Itís message will never grow old, and it will never become old news. It is not like the many headlines that are popular for a few days or weeks, it as permanent headline that remains and will remain on the front page throughout every generation because the good news of Jesus remain relevant no matter where on what time period it is told. As the writer of Hebrews says:
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Peter and Paul teach us about Godís longsuffering and He wants all people to hear the good news and have the opportunity to believe it and accept it.
2 Peter 3:9 †The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,† 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Since it is Godís desire that all people hear the good news of Jesus, we should find great joy in spreading the news about Jesus because it is exactly what God wants us to do. We are Christian soldiers, and our commander in chief has given us a great mission to be the proclaimers of the soul saving message of Jesus.†
Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,† 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
Sometimes I think we might forget just how powerful Godís Word is.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
No wonder Paul said:
Romans 1:16 †For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
I am sure we have all heard the expression, ďknowledge is power.Ē This expression is true, because the knowledge gained from Godís Word will give us the wisdom of how to be saved.
James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
As Christianís, we have been given the responsibility to be good stewards of the powerful message found within our Bibles. We should not take our responsibility lightly.
Imagine yourself being a person who assembles high powered bombs for a living. If you make a mistake, you could blow yourself up. If you had a job like this, you would make sure you knew what you were doing. You would make sure that you carefully assembled everything just right and you would never rush through it.†
In the same way, we must handle the Word of God carefully. We should study it diligently to make sure we know exactly how to use and how to follow what it teaches. If we are not careful, and we do not take it serious, it can cause us to become false teachers and to lead others astray. Paul understood this which is why he told Timothy:
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
When we train ourselves with the Word of God and the have the attitude that will teach the truth and nothing but the truth, then we are going to be effective as spreading the good news of Jesus.
The more we learn and understand, the more confident and motivated we will become at sharing this great news. If you are not excited about telling people about Jesus and how the good news has changed you life for the better, then you to check your spiritual pulse because something is wrong. None of us should want to be like the unprofitable servant we read about in Matthew 25 who buried what his master gave him and did nothing. Our desire should be like the other two servants who took what their master gave them and did something with it.
God has given us His Word, and we must take it do something with. When we do, not only will be doing our Christian duty, we will also be planting many seeds in the lives of others giving them the opportunity to be saved. Of course, we are just messenger. So, let us never forget that the power is in Godís Word and not in us. Paul had to teach the Corinthians about this idea because they were trying to put the power in Paul and others.
1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.† 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;† 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?† 4 For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal?† 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?† 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.† 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.† 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.† 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.
Without God we are nothing, but with God, we have a purpose and hope. When think about God and what honor He has bestowed on us, it should cause us to rejoice and be thankful.
A great example of what the good news of Jesus should cause us to come from Jesusí encounter with a Samaritan woman. What make this encounter stand out is that the Jews during that time despised the Samaritans and consider them vile because they were not full blood Jews, but Jesus knew what He was doing when He went there.
John 4:5 So He came to a city of Samaria
which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son
Joseph.† 6 Now Jacob's well
was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by
the well. It was about the sixth hour.† 7
A woman of
There are many great lesson found within this encounter, but for our purpose I just want point out how this woman progressed with her understanding of who she talking. First, she thought this was a strange Jewish man, who is doing something that most Jews would not do, which was talking to a Samaritan. Then the more she talked to Him, she figured out this man must be prophet of God because He could tell her things that He could not possibly of known. Third, Jesus reveals to her that He is the Messiah. At that point, she is so overwhelmed with the good news that she leaves her pot behind and went into the city proclaiming what she knew about Jesus.
When is the last time you were so excited about the good news of Jesus that you forget about your proverbial water pot? How long has been when the first thing we want to talk to someone about is something spiritual? Sometimes I think we bury our enthusiasm and the joy that comes from talking about Godís Word so deep, that it never finds it way out. This is sad because we should be like this Samaritan and take advantage of the opportunities we have to talk about God with others. When we do, we can have similar results as the Samaritan women did.
John 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did."† 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. ††
There is nothing more exciting to me than when I see a person who hears the good news of Jesus and obeys the gospel. As Jesus points out in Luke 15, when someone that is lost is reconciled to God the whole host of heaven is full of joy.
Luke 15:7 "I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
If heaven is full of joy, then so am
Proclaiming the good news is not always going to be received well because there are many who do not want to hear the truth. They are like the people during Isaiahís day:
Isaiah 30:8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet, And note it on a scroll, That it may be for time to come, Forever and ever:† 9 That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the LORD;† 10 Who say to the seers, "Do not see," And to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
Even if we become martyred for spreading the good news like Stephen was (Acts 7), we can still be joyful that Godís Word was the last thing we proclaimed. Yes our physical life will be over, but our soul will live on and we will be in the presence of God. As Paul said:
Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.† 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.† 23 For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.† 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
While it is a wonderful thing to remain alive on this earth and to be able to serve our Lord, we can know that life after death is even better. So, we should never allow death our fear of others keep us from finding joy in sharing the good news of Jesus because it gives everyone that we encounter the same opportunity to be saved and have the eternal hope that we enjoy daily.
We must all stand before Jesus one day and be judged (2 Cor. 5:10). The question is will stand before Him with confidence and joy, or will you stand their in fear and doubt because of the way you have lived your life. If you have buried the good news so deep that it never sees the light of day, my hope is that you will set it free starting today so that you once again find the joy of spreading Godís powerful Word knowing you are pleasing God once more and making a difference in His kingdom.