Who doesn’t like good news? With all the negative stuff going on in the world, it’s always a relief to hear something good, right?
As we enter into the heart of this Christmas season I like to bypass all the ugly that’s going on. I watch much less news, circumvent Facebook posts on politics, and generally just shut out the world and consider the good things about the year that will soon be over and plan for what’s coming.
While doing this, I decided to see what scripture says and embarked on a word study. Proverbs 15:30 (NIV) says “Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” I LIKE that!
In total, the NIV mentions “good news” 45 times! (If you’d like a pdf of all references, comment below with your email address )
In the New Testament Greek, the most common word (and the root of most other forms and usage) is
εὐαγγελίζω ĕuaggĕlizō, yoo-ang-ghel-id´-zo; to announce good news (“evangelize”) especially the gospel:— declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel).
While the same phrase is used in the Old Testament, it is not often used in the same context. The same word forms are also used in the NIV for the term “gospel” You will notice that in the Greek, the word is almost the same as our “evangelize” and as Jesus commanded in Mark 16: 15 (cf. Luke 24:47) this is our primary duty as Jesus followers (disciples).
Throughout scripture God promises a coming anointed one, a messiah who will be “Immanuel” (God with us). As believers, during this season, we celebrate the earthly arrival of Jesus; we also rejoice that God has kept His vow! And no less than ANGELS were the first true evangelists!
So, what is this good news? In a nutshell, it is that we don’t have to die. I’m talking of spiritual things here so if you’re not familiar with biblical doctrine, drop me a line. As believers in this good news, we are free of the penalty of death due to our sinfulness. We are reconciled with God and we’re forgiven for ALL that nasty stuff we did before we knew Jesus. Furthermore, having believed God in this, and confessing to Him our transgressions (essentially, disobeying Him), we are also forgiven. And in this we have found the freedom that is only found in reconciliation with God. Paul, I think, says it quite succinctly in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
And so, just as we had someone evangelize us, let us obey Jesus and give someone-ANYONE- some good news! What better gift than sharing the basis of your hope and joy. This IS the “reason for the season”!
My beloved Grinch is working the holiday weekend so I will be attending Church Online services a few times. I hear there is going to be some great worship and special guests! If you don’t have a church home, are not into church per se, or just can’t get away-check it out!
We MAY try to get to see the Star Wars movie tomorrow, while everyone else is traveling, preparing or already with family. One sure way to avoid the crowds!
I’ll be taking the rest of the year off but expect to hear from me again soon after we get back to normal. I use this time to review the past year and plan for the new one; setting goals, refining my dreams and preparing for all the fun stuff that 2016 will bring. My “One Word” for this year is RENEW-my verse is Lamentations 5:21 and sets the tone for all this
For me this means renewing commitments, being more intentional about projects, goals and life in general. First, to those disciplines that have gone by the wayside spiritually, in mission and calling. My hope is to finally get that Lifegroup going, to be more regular in blogging and to get Abiding Ways Ministries really functional.
In my personal life, a biggie is de-cluttering our home. Hubby and I are both packrats and its taking up more space than I care to admit-sometimes even to myself! While my health is much better, I am realizing that just losing weight (almost 25 lbs this year! Thanks JESUS!) isn’t enough. At almost 63, and a couch potato expert, I feel it more than is good. There are some icky personal habits that need to go, too.
So, there you have it! Thanks for reading “Along the Way” this year. I hope you’ll return soon. In the meantime, may you and yours have a truly MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! God bless!