Tag: good news

Pay close attention!

Scripture reading for March 6th: Hebrews 2, Psalm 46, Proverbs 15

Hebrews 2:1-4 “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.”

Speaking to believing Jews living in persecution, the writer of Hebrews called them (and us) to pay close attention to the Gospel Good News spoken by Jesus Christ and repeated from those who had heard Him and experienced the signs and wonders. God always confirms His Word with signs that follow to draw people to pay attention to Him and His heart of compassion, goodness, and grace. It’s easy to become cynical and skeptical if we don’t keep our focus on Jesus and His powerful Word. The Psalmist in Psalm 46 called people to be still and know that God was the great “I AM” and would be exalted among all peoples of the earth. We should be continually following Jesus and allowing His light to shine through us and His Good News to refresh weary bones!

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.” (Selah)

Prayer: Father God, thank You for revealing Yourself through Your Son Jesus Christ. Help me to always pay close attention to Him, listening to Your voice, and allowing the Holy Spirit to use me to share the Good News of Jesus and as You will, to be used in signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Be exalted, O Lord, in all the earth among all nations!

Proverbs 15:30-31 “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones. The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.”

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The Attraction of Jesus

Scripture reading for January 3rd: Mark 2, Psalms 2, Proverbs 2

Mark 2: 14-15 “And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he rose and followed Him. And as He reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him.

What was it that motivated those He chose as disciples to follow Jesus? Why were sinners and tax collectors attracted to Jesus? Why was He attracted to them? These questions come out as we read this passage speaking of how Jesus called disciples like Levi, a tax collector. He came to his house for a meal, Levi had invited many of his friends, fellow tax collectors and ‘sinners.’ Tax collectors were considered the lowest of the low, betrayers of their own people to collect taxes from them for the Roman oppressors. This really aggravated the religious folks! They demanded to know why Jesus would eat with them! Jesus simply replied, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (vs. 17)

Psalm 2:12 “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Your Son with the message that You desire to have fellowship and friendship with even the worst of ‘sinners’. Your message of Good News drew many sinners who found a new life of joy in Your grace and forgiveness. Help me to see others through Your eyes and allow the compassion You have for those lost in sin to flow through my heart and lips in sharing Good News!

Proverbs 2:9-10 “Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.”

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The Son of God at work!

Scripture reading for March 16th: Numbers 34-36, Luke 4

Luke 4:38-41 “Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to Him on her behalf. And He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them. Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ.”

Jesus announced His ministry and mission of preaching the ‘good news’ with healing and deliverance. This announcement brough immediate opposition from the people in His home town. He then went to Capernaum and Simon Peter’s home. Peter’s mother was sick with a fever and Jesus rebuked the fever and it left her. The people brought many sick and oppressed people to Jesus and He healed them all. Demons came out screaming, “You are the Son of God!” Jesus rebuked them and shut them up. Jesus left there for a more desolate place to be alone but people sought Him out, begging Him to stay. He plainly stated His work and mission–preaching the ‘good news’ in other towns as well! Work must go on!

Luke 4:42-43 “And when it was day, He departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought Him and came to Him, and would have kept Him from leaving them, but He said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.””

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ, God’s Son! I thank You that now I can freely proclaim Jesus as God’s Son, having been set free by hearing and receiving the Good News of the King and His kingdom. I accept Your mission as mine here on earth! Fill me with boldness and the Holy Spirit so that I might fulfill my part of that mission that You have prepared for me.

Numbers 35:33-34 “You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”

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Preaching ‘Good News’

Scripture reading for March 15th: Numbers 30-33, Psalm 35, Luke 3

Luke 3:15-18 “As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.”

John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin, born slightly before Him. John was called by God to be a prophet and to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. In doing so, He confronted the sins of the people and called them to repentance and to baptism as an act of cleansing. This preparation was not the end, but the entrance into a new relationship with God. Jesus Christ would complete the work necessary for the cleansing of all mankind from sin and its power on the cross through offering His body and blood. He would take the keys of death and hell from Satan and open the curtain for all who would believe to be in God’s presence. He would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father, and fire to deeply cleanse and empower them. This all was amazing ‘good news!’

Numbers 31:21-23 “Then Eleazar the priest said to the men in the army who had gone to battle: “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded Moses: only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, and everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean.”

Prayer: Father God, I thank You for preparing the way for Your Son to bring salvation to me and all mankind. I know that my faith through Your grace has brought salvation. Repentance too is a gift of grace received humbly by faith. Help me to share the ‘good news’ with those headed for the fire of Your judgment, that they might receive the gift of eternal life and be filled with the Holy Spirit and holy fire.

Psalm 35:27-28 “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the Lord, Who delights in the welfare of His servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.”

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The Holy Spirit and fire

Scripture reading for March 5th: Luke 3

Key Scriptures: Luke 3:15-18 “As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether He might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” So with many other exhortations He preached good news to the people.”

Many flocked to John the Baptist who was calling Israel to repentance and symbolically baptizing them in the waters of the Jordan river. The baptism was symbolic of a washing needed to prepare them for the One coming who would further baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire. He would come to gather the “wheat” into God’s “barn” and then to burn up the chaff in a unquenchable fire. Those baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire would become the wheat. Those refusing would be the chaff. John preached this Good News” to the people of Israel who would listen.

Luke 3:4 “As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.'”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for water baptism that allowed me to identify with You and Your work on the cross. Thank You for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, marking me as belonging to God and empowering me to live a life of following You and preaching the Good News.

Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness who publishes salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.””

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