“Jesus Christ is the Good News!”

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.” Acts 8:35 ESV.

good-news

The Good News is about the person Jesus Christ, His relationship with Father God, and the inclusion of humanity within the Triune God circle.

In the last century, the gospel message has quietly shifted away from the person of Jesus and toward the events of His life. Rather than emphasize his personhood, his incarnation, and his connection with Almighty God, the message we most often hear today reflects the events of his life. Most specifically his death and resurrection. Both acts are significant. However, both events are important solely because of who HE IS.

Again, these last several hundred years, the gospel message has shifted away from the Triune God (Trinity) toward a moralistic Holy God. Today when asked to describe God, many people would first state He is a Holy Being. The Holiness concept though emphasizes a God of righteousness rather than a God of relationship. Today’s main stream view of God has more to do with rules and regulations than unconditional love, unlimited joy, and overflowing peace.  Many people still view God as a stern, faraway grandfather figure rather than a Heavenly Father whose desire is an abiding, familial relationship with His adopted children.

Likewise, the good news of the Incarnation has been displaced by the passion of the Cross. Rather than emphasize the inclusion of the incarnation, today’s preachers like to highlight the god of sin and the accomplishment of the cross. Again, the personhood of Jesus seems to take a second position even at the cross.

As stated, the Good News is more about the person Jesus Christ than an event in his life. For instance, if the Good News was solely about his death, why did he wait thirty some years before dying. Couldn’t he have died earlier as a two year old babe under Herod’s killing of children in Bethlehem after His birth?  Again, the Good News in not just about His resurrection. Yes, like all the events in his personhood, they fulfilled Scripture and His eternal plan for humanity. However, if He wasn’t God become human, all He achieved would be worthless for mankind.

Could there be more about Jesus than you ever realized? Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that God was reconciling the world through Jesus’ life. For example, when Jesus was baptized, he didn’t do it for himself, but for you and I. When Jesus walked in obedience to His Father, again he didn’t do it just for himself, but for you and I. When Jesus exercised faith, again he also did it for you and I. The Incarnation is Jesus wrapping human flesh around his Godhead. From then onward, humanity became permanently connected with Jesus Christ. He entered humanity’s darkness and walked out victorious for your sake and mine. As water baptism pictures, you and I are included with Christ in his life, death, and resurrection.

His ministry also restored the truth of His Father and the mutual submissive love relationship which existed between both.  In addition, His personhood is also the bridge that connects you and I with His Father. And since we are connected with Jesus, everything He has done or will do includes you and me. The Bible states approximately three hundred times that you and I are “in Christ.” Such statements remind you and I that we have a personal union with Him, that we participate with Him in His life, that we are also incorporated with Him in fellowship with others, and most importantly, our identity is found in HIM.

This is the Good News.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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BLESSED AND BROKEN

For many of us, our journey through life contains moments of high satisfaction along with times of painful struggle. The shock that many young people graduating from school this year will eventually receive is realizing how unprepared they truly are to face the reality of life. For many, life is still a fantasy watched through a video screen. Movies and film clips that are programmed and reprogrammed until the scene is perfect becomes a blind standard of expectations. The “why not me” mentality confronts many self-reliant individuals who want more from life than an “average” existence. For many, happiness is the goal and money is the prize. Yet for others, survival is the norm and hope is the plan. Like many who have chronologically gone before us, life’s future challenges and obstacles are not included in our journey’s plan toward success.

Someone once told me at an early age that life consists of blessings and brokenness’s. I didn’t fully understand it at the time, but looking back now, I have to totally agree. Like the caboose on the train track, we are traveling down a path anchored by two rails on both sides of the track. On our left side are the blessings. On our right side are the brokenness’s. (Or for others the sides may be switched, but the results are the same). As we travel through life, on any given day, we experience the joy and thrills of victory, meaning, and love. Yet on the same day and possibly even moments apart, we may also experience pain, sorrow, and fear. There is not a person I haven’t met who has denied it. Some people may emphasize the blessing more than the brokenness and others focus on the brokenness more than the blessing, but if they are honest they will admit that both exist at the same time.

As we are all human, made in the image of God and yet negatively impacted by our alienation from God, we all experience godly and ungodly moments. The real question is which side are we going to emphasize in our life? For most of us, our human condition wants to control the environment around us instead of trusting a living God. Therefore, we focus on trying to manage (plan, organize, and control) the broken side of life. Others though have come to learn to place their brokenness into the hands of a living God whose divine nature is to redeem, restore, and bless others. The broken-side treats others as the enemy. The blessed-side relates with others as God’s children hidden in Jesus Christ but blind from ignorance and unfriendly spiritual forces. The broken-side uses and manipulates others for their personal agenda. The blessed-side paints a vision of options and lets others freely decide which is best for them and their community. The broken-side takes all they can get for themselves. The blessed-side gives to others without any expectation of a return. The broken-side pities themselves while blaming others. The blessed-side graciously thanks their Provider and prays that others may come to know Him. Through all of life’s journey, the blessed-side eventually realizes how blessed we truly are because God carries us through our brokenness. We have learned to acknowledge our brokenness and allow God’s Spirit to regenerate us. We know who our Savior is. We don’t deny or hide from our brokenness. Instead we like Paul acknowledge that when we are weak, then God is strong in us. For that we are thankful and realize how truly Blessed we are.

How about you? What ways has God taken your brokenness and blessed you or others through it?

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 9

Blessed Father, Son, and Spirit: thank you for your gracious blessings. Many of them we take for granted. Yet we acknowledge that you are the author and giver of everything that is good. You are our Healer, Redeemer, and Restored. Help take our brokenness and turn it into your blessings. Make our weakness your strength that is glorified to everyone we meet. Let your blessings flow through us and touch the people in our world. Let everything we say, think, and do be a blessing for others and for you.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God

If You Are Seeking a Devotional Study, Check Out My New Book Be Radical…Follow Christ.

Who is Your Most Intimate Companion?

 

 word 14

“…but I have called you friends,…”

John 15:15

When you walk with God, you have the ultimate companion. You have someone who is always there when you need them. Someone you always are able to depend on. Someone you know is your friend independent of the situation.

When you follow Christ though, you quickly come to realize that you are not the most popular person in the world. You are not a rock star, or basketball superstar, or a famous Hollywood movie star. You are unique. And your uniqueness turns many people away from you because you are not acceptable to world standards. Yes, the righteous will find you uncomfortable to walk with. The rich will find you a stumbling block. The powerful will find you threatening the status quo. The experts will question your credentials. The elders will find you rebellious. The sinner will accept you as one of them until they realize your abhorrence to sin. The naive will consider you their messiah until they find that you preach acceptance of personal responsibility for your actions. The minority will push their agendas on you until they realize you have no distinction between races, sexes, or political affiliations. The right wing will consider you a liberal while the left wing insists you’re a conservative. Your pastor thinks you are uncommitted. Your family says you’re a little strange. Your neighbors love you but can’t seem to accept you as you are. Your coworkers respect you but wonder when you are going to become normal. Your children honor you and accept your eccentricities as part of the aging process. And you wonder how come your companions are few?

Jesus selected twelve disciples that where the closest to him. Of the twelve, three where the most intimate with him, Peter, John and James. Jesus didn’t have a physical wife or children of His own. His companions consisted of those who walked with Him on Kingdom mission. He ministered to them while they ministered Him. His companions came to Him by His Dad to start the work that He was prophesied to complete. Not everyone was excited about the Kingdom of God. Only those people whose passion towards the Kingdom came alive did Jesus bring close to His bosom. and one of them was going to betray Him. Many of them didn’t even capture the real vision of the Kingdom during His ministry. Yet Jesus chose them, ministered to them, taught them, loved them, played with them, and worked with them, giving them the best years of His life including the ultimate, life itself.

The best companion we all have is Jesus and the friends He brings to us while sharing the gospel of His Kingdom. Our companions are few, but true.

Dr. Mike