Blessed by the Good News
I was recently at a local filling station fueling up one of the church vans, when a gentleman about my age pulled up on the other side of the pump and began to fuel up his pickup truck. I’d never seen the man before (to my knowledge or recollection), but as he exited his vehicle, we sort of caught each other’s glance and politely exchanged greetings. It was instantly obvious that he was a rather pleasant sort of fellow, and we each went about our business. After beginning to fuel, he asked me about how many we had in attendance here. Upon receiving my answer, he said the place where he attended had about the same. As the conversation ensued, I learned a bit about him. He very excitedly told me how the place where he worshipped was currently studying through the Book of Acts and how he was enjoying that; happily conversed with me about his daily Bible reading schedule; discussed the wonder of God’s word all being one beautiful and blessed story from beginning to end; and gratefully told me how awesome God is, amongst other things… like how he lived not too far at all from the church building here. I’m not sure how long we talked – maybe twenty minutes or so… But I do know this. Our discussion was almost, if not entirely, all about the goodness, kindness, and greatness, of the love, grace, and mercies of God. And I must say that I came away from that conversation quite excited, encouraged, and ready to look for any and every opportunity to encounter him again, and to hopefully engage him in an even more in-depth study of God’s word at that time.
But I wonder… is that anywhere near the same impression that most people we encounter on a daily basis are left with when they depart our company? Are we, so happy, joyful, and excited, to truly be and to have all that we do in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8; Eph. 1 & 2; and etc.), that we just simply cannot wait or to help but to talk to everyone we come in contact with – from the customer on the other side of the pump, to the stranger in the store aisle, to the fan in the seat beside us – about how awesomely wonderful and powerful our God, His Son, and Their word are? About how incredibly blessed and grateful we are to truly enjoy His grace and forgiveness through the blood of His Son Jesus (Acts 2:38, 22:16)? About how infinitely comforting and freeing it is, to know for certain,that in Him, we have eternal life, guaranteed, by the God who cannot lie (Jn. 8:31-32; 1 Jn. 5:11-13; Eph. 1:1-14; Hebs. 6:13-19)? Do we (And if we, as members of Christ’s one, New Testament church which we see in the Bible can’t, then who else on earth legitimately can?) exhibit such confidence, joy, and excitement in our God-given, God-promised, and God-provided salvation, that folks we’ve just bumped into and struck up a conversation with simply cannot help but to later on want to go out of their way to seek and discuss those things with us once again?
Or, do they often walk away with a far, far, different impression of us and of what ultimately consumes us? “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” Jesus said in Matthew 12:34. In other words, what was the dominant focus of our conversation with them? The bad news of the world, or the good news of the word? Did we seem to them to be more concerned with worry over the Coronavirus, or to be more consumed with the wonders of being in Christ Jesus? With the temporary “things which are seen,” or with the eternal “things which are not seen” (2 Cor. 4:18)?Did they see and sense in us, someone who was “raised with Christ, seek[ing] those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1)? Did they see and sense in us, someone setting their “mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2); or, sadly, the other way around?
Jesus once told a man to “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God” (Lk. 9:60). Let’s let those in the world, talk to those in the world, about what’s going on in the world; while we in the Lord, and in His word, talk constantly and excitedly to those who are “dead in trespasses and sins,”about our “God, who is rich in mercy,” and who, “because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ… and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (See Eph. 2:1-7). And let us never neglect to let them know how they, too, can: ‘because of and by God’s grace, be saved through their faith, by accessing and accepting His free gift of grace and forgiveness (See vss. 8-9), on His terms and where He placed it – in the waters of Christian baptism (Rom. 6).
Now, if the free gift of God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness is not something worth being totally consumed with and therefore constantly conversing with them about – then surely nothing else on this entire earth ever was, ever is, or ever will be(Mk. 8:38-36).God bless – and go share the good news today!