This is the oft-overlooked part of the gospel. God changes people. I thank God I’m not the same, that my sin is not my identity. I’m so glad there is a Higher Power that can endow me with power to become what I want, a worthy servant of the Most High. Thank God for His effectual power to transform people.
Sometimes in the Bible, the transformation wrought was so revolutionary that God even changed the person’s name. Thus, Abraam became Abraham; Jacob, Israel; and Simon, Peter.
Image from Pinterest.
Sometimes we want to make the gospel complicated because we have worked so hard. We don’t want it to be easy for newcomers. We have fasted. We have fought the flesh. We have prayed all night. I did it, so you must do it.
But Paul (who did more than any of us) exhorts us to keep it simple. The gospel is simple: Believe in Jesus and be saved. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ. — 2 Cor. 11:3 KJV (caps mine).
Romans 10:9 similarly makes it simple: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (NIV).
It was the Pharisees and Jewish leaders who added rule upon rule, making it harder to get into Heaven. Considering they ultimately rejected Christ, I don’t think it’s a good idea to be like them. Some of us are going to be very surprised to see lots of people in Heaven, people we thought wouldn’t make it because they didn’t follow all our rules.
Simplicity is beautiful. Let’s not deprive the gospel of its beauty.
Posted in Christianity
Tagged 2 Cor. 11:3, commentary, Faith, gospel, inspiration, Jesus, love, motivation, Romans 10:9, salvation, thoughts
Flashy fashion or walk worn. What’s your ideal of beautiful feet?
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things. — Rom. 10:15 KJV. Paul evokes the messenger of antiquity who came running with news of military victory. With the coming of his feet, anxiety gave way to exhilaration. Good news brought great joy.
The spreading of the gospel is like news of victory. We didn’t stand a military chance against Satan and sin, but Jesus intervened and won us the war. With the news, there is great rejoicing.
The first carriers of the gospel walked long distances to break pagans out of the ignorance. Instead of paparazzi, they were met with stone-throwers. They sacrificed because the bore good news and hungered to share it.
Even today, there is much sacrifice to do to get the good word out.
The darkness, as it grows, only serves to beautify the light. People will be drawn more and more naturally to the lighthouse under the gathering storm of godlessness. The more hopeless it becomes, the greater the need for hope.
Lest the light of the glorious gospel shine upon them. — 2 Cor. 4:4
This world, as wonderful as it can be, offers only a taste of Heaven.
… he didn’t make the news, but the mailman who fought off his assailant was a great story.
from Dani Mejias
I was an intern for the L.A. Herald Examiner. I observed the trail of blood that extended for about 15 yards on the sidewalk in South Central Los Angeles in 1988. The mail carrier was delivering General Relief checks, and some gang-bangers thought they could grab and forge. They shot him, and he bled, but he never surrendered his cargo. Instead, bleeding from the bullet wound, he fought them off. The story was incredible, but it never even made the newspaper because the mailman survived. Had he died, it would have gone viral (in age when there was no “viral”).
News outlets thrive on bad news, so if it’s bad news that you want, just read the offerings of the world anywhere. But if you want “good” news, read the Gospels. Jesus forgives your sins, God promises wonderful things, the Spirit restores your family. Prayer connects you directly to Almighty Power.
Posted in news
Tagged bad news, Christiantiy, church, Faith, gangs, God, good news, gospel, gospels, inspiration, Jesus, ministry, prayer, South Central Los Angeles, South Los Angeles