Sunday, June 4, 2017

news so good he couldn't walk to tell it!

The Word for today:
Acts 9:1-19a
Can you tell Good News?
If you can tell the Good News, then you can be an evangelist!
Here's the Good News:
Now let me remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is built on this wonderful message. And it is this Good News that saves you if you firmly believe it – unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me – that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
If you can tell a person that Jesus died for our sins--just like the Old Testament scriptures said he would; and that he rose from the dead--just like the Old Testament scriptures said he would, then you (without even knowing it) can join the ranks of Philip the Evangelist!
That's really all there is to it. You don't have to argue, or prove, or pretend you're smart. (If we were smart, we wouldn't have gotten ourselves into this sin problem in the first place.)
We've made the word 'evangelist' into something downright intimidating. It conjures up images of stadiums and sermons and three-piece suits. But in the Bible, evangelist is a happy word, which conjures up images of happy feet, in sneakers:
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." (Isaiah 52:7)
Guided by the Holy Spirit, Philip "happened" upon a person, a foreigner, reading aloud from the Bible:
Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: "Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth." (Acts 8:32-33)
So Philip ran over and explained how Jesus was the fulfillment of what the man had been reading:
Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. (Acts 8:35)
A telling detail is that Philip ran to him (Acts 8:30). He didn't trudge over to deliver a ponderous theological dissertation. He ran over to tell him the Good News--that Jesus died and rose from the dead so our sins could be forgiven.
He had news so good he couldn't walk to tell it.

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