Posts Tagged ‘gospel’

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. (Mark 16:1-8, NRSV)

I always loved this ending to Mark. Scholars believe that the Gospel of Mark originally ended here with verse 16:8. But people didn’t like the fact that the gospel ended with the women fleeing from the tomb and not telling anyone what they had seen. But here is what they missed.

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And the end where the women flee in terror is not the end, but the end of the writing. You see as long as we believe the story, it is still being written. The gospel has not ended, the good news is still being told.

We are all gripped by fear, but Jesus is still living and active in our world, and we can keep writing the Gospel and sharing the story.

So don’t let fear seize you in terror, but go and shout it from the mountaintops that Jesus Christ is Alive and working in your life, and show His love, grace, and mercy in all that you do!

161220Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1-7, NRSV)

Here Paul starts his letter to the Roman church and says that he was called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, to proclaim the good news of Jesus to the world! To make sure His grace and mercy are known throughout the world!

He is set apart, to be a part. He is called to belong, just as all of us are called to belong.

We are called, part of the priesthood of all believers, set apart for our part of God’s mission in the world. Set apart to be a part.

We are called to belong!

161101First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit by announcing the gospel of his Son, is my witness that without ceasing I remember you always in my prayers, asking that by God’s will I may somehow at last succeed in coming to you. For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish—hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:8-17, NRSV)

I am not ashamed of the gospel, the good news that saved me. It is the power of God to bring me to a life with Him eternally.

It is the power that gave me a life that I can not obtain on my own.

Are you ashamed?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17, NRSV)

How does your life speak that you follow Christ?

Or does it not speak that you follow Christ?

All of our life, not just the hour we go to worship needs to point people towards God.

How do we proclaim His love through deed and word?

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:1-8, NRSV)

Here we see the story of John the Baptist, one who was sent to prepare the way of the Lord. To help the people prepare for the coming Messiah.

But if all we come away with here is a weird guy wearing camel hides and eating bugs was shouting at people, I think we have misses the boat, or the point…

The gospel of Mark ends with the woman running from the empty tomb, “So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” (Mark 16:8) Not a really good ending to the story, but it actually isn’t the end…

You see Mark gives us the beginning. The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ! And today you continue the story!

We are still writing the story of the good news of Jesus Christ by living our lives as the beacon of hope and spreading His love!

The same thing occurred in Iconium, where Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who testified to the word of his grace by granting signs and wonders to be done through them. But the residents of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. And when an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, the apostles learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country; and there they continued proclaiming the good news. (Acts 14:1-7, NRSV)

Paul and Barnabas went about the region they were in preaching and teaching in the synagogues. They lived lives of examples and spoke of what God had done through Jesus and was doing through them, and will do through others who come to believe and follow the way.

But is wasn’t always smooth sailing…

Just like Jesus, the religious leaders sought to kill them.

Any time we speak a message that goes against the power structure or the way people were taught and raised, it will rub the wrong way.

But notice Paul and Barnabas didn’t stick around to be killed. They shared the message and then moved on.

Our job is to plant, or water, or nurture, not bring growth and change.

We need to share what God has done in us and for us, and God will bring the change in others.

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ (Acts 1:1-5, NRSV)

In the first book?

And just who is Theophilus?

Well we have to remember that Acts was written by Luke. So the first book is the Gospel according to Luke.

You see Luke and Acts actually are a series. They should be read together or one after the other. If you read Acts before Luke you will understand it, but it would make more sense to read Luke then to read Acts. We miss this though with the Gospel according to John being smacked in between them in the scripture…

So the first book is Luke, and Luke begins to Theophilus…

Are we ease dropping on a private conversation?

Yes and no…

You see we are all Theophilus!

That is right. You are Theophilus!

You see philus is one of the Greek words for love. and Theo is the Greek word for God. So Theophilus is lover of God. So if you love God and want to know more about Him and become closer to Him, Luke and Acts were written for you!

So read on God Lover and learn more about who you are in relationship to the creator who loves you.