Sunday, November 2, 2014

Unveiling The Gospel

Imagine being rescued from almost certain death by a good samaritan who was in the right place at the right time, coming to your aid when it really mattered.  Then, after an initial heart felt expression of gratitude, your rescuer becomes a forgotten memory as you embrace your second chance at life.

Imagine being saved from the bondage of sin through an encounter with the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ who demonstrated his love for you in all your brokenness.  Then, after a period of praise and thanksgiving, you live out your redeemed life without any reference to your Redeemer.

Imagine a church emerging out of a time of renewal when the Spirit of God brought revival to a community of believers in Jesus Christ.  Then, after witnessing to the power of God, the church continues to work in His name without mentioning His name or acknowledging His presence.

Unfortunately, in the words of the late John Lennon, "It's easy if you try."  

I don't have to look to hard across the church as a whole to see plenty of evidence of good deeds being done but I am straining my ears to hear very much evidence of good news being spoken.  While the later is incomplete without the former, the former is inconclusive without the later.  In other words, good deeds without good news may demonstrate the generosity of humanity but denies by omission the graciousness of God.  Paul describes this as "having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Timothy 3:5). 

God entered our broken humanity through the person of Jesus Christ and "demonstrated his love for us in this:  While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).  All His miracles, signs and wonders were done for this single purpose - "that you [and I] may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing [we] may have life in his name" (John 20:31).

So, when Jesus said, "let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16) it is the good news behind the good deeds that needs to shine the brightest!  Otherwise, when the world sees our good deeds, all they will see is us, not Jesus.  We get all the glory, not our Father in heaven.  However, no matter how helpful our good deeds might be they cannot bring salvation on their own without the good news of Jesus Christ.

If you truly want your light to shine, you must unveil the gospel in your good deeds so that those you serve will "see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

"Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it." (Jeremiah 33:9)

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