First United Methodist Church, McGregor, TX
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
We're Putting a Face on Grace!

Message from the Pastor

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” (John 1:14-15)

What is your relationship with the good news?  We have been examining this week-to-week during worship.  Jesus was clear in his teaching that the kingdom of God was near.  Obviously, he was speaking about access to something greater in life.  Perhaps something about abundance, joy, and peace.  All of these are found in him.  In short, Jesus is the good news.  He is the answer to our personal problems as well as the woes of humanity.  So… what’s your relationship to Jesus?

Our Christian lives are shaped by the good news (Jesus).  Our only hope for our lives and for our world lies in the good news.  So what does it take as Jesus’ followers to help shape our world for the better?

First off, we have to hear the good news.  That is, we have to understand that there is only one cure for the sin-sickness that plagues our lives and destroys our world at its utmost soul.  We must first hear that our only hope is Jesus.  I know that we have heard it all before, but do we really listen?  Do we listen to God’s words for us in scripture?  Do we listen to Jesus’ teachings intently, so as to understand that they are the solution to all our problems?  Are we truly hearing the good news?

If we hear, do we believe?  It’s not enough to simply hear truth.  We have to let the truth penetrate our hearts and minds to reach the core.  Belief often begins with tentative steps, but must be accompanied by a firm decision.  In my experience, God is faithful to our “baby-steps” of faith that are built upon a decision to follow Christ, because we believe that he is our hope.  Believing the good news can start us on our journey towards true freedom; true life.

Our next step in the process is transformation.  As we begin to take steps of faith, God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, changes our lives.  This is where we experience a newness of life like no other.  We begin to see God differently.  We begin to see humanity in a new light.  We begin to see our enemies with fresh eyes.  We also experience changes in our attitudes, words, actions and priorities.  It is often during this process of change that we begin to experience the evidence of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Not only that, during this change, we desire more and more of the good news.  We desire more of Jesus in our lives.

Ultimately this change begins to become our life.  That is, we begin to live the good news ourselves.  The light of Jesus is seen in us, by ourselves and by others.  We no longer have to just talk about our faith; we truly begin to live by faith.  It is during this time that we experience the most out of life.  The joy of Christ is in us.  We love.  We forgive.  We give.  We are enveloped in God’s presence.  We have peace.  We live the good news.

Finally, we are called to share the good news.  Mature Christians should have no problem doing this because it has finally become such a part of life that it is who we are.  We are a reflection of Christ.  The call of Christ to the world becomes our call to world.  Our hands, feet and voices; Jesus’ hands, feet and voices working together as one.  We are God’s plan to save the world.  Jesus paid the price.  We become the “first fruits”.  If the world is to change, we must be changed.

So… I ask again, what is your relationship with the good news?  Where are you on this journey of life?  Join me each Sunday for worship and we will walk together.  I’m praying for each of you.  Please, pray for me.

 - Pastor Joe