Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating
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Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 @ 4:19:00 PM - Written by Doug Hignell -
The Gospel - that is, the "good news" of God's grace through Jesus Christ - is often misunderstood, making it more difficult for us to take the "trusting God" road instead of the "pleasing God" road. The Gospel is typically presented as a message to be received. We then pass on this "good news" to others in the form of a message requiring an answer.  When that happens, the good news becomes limited to the following message: if we repent, we are forgiven and go to heaven. This limited view of the good news of the Gospel can lead us to spend our lives trying to please God through religious activity.

What if the Gospel is more than that? It is both a person, Jesus, and a change in how we live life. We are a new person who naturally impacts those around us. Our desire is to demonstrate to them that the good news is about life, a life of receiving love from God and giving that love back to God and others. As we begin to understand God's incredible love for us, we extend grace to ourselves and to those around us. We are full of joy, and those around us want to know why.

It has been difficult for me to grasp the full extent of God's grace for me personally. In addition to studying the Bible, I'm currently reading about ten books that have been challenging me to rest in the good news of God's grace towards me. I quote from two of those books below.

 In Paul Ellis’s excellent book, The Gospel in Ten Words, he describes the length and breadth of the gospel:

"God loves you and wants to be with you."

"The Gospel is the glad and merry news that God is good, that he loves you, and he will happily give up everything he has so he can have you. Contrary to popular belief, God is not mad at you. He is not even in a bad mood. The good news declares that God is happy, he is for you, and he wants to share his life with you forever."

"Receive Christ and you will be as clean as He is, as free as He is, and as close as He is to the Father God."

"The Son of God became the Son of Man that the sons of men might become the sons of God." (John Calvin).

Eric Dykstra, in Grace on Tap, suggests what the good news means for each of us on a personal level:

 "We are deeply loved, highly favored, greatly blessed, totally righteous and destined to reign."

If we fully understood the depth and breadth of the Gospel - that is, the "good news" of God's grace through Jesus Christ - then trusting God would be our more natural response, instead of trying to please Him through keeping rules and regulations. I believe we would, then, find that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). How I long to live that way!

How would you define the good news of the Gospel in 10-12 of your own words?

 

 


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