Sunday, February 9, 2014

Celebrate! It's the glad news!

Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord. Psalm 144:15

And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. Philippians 1:25-26

The gospel of grace in Jesus isn't the sad news. It isn't saying, "We can't have fun anymore". To many religious meetings have turned church gatherings into "services". Nothing wrong with serving out of a heart of love. (We should never serve though from a place of obligation and compulsion and guilt. We especially need never serve out of fear!) Still though why do we have "services"? The name sounds like pure drudgery! Why not have party times? Why not joy and celebration times that  revolve around the Word and finished work of Jesus? 
 As for fun, what is more fun than following the leading of the Spirit into the full life? It is more fun to abide in Him. Abiding in Him gives Him a more open access to our hearing so we won't tread down wrong paths! It is a lot more fun not having to deal with natural consequences for poor decisions made. Following His path and plans and purpose always leads to more exciting and joyous times.
 Now I hear you. What about tangible fun? What about things like going boating on a river? Or spending time at the beach or enjoying a good action and adventure film? Or catching an exciting sporting event? Are these kind of things to "Worldly"? Are these kind of activities "forbidden"? Absolutely not! A man's conscience renewed by the grace of a loving Father should be any guide to whats profitable and what is something that will cost you in the long run, (i.e., like drinking and driving). Forget looking for some list of do's and don'ts. As your Father loves you and leads you He will ensure you have a full and exciting and fun life not a sad and depressing and boring life!

  It isn't the bad news..."you're not acceptable". It has been the same religious spirit that Jesus encountered that has plagued the Church since its inception. It brings the lie with it that you must be about doing more and more! It is never enough. You know the yoke legalism tries to trap you in. It creates a list of obligations. It gives the smallest hint that it is possible to achieve all that is required. Of course they only point to themselves as proof that these rules are obtainable goals. They omit revealing the bitterness and envying and control they harbor deep within! Never having accomplished all the requirements placed on you then gives them more opportunity to show how far you need to go before you are accepted or able to receive the blessings of God! 
 Reject the notion that you are always failing to measure up! Jesus death and resurrection was enough! You are accepted by Him. You are forgiven and completely loved! He is your all sufficiency! He the paid the full price to redeem you! We can rejoice know we have the good news. We know Jesus has made us accepted into the beloved and we no longer need man's approval! 
It's not the mad news..."God is mad and so disappointed in you!" How many sermons or articles have we heard or read that God is angry! Many quote an obscure passage in the Psalms where it states God is angry at the wicked everyday. Well, that verse in the King James has the words God is angry at the wicked everyday in italics. This means the phrase was not in original text. Other translations have Psalm 7:11 translated more accurately as God is a fair judge and indignant at injustice daily. This much more closely displays the character of God revealed to us by Jesus in the New Covenant! 
  God is not mad or angry. God is not even in a bad mood! Jesus paid the full price and satisfied the wrath of God's justice! He took the full punishment we all owed! This is how much we have been forgiven! Look at Jesus in Luke 9. He encountered men who actually rejected Him. He just moved along to another village. His disciples though wanted to rain fire and judgment down. Jesus rebuked them! God is filled with love and mercy! This is great news!

It's the glad news! Its God revealing to us all "the price is paid in full!"
" God's not mad or angry at you!"
 "God's not holding your sins to your account!" 
 "Be reconciled!"
We all need to rejoice He is not holding our past, present or future sins to our accounts! We have no way to pay for them! The only currency accepted is the Master's Blood. We can never earn this currency by our works or our performance! It is only by receiving His free gift! 
  The glad news is accepting His free gift of righteousness and letting the Spirit lead you into the fullness of life. Fullness of joy in His presence. Glad news is realizing that we are forever forgiven and forever sanctified! Celebrate grace! Celebrate Jesus!


Crystal said...

This is exactly what I have been saying. You say it SO much better than I do! Thank-you so much.

John W Reed said...

Thanks a million! Its Jesus who makes us all glad!