The Good News

Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics

Category Archives: Your Part to Play

Prosperity in Our Closet

All is from Jimmy Needham.  None is mine.  Too beautiful for me to add to.

A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper

in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psalm 84:10)

We know God is better than all the world offers. But if that’s where our delight in God ends, we’ve stopped short of how far the Bible goes. The staggering claim of the gospel is that God is not just better than anything the world has to offer — God is even better than anything God has to offer.

we have access to a thousand gifts that are breathtakingly wonderful in their own right (Ephesians 1:3): forgiveness of our sins (Isaiah 43:25), relief from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9), escape from hell (Revelation 20:15), heaven forever (Luke 23:43), promise of a new glorified body in a new heaven and new earth (Romans 8:18–24). But for the Christian, these are not what we write home about. Our main gift in the gospel is God. The punch line of our good news is this: You get God!

we have access to a thousand gifts that are breathtakingly wonderful in their own right (Ephesians 1:3): forgiveness of our sins (Isaiah 43:25), relief from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9), escape from hell (Revelation 20:15), heaven forever (Luke 23:43), promise of a new glorified body in a new heaven and new earth (Romans 8:18–24). But for the Christian, these are not what we write home about. Our main gift in the gospel is God. The punch line of our good news is this: You get God!


Christ wants to Give You Christ


Here are two simple questions to help expose the depth of your delight:

1. What do you do when you falter in spiritual disciplines?

 Several years ago, I began to notice something on days when I wouldn’t make time for Bible reading or extended prayer. I was sad. Not because I missed out on time with my heavenly Father, but…my response revealed that I prized my self-righteousness more than my Lord.

 

2. How do you explain the gospel to others?

God Is the Gospel

Four decades ago, recording artist Keith Green said, “If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, than in just sitting alone with God and embracing him, sharing his cares and his burdens, weeping and rejoicing with him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in his presence? You’d be bored to tears in heaven if you’re not ecstatic about God now.”

More than a decade ago, John Piper in his book God Is the Gospel put it this way: “Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And the people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God.”

We must have our God, or we truly have nothing.

Jimmy has experienced radical change. Have you?

Related:
CLEAR THE STAGE

Advertisements

Down To The River To Pray

COMING HOME

Have you every walked out your back door to hear a symphony coming from nature as you open your heart to God and His Word.   Creation can be a great guide to come closer to God’s heart and his response to you or me.

I want to offer up a small story that is part of a much, much larger one.  I’ll let Amy do what she does best: tell you what happened on this crisp clear morning.  Come back when you have read the story. Read more of this post

Blessing Our Children

Below is part of an article from Steve Ward with insightful ideas about how to help validate the lives and character of our children.  This dovetails well with Dr Larry Crabb’s thoughts on validating our sons.  See link below for more on that.

The Power of Blessing Our Kids

As parents, we desperately want our kids to be happy and safe from harm.

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to guarantee those things happen. They will face trials and troubles, and we do not control their life or their destiny.

Recently, my older son was facing some tough times, and I felt a strong desire to do something demonstrative and powerful to encourage him. It finally hit me: I should give him my blessing.

father and son photo

Reasons for Blessing Our Kids

What does blessing our kids mean?

In the Bible, when a person is blessed, it is a sign of God’s grace and presence, an assurance this person has a valuable role in God’s plans for the world.

Dr. John Trent and Dr. Gary Smalley outlined the biblical steps for blessing our kids in their book The Blessing. As described in Scripture, the process includes meaningful touch, a spoken message, and an active and ongoing commitment. And it seeks to convey two main points to them:

  1. Attaching high value to the one being blessed.
  2. Picturing a special future for him or her.

As parents, it is our mission to care for and train up our children spiritually, emotionally, and personally. Blessing our kids is a powerful tool to do just that, and we can use it to help them:

  • Establish healthy feelings of self-worth and emotional well-being.
  • Increase their own personal faith as we strongly profess our own.
  • Develop a hardy resilience for trials and issues they will face.
  • Become all they can be and fulfill their God-given potential.

There was another reason I wanted to bless my son, one more important than the others. Because he was facing some tough times, I was worried, and I longed for his well-being. Therefore, I did what any parent could do: I called on the supernatural power of the Creator of the Universe to be there for him.

Seriously. I wanted to do whatever I could to help my son, and I knew I couldn’t handle that by myself. Only by passing on a blessing from God could I help him the most.

Use this link to get an example at the bottom of the article.

Related:

The Silence of Adam

Life & Death of Nabeel Qureshi

The Heart of Man is Out!

Our Divorce Did Not Work Out!

Impact of Clerestory

 

 

Step into the Story!

Seeing the Larger Story

I read this entire article and thought: “what a great way to get into God’s’ Word!”  Only through seeking Him and through His Word, will we understand how we fit in the the Larger Story: God’s Story.

God wants his people to see and know, to consider and understand.

Even before I noticed this sequence in Isaiah, I developed my own steps for creating a lesson plan that are complementary to those in Isaiah. I call them the Five -ATES to EducATE. They include LocATE, ElaborATE, IlluminATE, IntegrATE, and ActivATE. As noted earlier, to educate means to lead or draw out from not knowing into knowing or relating to the subject—in this case, God’s story. The LocATE step identifies a problem or need the learners have that the content will address. ElaborATE develops the problem in a way that drives learners to resolve their problem. IlluminATE is the step in which content is presented. That can be done by a sage on the stage or a video lecture, or it can be done in the style of Donald L. Finkel, who wrote Teaching with Your Mouth Shut and emphasized handouts with text, commentaries, and case studies to help people teach themselves. The IntegrATE step has learners identify a way the truth of Scripture would relieve their problem. Finally, the ActivATE step challenges learners to determine a way they need to change because of insight from that truth, and to name someone to whom they will be accountable to follow through on that change.

Full article here.