GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Luke 2

Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem

1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Jesus Presented at the Temple

21 And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

It seems that so much of the work of a missionary involves medical work, feeding programs, orphanages, schools, adoptions, education, vocational training, agricultural work…well you get the idea.  These are good things, which can make a significant difference in people’s lives.

But these things and others are not the MESSAGE.  The message is this as seen in the proclamation of the angel, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  These things that we do should be in the message. They ARE NOT the message.

On the day of Pentecost, after the Holy Spirit was poured out, Peter preaching to the large crowd says in Acts 4:11,12,

11This [Jesus] is the Stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which has become the Head of the corner [the Cornerstone].

12And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved.

 I believe and those who are in our Heartline meetings hear me often say, “Heartline has a lot of activities, we are extremely busy, but what we are doing whether it be student sponsorship, or the maternity center, or the various women’s programs, is not the message and what we are doing in and through the programs miss the mark if we are not clearly sharing the Good News of Great Joy…a Savior is Born.” And that, “There is one name (Jesus) under heaven by and through which mankind can know God.”

I’m sure that many of you will, during this special season, give to and help  those in need.  I strongly encourage you to be sure to share about God’s great gift, of the Good News of Great Joy, of the Savior Christ Jesus, who was born for all.

Joy to the World.

John

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Comments
  1. Yes, I’ve heard you say it too. It seems that so many organizations go with the ‘give a man a fish…..teach him to fish’ mentality. In all we do, we must remember to tell them about the Fisherman himself. You know, I’m so much more satisfied when I do it that way.

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