Phil Cox

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Good News People - Part 2

22nd May 2009

Last week, we were looking at the need for the church to be the Good News People. Just like our Lord Jesus, we're sent into the world by God to preach the Good News - not the Bad News.

A sick person is not helped by diagnosis alone, but by prescription and discipline.

For example, two weeks ago, I wrote about Love, Joy and Peace. To make what I was saying more clear, I also wrote about their opposites: Selfishness, Grumpiness and Discord. But it's of little value to remind ourselves that we still have much of these negative traits and not enough of the positive ones. We need more than a diagnosis - we need a cure. And I wrote about that cure. It's this: Draw near to God in prayer; allow God to fill you with His Love, His Joy and His Peace; and then share them around. Bring love, joy and peace to other people. And we need to use the faith we've been given, and remember that God has promised to grow His character in us, as we co-operate with Him.

And it's the same with our country. I'm concerned that we have become known to many as the people who are obsessed with saying what's wrong with society, rather than with proclaiming to answer to the problems. The church is seen as being negative, not positive. It's of little value to shout that our country has many problems. Our country needs a way forward. It needs the Good News that there is a cure.

There is a solution to our country's problems. There is Good News. And the Good News starts with us Ė Godís people:

2 Chronicles 7v14
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Most Christians know that scripture. But we forget it. We forget because we focus too much on the problem, and not enough on the solution.

Let me ask you to settle this in your mind. Do you believe that this is Godís promise to us? Do you believe that if we humble ourselves pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, then God WILL hear from heaven and will forgive our sin and heal our land? - I do.

And if we believe this, then we should focus on being the solution. That is, on humility, prayer, meditation and repentance.

Also, we are called by God to proclaim the Good News about Jesus. We can choose to focus on how bad the state of the country is, or we can choose to tell people about our wonderful saviour, and pray for each other that we would do the same.

The brings us on to the church.

Weíve diagnosed the problems in the church. We know the church is lukewarm, compromising and lazy (at least in Britain). We know that (at least) British Christians donít pray enough, donít read the Bible enough, donít meet together frequently enough, donít seek the power of the Holy Spirit enough, and so on. We know that.

But the Good News is that you and I donít have to be like that. We can re-dedicate ourselves to Jesus and to His service. We can humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. Thereís nothing stopping us. And God will send His Holy Spirit to help us, if we ask Him to. We can affect our church. We can affect the town in which we live. We can affect the nation. And we can change the world.

We can be the solution.

But we have our own problems. Perhaps you suffer from shyness, illness, additive sins, bad relationships, or something else. But the Bible says:

Philippians 4v13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

For us, Jesus is the solution. Letís stop thinking so much about our own weaknesses. Weíre already quite familiar with them. Instead, letís look to Jesus to be the solution.

Ephesians 3v20-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Letís be the Good news People!