1. Good Tidings Of Great Joy
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:8-11
We have just come through the Christmas season, and these words are fresh on our hearts and minds from Christmas carols, cards, Bible study and even spoken by Linus to explain the meaning of Christmas to Charlie Brown. We have entered the year 2010 and the outlook for some seems dark and dreary. But those blessed words of the angel keep ringing in my head, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." While the news all around us may look bad, we have good news to share with the world. Christ the Lord was born in Bethlehem, to give Himself to be our spotless Lamb. In John 1:29 we see the message given by John, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) Now, in the year 2010, that same message is still being preached today. Let's look at some of the "Good tidings of great joy" we find in God's precious Word.
2. The Light is Good
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:1-5
A New Year, a new beginning… what better place to start than with the beginning verses of God’s holy Word. The beginning of creation was a lot like the beginning of our lives… “void” and in “darkness”. And in the same way that God said, “Let there be light” those thousands of years ago to dispel the darkness, He also sent His Son, a Light to the world, to shine in our lives. Simeon took the infant Jesus in his arms and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen they salvation. Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32) In John 8:12 we also read, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followest me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” The first good tidings of great joy we see today is that Jesus is the Light of the world. We no longer have to walk in darkness. We can believe on the Lord Jesus to be our Savior and let His Light shine through our lives. As you enter the new year, 2010, share the good news and remember these Words of our dear Lord, “Let your light so sine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
3. It Is Not Good To Be Alone
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul… And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:7 & 18
In Genesis 1:4 we read, “And God saw the light, that it was good…” and after He created the land and the seas we read in verse 10, “…and God saw that it was good.” On the third day of the creation of plants we read in verse 12, “…and God saw that it was good.” On the fourth day when God made the sun, moon and stars we read in verse 18, “…and God saw that it was good.” The creation of birds and fish and animals brings these words again “…God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:21 and 25) Then we come to Genesis 2:18, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” God saw that it was not good for man to be alone. God made Eve and the two of them walked and talked with God in the Garden. We also have the privilege to walk and talk with the Lord. Just before going back to heaven Jesus promised, “God ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20) We don’t have to be alone. Trust in the Lord to save you and He will be with you always. Realize that you are lost. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God:” (Romans 3:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Believe and ask the Lord to forgive you and save you. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Trust in the Lord and He will be with you always.
4. The Knowledge Of Good And Evil
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17
Adam and Eve had everything they needed in the Garden of Eden. All their needs were provided and they had fellowship and communion with God. They could eat freely from the fruit of the garden. God gave them one rule. It was very simple. They were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I know that some people try to speculate what type of fruit was on the tree, but that is not important. I don’t believe that it was the fruit that brought the curse. Life in the garden was good. If their created state, Adam and Eve did not know evil. But once they chose to disobey God’s law, their eyes were opened. They chose to do wrong. They felt conviction and hid from God. Their sin brought a curse to the world and they were banned form the Garden of Eden. They didn’t get another chance. We face choices daily between good and evil. It is wonderful when we choose to follow God and do good. But how many times do we fall short and our actions are not good? We try to follow the Ten Commandments, and we don’t kill or steal. We know not to do things that are bad. But we read in James 4:17, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” We are also responsible for doing the good things that we know. We know it is good to read our Bible, but how often do we read God’s Word? It is good to pray, but do we spend time in prayer to God? We know the difference in good and evil. Our good works will not save us, but our good works can glorify God. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
5. What Looks Good Is Not Always The Best Choice
“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lord journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” Genesis 13:10-13
God blessed Abram with great riches in silver and gold and much cattle. When Abram went to Bethel, Lot went with him also. They had such an abundance of flocks and herds that the land would not bear them and their herdman argued and fought for the land. Abram told Lot to choose the land he wanted and they would separate themselves from each other. Lot looked out over the well watered land and chose the plains of Jordan. He chose what looked like the best place to live. We can’t always make our choices on how things look. Sodom was a wicked city, but we read that Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Abram went to Hebron and built an altar to the Lord. Lot made a poor choice on what looked like the best choice. Maybe he never really planned to enter into Sodom. But he saw that it looked good, and went towards it, and we read in Genesis 19:1 that “Lot sat in the gat of Sodom”. This was a great position in a city. We know the rest of the story. God sent His angels to tell Abram of His plans to destroy the city and Abram asked if He would destroy it for 50 righteous people in the city, then 45 righteous, all the way down to 10 righteous people in the city. And the Lord could not find even 10 righteous people. Lot finally escaped from the city with only two of his daughters. His wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. Lot paid dearly for his wrong choice. When you are at a crossroads in your life, don’t just go down the road that looks the best. Start at an altar, and ask God to show you the right direction, and He will guide you.
6. The Lord Is Good!
“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:5
I got some bad news earlier in the week, and as I walked out of the office my thoughts were, “The Lord is good.” As I drove home I could have been really down and depressed, but I kept thinking, “The Lord is good.” I don’t know what will happen this year. But, I do know, the Lord is good. No matter what comes my way, the Lord is good. He has never failed me. And He will not fail me in 2010. He has always supplied my needs, and He will supply my needs in 2010. When changes come into our lives, our outlook is much better if we see them as God working His will in our lives. When we remember the simple truth that God is good, we can put our trust in Him daring to face the challenges that come. We had a special service at church Wednesday night and several people testified of the good things God had done for them. Preacher Jeff Woods gave us a few thoughts from Psalm 100 and God assured me once again in verse 5, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” You are probably familiar with Psalm 100, but read it again and let these verses remind you how you can serve the Lord in 2010. He is good and He deserves all our praise!
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100
7. Sowing Good Seed On Good Ground
“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the house came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24-30
Jesus told the parable of the sower in the first verses of this chapter. The sower sowed seed and some fell by the way side, some in stony places, and some among the thorns. But some fell on good ground. Jesus explained the parable and shows us that sometimes we sow the seed, which is the Word of God, and those who hear don’t accept the Word, but let the cares and riches of this world choke the Word. “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:23) From these two parables we learn that we need to sow the seed and some will fall on good ground. We also learn that we need to sow good seed. I remember a gospel tract that was titled, “Sow As You Go”. We can go to sow on church visitation. We can also sow as we go. Our lives should be so Christ-like that others see Jesus in our daily walk. There are many people today who would not step inside our church doors or listen to the gospel message on the radio, but they come in contact with Christians on a daily basis. Do your friends and co-workers see Christ in your life? Are you sowing good seed? We can’t always be assured that the seed we sow will fall on good ground. But we can strive to sow good seed in our witness to others and in our daily lives.
8. Giving Good Gifts
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For ever one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7:7-11
The empty space in my living room where the tree stood, reminds me of the empty place in my heart. It was so good to have my children and grandchildren home for Christmas. I always enjoyed rocking my children in the evenings with the house lights down low and the Christmas tree lights shining brightly. Those memories were so dear as I sat and rocked my grandbaby this Christmas. Now, the room seems so empty as the decorations are being boxed and put away little by little, and the time with my children and grandchildren grows less and less. I feel really blessed this Christmas season. Jesus came to give Himself for me. He continues to give me all my needs, and so much more! I think God enjoys giving to us, just as I enjoy giving to my children. I really had fun shopping for my family and friends last month. I listened to the things they said, and tried to pick the best gifts for each of them. We also shared the gifts of time and fellowship as we gathered together for meals, games, worship, and “projects” with Meredith, who is 3 years old. We need to give good gifts. They don’t have to be expensive or rare. We can give ourselves to others in the time we spend with them, or even in a phone call. Don’t wait until next Christmas to give. Treasure each visit you have with family and friends and recognize each new day as a gift from God.
9. Be Of Good Cheer
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
As we continue with our “Good Tidings of Great Joy”, today I want to encourage you to “be of good cheer.” The world celebrates the New Year and shouts out, “Happy New Year”, but how many wake up the next morning with true joy in their hearts? Only God can give us that inner peace that the world does not understand. Jesus tried to explain His death and resurrection to the disciples earlier in this chapter, but they did not understand. He told the disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” If you look at John 18:24 you see “Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.” This was not a surprise to Jesus, that the world would bind Him and beat Him and nail Him to a cross. I can understand the discouragement of the disciples since He told them that He had overcome the world. Then, on the third day, they came to the empty tomb. Jesus rose from the dead just as He said. We will have tribulation in this world, but we can be of good cheer, because Jesus has overcome the world!
10. A Pattern of Good Works
“In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” Titus 2:7 & 8
First of all I want to make it clear that we are not saved by works. There are many people who believe that God has a balance and if their good works outweight their bad works then Peter will let them in the gate of heaven. Ephesians 2:8-10 tell us “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not or yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” This is a dangerous belief because these poor lost souls will die and go to hell. When people believe that their good works can open the way to heaven, they are putting themselves above the Lord. Isaiah 64:6 tells us plainly, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Jesus also said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23) Now, that we have established the fact that we are not saved by works, let’s look at our verses above. The Apostle Paul exhorts us to show “a pattern of good works” so that we won’t be condemned by the world. Do your friends and co-workers know you are a Christian? Can the world see Jesus through the life you live? You may have gone to church yesterday and sang, “Oh, How I Love Jesus”, but are you living like the world during the week? Examine your life and ask the Lord to show you how you can be a witness in your daily life and show “a pattern of good works.”
11. A Good Foundation
“Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” I Timothy 6:19
We talked about having a pattern of good works. But, in order to do that, we must begin with a good foundation. Jesus told the parable of the wise man who built upon the rock and the foolish man who built upon the sand. “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:47-49) I learned that story as a little girl, and we even sang a little song with it. My parents and Sunday School teachers were laying a foundation in my mind of Bible stories that would go with me all my life. I grew older and got saved, and began reading my Bible and God continued to build on the foundation. If you want your house to stand, then lay a good foundation on the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ. “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (I Corinthians 10:4)
12. A Good Word
“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” II Thessalonians 2:16 & 17
When I think of “a good word” I think of the verse in Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Another verse that comes to mind is Romans 10:15, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” One more than I often think of since my children have moved away is Proverbs 25:25, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” So much can be said for “a good word.” Our verse above tells us that the Lord Jesus can comfort us and establish us with hope and grace through a good word. Good news can bring joy and hope to a troubled soul. Preaching of the good news of the gospel can bring salvation to lost souls. We can all find comfort in a good word. We can exhort others by giving a good word at the right time. A lot has been said in the Bible about controlling our tongue. We need to work at speaking “a good word” at just the right time and pray that God can use us to lift others along the way.
13. A Good Conscience
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” I Timothy 1:5
Walt Disney created Jiminy Cricket to tell children, “Let your conscience be your guide.” I don’t think we can rely on our conscience only to guide us because we can harden our hearts with unconfessed sin. But there are several verses in the New Testament that speak of having a “good conscience”. As we follow the Lord and trust in God to lead and guide us, the Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts through conviction. Yesterday I used the verse from Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” As I was trying to go to sleep the Lord spoke to me about my words. We are experiencing challenging times at work and lately I have let my frustrations with the work load come through in words that were far from pictures of gold and silver. They were more like “mud in your eye”. The power of conviction from the Holy Ghost caused me to have a bad conscience. I felt sorry that I had possibly caused hurt feelings to those I work with day by day. I asked the Lord to forgive me, and this morning I asked my co-workers to forgive the unkind words that had crept in through my frustrations. After my confession, I tried to give them a “good word” as I thanked them for their patience and help as we try to “catch up” our work load. Afterwards, God gave me a “good conscience” once again. When God shows you sin in your life through the conviction of the Holy Ghost, pray and confess. Don’t let unconfessed sin sear your conscience and harden your heart.
14. A Good Report
“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40
We all like to get good reports. When we were in school we were measured by our report cards. When we go to the doctor, we pray for a good report. Hebrews 11 has often been called the Faith Hall of Fame and lists great men and women of the Bible, such as Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sara, Joseph, Moses, and Joshua. We often think of these men and women as being super-humans. But, they walked and ate and slept just as we do today. They had faith and they “obtained a good report”. Preacher Jack Tripp used two verses in preaching our revival from Malachi 3:16-17 that I want to mention as we think of a good report. “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” The Lord hears us when we speak of Him. Not only does He hear us, but He is writing it down in a book of remembrance. I want to have a good report with the Lord. As we begin this new year, let’s think on the Lord and speak the wonders of His love. Maybe when God calls all His jewels home, we will have a good report.
15. The Good Shepherd
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” John 10:14-17
Our focus on “good” things would not be complete without looking at The Good Shepherd. Jesus is The Good Shepherd and He gave His life for the sheep. Isaiah 53:6 reminds us, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” We are little lost sheep, without hope, until The Good Shepherd calls us and we repent and accept His salvation and follow Him. Notice what the Lord said, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and there shal be one fold and one shepherd.” Jesus was there talking with His sheep. We can look back in the Old Testament to the 23rd Psalm and know that the Lord had sheep way back then. You can tell that David knew the Good Shepherd when he said, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness of his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anountest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Jesus is not just the Good Shepherd of the sheep of the past, but He is our Good Shepherd. All we have to do is believe on Him. Let’s continue in John 10:24-28, “Then came the Jew round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” We can be a part of His fold if we will believe and follow Him. Jesus is The Good Shepherd.
16. Our Friends And Family Can Be Saved, Too
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.” Acts 16:30-34
The best news is that we can be saved through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The next best news is that our friends and family can be saved, too! Paul and Silas were in prison and they prayed and sang praises at midnight. God sent an earthquake that loosened their bands and opened the prison doors. The Philippian jailor was ready to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had all escaped and he was responsible for them. "But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." (Acts 16:28-31) I was blessed to be brought up in a Christian home. My grandparents and parents were saved and I praise the Lord for my Christian heritage. I was raised up in church and I saw my need for salvation at an early age. I could not rely on the salvation of my parents to take me to heaven. I had to open the door of my heart and trust in the Lord to save me. As my children reached the age of understanding I prayed that each of them would be saved, and now I pray for my grandchildren. It is wonderful that we can share the joy of Christianity here on earth, but I rejoice even more that I will see my Dad and grandparents again one day in heaven. We need to do all we can to witness to our friends and family members. I am sure that this Philippian jailor rejoiced not only in his salvation, but he must have also rejoiced that "all his house" also believed on the Lord.
17. We Have A Comforter
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17
When we face pain and sadness, it helps for someone to comfort us. Jesus knew his disciples would have great sadness in His suffering and death on the cross. I think He was trying to prepare them. Jesus spoke these words at the last Passover with his disciples, after Judas had gone out. He speaks of “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost…” in verse 26. Chapter 15:26 begins, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father…” And once again in John 16:7 He says plainly, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Four times Christ told the disciples He would send the Comforter to them. The disciples did not understand how the Comforter would manifest unto them and not the world. (John 14:22) Just as the world cannot understand today. But we understand because we can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit living within us. We can have inner peace when trouble comes. We can have joy in the midst of tribulation. We can find comfort in our times of sorrow. We have all this and more… with our Comforter.
18. We Have A Home In Heaven
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were no so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2-3
If you know someone is planning to come to your house for an extended visit, you would probably prepare a place for him or her. You would want to clean up and make sure you have food in the house. Well, we are on our way to spend eternity in heaven. And Jesus has promised to prepare a place for us. John describes heaven with streets of gold and gates of pearl in the book of Revelations. We have friends and loved ones that have gone on to heaven. We can only imagine how wonderful it will be. We can look around us and see all of God’s creation, which he accomplished in only six days. Imagine the wonders and glory of heaven that Christ is preparing for us. And He has promised to come back and take us there with Him. We may not live in the biggest house down here on earth, but Christ is preparing a special place for us in heaven. That's our good news for today.
19. God Supplies All Our Needs
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
The previous verses tell us that the Philippian Church had abundantly given to Paul again and again. Because of their “sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God” Paul told them God would supply all their needs. In Matthew 6:25-34 we read the words of Jesus which remind us that God clothes the lilies of the field, and feeds the sparrows. He tells us “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?…for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” We don’t need to worry about our food and clothing. We may not get all our wants in this world, but God will supply our needs. In I Timothy 6:8 Paul writes, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” When we put God first in our lives, God will supply all our need. That is great news in the midst of our troubled economy. We also read in I Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Live Godly, and be content, knowing your heavenly Father cares for you.
20. We Have A Friend
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Everybody needs a friend. A friend listens when you need someone to talk to. A friend helps you out when you are in need. “A friend loveth at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17) And Proverbs 18:24 tells us “…there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Jesus is that friend. In John 15:15 Jesus continues, “Henceforth I call you not servants… but I have called you friends…” It is amazing that Christ would choose to be our friend. He loves us so much that He laid down His life for us. He gives us salvation, and we should be willing to serve Him, but He has called us to be His friends. Are you a friend of God? We read in James 2:23 “…Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” Abraham was called the Friend of God. Would those around you call you a Friend of God? How do we become a friend of God? In John 15:14 Jesus says, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” Won’t you follow Him and be His friend?
21. "Surely I Come Quickly"
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city... And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely... He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (portions of Revelation 22:12 - 21
The Bible is full of good news and we could go on and on with verses that tell us of the goodness of our God. I want to end this theme with the last good news in the Bible. These are the last recorded words of our Lord in the last verses, of the last chapter of the last book. The last words of our Lord are great news for all Christian believers. "Surely I come quickly." Are you ready? He is coming again. Are you listening to His Word? Are you looking for His coming? Are you sending out the good news to others? "Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."