The Best News Ever: World

March 26, 2023
SBC Missionary, Jeff Johnson
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It starts with a dream.

It was a pleasure to worship with all of you yesterday and we were so grateful that Jeff and Roxanne Johnson, long time missionaries with SBC through Frontiers, joined us. Their stories of how God is moving around the world, in ways that culturally shouldn't be but ARE, reminded us all that God's word is alive!

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:4-6). The power it takes for light to shine against the darkness is transformational. This transformation of the heart is so powerful, Jeff reminds us, that when we witness people turning toward God, we witness a moment more powerful than that of creation. That transformation is then met with an embrace.

How are we embracing others? Have you ever walked into a room and subconsciously or consciously wondered if you were safe? Known? Appreciated? Wanted? In danger? The position we enter relationships into can have the same effect. A life transformed by Jesus no longer has to stand on the defense. Maybe you needed to hear that yesterday. I know I did. The world is desperate for truth, direction and light. So where do we lead people?

If you want to know who God is, look at Jesus.
If you want to know what it's like to be human, look at Jesus.
If you want to know what love is, look at Jesus.
If you want to know what grief is, look at Jesus.

The BEST NEWS for the world is that the gospel is not philosophy. It's not a moral compass. It's a person. It's Jesus. Jesus has the authority over death and over forgiving sins. He has all authority.

"A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.'
Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?' Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, 'Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.' So he said to the man, ' tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.' He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, 'We have never seen anything like this!'" (Mark 2:1-12)

The authority that Jesus has over life, death and the forgiveness of sins changes the narrative for cultures around the world. There is darkness- in our communities, in our homes, in our workplaces, here and around the world, desperate for light. The hope in truth doesn't come from a rearranging of politicians, policies or media trends. It comes from Jesus and His work is alive in us. How we embrace others, proclaim the truth through our posture of love carries the power of light. A light that others need. Let us not be ashamed but graciously and with love, live it out. 
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