Can you recall a time in your life in which you received really good news?
Have you, for instance, ever had an unexpectedly good thing that popped up from off your radar that turned sorrowful situations into happy endings or turned awful adversities into serendipitous spring boards for success? If you have, then you know that really good news must be shared!
In Romans, chapter 1:15, the Apostle Paul says, “So I am eager to preach the Gospel to you …” Why was he eager? Why did he care? Why was he so motivated to tell them about what Jesus had done for him and could do for them?
When I think of the awe-inspiring encounter that Paul had with the resurrected Lord Jesus, I can plainly see what God has done in my own life. Not only that, but I can also now discern what it is He does in the life of anyone who turns to Him in faith and becomes the receiver of not only forgiveness, but eternal life as well.
In his encounter with Jesus on his way to the city of Damascus, Paul (who was once called “Saul”) grasped at last the revelation that all his self-righteousness was merely a shovel in his hand in digging his own grave (see Acts 9:1-22). He was not free from sin as he had supposed nor was he purifying his religion from blasphemy. And he certainly wasn’t defending God’s honor.
He was a murderer, plain and simple, under the delusion that he was a hero. Worse yet, he was persecuting Jesus Himself Who suffers with His children when they suffer for Him.
Yet, in spite of all the vengeance and judgement that Paul (Saul) deserved, the living Lord of Mercy turned this man’s life around and brought him back from the brink of destruction. He made him clean. He made him new. He gave him a new name.
It’s no wonder then that Paul in Romans 1:15 can’t wait to get the good news to a people who had not yet heard this message of hope. He knew that they desperately needed to hear that God forgives sin. That God cleanses unrighteousness. That God makes things new. That God makes the dead alive.
“I am not ashamed of the Gospel,” Paul tells the Romans, “for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes …” (Romans 1:16 ESV). The same message rings true today even after all this time. The Gospel of Jesus is still the power of God for salvation for every one of us who will believe, turning from our own self-sufficiency and the world’s cheap counterfeits and turning to the only One Who can save.
So then … if God has already brought the power of salvation to your life, how can you hold it in? Why would you not wish to share it? Who do you know that has not yet heard for him or herself that Jesus makes all things new? (see Revelations 21:5).
Even now, you can invite the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the desperate and dire need for Jesus Christ’s forgiveness that those with whom you live, work and play have? And if you haven’t yet received His life-changing power into your life and experienced the wonder of His forgiveness and love, place your faith in Him and allow Him to lead you into a transformed life of obedience.
May He indeed open our eyes to our need for His grace and to the eternal needs of those around us. Heaven has plenty of room and Hell is full enough.
Pastor Thom Mollohan leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at [email protected]