Sunday, September 20, 2015

September 20 - Good News!

Today's Reading:
Genesis 18:16-19:38
Luke 4:1-30
Psalms 7:10-17
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Focus Verses: Luke 4:18-21 
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Jesus came preaching the good news, which had been promised and foretold by the prophet Isaiah. It was good news of healing, freedom, justice, and restoration. More than merely spiritual, philosophical, or religious, Jesus came to bring truth and deliverance that would bring about real change, recovery, and hope in the real world.

This good news was not just for Israel, but for all people everywhere. When the people of Nazareth rejected Jesus, he reminded them that they were not the first to reject someone sent by God. In fact, the abuse and rejection of the prophets was typical in their history. They became outraged when he pointed out scriptural examples of non-Jews who, unlike them, were quicker to recognize God's power and truth.

Response and Action:
I recognize Jesus as good news. He is the hope of salvation. He brings forgiveness and restoration. He offers freedom from oppression and bondage. He is the proof of God's love and favor toward humanity. I will embrace the good news that Jesus embodies. My faith and hope are in him.

Not only will I receive the good news, I will commit myself to joining Jesus in preaching and living the good news of God. As a follower of Jesus, I must commit myself to bring peace, deliverance, health, justice, life, truth, and freedom to the world around me. To embrace Christ Jesus is to embrace his agenda for the world.

O God, you are holy and loving. Your love and holiness have been gloriously lived out on earth through Christ Jesus. Thank you for the good news Jesus has brought to the whole world. Help me to follow in his steps and to walk in the power of his Spirit, that I might live and preach the same good news. Help me to be an active agent and living witness of the freedom, restoration, and hope that are in Christ Jesus. May your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Romans 10:14-15
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Kingdom Come: How Jesus Wants to Change the World
by Allen Mitsuo Wakabayashi

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