News so Good it’s Just Gotta’ be told
Puppies and Kittens
A quick scan of the evening news makes us want to swear off all cable news outlets. As the saying goes, “if it bleeds, it leads.” And social media is flooded with angry, self-righteous rants and stories of loss and pain. And, on top of that stress, we all have our own personal issues to wrestle with.
This leaves the average news junkie hungering for good news. That’s why the most popular Facebook posts tend to be videos of puppies, kittens, and puppies playing with kittens! In fact, some of the greatest moral outrage we encounter is connected to cruelty toward puppies and kittens. I’m sure we can all agree that cruelty to animals is just plain wrong.
All have sinned.* These stark words stand as an indictment against every man and woman’s natural tendencies and desires. I don’t need the 60-Minutes news crew camped in my front yard to reveal this or an anonymous note that says “I know what you did last summer.” I am fully aware that I have sinned.
This is also the easiest part of the gospel message to prove. This truth is, in fact, inescapable. We live in a world immersed with mankind’s sin, destructive pride and self-centered living. I should know – I’m a card-carrying sinner, too. I know one when I see one.
Simple observation informs us that the condition of the world is not improving. Sure we have new life-saving technologies for which we thank God, such as better treatments for cancer, safer airplanes, and airbags. But, outpacing the good, we have also perfected new sin and pain delivery systems used to exploit women and children and to build W.M.D.’s. Not only individuals, but whole governmental systems can be overtaken by pride and a lust for power and control. Individual evil sometimes results in corporate evil, thus multiplying the suffering resulting from sin.
The sin I detest the most, however, is my own. My pride, jealousy, and avarice creep up and take over at times. Then when I am most vulnerable, my sin speaks in excuses and justifications . . . ”no one will know, you’ll feel better, everyone is doing it, what choice do you have?” Although the Bible teaches that sin is no longer my master,* in my weaker moments, I still occasionally give sin free reign in my life.
But the gospel is “good news” to sinners. The good news is God’s offer of redemption going out to “whosoever will.” People’s self-destructive sin is only the introduction to the good news. The “good” part is God’s redemption of people who seek Him. New life and fresh starts all around for those who put their trust in Jesus.
The blood of Jesus’ cross makes the offer of forgiveness and a personal relationship with God a reality. Now that’s good news! But, who among us sinners can enjoy the good news? God’s invitation to redemption and new life is spoken by God’s Spirit through His church;
“‘Come.’ Let anyone who hears this say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.”
Anyone can come to Him and receive forgiveness and a new start. Anyone.
Blessed to be His servant,