Good afternoon everyone! It has been a long while since we have talked, and I understand that the fault is all mine. In the hustle and bustle of life I have failed to communicate regularly with you.
But, is it not funny how something you read, or a conversation you enjoy, can trigger something inside you to get you back on tract…to realize what is important and what is perhaps not so important.
Over the past couple of mornings I have reading the Apostle Paul’s introduction to the church at Rome in preparation for a future lesson or sermon, when his words triggered a memory of a conversation I had several years ago with a colleague of mine.
In verse 14 Paul writes: “I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
As I read the Apostle’s words I can sense a deep excitement rising within him as he prepares to bring the gospel to the then capital of the world, can’t you?
Just look at verse 16. Paul says without reservation God will save EVERYONE who will believe! both Jew and Gentile…that’s you and me and the rest of the world! I sense Paul’s excitement in being the one to share that with all man kind! To share the GOOD NEWS!
Which brings me to that conversation I mentioned. My friend had just held a week long revival at his church in Missouri. He was disappointed in the turn out, He had spent several months getting ready…
Printing flyers, sending them to churches, posting them in stores and on telephone poles. He talked about how he had taken out full page ads in the local newspaper, had put in on the radio, and on the local cable access channel…
But he said to me that it seemed to him that no one was excited about the Good News anymore. He said sadly that he couldn’t pay anybody to come.
I read the words of Paul, and recalled that conversation admist the hustle and bustle of the people of the Naz preparing for the Donna East Comedy night. Tickets being sold, plans being made for fundraisers. Flyers being printed, ideas and vision being bandied about, all with the undercurrent of excitement of introducing new people to the Church of the Nazarene and sharing the Good News with them!
People are excited about welcoming new family members into the fold. Getting to know them, to disciple them…to love them. Over the course of the past few days I have been in literally dozens of businesses and I can say truthfully that I have not entered one in which a Donna East flyer has not been present!
And Paul’s words run through my mind…”For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”
Yup, no shame here, just excitement in the hearts and minds of the good people of the Naz, as we cannot wait to see what God is going to do in the coming year…and perhaps it is all starting here, in preparation for April 30. 2016.
I just want to encourage all of us to stay excited, to build on that excitement and to keep in mind that…
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
To God be the glory for great things He has done…and great things he is doing…and great things He will do!
Now if that don’t excite you then your exciter is broken!