Posts Tagged ‘Good News’

Where’s The Good News?

          If you are anything like me you must be tired of watching the network news. Bad news seems to be pouring in at an unprecedented pace, to the point that we are almost numb to its impact. We have flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, financial chaos, political corruption, and Charlie Sheen. Charlie is all about winning, I’m just trying to get my mind around the prize. He’s now decided to take his act on the road and is booked to sold-out crowds around the country. As the highest paid TV personality he seems to have a following, even the network executives want him back on the show. He’s hot, he’s selling and he’s in demand. WHY? What’s the attraction, what’s the prize? Maybe it’s the hearts and minds of a lost generation.

          People are hungry and desperate for something to feel good about. Human beings are born with the need to believe in something. God created us that way. He did so for His purpose and has presented us with the opportunity to live this life with an overflowing abundance of all that we need to fulfill our needs and He stands ready to enable us to live above the moral degradation of society. When any person chooses to live outside this provision they are left to fill the void inside with anything and everything that comes along, even the likes and philosophies of Charlie Sheen. His TV persona as a womanizing, party hardy, self-indulged character seems to emulate his off screen lifestyle. His indiscretions are not occasional but rampant. We’ve come an unfortunate distance from “Leave It to Beaver”. As a society the impact is obvious. Divorce is a major business, over half of our families are broken, our education system is failing and our children encouraged toward the heretofore unthinkable. Tell me they are not influenced by the immoral behavior portrayed as normal on TV and in the movies. The legislature continually tries to overcome these issues by enacting more laws to govern behavior. They are currently considering ways to prevent teen “sexting” via smart phones, a problem reportedly involving 22% of our young people. As a result of all of this brokenness teen suicide has reached an epidemic level.

         The networks themselves seem to be addicted to “bad news”. When a slow news day comes the filler pieces are most likely something scrounged off “You Tube” and almost always the content is negative (not to mention unworthy of prime time news).  So I ask, where’s the “good news”? Has society sunk so low that there exist no interesting and uplifting human interest stories? In a world that is desperate and needy for something to feel good about it seems the networks are not really all that interested.

          In the midst of all the chaos and turmoil, trials and tribulations, really “Good News” does exist. There is hope, there is a future, and there is truth, a way and a life. These things can only be found in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Perhaps the only thing worse than the lack of good news on TV is the deafening silence of the American church in proclaiming the only real “Good News” available to everyone who is willing to listen, if only given the chance to hear, even Charlie Sheen. Each of us must take personal responsibility for finding and living in God’s truth. If you are skeptical let me ask just one question. Given the fact that our society was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, yet in the wisdom of the courts we removed prayer from our schools and largely abandoned the beliefs of our founding fathers, is it really working for you?

What is the real “good news?

          untitledFar too often we are prone to think of our relationship to God in terms of whether or not we will make it into heaven or be banished to an eternal existence in hell. Our understanding may be tainted with the idea of our position with the almighty Creator and our view of the “good news”  is limited to the view of our “standing”  with Him. As much as we might want to think of this as the “good news”  it really isn’t. The truth is that God himself is the “good news” not the things He has to offer.

          The stark difference is in the direction of our thinking. When we focus on our standing and how it might eternally benefit us, we our thinking foremost on ourselves. God loves each of us unconditionally in spite of our condition and desires to have a relationship with us as His children. Who among us would want our children to value us only on the basis of what we can give them. “Mom, I really don’t want a relationship with you but I do want you to cook and clean up after me”. Imagine how such actions must grieve God’s heart. We are instructed to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. Jesus said that this was the greatest commandment. ( Matt 22:37)   Unfortunately this love doesn’t come without constant and continual effort on our part. How often have any of us come to daily devotions as a sense of obligation rather than a longing to spend time with Him for the sake of spending time with Him? When we make the effort to come into His presence something unexplainable happens. Our demeanor changes, His peace comes upon us and we are renewed spiritually.

          When we are apart from Him we cannot even begin to sense His presence or recall the wonderful experience of being there. His peace is a gift that He is willing to give over and over again. Sometimes we rely too heavily on church alone to gain a spiritual renewal. Our frequent gathering together is very important. During the past couple of weeks we were unable to have church services due to blizzard conditions. I truly miss the time of fellowship and prayer and praise we regularly enjoy on Sunday. I look forward to those times, we usually arrive early with an eager anticipation of the service to come. Sadly, in almost every church across America a large number of people lumber in during the first fifteen minutes of the service. At the beginning of the service only a remnant of the group is in place anxiously awaiting the start of worship. This I believe is a picture of the condition of our hearts and how we have come to reduce the “good news” to a status quo and an obligation. As an alternative we need to seek His presence every day and seek His peace and renewal as a way of life. As a result perhaps we will run toward Him at every chance, especially on Sunday desiring to be in His presence. Why not run toward our “heavenly Dad” for the sake of being with Him rather than reducing our relationship to the mere gifts He has to give?