It is time for Good news
Proverbs 15:30, The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat. Proverbs 25:25, As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
Life is such that we are never short of news; good or bad. Even the markets, in example, respond to news. Faith comes by what news you’ve heard, and fear comes in a similar fashion. It’s almost Christmas and it’s a season of good news. Good news comforts, exalts, exhorts, energizes, inspires but DOES NOT sell well. Bad news sells.
News is basically unknown information; reported, brought to your attention from a perspective- it is “information”- processed data and thus never devoid of particular slant of the teller of the story!
The dictionary definitions of news include the following: newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events; a broadcast or published report of news; something having a specified influence or effect. Good news means something pleasant, fortunate, or otherwise positive. (Christianity) The message of Jesus concerning the salvation of the faithful (as elaborated in the Gospels), is something that is positive, encouraging, uplifting, desirable, or the like.
In the Scriptures, the promise of the good news of the Kingdom of God and salvation is manifested by faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself was the manifestation of the Good News and also preached the Good News. In Luke 4:14-22 Jesus established His Public Ministry when He went into the synagogue. He opened the scroll given Him and He opened to and read Isaiah’s prophesy concerning Him and then “He began speaking to them: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing and in your presence.” 22 And [as He continued on] they all were speaking well of Him, and were in awe and were wondering about the words of grace which were coming from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”... 43 But He said, “I must preach [the good news of] the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because I was sent for this purpose.”
Nothing must stop us also from delivering the Good News. The apostles faced persecution and yet relentlessly proclaimed the Gospel. Acts 5:40-42, 40 The Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) took his advice; and after summoning the apostles, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and released them. 41 So they left the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy [dignified by indignity] to suffer shame for [the sake of] His name. 42 And every single day, in the temple [area] and in homes, they did not stop teaching and telling the good news of Jesus as the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).
We are a remnant called to preach the Good News and in this season of Good News, we must note and declare the following: Jesus is the promise of God; His birth brings us Good News of a Kingdom and its benefits; we have an open invitation to the Kingdom; Jesus saves; Jesus delivers; Jesus builds up; Jesus makes us like him. Angelic visitations happen in the season of Good News (visitations to Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds etc.). As announcements of divine intentions are made, response to the announcements matters; the hearers must make a decision to act on the receipt of Good News and go through stages in the process & processing it.
Let us note and take a cue from the recipients of Good News of the birth of Christ:
1. Zechariah- Luke 1:5-23. He was performing his duties as a priest when he received an angelic visitation, as the angel brought him the good news of his own son’s birth, who was also to be the forerunner of the Messiah. God values faithfulness in execution of your duties and calling irrespective of unpleasant circumstances or seeming delays in your own life. The inability to produce a son long into his old age did not stop Zechariah from doing what God had called him to do. Those who have been obedient, committed and focused on doing His will encounter visitations because God is a God of remembrance.
2. Elizabeth- Her name meant “Oath of God” served faithfully by her husband’s side. Perhaps having her own questions as to why she was barren, yet at the right time God remembered her and God’s grace was fully made manifest in her life when she gave birth to her son John (Grace).
3. Mary- Her name meant “bitter” yet walked in holiness & focused on pleasing God. For that reason, God was pleased with her and chose her to be the mother of His son. By accepting the commission, Mary offered up her body as a pleasing sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) and beyond that risk her very life to be an unwed mother.
4. Joseph- He was greatly confused by his betrothed’s pregnancy yet obedient (Matthew 1:18-25). Amidst possible ridicule accepted to marry a woman who may have been impregnated by “another man”.
5. The Shepherds- committed to their sheep and their assignment. (Luke 2:8-20). Good News came to them as they discharged their duties and they hurried off to worship the Messiah.
6. The Wise men- (Matthew 2:1-5) saw a star that announced the birth of the Messiah and set out to find Him. What do you see? You might not have heard the news or read the story but pay attention to what you see. Do you walk by faith or by sight because that determines how you see? Do you merely look or see?.
7. Simeon & Anna, a prophetess of Jerusalem- Was married only 7 years and then became a widow- spent day & night in the temple. And Simeon, devout and prayerful- walked in the Holy Spirit. These two formed a womb of prayer to herald in the promise of the birth of the Messiah. (Luke 2:2-39)
"As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25 (KJV)