Did you ever have a day when everything seemed right with the world? When everything seemed good. It didn’t last, did it? What would it look like if that good day would last forever? What if you hear it about a way that could happen? Wouldn’t you want it? That would be good news!
The Gospel of Jesus is what every Jesus follower believes. Gospel means “good news”. We all could use some good news. Everyday we hear about bad news. Its seems we are all addicted to it. We hear a shocking story and want to hear more. Why are we so intrigued with what politicians and celebrities do? In some ways they affect use. The way the culture is going, the way leaders lead, trends and movements influence the environment we live in. But good news is different. It doesn’t just pique our interest. Real good news is like a breath of fresh air.
Good news is personal. When Jesus was approached by a man names Nicodemus, he got right to the heart to this man. (See the Gospel of John 3:1-7) Nicodemus inquired about Jesus at night, so as not to be seen my his religious peers. He had a gnawing question. “How can I live a righteous life?” This was THE religious questions at the time. It may not be yours. He was asking what Jesus was all about. “What are you about?” a gang member asked a pastor walking in the inner city. What would you say? This could be a tense fearful encounter. The pastor simply said, “I’m all about Jesus.”
Nicodemus was a seeker. He wanted the truth. How can I be all about what God is all about? That would be like saying today, “What is the best way to live to have a good life?” For the religious leaders of Jesus day, living righteously was closely tied to laws given by their ancestor Moses and ultimately what God required. Right living was their highest priority. You may have discovered that right living comes with frustration. We can never get it quite “right”. We fall short. The good doesn’t last. The answer must be out there somewhere. So we try all kinds of ways to get that good day feeling to last. Jesus peered into Nicodemus heart and found what he was missing. Jesus does the same for us. He needed a spiritual restart. Living a good life starts with the spirit. Something within us has to drastically change. A vacation or a raise may help for a while, but lasting change comes from within.
Spiritual living, living the good life, does not begin with us. We are not the center. Neither our good intentions nor our disappointments are the center. Jesus comes to recenter us. It begins with God’s Spirit doing something new and fresh in us. Jesus says, “You must be born again. You must be born of the Spirit.” Start over- let God’s Spirit breathe new life into your Spirit. We all need this. Our hearts can become crusty, selfish and even self-righteous. Jesus comes and makes us right as we trust him with our lives. It’s like a huge load has been lifted off our shoulders. This is very good news. This is like a breath of fresh air. I don’t know about you by I need that every day. The Lord is the center. To live a good and right life begins with him.
Pray with me. ”Lord Jesus I thank you for the good news. I receive again your fresh life-giving Spirit within me. Make my heart new. Take the heaviness. I belong to you and by the Spirit live a good news life. I will go out with this being my faith declaration. Amen.