In his popular Bible paraphrase The Message, Eugene Peterson uses “message” wherever the biblical word for “gospel” appears. The good news about Jesus is truly the message still needed by the world today. Christian families are called to experience it together and to share it in whatever culture they live.
How would you summarize “the message” using the following texts? Matt. 28:5-7; John 3:16; Rom. 1:16-17; 1 Cor. 2:2; 2 Cor. 5:18-21.
The earliest news the disciples ran everywhere with was of the resurrection of Jesus. Christian families today join a long line of runners proclaiming, “He is risen,” as He said (Matt. 28:7, NKJV). The reality of His resurrection makes credible everything else Jesus said about Himself, about God and His love for sinners, about forgiveness, and about the assurance of eternal life by faith in Him.
Passionate about the gospel. Scripture gives glimpses of the gospel’s sweeping effect on the lives of Jesus’ early followers. They opened their homes for Bible study; they prayed and ate together, shared money and resources, and took care of each other. Whole households embraced the message. Were they suddenly flawless people? No. Were there some conflicts and discord among them? Yes. But somehow these followers of Christ were different. They acknowledged their needs for God and for each other. They put a priority on unity and harmony at home and at church, endeavoring to fulfill the Gethsemane prayer of Jesus (John 17:20-23). They witnessed to each other and to unbelievers with boldness, even putting their lives at risk for their beliefs.
So must it be for us. Even in the current age, jaundiced as it is toward godly things, people who are excited about something still get a hearing. The Spirit longs to fill human hearts with excitement about the gospel. When the good news really becomes as good in our hearts as it is within the Word, sharing will be spontaneous and unstoppable.
|What changes might need to be made in your own family that could help it be a better harbinger of “the message” we have been called to share?|