We all love to get good news, or to experience something good. We certainly all love to learn something new that is good. Most people can’t wait to share the good news, or the good experience they’ve had with others. It doesn’t seem so good if nobody else knows it happened. That’s normal. For almost everyone.
Unlike the world around me it took me most of my life before I would “share the good news” when it happened. Even as a kid, if something good happened, or I made a discovery that seemed good, I would usually keep it inside. It seemed I was being personally blessed and if the world knew about it, well it wasn’t mine anymore. I wanted to keep it for myself. Even as an adult photographer when I would acquire a new published credit or success, I would only share it if I could see a value for the business of photography, but I would rarely share my “good news” with friends or family for the joy of it.
All good news is worth sharing, and some is essential. It took a lifetime for me to understand that, but it came to me at just the right time. As if it were a gift, from God. Or a loving commandment.
One form of unwillingness to share the good news for Christians, is the unwillingness to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The message of God and the Cross, and what it has meant to me personally, is the same as what it means to all mankind, and it is right to share it. There are reasons however, as to why something so joyous, can be so difficult to share.
You will be scorned by many when you carry that message. You will be called self-righteous, bigoted, narrow-minded and crazy. And that’s just by those who also call themselves Christians.
In my first year living in Colorado, while working at the profession of photography, I had to hold a few small part-time jobs to keep the wolf away, so to speak. On one job I worked for a car auction for which we would be bussed around the Denver area on Mondays, and transport vehicles back to the premises for the Tuesday auction. We all had plenty of time to talk. One woman was casually asked one day if there was a church that she attended in the area. She said yes and gave directions and went on politely to proclaim her journey with Christ. She preached (again quietly and in a respectful fashion) her own version of her walk with God, and then it was time for her to get out and drive a car back to the auction.
After she left, the talk (and gossip) began. One person stated, oh I believe in God and all that Jesus stuff, but I don’t carry it too far. Another said that she (the woman doing the preaching) was always pretty kooky. Then another worker shared something that I also knew of, but did not feel I had the right to share. Four years earlier she (the preacher) was called by the police while at work. She was told to come home immediately. She got home to find a police barricade in front of her house. She and her husband had four young children of which two were in school, and the two little ones were at home being cared for by their father. He had suffered a psychotic break and had killed the two younger children. It was through this tragedy that she came to know The Lord. That of course is often the case. They say there are no atheists in wartime foxholes.
I didn’t believe most of what she preached. I agreed that there was a God, and that’s about it. I did not however, believe that she was crazy just because of her belief, or the circumstances that brought her to The Lord. A few weeks later she seemed bothered and distraught. She confided in me privately, that she was scared mostly for her two surviving children, because her ex-husband was going to be released from the institution (mental hospital) he was confined to, in just two days. She had changed her residence (again), but didn’t want to move her children out of the school district that they attended. The following day (auction day) she seemed happier, and once again confided to me, this time to tell me that her ex-husband had re-committed himself to the institution, for fear that he was not healed. Something had moved him to do this.
I moved on from that job but never forgot some of the lessons I learned from her and through that experience. Oh I did not (at the time) believe her Christian teachings, but I could feel there was something that I was missing. I didn’t quite get it. I did however, always admire her proclamation of Jesus and what he did for her, and her courage to make that proclamation, even in the face of ridicule and disdain.
The negatives that you will experience from proclaiming the Gospel, are well documented in the Bible. If you can’t handle it you need to ask God for help.
We are told today to accept, and to embrace (without judgment) the worst that humanity has to offer. Yet when we share what we have learned about God and His Truth, those same people attempt to silence us. We are called by God to stay on the path anyway. Fight to good fight.
The Apostles, who with the guiding Spirit of God, wrote the New Testament, were all killed but one for their preaching’s. John survived a failed attempt on his life and was allowed to die, blind and ailing, in his natural time.
Paul, like no other Apostle, was given the meaning of the Message of The Cross, and with it the chore of visiting pagan, gentile communities to turn them to Christ, and revisiting Jewish Christians who were abandoning the Doctrine of Faith, and returning to Old Testament traditions and laws, in an effort “to earn” their way to Heaven instead of accepting God’s Grace by Faith. He was laughed at, jailed, beaten, tortured, and finally killed for his efforts.
Today while you are reading this blog, there are those who are being jailed tortured and murdered in the Middle East, Asia and other locales, because they are proclaiming their Christianity and sharing it with others. They are refusing to compromise. Certainly the least a meager and inadequate servant like myself can do, is share the Good News of the Good Book, and tolerate a little ridicule. Always remember, any success in sharing The Word of God, belongs to The Lord.
The Bible is a book about sin, and how it can, through Jesus Christ, and what He did on Calvary’s Cross, be defeated. It also teaches us to “hate” the sin, but “love the sinner”. That’s what Jesus does. There is room for righteous anger and well placed judgment by the Christian, but there is no room for hate. Don’t become what your detractors are. Let them hate, while you Love.
Romans 1:16, 17
16 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto Salvation to every one who believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (gentile).
17 For therein (by the way of the Cross), is the Righteousness of God revealed from Faith to Faith ( the first faith means the provider which is God, and the second is as it relates to us); as it is written, the just shall live by Faith. ( this is Paul saying that this is not new, it is proclaimed (already written) by the Prophets in the Old Testament).
1 Corinthians 15:1
1 Moreover Brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand.
As is always the case, non-photography posts will remain on Earth Images but will be kept in a clustered block of posts, a ways down the page. They include political, social and Christian articles with my opinions..
God Bless, Wayne