Saturday, October 17

The joy of the gospel 

Scripture: Job 3-4, Acts 8-9

Acts 8:8  So there was great joy in that city.

Acts 8:39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Observation

In Acts 8, a great persecution scatters the believers from Jerusalem, and the gospel moves into Samaria.  Notice what happens when the gospel arrives.  Joy!  People experienced great joy.  Why?  Because the gospel (the good news of Jesus) brought freedom to those who were oppressed and healing to those who were sick and relationship with a God who loved them.  

The people of Samaria experienced the power and grace of God in the gospel and they believed, and there was great joy in the city.

The Ethiopian official heard the gospel, believed and was baptized and went on his way rejoicing.  

The gospel brings joy because it brings relationship with God and all the good things that come from being close to Him!

 

Application

Think of how we’ve “religionized” the gospel and turned it from “good news of great joy for all people” (Luke 2:10) into a burden (see Matthew 23:4).  I’ve been listening to a book that covers lots of church history, and it’s heart-breaking to see how often and how far the church has strayed from the life-giving, joy-bringing good news of Jesus!

I want to make sure that I share the good news of Jesus that frees, heals, restores and brings joy—and not the burden of religion.

Prayer: Lord, I’m so grateful for the joy you’ve brought in my life.  Help me to share Jesus in a way that brings joy to others.