At Alameda Church of Christ, we are in a sermon series called “Living the Good News” in which we are learning how to share the gospel from the events of the gospel themselves.
From the announcement about Jesus’ birth we learned that one of the best ways to share the gospel is to be intentionally present in the lives of those the world claims are “unfavored” so that they can see that God’s favor extends to them.
From Jesus’ birth we learned that being witnesses and ambassadors of Christ means that, like Christ, we are called to make ourselves vulnerable for the sake of others and take risks for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
Today, from Jesus’ ministry, we learned that the church becomes good news to the world when it puts the will of God into action today as opposed to someday.
In fact, the word Jesus used to launch his ministry is the word “today.” You can read about in Luke 4:16-30.
In that passage we can make the following 6 observations:
Jesus is anointed by the Spirit to perform a specific ministry.
So is the church (Acts 1:8).
Jesus, as the Messiah, is a prophetic figure who declares the arrival of a new era.
This is good news, and the church heralds this news whenever we do works that serve as signs, in our day and age, of the new reality of God’s Kingdom that is breaking into the world (Ephesians 3:10-11).
Jesus speaks in a way that lets everyone know that he will actually bring about the release he proclaims.
The church’s job is not to save the world; rather, it is to point people to the Savior of the world – like John the Baptist did (John 1:29; 3:30).
Jesus is breaking news the news that God’s grace extends to all people.
The church should model this grace (1 Peter 4:10).
Jesus’ actions will clash with your personal and political agendas.
The Messiah of God is not and never has been a political figure, and the Messiah of God has never claimed that the Kingdom of God would be ushered in through government legislation.
Jesus takes action today.
In his book Newsworthy (which is the inspiration of this sermon series) Chris Altrock writes, “What you need to hear [from Luke 4:16-30] is this: Christian faith is not just about pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by. It’s about a living Christ who is at work in your life and your world today. We may have to wait for the fulness of that work. But while we wait, we know without a doubt that Christ is working. He has good news for you today. He has comfort for you today. He has freedom for you today. His first word to you is not ‘someday.’ It’s ‘today.'”
And the church becomes good news to the world when we act in ways that bring about the will of God on earth as it is in heaven – today.
Today you can encourage someone.
Today you can serve someone.
Today you can forgive someone.
Today you can apologize to someone.
Today you can reconcile with someone.
Today you can pray for someone.
Today you can show hospitality to someone.
Today you can be generous to someone.
Today you can comfort someone.
Today you can speak words of kindness to someone.
Today someone you know needs to hear the gospel, and today you can plant the seeds of the gospel in that person’s heart.
Today you can take a step closer to Christ.
Today you can be baptized into Christ.
So, what is God calling you to do today?