Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Good News Brothers

Today's Reading: Acts 15:3-4 NIV
3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

Good morning!

I purchased a t-shirt from one of the many displays at the United Methodist Congress on Evangelism held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this month. The caption on the t-shirt front really caught my eye. It says, "John and Charles Wesley - The Good News Brothers" with a picture that somewhat resembles John and Charles in a Blues Brothers costume! The back of the shirt exclaims, "On a mission from God." As soon as the weather warms up here in the arctic tundra of Missouri, my friends from Faith Church St. Charles will see me wearing this t-shirt around town. John and Charles Wesley were responsible for igniting the Methodist movement in England, Europe and the United States during the mid-1700s. They knew how to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ around town in worship and song. If you have a chance, take a minute or two to read about John and Charles Wesley online. If you would like to know more, visit your local United Methodist Church, where you will find additional resources available which tell about the brothers' lives and beliefs.

At the Congress on Evangelism, I heard amazing stories of people from around the world, who were accepting Jesus Christ and having their lives totally transformed. I heard several pastors and teachers tell about changed lives in their communities and classrooms; my heart jumped for joy as they shared their stories and experiences of faith. We tend to dwell on all the bad stuff happening in our world and we sometimes forget how God continues to move in and through the people all around us. What an encouragement it is to hear some Good News for a change!

Paul and Barnabas were certainly the Good News brothers of their day. Everywhere they went, Paul stopped to share the faith stories with the community of faith and anyone else who would make time to listen. People were excited to hear of how the Holy Spirit was sweeping across the region, saving souls of both the Jewish tradition and Gentiles alike. When folks realized that God's love through Jesus Christ was meant for all people everywhere, the apostles' stories became a lifeline of hope and a source of healing to all who listened and believed. Good News travels fast!

How will the Lord choose to use you today in sharing a little Good News with the people in your life? Ask Him to help you share stories of faith-filled living with everyone you know. Like the Good News brothers, you too can be a bearer of Good News, just like John, Paul, Charles and Barnabas! (And you thought I was going to say, "George and Ringo." Gotcha!

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

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