Daily Devotions based the Sermon from January 24, 2021
Full Sunday message: CONTEMPORARY or TRADITIONAL
THIS WEEK: A Mission-Minded Person Is Excited about Their Message!
I have to be honest.
I never thought Bernie Sanders would bring a smile to the faces of millions of Americans. No political point to be made, just don’t see him as the “going to make you smile and laugh” person.
But he did…or at least his picture of him sitting all alone in his coat and mittens at the inauguration. Well, it wasn’t the picture at the inauguration, it is the 1000s of memes people have created putting him anywhere. All of a sudden “Where’s Waldo” has turned into “Where’s Bernie!”
My point? Every one needs good news…a reason to smile…a reason to laugh.
Perhaps the simplicity and silliness of the “Bernie memes” seems rather childish and superficial, but the reason they work, in my opinion, is people are starved for something good.
Everyone wants good news. Everyone needs good news.
That’s why everyone needs Jesus.
Not because he’s a silly picture Photoshopped into every scene imaginable, but because every person needs a solution to fear, death, and their relationship with God.
Jesus told Simon and Andrew, James and John that they were now going to be fishers of men.
Mark 1:16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
These four followed Jesus for over three years and when Jesus’ work was done he told them: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
Everyone needs Jesus.
What might this look like to people with whom you interact today? Let me give you one example.
Perhaps you know someone or will meet someone that is afraid of CoVid and its impact on their life or of someone they love. Do they need good news? Yes, like Mary and Martha did when their brother Lazarus was sick. Jesus said…“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4) But then Lazarus died! The good news? Jesus has power over death. For Lazarus, Jesus raised him back to life. For us when we fear death, he gives a promise to all of us, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”
So what could you say to a person afraid of CoVid? “I know it’s scary, right? I am praying this illness will go away. But you know what gives me good news amidst the CoVid bad news? I have a friend who is more powerful than any illness and stronger than death itself. Can I tell you about him?”
Then tell them about Jesus and the good news he brings.
Apply: Jesus brings good news to many situations. What is a situation someone you know is facing? What promise or truth of Jesus could bring them a smile to an otherwise challenging situation?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being who you are and doing what you did. All of it is good news for me and the world. Use me today to bring a little bit of your good news to someone who is struggling, hurting, worried, or afraid. AMEN.
Passage and Prayer for the Ministry of Cross & Crown
Thursday – January 28 – 1 John 3:16 “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
PRAYER: Thank you for giving us the definition of love—to serve and even lay down one’s life for another. Teach us to serve with passion and power, in unity and grace. Reveal the ways you have called us to love our brothers and sisters.