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Good News


For me, one of the greatest things about taking a trip to Israel is being able to put a picture with a story. For a lot of people, it’s the ability to walk where Jesus walked. There is something about being here that makes the Bible come to life. You get a new appreciation for the stories you have read your whole life. You see the caves of En Gedi that David hid in while running from Saul. The Kidron Valley is deeper than you have imagined. The terrain that Jesus and others had to walk through is formidable. I’d like to share one of my take aways with you.

First, there is a strong, vibrant Christian community of Arabs here. I know most people think all Arabs are Muslims, but that’s not the case. We went to two church services with Arab Christians and felt God’s presence strongly. Not only are there Arab Christians, but there are Arabs who don’t hate Israel or Israelis. These pastors we met reminded us of Romans 1:16 that says, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile” (NLT).

These men and women are not ashamed of Jesus, and preach His name to Muslims around the Middle East. They know their lives are in danger every time they preach the Good News, but they do it anyway. They know that God loves Arabs and Muslims and He wants them to find the truth. One of the ways they do that is to remind Muslims that the Quran says that not only was Jesus a prophet, but that He’s the Word of God. If He is the Word of God, then they need to see what He teaches and how it’s opposite of what they’re taught.

We have to remember that Jesus didn’t just die for the Jews and the Americans, He did for everyone. John 3:16 says that whosoever “believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” We can’t be picky with whom we share the Good News with. God’s desire is that none would perish. It’s up to us to reach who we can, how we can. As the verse above said, the Good News was for the Jew first and also the Gentile. We can’t be afraid or ashamed of this Good News.

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Bad News And Good News

When someone says, “I have bad news and good news,” which do you ask for first? A lot of people ask for the bad news first. They know they’ll react to it and then hope the good news will lift their spirit. Our reaction to bad news though, says a lot about our faith. It’s hard not to be devastated based on the news we receive, but God asks us to trust the truth of His Word over the truth of our circumstance.

In Luke 8, a man named Jarius wanted Jesus to come and heal his daughter. While they were on their way, some people from Jarius’ house came and told him that his daughter had died. He was devastated. In verse 50, Jesus tells Jarius, “Don’t be upset. Just trust me and everything will be all right. (MSG)” Jarius’ faith was being tested. Was he going to believe the report of others or what Jesus was saying? He allowed Jesus to come to his house and his daughter was raised from the dead.


We each hear bad news in our lives. The question is if we allow that to affect our faith. So many times when we hear that something is incurable, malignant, life threatening, serious, unavoidable or impossible, our faith takes a hit. We have to believe that what Jesus said to Jarius, He says to us. Don’t be upset. Just trust Him and everything will be all right. Things may not always turn out like we expect. We may only get bad news. Even if there’s no good news accompanying the bad, there still is good news. It’s that God is still in control and in the end, it will be all right.

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