Summary: As we go into the time of Christmas, we revert our attention back to Jesus - the Good News. Full text and communion message at: www.sermonlist.com/2008.html
For the last year, the only news we hear has been bad, hasn’t it? During the presidential campaign, all we heard was negative campaigning, and how our economy is failing. Everywhere you turn, there seems to be nothing but bad news. Have you ever noticed that the only thing this old world can offer you is BAD news? That’s it!
Well, I am sick of hearing bad news, so today I want to give you some good news. I think we would all want to hear something like we just became the sole heir to someone’s multi-million dollar estate. What other kinds of really good news would you like to hear?
Would you like to hear that Uncle Sam has made a mistake and is paying you back for the many years he has overcharged you on your income tax? How about hearing that the doctors just found a cure for anything that is wrong with you?
Well, today we are going to hear some really good news. It will be rather new to some, and a refresher course to others. Today, we are going to be talking about the best news ever - God loves you!
I want to read a passage about a man who met Jesus in the worst of ways, but left in the very best of ways.
‘They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, He was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time, this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tomb. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, don’t torture me!"
’For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot, and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
"Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
’A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and He gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
’When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.’
To me, this is one of the most exciting stories in the New Testament. It shows clearly what Satan will do with a life when he has the chance; it also shows what Jesus can do with that same life when He is given the chance.
That story paints a vivid picture of what a life without Jesus is like, and what a life with Jesus is like. The man was crazy and destructive before he came to Jesus. Afterwards, he was humbled enough to sit at Jesus’ feet, and focused enough to want to travel with Jesus as Jesus continued on his journey.
There was a man named John Newton. He was the captain of a merchant ship. He didn’t deal in spices or fabrics, though. Mr. Newton dealt in slave trading. He was among the most despicable of men and must have had among the ugliest of hearts. But Mr. Newton met Jesus, and he began to change from the inside out. He eventually wrote one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
The words to that song make up a very appropriate backdrop for this message today. Those words are:
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me –
I once was lost, but now I’m found
T’was blind, but now I see."
First of all, let me say that without Jesus, we are all the worst of the worst. But there is a power to be found in Jesus; that is the power of the Spirit of God. Let me ask you a question. Do you realize just how great and powerful God is?
God is so powerful that He spoke the world into existence. He didn’t take a bunch of pre-existing material and then start forming it together and shaping it the way He wanted. He spoke the word, and the world appeared. Now, that’s powerful!