Sermon Highlights: Good News

Some time later… King Ben-hadad of Aram mustered his entire army and besieged Samaria. As a result, there was a great famine in the city. The siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty pieces of silver, and a cup of dove’s dung sold for five pieces of silver.

Now there were four men with leprosy sitting at the entrance of the city gates. “Why should we sit here waiting to die?” they asked each other. “We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”

So at twilight they set out for the camp of the Arameans. But when they came to the edge of the camp, no one was there! 6 For the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. “The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us!” they cried to one another. So they panicked and ran into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, as they fled for their lives.

When the lepers arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating and drinking wine; and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and hid it.  Finally, they said to each other, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”   (2 Kings 6:24, 25; 7:3-9

The blessings of the Lord we enjoy were not given to us to merely make us happy, but so that we might share them with those around us who need Him too. “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16).

Today, it is a famine not for food, but for the Word of God. “‘The time is surely coming,’ says the Sovereign Lord, ‘when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the LORD'” (Amos 8:11). “For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?” (Romans 10:13-15).

God’s overwhelming goodness and the knowledge of their countryman’s dire need motivated the lepers in the above story to go tell the good news of what they had found. “Those who would be overcomers must be down out of themselves; and the only thing which will accomplish this great work, is to become intensely interested in the salvation of others” (Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 207).

If we keep silent about the Good News of God’s salvation, the consequences include guilt, failure to grow up in Christ, and loss of spiritual strength. On the other hand, the benefits of sharing the good news include a strengthening of our own faith, an increased awareness of our need of Christ, a desire to discover greater Biblical knowledge, a hunger to be right with God and to live in harmony with His word, a desire for deeper and more fervent prayer, growth in grace and increased patience with others, an even richer experience with Christ, the development of a more Christ-like character, and greater peace and happiness. The only way to possess this richness in Christ is to engage, to the extent of your abilities, in the work of Christ.

Consider the vision of God’s last day people: “In the visions of the night, representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God’s people. Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the Word of God. The world seemed to be lightened with a heavenly influence” (Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 126). “There are many who are reading the Scriptures who cannot understand their true import. All over the world men and women are looking wistfully to heaven. Prayers and tears and inquiries go up from souls longing for light, for grace, for the Holy Spirit. Many are on the verge of the kingdom, waiting only to be gathered in” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 109).

When you share your faith, remember that you are not responsible for the results. “Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9).

What will you do with the riches that God has given you? It is time for each of us to do something, do anything, however humble it may be, to share those blessings.

*Most of the wording credit goes to Pastor Devin Locati, as I copied a great deal of it from his sermon outline.*

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