Pause

Bad news seems to be all around us. We hear grim predictions about the economy and the environment, learn about hostilities and divisions within communities, listen as our friends tell us their troubles. Everywhere we turn, the news seems to be negative. Even the prayer list at church can get us down.

But our faith in Christ speaks of good news – good news for the poor and oppressed, healing for the sick and broken, freedom for captives, redemption from sin, and hope for us all.

How do we discover and experience this good news that Christ has come to proclaim? And once we have found it, how will it make a difference for us and for all the world?

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Listen

As they went down the road, they came to some water.

The eunuch said, “Look! Water! What would keep me from being baptized?” He ordered that the carriage halt. Both Philip and the eunuch went down to the water, where Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Lord’s Spirit suddenly took Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Philip found himself in Azotus. He traveled through that area, preaching the good news in all the cities until he reached Caesarea.

Acts 8:36-40

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Think

Some of us are born procrastinators. We have good intentions to do plenty of good things – tomorrow. Sometimes busy schedules, scattered thoughts, myriad distractions, lack of courage, or just plain apathy prevent us from being mindful of the things around us and from doing the one thing we intend to do, and then the chance passes us by.

After Philip explained the scriptures and told the Ethiopian court official the good news about Jesus, they saw some water along the road, and they immediately stopped so that Philip could baptize him. Why wait? The Ethiopian man had heard and believed the good news and was ready to profess his faith.

What are the times when you intend to say the kind word, reach out to a lonely person, send a note of encouragement to a friend, or visit someone who is sick? What are you waiting for?

Elizabeth Jones Edwards

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Pray

Gracious God, you know that my intentions are good and my heart is in the right place, but I don’t always pay attention or follow through. Forgive me when my own worries and fears get in the way of meeting the needs of those around me. Help me to be mindful and to have the courage to answer your call. Amen.

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Go

“Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

From “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” by Isaac Watts

Elizabeth Jones Edwards

Elizabeth Jones Edwards has served as Associate Minister for Youth and Christian Education at Lakeside Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC, for the past 13 years. She lives with her husband and two sons in Nashville, NC, and enjoys poetry, cooking, and cheering on the Demon Deacons.

Jesus, Giver of All Good Things

Jim McConnell

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