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?

next >

Listen

Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us. This is how we know we remain in him and he remains in us, because he has given us a measure of his Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the savior of the world. If any of us confess that Jesus is God’s Son, God remains in us and we remain in God. We have known and have believed the love that God has for us.

1 John 4:11-16a

next >

Think

In the movie Pay It Forward, a middle school teacher gives a class assignment for his students to think of an idea to change the world for the better, then put it into action. One boy creates a plan for “paying forward” acts of kindness, affecting not only his life and that of his struggling single mother, but also setting in motion a wave of compassion that grows into a national movement.

1 John says that since God loves us so much, we ought to “pay it forward” by loving one another. God’s love, demonstrated through the life of Jesus, is good news for us, and God calls us to share the good news by loving others. We are loved, not just for our own sake, but so that we can learn how to love. How can you find ways to pay God’s love forward today?

Elizabeth Jones Edwards

next >

Pray

God, sometimes I try to love others in my own way and on my own terms, but I know that I can only truly love because you have shown me how. Teach me to love and accept others as Jesus did so that they might be open to receiving the good news that he is the Savior of the world. Amen.

next >

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

about d365