Monday, April 8, 2013

Proverbs 25: Be Messengers of Good News

Prov 25:11 A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. 
Prov 25:12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear. 
Prov 25:13 Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the spirit of his masters.
Prov 25:25 Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. 

The wise are purveyors of Good News, not Bad News. Everyone loves to hear good news: "Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land" (25:25). And such a "word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" (25:11) Furthermore, the messenger of good news "refreshes the spirit of his masters". Even when the wise has to rebuke, his intention is clear away the Bad News to make way for the Good News: "like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear" (25:12). That is why repentance precedes the Gospel, because repentance calls for people to forsake the Bad News of sin in favour of the Good News of grace. In short, if we speak to bless and to build up, people will listen to us and pay careful attention to what we say because they know that our intention is to always to bless and build up, not curse and tear down.

As Christians are called to be witnesses to Christ -- to be purveyors of Gospel (Good News) of  Jesus Christ because of what He has done for us at the Cross. But the Cross is a means to an end--it deals with the Bad News of sin in order to make the way for the Good News of new life of the Kingdom. For this purpose, Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of the Lord in order to "preach the gospel to the poor...to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4.18, NKJV).

But who are the poor? They are not those who are economically challenged but those who are brokenhearted, those who in bondage to sin, self and Satan and those who are spiritually blind in moral darkness. And why is the Gospel such good news? Because it promises healing for the brokenhearted, freedom for those in bondage and sight to those who are blind. Despite outward appearance of affluence, many in our land are still under bondage to Satan, sin, self-centredness and sickness. And we have been anointed by the Holy Spirit not just to speak in tongues, but to speak the Good News to those who are in need and willing to hear.

But we need to first experience the power and the freedom of the Gospel ourselves before we can share it to others. We can't give what we don't have.

Lord, You have commanded us to be witnesses unto You because we have experienced the transforming power of the Gospel in setting us free from brokenheartedness, from blindness and from bondage. May we be carriers of the Good News in our homes, workplaces and communities--by our lips and our lives. Amen.

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