Joy of the Gospel

The Good News of Jesus Christ

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Crime Pays

We should show others mercy because God shows us mercy. I think of how merciful God is to me when I consider my sin. In my lifetime, I sinned many times. Therefore, I consider this question: “What if God punished me every time I sinned?” What would my punishment be? Well, Scripture explicitly says that the punishment of my sin is death. As the apostle Paul writes, “the wages of sin is death” (1). Death is the reward for sin; death is sin’s compensation. Therefore, since I sinned many times and the wages of sin is death, I should die many times or die horrifically. Sometimes, I hear people say, “Crime doesn’t pay.” However, Scripture states the opposite. Scripture says crime pays and pays by killing us. Sinning, therefore, is a lousy job with lousy pay. But thanks be to Jesus Christ who saved us from our sins and former lifestyles. Because of Jesus, we don’t receive what we deserve. When we accept Jesus Christ, God forgives our crime and pardons our deserved punishment.

(1) Romans 6:23.

Truth Sounds Like Jesus

What does truth sound like? If Jesus told the truth, does it matter if we believe Him? Every person should ask this question. Another question we should ask ourselves is this: “Does Jesus ask me to do anything wrong?” This question can make choosing Christianity easier. This question isolates us and gets rid of the distractions of tradition, conventional opinion, and skepticism. When we approach Christianity like this, we see its bare bones. We see its truth.

Jesus said, “I came into the world for this reason: that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice” (1). This statement prompted Pilate to ask, “What is truth” (2)? Pilate, however, did not wait on Jesus’ answer. We, however, have the answer to Pilate’s question. Jesus says He is “the truth and the life” (3). This claim appears to be enormous, but what should we expect from God’s son? Should He not speak with “authority” (4)? Should we expect Him to say that He is not the only thing that matters?

Believing a Lie

Jesus’ claim (to be the Truth) causes some to question and reject what appears to be an outrageous claim. Some argue that such a claim is unbelievable. Some ask, for instance, why should we believe Him or what about others who claim to be the Truth? Such skepticism is unbelief in disguise. This unbelief, though, gives us no excuse to not believe that Jesus is telling the Truth. For example, if it is raining, and someone tells us it is raining, but we do not believe that person, our unbelief does not make that person’s claim untrue. We would “believe a lie” (5). Believing a lie is nothing more than not believing the truth (6). Such unbelief is because of something worse.

Loving the Darkness

People who disbelieve that Jesus is the Truth do so because they love evil. Evil is not what Jesus calls us to do. He calls us to do good deeds. Thus, anyone who rejects Jesus rejects not some crazy man who tells people to do horrendous acts but a man who calls people to be righteous. One must ask this serious question: “What does Jesus say I should do that is not right?” Such a question should reveal that Jesus wants us to be righteous people who live in His light (7). However, if people disbelieve Jesus Christ, the consequence and reason for such disbelief are these people “love darkness rather than light, and their deeds are evil” (8).

The Sound of Truth

Jesus’ voice is the sound of truth. He is what truth sounds like because He is the Truth. Therefore, Jesus’ statement to Pilate—“Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice”—bears witness unto himself and the Truth. If we are unwilling to believe this Truth, we reject it because we do not want to hear it. But the word “hear” means to take heed of Jesus’ message and meaning. For instance, someone might say, “You are hearing me, but are you listening?” This question shows that “hearing” relates to our senses and soul. Our senses hear with the ears, and our soul hears with the heart. If people reject Jesus, they reject Him from their hearts and because they do not want to do what Jesus says.


(1) John 18:37.
(2) John 18:38.
(3) John 14:6.
(4) Matthew 7:29.
(5) 2 Thessalonians 2:11.
(6) 2 Thessalonians 2:12.
(7) 1 Peter 2:9.
(8) John 3:19-20.

His Grace

Jesus (the Light) who shines so bright,
He came to be so all could see
His humble flight down from that height.
One day said He would pay my fee.

The Cornerstone I did reject.
He still gave me a chance to know
I’m not alone, to not forget,
His gift is free; to be as snow.

The Lord, so nice that I can’t think
How He could love me like His own—
A child with price. At lack, He winked.
Up from above His blood atones.

No Ignorant Plants

In The Compass from God, I talked about how God gives us a new compass. This act is an act of grace similar to how God showed grace to the apostle Paul (1). When God is gracious to us, we have the most important decision: Do I accept Jesus Christ or not?

The decision to accept Jesus Christ has a gigantic presupposition; that I now have knowledge of God’s love and revelation shown through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. When we have the option to accept Jesus Christ, we know that Jesus Christ claimed to be the Son of God who died for the forgiveness of our sins and now lives. This truth or the Gospel is the knowledge we apply to have faith in Jesus. This decision is not in ignorance (2). Ignorance and unbelief, as in the example of Paul, are excuses because “the times of this ignorance God winked at. But now God commands all men to repent” (3). Paul decided to have faith in Jesus when Jesus revealed Himself. This revelation was an act of grace and is more available now than in the apostle Paul’s time.

Today, the knowledge of Jesus Christ is more available than before because technology spreads the gospel worldwide. Christian television networks, movies, music, radio shows, and websites can advance the good news of Jesus Christ. This dissemination of the gospel makes our world less ignorant but less tolerable. Jesus reminds us that “it will be more tolerable” in the last judgment for those who are ignorant of Jesus than for us today (4). We cannot excuse ourselves from knowing about Jesus, especially after reading this post.

God’s mercy shines “on the evil and the good,” and his grace rains “on the just and the unjust” (5). Because of this equal nutriment, we have the choice to either produce “herbs” or “thorns and briers” (6). Those who produce herbs receive eternal life from God. In contrast, those who produce thorns receive eternal damnation. We are all like plants in the same field: We receive the same amount of water, sun, and oxygen. The time is gone when “plants” could say, “I did not receive any light” because now “the Light shines in the darkness” (7). Jesus is “the true Light, which lights every human that comes into the world” (8). Now, only our will can stop our growth.

(1) Paul persecuted the Christians but converted to Christianity after Jesus revealed himself, Acts 9.
(2) By ignorance, I mean the lack of knowledge of Jesus Christ’s existence.
(3) Acts 17:30.
(4) Luke 10:12.
(5) Matthew 5:45.
(6) Hebrews 6:7, 8.
(7) John 1:5.
(8) John 1:9.

The Compass From God

We must have a heart from God if we want to be God’s children because the center of our being must point to Him. We can think of our center as compasses. Compass directions (North, South, East, and West) relate to the directions of the Earth. The direction the compass points to relates to the position of a magnetic needle. The center of this needle aligns itself with the Earth’s magnetic field. The Earth’s magnetic field pulls the needle, which compass manufacturers design to always point to the North. When the center of the compass aligns with the Earth’s magnetic center, the needle will point in the right direction.

Likewise, God said he will put a “magnetic needle” in us that aligns with Him. Like the center of a compass aligns to the Earth’s magnetic field, the center of our being can align with God. Scripture calls this magnetic needle or center of our being a heart. This heart can contain God’s law but also “encompasses” our whole being (1). Our whole being is our emotions, desires, will, conscience, and moral values. No wonder how we came up with the term “moral compass.” 

Since the fall in the Garden of Eden, our compasses (hearts) needed repair because they no longer pointed in the right direction (2). The center of our hearts aligned with the devil and pointed to the directions of lust, lying, stealing, cheating, hate, jealousy, and many other evil directions (3). God, however, promised that he would give us new compasses that align to Him. He says he will give us “a new heart,” so we can “walk in His statutes, keep His judgments, and do them” (4). When we have a compass—or heart—like the one that God gives, we “inherit all things” and become his children (5). God’s children have a center that aligns with God; they have the center of Jesus (6).

(1) Jeremiah 31:33; Psalm 103:1.
(2) Genesis 3.
(3) Ezekiel 36:26, 27.
(4) A compass that has an evil center spins around chaotically. It makes us wander back and forth needlessly and confusedly, Psalm 107:4-5, Joshua 5:6, Numbers 32:13; Ephesians 4:14, Job 2:2.
(5) Revelation 21:8.
(6) Colossians 1:15-22.

Everything

You are
my Provider dear LORD.
There is nothing I need
because You give
me everything.
I do not seek
the satisfaction of
treasure or pleasure
in things,
other than in You.
You are rich!
Your wealth is more
than enough for
me. With You
I have all things.

Persistent

The LORD is
here.
He guides His people.
He is gentle
but persistent
to those He loves.

Not Alone

Christ Jesus,
Son of God,
You are mighty
and loving.
Your Spirit hugs me
(so caring)
when I need comfort.
You love me
(for real)
when I feel hated,
hurt, and misused.
I am not alone with You.

What Prayer Does God Always Answer?

Can we have anything we ask for? It seems Jesus says we can when he says “Have faith in God. Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be removed, and cast into the sea; and doesn’t doubt in his or her heart, but believes those things he or she says will come to pass; he or she will have whatever is asked for. Therefore I say unto you, What things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.” (1) It appears that we can have whatever we want. However, Jesus is talking about something much more significant.

Jesus is talking about spiritual things. Even Jesus’ disciples made the mistake of taking Jesus’ words as literal instead of spiritual. (3). Many people have experienced praying for things to happen, having unwavering faith they will happen, and having those prayers not being “answered.” We can pray for these things, and sometimes God answers our prayers. However, God wants us to focus on the spiritual things in life. Worldly health and wealth always come secondary to spiritual health and wealth.

God always answers the prayer for the Holy Spirit and the things of the Spirit because He wants to give us the best gifts. Jesus tells us if we ask God for the Holy Spirit, He will always give it to us. (3) What is even more amazing is that some original Greek translations “indicate that what is asked for is already accomplished.” (4) In other words, we have the Holy Spirit; we just have to believe that we got him! The Holy Spirit comforts us and teaches us how to live through difficult times in our lives. (5) Although our prayers may seem to go unanswered, we can have the Holy Spirit through our belief in Jesus Christ. This is the best gift of all!


(1) Mark 11:22-24
(2) Luke 11:7-13
(3) John 6:63
(4) “The Good Gift of Prayer.”
(5) John 14:26

Light Pierces the Clouds

Jesus, my God,
You bless always
and never fail
when I’m in trouble.
In my anguish and sorrow,
You deliver a ray
of sun.
You shine a light
that pierces through
the dark clouds
the enemy sends.
The clouds roll away
and are forgotten.
And,
I only see the Light,
Your son, Jesus Christ.

The Word of God Is Jesus Christ

The personal revelation of Jesus Christ, instead of another person’s words, should determine our obedience to God. No one else’s word should change what God tells us.

Once, God told a prophet not to eat, drink, or return the same way he came. However, a lying prophet convinced this prophet to return to the lying prophet’s house and eat and drink. While they were eating, God spoke through the previously lying prophet and said, “Because you have disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and have not kept the commandment which I commanded you but came back and ate and drank, you will not be buried in the graves of your ancestors. When the disobedient prophet left the lying prophet’s house, a lion killed him, and his body was left on the road. (1)

God’s Word does not come from “man…but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (2) No one else, not a preacher, minister, or angel should change what God has told us through Jesus Christ. (3)

What has God told us? We only have to look in the Bible to see! It is plain and simple. (4) Jesus is the son of God, is God, and is the only way to God. (5) The disobedient prophet followed another word like we can follow another gospel, another way, or another Jesus. Yet, there is no other Jesus, way, or gospel. We must confess that Jesus is Lord to be saved. (6) Plain and simple.


(1) 1 Kings 13:1-24
(2) Galatians 1:12
(3) Galatians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
(4) 2 Corinthians 11:3
(5) John 14:6
(6) Romans 10:9

See

Lord,
You are
everything.
There is nothing else
I need besides
You.
You are the cause and reason
I live.
Because of Jesus,
I will not see punishment.
You have blindfolded me
with your glory.
Who can look at You?
Who has seen
Your face?
Lord, I cannot see
anything
but Your faithfulness.
I see nothing
but Your love,
kindness, mercy, and grace.
I look forward
to incorruption.
I look
forward to seeing
You.

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Dwight A. Lucas II. All rights reserved.