Loving people with the heart of Christ in the heart of Wabash.

Philippians 2:3-5

What’s the Good News Around Which We Gather


Jesus was born into a devout Jewish family in the first century. He grew up in Israel in the town of Nazareth studying Torah with the other children and working as a stonemason and carpenter with His father Joseph. At the age of 30 he was baptized by his cousin John and began His public ministry as a rabbi. Wherever Jesus went, crowds of people followed Him. He spoke radical words full of life and hope.


Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God (Luke 8:1). Jesus taught and told stories of what the kingdom of God was like. When He healed the sick and lame, raised the dead, fed the hungry, turned water into wine and calmed life-threatening storms with a word, Jesus put the kingdom on display. He called everyone to enter God’s kingdom; particularly those had been left out or rejected by the religious leaders.


Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:20-21).

This kingdom Jesus speaks of is full of forgiveness and reconciliation, peace and joy, hope and love. Amazingly, Jesus said that the kingdom of God is here, in our midst. Yet, we continue to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The kingdom of God will one day come fully to the earth, but for now it exists in those places and hearts where God is honored and followed as king.

We know that in this world evil exists, and people and governments often act in ways contrary to God’s will. A “kingdom of darkness” exists wherever forces or hearts or activities work resist God’s reign of love.

We do not have to wait until heaven to live the abundant, eternal life. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). The good news is that the kingdom of God has broken into our world, and we can enter God’s glorious eternal kingdom right now.


Jesus and His radical message of love and life threatened the religious rulers of his day. He claimed the power to forgive sin, and did not deny that he was God’s Son, the Messiah. They plotted to kill Him, and eventually He was executed on a Roman cross. He died a horrific death and for a brief moment, it looked like evil had won. But death could not hold Him! He rose from the dead on the third day and appeared to hundreds of people after His resurrection. After forty days He rose to heaven to be with his Father. Jesus has promised to return to earth someday in glory to bring the kingdom in all its glory. We wait for that day when there will be no more tears, death, and suffering.


If we honestly examine our own lives and the world around us, we have to admit that we are broken people living in a broken world. The news is full of stories of murder, rape, pollution, abuse, and greed. We find ourselves full of anxiety regret, sensing that something in our lives is missing. Our hearts cry out, “Surely, there is something more to life than this!”

Our hearts long to be filled with something more. The 17th century philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal wrote “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” Saint Augustine (4th century) wrote, “God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.”

We can feel alienated from God and yet our hearts long to rest in his love and peace. The Bible tells us that it is our sin that has caused this separation from God. Yet, we do not “earn” forgiveness, it is something that God must give to us.


Jesus lived without sin. When He died, He took the whole world’s sin onto himself and died for us in order to reconcile (from the Latin word meaning “bring back together”) us to God. The extent of God’s love for us is shown in Jesus’ death on our behalf on the cross. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18- 19).

We are reconciled to God when we recognize our need and ask for forgiveness, place our trust in Jesus, and give our lives to God as our king. This is the beginning of a brand new life. The gospel of John tells us that “we must be born from above.” And indeed, a new life is born within us. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

When we are reconciled through Christ, and commit our lives to God as our king, we enter into a new abundant kingdom life that is born from above and lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are justified so we can enter and live this new life, a life that will last forever. Furthermore, Jesus didn’t leave us alone to try and live godly lives in our own strength. He sent the Holy Spirit to live within us and to strengthen us. Those who love and follow Jesus have the Holy Spirit living inside

them. Through the Spirit we can come to know and experience Jesus in a very real and intimate way.


The Christian life is a journey. Our goal is to fully love and enjoy God and become more like Jesus as we seek to follow Him. We will stumble and fall, but Jesus always welcomes us back when ask for forgiveness and return to Him. There will be times when God seems far off or when doubts or questions arise. That is okay. We can be honest with God. As we journey, it is helpful to travel with other Jesus followers who will support and encourage us along the way. Learning what Jesus taught through the Scriptures is vital coming to know Him more deeply and to understanding the heart and will of God. Spending time with God alone in solitude and silence and worshiping Him with others are ways we can both hear what God is saying to us and fall more deeply in love with Him. As we serve other and engage in these kinds of activities, our hearts and our thoughts and our lives are transformed.


  • Letters to a Skeptic – Greg Boyd
  • Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis
  • My Heart – Christ’s Home – Robert Boyd Munger
  • The Reason for God – Timothy Keller
  • Basic Christianity – John Stott