Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Only Luke is with Me!

Proverbs 25:25  As cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a far country.
We could Use Some Good News
We could use some good news from a far country today.  It would be nice to see Isis (or Isil or whatever they are supposed to be called) lay down their arms in Syria and around the world.  It would be nice to be able to live in peace with Russia and China instead of dancing around their ships and fighter aircraft that are being used to intimidate us.  It would be great if Israel and Palestine could coexist in peace.  But the news is not good from these countries.
Recently, when I booted up the computer, the first thing I saw was news about a plane crash in Egypt.  I think 224 lives were lost.  The next thing I saw had to do with floods in Texas where at least two lives were lost.  Next I went to my Facebook page for a little relief from bad news and I saw a post about Indonesia being destroyed by fire because of the rash destruction of forests that have left peat beds vulnerable to mammoth fires.  I know good news does not sell cereal on the news channels, but does all of the news have to be bad?
There is Some Good News
No it doesn’t, there is good news.  The good news is not about man’s ability to adapt and reform for the better.  There are good people in this world that do a lot of good things.  We thank the Lord for each one whether we agree with their theology or not.  But for the most part religion today does not preach good news, because it won’t preach about the bad news.  The bad news is self-evident and is called sin. And the ravages of sin are seen day in and day out.  Policemen are being killed and are killing.  Drug wars are being fought over who gets to control the most territory so that they can “hook’ the most people.  Democrats are fighting Republicans.  Republicans are fighting each other instead of trying to use their different points of view to negotiate laws that benefit everyone.  The good news is only good if it can solve these problems.
Some years back I saw a movie called “Miss Congeniality” where Sandra Bullock plays a clumsy contestant in a beauty pageant.  She is really undercover as an FBI agent trying to keep the pageant from being bombed.  Whenever the contestants were being interviewed as to what they wanted to accomplish, the standard answer was “world peace.”  We all want it but we aren’t likely to get it.  Families don’t get along with each other, neighbors don’t get along with each other, so how can countries get along with each other?  I know I am over generalizing.  There are people who want peace and do pursue it,  but that isn’t the good news that we are generally getting from our far countries.
Good News in the Bible
So after reading the news on that day recently,  I read my Bible.   I know that should have been reversed.  However, I read about Paul who had said the time of his departure was at hand.  He had been sentenced to death for testifying about his change of mind and change of occupation on the Damascus Road.  He apparently testified before Nero and the good news was that he had been delivered from the Lion’s mouth.  Though the time of his departure was at hand, that is, his execution date was approaching, he was not going to die by being thrown to lions.  At his first answer all forsook him.  Demas was one who had decided it was better to live than to die and had forsaken him.  But there was good news.  One man who apparently did not stand with him at his trial had not forsaken him.  I was impressed by the statement in 2 Timothy 4:11,  “Only Luke is with me.” says, “Luke was probably a Gentile by birth, well educated in Greek culture, a physician by profession, a companion of Paul at various times from his second missionary journey to his final imprisonment in Rome, and a loyal friend who remained with the apostle after others had deserted him.”  Paul had one loyal friend, now that is good news!
But the news gets better, Paul was expecting an epiphany when he died.  He was expecting that the Lord would be the first person who would appear to Him when he was executed (2nd Timothy 4:8).  He had seen the Lord on the Damascus Road and it had changed him.  He had trusted Him.  And now he was expecting to see him again.
If we believe the Bible, this world is not going to get better, it is going to get worse.  I believe the Bible.  But there is good news  The Lord has said  that we personally can have peace.  If we get right with God, we should then be a means of retarding the evil in this world.  Christ did die for the ungodly and we are all ungodly, that is, we are not like God.  So the good news is that Christ didn’t die for the good but for sinners–good sinners, bad sinners, all sinners.    But the Lord has promised peace to those who trust Him.  He says in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
That is good news!  Be of good cheer!
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of November 1, 2015

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