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Freely receive, freely give

11/10/17 - Pastor Young

In Luke 23, we meet a thief who blasphemes Jesus, telling Him to save Himself if He is really the Christ. The thief adds a second, mocking request for Jesus to save him too. 

Shortly thereafter, Jesus dies. The thief is not long behind Him. 

If the gospel account ended here, we would have cause for concern and confusion. The railing cry of the blasphemous thief would plague our minds for all of life. What hope could we hold on to, if we could only look to a Saviour who died, and remained dead? We could only recall His memory, rather than call on Him for help.

But thankfully, there is Luke 24. This final chapter of The Gospel of Jesus According to Luke tells of the resurrection of Jesus–our basis for hope and transformation. His victory over sin and death brings to us the spoils of war, and in Him we have a very present help and hope for the future.

Again, the gospel account does not end here. Jesus, our resurrected Lord, personally comes to His followers and opens their eyes to the truth. He then commands them to wait for the coming promise of the Father. The promise of the Spirit of God is for empowering them in proclaiming the good news of a great Saviour to all people. It is the outflow of the gracious generosity of God in giving us His Son; we are now also to be generous with God's promise.

We are not only recipients, but also participants in grace.

The good news that cries out from every page of Luke's gospel is that we were once lost, but now we are found. In the first chapter, we saw how Luke, a Gentile, wrote to Theophilus, another Gentile, about a Jewish Saviour from Nazareth. Can it be that they see their place of belonging within what was essentially a Jewish movement? And can it be that this expansion outside of the walls of ethnicity means that we also are called to move beyond ourselves and our comfort zones, and even outside of the church in order to generously share the grace of God?

Yes. 

And we do not go alone and unequipped. The Holy Spirit is promised to us, and we have His power in proclaiming the good news–the gospel of Jesus, according to each and every single one of us.

 

May we give as we have received,

Pastor Young