Wow! It's c-c-c-c-c--cold out there! And SLLLLLIIIIIICCCCCKK!!
There's ice on everything! So this is my prayer for you this morning…Psalm 199:113…"Keep steady our steps according to your promise!" I know you need it because I was walking out to crank up the car and almost fulfilled the Scripture from Psalm 73:2 "…But as for me, my feet had almost slipped!"
I don't really want to find from personal experience if Proverbs 24:16 really works…"the righteous falls seven times and rises again!" I'm just gonna take it by faith!
It's all over the news! Usually they have the news, then weather, then sports. But today the weather IS the news and I bet they cancel all the sports tonite!
We're thankful you take the time to read our CCC Friday email, and we want to make it worth your while, so if you haven't heard, here's your CCC forecast for today…
"We're getting reports from most East Tennessee counties that untreated roads are becoming very slick.
The freezing rain is expected to continue falling, and may intensify as the morning goes on…The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of the area, as well as a Freezing Rain Advisory starting Friday morning early ending Friday evening…Please be very cautious if you have to get out, and if you can stay home, please do so!"
(Actually that forecast comes from Todd the weather guy on wbir.com. I think he also does the weather for WIVK. He also gives the weather for Triple C. But I'm not sure he knows that…)
Y'know the weather has been the news a lot lately. Sometimes it seems a little "over the top" to me…
Whaddya think of these headlines?
"The upper Midwest is in the grip of winter cold and snow!!"
"The Northeast is bracing for snow and plunging temperatures as winter takes hold across the northern states!!!"
I mean, what d'ya expect? It IS winter! It's almost like saying, "After New Year's Day, January is expected to take over the calendar and hold it's grip for the entire month!"
It might be news if winter didn't ever come to Chicago, Wisconsin, and Greenland in January. "They're expected to have a bumper crop of watermelons by President's Day in the garden they planted in Boston Common on Christmas Day!"
Or if they were making snow-men and snow-forts and snow-creme in Puerto Rico in July, that might be something for the 'papers!
But cold 'n snow in Wisconsin right about now isn't really news. It's kinda,well…normal.
One thing I have loved for years about the Apostle Paul is that he knew how the report the news! When he wrote that he wasn't "ashamed of the Gospel"(Romans 3:16)…that he made it his "ambition to preach the Gospel" (Romans 15:20)…that he "HAD to the preach the Gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:16)…that he was "a servant of the Gospel" (Ephesians 3:7)…he used a word ("Gospel") that meant "good news!"
When he talked about the 'Gospel", Paul (who probably spoke at least four languages!) used the Greek word, "euangelion". It's really two words crunched together…"Eu" means "good"! And "angelion" means "message", "messenger" (do you see an "angel" in there? "Angel" means "messenger"), or "news". "News" is something that's happened that you wouldn't know unless someone told you or you read it in the newspaper. "Good News" is when what has happened is good!
That's what I love about the Message of Jesus! It's news! It's not advice…it's not principles for living a better life (Those are easy to find and most of them don't really work)…It's not counseling for how to solve your troubles…The Gospel is…
Something has happened!
God has come to earth! That's news!
He became One of us! He showed us what He is like! We never would have known! That's news!
Jesus paid for all our wrong, mess and guilt! By giving His life for us! That's really good news!
He rose from His grave and He's alive today! That's news! Awesome news!
When you trusted in Him, something happened in history! You were pronounced from that instant and forevermore, "Forgiven! Clean! Righteous! His own child!" You wouldn't have known unless you were told! That's why we call it "news"! In fact, it's "Good News!" The "Greatest News!"
The Apostle Paul writes about…
…the "Gospel (Good News) of Christ" (Philippians 1:17) Jesus has come to earth!
…the "Gospel (Good News) of God (1 Thessalonians 2:2) God the Father is just like Jesus! Awesome! I'm so glad I was told!
…the "Gospel (Good News) of our Lord Jesus" (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus is Lord and is ruling over everything! Whew! That's REALLY good news!
…the "Gospel (Good News) of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24) It's all free! Glad to hear it!
…the "Gospel (Good News) of the glory of Christ" 2 Corinthians 4:4 We're going home to see Him in all His glory! We can't even imagine how awesome that news is!
News!! Awesome, amazing, incredible things have happened! They've happened to us! That's why there's one of Paul's "gospels", or "news-es" that almost stumps me a little…
In Ephesians 6:15, he says as you're get ready for your day and all that is ahead, makes sure you don't forget the "Gospel of peace"…
The Good News is that you can have peace in your heart all the time. You don't have to worry about a thing! No matter what happens, other things have already happened! The "Good News" is that God has come here! Jesus has died and risen! You're clean and whole! He rules your life! He's alive and is working out a plan! We're heading' home! It's gonna rock!
Since all those things have happened, the "Good News" is that you can have peace all day, everyday!
That's the "Good News of peace"! Don't leave home without it!
But the "Good News of peace" almost seems to me like when the news is the weather! It almost seems like the "news" that it's February and there's snow in Vermont! Or the "news" that it's really chilly in Chicago or wintry in Wisconsin all week! Whadd'ya expect?!
Peace from Jesus…Peace in my heart…It doesn't really seem like news that it'd be there! With all the other awesome "News-es" of Jesus that have happened in history and happened to me…Peace. What d'ya expect? If you didn't have it, that'd be news! Like May snow in Miami! It wouldn't be right. It'd be news…. and not the good kind!
Peace at this season of the year…or anytime…From believing in Jesus…it's beautiful! The sweetest feeling ever!! More precious than all the money in the world could buy! But you could kinda think that it isn't really, technically news! With all Jesus is and has done for us, it's kinda what you'd expect!