Good News

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Col 3:16-17 (The New American Standard Bible)

Celebrity drug rehabilitation was the topic of a TV series and watching it briefly one night brought back some stark personal memories. Several years ago I spent an afternoon with a person who was addicted to heroin and crystal Methamphetamine. We passed the time talking about the effects of overdoses and contrasting that with knowing Jesus as a personal savior. The conversation was laced with vocabulary unfamiliar to me. He spoke of packets, bundles and binges and the street language he used was graphic and remarkable. It was designed to somehow disguise the conversation so that outsiders would not know the subject or content. In the midst of our conversation he spoke of a return to substance abuse after a "clean" period during which he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. He arranged a meeting with another heavy user to discuss how they might acquire enough drugs to sustain them through the weekend. Almost absent-mindedly he carried his Bible into the room and casually announ ced, partly in jest, he was bringing in the "good news." The other user took the Bible from him and held it aloft upside down, fanning the pages looking for something to fall from the book. You see, "good news" was their private expression for success in acquiring an adequate supply of controlled substances to be shared and he expected packets of powder to spill from between the pages. The conversation with this addict has forever etched in my mind two things. Aside from the tragedy of substance abuse was a sense of helplessness, and secondly a loss of self-esteem by one of God's own. It also brought to mind the thought that some Christians are addicted to their Savior (like me for instance) and are often caught up in a language unfamiliar to those outside the circle of users (the Body of Christ). Our conversations ought never to be so cryptic as to present an unclear or ambiguous meaning to the message of Jesus Christ. The most significant part of the conversation with hi m revolved around the "good news" incident. While that which was sought by the addict was thought to be hidden in the scriptures, the genuine "good news" can truly be found only by opening the Word of God and by making it habitual. In some respects we ought to desire the love, tender mercies, grace and forgiveness freely given by the Savior as much as the addict desires his "good news."

Father help us to crave the good news of the Gospel of Christ and be willing to share it with others. Amen.

By Carol (North Carolina, USA)