We often get in the way of the simplest message. Instead of just telling people about Jesus, we launch into complex explanations of why Jesus is the good news and what we must do in order to experience Him. In his book, “Flesh”, author Hugh Halter puts it in very understandable terms: “Jesus is the good news that most of us are starving for. It’s just that He has been hijacked by rules and structures and humans afraid of grace.” We’ve made it a difficult thing to understand that Jesus is the good news. His love, His grace, His desire to be with us is all we really need to understand.
Christians in the past couple of centuries have developed the bad habit of telling people how much Jesus loves them and then following it up with a list of things we must do – or not do – in order to make sure we earn that love. We’ve made this a conversation about “love and” instead of “love period.” We cannot earn the love of God. There is nothing we could ever do or not do to make Him love us more or less. Jesus is simply love, and that love – all of it – is directed at you every single day.
Are there habits we will want to develop and others we will want to quit because of our recognition of the love God has for us? Of course; it’s no different than any other relationship. When you love someone you desire to please them. But there is also the comfort of knowing no matter how badly we mess up, we are still loved regardless. True love, the absolutely unconditional love known only to God but desired by all, is not based on anything other than the irrefutable character of God. Jesus is love. It’s what He is made of. It’s who He is. There is no other source of love that can even come close to comparing to Him. And again, He is directing all of that love – all that He is – towards you every day. It’s that simple. And that’s good news!
You don’t need to go to church to experience the love of Jesus. You don’t need to read the Bible, pray, or act a certain way. Forget the rules and regulations you’ve come to associate with God. None of that matters. No matter what you do, God loves you. He longs to have a relationship with you. He created you for that very reason and He can’t wait for you to come back to Him. He can’t wait for you to return His love, if only in the small, imperfect way that humans can. You are loved. No matter what you’ve done, or where you’ve been. He doesn’t care about any of that. He simply loves you and wants you to know that. That’s who Jesus is. And that is the good news.
Recommended Resource: “Flesh” by Hugh Halter