Reading and Sharing the Good News

Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor,Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt


God inspired the Bible to be written so we could live inspired lives by reading the Bible. And from this we can know how to share the good news of God’s love with others.


The Bible’s Trustworthiness.  The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years, by more than 40 authors living on three continents, in several languages, around God’s central theme of salvation.


The Bible has been under more scrutiny than any other book, for the longest period of time, and proven itself time and again to be God’s trustworthy promise for our lives.  The authority of Scripture means the word of God reveals the ways of God so the people of God can know how to live.  Covering more subjects than any other book, except a dictionary or encyclopedia, the Bible is God’s message for our daily living.


The Bible is organized into 66 individual books, containing 1,189 chapters.  The Old Testament has 39 books with a total of 929 chapters and the New Testament has 27 books with 260 chapters.  The Bible is divided into 31,101 verses, with the Old Testament having 23,144; verses and the New Testament having 7,957 verses.  Psalm 117 is the Bible’s shortest chapter and Psalm 119 is the Bible’s longest chapter.  John 11:35, “Jesus wept” is the Bible’s shortest verse and with 68 words, Revelation 20:4 is the New Testament’s longest verse.  All of which is interesting without being life-changing.


The power for transformation comes by our being in a personal relationship with God, who then inspires us to ask, understand and apply the meaning of each verse.


By asking the following three questions, the Spirit-inspired Scriptures will inspire us to understand and apply what we read:


•How does this passage help me to know God?

•How does this passage help me to know myself?

•How does passage help me to know the world in which I live?


When we are tempted, we know that God provides an escape route, I Cor. 10:13.  When we ache to know God, we can be focused in His presence, Ps. 46:10.  When we need to know what has lasting value, we listen to Jesus’ teachings that sustain us during stormy seasons in life, Mt. 7:24-27.  So when we feel despair, remember that we can “know in whom we believe, and are persuaded that He is able to keep that which we have committed to Him…” II Tim. 1:12.


Timothy.  The life of a brave early Christian, Timothy, brings into focus how we can do this.  Timothy grew up in a multicultural family, which can enrich or confuse.  His mother was Jewish and his father, Greek.  His mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, taught him Scripture when he was a boy; from this he was “made wise … thoroughly equipping him for every situation he would face,” II Tim. 3:15-17.


The Scriptures helped Timothy to understand himself in light of who God is.


He came into salvation during the Apostle Paul’s first missionary journey, and Paul then became Timothy’s mentor, I Tim. 1:2.  Paul taught Timothy how to study the Scriptures for life application, “Study to show yourself as a workman who does not need to be ashamed because you are discerning how to live and share the word of truth,” II Tim. 2:15.


Read the following passages to learn more how Timothy understood and shared the Scriptures as God’s good news: I & II Timothy; Acts 14:6-23; 16:1-5; 17:14-15; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Romans 16:21; I Cor. 4:17; 16:10; II Cor. 1:19; Phil. 2:19,22-23; I Thes. 3:2,6; Hebrews 13:23.


Pastor Les Hollon


But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, where they continued to preach the good news.


In Lystra and Derbe

In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

                But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

                Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.


The Return to Antioch in Syria

                They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders[a] for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.                           

- Acts 14:6-23 (NIV)


For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

- I Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)


This article was written by Les Hollon, Pastorof Trinity Baptist Church.  For more information about God and your place in His world, contact Dr. Hollon, click over to Trinity Baptist Church.


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Posted on 5 June, 2010 in Motivation, Spirituality
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