Posted by: Rex Boyles | February 11, 2008

“Bad News – Good News”

Before I write of anyone else …

I am a sinner. My sins brought shame on my family … on my favorite church … and on my life. (I believe that I am forgiven by God, but even now I live, daily, with the consequences of my sins.)

In these last few years I have seen in my life what I have read in His Word – that the Lord is full of mercy, but among the many ways that God has manifested His grace to me – one that astonishes me most is when and how He uses weakness and failure to offer hope to others.

For example – just in the last 10 days:

A man, who is my brother and my friend was broken and bruised by the betrayal of the one he loved and trusted most and by his own unwise and destructive reactions to the betrayal. He found his way home to Lord and to a safe place to rest and heal. (That journey – in itself – is one of amazing grace.) While he was trying to “get back on his feet”, he met a woman (also broken and bruised). He helped her find her way home. On Saturday, February 2, 2008, he baptized her into Jesus. He has moved on to another town – to another job – to another opportunity to become a friend of sinners there; but she remains with Jesus in this safe place. Already she is looking to become a friend to sinners, too. Would she have a new life today … if he had not been broken … if he had not been brought by the Lord and family to this safe place? I do not know the ways of God … but I believe that my brother’s bad news was used by God for my new sister’s good news.

On Sunday, February 3, 2008, I saw another child born into God’s family. She is 17 years old and bruised more by the abuse and neglect of her family than by her own sins. It would be accurate to say that she has no family, for she lives in a “home”, because no one had a place for her. But it was in this “home” that she found her “family” in heart – if not flesh – the family that would love her and support her. (This also is a story of amazing grace.) This “family” was broken and bruised by their own sins and the sins of others, and they found  a safe place to rest and heal. They brought this young lady with them. The family has now moved on to another place – to another work, where they offer the same love and support to other children and other sinners. But this young lady remains in this safe place, and now she lives a new life – safe in Jesus. Would she have a new life today … if her family in flesh had not deserted her … if her family in heart had not been broken and needed this safe place? I do not know the ways of God … but I believe that their bad news was used by God to give this young sister good news.

On Sunday, February 10, 2008, another sinner was raised to a new life in Jesus. She is a junior in college with a bright mind and future, but she also knows the guilt and fear of her owns sins and the sins of others against her. She found this safe place through a series of “chance” circumstances (which also bear witness to God’s amazing grace). It was a year or so ago when a young man from the same school found his way home to the Lord in this safe place. He was hurt by his own sins and by the damage sin had done to his family, but when he came “home”, he was hungry to learn and eager to share his renewed hope with his college buddies. He would bring 3-4 with him, regularly – inviting even more. That young man has moved on now to another place and another job, but his buddies still visit this safe place weekly. It was one of them that invited her, and she didn’t come to visit – she came to stay. Would she have this new life … if that young man had not “come to himself” and come home to the Lord … if he had not invited the one that invited her? I do not know the ways of God … but I believe that his bad news was used by God so that she might hear good news.

And yet another testimony to the God’s amazing grace … is that I – sinner that I am – have been allowed by God to welcome these sinners home and share good news with those they invited to go to heaven with them. Is it possible that God used my bad news – to offer to others His good news? May it ever be …  


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