Andy Hawthorne came to speak at our church today.
Andy is a well-known figure in UK evangelical circles. He founded The Message Trust in Manchester which powerfully works with young people in urban communities not only in Manchester, but across the UK, and now also in Cape Town, South Africa. You can read more about their incredible work here.
I’ve heard Andy speak many times before, and always come away both challenged and inspired. Today was no different. I left church buzzing with lots of thoughts from Andy’s preach, but my one takeaway from his talk was very simple. And it was more a reflection on Andy, than the words themselves.
What struck me was his absolute 100% confidence in the gospel;his confidence that the gospel is Good News and holds power to bring about transformation in each and every life.
I forget that sometimes. I forget the sheer goodness of God demonstrated in the death and resurrection of His son. I forget that God’s offer of forgiveness and invitation into relationship with Him is the best offer we could ever receive. Our lives are turned upside-down and inside-out when we choose to follow Jesus: life with Him is unbeatable. Life with Him is forgiven and free. Life with Him is whole and fulfilled. Life with Him is never perfect but always strengthening. Life with Him is often challenging, but always with hope. Life with Him is Love.
Andy is unashamedly convinced of the goodness of the gospel.
There’s a reason it’s called Good News: because it is.
It’s Good News for me. It’s Good News for you.
It’s Good News for our neighbour, for our family, for our work colleague.
It’s Good News for the rich. It’s Good News for the poor.
It’s Good News for the young offender, the school teacher, the shopkeeper, the police officer, the unemployed, the old, the young.
It’s Good News. Yesterday, today and forever.
It’s Good News, people.
16-17 It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.