Why Christians Need The Good News Too

Over the past year, Matt Gillum and I have enjoyed launching a new digital ministry here at ABC.  For a little over 12 months, we have consistently uploaded new content to our church’s podcast channel titled, “Citizen ATX” (you can find it HERE).  The purpose of this podcast is to further extend Gospel-centered conversations outside of our church walls.  Each episode features practical conversations about what it means to live as a “dual-citizen” in Austin, Texas.  We discuss cultural topics and issues with the aim of helping believers understand how to engage our city as good citizens of Austin, while still living for our true citizenship which is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).  

We have covered a myriad of topics this past year, so we chose to start out 2022 by inviting local ministry partners into the conversation with us.  Last week, we kicked off a new series called, “ATX Neighbors.”  In each episode, we are welcoming men and women in ministry from across our city to join us in the studio for conversations focused on their area of expertise.  We’ve been talking with our guests about what God is doing in their ministry areas, but we have also focused on what we can do to make a better impact alongside them.  As we have been recording these episodes, it has been encouraging to hear how God is indeed moving in their spheres of influence.  Whether it is in the lives of teenagers, college students, parents, or in home life, we have consistently been reminded that God is indeed at work in our city.

I think it’s important for us to hear that for two primary reasons.  The first reason is hearing about God’s work will show us where we need to get to work.  Henry Blackaby famously taught this principle in his discipleship curriculum, “Experiencing God.”  Christians should aim to see where God is at work and then commit to join Him in that effort for His glory.  But we also need to hear what God is doing because these stories will undoubtedly minister to our own hearts and encourage us to press on.  We live in a world where the enemy’s work gets more headlines than God’s work.  Bad news hits us from all angles ranging from our friends, our neighbors, and even our families.  We read disheartening headlines in the news, we hear painful stories from others, and the enemy’s work seems to steal the limelight almost every day.   This naturally leaves many of us discouraged, cynical, and anxious about the future.

However, I want to remind you today that God is still at work, the kingdom is still expanding, and He is still inviting you to join Him in the effort.  The apostle Paul gave this same reminder to his young protégé Timothy.  Paul famously wrote two letters to the young pastor while he was imprisoned and awaiting his own execution in Rome.  Paul tells Timothy to “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! (2 Timothy 2:8-9).  Paul tells Timothy to remember Jesus, not because he thought Timothy may have forgotten who He is.  Rather, I believe he’s telling Timothy to not forget the good news of Jesus amidst the constant bad news of their suffering. 

This is why we are being reminded through our sermon series that Jesus is better.  He’s better than any leader this world has to offer, He is bigger than any problem we may face, and He gives a better peace to anyone who seeks after Him.  We must not forget that even amidst the darkness of the world, “the word of God is not bound.”  Covid still exists, political tension continues to rise, inflation has us nervous, and people are bound by anxiety every single day.  But we must not forget that God’s word is still on the move.  I encourage you this week to open your eyes to see where God is at work in your life and in the life of our church.  Be encouraged by that good news, and then commit to join Him in the good work.  Sometimes we can get stuck, but God’s word never sits idle.  Jesus has good works for you to walk in this year (Ephesians 2:10), but you will only find them if you “remember Jesus Christ” and press on in His purposes for your life.

God bless you all, and I look forward to lifting up the name of Jesus with you this Sunday as the author of Hebrews helps us recognize the supremacy of Jesus Christ.  I’ll see you in worship at 9am or 11:11am. 

Last Sunday’s Sermon: Jesus is Better – “Better Than Angels” – Hebrews 1:4-8
New Citizen ATX Podcast Series

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