The Power of a Story

Thank you for helping us making Mother’s Day a special weekend at ABC.  I hope all our mothers felt loved and honored, and I’m grateful for the many folks who worked behind the scenes to make it a wonderful day.  I’d like to thank Christina Mendoza for organizing our beautiful photo loop, Carlos Jordan for filming and editing our video tribute with ABC kids, and of course thank you to Jennifer Wilcoxson for making hundreds of delicious chocolate truffles to send home with our moms.  I also want to thank Emily Ross for decorating our photo spot to commemorate the day, and I especially want to thank Kara Kopecky for sharing her inspiring adoption story.  We are grateful to have Tom, Kara, Abigail, and Andrew in our church family, and I hope you were encouraged by their testimony of faith like I was.

I believe it is important for us to find opportunities to share our stories of faith.  In part, this is because the Bible says that God has given each of us a story to tell.  Paul explains, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).  Every Christian has a story of life change.  Some Christians experience radical life change through surrendering their lives to Jesus Christ as adults.  Many others receive Christ at a young age and are changed by being saved from what could have been many difficult years apart from Him.  And all Christians are still experiencing life change as Jesus is actively at work in each of our lives, striving to make us look more like Him (Cf. Philippians 1:6).  God has written a story in your life, and it is good to testify to that work.

David tells us, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 9:1 ESV).  David took time to look back and consider the Lord’s work in his life.  He gave thanks for the victories that God brought him, and he gave thanks for the losses where God sustained him.  David constantly testified to God’s hand on His life.  For the next several weeks, we are going to give opportunities for people to likewise share their own stories of faith.  As you know, we are currently in a sermon series called “Changed,” and it has been encouraging to hear how God is still changing lives in our church.  On ABC Student Weekend, we got to hear how Jesus has changed the lives of some of our youngest members.  On Mother’s Day, we got to hear how Jesus changed the Kopecky home by answering their prayers to become parents.  And now for the next several weeks, we are going to invite individuals to share their stories of faith on our Citizen ATX podcast (https://citizenatx.buzzsprout.com ).

If you’re unfamiliar the podcast, Dr. Matt Gillum and I began this show a little over a year ago.  The purpose was to provide a digital platform for our church to extend spiritual conversations outside of our church walls.  Each week, Matt and I take time to address various cultural topics and challenges through the lens of God’s Word.  We do this with the goal of helping the body of Christ learn how to live as citizens of heaven while walking as citizens of Austin (Cf. Philippians 3:20).  In our new podcast series, we are welcoming guests on to the show each week to talk about their own encounters with Jesus Christ.  Our guests’ stories will each be unique, but they will all have the same theme of change.  I encourage you to tune in with us and be encouraged by their stories of walking with Jesus through the ups and downs of life.  But I also encourage you to look for opportunities to share your own story with others as well.  You could share it over dinner at your home, over coffee with a friend, or even through a social media post online.  God has given each of us platforms and opportunities, we just need to be ready and available to share the story that He has written in our lives. 

Romans 1:16 reminds us, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” May none of us ever be ashamed of God’s work in our lives.  Take time this week to give thanks and recount the deeds of the Lord.  Testify to others, even if you aren’t a natural communicator.  The good news is it is your story.  You cannot mess up that story, nor can anyone argue against your own personal experience.  So may we all speak boldly to God’s work in our lives this week, for the glory of God and for the good of others.  I look forward to seeing you this weekend at 9am or 11:11am.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

Last Sunday’s Message: Mother’s Day 2022

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