We are commanded to share the good news, but it’s much simpler than we imagine. Living praise and worship and sharing our testimony is living the Gospel.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. (Psalm 96:2)
We live in a world fraught with negativity. Ironically, our world seems determined to prove the truth that ‘no news is good news.’ When we read and listen to news reports, they seem focused on the bad – crime, war, natural and economic disasters, and a host of immoral or downright abusive happenings. No news at all is preferable to the newsNow, more than ever, our responsibility to be salt and light is one we cannot avoid. We must, if we have Christ in us, add savour to life and dispel the darkness crowding in.
Good news is a particular gift to a peculiar people.
It’s good to remember that we are, as believers, ‘peculiar.’ We are set apart, which doesn’t only mean that God has hung a ‘reserved’ sign around our necks. It also means that we must be different to the world and those around us. We must be ‘contrary’ to everything accepted by the world and going on in the world. Non-believers live in a ‘bad news’ world. It is the Christians who have been given the gift of good news. We have both the ability and the responsibility in Christ to be peculiar by using the particular gift He has given us.
The difference between the gift of good news that we are given and the good news that may sometimes be found in the world is that ours is eternal. It has no ‘sell by’ date. It’s as fresh and powerful today as it was in Bible times. More than that, it contains the power to transform lives, break chains, and dispel fear. Anything the world has to offer is transitory. It’s ‘same old same old’ and is soon overtaken by the bad around us. Our particular gift, however, is self-sustaining because Christ is the source. While the world may readily accept us as ‘peculiar,’ they cannot deny the power our gift of good news contains.
To bring the good news we must be peculiar.
This is a critical truth that is all too easy to overlook. We absolutely have to be peculiar – we must stand out from the crowd. We must be visibly different. Conformity diminishes the supernatural power of God to transform and deliver. It’s a purely logical truth. The more we ‘blend in’ with the world, the less impact we will have. The truth of salvation has its very foundation in the reality that the things of the world cannot and will not ever be accepted or overlooked by God. When we are seen to compromise or ‘go with the flow,’ nothing we say will carry the authority of Christ in us. That’s because Jesus won’t share sovereignty with anything of the world. The more of the world is in us, the less of Jesus is in us.
It is our peculiarity – our manifestation of Jesus, who turned the world on its head – that makes people sit up and listen. We stand out not because of who we are but because of who Christ is. If we aren’t peculiar, the reality is that Christ in us isn’t operating as it should. We’ve pushed Him out to accommodate the world. The fundamental truth behind the good news is that it brings a solution that is beyond the power of man to either devise or fully comprehend. Jesus broke every single ‘rule’ of society and upended every socially accepted norm. Everything about Him was in direct conflict with the world, and with the powers of darkness. His good news is the embodiment of the truth that He challenged and defeated all things conventional.
We cannot keep the good news to ourselves.
It’s a common weakness to avoid ‘rocking the boat.’ The world teaches us about rights and respect, and this effectively muzzles many believers who don’t want to appear judgemental or discriminatory. We hold fast to the good news, loving the beauty and power of it and the transformation it has wrought in our lives. This, however, is entirely contrary to what Jesus stood for. He died for all, not just us. His final command to His disciples was to go and spread the good news – the Gospel. That has never changed. It’s as relevant today as it was to those early believers. When we avoid speaking of Christ and the cross, we deny this critical command.
Nothing that is purchased for us through the cross is ever intended for us alone. It’s important to take hold of this truth, which is manifest through Christ and very clearly through the early church. We are the body of Christ. This means that we live to obey our ‘head’ – to continue His work on earth. If we look at His ministry, we can see that He essentially lived the Gospel. He was the good news lived in physical form. It was visible for all those who chose to look. But while in human form, Jesus was ‘finite.’ He was bound by time and space. The only way to overcome these limitations was for Him to ascend to heaven and release His Spirit in each of us.
Our Christian life is to share the good news.
It’s a powerful and incredibly simple process of multiplication. By working through us, Jesus is able to reach many more people than He could in His human form. He does this through the Spirit – through Christ in us. As He lives though His followers, He manifests the good news just as He did on earth. His purpose is that we live the Gospel, just as He did, so it is visible and tangible to others. Of course, it isn’t something we can do in our own power or ability. It is Christ in us that manifests as a light in the darkness. It’s how we must live our lives – as a kind of spiritual ‘newspaper’ that proclaims the cross.
Our relationship with Him will determine the level at which we are able to ‘proclaim the good news.’ We can only speak and reveal what we know. I often hear believers say that they aren’t ‘evangelists’ by nature, and cannot disagree with this. Self is never an evangelist, but Christ in us is. If we are living in Him and in surrender to Him as we should, sharing the good news will be as natural as breathing. It is something that flows from the presence of Christ in us and simply happens. We don’t have to plan campaigns or outreaches, or even think about what to do or say. It’s not by might or power, but by the mighty Spirit of God which works in and through us to manifest the Light of the World.
Praise, worship, and the good news.
Today’s verse provides us with the ‘logical order’ involved in sharing the good news. It starts with praise and worship – not the Sunday service kind, but the day to day living to the glory of God. Thanksgiving, praise and worship are the indicators of the presence of Christ and the absolute joy of salvation. In a world weighed down by the flood of bad news and bad events, thanksgiving and praise stand in stark contrast. The joy of the Lord is a powerful antidote. First, our lives must manifest this through willing surrender and worship. As we give thanks daily, as we praise and give glory to God in all we do, we reveal the practical power of salvation at work in us.
Then, with the evidence visible, the good news will simply flow out. Lives truly committed to Christ will speak powerfully as an outflow of daily praise and worship. It’s not about preaching or evangelising. We simply share the joy and the source of that joy – Jesus and the great gift of salvation purchased on the cross. It’s our testimony, the natural outworking of living in the only light that can dispel the darkness.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You have gone before and provide our perfect example. As You lived the good news, help us to do the same. Forgive us if we have held back through our own fears or inadequacies. Teach us to look to You always in thanksgiving and praise, and to worship You in our daily lives. Fill us, Lord, with Your joy, so that it may overflow and push back the darkness of this world.