|Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art|
I am not big on hellfire and brimstone preaching. When I lived in Virginia I used to attend a Wednesday breakfast with some men from the church. The food was great, the fellowship was wonderful, and the worship was fine. There were two reasons I stopped attending; the early time meant for a long day and the teens on Wednesday nights were not getting the best out of me. However, the main reason I stopped attending was the preaching that took place. Every other week the pastor of the church spoke. Each time he spoke his preaching was directed at how bad our world is getting. Often I felt beat down and not uplifted. I could not take all the negativity that overwhelmed that place.
Now, there are times preaching and teaching has to have some corrective elements. Negativity has to rear its ugly head from time to time. If it never does, correction may never happen. But constant negativity just wears people out. Isaiah was one who brought a lot of negative news to the people of Judah. Fortunately for him, his news was not all bad. From time to time he had the privilege of bringing good news. He was able to one of the first to announcing the coming Messiah. His news even spoke of the return from exile.
He knew his mission was both the bearer of bad and good news. Read his words again … “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners be freed.” (Isaiah 61:1 NLT) Good news always needs to follow bad news. Hope always needs to be seen.
I hope your teaching, sharing, and preaching to your friends, relatives, and co-workers who may know Christ and have strayed, or who do not Christ is not always full of negativity. I hope in there you are pointing to hope, pointing to restoration, bringing good news. That is exactly what gospel means … the good news of the work of Jesus! Bring some good news!