Sharing Your Story

Luke 8.26-39

Having just calmed a violent storm at sea, Jesus meets a man with an equally violent storm raging within him. In both cases Jesus is able to squash the chaos with a word. It would be easy to come to the conclusion that Luke is showcasing Jesus’ power and authority over both the natural and supernatural worlds. And he does that, but I think Luke is driving us to something even more powerful…you see, beyond the power of Jesus is the love of Jesus. Jesus crosses a violent, storm-tossed sea and faces down the forces of hell for one man! Did you get that? Jesus crosses a violent, storm-tossed sea and faces down the forces of hell for one man! O what a Savior! And having rescued him, He sends him on a mission to share his story – of “what great things God had done for him.”

I love this story. It’s a beautiful picture of the lengths that Jesus goes to to seek and save the lost…

Crossed the sea (calmed the storm, etc.)

Faced off with the hosts of hell

Braved the potential backlash of a frightened mob

For one man

Jesus is still on a rescue mission, pulling folks out of the fires of hell. Setting the captives free. And as those who have been set free, He calls us to join Him in that same mission. To share our story…of what great things Jesus has done for us.

Though we may not have been as bad off as the demoniac in this story, before Jesus we were all just as lost. We were all held captive in the kingdom of darkness. We were all without hope and in desperate need of rescue. And only Jesus could do that.

So what is your story, and who can you share it with? Jesus sent the man back to his home town to share with those closest to him what God had done for him. Sounds a lot like our impact list…those folks who are closest to us who don’t know Jesus. Could be friends or family, neighbors, co-workers, classmates or teammates. If you have trusted in Jesus, then you have a story to tell.

And as I think back over my own story, I’m reminded…Jesus changes everything. He wants to change everything in our lives if we will let Him. But we have to be intentional about pursuing Him. We have to make the choice…training, not trying. Quality time in His Word everyday aka Daily Devotion. Praying throughout the day aka Consistent Prayer. And time with other believers as often as possible aka Intentional Community. And when we do that we find that He’s been pursuing us all along…the Good Shepherd looking for the one lost sheep.

Let me challenge you with two last words…first, take time this week to write out your story. On our website you can find a template that will walk you through putting together Your Story. Take your time…don’t rush. Pray over it and ask God to direct you through the process.

Second, prayerfully consider who you need to share your story with. Who do you know that hasn’t yet trusted in Jesus? Pray for opportunities and ask God for courage in the moment to take advantage of those opportunities when they come.

pro rege,

This post is based on a sermon from our UN/Stuck: A Season for Discipleship series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Seeking and Saving the Lost

Luke 19.1-10

Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Zacchaeus is as lost as they come, and yet he has a divine appointment with the Savior. No one is so far gone that Jesus cannot rescue them. And He delights to do so.

Zach had it all according to the world’s standards…or mostly all. While he may not have had the respect that the rich ruler had, he certainly had the affluence. He had power. He had influence. And even though he might not have had respect, he still was feared. He wanted for nothing materially. And yet he wasn’t satisfied. Money, power, influence, even fame (or infamy) had left him feeling empty somehow inside. Something was missing. He didn’t know Jesus, but he had heard stories. Maybe Jesus somehow could provide what was missing. So Zach went looking for Him, only to find that Jesus had been searching for him all along.

Maybe you are like Zach…you’ve tried everything and yet nothing satisfies. Something is missing…you are never really comfortable anymore, your conscience bothers you, there is no peace. If so, you’re in the sycamore tree, and Jesus is asking you to come down. He wants to dine with you. He wants you to be a part of His kingdom. No matter what you’ve done or how bad you think things are, no one is beyond His reach. Jesus said, “It’s not the healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5.29-32). If that’s you today, don’t wait. Come quickly. Today is the day of salvation.

Jesus changes everything. Zach went from being a selfish taker to being a generous giver. Jesus will do that to you. Having been rescued by Jesus, Zach also had a strong desire to be reconciled and restored in his relationships with others. He wanted to make things right. Giving to the poor and repaying those you have hurt doesn’t save you, but it’s a pretty good indication that salvation has taken place. What changes has Jesus made in your life?

For those of us who have trusted in Jesus, His mission is our mission…seeking and saving the lost. It’s a rescue mission, and it’s one that requires urgency and intentionality. We are called to storm the gates of hell…to hang out with those far from God with a desire to see them come to trust in Jesus. Unfortunately that will cause some to grumble because we are hanging out with the wrong crowd. Don’t worry…you are in good company. They grumbled at Jesus too. Doesn’t mean we compromise our walk, but it does mean that we take some relationship risks for the sake of the gospel. There ought to be some dangerous folks on our Impact Lists…

“Zaccheus was a wee, little man, And a wee, little man was he. He climbed up in a sycamore tree, For the Lord he wanted to see. And as the Savior came that way, He looked up in the tree, And He said, ‘Zaccheus, come on down,’ For I’m coming to your house today. For I’m coming to your house today. Zacchaeus was a happy man, and a happy man was he. For he had seen the Lord that day, and a happy man was he, and a very, very happy man was he.”

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on a sermon from our series in the book of Luke. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster