Our Story    12-16-18
Bottom Line: Our journey to follow Jesus is part of the message we can share with others.
Introduction:
A. Steve’s story: Acts 6 & 7
1. A time of amazing growth, 6:7
2. Led to a great persecution and scattering, 8:1-2
3. vs.4 “Wherever they were scattered, they preached the message about Jesus.”
B. Man’s crisis became God’s catalyst!
1. We love peaks, but God uses valleys!
2. Arrest brings proclamation! Persecution brings mission work! It’s not about causing but using!
C. Steve’s story introduces us to a special villain!
1. Saul: coat holder, cheerleader, and church destroyer!
2. Was he part of the ripple effect of Stephen? God’s hand in this?
D. Saul’s story: begins in Acts 7&8, picked up in 9:1-19
1. There was no sort-of-conversion w/ Saul – all the way!
2. “Went right to work,” vs.19, with one message “Jesus was the Messiah” vs.22
E. Preacher, missionary (became Paul), writer, teacher, mentor, and martyr. All his letters written before Gospels!
1. One message: Jesus! 1 Cor.2:2 “Preached nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
2. Introduced by his story and never stopped using it! Acts records at least twice he shared it in 22 and 26
1. Paul’s story became His story!
A. Arrested in Jerusalem, dragged to jail, asked permission to speak, 21:39
B. Paul tells his story: 21:40 – 22:24, Special reading
C. What was his message? Jesus changed my life!
* In Acts 26 he told it to Agrippa and almost won him
2. My story became His story!
A. I must obey hit!
B. I must live it! Never forget it! Let it drive me!
C. I must tell it! It is why I am His disciple today!
3. Our story must become His story!
A. He gave it to us! What did He do to make it happen?
B. He gave it to us to share with others! Like Paul did.
C. Our message is part of the gospel Message! 1 Pet.3:15
Conclusion:
A. We celebrated our anniversary! 46 years ago, on a cold and snowy night in Searcy, AR, at the College church
B. A covenant was made between me and Donna
1. For better, for worse! For richer, for poorer!
In sickness and in health! To love and cherish until
death!
2. I do! We did! And we have!
C. Our story is our life! The story was true then and now!
D. When you put on Christ in baptism, you were given a story! All that was part of making it happen!
1. Remember? Has it changed?
2. Reflect and recommit to that story!
3. Share it! Telling is remembering = deepening faith!