This is my story - sharing youth faith adventure with others

Stories: Sharing Your Faith Adventure with Others

Being a part of God’s family should be a powerful force in our life. A loving and honest community is where real belonging and, therefore, real transformation happens. This four-week sermon series teaches the importance of living authentically with each other by sharing our stories: the true testimony of who we are and who God is for us.

Big Idea of the Message: Evil is defeated in our lives as a result of Jesus’ work on the cross; our testimony in Him, while it might seem to the world to signal defeat now (because of persecution and sacrificial living), actually entails our victory.

 

1. THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD?

Throughout centuries many stories, great stories were told about heroism, sacrifice, adventures, rags to riches, inventions, discoveries and more. Many earn millions for having their story published through prints and media. The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowedin a number of categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions inrecognition of academic, cultural, and/or scientific advances. The likes of Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Sir Alexander Flemming, MLK Jr, Mother Teresa were some of the top Novel Price winner. But none can ever match or exceed the greatest story ever told. JESUS!

Revelation 12:10 ESV And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:10 This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

 

2. THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL TO TRANSFORM OUR STORY

History tells us tragedy transforms individual and a nation. The two world wars, famine, disasters, 911 forever changed people, communities and nations.

What happen when the gospel intersect with people at the crossroad of life?

Revelation 12:11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Result – “for they loved not their lives even unto death”

We become a new creation:  2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

They loved Christ more than their lives: Acts 20:24 “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God”

The Bible is full of story of men and women who encountered Jesus and they were never the same again.

The blind man's story
John 9:25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

The leper: Luke 17:15–16 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.

The demon possessed man: Mark 5:15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. Mark 5:19–20And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

Stephen: Acts 7:60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Ignatius of Antioch: 35-107 AD
EARLIEST POST-NEW TESTAMENT MARTYR
“Now I begin to be a disciple.… Let fire and cross, flocks of beasts, broken bones, dismemberment … come upon me, so long as I attain to Jesus Christ.”

Polycarp: 69-156 AD
AGED BISHOP OF SMYRNA
“He who grants me to endure the fire will enable me also to remain on the pyre unmoved, without the security you desire from nails.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: 1906-1945 AD
GERMAN THEOLOGIAN AND RESISTER

“Cheap grace is preaching forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.… Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

3. WHAT IS YOUR STORY? - DO YOU HAVE A STORY TO TELL

What is your story? Everyone has a story to tell whether good or bad, exciting or not. For some, they like to talk about the story of other people that somehow bordering in gossip. Nations have gone to wars, families and friendships broken because of words spoken in the wrong way. Today the term :FAKE NEWS, FAKE STORY" is so common that makes you wonder if what you're reading is factual.

Have you been born again? Our story starts here. Without the blood of the Lamb applied in your heart you are not going to have a word of testimony! Without Christ as your only Lord and Savior your story however great it is ends in your lips.

Evil is defeated in our lives as a result of Jesus' work on the cross; our testimony is Him, while it might seem to be the world signal defeat now (because of persecution and sacrificial living) actually entails victory

 

4.  OUR STORY - LET'S TELL OUR STORY AS A CHURCH

Your story, my story, his story, her story and their story will only find its completeness with the rest of the the story of the body. In the end, it becomes just ONE story - the story of Jesus

Hebrews 11:39–40 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Revelation 12:11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Illustration: BURNING SHIPS

a. On April 21st, in the year 1519, the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez sailed into the harbor of Vera Cruz, Mexico. He brought with him only about 600 men, and yet over the next two years his vastly outnumbered forces were able to defeat Montezuma and all the warriors of the Aztec empire, making Cortez the conqueror of all Mexico.

b. How was this incredible feat accomplished, when two prior expeditions had failed even to establish a colony on Mexican soil? Here’s the secret.

c. Cortez knew from the very beginning that he and his men faced incredible odds. He knew that the road before them would be dangerous and difficult. He knew that his men would be tempted to abandon their quest and return to Spain.

d. And so, as soon as Cortez and his men had come ashore and unloaded their provisions, he ordered their entire fleet of eleven ships destroyed. His men stood on the shore and watched as their only possibility of retreat burned and sank.

 

REASONS WE FAIL TO WITNESS

90% believe they should share their faith. 40% invite someone to church. Only 3% share their faith with an unbeliever.

REASON FOR DISCONNECT

i.               Fear of rejection

ii.              Lack of Urgency - there's still time

iii.            Lack of Knowledge - i'm not trained

iv.             Too Busy - I can't be bothered. Others can do it

v.              Assuming the Best - ?

CHRISTIAN CULTURE: We’ve outsourced evangelism to missionaries and programs. This must change!

REASONS FOR THE URGENCY:

a.              Christ is victorious

b.             We are commanded

c.              Believers in past

d.              Satan knows his time is short

 

 

APPLICATION:

Gary Chapman in his book, Love as a Way of Life uses the vivid metaphor for words as being either ‘bullets or seeds’. If we use our words as bullets with a feeling of superiority and condemnation, we are not going to be able to restore a relationship to love. If we use our words as seeds with a feeling of supportiveness and sincere good will, we can rebuild a relationship in positive and life-affirming ways.

SHARING THE GOSPEL WITH YOUR STORY

1. Our life’s story is a testimony of the Power & Transformation of Jesus Christ in a human life.

2. Your life is “now” a witness of Jesus’ power.

3. No one can argue against your experience with Jesus or the transformation that’s taken place in you. That’s why your testimony is so powerful!

4. An effective evangelist always uses the content of their story to point the hearer to Jesus, not themselves.

 

EVANGELISM WITH “C.L.A.S.S”

1. CONVERSE. Start small talk with a stranger – family, work, recreation, church background. Jesus did with the Woman at the Well (Jn. 4:5-26). He asked her for a drink of water.

2. LISTEN. Listen for the direction of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 10, Peter received a vision from God. The vision was followed by a divine appointment to share the gospel with the household of Cornelius. Peter stayed open to speaking to someone he would not normally have spoken to.

3. AFFIRM. In Acts 17, Paul affirmed to the Greeks that their pursuit of religion had a good side to it. No matter how different the person is from you, look for good qualities to affirm. That’s where common ground is found to plant seed.

4. SHARE. This is where you share your story. Share what Jesus did for you through His life, death, and resurrection!

5. SERVE. No matter their response, praying over a person’s life is a great way to serve them on a spiritual level. If there is a physical need, try to help with it.

 

Discussion Questions: 

1.    What is one thing that stood out to you from this week’s message?

2.    What are the main elements of a testimony?

3.    Why do you think the blood and the testimony are the two items listed here for victory over Satan?

4.    Have you ever experienced the power of God as a result of hearing/giving a testimony?

5.    Would anyone like to share a testimony of what God has done in your life?

6.    How can I pray for you?