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What's My Story?

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Identifying with Christ in in all aspects of His death, burial and resssurection.

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What’s My Story?

Who am I?
Where did I come from?
How did I get here?
Where am I going?
I found myself last week relaxing, in front of the television after coming home from church. I was scanning thru a seemingly endless list of titles, when I came across a documentary entitled “Redeemed By Grace” I decided to click the info and saw that it was a collection of four testimonies, starting with the Pastor of a Christian Church somewhere in Michigan. He followed up with three of his members and their stories, told in their own words put to dramatized clips and still photos piecing together their lives from birth to present day. As each broken life began its illustration of how God intervened at particular places in their lives to bring them to a place of redemption and restoration the Pastor would cut in to introduce each one with some background history. He would begin each segment with “This is their story.” The stories, especially the Pastors were incredibly inspiring and at the end the Pastor came back on to close with a follow up on his story, which was truly astounding and something only an all knowing, powerful and loving God could possibly orchestrate. But what really got me was after he finished, he looked very deliberately into the camera, as if God Himself was asking “So, what’s your story?”
That started me thinking about exactly, what is my story? As I began to look back over my life and piece the events of my life together I realized, although I didn’t have a particularly easy childhood, I didn’t have a completely devastating and broken childhood like the ones I had just witnessed. The more I thought about “my story” the more I realized it’s not one I particularly want to share. In fact it’s a story I’m completely ashamed of and not sure I would ever have the courage to tell. So I found myself telling God “No, I’m sorry Lord I am not ready to tell “my story”. So, God being who He is, full of love grace and mercy, said okay then tell “My Story” So, that’s what I want to do this morning. I want to tell the story of a God who loved His children so much He was not willing to leave them lost and dead in their sin. Sin that was brought in by their own rebellion and rejection of a loving creator and Father who loved them so much He gave them a free will to choose for themselves. I’m sure most, if not all of us here know the story of how Eve chose to eat the fruit from the tree in the midst of the garden and how she gave to Adam and he ate resulting in spiritual death, separation from God and banishment from the garden. But that’s not the story I want to tell.
I’m sure most, if not all of us here know the story of how Eve chose to eat the fruit from the tree in the midst of the garden and how she gave to Adam and he ate resulting in spiritual death, separation from God and banishment from the garden. But that’s not the story I want to tell.
I want to tell the story of a completely Holy God who’s righteousness demanded, at just the right time in human history, He leave His majesty and Glory in Heaven to be born a helpless babe, in the likeness of man, to live a perfect, sinless life to be sacrificed as a ransom to redeem or “purchase” us back from the curse of sin and death. But, He didn’t stop there, after three days in the grave, with power and glory He took up His life never again to be held down by mortality and making that available to us. But, to tell God’s story I have to tell my story, the story of all of us really.
But, to tell God’s story I have to tell my story, the story of all of us really.
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The Gospel of John, starting in the first chapter tells us,(1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.(2) He (Jesus) was in the beginning with God.(3) All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. (4) In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. (5) The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Moses declares God has no beginning or end.
We read in verses 9-13 “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. (10) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. (11) He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. (12) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of blood nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God. (We must be born again)
You see, my story is, I was the “darkness” and for many years the Light of Christ shined into my darkened heart and I did not comprehend it. But , thru Gods love and mercy He never stops shining His Light. Verse 12 is one of my favorites because it tells me that if I will step out of the darkness and into His light, repent of my sin and by faith receive His Light or “His Life” into mine He gives me the RIGHT to become His child! GOOD NEWS
Verse 12 is one of my favorites because it tells me that if I will step out of the darkness and into His light, repent of my sin and by faith receive His Light or “His Life” into mine He gives me the RIGHT to become His child! GOOD NEWS
states “Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
In the flesh, born of blood and water I am a dead man walking but born again, by the Spirit of God I become a dead man alive unto God and a witness to His Glory, Grace and Truth. Verse 14 thru 17 “And the Word became flesh, and the flesh dwelt among us, and we saw His Glory, Glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (15) John testified about Him and cried out , saying, “This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me. (16) For His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. (17) For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
It was God Himself that gave Moses this revelation when at the burning bush Moses asked “Who shall I say sent me?’ God replied “Tell them I AM sent you.” .
We too have always been known by God. The scripture tells us God has Known us from “...before we were conceived in our mothers womb...” , , ,
Verse 14 thru 17
This is the ultimate expression of Love, ”... that a man would lay down his life for a friend…” But Jesus did more than that, for He laid down His life not for friends but for those who had rejected Him. (This is where my story comes in) The scripture tells us that in “…as it is written, there is none righteous, not even one; (11)There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; (12) All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good,There is not even one.” But, scripture also tell us in Romans 5:8-9 “But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (read all the way thru verse 17)
There is none who seeks for God; but they also tell us in chapter 5:8-9 “But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners...”
So, now my story has become His story. Because, it was my story that made His story necessary. His Love and His righteousness required it, I would dare say even demanded it! It is a story of redemption, of a Holy and righteous God giving of Himself, His only begotten of the Father ()
Our righteousness is tainted by sin and could never fully pay for our redemption. In scripture tells us “For all of us have become unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. Also, in it tells us “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,(2) in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. (3) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
So you see, we could never live good enough or do enough good deeds to satisfy the Holiness of the completely Holy and Righteous One. But God, being rich in mercy, as we talked about earlier, satisfied it for us in the person of His only begotten Son! It goes further to say in “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,...” MORE GOOD NEWS
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What God has shown me, is that the story I am ashamed of is not mine alone. It belongs to every one who has not allowed the Light of the Gospel to shine the light of God’s love, grace and mercy into their darkened hearts.
That other story, the one I’m ashamed of, ended for me the moment I received the forgiveness and mercy God offered to me thru the shed Blood of Christ. In that moment my “real” story began. The story of a dead man come back to life, of a reprobate redeemed and washed whiter than snow! A lost sinner found and set on a heavenly path, of a blind man given new sight, to see the Glorious light of a kingdom not realized before. The story of a deaf man who’s ears have been opened to hear the still small voice of the creator of the universe! And a mute man made to speak of the wonders of the Gospel and it’s redeeming grace! The story of a mortal man communing with, loving and being loved by an immortal God! That is “my story” and that is the story He offers to every one who is looking for a new story.
Jesus didn’t come to just save us from our sin so that we don’t have to go to hell and be eternally separated from Him, as if that wouldn’t be enough right? No, He came to give us life and life abundant. A life filled with wonder and adventure in an Holy cause, the Kings of Kings cause! To participate in the salvation of humanity! To pull back the vail of darkness so that the Light of Christ may shine brightly in a darkened world, to take back what the devil has stolen thru the authority and power given us by Jesus Christ Himself in the person of His Holy Spirit! Who lives in each and every person who has received Him as their Lord and Savior!
No, I am no longer ashamed of my story any more than I could be ashamed of the Gospel “...for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek...”
So, I ask you “What is your story?” Is it one hidden in darkness, ashamed to come into the Light? Afraid of judgement and condemnation? Romans chapter 8 tells us “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” That’s the beauty of the Gospel, we talked earlier about the Gospel being the power of God unto salvation. Well, I think is the beauty of God’s grace in the Gospel, in that God doesn’t shine the light on us to shame us but to forgive and restore us back to the story He has written for us before we were even a thought in our parents minds. declares “I know the plans I have for you...”
So let me ask better this time, “What do you want your story to be?” The choice, as it was in the garden, is ours. We can choose to stay in the dark, or, step into the marvelous light of His story! You have only but to believe and ask for Him, the one who created it all, the one who created you, to come and change your story.
Would you stand with me?
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