Main idea: We all have a story, and it needs to be told.
Secondary idea: Our story is often our greatest apologetic.
Who likes a good story? We all do. It’s really our main form of entertainment. It’s the core of every good tv show and movie. A good story makes for some of the best songs. Books continue to be written and read even though we have all these other forms of entertainment now. It’s because stories matter.
(Talk about some of my favorite stories.)
Stories matter, and everyone likes a good story. Here’s the deal with you. If you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have a story. And it’s an incredible story, whether you think it is or not. And it needs to be told.
There are two reasons we must tell our story, and they both have to do with Jesus. If our story doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus then we either don’t have a story, our story isn’t worth telling because it’s all about ourselves, or we need to learn how to tell our story.
The first reason we must tell our story is:
1) We are compelled to tell our story.
When you find something you like, you can’t help but tell others. It is one of the most natural things we do. When you see a good TV show, movie, sports play, funny video, book/author, good deal, etc., you can’t help but tell anyone and everyone about it.
When you truly encounter Jesus, you can’t help but tell others about Him.
I want us to read in full two encounters and responses of some people whose lives were changed by Jesus. It’s ok to read large portions of Scripture together. It is the Word of God that changes us. Let it change you as you listen intently to these lives that were changed by Jesus, and see yourself within these stories, because He offers you a changed life as well.
Luke 8:26-39 (ESV)
26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” 29 For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) 30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36 And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
John 4:1-30; 39-42 (ESV)
1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.
39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Listen to responses of the disciples about having seen and known and been changed by Jesus.
Acts 4:20(ESV) – for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.
1 John 1:3 (ESV) – that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
When you have good news…and the Good News of salvation from sins, and fulfillment in life, and peace amidst hardship, and a forever home in heaven, and so much more! is the best new there is…when you have good news, you are compelled to share it.
Our second reason we must tell our story is because:
2) We are commanded to tell our story.
People give commands in order to make things the way they think they should be. “Go this way. Do this thing. Don’t do that. Do it this way.”
Hear Jesus’ command, or commission:
Matthew 28:18-19 (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
If people give commands to make things the way they think they should be, what is the way Jesus is trying to make things by His command? All people should know Jesus and be His disciples.
This is at the heart of Jesus’ Great Commission. The world doesn’t know the God who so loves them that He suffered and died to give them life…And they should know Him. Not because it’s the right way to believe and this system of belief is better than all other systems of belief and the moral code that comes from this belief trumps the moral code of what the culture says is right. No, the world should know Jesus because in Jesus isn’t just the right way to live. It’s the only way to life.
Love is at the heart of the Great Commission. If someone is dying, even if you don’t know them, you will do what it takes to save them. Why? Because a life is worth saving. Now, what about someone’s eternity?
We are compelled and commanded to tell our story…our story of Jesus and His impact on our life…because the world needs life, and it’s only found in Jesus.
So, what is your story? Do you have one? Are you prepared to tell it?
Take some time to work through this “Tell Your Story” Testimony Worksheet. It will lead you to think through the before, during, and after of your salvation in Jesus. If you are working through this and realize you don’t have an “after,” it is time right now for you to place your faith and Jesus and begin your story that will last forever.