Summary: We are in the easter season and this is an awesome time for us to share our story of how God brought us out of a sin filled life and into a life filled with hope for life now and hope for what is to come.
Spring Life Part 1- This series theme is being preached all over the country by Wesleyan pastor’s for the 2008 Easter season. The outline of each message is inspired from the denomination but the content is original to Pastor Ryan Akers.
Pastor Ryan Akers
Easter Season! What an opportunity!
Every week I sit down to write a message. I do my best to make the scriptures come to life by using stories, props or videos. I try to figure out what God is really trying to tell us in His Word on things that are relevant to our lives today. Sometimes those messages are good and sometimes those messages are…not so good.
People have said to me multiple times, “I could never do what you do. I could never write a sermon and preach week in and week out!” I just say, “Me either! I make Eric write them!” ☺ But I like to tell them that although they may not be called to preach from a stage in a church they are commanded to preach from the heart to any who will listen.
Easter is the time to preach- everything we believe in, everything we stand for, everything we hope for that is to come all hinges on this moment in history. The resurrection of Christ is the absolute most critical part of our beliefs. Because if Jesus Christ didn’t rise from the grave what we believe holds absolutely no water. Without the resurrection there is no conquering of Adam’s in. Without the resurrection our religion is worthless and we might as well close the doors.
But out of all the messages I have preached there is one message that always seems to trump them all and that is my own personal story. There is no greater story that can be preached then the story of how God brought you from a sin filled life to a life of grace and love and salvation. My salvation story has always been my best sermon because it is the most personal. People can relate. When we openly tell our story the Holy Spirit will move in us and in turn open other people up to being receptive. Your personal story has that power to transform even the hardest of hearts and see them come to know Jesus Christ as savior. Your story is not about showing your vast biblical knowledge, its not about pretending you know the answers, its not about knowing all the history and the Greek and the Hebrew and what all the little symbolisms and traditions and roman’s road and all that stuff.
It’s about saying, “Once I was lost.” Once I was a snot nosed kid, living a selfish life, addicted to pornography. But the Lord grabbed me. I can’t explain it, I don’t understand it and I don’t want to but I felt something change in me on a Thursday night in 1993 at Camp Wah Sha Shee. I was sitting there and all of a sudden I felt this immense feeling of joy overwhelm me and fill me up from my toes to my eyes and it began to release itself through uncontrollable tears. I didn’t know why I was balling but in that moment I felt free.
I felt forgiven. I felt such an intense feeling of love that somehow I knew no human could imitate and I just knew it was God. God was speaking to me and saying, “Child, I forgive you.” It was a feeling that I have only felt one other time in the 15 years since then. It is that moment that changed everything I have stood for. It was that moment that caused me to deny myself and deny my selfishness and live all out for something truly bigger than me. And I just have to tell people about it. People have to know that they can experience this joy. They can be freed from the guilt, from the pain, from the hurt, from the abuse, from the stress if only they would hear how Jesus Christ freed me.
God’s word tells us that when we believe in Christ that the Holy Spirit is going to enter us in order to fulfill God’s great commission. Matthew 28:18-20- not go do more programs, or go start new ministries, it’s all about spreading the gospel.
Acts 1:8(written by Luke)- I didn’t get a heads up that the spirit was coming that night, but Jesus told the disciples to be ready because their lives were about to change.
Jesus had just spent the last 3 years of his life teaching all who would listen, healing the sick and mentoring 12 of the most rag tag ragamuffin group you could imagine. These guys got to walk with Christ yet they didn’t get it. They made so many mistakes and sometimes would just tick God off. They saw countless miracles, John 20:30-31, yet they still didn’t get it. They still didn’t fully believe. They still were unsure if Jesus was who He said he was. They believed in their head but they didn’t believe with their heart. Examples…