Summary: A message that deals with the change God makes when one gives their life to Christ in faith and the end result of sharing that story with others.
October 11, 2009
This Is My Story
Deuteronomy 6:23; 9:1
Intro.: Today we continue in our message theme series, “This Is My Story.” Every believer is being encouraged to write their story of how they met Christ and how Christ changed their life. Also want to encourage you to slip a copy in the book of stories, AND to be sharing that story with others.
For over thirty years of my spiritual life I’ve been asking the Lord to help me live my life with purpose and meaning. Before that however my life was empty. I searched in many places to find contentment and satisfaction for my life. Every time I left situations and places without any assurance of why I was on this earth.
One day while attending a church service I heard for the first time that Jesus loved me in a special way and that He had a purpose for my life. A Sunday School teacher shared with me some verses in the Bible that brought me to my life-changing experience. One of them was the reality God had a free gift He wanted to give me. He shared it like this, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” It was then that I became honest with God by telling Him I was sorry for the many things I had done that were wrong and was willing to put my faith in Him alone.
Since that day, now 31 years, I live with complete assurance, peace and joy about my eternity. I don’t question or worry if I’m being good enough or if I’ve done the right things for God to love me. I know that He does and I continue to live my life with purpose and meaning and the assurance of my eternity with God.
I like stories – I especially like stories of how God stepped into someone’s life after He was invited and He changed their life. As a BF teacher I have had several opportunities to read stories from those in my class.
You see, I have the privilege of seeing God take lives of chaos, despair, dissatisfaction and emptiness. I have the unspeakable joy of watching God take a life when granted permission and planting hope and purpose and meaning in that life.
Sometimes I have tears of joy and want to shout because I know that God can take the most gentle person and the most cold hearted person and the most distant person and the most unlikely person and change their life for all time and eternity.
My soul rejoices with the angels in heaven when I see a life that has been brought out of sin and into the righteousness of Jesus. One that has come from this world’s darkness into His marvelous light. Out of the old life of disobedience into the new life of obedience.
May it be so that believers never loose the joy of heaven’s rejoicing when one sinner comes into repentance. That we never forget when and how God brought us out from the very pit of hell and placed us on a heaven-bound road. That He took off the chains of sin, liberated us by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the tomb and is even now preparing us and for us our eternal home.
While reading through Deuteronomy God grabbed my heart a few weeks ago when I read these words from Moses, “Then He brought us OUT from there (Egypt) that He might bring us IN . . . (Promise Land).” (6:23) “Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan TODAY.” (9:1)
When I read that first verse I immediately began to think of my own salvation story. Then the next day that next verse - I began to see how God had appointed a day when He brought me out of my life of sin and began preparing me to enter into His heaven.
Today it is truly an honor for me to share my story in extended form and in an allegorical form from these two passages.
I. The Biblical CONTEXT
A. Deuteronomy = “Book of Remembrance.”
1. In this book God used the leader Moses to begin leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
2. For 400 years they had been held in bondage by the Pharaoh and were treated as slaves of intense labor.
3. God used Moses to speak to the Pharaoh so that the people would be released and go free into a promised land.
4. Once released though they spent an additional 40 years wondering around in the desert.
5. Even in their freedom they continued to experience difficulties, restrictions, setbacks, and trials.