Summary: What message are you sending today on the billboard of your life? Let it be a message of hope and of encouragement!
Walking Billboard Luke 8:26-39
Read Luke 8:26-39
My wife Christina and I came here to visit First Congregational Church in December of 2006 to candidate and interview for the position of Pastor. Some of you may recall what the church sign on the grass in front of the building had displayed on it that December…
It said “What is missing in this church?” only it was missing the “u” in church. This was a play on spelling, the “u” that was missing in the word church was supposed to tell a person reading the sign that they should come inside and be a part of the church.
When Christina and I read it though, we looked at each other and wondered who had done the sign and why they couldn’t spell church! It was a few days later that we were showing the pictures of our trip to Cheboygan to a family member and they explained to us what the sign actually meant! As it turns out the sign made perfect sense… we had just misunderstood its meaning.
Psalms 51:15 says, “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.” (ESV) This morning I want to share with you some principals about the message that we have been called to share. God has called upon us to declare His praise to a world desperately in need of the message of His love.
In Luke chapter eight, the story is told of Jesus casting demons out of a man. Jesus then tells the man to go home and announce that he had been set free from the internal bondage which had held him captive for so long.
This passage teaches us two primary principals. First, Jesus sets us free from the things inside of us which sometimes hold us captive. Jesus sets us free from the hurts, pains, and fears which live inside of each on of us. In Christ we are set free.
The second principal, and the one we will focus on this morning, is that, like the man in the story, Jesus has instructed us to go back to our homes and proclaim what he has done for us. Jesus has instructed us to be walking billboards. We are to be the evidence of God’s goodness and mercy as revealed in Jesus Christ.
Read 1 Samuel 18:5-8
We Need a Story to Tell!
King David had a story to tell. At this time in his life he was utterly faithful to God and he was blessed in all that he did. He had a story to tell of God’s faithfulness and goodness. So much so, that the people of Israel sang his praises.
Saul, who was the King of Israel at the time, was jealous of David. He would eventually make David a hunted man – sending soldiers out to find and kill David. David had a story to tell of God’s faithfulness while Saul was only envious of what David’s favor with God.
John Wesley was walking one day with a troubled man who expressed his doubt of God’s goodness. “I don’t know what I shall do with all this worry and trouble,” he said. At that moment Wesley noticed a cow looking over a stone wall.
“Do you know,” asked Wesley, “why that cow is looking over that wall?” “No,” replied his troubled companion. “I will tell you,” said Wesley—“because she cannot see through it. That is what you must do with your wall of trouble—look over it and above it.”
Faith enabled David to look over and above every trouble, to God, who was the source of his help. David was certainly not a man who never knew fear. He was a person who overcame fear by placing his trust in God.
The Bible tells us that perfect love casts out fear. David was so full of faith in God that he knew he could face every battle in his life with confidence that God would see him through it.
That is how we get a story to tell. If you are going through a struggle today, don’t try to look through it, look over it by placing your faith in God to bring you through to tomorrow. Dorothy Bernard once said, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”
It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take the first step today by choosing to trust God more today than you did yesterday and more tomorrow than today until finally, like David, you will overcome the power of fear with the power of faith.
Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (ESV)