Summary: Everyone has a story and everyone likes a good story. God’s story is all about His Son Jesus. God wants His story to be your story. Part of God’s plan is for you to tell His story.
What is Your Story?
Everyone has a story and everyone likes a good story. God’s story is all about His Son Jesus. God wants His story to be your story. Part of God’s plan is for you to tell His story.
In the early church we find an interesting story that started on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2. The person I’m talking about tells his story. (Insights for this story taken from a message by Rev. Roger D. Haber, Senior Pastor Bridgeway Community Church, Carol Stream, Illinois.)
“I’ll never forget the day I met Jesus Christ. I was in Jerusalem for Pentecost; it’s similar to the American Thanksgiving. I was a Jew who worshiped God. When I came to Jerusalem, I had fulfilled a lifelong dream. I had been saving for decades. I thought simply standing near the temple would be the greatest experience of my life. I would discover there is more to God than a magnificent building.
Jerusalem was still buzzing with the news of the crucifixion of Jesus and his empty tomb. It was just 50 days earlier that his disciples claimed he had risen from the dead. I didn’t know what to think until that morning I heard one of his followers, Peter, speak about the wonderful things God had done through Jesus Christ, his Son. What was amazing was that when I heard his words—“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord”—in my own language, Greek! I later discovered that this was a miracle of the Holy Spirit. People heard Peter’s same message in Arabic, Persian, or whatever language they spoke!
I believed the message! I believed that Jesus was truly the Son of God. I believed he had died for my sins. I believed he had risen from the dead. I wanted to be one of his followers. I was one of the three thousand baptized that Pentecost Sunday, publicly proclaiming that I was a follower of Jesus Christ.
Our church started to grow. We set up a food pantry to help those who were struggling financially. Soon the church leaders, who were initially responsible for this endeavor, were overworked and people were falling through the cracks. People started to complain.
Some of the people in the church spoke Hebrew, and some of them, like me, spoke Greek. To some, it seemed that preferential treatment was being given to those needy people who spoke Hebrew. The church leaders were getting just as frustrated as the people who were being neglected. So, with great wisdom, they chose seven people to administer the food pantry of the Jerusalem Community Church. I was one of those seven people chosen. As a matter of fact, all seven of us spoke Greek. The complaints stopped.
The more I served in the church, the more I discovered other gifts. I loved telling the story of Jesus. I became a “storyteller for Jesus.” That’s what an evangelist is. I left Jerusalem and went up north, to the city of Samaria. There I had a great time telling his story. Crowds would listen intently as I told them about the Messiah who was born in Bethlehem. I told them how Jesus had healed the sick, fed the multitudes, and raised the dead. I told them about his death, his burial, and his resurrection. I told them he had ascended into heaven. I told them he was coming again for those who would become his followers. Many people came to know Jesus in that city. The city was filled with joy.
I was surprised God would move me to another area when I was so successful in telling Jesus’ story in Samaria. But he did. It wasn’t my idea to go south. I liked it up north. But an angel of the Lord told me to head down south. He directed me to a desert road—a road that connected Jerusalem with the coastal city of Gaza. “What’s going on here?” I thought. I’ve just finished a successful evangelistic campaign in Samaria. I’m tired. I need a rest. I was teaching hundreds about Jesus, and now I found myself on a road in the middle of nowhere with no one even around.
But when God told me, “Go . . .” I remembered that the church leaders had told me what Jesus had told them just before he went up to heaven: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
So, I went. God had sent someone to meet me. He was an Ethiopian. I had never met an Ethiopian before. Not only was he an Ethiopian, he was a high official from that Country; he was the minister of finance.
I wondered, “What was this African official doing in Jerusalem?” I soon discovered that he was a seeker. He had come to worship God. Somehow, he had come to discover that the true God was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.