There was once a city under seige by an enemy army and everyone was starving. It was so bad, people were resorting to eating donkey’s heads. One day 4 outcasts snuck out, thinking they will definitely die in the city, but maybe they will be killed outside, maybe not. As they walk out, one of them steps on a stick, a sentry panics and runs, kicking a rock. Another flees at that sound and within seconds, the whole army panics and runs away. The outcasts go into the camp and find food, lots of it. And plunder. They eat and begin to grab and hide treasure. Then they look back at the starving city -they realise they have good news of freedom, but are holding back from telling the story. So they go back. That was 2 Kings 7.
The gospel is good news, it is meant to be shared. It is meant to go viral.
In today’s passage Paul tells his story – it’s one very good way of sharing the good news in a way that people can’t argue with your experience.
Up to the point that Paul begins to tell his story, there’s been a mob, violence, chains and shouting. As he begins to tell his story a hush descends.
He begins with his life before Jesus. Paul was very religious – a Jewish Ned Flanders. He’s real about his past – including the fact that he had persecuted and killed people. Being real makes us relatable.
Then in v6-11 he is clear about what Jesus has done – which gives our story hope. Jesus is the hero of the story. He tells them of his conviction of sin v7, his turning to Jesus v10, his baptism v16 and encounters with God in the prophetic v13, healing v13 and even a trance v17.
In last Sunday’s take a step, we were encouraged to think of 6 words that we can use to flesh out our story.
Why not take a few minutes now and think of:
- Two words about your life BEFORE Jesus
- Two words about how you CAME to Jesus
- Two words about your life NOW with Jesus
Begin with, “There was a time in my life when…”, Weave in your chosen six words to describe your own journey. End with the question, “Do you have a story like this?”, inviting your listener to think more personally about how to relate to what you’ve shared.