Everyone Has a Story

Your life story can be used to share the Gospel

Tim Beal
Mar 26, 2017    35m
Sharing your life story of your Christian journey is a powerful way to expose others to Christ. Whether it be an easy journey or a challenging journey Pastor Tim shows us how to share that story with others. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Pastor Tim: 00:50 Hey, good afternoon how are you guys doing? Hey, great to see you, great to see you guys.

Pastor Tim: 00:56 Thank you for being here, if you're at the five o'clock tonight coming back watching us online San Tan, Scottsdale wherever you're at. Thank you so much man for being a part of this with us today. We're in a cool series called Everybody and we've got a couple of weeks to build up so Pastor Linn a couple of weeks ago talked to us about everybody has someone, if you remember that, he talked about everybody's got someone that you can tell about Jesus. And then last week Aaron did a great job of reminding us that everybody needs somebody. So we did just this awesome job of reminding us that doesn't matter how great you think you are, we all need somebody. Today I get to walk us through this, I think is really cool, it's this truth. Everybody has a story. And what I love about that is it doesn't matter how you, how you got here what's going on maybe somebody invited you to lunch and then they showed up here first. You're like oh sucker. And now you're stuck because now you can't leave. And maybe that's how you got here. Maybe you're here just to make mom get off your back. Maybe you're here because you really love Jesus. Maybe you're just here to check stuff out. It doesn't matter how you got here we all have a story and it's so cool once we realize what that story is. Now, but before we dive into this I wanted to share something with you that lets you a little bit into my life. I always wanted to write children's books so I wrote a children's story several years ago. I'd love to share it with you now because this was a story I wrote to try to help encourage my kids to share their story. So it's a story that I wrote that I think will be beneficial to you. It's called The Legend of the Muffin Bear. It's children's story so if we could maybe just, I don't know, lean in and just let this, let this bless you.

Pastor Tim: 02:23 The Legend of the Muffin Bear once... I drew that, this is all illustrated so if you're a publisher this is in the works -- talk to me later. Once upon a time there was a little girl that had no friends and was so sad she thought it was because she had jacked up hair but really it was because she had bad hygiene and just smelled awful but one day a nice happy little girl saw the stinky little girl and wanted to be her friend. It worked out good because she had sinus problems and she can't smell anything. So she went and talked to her. The stinky girl got really excited about her new friend and listened to everything she had to say.

Pastor Tim: 03:02 This is the dumbest story ever. Like this is where you have friends that they are, like, hates him to tell that story and now I'm realizing they set me up, like this is horrible. This whole story is about this little girl that her friend tells her about Jesus so she accepts her and then she goes off into the woods and she sees this tree that grows muffins and so she starts to eat them and she gets real fat and then she wakes up the bear, the muffin bear who guards the tree. So she tries to tell the bear about Jesus but that's a horrible idea because bears don't speak English so it kills her. The end.

Pastor Tim: 03:37 But she goes to heaven because you know about Jesus. So the moral of the the story with my kids was tell your friends about Jesus not animals because the animals don't speak English. That two minutes of your life is gone forever. Like you're not getting that back. No matter what we try. You understand that bad stories, bad stories even affect us and we think about bad stories like bad like that. You're gonna eat a muffin later this week and be like I hate you to him. Just because they come in and they become a part of us. Good stories though. Oh my goodness. Good stories man when we can wrap your head around a good story. We can just hear a line from a movie that's a great movie and we instantly know what that movie is and it takes us back to when we watched that movie.

Pastor Tim: 04:19 Let me show you what I'm talking about, so I know you can't have fun and we're not supposed to talk in church so squash all that for just a second and play along with me just so I feel better about myself. I'm going to give you some movie lines, just shout out the movie all right because I think this is true and this will prove it I hope. If I would just say, "I'll be back." Terminator right? So good everybody dies, that's a great movie. What about this, "You had me at hello." Jerry Maguire. So good. "Bye buddy. Hope you find your dad." Elf right? Who watches elf year-round? Such a good movie. Oh I'm watching it later. If you all want come on over. Best movie ever written. "Inconceivable." Princess Bride. Right? Holy cow that's such a good movie. "Chancho, let me borrow some sweats." Nacho Libre, right? How did that not win every Oscar that's out? That was so good, the acting in that foo. "I'm your Huckleberry." Tombstone. Oh so good. What about this one last one. "Luke I am your father." Right? Star Wars. You hear those and we instantly think about the movie because it was such a good story. This is my thought. You have a great story. We, we all, everybody has a story and if we can start telling our story the same thing that's going to happen with our horrible story and the great stories it's going to get stuck in people's brains and they're going to remember it.

Pastor Tim: 05:44 My challenge for us today is this we're going to walk through the story of a guy named Zacchaeus so if you have a Bible go with me to Luke I Am Your Father. Chapter 19. Luke 19. I want to read through the story of this guy named Zacchaeus because I think his story breaks down what it takes to make a story. I think it's a great story and I think we can learn from it and maybe do some things that he did to make us a little bit, I don't know, better at telling our story. So, there's three parts to a story. And it doesn't matter who you are. There's three parts to every story. There's a before, there's a moment of and then there's an everyday after. So there's a before and that's that's kind of before you met Jesus. So my before Jesus: I accepted Christ. I gave my life to Jesus. I said yes whatever you want to call it when I was 11 years old. I remember going to church and they were doing communion so they passed the plates in front of me and I remember trying to take one of the elements and my dad giving me that look like if you touch that you'll die, right? Some of y'all know what I'm talking about. My dad had that eye and it was like hey you're in trouble or you're not going to see 12. Those were the two looks he had. And this was the, You're not going to see 12 looks. I remember like I just passed the plates didn't touch anything. And I remember later talking to him and just being like, "Hey dad what's up? Why did why do you hate me? Why couldn't I take the elements?" And he was like you know about Jesus but you don't know him yet. And I remember at 11 years old my dad explaining to me the difference between knowing about God and knowing God and at 11 years old my dad led me to what it means to give my life to Jesus. So my before Jesus really wasn't all that great. I mean I was 11. The worst thing I did, it was horrible, my brothers from when I was a baby convinced me that the middle finger is how you say hello in Chinese. So about the worst thing I ever did was flip off our Chinese mailman because I thought I was saying hello in his native tongue. Turns out I'm not bilingual and that's very offensive.

Pastor Tim: 07:32 Up to 11 though that's about the worst that, that was it there wasn't a whole lot in my life before so my before Jesus really is pretty easy. Some of you had the same before, some of you guys before Jesus is pretty simple. There's not a lot going on. You just, you've known Jesus forever and so before Jesus was really it was pretty easy. Some of you though, dude y'all are messed up. Like y'all are jacked, like you're before Jesus is messed up. There's some things that are going on in your life before Christ that are just, they're out there, and your before Jesus is crazy. The cool thing is it doesn't matter what happened before Jesus because God is more concerned about your present and your future than he is about your past. So the before Jesus, man we all have one and it can be great and it can be butterflies and kisses or it can be horrible. And God still loves us. Before Jesus, for Zacchaeus I want you to see it. It starts with this in verse 1, and this is his before. It says Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through, a man was there by the name of Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was but because he was short he couldn't see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore fig tree to see him since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and begin to mutter. He has gone to be the guest of a sinner?

Pastor Tim: 08:57 So let me help you a little bit with Zacchaeus' before, because it's in there but we need to look for it. So we know some things about Zacchaeus before Jesus. We know that he lives in a place called Jericho. We know that that's where Zacchaeus hangs out. We know that he's short. We know that he's wealthy. We know that he's a tax collector and really we know something a little bit deeper than that because this is the only, this is the only time in the Bible that it calls somebody a chief tax collector. So we know that Zacchaeus was not only a tax collector but he most likely had a network of tax collectors that he oversaw, that he was in charge of controlling and that he kind of helped them with their job. We know that he knew about Jesus but he didn't know Jesus yet. We know that he was enticed by who Jesus was because he wanted to go see him so much to the point that when he can't see past the crowd that he runs ahead and he climbs a tree so that he can look down on him. We also know that everybody and their dog and their mother and their mother's dog hated him. And we know that because of his profession, we know that by a tax collector he was probably the most hated man on the planet and we know that because if we look at our history we know that Rome had came through and it had basically destroyed Jerusalem and destroyed this entire part of the world. And it was trying to set up what the Roman government wanted and destroy what the Jewish people and the Hebrew people had. So Rome has come in and what they would do is they would hire people from that nation so they would hire Hebrews to take taxes for Rome because evidently conquering the world takes a little bit of money and Rome didn't want to pay for it so they would take that from the people that they were conquering. So Rome would come in and they would hire a Hebrew to be that tax collector. And the way that they paid them was everything above the Roman tax you could keep for yourself. So if the Roman tax was 7 percent you could charge 27 percent as long as you gave Rome there's seven nobody cared. And you had the power of the Roman army to enforce it for you.

Pastor Tim: 10:40 So Zacchaeus was wealthy not because he was a good businessman but because he was pretty much a jerk, about like the mafia. He would go in and extort people for money and that's how he became wealthy and everybody hated him because he was a traitor to his own people because he's raising money for the people who are coming in destroying his people and now he's good enough at it that he's equipping younger people to come in and work for him. So we know Zacchaeus was hated by just about everybody. We know that no matter what was going on Zacchaeus wasn't the guy that you would ever think, " Wow, he would go to church." This is the dude that nobody thought would come. If you read verse seven in another translation it actually it throws another word in front of sinner that wasn't a compliment. Just so you know too when they were like, "Why would Jesus go with a sinner?" That wasn't where Zacchaeus was like, "Hey thanks." That was derogatory. Some translations throw in a word notorious in front of it which basically means that sinners would look at Zacchaeus and be like, "Well at least I'm not like him. I mean I may be an axe murderer and a kill 42 people in my kitchen but I'm not Zacchaeus." That's the type of person that Zacchaeus was. He would take sinning to a whole new level, he was that guy that no matter what you would look at him and think there is no way that he would ever be in church. There's no way that this guy would ever talk to Jesus. And yet Jesus stops, looks at him and says, "Hey dude, can I hang out at your house?"

Pastor Tim: 10:40 And Zacchaeus was like, "Yes sir."

Pastor Tim: 11:57 I don't know if your past connects more with Zacchaeus, if your before, if you can connect that maybe closer to who Zacchaeus is. Maybe your past really is messed up and I made light of it a minute ago and I didn't mean to offend you. Maybe, maybe that's, that's you though, maybe your before Jesus is so messed up. You're that person that nobody would ever think they would want anything to do with church. You need to hear something if that is you because there's some great news. Not only does God love you but God looked for you out of a crowd to put you into a spot today where you would hear that not only does he love you but he's in love with you and he has so much more for your future. If you'll just give him a chance. We all have a before.

Pastor Tim: 12:39 My before I started at 11 and like I said I didn't do a whole lot up to 11. My problem started after I gave my life to Jesus because at 11 I remember not really knowing what to do. So I did what I thought I should do. I just started reading the Bible like crazy and doing the stories not because I wanted to learn more about Christ but because I wanted to be smarter than everybody else at church so they would think that I was better. And I learned to hide some of the things that I struggled with and I learned to not trust people and I learned to really talk a good game. But then when I was behind closed doors just to not not be real. And I fought it for a long time because I knew what I was supposed to do and I just did the opposite. And around 16 or 17, 18 years old I remember being so tired trying to be religious because I wanted to be good enough that God would love me. So I felt so filthy, I wanted God to forgive me, I wanted God's grace. I wanted to feel that so bad. And I remember, it's like I said 16 to 18 somewhere in there, just finally looking to God and saying something like, "You know what God? I'm just going to have fun, I'll come back to you when I'm old because right now I'm just going to go and have a good time because it's easier. I know I'm not good enough, I'm sick of feeling guilty so at least I'm going to enjoy myself not being good enough. Around 20 I had a friend named Corey that I was one of my roommates. Corey was 6-10 and played basketball. He walked into my room and I'll never forget this, is on a Sunday morning, he comes in and punches me in the chest. Probably not the best evangelism tool ever but punches me in the chest and he's like, "Dude, I'm sick of seeing you miserable, you're going to go to church with me." And I learned something that day. I went to church and honestly it was a church that yelled at me and told me how horrible I was which I was good at that, I already knew I was you know I was filthy. I was a sinner and a vein's going to pop out in your head and I'm going to die and I'm going to go to hell. You don't have to tell me that. What I learned though was from Corey was that there was this thing called grace that really is amazing. And even though I had ran from God and even though I was stupid and even though I trusted God I gave him ownership of my life at 11 I really I spent the rest of that time trying to say get back. And I'm in my early 20s and I finally understood what forgiveness and grace was like and really my moment of. For me it happened at 11. But really it took shape in my life around in my early 20s.

Pastor Tim: 14:57 Zacchaeus, I want you to see his moment. Before we do I want you to do this if you know Jesus right now. Can you do something for me? Will you go back to your before? Just think about it. We're not going to stay there long because it's probably depressing. Just go back for just a second. What was life like before Jesus, before you trusted him with your life, what was life like? Some of you don't have to think long because that's now. And you're like, "Dude, well that was like 30 seconds ago so life's, life's whatever." Some of you are old and it's going to take a while because you're trying to remember what it was like, go back to that, what was life like before Jesus? Moment of, it's so important. It's in verse 8, but Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look Lord, here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have cheated anybody out of anything I will pay him back four times the amount." Now we don't know really what happened here. All we know is this. We know that Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus. Jesus is coming through, there's a huge crowd. He knows that Jesus is coming. He's short so he can't see through the people, he can't see over the people so he runs ahead. He knows where Jesus is going to be walking and he knows the path because he's from Jericho. He sees a tree. He climbs the tree so he can look down. He sees Jesus and he thinks that that's all that's going to happen that day.He thinks he's just going to get a view of this guy that everybody is talking about. That these stories that he hears over and over and over and over and over, he's just going to look down and get a view. But instead the guy that he's trying to see stops. And looks up at him and he says, "Zacchaeus, dude, what are you doing in a tree? I'm coming to your house to eat. You need to get down."

Pastor Tim: 16:28 So Zacchaeus just says, "Sweet, I'm in." And they go home and Zacchaeus feeds God. All we know is that Zacchaeus took Jesus to his house. We don't know anything that happens after that. We don't know what they had for dinner we don't know if it was steak and lobster, we don't know if he'd like heated up some rum and we don't know what happens. We just know that he goes home was Zacchaeus, we know that Zacchaeus is rich so maybe he had Backstreet Boys or like the early edition of them kind of in the background just like singing and playing over their meal. Maybe he had such good food that God was just taken away by how great the... maybe's Zacchaeus walked into his house and he was suddenly so, I don't know just ashamed of all of his possessions and all of the things that he had bought with his wealth. Maybe Zacchaeus invited his friends and his family and really he didn't have friends so he invited the people that worked for him because they had to come and they came into his house maybe Zacchaeus was married and had kids and maybe he invited his family and we don't know all of that speculation. All we know is this Zacchaeus went from being a hated trader thief that was legal that was basically a mafia hitman. He went from that. To take everything that he had cut it in half and given it to the poor. We know that he he takes his possessions and what from what we just read he gives half of what he owns to the poor and to the needy. And then he goes up and everybody that he's ripped off, everybody that he's ever taken anything from, he doesn't go and just pay them back but he pays them back four times what he stole from them which if you go back into Jewish culture that was the maximum amount that you could pay somebody back for if you ripped him off, you could pay up to four times the amount so we know that with Zacchaeus, something switched in his life. Something changed from that moment that he not only knew about Jesus to that moment of where he gave his life to Jesus. Because when you transfer your life to Jesus there's a transfer of ownership that has to happen. And when it does it changes everything.

Pastor Tim: 18:14 I talk to people all the time and sometimes in the baptism classes and just listening to people and almost always there's someone that's like pipes in, "Let me tell you my story."

Pastor Tim: 18:14 And I'm like, "Sweet!" because I love people and I love to talk and so I'm like, "Man, talk to me," and they'll always, I'm always like hey tell me what's going on, "Where's Jesus at?"

Pastor Tim: 18:14 "Well I've known Jesus my whole life."

Pastor Tim: 18:31 And I'm like, "OK that's great. But when was that transfer of ownership? When did you and Jesus meet?"

Pastor Tim: 18:33 "I've known him my whole life."

Pastor Tim: 18:35 "That's great I get that you know about Jesus but when did you meet Jesus. Like when did that transfer of ownership happen? When did you stop knowing about him and when did you trust him with your life? When did you say yes to Jesus? When did you give your life to him, when you confessed your sins and trust him with your heart? When did you do those things?" And because if there's not a transfer of ownership you know about a god, you just don't know God yet. And it's super scary to know about God but not know HIm. There's a transfer of ownership that happens and when it does it it changes you. And the change in Zacchaeus is evident. He went from being a thief to giving away everything he had and can't you just see him walking into a room of people that he's just ripped off and they're like holding their wallet. They're like, "Oh great, here we go."

Pastor Tim: 19:19 And Zacchaeus is like, "No, no, no, hold up, wait. I know I stole from you so here's four times over what I took. And I just I just want to tell you what God's done in my life." You know powerful that was for those people?

Pastor Tim: 19:31 If you know Jesus do you remember your moment of? You remember what it felt like that moment that you actually got forgiven and grace and mercy and all those things that we sing about, all those things just like you remember that feeling? And I remember in my early 20s I already knew God but I just ran from him and I remember fighting trying to take control. And I remember finally, finally giving in thinking there's no way that God is going to love somebody as hypocritical and as horrible of a person as I am. There's no way that God wants anything to do with me. There's no way this guilt and shame is ever going to be anything but guilt and shame in my life. And there's no way that anything like that's going to take place, and I remember that moment and the freedom, man, when I trusted God with my life. You remember that?

Pastor Tim: 20:22 I remember having something like this type of talk with high school students, I've done high school ministry forever. And we're in Texas and I'm talking like this, very first got started the ministries a long time ago. I had a little girl named Misty who was a seventh grader. Misty's in her late 20s now about to have her second kid which is weird to think about but I remember talking about sharing your story with Misty on a Wednesday night at youth and I remember her mom calling me on a Friday and she's like, "Tim what did you do Wednesday?" And instantly as a youth pastor I'm like, "Oh gosh, what did I do Wednesday? Did I catch something on fire? Did I lock a kid in a trunk? What did I do Wednesday? I'm so sorry Miss Cotten, I apologize."

Pastor Tim: 20:57 And she's like, "No, no, no wait. I just wanted you to know what's happening in my house right now. Misty invited all of her friends over and she sat them down in the living room and right now she's walking by one at a time going, 'Do you know Jesus? Sweet. Go play. Do you know Jesus? All right, hang out there. Do you know Jesus? Cool, stay tight. Do you know Jesus? Cool, go play.'" She's done this with all of her friends. Half of them are in the backyard and the other half are in our living room and she's telling them who Jesus is and what he's done in her life because she got it. And as a seventh grader sure she knew what it felt like to be free as a seventh grader and she wanted that freedom for her friends. Probably not the best method. Sure is better than not doing anything though.

Pastor Tim: 21:34 We started talking about this a little bit later in ministry, I had a college buddy that was leading worship outside of Dallas in a town called Abilene and we're talking about how do you know when to tell your story, like right? Because you have to have the right moment. You don't want to be like, "Hey will you pass the ketchup? Do you know ketchup represents blood and you're going to hell?" You don't want that. So like how do you know the right moment for this? So I had a buddy named Billy and he's like well this is what I'm doing because I want to get better at sharing my story. I just want practice like, "Sweet. Billy, what's up and what are you doing?"

Pastor Tim: 22:01 He goes, "Well I set my alarm for 2:00 a.m. and I leave campus in Abilene. And I just walk around the gas stations and I just walk in and start telling whoever's working about Christ."

Pastor Tim: 22:10 I'm like, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard Billy. Like, what are you doing?"

Pastor Tim: 22:15 He goes, "Well, it's 2:00 a.m. so there's nobody there so nobody disrupts us like there's no distractions, they're at work. They can't go anywhere."

Pastor Tim: 22:26 "That's genius dude, you may be like a marketing like your Billy Graham Jr. That's so smart."

Pastor Tim: 22:29 And he goes, "I just tell him my story. And then when I finish ask them if they have any questions and I say I'll pray for him and then I go to the next gas station." And he goes, "I'm getting really good at telling my story. I'm super tired because I'm getting up at 2 am but I'm really good at telling my story."

Pastor Tim: 22:44 What if we started telling people that moment remember? That moment that you trusted God with your life. That moment of. We started sharing that story. Every story has got a before. There's a moment of for some of you. And honestly my prayer for this whole week has been that some of you, that your moment of would start today, that it would start right now by you just hearing the simple truth: that God doesn't hate you. He's not disappointed in you. He doesn't love your brother or your sister more than you. He's not upset with you, he doesn't want to just like rain down vengeance and hellfire on your life. Everything bad that's happening in your world isn't because God is upset with you, that God deeply madly and passionately is in love with you. And it doesn't matter who you are what you've done. And he is so in love with you that he brought you here today just to hear that, to just to hear it one more time and that's your sign. He loves you desperately loves you. And my prayer is that your story would start, it would start being rewritten today. Every story's got a before, it's got a moment of, and it's got an everyday after.

Pastor Tim: 23:47 Go back to verse 8. Verse 8 says but Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look Lord, here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I've cheated anybody out of anything I will pay them back four times the amount."

Pastor Tim: 24:01 Jesus said to man, and Jesus throws this in just so we don't get any of this twisted and we don't get this confused, Jesus says, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a son of Abraham." And I think Jesus throws that in for just this really simple point. I don't think he wants us to get anything twisted about how salvation entered into the house because it wasn't because Zacchaeus away his wealth, it wasn't because Zacchaeus went out and gave away half of what he had to the poor. It wasn't because Zacchaeus went back to the people that he ripped off and he gave them four times what he stole from them. His deeds did nothing to get him salvation. Jesus gave him salvation. Paul says this in Romans 5 when he says that we can have peace with God through faith in Jesus because you're never gonna be good enough to earn salvation so God gave it to you freely through faith. So if we confess with our mouth. Believe in our heart that that's it. We put our faith in who Jesus is. The end of verse 1, actually Romans 5:2 talks about how we can have peace with God and we can embrace this hope of grace because of our faith in Jesus.

Pastor Tim: 25:03 Then he ends it out with this: for the Son of Man came to seek to seek and save the lost. And I think he threw that in for those of you who think you're too far gone. Man, I've have screwed up too much for God to love me, there's too much trash in my before, my before is so big there's no way that God could love me and so Jesus throws this in: Man, I came to seek and saved those who are lost. And I want you to think about a couple of things in this story. If that's you, if you're that one that's like me and I'm too far gone, think with me for just a second. This story says that Zacchaeus heard God was coming, right? We read that and he can't see Jesus. Granted he's short so he can't see over him but there's so many people that he can't see through them. Most likely there were thousands of people that had gathered around to see this man named Jesus because everywhere he went crowds followed. There's a crowd of people around Jesus, so many people that somebody can't see through them and you can't tell me that that big of a crowd that there was somebody there that was better off than Zacchaeus. You can't sell me that with that many people there that there was somebody who was not as screwed up as Zacchaeus. And honestly I like to think that Zacchaeus was probably the most screwed up person in the entire room, in that entire group of people. He was probably the most jacked up, and look at who Jesus chose to talk and hang out with. He chose the person that everybody else hated, that nobody else would give a chance and he chose that person to have dinner with. And that person's life drastically changed. And for me that gives me hope because if God would do that with Zacchaeus then he'll look down at me, filthy and as stupid as I am, and he still wants to look and have conversations with me.

Pastor Tim: 26:36 Can I ask you this, man? Have you told your kids your story? Have you ever shared your story of that big moment of with your family and have you told them what life was like before Jesus and that moment of and what things are like now? Because you see them everyday after. That's just everyday after. It's where we wake up and we probably still mess up and we probably still do really stupid things but we strive to be more like Jesus today than I was yesterday. That's the everyday after and everyday after God shows up and shows me more grace that I don't deserve and more mercy. And everyday after I can't believe that he still loves me and I'm not getting struck by lightning, that's my everyday after mine. Men, have you told your kids your story? You know it's not a coincidence or an accident that you're their dad? And your story was meant to be told to them. Moms, have you shared your story with your kids? You want to practice getting better at your story parents, just do this: Don't feed them, set them at the table and be like, "Hey, we can eat until you listen to my story." If food gets cold you've got a microwave, warm it back up. Start telling your story to people, you realize where you work isn't coincidental. It'snot an accident that you work where you do. The boss that walks down the aisle, that when you see him walking close to your cubicle that you start to have that thought of I wonder if I could clip them with my bumper not kill him but just kind of hurt him just a little bit. That person in your office, you know why they're there?They need to hear your story. You know the neighbor with a dog that never shuts up. That's not an accident. God's just not testing your patience. That's probably part of it but he's there because that family that person needs your story.

Pastor Tim: 28:12 Go home today and turn the news on for about 10 seconds. More than that and you'll want to do something horrible. Just watch 10 seconds of how jacked up the world is right now. This world is messed up, in 10 seconds we'll show you that everybody hates everybody and everybody else's fault and hash tag this and I hate you because you voted here and the world's. It's a melting pot of just dumb right now and it drastically needs good stories to be told and you have the greatest story ever. You have the story of how Jesus changed you from what you used to be. Maybe it was happy and everything is butterfly and good. And it changed you from being good but not good enough into who Jesus is. Maybe your story is jacked up and messed up and you have the story now of God came in and changed that. And now I'm forgiven and now that free and now I know what that feels like. And you have people all around you that need to hear this. And if we're going to be honest I can't if I'm supposed to tell you all this stuff. I don't know how to take some of this stuff I read. Like I read this book and there's parts of it that I just don't get. There's parts of it that I read and honestly I think that God, when I get to heaven he's going to be like, "Psycho!"

Pastor Tim: 29:25 You'll be like, "Oh Jesus, you got me." Because I read parts of this book and I'm like, "Serious God? I've got to love that person? You sure? Can I just hit him with my car once. I mean God I've got to forgive that person? God you want me to do this?" There's parts of it that I read and when I talk to people about God I'm always nervous they're going to ask me that question because when I read different things in this book there are certain things that I don't understand. There's certain things, I've studied this most of my life, and there's certain things that as I read in this I just don't get why it's there.

Pastor Tim: 29:55 And as I'm talking to people that's really hard to explain that I have trusted my life to this God but I don't know how to answer that question. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to stay on what I do know about God and his character because I get that, I don't fully understand this. So I'm just going to hang out with what I know about God and I'm just going to trust God in this moment. And some people can accept that but not everybody. Most people look at that and they call you stupid. It's blind faith and I know it's not blind faith I'm trusting what I know about God. And they just don't get that. And they can argue that, they can argue this book. But then I tell them my story. You know I've never lost an argument when it comes to my story?

Pastor Tim: 30:35 When I start telling my story about as a 7 seventh grader 11 year old. My dad taught me you know who Jesus was and sit with my pops and tell me that Jesus loves me and I'm like dude I don't get it and he's like I know me neither. And we prayed together and Jesus came in and saved my life in that moment. And then I start to tell them about, you know, how early teenage years I fought against, I tried to get my life back and I just did a lot of really stupid stuff. And then early 20's I did a lot of stupid stuff and then my friend Corey punches me in the chest and he brings me to church. And Corey starts teaching me what grace looks like and I get to see what Jesus looked like with flesh. Through Corey and I get to understand that God loves me in spite of me because of who he is and I get to hear those truths. And I start to go through that story. You know anybody that's argued with me over any of that and never wins? They can't, it's my story. You don't know what I felt like man, as a 20 something year old man, when I felt that freedom being lifted off. Holy cow that was so good. People can argue this all day long. ,They can't argue you they can't argue what you used to be versus what you are now and what you're becoming tomorrow. You have the greatest story ever told, the greatest story ever written and unfortunately not many people are getting to hear about it because we're not telling them. You get when we tell people our story even if we butcher it and we messed it up and it becomes like the Muffin B,ear it still effects people, and eventually we get really good at telling our story and then it becomes a line like, "I'll be back," and you say something, if somebody hears that and they're like "Wait a second..." And God works and God does what God does, he starts to use your story to change somebody's life. And they get to experience that freedom that you felt.

Pastor Tim: 32:18 My challenge to you is this. Three weeks ago Pastor Linn gave you a card. And it had a spot on the back for you to write three names. And you wrote three people that you're wanting to invite to Easter. My challenge for you this week is this: pray for those three people and sometime this week tell them your story. If you want to practice tell your kids, if you don't have kids tell your dog, tell, tell somebody, tell a plant, tell your story to people, get comfortable with it, tell the three people on that list and if you're like Tim -- I need a sign because man, I just got to, everything's got to be right. You're not going to get a text message from Jesus going, "Hey, now's the time." That doesn't happen. Call me if it does because I want to be there. But that doesn't happen. You're not going to drive home and it's not going to be written in the clouds. The time is now. That doesn't happen.

Pastor Tim: 33:01 This is your sign, it's me standing up here telling you this is the time to tell people your story. You want a really quick little caveat to come into it? We have these rave cards sitting in the back that are explaining Easter. You can walk up to your friends and be like, "Dude, God has changed my life. You should come to this place called Cornerstone for Easter. Let me tell you what God's done," and tell him your story. Tell him what God has done. It would be a shame to have a story in a past and a before and a moment of and no one to hear about it because we didn't tell anybody.

Pastor Tim: 33:39 Let me pray for us. God thanks for today, Jesus thanks for grace. Thanks for loving us God. Thank you for the truth no matter who we are that we all have a story and God our story has nothing to do with us, it has nothing to do with our past, it has nothing to do with with who we were. But it has everything to do with who you are. So Jesus right now, man, I just want to pray God for anyone that's in the sound of my voice God that thinks that they are too messed up for you. They think that they're too far gone, that you would never love them. God would you just let the truth of Zacchaeus's story, would you let that just soak right now into their souls? Would you let that just open up their hearts to who you are? And right now God would you start rewriting somebody's story? I mean if that's you it's so simple, it's just you and God saying something along these lines, "God would you please forgive me and would you come in and would you give me freedom? I give my life to you. God I'm transferring ownership of who I am and I'm giving it freely to you. Will you helped me every everyday from here on out to live that?"

Pastor Tim: 34:39 And your story starting new. That's, that's the moment of. And God for those of us who know you would you give us the courage to start telling people our story? And God would you use the stories that you've written in our lives, in our past, in our present and God would you use those stories to make your name famous and so that our friends that are co-workers, that family, God that people around us would trust you with their life not because of us but Jesus because of you. God give us the courage this week to be bold and help us this week to share the story that you've written through our lives. God would you use us to make your name famous in Jesus name. Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286