ďTELL YOUR STORYĒ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† By Pastor YAU

Text: Mark 5:14-20††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† November 29, 2009.

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)    Words of experts: A college communication professor in New York says that his graduate students typically remember only 5 percent of the main ideas in a presentation of graphs and charts. The same students generally will remember about 50 percent of the stories told in the same presentation. There is a growing consensus among communication experts about the power of the personal touch in relating experience. While facts and figures often put people to sleep, illustrations and stories from real life can help people to remember and motivate them to act.

2)    Words of Jesus: Mark 5:1-20 gives the account of Jesus setting a violent man free from the demons that possessed him. When the restored man begged to stay with Jesus as He traveled, Jesus told him, ďGo home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you and how he has compassion on you.Ē And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him and all marveled.Ē (5:19-20) Since that day, Jesus continued to send His followers to go and tell their stories of personal relationship with Him to all the nations, tribes and peoples. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)

 

WHY TELL YOUR STORIES?

1)    Because they are important: True stories are worthy of telling because they are part of real lives. Stories have been part of history all around the world, be it personal or national. Many of the things we learn and know were passed to us by stories. We learn history of people, places, and by reading their stories. When it come to people whom we know and love, their stories are more important and intimate to us. Thatís why biographies are among the most popular books in print. Without stories, many facts of history, people, events will be lost for good. Stories are treasures to a nation, a people, a family and any individual.

2)    Because they are worthy: Some may think that only books of the world, of peace and wars or great national events are worthy of writing, reading and telling. But many stories of common people are also worthy of writing, reading and telling. Stories of family, friends, people who made impacts in our lives and those whom we love and respect are also worthy of writing, reading and telling. Many precious character values, history of struggles and triumph of our ancestors were lost because they didnít leave behind stories. Most of us donít know much our grandparents and their parents because no stories were told or recorded.

3)    Because they are personal: My children had asked me to write stories of our family, our ancestors, their lives, things happened in their times so they can know their roots and can tell their children things of the past. No one is here by himself. We are all related to a much larger circle of people, things and history. To know the life of those who lived before us provides us the sense of continuation. To share our personal stories with those whom we love give them foundations to feel belong. You donít have to be great and very successful people to feel important. Sharing your life stories to your children is one of the, if not the, most important part of your life and the lives of your children.

4)    Because they are inspiring: Most personal stories are inspiring to readers and hearers. Family stories certainly inspire children to know, to learn and to respect their family. Stories of struggles and triumph inspire people to be strong in pursue of their goals. Stories of victory and failure also help people to make correct decisions for their lives. Personal stories of salvation and close relationship with the Lord often inspire readers and hearers to seek and find eternal life. Telling a personal story is the same as giving a testimony and that is exactly what Jesus wanted us to do to bring the world back to Him.

 

TELL YOUR PERSONAL STORY: (Mark 5:14-20)

1)      Your life before Jesus: From Mark 5:1-5, we see the hopeless condition of this man without Jesus. Very few of us have that extreme situation as did this man, but all of us were in the same hopeless condition before we met Jesus. This is the starting point of our personal story: a life without Jesus. Every life is different, but all are the same: hopeless and helpless. We need to admit our true condition so others may identify with us.

2)      Your life needs Jesus: ďWhen he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shout at the top of his voice: What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?Ē (5:6)To pretend that life doesnít need Jesus is the worse reason most people continue to live in their hopeless situation. To recognize the need of Jesus is a step of seeking in the right direction: I need Jesus. A story that expresses the need of Jesus is always a powerful story because it exalts the name and power only Jesus has to meet the needs of all men.

3)      Your life changed by Jesus: ďWhen they came to Jesus they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind.Ē (5:15)Compare his condition in 5:3-5 and v. 15, we all can see the dramatic change Jesus had caused him to. He was entirely a different man. This is the most powerful element of any story we can tell: what and how God has done in our lives to change us for the better. It is nothing of our own work but all done by Godís love and power.

4)      Your life is the story: ďJesus did not let him but said, ďGo home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.Ē So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were marveled.Ē (5:19-20)Many who are reluctant in telling their stories claim that they donít know what to say. Learn from this man: tell people what Jesus had done for you. That is the simplest way to tell your story. If you can put it more dramatized, elaborated, thatís fine. If not, just tell the truth, simple and plain. When you do that, people will respond: they will marvel, they were greatly impressed. Our job is to tell the story, how people may or may not respond the way we want to see is not in our control.

 

WHY DONíT CHRISTIANS SHARE?

1)   They donít obey: ďGo and make disciples of all nationsĒ is the opening statement of the Great Commission. (Matt. 28:19) Many evangelical churches put lots of emphasis on Godís love and grace when presenting the gospel. They neglect to teach the duties of being disciple of Christ: to obey and follow Godís command. Most Christians do not tell their stories of salvation because they either donít know or donít really care the command. Most Christians still think or feel that sharing the gospel or telling stories of salvation is an option, not a command they must obey.

2)   They donít know how: This is also a common problem: those who know the command and still not doing it because they were afraid and donít know how. Most churches do not have a regular training program to equip members on the steps and the how-to so people wonít be so hesitate. Knowledge is power is also true in sharing our stories to family and friends.

3)   They donít see important: Most Christians see loving and doing His work are important as believers. But they donít see sharing testimonies, telling stories as important to their spiritual growth. But it is very important to save souls and to grow churches. If it were not important, Jesus didnít have to tell his disciples twice.

4)   They pay someone else: Some Christians still feel that sharing the gospel, telling the story and saving souls are the jobs of the special force: pastor, preachers and missionaries: we pay, you work. But this is not what God wants to see in us. Jesus wants to see all His followers are soul winners and storytellers. If only pastors, preachers and missionaries are to tell the salvation story, this world will never be saved due to insufficient workers.

 

CONCLUSION:

1)   Your story worthy telling: Many stories of ordinary people are so compelling and are important to some people, particularly your family and those who are close to you. Your story as a Christian may inspire your family and friends into seeking God and His gift of eternal life. Never under estimate the power of your personal story. God can and will use each life story to inspire others so they may find salvation is Jesus Christ.

2)   Tell here, award there: If we are faithful in telling stories of salvation, either personal of about Jesus, we are fulfilling the mission Jesus repeatedly asked us to do. Paul said that there would be crowns of righteousness waiting for all who are faithful to Godís command and had done their share to bring people to His Kingdom. Nothing you may have done or achieved may follow you to heaven. But the souls you helped to win will be the basis of your reward.

3)   Your story of salvation: Donít wait for others to write their stories of salvation. You can start to write on yourself. Ask Jesus to come into your heart now and start that new chapter of your life in a brand new story. Reading stories of others may be inspiring. Reading your own life story is fascinating because you are the character in the story. Donít wait till tomorrow. God is waiting to receive you into His family today.