Your Gospel Story
We’ve all been challenged by the potato chip slogan “Bet you can’t eat just one” and more often than not it’s true. Put an open bag of potato chips in front of you and you can’t eat just one. Eating those salty, crunchy chips makes you hungry for more.
Great stories are kind of like that.
If someone tells a great story, I feel a kind of special connection to them. Feels like I know them just that little bit better, and I want to know them more. Sharing our stories is one of the important ways we build friendships. Deep down inside, we all want to feel a special connection to something bigger. The truth is, our lives are all a part of a much bigger story – God’s story.
In order to share the Gospel, we’ve got to learn how to share our stories through the lens of God’s larger story. With the Holy Spirit guiding us, our stories can even help create a spiritual hunger in other people. What if sharing our lives did that to other people – made them hungry for God? Just like potato chips. They aren’t just satisfied with one little chip, one little taste, they want more!
Why? Because God’s story answers the Big Questions in a lost and hurting world.
1. God’s story tells us who God says we are. “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world…” Matthew 5:13,14. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10.
2. God’s story helps us understand our own identity. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16.
3. You and your story were part of God’s plan before time began. God has been connected to your story before you were born and before you trusted Him. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:3-6. God has always planned to bless you immensely through His son, Jesus.
4. God’s story is a powerful part of your story that others need to hear. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.
God’s story has four main parts: Creation-Fall-Redemption-Restoration.
Have you ever looked at your life through the lens what God is doing?
How has the Gospel been present and working for each of these 4 movements in you?
1: Creation. How did your life begin? Family home life, moments that shaped you. Something really great or something really hard that happened to you. Can you see places, looking back where God was connected in your story even before you trusted Jesus as savior? Who or what most shaped your understanding of yourself? What were the sources of your sense of personal value or identity?
2: Fall. What was happening in your life that was broken? How were things NOT the way God created them to be? What ungodly things did you use to try and fix your life? These are the events or choices that contradict God’s story or his ways. How was your relationship with God and others NOT the way God created it to be? Why?
3. Redemption. Explain how the effects of sin in your life were rescued and redeemed by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Explain how you came to find out about and walk with Jesus. Was there a special person or people who helped you along the way. How did you come to trust in Him to save you and restore your life to the way God intended it to be? How has your life been rescued by Jesus’ sacrifice?
4. Restoration. What is happening in your life now? How is God changing you, using you, speaking to you? The Gospel and salvation is HAPPENING! Share real examples of how Jesus is at work in your life changing and recreating your relationships with God and others. What has changed and what is changing in your life now? Who and what is the focus of your life today?
**Wanting More Chips – Wanting More of God.
Where in your life are you longing for more? More intimacy, more growth, more forgiveness, significance or recognition? The Gospel didn’t happen – it’s still happening to us. Our stories are still being written! Can you prayerfully trust all your future hopes, dreams and plans to him? Can you prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit for opportunities to share your story with others to increase their spiritual hunger