7/19/20 What’s Your Story? Summer series Unaware Luke 24:13-40
Voices, they are sometimes identifiable, sometimes sounding familiar but not quite sure, but it can also be unknown to us, unaware, not knowing the voice. We all have a voice that identifies us. A familiar voice if you know the person who’s talking, then we are more attentive to what they are saying because we know the voice. If you don’t know the person nor the voice talking, we may listen, we may not. We don’t recognize the voice. We are unaware of the person. Why am I listening to this voice and does it have anything to do with me? I am unaware of this voice, unacquainted, so should I be listening to this voice?
It's fun to watch a baby as they recognize a voice, it brings a smile, brings comfort, it’s love shared by voice. We have voices in our heads. We hear voices of loved ones now gone. We hear voices as we recall memories. We hear a voice speaking to our minds. Then there are times that we hear a voice speaking but are unaware of who it is. Could it be the Holy Spirit? Or worse is the devil playing tricks with my mind. We are unaware of whom we are hearing this voice from. Can I know, can I tell, can I listen, or should I avoid it all together?
In Sunday’s scripture from Luke 24: 13-40 we read of the time just after the resurrection on the road to Emmaus that two men were walking and Jesus joined them but they were kept from recognizing him, they were unaware of the voice of Jesus. As they came close to the village, Jesus continued on as if he were going further. The men urged him strongly to stay with them, which Jesus did. Verse 30 reads, “when he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them”, then verse 31, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him”. Another passage that Pastor George referred to Sunday was Revelation 3:20 “…look, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in.” In both of these passages there was a welcoming of Jesus. Jesus waits for the invitation to come in. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit once we say yes to Jesus and allow him to come in. Pastor George explained it’s God in your head – becoming a living presence in your heart. He’s waiting for the invitation.
That’s faith! Believing upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross for us, for our sins, for the joy set before him he endured the pain. It is the joy of our belief in him. That’s the joy that kept him on the cross. It tells of his love for us.
So how can we know this Jesus, to go from unaware, to being aware of his voice and presence? Pastor George gave us the answer. He shared that Jesus speaks, nudges, prompts us to his ways by reading the scripture, through which we read and know his ways – his voice. That’s how we get to know anyone really, isn’t it? By spending time together, intentionally. Two points Pastor George offered Sunday states #1. Slow down occasionally. Create some moments that you can simply slow down and be with the Lord, spend these moments of awareness. #2. Becoming familiar with the source. Going back to the source, the scriptures. Read and learn of God’s love and God’s grace. Chuck Swindoll from his Insight for Living Ministries Broadcast on Thursday the 23rd shared that we have a scriptural injunction/command to read from the scripture. This the Apostle Paul makes clear to Timothy when he sets forth the directives for the church that there would be reading of the scriptures. You don’t forsake the reading of the Word of God. It becomes so familiar to all of us that we forget that we are reading the Word of God. THE WORD OF GOD The only inspired literature that you will ever read in all of your life that has been breathed out by God – is from the BIBLE. So, when we read it, we’re reading what God would say if Christ were here among us speaking. Pastor George reiterated, to open the love letters of scripture. Getting to know God and of his deep love, his grace, and his mercy. Breathe them in. To get to know his voice speaking.
The Spirit of God is our helper. It’s him who talks with us, influences us, encourages us. According to Pete Brisco in Sharing Life we are to be attentive to the Spirit in our evangelism for Christ. Pete says we should be depending upon the Spirit as he leads, guides, enables, prompts, empowers us, as he steps into our mind – we are to do. We are to be open to the Spirits promptings to the people in our live who need to hear the Gospel. As we share life with them, sharing Life with them is imperative. The lowercase l being our lives, the capital L being the Life of Christ. Get into conversation and try to lead them into spiritual conversations. Takia, in Sharing Your Faith with Friends testified that the reason we don’t share our faith, is we fear rejection from friends. Is this saying that we value our friends more?
Pete Brisco shared that in the early church evangelism was a natural thing. Now evangelism sounds like selling Jesus. The good news is evangelism is not selling Jesus, it’s sharing life! One way we can do this is by Sharing Your Story.
In the Sharing Life series in Right Now Media (RNM), Pete went on the say that stories are powerful things. More powerful than statistics, more interesting that facts, more exciting than presentations, easier to remember and recount than an outlined speech. Because they go to the heart and impact us and move us. Story is a remarkable thing.
As you spend time in God’s Word you will become more familiar with all the stories that Jesus tells. He uses stories to teach, to give insight to his ways, to make an impact in our memory, because it goes to the heart and moves us. Stories are powerful things…………
We viewed Sharing the Gospel on Your Mission Trip by Todd Philips this week also. Now don’t give me the excuse that you’re not going on a mission trip. Anytime that you walk out the door of your home, you, my friend are on a mission trip. So be attentive to the Spirit’s nudging’s - you just never know. So, what are we to share? Todd also says that, #1 Tell your story about God’s redemption in your own life. #2 Listen to their story. What is it that you can connect with in hearing their story? #3 Sharing Very Clearly about what the Bible says. The Gospel message of salvation, but also those stories learned by reading the Bible that could help someone go from being unaware, to loved by God.
Pete Brisco says that when we find ourselves in these conversations that we are to rely upon the Holy Spirits help. God will take over if we let him. We just need to say to the Spirit, Okay, Holy Spirit you know this guy better than me, what’s the best next thing that I should do? I really don’t know what to say, but I know he’s hurting. Listen to how the spirit leads, you are no longer unaware of the voice. With the idea in your mind, assume it’s the Spirit telling you what to do. Sounds loving? Guaranteed it’s the Spirit talking – do it! Go and be Christ to people.
Larry and Darlene