Yesterday was one of the most enjoyable sermons I have ever preached. It was revealed to me so very special and very personal over Friday and Saturday last week. God changed the entire direction of the message and it certainly blessed my heart. I want to break the message down this week probably more for me than you out there in blog land, but here climb aboard and lets take a journey down A Story To Tell. A picture tells a thousand words. Above is Sunday's picture I do this each and every Sunday. I hope you study the pictures as you study God's Word. Andrew was a seeker of God which can be seen as he was a disciple of john the Baptist, He was a great student as he listened to the teachings of John and responded in his actions. Andrew had a story to tell and he told it and told it well. His witness first went to his home and form there there he never quit. His story led to Peter's decision and the rest my friend we get the privilege of reading about in God's Story.
When we cut down a tree we learn much about the history of the tree. We learn things like the age, the climate conditions during growth (drought, heavy rain, cold, severe heat etc.), stresses put on the tree, and many other things as science advances and new technology emerges. I want us to look at the story a tree tells. It is kind of neat so permit me for a moment to teach you a little about dendrochronology, which is the science or technique of dating events, environmental change, and archaeological artifacts by using the characteristic patterns of annual growth rings in timber and tree trunks. I want us to then apply these things to our walk with Jesus Christ. A tree grows in three directions, downward towards the water and nutrients in the soil and upward towards the sun reaching for the light it desperately needs to grow and outwardly to establish a strong foundation to support added mass of the tree. We should grow in these same directions. We should grow deeper in the Word of God. We should stretch our arms out in an act of surrender looking upward to Jesus Christ growing everyday. Finally, we should grow outward as we proclaim the gospel to those around us and they come to know Jesus.
When a tree is cut down, the growth rings in the tree reveal much about the tree. First, the number of rings indicates the age or maturity of the tree. Count the rings and you can determine the age. It should be noted the age does not always equal the number of rings because some trees deposit more than one ring per year. Secondly, the width of the growth rings indicates climate conditions during the growth. Wide rings indicate much growth and good conditions. There was a plentiful supply of water and nutrients during this growth. Narrow rings mean lean years, difficult conditions, and not as much visible growth. Finally, stresses on the tree are revealed through asymmetrical rings. The tree tells a story. We are to tell a story. We much like the tree have a story to tell. We must tell our story, as well as the stories God provides. Friday, I had the joy of working in the shop with my father and my son. I could not help but thinking about what was represented in the shop that day. Three generations of stories. Three men with a story to tell and a great deal of love that abounded through the stories told. My dad always has a story to tell. He tells stories of his days in Dothan as a little boy, he tells stories about growing up in Bibb City. He tells stories about the military. I know a great deal about my father and can tell you a great deal about his life through the stories he tells. We went to lunch Friday at the Fort Mitchell, Grill and as we sat there we told stories, all of us. Luke, me, and my father each telling stories of times past and the impact it had on our life. I love to hear my father talk about his father. He lights up, he smiles different, he laughs different, and his stories are different. I have never heard my father say anything negative about his father. My grandfather was a loving man and a man my father obviously loved dearly and felt loved by him. I never met my grandfather, but through the stories my father tells, I feel like I know him. His name was Luther Wilson, but everyone who knew him called him “Luke,” so I named my son Luke. Three generations telling stories in a shop, in a restaurant, loving one another feeling loved. God wants us to tell stories. He is asking you to tell His story. He wants you to tell the story of how He used to walk in the garden with Adam, how He told Noah to build an ark and prepare for water to fall from the sky. He wants you to tell people about how He told Abram he would become a father of many nations and how Sarah his wife in her old age laughed at the proclamation she would have a child of her own. He wants us to tell the story of how He spoke to Moses through a burning bush. He wants you to tell people how the bush burned, but was not consumed. He wants you to tell how He used Moses to deliver His people from Egypt and how they took a 60-day journey for 40 years. He wants you to tell how a little shepherd boy stood before a giant ready to fight unto death with a sling and a few stones. He wants you to tell how the stone was laser guided by God Almighty, defeating the giant and bringing victory for His children. He wants you to tell the story of how His children would lose their way and how sacrifices were a required practice to bring things in order with God. He wants you to tell how He loved us so much that He became flesh, and dwelt among us, living perfectly and providing the perfect sacrifice for all of mankind. He wants you to tell how He was beaten, whipped, and crucified on a tree, to pay the price for your sins. He wants you to tell the story of how he poured His life out for three years ministering to 12 men. He wants you to tell the story of how one of those men, Peter, stepped out of a perfectly good boat and walked on water to His Lord. He wants you to tell how He fed 5,000 with a few fish and a little bread. He wants you to tell how He touched the leper and the leper was cleansed. He wants you to tell how the lame walked and the blind gained sight just by His touch and His Words. He wants you to tell how, after they killed Him and placed Him in the grave, the grave couldn’t hold Him and He arose from the grave; conquering sin and paving the way for your God Story. He wants you to tell How Saul became Paul and how a man went from killing those who claim the name of Jesus, to proclaiming the name of Jesus as Lord, Savior, King, and Almighty God. Then He wants you to tell your story, how did you meet this King? How and when did you give your heart to Jesus? Oh you must tell your story. It is absolutely necessary. GO TELL YOUR STORY! TELL IT LOUD AND TELL IN WITH THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST! IT IS IMPORTANT! IT IS REQUIRED!
18 Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. 19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
20 When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’” 21 And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.
22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: thatthe blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, thepoor have the gospel preached to them. 23 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
You have a story to tell, tell today. Learn God's story today. Learn it such a way that you can tell it. The tell His story. Talk about His story.
Brother Big Daddy