Message Recap | 11.2.2014
Speaker: Aaron Taylor, Lead Pastor
My life is filled with stories. Some good and some not so good. I think everyone has a story to tell. Some of mine are fond memories of sitting with my grandfather Fred and listening to him talk about the time on the farm in Toledo, Ohio. Back in the 1920s, times were very lean. The farm produced what the family needed. The family was large, so what they couldn’t afford they found ways to obtain. Sometimes crossing the line of being legal. Yes, some of that time was during Prohibition. My grandfather Fred spent countless hours singing old songs to me and teaching me how to sing. I’ve been able to use the things my grandfather taught me to glorify God. But my point is we all have a story to tell.
Your life is filled with “Let me tell you” statements. Like “Let me tell you about the time I overcame a struggle in my life,” or how about, “Let me tell you about the time I bungee jumped!” Sometimes we have great stories of small decisions that we saw as insignificant, that in the end became great blessings. A decision to go to a Bible Study you were invited to by a friend which led to your salvation. Maybe a story of healing or a decision to obey the Lord and give what you thought was small to a missionary or someone in need and discovered God’s provision and blessing.
We all have stories that we love to tell, but unfortunately all of us have stories that we’d rather leave untold, maybe even entire chapters of our lives that we’d rather not tell anybody. I know I had stories in my life that I decided would never be told. Some of those stories actually caused my life to unravel. Think about this, the decisions that we made yesterday determine the stories that we’ll tell today.
Today a new series is going to highlight different stories from people in our very own church who tell about what God has done in their lives. Today’s story is about salvation.
Sean’s story is a story of grace! Sean was a young man who made decisions to live for himself, turn from the Lord, ended up homeless and in jail, struggling with alcohol and drugs. But a decision to listen to an invitation to go to Teen Challenge led to that service in Ashtabula where he committed his life to Jesus. A simple invitation to receive grace and follow Jesus turned the course of Sean’s life and set him on a new path.
Watch Sean’s complete story below!
Like Sean, the Bible is full of people who found grace through Jesus and received His salvation. It is filled with people who were anything but deserving of salvation and were the last people you would ever think Jesus would choose to follow Him and use to make a difference in the world. One such person was a disciple of Jesus who went on to write one of the Gospels. His given name was Levi, but we know him better as Matthew.
If you want to learn more about Levi’s encounter with Jesus, listen to our podcast, coming soon, at: http://painesvilleag.com/story.
Friend, Levi/Matthew’s story and Sean’s story both remind us of the amazing grace of Jesus. You don’t have to have it all together in order to come to Jesus. In fact, it is quite the opposite! Jesus comes seeking those who are far from God and who realize that they are in need of forgiveness, mercy, grace and a way back to God. Jesus extends to us the same invitation that He did to Levi and Sean, “Follow me.”