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Your Story, His Story

Acts 25:13-26:32

This is Paul’s 3rd defense in as many chapters.

Other versions of Paul’s story can be found in chapters 9 and 22.

4 Necessary elements of your story: 

  1. Build Commonality
  2. Describe your Conversion
    • the person you were
    • what happened
    • the person you are
  3. Connection to God’s story
  4. Compulsion to accept

Big Idea: Merge your story with God’s story.

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C.S. Lewis’s Story in Surprised by Joy:

[su_quote]You must picture me alone in that room at Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape?… The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.[/su_quote]

The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson

[su_quote]I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;

I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways

Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

Up vistaed hopes I sped;

And shot, precipitated, Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,

From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

But with unhurrying chase,

And unperturbèd pace,

Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

They beat—and a Voice beat

More instant than the Feet—

‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me’

… Halts by me that footfall:

Is my gloom, after all, Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?

‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,

I am He Whom thou seekest! Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.'[/su_quote]

Further Notes

verse 15 – “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” – When Christians are persecuted Jesus is persecuted.

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