This Sunday we looked at the “How?” question of sharing our story. How do we share our story with others?
We looked at the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. Zacchaeus was a despised man in Jericho because he was a chief tax collector who grew wealthy at the expense of others. Zacchaeus does some interesting things in this story- first, he runs to see Jesus. But the crowds are so big that he can’t see anything, so he then decides to climb a tree. Jesus sees Zacchaeus and tells him to come down and that he is going to his house. We don’t know exactly what happens during Jesus’ meal with Zacchaeus, but what we do know is that it changed Zacchaeus’ life. Zacchaeus said he would give half of his money to the poor and repay people he has cheated four times over! Jesus calls Zacchaeus a “son of Abraham.” We see in Genesis 18 that Abraham welcomes guests into his house who were divine guests in disguise. Both Zacchaeus and Abraham practiced radical hospitality. Disciples bear resemblance to God. We see in the stories of Abraham and Zacchaeus that we share our stories best when we imitate Jesus.
When Zacchaeus seeks Jesus out, we discover that in reality Jesus is the one who is seeking Zacchaeus. Jesus called Zacchaeus by name. This story is about Jesus seeking Zacchaeus, who was among the lost, and saving him. The same God who seeks Zacchaeus is the same God that seeks us and calls us by name. Do you remember the first time Jesus called you by name? That is the same God who is seeking out people in our work, schools, and town who do not know who Christ is. We must open our eyes and ears to realize the opportunities for us to show others how God is already at work and how God is seeking us.
The Get Their Name book shares some practical insight on how to share our story that we want to share with you. First, we must develop an intentional plan with goals. If we are not looking or thinking beyond ourselves, we will never start a conversation. God works best through our natural settings. What are some of your natural settings that you can develop an intentional plan and goal to sharing your faith in that setting? Next, there are three important things to remember in the actual conversation. First, put the “spotlight on them.” Get to know their story and who they are. Second, “spark curiosity about you.” Most people, after talking about themselves for a while, will want to turn the conversation and are more curious about you and your story. Third, sprinkle in your faith story as you share who you are with another.
Monday- Luke 18:18-30
Tuesday- Luke 18:31-43
Wednesday- Luke 19:1-10
Thursday- Genesis 18:1-15
Friday- Psalm 15:1-5
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
1. When was the first time Jesus called you by name? What was that experience like for you?
2. What is a natural setting for you (ex: workplace, walking dog, sports team, etc.)? What is one goal you would like to have in regards to sharing your story in that setting?