His name was Joe Delaney, and for a brief time, he was the best running back the American Football Conference had, and he was a Kansas City Chief. In 1981, he was the AFC Rookie of the year, and in his two seasons with the Chiefs, Joe Delaney set four franchise records that would stand for over 20 years. But, on one June day, he gave it all away.
Joe was back in his hometown, Monroe, Louisiana, sitting under the cool shade of a tree, when he heard the voices of three children calling out for help. Three boys had waded out into some shallow four-foot water, and without warning, the bottom of the lake turned to 20 feet deep, and the boys were in over their heads. None of the boys knew how to swim.
When Joe saw what was happening, he ran into the water to try to save them. The only problem was Joe didn't know how to swim. Why didn't he ask somebody else to help those three kids that day? After all, hundreds of people were at the park, and not one other person moved into action.
Nobody, not his wife, not his mother, had ever seen Joe so much as dog-paddle before. A year and a half earlier, when Joe went to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii as the AFC's starting halfback and Rookie of the Year, he never set even a pinkie toe in the ocean or the pool.
Joe, with no thought to his own safety, ran out to save those boys. The only boy that was rescued said he felt his lungs filling up with water as he sunk to the cold bottom when suddenly a huge hand grabbed him and heaved him out of the deep water and back to the shallow end. Joe then turned and tried to dive into the water to save the other two boys, but he and the two boys never came up again.
Why did Joe Delaney jump into that water that day? Because he couldn't stand by and just watch those kids drown, so he dove in and tried to do all that he could possibly do.
We live in a world where people are drowning in their sin, and if someone doesn't try to rescue them, they will spend their eternity apart from Jesus in hell.
Now that you are a follower of Jesus, you probably want to talk to your family and friends about what Jesus has done in your life because you want them to have what you have with Jesus. How do we do that? How do we bring up spiritual conversations, and how do we share the difference Jesus has made in our life?
Bringing up spiritual conversations is easier than most people think. You are one question away from talking to your friends and family about eternal things. Here are some questions I use that get the conversation going.
When you ask one of those questions, listen intently to what their answer is, and then share what you think. Tell them about how Jesus has brought purpose to your life. Tell them that you believe that there are a heaven and a hell and that people do go to one place or the other. Tell them how Jesus changed your life. How do we do that?
Before we share our story of how Jesus changed our life, we first need to put our story together. Here is your homework assignment if you choose to accept it. I want you to write out your story of how Jesus changed your life, and I want you to share your story with the church.
We have a website that you can go to that will help you write out your story. Just go to sagebrush.church/story and send your story to us. You can email your story from that website to yourself as well.
When you sit down to write your story, there are three things you need to cover.
In John chapter 9, there is a story about a man who was born blind whom Jesus healed. Jesus changed this man's life. When people gathered around to find out what happened to him, he just shared his story.
The people in the crowd that day asked him, "How then were your eyes opened?" they demanded. He replied, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see." John 9:10-11
You see what he did. He just shared his story. This is what God has done in my life. And they said, "Where is this man?" Because this man was willing to share his story, others wanted to meet the one who had made such a difference in his life.
Your story can make a difference in someone else's life too.
I have heard people say, "You know, I really don't have much of a story. I never did drugs; I was never an alcoholic, so my story isn't that great." "You know, I can't even tell you when I became a Christian. I just started going to church, and over time it started to take make sense to me. My story is not that dramatic."
But you have to understand. If that is your story, your story is going to speak to people that someone else's story isn't. Some people have had your same journey, and they will be able to relate better to you than to someone else.
Write your story out.
Let me give you a few insights to sharing the story well.
Share what God has done in your life, and let God take care of the rest. From time to time, invite them to come to church with you, but let them go at their pace. Too often, we get too excited, and we end up trying to shove Jesus down someone's throat. Don't be like that.
Sharing Jesus with someone is one friend telling another friend about the best friend that they have. Aren't you glad someone cared enough about your eternity to share Jesus with you? Grab a piece of paper or get on your computer and start writing the story of what Jesus did for you. Practice your story over and over again, and make sure it is less than two minutes long. Don't forget to email your story to us so that we can help you with it.
©2022 Sagebrush Church