‘First Love’ Life – Lesson 9
Your Love Story with Jesus
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
— Psalm 73:25-26
Do you love Jesus? When we are in love we want to tell everyone! This week our lesson will be different. You are going to write down your love story with Jesus. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and guidance as you write (James 1:5-6). First, we’ll look at the apostle Paul’s story to inspire us and give us an example of how to tell our story.
A. Read Acts 26. Who was Paul before he met Jesus (vv. 4-11)?
B. What was his life’s goal/purpose/mission before he met Christ?
C. How did Paul meet Jesus (vv. 12-16)? Describe Paul’s experience.
D. What did God do for Paul as he lived for Him (vv. 17-22)?
E. What was his life’s goal/purpose/mission after he met Christ?
F. What was Agrippa’s opinion of Paul? What did he tell Festus? See Acts 26:30-32.
Life Points . . .
- What can we learn from Paul about how he told his story?
- For those of you who want to dig deeper, Paul tells his story several other times in Acts and his epistles. See what else you can learn from these additional passages.
- Paul was a great communicator, telling his story with gentleness, courage and humility. He identifies with his audience, which is a beautiful example to us as well. Paul’s focus in his message is on the intervention of God. Our message should not be as much about our journey, our discoveries, or ourselves but instead on the God who knew us well enough to find us and speak to us. Paul hated followers of The Way, and the Lord cared enough about him to speak to him. Paul is offering these folks the same opportunity. His message centers on the intervention of Christ. That should be the center of our message as well.
I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.
— Psalm 18:1-3
Historians use timelines to track things like the growth of a civilization, the progress of a war, and the development of a new technology. Putting events on a timeline helps you remember when important things happened. Today you’ll make a timeline of events that have made a difference in your life and your journey with God. This will be the framework to build your story on.
Start with your year of birth and then give any interesting facts about it and/or your family. Then think about your life in 5 or 10-year segments and record important facts during each time segment. Include church, family events, activities, influential people, problems, attitudes, beliefs, etc.
O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You;
my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You…
Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.
–Psalm 63:1-3, 7-8
Now that you have a basic framework from your timeline, use these questions to help you discover you how God has been working. These questions will help you write your story on Day Five. Some people have exciting stories like Paul’s, but that is not everyone’s experience. For many, this is a slow process. Some have a clear before and after story. Each person’s story is unique, so these years may or may not include God.
A. What was the emotional and spiritual climate of your family?
B. What were the key problems, emotions, situations or attitudes you were dealing with?
C. What did your life revolve around? What was most important to you?
D. Where did you look for security, peace of mind and happiness?
E. When did you first hear the truth?
F. When were you first exposed to this dynamic relationship?
G. What do you believe about God?
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
These questions will help you think about where you are today with God and how far your understanding of Him and His ways have come. He has been interacting with you all your life, but we don’t always notice, do we? Pray that God will reveal His work in your life through today’s questions.
A. What difference has Christ made in your life?
B. How has His forgiveness impacted you?
C. How have your thoughts, attitudes and emotions changed?
D. How is Christ meeting your needs and what does your relationship with him mean to you now?
E. Do you struggle with your faith?
F. How did God answer prayer, or strengthen you in difficult situations?
G. What’s your purpose?
H. What has God done in your life (What has He taught you)?
I. What scripture verses relate to your experience?
Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done.
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.
Glory in his Holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.
— I Chronicles 16:8-11
Now you are ready to tell your love story! As you write, use your timeline and the answers to your questions from DAYS 3 and 4 to tell your love story with Jesus. Remember, our message should not be as much about ourselves, our journey, or our discoveries, as about the God who knew us well enough to find us and speak to us. Remember to treat the people and churches in your story with respect — for they are on their journey too.
About the author
I've been a Bible Study teacher for years! I LOVE God's word and am thrilled when others fall in love with it too. However, I've noticed that too many of us stop at the 'information' part of study and don't take the time for the 'transformational' power of lingering with the Living Word. I hope you will journey with me as we listen to what the Spirit in us longs to teach us as we pay attention to His Voice. May God richly bless you with deep roots in Him.View all articles by: Grace Cabalka
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