Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. I would like to tell you the good news clearly enough so that at the least something would burn inside your heart, at least wishing this good news were true.
That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in our series called Story Wars as presented at Rinaldo Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource today. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. So as you listen to today's teaching, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Alan Wright. He said, I know other people want to talk to you. I don't want to corner you here, brother, but let me give you a little snapshot. He said, last March, something just got a hold of me and I was getting so down. All I did was sit around and watch the negative news.
I was getting in such a bad mood about everything in life. I had to do something. I said, I'm going to read a book. I went over to a bookshelf and he said, I heard a voice say, read the Bible, read the Bible, read the Bible.
And he's like, what? And so I reached up again to get a book off the shelf, something to read, just get my mind off all the negativity. And I heard it again. I heard a voice say, read the Bible, read the Bible, read the Bible.
I'm like, okay. And he said, I didn't have a Bible. So I started looking around and he said, I finally found old dusty Bible that was given to me when I joined the church when I was in middle school. Hadn't had it out since, pulled her off the shelf, said, dust it off.
I opened it up. He said in the offering, I was going to put in the offering plate that week, fell out a quarter, fell out of the Bible. And he said, I started reading it and he started weeping. He said, I couldn't stop.
He said, I read it all the way through. And now I've already read all the way back to Jeremiah. I said, brother, I've been preaching on Jeremiah.
He's like, yeah, I love Jeremiah and all the prophecy we started talking about. And he said, and it just keeps happening to me. He said, he said, he said a couple of weeks ago, he said, I was, I was just, I was getting down. He said, so I just got on my bike.
Just go for a ride. He said, I said, I, I said, I have church with God on my motorcycle. I said, I went up to a place where, where many years ago, I think it was 1996. He said, I'd had a terrible accident. A car hit me, put me in a coma for two days.
Everybody thought I was going to die. And he said, I went back up to that spot. I got off my bike. He said, I was just leaning up against there was a hillside there.
I was just enjoying the day, taking a little break. And I looked over and he said, I like, I like gardening. He said, there was a, there was a, there was some kind of, some kind of flower or something. I reached out. I kind of pulled it out and I saw the root ball of it. And I looked at that. I started looking at the soil there.
He's just telling me all this. And I'm looking at the soil there and it was so rich. He said, boy, I wish I had buckets of that.
I could just take back, put that in my own garden. And he said, I just, I was reaching my hand into the soil. And he said, and all of a sudden I felt something inside of this hillside of the zone and I pulled it out and it was a quarter. Like the one that had fallen out of my Bible. And I looked down at it and he started crying. And he said, and it was the year, the very year that quarter was the year that I had had my accident and gone into a coma. And he said, and I saw it and I realized God's been with me this whole time. And I didn't know it, brother.
I love you. So I'm just saying, I'm just saying, I'm just saying you can be Othello and, and it can motivate you in a murderous jealousy because you see the story incorrectly, or you could be my cousin's husband was suddenly your eyes get opened up to the real story and it'll change your whole life. And that's what happened to those disciples on the Emmaus road.
Standing still, looking sad and talking to Jesus. And isn't it ironic at verse 18 that they say, are you the only visitor to Jerusalem? Can you hear the sarcasm in their voice? Are you the only idiot that is in Jerusalem?
I hadn't heard a thing about all this has taken place. Sounded like me on the phone with the HVHC. Right. You're going to come on a Saturday. Oh, it's Friday. Oh, everybody. And when they reflected on what happened to them, they, they commented at verse 32, did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us and opened the scriptures. I love what Tim Keller said of preaching the gospel. Gospel means good news. And if you're here today and you're unfamiliar with that good news, or maybe you've been to church some and never is never registered with you or meant much to you. Let me say the word gospel means good news because the message of the story of Jesus is from page to page, verse to verse in the Bible, one big meta narrative, one big story. That's the best news the world's ever heard. And Tim Keller said, we ought to preach the gospel in such a way that if people don't believe it, at least they wish it were true. I would like to tell you the good news clearly enough so that at the least something would burn inside your heart, at least wishing this good news were this good news were true. Their hearts began.
What is that? That's the Holy Spirit beginning to awaken them to the real story. Pay attention when something starts burning in your heart, a warming up, something like that, which has been asleep, that begins to be awakened.
Something like, you know, when you're a child and you're so sleepy and your mom is just like, wake up, sweetie, wake up, sweetie. Something begins rustling and it transformed them so much that when they saw and understood, they rose and returned to Jerusalem, found others. It's from standing still to moving forward for hanging their head, to looking out at life with joy, from confusion to the bliss of understanding, from despair to hope. And the whole point of this, and notice this, no circumstances had changed. Their eyes had just been opened. And that's the key to this story. Key story is that when their spiritual eyes were open to the reality of Jesus and His kingdom, that though the circumstances around them were the same, everything changed.
Everything changed. What had made them hopeless in that moment was when they said, we had hoped that He would redeem Israel. They were echoing the long ancient understanding of what the Jewish Messiah would be. The confusion amongst God's people was twofold. It was in the first place, a confusion that thought that the Messiah would set up a political realm and restore Israel and remove the Roman tyranny over little Israel, and that a king would dwell on a throne in a palace in Jerusalem, the way David had, and that there would be political peace for the people, and that they would be materially prosperous again. In other words, what they got wrong was they thought the story was of an earthly kingdom. And what they discovered was it's a spiritual kingdom. Matthew 1, I mean, Mark 1, rather, verse 14. After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God and saying, the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God's at hand, so repent, which means change your mind.
Believe in the gospel, the kingdom of God. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover The Power to Bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries.
This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Now we are in our final days of offering this special product. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860 or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues.
Here once again is Alan Wright. Matthew 4 23. He went throughout all Galilee teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. Luke 4 42. When it was day he departed and went into a desolate place and the people sought him and came to him and he would have kept kept him from leaving them. But he said to them, I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God.
That's the good news. Matthew 10 7. He told the disciples and proclaim as you go, saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The real story is about an invisible spiritual kingdom that is much bigger, much better, much more lasting, much more beautiful, much more glorious than the vision of an earthly kingdom that they had. That's the change in the story. They had little pieces of the truth.
Yes, there was a hope that this is the one who would redeem Israel. That part was true. But the lie was that he was going to simply set up a political kingdom that would change all your earthly circumstances. And then that was the key. And the bigger, bigger story was, no, it's an invisible kingdom.
So what changes, beloved, when you. If you're going to have your eyes open to the real story is simply this. You need Jesus to become the one who tells you the story.
I mean, again, if you're if you're just exploring Christianity, why don't you start with that? Jesus, tell me the story from your perspective. When Bennett, our son, was three, Ann and I were away for a weekend, a delicious weekend, and young parents and we decided to bring back something for Bennett. And it was a stuffed animal. We found a cute little lamb and it became his stuffed animal. And I always wondered, you know, how so spontaneously a three year old instantly named his stuffed animal.
And he just, you know, he just blurted it out. He said, I'm going to call him storyteller. I just thought he loved stories. And so that's the highest compliment you could pay somebody is their storyteller.
So that was his animal that he slept with for all his growing up. And I wasn't thinking about how beautiful and ironic and prophetic it is that the central little stuffed animal that he had with him everywhere we went was a lamb. And I thought about that this week, that the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world is our storyteller. Is our storyteller. I think when you go through a hard time in life and you don't understand, it's a good thing to say, Jesus, be my storyteller and help me shift away from just my immediate disappointment to the bigger narrative.
That's what I've been having to do this year. My, my precious mother died in January. My father, father-in-law we love so dearly died a couple of weeks ago. And, you know, that scripture says, my food has been my tears and that's what it's been. I've wept more this year than I can remember in many, many years. And throughout it all, how do you have hope when you grieve, when you lose, when you're disappointed, Jesus becomes your storyteller. And the Holy Spirit starts whispering to you reminders of the true narrative of life, right?
In coming weeks, we're going to look at some of the hashtags that are so pervasive in society. One of them is YOLO. You only live once. Was that the story or is the story in Christ you live forever? How much does that change things?
How much does that change your disappointments? How does that put it into perspective, you see? So Jesus just, they're talking to these disciples and they're confused. And so what he did was he had a Bible study with them. They were familiar with Moses and the prophets, which means the whole substance of the Old Testament, all of the Torah, all of the prophetic literature, and all of this that had spoken of the one who was going to redeem Israel. And he started going through and the text says that he showed them at verse 27, beginning with Moses and the prophets, he interpreted to them all the scriptures, the things concerning himself. You know what he did?
He said, let me make this more clear to you. The story was not about you. And the story was not just limited to this ethnic people and this geographic spot of land. The story of the Bible, he started showing them, Jesus said, it's about me. Wouldn't you like to be in that Bible study?
Wouldn't you like to be with a son of God? Opens up to page one and says, let's start with this. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And then he says, everything was made through me and nothing has been made apart from me. And then he starts going into God said, let there be light. And he starts explaining to them as energy was pulsating throughout the cosmos, it was separating the darkness and the darkness doesn't stand a chance against the light that everywhere the light shines, the darkness flees. And he starts explaining to them that that's why he is the light of the world.
He is the revelation of God. And maybe it gets to the part where he starts describing how he created a man named Adam and how everybody on this earth was born in Adam. And when Adam fell into sin, everybody who was born therefore was born in sin. And so he says, everyone was born in Adam. And if everybody was going to get out of sin and be saved, the only way it would be if there would be a second Adam who didn't sin and people could be born in him. And I'm the second Adam and who trusts in me is born again. And maybe then he starts going on and speaking about how sin had its consequences. And Cain got jealous of Abel.
The big brother got jealous of the little brother and killed him. And God said his blood's crying out from the ground to me. And Jesus starts telling the stories of the Bible, how the older sibling always got jealous when the younger one got the blessing. And Jesus maybe says that I'm the first born of all creation.
I am your first born big brother. And I'm the one who doesn't get jealous when you get blessed. But I came to be crucified for your sake so that you could be blessed. And my blood now cries out to the father and maybe he just keeps on going in the story and it comes up to a story of Noah. And he says, you think the story is all about judgment against the evil of the world, but let me tell you what it's really about. It's about this one man that was considered righteous and reckoned such by God so that he could be used for God's saving purposes. And there was one door that you could get that you could get into through that boat and you could be saved. And he says, I am that door.
I am that righteous one. And then he starts talking about Abraham, who was called up out of the Ur of the Chaldees, a man who was righteous in God's eyes and therefore would become the father of a nation. And he says, I am the king of righteousness and I am the one who has become the father to the nation and all who trust in me. And then maybe he starts telling about the day that God told Abraham to go and sacrifice his son, Isaac, his only son whom he loved and take him up onto Mount Moriah.
And there, while the knife was in his hand and held up over the altar, they heard the sound of rustling and the thicket. And there was a ram that was actually the one who was going to be sacrificed. And Jesus said, I was that ram. I am the one who was the provision.
I came to take the penalty for you. And then he keeps, can you imagine being in a Bible study with Jesus? And what he was saying is that you thought the story was about you. But here's the good news of the gospel. It's not about you. The story is about me.
It's not about what you do to be religious. It's about what I did to save you. It's not a story about how good you are.
It's a story about how good I am. And I have come to save your lives. And people, our hearts will not burn within us by just the announcement of dead religion that tells us we ought to be good people. I tell you what'll make your heart burn inside of you and it'll change your life. And that is when you start seeing what God has done for you in Jesus Christ. The gospel is the greatest news in the history of the world because it is the news of what God has done to save you when you didn't deserve it. And somehow in the fellowship with Jesus, as they are breaking bread, I don't know if this is communion or just a good meal, but as they are in that fellowship, it just happened like a miracle and their eyes were open and they recognized him. And the disciples who'd been standing still and looking sad started seeing life for the joy that it is. The real battle is not over little tidbits of information or hot button items or political issues.
The real battle is for the story and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Easter. That's the best story. And it's the true story. And that's the gospel. Alan Wright, our good news message story wars from the series of the same title. Pastor Alan is back in the studio sharing a parting good news thought for the day in just a moment, unlock the power of blessing your life, discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing it's free. And just to click away at pastor alan.org. Ever feel like something's holding you back as if you lack an important key that could change everything.
Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release.
Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales. But this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries.
This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Now we are in our final days of offering this special product. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Pastor Alan is, we come to the conclusion of this first message in this series, Story Wars.
And the reminder again, this was an Easter message. And what a story of stories. Well, these disciples on the Emmaus road were, according to the scripture, they were standing still. Jesus, when he corrected the story, they started moving forward.
They were hanging their heads. But when they got the story right, they picked up their heads and started running with joy. They were confused, but the right story moved into bliss of real understanding.
It's a move from despair to hope. No circumstances had changed, Daniel. That's the thing. Jesus was alive. They just hadn't seen it yet. So what might happen if today you simply ask Jesus, like those Emmaus road disciples, open my eyes so that I see the story through your eyes, Jesus.
Ask him for that. And when the story becomes clear, it's always good news, and it changes everything. Thanks for listening today. Visit us online at PastorAlan.org or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. If you only caught part of today's teaching, not only can you listen again online, but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching, delivered right to your email inbox, free. Find out more about these and other resources at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries.
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