Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. The spiritual battle is for the story itself.
We're going to talk about the story wars, and I say, may the best story win. 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. Now, 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. Okay, say it like you mean it. Are you ready for some good news? The greatest story ever told, our story of the gospel, is also the truest story. The story that we need the most, because it is the best news, is the truest story. It is the true story.
We are into a new series starting today that is about the competition of these stories and about how once our eyes get open to the real narrative, everything changes. And that's what happened to these two disciples on Resurrection Day who were despondent until their spiritual eyes were open. Luke chapter 24, verse 13, tells the story.
That very day, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. And while they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself, the resurrected Jesus, drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, what is this conversation that you're holding with each other as you walk? And they stood still, looking sad. That's a whole lot of people in the world today, isn't it?
Not moving forward and just despondent. And verse 18, then one of them named Cleopas answered him, are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened here in these days? As if Jesus was the ignorant one. And he said to them, what things? And they said to him, concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped. In other words, we don't have hope anymore, but we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.
Yes. And besides all this is now the third day since these things happen. Moreover, some women of our company Amazons, they went, they were at the tomb early in the morning when they did not find his body. They came back saying that they'd even seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. And some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him, they did not see. And Jesus said to them, Oh, foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken.
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them and all the scriptures, the things concerning himself. So they drew near the village to which they were going and the act as if you were going further. But they urged him strongly saying, stay with us for it's toward evening and the day is now far spent. So he went in to stay with them. And when he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them and their eyes were opened and they recognized him and he vanished from their sight. And they said to each other, did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road while he opened to us the scriptures. And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the 11 and those who are with them gathered together saying the Lord has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon. And then they told what had happened on the road and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
They got the story right all of a sudden their eyes got opened. I was a little embarrassed at the tone of my voice and the hint of disdain in it when I was talking to the HVAC service provider who was supposed to come to my house on Friday between 1 and 5 for a routine inspection of the air conditioning system. And at 10 till 5 they had not arrived. And what was especially perturbing is that I pay a monthly fee in order to be one of their premier customers, you know. Supposed to give me like priority and I don't pay extra fees for after hours and I get two free inspections a year. And I thought typical, you know, these are the free inspections and so they just put me at the bottom of the list. They're not making any money off this.
This is the free part. So 10 till 5 and they hadn't come like they said. So I called. And I said seeing as how it's 10 till 5 and nobody's come I said I guess we need to reschedule for next week.
And I said it sort of like that. And the nice lady on the phone said let me see Mr. Wright, sorry about that. And she said actually we had you on the schedule for tomorrow afternoon. Well knowing that the next day was Saturday I was like right like I'm supposed to buy that like they set up routine inspections on a Saturday. And I got ready to say I got ready I literally the words were in my throat getting ready to come out. You say on a Saturday like that.
But I held back because that powerful spiritual discipline I've got. And I said are you sure? And she said let me double check tomorrow Friday afternoon between 1 and 5. Friday afternoon. And I looked at my watch and I realized it was Thursday.
It was Thursday. I said OK. All right. Sorry about that. Sorry that no confusion. No problem.
All right. And if you're wondering I'm not the pastor at NOLA. Have you ever had that happen before where you had the story completely wrong. And then when your eyes got open and you saw the correct story in a moment it changed everything.
How you think how you feel what you say what you do. And that's what happened to these disciples. They had the wrong story. And when their spiritual eyes got open they recognized Jesus and in a moment they went from standing still looking sad to moving forward with exceeding joy. And I think the same can happen in our lives and in this world. So the competition the spiritual battle that's taking place is not so much beloved for all these little individual issues that get you upset and polarize our culture. We get concerned about all the little issues but the real competition the spiritual battle is for the story itself.
So in coming weeks we're going to talk about the story wars and I say may the best story win. Little children they beg their parents to tell them a story at night. Little children don't say would you read the encyclopedia to me.
I'd like to get some facts straight tonight before I go to bed. They beg for a story. My kids love to read a story but they like it even better if I tell them a story. So many different and they like it even better if I would involve them into the world of the story. So we read Peter Pan stories but then I would make up Peter Pan stories that included them and it would happen over and over.
Peter would be in a predicament Neverland he'd have to fly into Winston-Salem and tap on the window of Bennett or Abby Wright and say I need your help. And usually it would include getting some everyday items from the house to be used in the adventure like the trampoline from the backyard might be needed and they'd sprinkle some pixie dust on it and the children would fly away with the trampoline and set it up in Neverland near the mermaid lagoon so that when Captain Hook's cannonballs came flying they would trampoline back to his ship and destroy his ship and then they'd return triumphant. We love a story so much that we almost don't care what the story's about if it's told really well.
Have you ever noticed that? A friend recommended to me a Netflix documentary that's called My Octopus Teacher. It's a story of a filmmaker who gets burned out and returns to his South African homeland where he goes diving in the chilly waters in which he grew up playing and snorkeling and so he starts free diving and discovers a little octopus in the kelp forest and he starts watching it and observes it over a 10-year period and documents it and it awakens his love of filmmaking again and awakens his vocation and the little octopus becomes so trusting of the diver that he actually lets the diver handle the little octopus and kind of become a playmate and the story is so well told that when the octopus is under attack from shark and then after a period of time he can't for days can't find the little octopus in the kelp forest and I found myself getting choked up about a sea creature that doesn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things but the story's so well told. What I'm saying is the competition is for the story because people love stories, we're made for story and therefore what we need to become as Christians we need to become astute at telling the story but we need to be also astute at recognizing what story is being told. Our family watched the newest Pixar movie last night and we get done watching it and we're like man we didn't like that one as much I mean that's no that's no Finding Nemo or Toy Story you know the new one but we get done and I say let's just help me out with my sermon series here what's the story that's being told. I think that's what we need to do. That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. 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. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. It's not the little pieces of information that matter. It's what's the story behind it all. That's what's shaping us. When we discover the double helix of genetic material that was so tightly woven in all the cells, DNA, in 1953 it began to transform science and biology and our understanding of human anatomy and how we function and led to the mapping of a human genome, all that stuff is just fascinating.
And all that's really cool and really good. But the bigger question isn't it is what's the story behind that DNA. That DNA, which I read this week, if you were to take the DNA in your body and rope it end to end, it's so tightly woven up inside of you, but if you unfurl it and rope it end to end, it is long enough to travel from the earth to the sun and back 600 times. What?
What? So what's the story behind that? One story is that there was a cosmic accident, a big explosion, and over billions and billions of years, it so happened there was one planet that was revolving around a medium sized star that happened to have all of the exact right ingredients for life to exist. And it began that somehow out of a single cell that it began slowly over billions and billions of years to evolve until finally there was such a thing as human DNA that was able to tell every cell in the human body exactly what it was supposed to be, whether it's a kidney cell or a liver cell or a brain cell, and that it would evolve into an electrical system in that body, sending neurotransmitters and electrical messages all throughout the body so that those human beings could learn to hit a golf ball 360 yards straight and discover how to do brain surgery and to send people to the moon. And there's another story that says there is an intelligent design and therefore a designer who made those human beings in his own image and that what's so amazing about the wonder of a human being and what's so glorious is that they actually reflect the glory of the creator so that every human life is not accidental but is sacred and that every human life is made on purpose and will be for eternity.
Those are two very different stories. What I'm saying is isn't the thing that matters most not just so much what we discovered about DNA but about the story about why it's there. And I want to encourage you and help you to see some of the stories in coming weeks because the story is more powerful than people realize. We just like a sponge are taking in the stories that we're seeing in the media and the movies and our books and the news and the way that people speak without sometimes thinking about how powerful it is. Because if you see the thing through the wrong lens through the wrong story it can have disastrous results. You know Shakespeare's tragedies are usually about noble characters heroes that have a tragic flaw and often that flaw has to do with not seeing things correctly like his famous Othello who is a noble man who loves his wife Desdemona with all his heart loves her and he's a noble leader and a good man who gets duped into believing that Desdemona has been unfaithful and is having a marital affair.
The deceptive Iago starts planting counterfeit evidence to convince him of it and so Othello becomes so convinced that Desdemona is unfaithful that he and the climactic tragedy of the story suffocates to death his own wife the love of his life is stark but it's that powerful because when we see things through the wrong story it's disastrous. But if your eyes get open and you see your story and the story of the world according to the lens of Jesus and you see it truthfully it changes everything. My father-in-law's memorial service we had a gathering of extended family for a meal and one of my cousins one of Ann's cousin's husband who I just have never talked to that much over the last 38 years at all the family reunions because I just sort of assumed he didn't really want to talk to me the preacher that much and you know he was as far as I know good enough guy but he's big kind of scary and he had motorcycles and he was just like you know never talked to me and I didn't figure he was interested in much of anything my life was about or anything like that and and I saw him I couldn't believe it after the memorial service he comes up and he's got tears in his eyes this big six foot four guy just came out he put this big bear hug around me he said brother he said your words just filled me up so much and he just wept on my shoulder he said I knew your words were going to just fill me up he said man brother he said thank you I love you so much I'm like who is this guy and I just step back I said well what what yeah thank you yeah well love you too brother okay and he said you just I don't even have time to tell you what God's been doing in my life and he said I know other people want to talk to you I don't want to corner here brother but let me give you a little snapshot he said I last March something just got 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 gonna read a book I went over to the bookshelf and he said I heard a voice say read the Bible read the Bible read the Bible and he's like what and he saw 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 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 pull her off the shelf said dust it off I open it up they said in the offering I was gonna put in the offering plate that week fell out a quarter fell out of the Bible and he said I started reading it he started weeping he said I couldn't stop Alan Wright our good news message story wars from the series by the same title as we get started and stay with us pastor Alan is back in the studio joining me with 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 a click away at pastor Alan dot 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 eight seven seven five four four forty eight sixty that's eight seven seven five four four forty eight sixty or come to our website pastor Alan dot org back here in the studio to share pastor Alan's parting good news thought for the day as we kick off this series story wars this is going to be a good one well and it's so wonderful to start Daniel with what really was my Easter message from Luke 24 when the disciples on the Emmaus road were unaware that Jesus was alive they were looking at all of life through the wrong lens the wrong story and when when Jesus began to share with them and their eyes were open what he was sharing was how the scripture were all related to him about this one big story about what he had done for them and that's when joy returned so it's the story what's the story that we're believing and living in and when Jesus opens your eyes to the real story the resurrection story it absolutely changes everything. That's pastor Alan dot org today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries.
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