Gregory Dickow - This Is Not How the Story Ends
Welcome, everybody, welcome family to The Power to Change Today. Happy Easter, it's Resurrection Sunday. And God spoke to me about you. And he wants me to tell you that no matter what is going wrong in your life right now, this is not how your story ends. You know, the entire Bible is story after story of second chances, third chances, fourth chances for the Bible is filled with stories that go through pain and tragedy, even death. But it doesn't end there. Even Lazarus was dead, but his story didn't end there. It looked like it was the end, but a story didn't end there. And as I've been telling you for years, expect something good to happen in your life today. Your story doesn't end in whatever season you're in right now. It's going to get better. Enjoy today's message. Share it with someone who needs to hear it, and I'll be back at the end to pray for you.
The story of Jesus is described here in First Corinthians, Chapter 15. In three or four verses. Or 10 versus. Span's. The whole history of mankind. I want you to hear what I'm trying to say that Paul describes. In three or four verses, what took God four thousand years to unravel and unfold, it took God four thousand years to bring Jesus to this Earth from the time of Adam and Eve until the time Jesus came was four thousand years of human history, four thousand years of human suffering. And yet Jesus came at exactly the right time. And now, two thousand years later, you've come at exactly the right time. In other words, Paul takes the history of the world and he says, I delivered to you in verse three, the first most important thing. And he explains everything while explaining the most important thing. Christ died for our sins.
According to the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, he was buried and he was raised from the dead on the third day, according to the scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, Paul describes. The history of the scriptures and defines that history by Jesus dying for our sins, being buried and on the third day rising from the dead. What I'm trying to tell you is this, is that there's a lot of stuff that happened in those four thousand years and there's a lot of life that was lived in those four thousand years. But Paul boils it all down to these verses because it is the most important thing. But it becomes even more important when you understand that it is a part of God's story. That's why we call it history or his story. His story. It's his story.
And I want you to understand that life is a story. God's life, Jesus life is a story. The disciples lives are a story. Moses life is a story. Abraham's life is a story. David's life is a story. Joseph's life is a story. Your life is a story. No matter where you're at in your life right now, the story doesn't end there. The story doesn't end there. And even though Paul. Explains the scripture with a few lines, we have to understand what's happening in between the lines, their suffering, their struggle, but Jesus makes it all makes sense by dying for our sins, being buried and rising from the dead.
You see, because everything in the Bible is a story, we only read it literally or, you know, linearly, you know that word. We read it from a linear point of view. We read the scriptures and we say, OK, the scripture says this, therefore this should happen. But we don't realize that everything that happens in history and in the Bible, there's a story behind it. There's a story weaved in it. There's a lot of stuff that happens in between the lines. It's not anything contrary. There's nothing about the Bible that's not true, all scripture is inspired by God, but it tells a story. I want you to see this because I want you to realize right now in this world, it's just a chapter, it's just a page.
You might say, well, how long is this going to last? You know what? It doesn't matter because the story gets better. You know, I want you to think about this to the Lord. It says in second Peter, chapter three, verse eight and verse nine. It says to the Lord, a day is is a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day. In fact, it says, don't let this fact escape your notice to the Lord. Beloved, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. In other words, look at it that way or look at it that way. It's the same to the Lord. One day is like a thousand years. One day can last so long, but yet a thousand years can last so short to the Lord. It's the same and the Lord is not slow.
The next verse says about his promise, but he is patient towards you. You know why things sometimes take so long? Because God is patient towards you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance. Wow, your story doesn't end there. Your story doesn't end with you broke your story doesn't end with you broken. Your story doesn't end with a broken heart. Your story doesn't end there. It might be a chapter in there and every good story, there's some drama in every good story, there's some scary moments in every good story. There's that that plot thickens and it seems like, wow, how is this going to turn out? Well, guess what?
The good news is your story turns out really, really, really good. Above and beyond all that, you can ask or think. Your happy ending. Begins today at the resurrection of Jesus. Everyone has a story, everyone's life is a story. That's why we love movies so much, isn't it? Because movies are a story of our lives sped up. And summarized into two or three our motion picture. Many of them have story in their title, think about it, Toy Story one, Toy Story two, Toy Story three, Toy Story four. I don't know how many there are, but Toy Story, L-A Story, West Side Story, The Philadelphia Story. Police Story. Ghost Story. Rouge One Story. Tiger Guy's story, whatever that guy is, a Star Wars story, love story.
Think of the most amazing authors, William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, Victor Hugo, Frederick Douglass, C.S. Lewis. If they can write stories that are so good and so captivating and so beautiful with a great ending. How much more is God good at writing your story? In fact, he's so good. I want to read a verse to you in Hebrews, chapter 12, verse two. It says, Fixing Your Eyes on Jesus, the author. Sometimes I think we skip over that word because we like the the next word. The finisher is the author and he's the finisher of our faith. But we forget that he's the author. In other words, he started writing your story. He's the author. And he's the finisher, you just live and you just live your life, everything in between.
But guess what? You have an author who started you and you have an author who's going to finish you. And his name's Jesus. And your finish is going to be way greater than you're beginning this moment in time. It's just a chapter. It's just a page. It's not the whole story this moment in time in your life, financially, emotionally, maritally, relationally, your family, physically, your health. It's just a moment in time. Don't define your life by moments. Moments don't define you. There's a whole story yet to unfold in your life that God is the author and the finisher of. It's unfolding. Your life is heading towards. An amazing, unfolding, beautiful life, beautiful, say it's really ugly right now, you know, but isn't that how every morning starts for us?
We wake up a little uglier than how we're going to be in an hour, you understand? You know what? I'm teasing, I'm playing. But it's true. You wake up and it takes you an hour to get ready. Guess what? Aren't you glad the story didn't end with your bed? Look, aren't you glad the story didn't end with your bed, Gram? You getting out of bed, Gram? You understand what I'm saying? Aren't you glad you could get up and look in the mirror and you could get up and you could adjust things and you can get up and make it better and you can get up and dress better and you can get up and brush your teeth and get up and put makeup on or do whatever, comb your hair, whatever you do. Look, aren't you glad? Because that's you writing a better story than how you woke up.
And that's a picture. It's a microcosm of how God is writing a better story of how you are right now. It's going to get better. It's going to get better. I'm so excited for you. I'm so excited for you. Listen in Genesis, chapter six, verse nine in the message Bible. This is the story of Noah. And in Genesis, chapter thirty seven, verse two. This is the story of Jacob. And in Genesis chapter thirty seven, verse two goes on to say And the story continues with Joseph, seventeen years old at the time, helping his brothers in herding the flocks. It's a story. It's a story. It's a story. These, all these men's lives. All these women's lives. There's a story behind them.
We read about Jephthah that he was a he was a mighty man of valor, but he was the son of a harlot in one verse. We have his whole life. There are one few verses in in the book of Judges. We have this man's life mentioned there, Baruch Samson Jephthah, the there mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 11. But they lived a whole life, but they're mentioned once. They lived a whole life. And yet we only know one or two or three or four sentences about them or chapters about them. There's so much more to your life, to your story. Don't be defined by a moment in time. Be defined by Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. You see the Bible, I'm going to say it again, it's all about stories, people, stories leading to Jesus story.
So that you and I can have a story. Your story is unfolding. It might not feel like a happy ending, but the good news is it isn't ending yet. Let me give you a promise from God's word in Deuteronomy eight 16 in the new King James Bible, Deuteronomy 8:16, he says in the wilderness he fed you manner, which your fathers did not know, that he might humble you Deuteronomy 8:16, that he might humble you and that he might test you to do good for you in the end.
Notice what he says. There's some wilderness is. There's some manna. There's some fathers. There's some humbling. There's some tests all in this verse to say it again in this one verse, there's a wilderness. There's food. There's father's that didn't know. There's humility. There's testing. And all of that says to do you good. In the end, to do you good, in the end to do you good, in the end, what the enemy sends to defeat you, God bends to complete you. You know, I think about Jesus. On his way. In his parents caravan at 12 years old, he stopped at the temple to listen and ask questions, but his story didn't end there. He continued on for the next 18 years, preparing himself and being a carpenter, but his story didn't end there.
Isn't it interesting that Jesus had two careers? One is a carpenter, and one is the builder of your life. Jesus changed his profession, Jesus changed his career. It's not too late for you. He was 30 when he changed his career and he only lived three more years. But the Bible says if you wrote all about all the things that Jesus did in those three years, all the books in the world would not be able to contain what he did and what he said. On his way. To being a carpenter. His story didn't end there. On his way to being baptized by John the Baptist, his story didn't end there on the way coming out of the water when God said, you're my beloved Son, you're my dearly loved Son, and you bring me much joy. His story didn't end there on his way to.
The Sermon on the Mount to deliver what is known as the Sermon on the Mount his story didn't end there on his way to feed the multitude. His story didn't end there. On his way to heal. The sick. As he healed them. His story didn't end there. On his way to the temple to turn over the religion of the day and start a new beginning, his story didn't end there. On his way. To Gethsemane. Where he knelt down and had so much. Pressure on him. It says. He came to a place named Gethsemane in Mark 14 and he said to his disciples, sit down here while I pray, and verse 33 in the amplified Bible, says he took with them, Peter and John, and began to be struck with terror and amazement and deeply troubled and depressed.
It says in in Mark, chapter 14, verse 33, Jesus was deeply troubled and depressed, but his story didn't end there. Are you deeply troubled and distressed? Are deeply troubled and depressed. Are you full of fear and terror? Your story doesn't end there. It goes on to say in verse 33. And he said to them, My soul is exceedingly sad, overwhelmed with grief. But his story doesn't end there. He said, It almost kills me, but the story doesn't end there. Remain here and keep awake and be watchful. But his story doesn't end there. And verse 34 says he went forward a little, but his story didn't end there. And it says he fell on the ground and prayed that if it were possible, this hour might pass from him. But his story doesn't end there. He said, Father, take this cup for me, but not my will. Thy will be done. But his story didn't end there.
So on his way to the trial, he was betrayed by Judas. But his story didn't end there. He was denied three times by Peter, but his story didn't end there. He went on to be tried by Pontius Pilate and Herod and then again by Pontius Pilate. Who said, I find no fault in him but his story. In there, they said, crucify him, crucify him. But his story didn't end there. So they nail him to the cross. After they whipped him and scourged him. But the story didn't end there, plucked out his beard. But his story didn't end there. Pounded the nails into his hands, but his story didn't end there. Spear in a side, a crown of thorns on his head, on his head, but his story didn't end there.
He said, my God, my God. Why have you forsaken me, have you ever felt like that, but his story didn't end there? He said, Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit. But his story didn't end there. He even said tell last time it is finished. But his story didn't end there. They took him down from the cross, put them in a rich man's tomb, but his story didn't end there. He was buried and he went down to hell to get the keys of hell and death. It says in Revelation, chapter one, verse 18. But his story didn't end there. He came back to the earth from the dead. And Mary saw him and Peter saw him and the disciples saw him, but his story didn't end there. He ascended on high to the Father. You finish it, but his story didn't end there. He went to the Father and showed them the hands pierced in his hands and his feet in his side. He said, all my blood has been shed, Father, but his story didn't end there.
The Father said, I'm so proud of you, Son. Sit with me at my right hand. And Jesus took his seat. At the right hand of the Father, but the story didn't end there. He sent his Holy Spirit. To breathe on them. To give them power, to make them born again and to fill them with the power of the Holy Spirit, because his story didn't end there because we died with him, but the story doesn't end there. We were buried with him, but the story doesn't end there. We've been raised with him, but the story doesn't end there. We're seated with him in heavenly places. But the story doesn't end there. It picks up right there today.