Did you know your life story actually has all the makings of a best seller?
JUNE 6, 2022
Matt Heard: Did you know your life story actually has all the makings of a best seller? Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
This is Key Life. We’re here to let you know that because of what Jesus has done. God will never be angry at you again. Steve invited our friend Matt Heard to do the teaching this week. Matt is a speaker, teacher, writer, pastor, coach, and the founder of the ministry called Thrive.
Matt Heard: Thank you Matthew. And hello everyone. I hope you had a great week-end. And I am looking forward to this week. I’m looking forward to diving in to what God has to say to us, not about our religiosity, but about something pretty significant for each of us, about our stories. And we’re all living out our individual stories that are part of a big story. But before we dive in, let’s acknowledge who the real teacher is. Pray with me. Would you? Father, thank you. Thank you for today. It’s a day you’ve made and you’ve made it to be a part of a bunch of days. And for many of us, that bunch of days will comprise a life. And all of our lifetimes comprise what you’re doing throughout all of history. And it so often seems like our story can be so small that it’s insignificant and thank you for the gospel and the way that you embrace us through Jesus and lavish us with grace and love us fully and enable us to walk as men and women who are loved unconditionally and are freed up by your truth and your grace. And would you enable that to inform how we live our days and how we understand how this day fits into the rest of them? I’m asking you to do this in real confidence, because I know that your Spirit is wherever we are right now in our journey, as well as physically, wherever we’re listening to this. And we’re confident, your word is truth and asking you to speak in the name of Jesus. Amen. Once upon a time. You know that phrase? I mean, we learned to love that phrase when we’re kids. And for some of us, we never lose the fascination with it. Now, some of us move into, we hear that phrase and we think it’s about fairy tale and about something that’s not really true, but it’s just kind of a myth. We’ll remember C.S. Lewis has great aha, when he realized that the ultimate story of the gospel is a myth that is true. And he was using myth in the context of his language history. And you and I are here because the great story is true. And as a result of that, our individual stories are significant. This week, what we’re going to do is spend some time talking about what it looks like for us to engage in each of our stories. I don’t know if you’re a big fan of J.R.R. Tolkien. He was also one of the inklings with Lewis, but he did a little trilogy called The Lord of the Rings. And I know this could pop a bubble for some of you, but it was a book before it was a movie. And I realize a lot of people kind of struggle with that, but yep, there you go. I, one of my spiritual gifts, as you guys know is clarifying the obvious. So, I just told you that. And at the end of the Two Towers, which is the middle movie or the middle book, if you will. There’s this scene in the movie, that’s awesome, but I think it’s even better in the book. And it’s conversation between Sam and Frodo. And Sam says, I wonder what kind of a tale we’ve fallen into. And Frodo responds, I wonder, but I don’t know. And that’s the way of a real tale. Take any one that you’re fond of Sam, you may know, or guess what kind of a tale it is, happy ending or sad ending. But the people in it don’t know and you don’t want them to. And Sam replies, well still I wonder if we will ever be put into songs or tales. We’re in one of course, but I mean, put into words, you know, told by the fireside or read out of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And the people will say, let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring. And they’ll say, yes, that’s one of my favorite stories. Frodo was very brave, wasn’t he dad? Yes. My boy, the famousest of the hobbits and that saying a lot. It’s saying a lot too much, said Frodo. And he laughed a long, clear laugh from his heart. You know, is it saying too much that you and I are part of a significant story? It’s not. We are. And as a result, it’s not saying too much that our individual stories are significant. So, what we’re gonna do this week is talk about how to engage with that. How do we engage with our stories, on a daily basis. What does the gospel have to say to us about the significance of each day? And we’re going to let our guide be a Psalm. A Psalm of a sense, Psalm 84. I’m going to read the first seven verses and then we’ll spend the rest of the week, kind of focusing in on a verse five and six and seven, but here we go, Psalm 84, verse one.
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living god. Even the Sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young– a place near your altar, Lord almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
Okay, here we go. This is what we’re going to focus on this week, starting with verse five.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion.
Well, those verses right there, right at the end of that text, verse five verse six verse seven, provide a key. You see what I did there? Key Life, key. They’re groaning in the studio here, but these first is provide a key. Actually they provide what I think are four keys to enable us to engage with our life’s story. We’re going to look at one each day. Here’s the first one. How do I engage with the significance of my story on a daily basis? I seize the plot. That’s verse five. Seize the plot. Listen to verse five again.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
Now, there are a couple of words I want you to focus on there. One is the word hearts. I know that in previous sessions here at Key Life, I’ve talked about heart matters. We talked about heart, not just being the equivalent of our emotions. Our heart is way more than our motions. It includes our motions, but also our mind and our will. My heart is like the hub of propeller that propels me through my journey. And if I engage my heart, I’ll be thinking deeply and feeling authentically and acting intentionally. And notice these people’s hearts are engaged. So, establish that, but now what’s our heart set on? Pilgrimage. Our hearts are set on pilgrimage. That’s a fun word. You and I don’t use it a whole lot. We think pilgrimage, is that Thanksgiving? Is that me going back and being a Pilgrim? A no, it’s me engaging with the fact that I’m on a journey, that I’m living out a story. There’s an intentional progression that’s happening here. God’s the author of that journey. There’s a poem by Walt Whitman that he wrote long ago, that’s come out a couple of times, one in a Super Bowl commercial a couple of years ago. The name of the poem is Oh Me, Oh Life. And he says.
Oh me, oh life, the questions of these recurring, the empty and useless years of rests with the rest me intertwined. The question, oh me. So sad, recurring. What good amid these oh me, oh life.
Hear what he’s saying? He’s saying, with all that’s occurring on a daily basis, what good is it? What’s the point of it all? And then in his poem, he says, answer, that you’re here, that life exists and identity, that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. You know, and so the Super Bowl commercial, I think it was Apple who said it, but Robin Williams popularized as well in a movie called Dead Poet’s Society. There’s that, the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. And so what they say is, what will your verse be? Which is an awesome question. What will your verse be? But you know what? That’s not the most important question. The most important question is not what my verse will be, but what is the plot? What’s the plot of it all? Before I can figure out my verse, I need to understand what the overall play is. And Habakkuk chapter two, verse 14, answers that, really for all of us. People ask me what my favorite Bible verse says. And it depends on the day, but always Habakkuk 2:14 is right there.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Hear what he’s saying there? On a daily basis, there’s a progression happening. Before the Fall, the glory of the Lord, his beauty, his significance, his enoughness, all that is about God, that is beautiful. It was on full display before the Fall. Then the rebellion occurred. Now there’s plenty of stuff that happens in this world, that doesn’t glory. But we’re told in Habakkuk 2:14, we’re headed to the day, when once again, the knowledge of God’s glory is going to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Don’t you love that imagery. How completely does water cover the sea? And so, each day I have the privilege because of the gospel, having trusted Christ and become one of God’s kids. And therefore part of his purpose is, that whatever my vocation is, whatever, wherever I am in my journey, I can participate in that tide of God’s glory. Covering the earth a little bit more day by day by day. Psalm 16, verse 11 says.
You’ve made known to me the path of life.
And what that does, it enables me on a daily basis to realize, Hey, I’m going to participate in a bigger story than just what I’ve got going on. You know, I’ve got a book here, let’s rip out a page. Right? Your temptation today and mine is that today we rip out the page of today and wonder what is significant about it? Put the page of today back in the book of this overall story of God’s glory. And as a result, I hope you thrive today.
Thank you Matt. That was our friend Matt Heard. And as he mentioned, he’ll be teaching us all this week about living out our stories. Sure hope you will join us for that. Well recently on Steve Brown Etc we spoke with author Jessica Thompson. She is such a delightful and fun person, but in our conversation, she posed a fascinating idea that just really captured us. Here’s that idea? What if the Fruit of the Spirit isn’t just about us? What if it’s also the way God loves us. That really landed for us. We’d love for you to hear that whole conversation. So, we put it on a CD and we would be happy to mail it to you, for free. Just let us know where we can send it. Call us now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also request the CD by e-mailing Ste[email protected]. If you’re mailing us, send your request to
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