41. There’s a Hole in Your Story

Reading Plan

If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:

  1. MONDAY: John 20:24-31
  2. TUESDAY: Acts 10
  3. WEDNESDAY: Acts 11
  4. THURSDAY: Judges 6
  5. FRIDAY: Genesis 3
  6. SATURDAY: Genesis 12:1-8
  7. SUNDAY: Romans 6:1-14

eGroup Discussion Questions – Great for personal reflection/journaling, too!

Sermon Notes: “There’s a Hole in Your Story” ⤵️

Preacher: Steven Furtick
Passage: Acts 11:1-18
Title: There’s a Hole in Your Story
Date: March 1, 2020

Sermon Notes are taken during the 9:30 Experience at the Columbia Campus.

This is going to be part 1 of 2—This sermon will probably take 2 weeks to preach.

Read Acts 11:1-18


  • (Verse 8) “Surely not, Lord!” How are going to call him lord and say no in the same verse?
  • Your story is a story within a story. We don’t realize how many pieces are missing from the stories we tell ourselves.
    • A “plot hole”
    • “Can I get a Garrity?” — scene from Friday Night Lights, in the Furtick household it means immunity from doing something stupid
  • The story that you tell yourself keeps you stuck
    • Are there holes in the story you tell yourself about your family? Your kids? About God?
  • The story of Acts 11 is a movement from protest to praise. First, the Jews protest Peter’s actions (11:3), but later they praise God for them (11:18).
    • Rumor: “Did you hear what Peter did?” (Eating with Gentiles)
    • A lie can make it around the world before the truth can get its shoes laced up.
    • The goal of God was always to bless the Gentiles (this was the promise God made to Abraham, blessed to be a blessing)
  • “Did you read the article?” “No I read the headline
    • You’ll get in trouble when you take to heart what you heard before you checked it out

Four types of stories that can ruin us: second hand stories, self-centered stories, short stories:

1. Beware of Secondhand Stories

  • Don’t let your opinions of others be influenced by the opinions of others.
    • Get to know people for yourself before you go on the basis of what other people have said or told you.
    • Secondhand smoke can destroy your lungs but secondhand stories can ruin your life, make you stereotype different churches, denominations, races, etc
  • Don’t let someone else’s story for you become your story.
    • When something makes you feel insecure, you make yourself feel better by calling it weird.
    • Gideon: “I’m the smallest of my tribe” (Judges 6:15) Do you believe the story that has been passed down to you?
    • God to Adam: “Who told you that?” (Genesis 3:11) Do you believe the lies the devil tells you?
    • When family members say you’re “getting too big for your britches” (is that a Monk’s Corner only thing?)
  • What stories are you holding on to that are old… that prevent you from believing what’s new, now, true, real?
  • Labels always limit.
    • When you label yourself, you limit yourself.
  • Pastor Steven tells a story about a radio show host who wants to talk to him about an interview Steven had done, saying, “It was entertaining but not very accurate.” How many of the stories that we tell ourselves are entertaining but not very accurate?
  • If someone walks out on you—That’s their story, not yours. That doesn’t define you.

2. Beware of Self-Centered Stories

  • There’s not enough Pepto-Bismol for all the stress of putting yourself in the middle of every story.
  • Space (physical) creates stories… sometimes text doesn’t get the story across and you’re in relational problems because you used your phone instead of your feet
  • Space (time) creates stories— you start to remember the things and events differently
  • Pastor Steven shares a story about his son and how he was acting when God told him that he wasn’t being selfish—he was just scared (went into protection mode)
  • There’s a WHOLE story, and then there’s a HOLE in your story
    • In order to understand the hole in other’s stories, you have to have compassion on them
    • “Help me to not make this about me”
    • It’s bigger than you
    • The story about Peter led to the Gospel being released to the Gentiles throughout the whole Roman Empire

3. Beware of Selective Stories

  • Stephen King has nothing on you—you create your own horror stories of what might happen to you
    • You don’t get to choose the situation, but you get to choose the story.
  • “What you heard v. What I saw” -Peter to the Jews
  • Pastor Steven shares a story about a couple who move across the country, leaving behind everything, but then the wife gets cancer. In all of it, though, the move allowed them to get better insurance to pay for the chemo. Pastor Steven shares that in his mind, he was thinking that God could have no given her cancer in the first place, but her reply to Steven was: “It’s not your story.”

3. Beware of Short Stories

  • That’s not all there is…
    • What are you going to fill your story with?
  • “They hung him on the cross,comma (Acts 10:39)
    • Don’t stop at the comma
  • The next verse says, “But God” (Acts 10:40)
    • If you stop at the comma you never get to see the “but”
  • He didn’t stay on the cross
    • The whole story is that there’s a “hole” in your story (the holes in Jesus’ hands) = Jesus’ died but he was also raised to life, and you are raised to life with him.

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