Sunday, August 19, 2007

Telling stories

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Ezekiel 20, 21, 22 (NIV)

Ezekiel 20:49 (NIV)

49 Then [Ezekiel] said, “Ah, Sovereign Lord! They are saying of me, ‘Isn’t He just telling parables?’”

Luke 12:54-56 (NIV)

54 [Jesus] said to the crowd, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?”

Luke 8:10 (NIV)

10 [Jesus] said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom have been given to you, but to others I speak in parables so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see, though hearing, they may not understand.’”

Good morning!

Everyone likes a good story. We read books that weave tales of people and places and events, some true and some seen through the imaginary eyes of men. We hear stories unfold over the radio waves and watch them become larger than life on the big screen at our local movie theatres. The art of telling a good story is big business. Everyone has a story to tell. What’s your story? How will you choose to tell it?

God has a story to tell, and He chose to reveal Himself through the words of the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel was a story teller. One might assume he was a sci-fi story teller. His words of doom and gloom to a people who would not listen were treated with apathy, distain, and even mild hysteria. How could Ezekiel be believed? Wasn’t he just weaving a tale, simply telling a story that doesn’t make any sense? Do his words really matter to anyone?

God continued to tell his story through the lives of His faithful children. He sent servant boys, kings, priests, and prophets to share His Word with the world. It fell on deaf ears. The children were way too busy trying to reshape God’s story in a way that made it easier for them to accept. They didn’t like the prophecies of God’s wrath and anger falling on the righteous and unjust equally. They hated the notion that God might not accept their sinful predispositions and personal preferences, and that He would demand that the people must take steps toward perfection, by leaving their sinful ways behind.

When the people refused to listen to the prophets, God did something even more radical than anything you and I could even begin to imagine. He sent a part of Himself, His only Son, to tell His story. The people snickered and jeered. They resented a perfect human living in an imperfect world. Not only did they reject the holy and divine, they strung Him up on a cross of shame as a symbol to the world that even God’s perfection could not overcome a sinful and shameless world. Could God overcome?

The greatest story ever told is the story we tell today. Jesus Christ lives! He walked the earth in human flesh and told God’s story, not only through story telling, but through His obedience and love for the world. Jesus died at the hands of a sinful humanity. He was a sinless spotless lamb, slain for our redemption. He was buried in the tomb, and was resurrected in three days, by the power of the living God. He spilled His life’s blood to save you and me from our sin. He created a bridge that we can cross into everlasting life with Him forever. He has called us to tell His story to all the world.

While there are many stories out there, some that spin the truth into an unrecognizable state, there is only one story worth telling. There is only one truth to share. His name is Jesus Christ. He waits for you to look beyond what you see with your eyes, and trust Him enough to give Him your whole heart today. Which story will you listen to? Which story will you choose to believe? Jesus Christ is no secret. He is the way, the truth and the life.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: faith to let go of the false and embrace the truth! God sent His Son Jesus Christ to free you from sin and save you from yourself. He is the One we can hold onto today. Won’t you give your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ today?


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

All rights reserved

Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.