Tag Archives: the story

Just Keep Reading…

It’s been one of those weeks where everything has just seemed sort of off. So as I approached my Tuesday/Wednesday deadline of a weekly devotion based on the 20+ chapters of Scripture I’ve read in the previous days without a message that seemed appropriate for this space, all I could tell myself was, “Just keep reading…”

So I did.

Yet still unsure regarding a message from a specific passage, and with my mind still freshly aware of The Story, I stepped back from the details and specifics to observe the big picture of all that I’ve been soaking in over the past few weeks.

And that’s when I saw it.

God’s love woven through each story and each person on the pages of Scriptures.

God’s love throughout the creation account.

God’s love to Noah, who was preserved through the flood because he found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

God’s love to the Israelites as they rebuilt the temple and restored their relationship and identity post exile.

God’s love to the prophet Nehemiah through answered prayer.

God’s love to the church as it spread and multiplied by the power of the Holy Spirit, even as it faced persecution.

God’s love to Paul through his powerful conversion and ministry.

God’s love to the apostles, the chosen twelve, as Christ walked with them, lived with them, and ministered to them.

God’s love to so many people who witnessed and experienced Christ’s wonders and miracles because of their faith.

God’s love in this as spoken in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch by Paul:

“Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.”

– Acts 13:38-39 (NIV)

It all comes back to this, doesn’t it? To Jesus Christ. To his sacrifice on the cross. Out of His perfect love. For us.

“Amazing love, how can it be? That you, my King, would die for me.

Amazing love, I know it’s true. It’s my joy to honor you.

In all I do, let me honor you.”

Sometimes, it’s all we can do to just keep reading, to soak in His love, His faithfulness, His goodness, and to remember all that He’s done.

Just keep reading…

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He Told The Story Well

In Acts 7, we encounter Stephen defending himself to the high priest, who along with others intent on silencing the mighty work of the Holy Spirit through Stephen, had accused him {wrongly} of speaking “blasphemous words against Moses and God” (Acts 6:11).

Yet even under the accusation of blasphemy and the threat of imminent death, Stephen told the story. And he told the story well.

Beginning with the promise God had given to Abraham when He called him to the land that God would reveal (Genesis 12), and the covenant God established of giving this land to Abraham’s offspring (of which Abraham had none at the time), to the account of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, to Moses’ encounter with the burning bush where God spoke the message to deliver His people from Egypt, to the account of David and Solomon, who built the dwelling place for the Most High God, to the Righteous One (Christ) and the power of the Holy Spirit, with whom Stephen was filled, after first living it by example, Stephen told the story … their history … of God’s faithfulness and redemption.

Because of his knowledge of and familiarity with the Scriptures {which he quoted significantly} and because of the Holy Spirit’s presence within, Stephen told the redemptive story, which culminated in convicting questions to his audience. Stoned shortly thereafter, he gave his life to tell the story. To challenge those around him who repeatedly resisted the Holy Spirit. Because this story, HIS story, is everything.

Do you know this story? Are you a living example of this story? Do you know the Scriptures? Are you relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to tell the story in unlikely (and often uncomfortable) situations?

Stephen told the story well. Will you?

**ps: have you heard of “The Story” project (CD pictured above)? if not, go here or here for more information. it. is. awesome.**