Stories are the most powerful form of communication we have. The Bible tells a living and active story that is still happening as we are a part of God’s story and adventure. It’s not an unrelated collection of morality tales. It’s not a history lesson. It’s not a dusty dry theology book. It’s God’s love story to his creation.
What crazy things have you done to pursue a relationship with someone you had a crush on? I remember, in my twenties, working all day in a factory, rushing home, getting a shower and jumping in my 1989 Reliant K car and driving down the 401 from Mississauga to Peterborough on a Friday evening in rush hour traffic. Why? Just to see a certain girl, a certain girl who is now my wife.
God’s story is all about the crazy things He has done, the crazy lengths He has gone, to pursue a relationship with the people he created.
Throughout God’s story we can see how He pursues a relationship with people He has created. He walked in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve. When they rebelled and tried to hide, he went looking for them. (Gen 3:8-9)
He pursued a relationship with Abraham and his descendants – Israel. He desired them to be his own chosen people – his earthly family. God’s presence even settled on a tent and moved around with them in the dessert for 40 years. (Exodus 25:8,9)
God desired to be even closer to his beloved image bearers. He sent his son Jesus to restore our broken relationship, actually taking on flesh and blood and dwelling among us. Jesus name that he was given at his birth tells us a lot about who he is and why he came. Jesus means “The Lord Saves”. Emmanuel means, “God with us.”
Jesus came to be with us and restore us to a right relationship with his Father. After his death and resurrection, Jesus told his disciples that it was good for Him to go away, so he could send his own spirit to come and dwell inside of them. So God got even closer to us by coming and making His home inside of us with the Holy Spirit.
Because of Jesus, we can enjoy a relationship with God that is closer than we ever thought imaginable. Romans 8:11 “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
God’s Story Reveals Our True Identity & Purpose.
Who we believe ourselves to be is shaped by the dominant story of our life. A lot of us have built our identity from the things we do and the roles we fulfill. But what we have seen from God’s story is that the most important thing about us is that we were created in the “image of God.” And God called it good.
Here’s what’s so powerful about that – Adam and Eve did not have to do anything to prove their identity. They were created in His image, to be like Him, and God declared them good. Every human being you have ever met has been created in God’s image. Even though our sin and rebellion has marred that image, it never gets completely covered up or destroyed.
That’s why Jesus came. He came to save and restore us to the way He created us to be.
Have you ever wondered, “What is the meaning of life? Why am I here?” We have a simple job description. We were created to display God’s image (His glory), live in a close relationship with Him and to care for His creation, including people. God, through his indwelling Spirit empowers us to live this out.
God pursues a relationship with us. It’s only through experiencing God’s love for us that we truly love and care for others in a way that reflects his love and care for the whole world.
Our identity is rooted in who God is and what He is like. Our greatest act of worship is to live out that identity, displaying what is true God and He works His life and truth out through us.
Have you ever thought about the fact that God’s story in the Bible is still going on, and that story includes YOU? We should be able to simply yet powerfully relate this story to circumstances in our life and the lives of others. We can learn how to tell God’s story naturally and comfortable in such a way that it can change lives. Could you tell God’s story to an unbelieving friend if they asked you to? Practice telling God’s story. Remember that the Holy Spirit makes God’s story true for us, and true to others.
It’s not our perfect telling of the story that makes it good news, it’s the Holy Spirit working in and through us