A Real Love

As I was putting my son to sleep tonight, a few thoughts ran through my mind. I love my son. I long to be a great father to him, and provide a loving Christ-centered home for him. As these thoughts ran through my mind, I had a few more.

 1. God’s love for his children is deep

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Although I love my son, the love I have for him is no comparison to the love God has for his children. There is no place his love cannot reach. No depth. No height. Nothing can separate us from his love. His love is deep. I know that I can never be a perfect parent. I know that at some point my love will fail my son, but God’s love never fails. He is perfect, therefore his love is perfect. This is different than any other love we can know.

Every love we have or experience is an imperfect love. At some point it will let us down, at some point it will fail us. Not the love of God. His love is absolutely perfect. In hard times, in good times, his love is perfect. This is a deep love.

2. God’s love for his children is eternal

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.His love endures forever.Give thanks to the God of gods.His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1-2)

God is eternal. He is everlasting. This means he has no beginning and no end. No start and no finish. This is another thing that makes God’s love different. We do not know anything that is eternal. Everything in our lives has a beginning and an end. We are born and we die. Therefore, our love is not eternal. By our very nature it cannot be, but God’s love is. It NEVER ENDS.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) (ESV)

This is a beautiful thing. Not even death can separate his children from his love. God’s love for his children is eternal.

 3. God’s love for his children is astounding

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” (Psalm 63:3)

God’s love for his children is motivation to live. True fulfillment only comes from knowing the love of God. This is why David said His love is better than life. Life is a great gift, but God’s love for us is so much better. Not only is it eternal, not only is it deep, his love for us is strong, his love is unconditional, his love is never failing. When we find a love like this, then we find a true love, a love that is better than life.

 

Conclusion

This deep, astounding, and eternal love of God is manifested to us in his Son.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Not because of something we have done, not because of something we have earned, but because of God’s great love we are offered life in Christ. He sent his only son, a part of himself, to become a man, die on a cross, and be buried in the ground. This is because of his love for us. He gives us a chance, though we are weak and frail, to believe in his son and live in a love that is better than life.

“Every love we have or experience is an imperfect love. At some point it will let us down, at some point it will fail us. Not the love of God. His love is absolutely perfect. In hard times, in good times, his love is perfect. This is a deep love.”

A Change is Gonna Come

Lately, I have been feeling like the victim of change. It reminds me of a song I like.

My wife and I have been fans of a cappella music for many years and have even sung in several different a cappella groups (which is really a lot of fun).  Consequently, we have a number of albums by various groups such as The Nylons, The Bobs, Chanticleer, Take 6, and lots of barbershop.  On one of The Nylons’ albums there is a Sam Cooke cover called, “A Change is Gonna Come.”

The song was written in the ‘60s as a part of the civil rights movement speaking to the need for change in our society, and it has one of those bluesy, minor-key melodies that will just grab you by the throat.  The lyrics combine both a sense of helplessness in the face of destiny as well as a longing to make something happen to change it.  I think this is a struggle that many people can relate to.

The idea of change is an interesting dichotomy; we seem to be both the victims as well as the agents of change.  We all sense that nothing is static – good times or bad, and usually sooner than we expect or want, change inevitably comes.  If we think the changes are for our good, then we tend to welcome them and adapt ourselves to them.  If we think the changes won’t help us, we tend to resent and resist them, pushing back against the tide to try to keep it from overwhelming us.

So are we victims of change or agents of change?

1. “Victims of Change”

Many people believe change is a fateful destiny in which we are helpless victims. James McAvoy once said, “The minute you start to strategize too much, the more you start to think you’re in control of your own fate.  And you’re not, really.”

Sometimes I feel like that’s where I am right now.  Many of the things happening in my life are completely beyond my control and my options to respond are pretty limited.

Yet I also have come to realize that whether I like it or not, change is needed in my life. C.S. Lewis said, “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.  We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg.  We must be hatched or go bad.”

2. “Agents of Change”

So on the one hand, many people see themselves as victims of change. Yet the opposite is often true of our view of change. Mahatma Gandhi once famously said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” It often seems change in the world starts with a change in me.  In other words, often I must change myself if change is to occur.

It comes as no surprise that this is a popular view in our culture. We are all taught from childhood on up that, according to the American doctrine of self-reliance, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”  Personal responsibility and self-actualization are dogmas of the church of the American Way. We are taught that you are the primary agent of change in your world.

Personally, this philosophy appeals to me in my life these days. It often feels like the proper response to my sense of victimization and helplessness over the changes I’m going through.  I ought to do something about it!

But just how Biblical are these two ideas?

3. A Gospel approach towards change

We’ve all heard people say, “God helps those who help themselves,” but where does Scripture tell us that?  I’ve heard this phrase jokingly attributed to Hezekiah 1:1.  Of course, while Hezekiah was a King in the Old Testament, and actually one of the good ones, there is no book in the Bible that bears his name! In reality, this statement is not found anywhere in the Bible even though so many people think it sounds so spiritual.

So what does the Bible say about the “vagaries of chance” and the “winds of change”?  Are we their victims or perhaps their agents?  Do random things happen to us by chance or do we cause the events that occur in our lives?

Actually, neither is the case.

We are not victims of haphazard events but are in truth the beneficiaries, the receivers of specific blessing from God even when we don’t understand His ways.  Nor are we the agents of change but rather the tools in the hands of the One who governs all events and guides all of history.  Scripture is clear that God is in charge and that He is loving, kind, and gracious to His children for the sake of His own glory. Understanding and trusting that God is sovereign can sustain us through even the most difficult periods of change in our lives. So where do we see God’s sovereignty?

The sovereignty of God is an essential part of His person and is a subject addressed by the Bible from beginning to end.  While we can’t do an exhaustive discussion of the subject in this article, here are a few examples that have helped me lately have a better understanding of this truth.

One of the most encouraging passages to a disciple of Jesus about the sovereignty of God comes from Romans 8:28 which says,

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (emphasis added).

This is an incredible statement!  What Paul is saying is that by virtue of His limitless power, God is able to arrange everything for the good His children, even those things that look bad to us.

This tells me that one thing I need to understand is that my perception is flawed.  I cannot see things from God’s perspective and I do not have the capacity to understand His ways (1 Corinthians 3:19; “For the wisdom of this world is folly with God.”). Yet the purpose of God is clearly identified as the foundation of His work. He calls us to fulfill His purpose and in so doing blesses us with every good thing.  How do we know He will provide for us even when we don’t understand His ways?

A few verses later in Romans 8:32 Paul says explicitly,

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

In this verse, Paul reminds us that the Gospel is the foundation for our trust in God’s provision. The Gospel shows us that the fullest expression of the grace of God was the voluntary sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus, for His glory and to reconcile us to Himself.

In fact, the mercy of God is one of the greatest mysteries I know.  As a sinner both by birth and by choice I know that I deserve only God’s judgment and wrath.  Yet the Gospel says that because of His great love for us, God sent His only son, Jesus, to go up onto the cross and take on the wrath that we deserved. And through His sacrifice, by the grace of God, we are now reconciled back to God through Jesus’ sacrifice. That He should choose to love me, show mercy on me and redeem me to Himself is truly the greatest of all miracles!

So Paul picks up the implications of this Gospel, and essentially says that if God has already made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, why should we be surprised that He will continue to bless us or that everything that comes from Him is a blessing?

When we see the sovereignty of God in light of the Gospel, then we can dispel the notion that we are the victims of a capricious or malicious fate. We have a God who did everything for us, and even though we might not understand His ways, we can know He will continue to provide everything for us.

But what about the idea that we may be able to control our destiny by the choices we make – that we are the primary agents of change in our lives?

If this is true then it is a heavy burden to bear!  If I am solely responsible for whatever happens to me, then knowing my own weakness and fallibility, I am left with grave doubts and great insecurities.  If I recognize the true character of God – His complete righteousness compared to my utter sinfulness – then I have absolutely no hope of ever positively influencing any event on the strength of my character or abilities.

But Scripture once again offers a remedy to this dilemma.  In Philippians 2:13 Paul writes,

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Yet again when we look to the Gospel, we see God at work from beginning to end. In this passage, God continues to work in us and through us, accomplishing His sovereign will. In our salvation, God is the one who did everything for us through Christ, and even now, He is the agent of change, and His desire is to use us as the tools in His hands.

What a relief! If He is the one who saves me, changes me, and He is the one who chooses to work through me, then as I allow Him to use me I don’t have to be personally responsible for the results.

Conclusion

So where does this leave me with my feelings of victimization?  To be honest, even knowing what the Bible says, I still struggle. But I’m growing! I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not about me and that my human perceptions are not reliable. As I look to the Gospel, I see that God is truly in charge and He is truly wise, good, and merciful. No matter what it looks like to me, from God’s perspective it’s all working together for my good and for His glory.

Far from being a victim, I am being blessed by the perfect plans of the omniscient God and I don’t have to worry about being in charge of anything because as He has shown us through the Gospel, in the end, He rules over all.

Mark Vile serves as the Chairman of the Board of Elders at Berean Bible Church.

“Lately I’ve been feeling like a victim of change. The idea of change is an interesting dichotomy; we seem to be both the victims as well as the agents of change. But just how Biblical are these ideas?”

The Incredible Juggling Act

It seems like when I speed up to get caught up with the things I have going on in life, the faster they seem to come at me.  Sometimes my life reminds me of the famous I Love Lucy episode where she is working on the assembly line at the chocolate factory, and as she starts to get the hang of it, the conveyor belt is turned up and she can’t keep up despite her best efforts.  That feels like my life. Being a husband, father, friend, coach, teacher, mentor, son, brother, and follower of Christ can be an overwhelming and daunting task. Yet I also feel like lately God has been helping me come to the realization that it isn’t my job to keep juggling everything.

Here’s what I mean. In all the juggling I do in my life, I feel like I am often guilty of trying to be a simulated savior for the people I try to serve rather than pointing them to the only one who can be everything they need. And as I’ve thought about this, I’ve noticed two major lessons I believe God has been teaching me:

1. Life will never slow down enough for me to juggle everything. 

I am 33 years old, married to a wonderful woman, we have 3 amazing children, and I am a high school teacher and coach. People always say that this phase of life will be the busiest time of my life.

But I remember thinking when I was just out of college that life would finally slow down.  I thought, “We have small children, and this will be a time when we can simplify things, take care of the kids, and just smell the roses and take it all in.”

Of course, in reality, we have baseball and football practice, ballet recitals, football meetings to break down our next opponent, small group, music practice, visits to my parents an hour and a half away, dinners with friends, and on top of that conversations that often go something like, “Did you get the milk? No I thought you got the milk. I told you I had Parent Teacher Conference, by the way, the chicken is burning.” Whew. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

The point is I’m realizing the reality that life is never going to slow down enough for us to have time to do everything we think we need to do. In juggling the different things of life, you’re going to have to drop some pins at some point.

Which brings me to the second lesson I’m learning:

2. It isn’t my job to juggle everything for everyone, and that is a good thing.

The idea that I will drop some of the pins I’m trying to juggle in my life isn’t a popular one in our culture. The prevailing American culture is represented by a value system that stresses achievement and success, rugged individualism and uniqueness, material comforts and wealth, and controlling your own destiny. In other words, we should be people who are capable of keeping up the juggling act and even adding another pin or two into the mix.

But I feel like lately God has been showing me I must remember that a life lived for Jesus Christ is in stark contrast to the values of the prevailing culture.

Achievement, success, and self-worth in the life of a disciple of Christ might look like failure in the eyes of the world. Yet the Gospel shows us when we turn and trust in Jesus that we are uniquely children of the King with all the comforts, wealth, and acceptance that comes with being heirs to the creator of it all. He is the King who can handle all the things I feel like I need to juggle in my life, and He has accepted me.

In reality, I don’t know how to juggle, and I doubt I’ll ever really learn. So when I think of the many pins I’m having to juggle in my life, I’m learning to take great comfort in my growing understanding of the Gospel. In other words, having Jesus, who honestly controls my destiny and the destiny of my family, my students, and the athletes I coach is a real load off my back.  I fail every day. I drop many of the pins I’m desperately trying to keep juggling. And that used to paralyze me from wanting to try again in fear that God would shake his head in disapproval and reject me. I would rather not play a game that I had no chance of winning than to keep falling flat on my face.

But I’m growing in my understanding that in the Gospel Jesus did not save me from my fumbling and failing; he saved me from the penalty of sin. God was well aware of my shortcomings before salvation, and he knew I would never live the life he wanted me to live by doing it myself. So he allows me to fail, and yet he still accepts me and allows me to try again.

Like a true father, he lets us learn through doing, and he blesses us in our attempts because he loves us. If my kids tried to make me a gourmet meal on Father’s Day because they love me, I would eat every bite regardless of the taste because my children are precious to me. And I am a sinner. How much more does God, the true Father, love us?

When I turn to the Gospel I see that I don’t have to keep trying to juggle everything in my life, and that’s a good thing. God is in control, he has accepted me, and he is capable of handling all the things that life throws at me.

Conclusion

So, I still am not very good at juggling, and sometimes I want to let all the pins hit the ground.  I guess the trick to it isn’t keeping our eyes on all the spinning pins in the air, although that may be what comes natural. Instead, let’s look into the eyes of our Father who is smiling at us as we try again and again.

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

If you find yourself overwhelmed today, ask God to reveal which pins you should keep tossing, and which ones to let hit the ground. While we may need to put a few pins down from time to time, let us keep on doing good knowing our true Father loves us and is there for us even when we don’t know how to juggle everything.

“In all the juggling I do in my life, I feel like I am often guilty of trying to be a simulated savior for the people I try to serve rather than pointing them to the only one who can be everything they need.”

He Gives and Takes Away

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Job 1:21

I have learned so much from watching my wife follow Christ as a spouse and mother. Karoline and I have been married almost 3 years, and it has been a tremendous journey. We have had ups and downs, but through everything she continues to encourage me and push me closer to Jesus Christ.

One of the most difficult nights of our life happened a little over a year after we had our first child. Porter was getting big, and we had recently found out that Karoline was expecting another child. We were so excited and couldn’t wait to see what God had in store for us.

About 3 months into her pregnancy, Karoline began having some minor cramping. In her last pregnancy, this had happened a little bit, and it turned out to be nothing, but we decided to call the doctor anyway. The doctor reassured us that cramps happened sometimes, and we shouldn’t worry unless they got more intense. Later that night, we were eating at our friends’ house when Karoline began cramping again. As the night continued, the cramping got worse, so we decided to head to the hospital.

The hospital wasn’t far from our house. I got Karoline seated in the waiting room, and I began trying to get her checked in. By the time I got back to her, she was in a lot of pain. I returned to the main desk to ask them how long we would be waiting, and she told me that there were 50 people in front of us and it would be about 2 hours. So we decided to drive into the city to go to another hospital.

As we were driving there, Karoline was in a huge amount of pain, and she had her head rested on my shoulder. In between her tears I could hear her faintly repeating, “He gives and He takes away.” This didn’t hit me until later that night.

When we got to the hospital they immediately took Karoline back to a room. The next few hours seemed like a lifetime. They ran tests, took blood, performed ultrasounds, and ran more tests. After about 3 hours, the doctor came in to tell us what was going on. I remember she said, “The tests we have run and the ultrasound showed us that the fetus has no heartbeat.” She continued saying, “This isn’t because of something you did. It just happens sometimes.” Then she told us she was very sorry, and left us alone. We sat together crying for a little while before they released us to go home.

The doctor had given Karoline some pain medicine, so when we got home she immediately went to sleep. I couldn’t sleep. As I sat there in my kitchen the words she had said in the car kept running through my head – “He gives and He takes away. He gives and takes away.”

These words come from Job 1:21. Job had just lost everything. Not just his house, not just his family, not just his friends, or possessions, but everything. After he received this news he fell to the ground in mourning and said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

As I’ve reflected on the pain of that night, there were three things the Lord taught me and is continuing to teach me:

 1. The Lord gives.

Everything belongs to him. Everything (Psalm 24:1).

The Earth and everything in it are his. Every dollar, car, house, and person belong completely to God. We are his creation (Genesis 1:1-27). Since all of this and more is his, then our houses, cars, checks, and even children are all a gift from him. For some people this may be bad news, but when you understand that our fulfilment, acceptance, and joy comes from Jesus Christ, then this is great news! Jesus suffered and died on a cross to bear OUR SIN so now we can have true life in him.

Even though everything belongs to him, even though he owes us nothing, even though we have done nothing to deserve life, He offers it to us. He gives it to us. Freely. I don’t have to find my acceptance, social status, joy, and peace in money, because none of it is mine; it’s God’s.

 2. The Lord is in control.

If everything is his, then he is in control. God calls the shots. Look at the story of Job. Satan came and asked God if he could take things from Job. God was completely in control (Job 1:8-12). After Job questions God, God responds and says, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?” (Job 38:4-5). God is saying to Job, “You have no reason to doubt me. I created everything, and I am sovereign over everything.” Most of us like to feel in control, and that is why things like cancer are so scary. We don’t have control. But God does.

The Gospel tells us that our Sovereign God, because of his great love for us, sent his only son to be butchered on a cross. He is in control of everything, yet he still allowed his son to be slain on our behalf. So now I can say, “I don’t need to be in control, because I know God, who loves me, is.”

This brings me to the 3rd thing God taught me.

 3. The Lord takes away.

God used my wife on that hard night to teach me an amazing lesson. The Lord takes away. Not because he is punishing us, or because we haven’t done enough good, but because he is sovereign, because his ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). Romans 8:28 tells me that God is working everything out for my good even as he is conforming me into the image of Jesus.

I think that most of the time my understanding of what is good is not the same as the Lord’s. I think a lot of people hear this verse and think, “Oh, so God is going to give me money or stuff to make me comfortable.” But I don’t think that is what this verse means. True life is offered in Christ. True life was offered when Christ bore my sins on the cross. This is truly good. Christ is truly good. So now this verse makes more sense. God is working everything for my good, because he is conforming me into the image of Christ. He is making me new!

This is not always an easy process. Just like a vine I must be pruned so that new and better fruit may grow. Even in hard times, even when there is no light, even when God chooses to take away, I can trust that my God is in control, and that he is working for my good. This is a weight off of my shoulders. I don’t have to worry about tomorrow, because I know that the creator of the universe is running the show.

 Conclusion

It’s been nearly 9 months since that terrible night, and I can say, “I trust God better today than I did the day of the miscarriage.” Not because I am better, not because I am awesome, but because God is working in me. I am a better husband, father, and friend, because of what the Lord has done in my life. Even when I don’t understand, I know he is working.

In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Paul says, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.” Paul is literally making Light of my hard times here. He says that the weight of the Glory that is coming makes our hard times seem light and momentary. When I look to things that are seen (My own abilities) then I am devastated by loss. But when I look to the Unseen (God’s abilities) then I can confidently say, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Micah serves as the Director of Family and Worship Arts Ministries at Berean Bible Church. 

“It’s been nearly 9 months since that terrible night, and I can say I trust God better today than I did the day of our miscarriage. Not because I am better, not because I am awesome, but because God is working in me.”

Telling Your Story

It seems like one of the biggest hindrances to our mission as a church is believing that God isn’t really working. People’s lives aren’t really being transformed. The Gospel isn’t really taking new ground in anyone’s lives. The Holy Spirit might be moving, but He isn’t really moving in us. And what ends up happening when these ideas and these experiences are allowed to fester is many people in the church begin to believe that there really isn’t anything exciting happening among us.

I believe one of the best ways to counter this hindrance, and guard ourselves against complacency and boredom in our faith, is for each of us to be sharing story after story of how God is working in our lives.

The idea that we all have stories to tell about the power of God moving in our lives comes from the very nature of the Gospel. The Gospel isn’t just the good news of our gracious acceptance before God because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross. The Gospel goes much deeper. The Gospel is also the good news that because of that gracious acceptance, our entire story changes! Our entire lives used to be marked by sin and rebellion – alienation from God and isolation from others. The Bible is clear that our entire identity was wrapped up in sin and that we were utterly enslaved to it as our master. But because of Christ, we have been set free from our sin and simultaneously given an entire new life as children in the very family of God. Everything for us changes! We need to hear over and over and over again the stories of how God is helping each of us come to a greater realization of the Gospel in our lives.

In short, we need to become storytellers.

Every Christian is a story teller because the essence of our faith isn’t a moral code on how to live, but a story of good news – a Gospel – that has happened and is happening to us.

What is your story? If you’re part of Berean, then you are on mission with us. You are a missionary, and so what is God doing in your life today? When was the last time you told someone a story about how God is moving in your life?

There are many reasons why people don’t share their story. Let’s take a look at three common problems people have with telling their stories:

1. “I don’t have a good story to tell.”

I’ve heard countless people tell me they don’t tell others their story because they don’t think it’s all that great. And usually what follows in these convos is someone will put their arm around you and say, “Oh stop that! You have a good story. You’re special, and you have a good story, and God loves you.” I think that’s true, but for most people, I actually think there’s a much bigger problem we need to resolve than just simply believing God made you special, and so your story is special too.

One reason, and maybe the biggest reason, that many people don’t believe they have a powerful story is because they don’t have a deep understanding of what sin really is. Think about it this way. The Gospel is clear that sin ran so deep and God’s holiness ran so high that the only hope we had was for God to send His only Son and butcher him on the cross for us. That means that the problem of sin is far greater than you and I can possible fathom. And that also means that the change that happened the moment you were saved by the Gospel is far more powerful than you ever realized. Have you honestly ever considered that?

Look, you don’t have a good story to tell if nothing big has honestly every happened to you. Good stories involve drama. They involve tension. They involve suspense. If what Jesus accomplished for you was something shallow, then yes, you wouldn’t have a good story to tell.

But when you see just how deep your sin ran, and just how much Jesus did for you, you’ll begin to see that your story isn’t just good, it’s epic!

When you consider the Gospel, whether your story is, “God intercepted my life right when I had the gun pointed at my head” or your story is “I always grew up in the church, but God intercepted my life anyway!”, you’ll begin to see that your story is powerful precisely because the Gospel had to be powerful enough to deal with the weight of sin.

Everyone who has trusted in Christ has epic stories to share of how God has intercepted their lives and continues to transform them.

2. “I don’t know how to tell my story.”

There are plenty of people who would love to tell their story, but they don’t know how to tell it. But just because you don’t know how to tell your story doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t begin to learn.

It seems like in the church we spend significant time teaching people to memorize Scriptures, or what Greek and Hebrew words mean, or other random Bible trivia and theological arguments, but we invest very little time equipping people to be story tellers. In the 4 years I spent at seminary, of the 40 plus classes we were required to take, exactly 2 classes were required on learning how to communicate what we learning to others. Translation – we do not spend enough time equipping people to be story tellers.

And yet the writers of the New Testament were constantly sharing their story with others as a way of introducing people to the Gospel.

Take Paul for example. Paul almost always uses his story to tell people about the Gospel (cf. 1Timothy 1:12-17). He could have just told people the facts about the Gospel, but he instead chooses time and time again to use his own personal story as a way to package the message of the Gospel to others. That’s why Paul says to his protégé, Timothy, that he should be ready anytime, day and night, come rain or shine, to share his story with anyone who would listen to him (cf. 2Timothy 4:2).

If you feel like you don’t know how to share your story, it’s time to start learning!

When was the last time you sat down and honestly thought through how you would share your story with others? When was the last time you wrote out a story of how you came to know Jesus, or how God is working specifically in your life right now? If you are a Christian, you are a storyteller.

If you want some help getting started, take some time this week and check out this document that walks you through how you can write out your personal story of your conversion:

Writing Your Personal Testimony

3. “I don’t know who to share my story with”

If you’ve ever tried to go to the New Testament and come up with a pattern of who the early church shared the Gospel with, you will learn very quickly that there is no specific pattern to it. In short, they shared the story of what God was doing with anyone they crossed paths with from any walk of life. It didn’t matter if the people wanted to hear or not. They shared their story constantly.

Let me just say this. Because there were no conditions tied to the Gospel – God freely offers it to all without condition – there are no limits to who we should be sharing our stories with. Non-Christians need to hear your story so that they see concrete evidence that the claims of Christianity are true. Christians need to hear your story so that they are encouraged and inspired and reminded that God is still alive even when the world is saying he has died.

Here are several people who need to hear your story today:

  • Your wife or husband
  • Your kids
  • Your family
  • Your small group
  • Your friends
  • Your boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Our church
  • Your neighbors
  • Your co-workers
  • That random guy in the Quarter who likes to do magic tricks while spray painting pics of whales jumping through moons over waterfalls flowing into Jackson Square at night
  • And anyone else you can think of

Conclusion

Share your story! We need to hear it. Your story is epic, you have been given power by the God of the story to be able to tell your story of His grace in your life, and there are countless people who need to hear it!

One great way to start is to tell your story at Berean. If you are interested in sharing your story with us of how God is working in your life, click the button above or send your story to me at billm@bereannola.com.

“Every Christian is a story teller because the essence of our faith isn’t a moral code on how to live, but a story of good news – a Gospel – that has happened and is happening to us.”

Share your story with us

Click Here