Thursday, April 14, 2016

God is Writing Your Story

God wants to write your story (and include you in his)

God is the bestselling author the world has ever known. It is true. If you believe that the Scripture is God’s Word, no one book has sold more copies that the Bible. And although the Word of God was penned by many different people over a period of centuries, the truth is it was God who spoke to, inspired, and led those authors to pen his Words for the world.

The Scripture is complete, but that does not mean that God’s work as an author is finished. He wants to write your story, and include you in his. He wants to make your life completely and powerfully unique, and yet part of a story that is bigger than you and I. A story, that is God-sized and God-saturated.

Recently, I began to ponder how God had written himself into the lives of two persons in Scripture. One was Peter. The other was Paul. In each case, he writes himself into a crisis point in their lives, and begins to write his narrative of beauty, grace, and hope into their lives.

Peter was a failure by the time we get to the end of the Gospel of John. He had insisted he would not deny Jesus. He denied him three times. Jesus was killed. He died. Then he rose again in victory. But Peter was still unclear what it meant and if he mattered. So he went back to the one thing he thought he could do well. He went fishing. He fished all night, and he got skunked. Early in the morning, he was told to cast his net on the other side, much like he was when Jesus began to call him into ministry. Peter did what he was told, and he had a huge catch. He swam to shore, had breakfast with Jesus and the other disciples. As they were spending time together, Jesus asked Peter if he loved him. Peter replied that he did. Then Jesus told Peter to feed his sheep. This happened three times so that Peter would have the opportunity to state his love three times after denying Jesus three times. Jesus telling him to feed his sheep is Jesus’ way of restoring him to ministry. Peter feels broken. Jesus gives him forgiveness and a second chance. Jesus sets Peter’s life story in a new direction, and he leads the church, preaching the sermon that brought thousands to Christ on the day of Pentecost.
Paul was on the fast-track. He had the best education. He was moving up the ladder in Hebrew leadership by persecuting Christians. He had a stellar reputation among those who mattered. Yet for all his accomplishments his life rang hollow and untrue. One day, he was making a trip to persecute Christians in Damascus, and as he was doing so, he encountered Jesus. He was thrown to the ground, blinded by a bright light, and heard the audible voice of Jesus Christ call him to a new life surrendered to following and serving him. Because of this encounter, Paul led the Christian church in taking the good news of Jesus to the Gentile world through the missionary ventures God called him to lead.

For each of them, their lives were transformed through an encounter with Jesus. Christ wrote himself into their story, and their relationship with him defines that narrative.

God wants to write himself into your story in all sorts of unique ways as well. Will you let him?

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