Read His Words Before Ours!
It has become a familiar scene to me…
Children entering the classroom, their faces displaying a mixture of curiosity and uncertainty. Some are open to discover what lies ahead; others are less enthusiastic. Then there are those who are just not interested.
They’ve heard they will be learning about the Bible and they’ve already formed their impression that it’s dull, boring, and old-fashioned. Definitely not for them.
The best bit is seeing that perception change!
As we tell the stories and the children participate through music and drama, using props, and trying on costumes, the Bible comes alive.
It seems the children do too.
The sullen begin to smile; the disinterested become engaged; the children who thought it wasn’t for them are desperate to participate.
I love to tell the story
because the transformation is beautiful to witness!
Where I live in Scotland, it’s a huge privilege to be able to teach Christian beliefs along with other faiths. With my job, it’s an even greater privilege to go into schools and lead a series of lessons covering an overview of the story of the Bible.
Although I must have done this around forty times, it never grows old.
“I love to tell the story;
’tis pleasant to repeat
what seems, each time I tell it,
more wonderfully sweet.”
It’s an amazing story!
And in telling it to others, I never fail to be impacted myself.
It truly is a story that “satisfies my longings as nothing else can do”.
It’s a story of truth, which we desperately need to be reminded of in a world of lies.
It’s a story people need to hear!
In Scotland, evangelical Christians make up less than 2% of the population. Most children are unfamiliar with any Bible stories. Many have no idea what Scripture is.
It’s a joy to introduce them to the God of the Bible and witness their response as they hear it for the first time.
“I love to tell the story,
for some have never heard
the message of salvation
from God’s own Holy Word.”
We all have a responsibility to share this story because so many people, like the children I work with, have never heard. Paul reminds us in Romans 10:13-15 that people can only be saved if they believe,
they can only believe if they hear,
and they can only hear if someone tells them.
You may not have the same opportunities I do in schools, but the Good News of Jesus is a message we are all called to share. Throughout the Bible, it is clear that our knowledge of God is not something we are to keep to ourselves.
We are called to tell the story of God’s love and saving grace!
“Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
proclaim his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his wondrous works among all peoples.” (Psalm 96:2-3)
How do we do it?
You may feel inadequate for the task. I certainly do.
Despite the fact I find it easy to stand and share the story of Jesus with a captive audience of nine and ten year-olds, I find it much harder in friendships with peers or in family relationships. I worry I won’t explain it well, or that they’ll ask difficult questions, or they won’t want to listen…
At the same time, I want to tell the story
because I know they need to hear it.
If you identify with this feeling, our Scriptures today provide encouragement and advice.
First of all, be ready.
“If someone asks about your hope as a believer,
always be ready to explain it.” (1 Peter 3:15 NLT)
It can be hard to come up with the right words when we’re put on the spot, so take some time to think about it in advance.
- What does faith in Jesus mean to you?
- What difference has knowing Him made in your life?
- How would you explain the Good News about Jesus clearly to someone who has never heard it?
You don’t have to prepare a speech, but thinking about it in advance will mean you’re more ready to explain when God provides the opportunity. Another way to prepare is to pray for wisdom to recognise these opportunities, and the courage to speak up.
Secondly, it’s about our words and our lives.
Paul writes, “Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you,” (Colossians 3:16)
He continues to encourage the believers to “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Colossians 3:17)
While our words are important, our actions also play a part in expressing God’s love and grace to others. Often, it’s our actions and attitudes that cause people to notice something different about us and could lead to opportunities for spiritual conversations.
Finally, we have the encouragement from Isaiah that as God’s Word goes out,
it always accomplishes His purpose.
However faltering our words, when we are willing to boldly tell God’s story, He will use our frailty to impact others and draw others to Him by His strength!
So, step up, and tell that story!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!