Gracefully Truthful

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Read His Words Before Ours!

Psalm 96
Isaiah 55:10-11
Romans 10:13-15
Colossians 3:16-17
1 Peter 3:15-16

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.

That’s us!

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!

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[…] I’m passionate about is helping people to understand the Bible as one big story. I wrote here about some of the work I do in schools, and this led on to the Bible overview resource I created […]

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[…] find Daily Bread on Amazon at these links: UK, US.  I also shared a bit on a similar theme in a recent post for Gracefully Truthful so if you missed that post you can check it out […]

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5 years ago

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Lois Flowers
Lois Flowers
5 years ago

I didn’t know evangelical Christians made up such a small percentage of Scotland’s population, Lesley. What a wonderful opportunity you have to introduce the children of your country to the story of the Bible. Only God knows the fruit that will come from the seeds you are planting.

Jeanne Takenaka
Jeanne Takenaka
5 years ago

Lesley, I so appreciate your encouragement to tell The Story. there are people in my life who desperately need to hear the story of Jesus’ love for them. But, sometimes I chicken out in telling them. Other times, I may begin, but they shut me out. Which is okay. Because then I begin praying for them in earnest. What I’ve realized is that it’s not my job to make everyone accept Jesus. It’s not even my role to share the gospel with everyone. Because sometimes, there is someone they will listen to when they won’t listen to me. So, in… Read more »

Bethany
5 years ago

Love this Lesley! I’m SO glad for the opportunities God is giving you to tell His story to kids- and to adults and online too. Thanks for the thoughtful questions and wisdom on telling the greatest story ourselves, too!

Lisa notes
Lisa notes
5 years ago

This: “It’s an amazing story! And in telling it to others, I never fail to be impacted myself.” Every time we tell it, it rubs a little deeper into our souls. Thanks for this, Lesley!

Mary Geisen
Mary Geisen
5 years ago

Thank you for the call to share the story. I also am very comfortable teaching children. Reaching out to adults/peers is another story. The bottom line is that this is what God calls us to do. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

Trudy
Trudy
5 years ago

I’d love to be a little mouse in the corner and watch you with the children, Lesley. 🙂 I can just see that excitement in you passing on to them. I love that creative, hands-on approach. How sad that so many children have never heard of the Bible. It’s so wonderful that you’re allowed to go into schools and teach them. Blessings and love to you!

Linda Stoll
Linda Stoll
5 years ago

I read that 2% stat recently, Lesley, and it made me sad that my dad’s beloved homeland finds itself in such a sad, godless place. And then there is light and hope and the power of the Spirit shining through this generation, through you.

And I am so encouraged. I’m praying for you right now as I tap away. And if my dad was still alive, he’d be praying for you, too.

And maybe he is, up in heaven, right now …

Barbara Harper
Barbara Harper
5 years ago

What a wonderful opportunity you have! And you’re right, we all have different spheres of influence and people God wants us to tell the story to.

Kim McCulley
Kim McCulley
5 years ago

Beautiful! It is a wonderful Story.

Rebecca Jones
Rebecca Jones
5 years ago

How wonderful you can teach them.

Joanne Viola
Joanne Viola
5 years ago

This is so true! Having done children’s ministry for years, it is amazing how children respond. They are quick to engage and more importantly, seeds are being planted deep into their tender hearts. May God bless you and may the seeds you are planting yield a harvest beyond your expectations!

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[…] love it if you’d join me at Gracefully Truthful as I share more about this and look at how we can all play our part in sharing God’s story […]

Rachel Jones
Editor
5 years ago

I appreciate this encouragement to share the Good News right where we are and the reminder to be well prepared to share the story. Thank you!

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