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The Glory of Story
by Alan Allegra
1/16/2015 / Testimonies
Everybody loves a good story. Good stories have a captivating beginning, satisfying, easy-to-follow flow, and a tidy ending.
I have pleasant memories of my mother reading to me when I was sick. That may be why I could read before I started school. It was a way of bonding, both with my mother and with the characters in the story.
This article was inspired by my friend, Major Jean of the local Salvation Army Corps.
As of this writing, I have been out of work for over 2-1/2 years. Major Jean once told me that when I get a job, I will have a big story to tell. Whenever I see her, she says, "That story is getting bigger!" I do plan to give God the glory when that time comes!
In the meantime, I have stories about how the Lord has provided for my wife and me during these unsettled times.
Stories can be long or short. They can be long like War and Peace or short like Jesus' parables. It's not so much the length as the substance that matters.
The longest story ever told is contained in 66 books. Its timespan spans from eternity past to eternity future -- It's the bible.
The bible starts "In the beginning" of everything (Genesis 1:1) and ends with unending life (Revelation 22:5). Its scope is so vast, everyone has a part in it. Jesus warns, "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Revelation 22:12, 13). The bible has an intriguing opening, clear path, and snug ending. Readers may not only bond with the characters -- they can bond with the Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus: "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3).
Fanny Crosby, famous blind writer of 8,000 hymns, obviously loved to tell stories. Some of her most popular songs are, "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," "Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It!" and "Blessed Assurance ("This is my story, This is my song")." Ms. Crosby loved to tell stories about what Jesus had done for her. Everyone who knows Jesus Christ has a story to tell. As Peter exhorts, "[I]n your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15a).
Mark chapter 5 tells the true story of the Gadarene demoniac, a savage soul who was demon-possessed and lived a loathsome life. When Jesus healed him, the change was dramatic and noticeable. The man wanted to hang around Jesus who, instead, told him, "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you" (Mark 5:19). It was more important to glorify God by telling his friends what Jesus had done.
In the above story, we see that the things God does for us, especially salvation, are acts of mercy. We do not deserve any good thing God does for us or gives to us. We must make sure God gets the glory.
Psalm 105 begins with, "Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!" (v. 1) and goes on to chronicle the events of Israel's deliverance from the slavery of Egypt. The psalmist exhorts the people not only to tell their story to the nations but also thank God for writing their story.
When God does something in your life, be ready and anxious to tell others, giving thanks and glory to God!
Alan is Content Coordinator for Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!
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