Have you ever heard a really good story? The kind of story that pulls you up out of yourself and into its details; where you can’t wait to find out what happens next? A good story connects us to something bigger than ourselves. We share it with our friends because we want them to feel the way we felt when we first heard it.
The Bible is not just a book filled with good stories. It is, itself, one giant, really good story. It is the story of how a loving God made a world so that He could have more to love. The objects of His love (us) sometimes love Him back and sometimes don’t, creating a lot of unfortunate tension in the story. God desires to be in a relationship with His special creatures, and so He writes Himself into the story, becoming one of us to fix what we’ve broken. In its brokenness, humankind failed to recognize that God—the one our souls long for—became like us and killed Him instead. But then, the twist! By dying as one of us, He reversed death and the consequences of sin, defeating their permanence so we once again have access to life through Him. It is not a stretch to call it the greatest story ever, the one by which all stories are measured.
Equally important is that the God who became one of us to redeem us is still the same God who calls us into relationship with Him. God is a personal being. This doesn’t mean He’s shy, it means He is a person—not the same as you and me, but just as real. The Bible is His declaration of His unprecedented love. It shows us how He wants to be with us by showing us how He has been with our ancestors in the past. The Bible is their story—the story of how men and women who lived a long time ago on the other side of the world interacted with their God. But it is also our story. Because when we hear the story, it pulls us in, drawing us out of ourselves and into something bigger. And what we discover when we enter the story is that the main character—the God who is the star of this story—is still calling out to each of us, yearning to be with us, to love and be loved by us.
One of the original purposes God gave Adam was to help him care for His new creation. God invited Adam into the Garden to tend it and look after everything. Adam was even given the important task of naming all the animals. God has been sharing with humanity the responsibility to care for creation ever since. Since we have been invited into the beautiful story God is weaving throughout history, it is our turn to look after God’s creation. This means we have a responsibility to care for it, enjoy it, and preserve it for future generations.
But this is not just about plants and animals. God has also asked us to care for our fellow human beings. Perhaps the most incredible thing about God’s plan is that He wants us to help Him accomplish it. God loves every person, and He wants them all to hear about His love. He asks us to help Him spread this message. No one is expecting you to answer every question your friends have about God and the Bible. Instead, Peter tells us to “[a]lways be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). The hope you have—this is your story. This means that when you speak to your friends, you should be able to tell them what God has done for you, and how He longs for them too. This is a really good story, and they might be more interested in hearing it than you think.
As you consider these things, here are some action steps you can take.
- What is your story?
Think about your story. What are the major things that have occurred in your life? How have they shaped you into the person you are today?
- What is your place in the Big God Story?
God’s story is big—big enough that it stretches back thousands of years and forward to today and into your living room. When you think about the whole story, where do you see yourself in it?
- Who needs to hear this story?
Think about your friends and family. Do you know someone who needs to know that God loves them? How can you share that good news with them?