Stories permeate our lives. Between news channels, TV shows, movies, plays, musicals, social media, books, etc., we are inundated with the stories of people we know, people we don’t know, and everyone in between.
Telling stories (real and make believe) is a multi-billion dollar industry because stories captivate us. They move us. They encourage us. They haunt us. They entertain us. They challenge us. They change us.
The Gospel Fluency series is centered on a story. This story’s plot isn’t much different than the one we find in our favorite book or our favorite movie. There’s a main character, a dilemma, a hero, and a great ending. But, unlike the story in our favorite movie, the story of the Gospel carries an eternal impact. When we learn to view our own stories through the lens of the story of the Gospel, our lives are changed for eternity. As authors Jeff Vanderstelt and Ben Connelly state, “If we don’t view life through the lens of God’s story, we view it in light of a lesser story.”
Have you ever put on color-tinted glasses? When you look through them, you literally see the world differently. If the lenses have a black tint, the sky looks dark and you instinctively check to be sure you have your umbrella in the car. If they have a red tint, your green lawn looks brown, and you’re suddenly pulling out the hose. The tint of the lenses changes not just what you see but how you act.
Part of becoming fluent in the Gospel is learning to see our own life stories - past, present, and future - in light of the message of the Gospel. It’s a change in our perspective, and it results in a change of our actions.
The overarching plot of the Gospel can be explained in four stages: creation, fall, redemption, restoration (new creation). This week we will look at our own stories in light of these four aspects of the Gospel as we work on viewing not just our own lives, but also the world, through the lens of the Good News.
Reflect on these verses:
Romans 1:21-23 - For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
In what areas of your life are you exchanging the glory of God for your own glory?
Perhaps we don’t have graven images or physical idols in our homes, but we all make choices that reflect our love for ourselves over our love for God.
Ask the Lord to make clear to you the areas of your life where you need to make His glory known, not your own.
Romans 1:24-25 - Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Give thought to the following scenarios:
- coveting a coworker’s position or salary
- thinking too highly of a friend because his/her kids are better behaved than yours or because he/she seems to have it all together
- desiring the body, mind, possessions, or accolades of someone else
- accomplishing tasks to the best of your ability in order to receive praise
- considering personal recognition a higher priority than a broken and contrite spirit
In what areas (whether listed above or not) of your life are you worshiping “created things rather than the Creator”?
Ask the Lord to convict you this week so that you can relinquish these areas of your life to Him, that He would become the focus of your story.