Devotional for April 14, 2021

Greetings in Christ,

  What makes a good story believable?  Is it the way it unfolds as you read it, or the way you hear it?  Is it the brevity or the length?  Is it the author or the presenter of the story?  Is it the language or the use of illustrations which drive home the content of the story?  Is it applicable to us?  Just what drives us to look for the believability in story which helps us to determine the value or the truth it may carry for us to apply to our thoughts or lives?  What makes us want to tell others about what we have read or heard?

  We engage in many stories which unfold before our very eyes and ears on a daily basis.  Many grab our attention as we read and hear them as they reveal their details to us.  There is something in the way the story dispenses its magic which makes us take notice and engages our attention.  It is something which peaks our interest, or it may give us concern in some way, but in some way it grabs our time and attention even if it is only for a brief moment.

  We all like a good story.  It is something we can allow ourselves to get lost in the story line while it keeps our attention, and when it is a good story we cannot wait till the end.  Until the story is fully revealed, we are engaged in it with excitement wanting to know the very details which drive us to be part of the story.  We get lost in the details as it reveals the mystery to us, and when the story has been told we marvel at how well it was orchestrated.

  We all like a good story, but when it comes to the best love story in the world how well do we let it engage us?  Is it the language or the way it was written?  Is it the use of illustrations, or the illustrator?  Is it because the details are easy to grasp, or are how they apply to our situation?  Just what is it that makes the best love story in the world hard to quit reading?

  The Bible is a compilation of many stories which was written for mankind to read.  It is a story of a Living God who in His vast love and resources decided to create a living being which He could share His love and resources.  He could not bear the thought He had so much and no one to share it with He created mankind.  He has provided His love and resources for mankind from the very beginning giving them every opportunity to receive them in many ways.  The Bible’s final chapters have an ending that reveals the rewards of accepting this great gift of love, but we do not let it grab us to the point we are excited beyond belief.  We have tendency to let the world’s stories and their details overshadow the greatest love story ever written.

  Isaiah writes these words, “You are My witnesses, declares the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He.  Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me.  I, even I, am the Lord, and there is no savior besides Me.
It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, and there was no strange god among you; so you are My witnesses, declares the Lord, and I am God.  Even from eternity I am He, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?”

  God was reminding the people who He was—the beginning, the present, and the eternal God.  The people had let other stories of life encroach upon the past actions of God, and they had forgotten what He had done for them.  He had to remind them they were looking in the wrong place for the details of His story and past blessings.

  John writes these words, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.  And you know the way where I am going.  Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?  Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

  Jesus had to remind the disciples who He was—The Son of God.  They had many facets of the stories we read unfold in front of them, but the story line they saw did not excite them.  They allowed other stories influence them and their understanding of Jesus.  They missed the fact Jesus was representing God on earth, and His actions mirrored those of the Father as He revealed details of the greatest love story.

  The Bible—the greatest love story ever written.  It should engage us to the point we never want to put it down.  It should excite us to the point we cannot keep it to ourselves.  It should excite us to the point we live our lives boldly with the same love as God has for us.  There has not been anything held back to keep us from knowing the whole story of God’s intentions and capabilities for mankind, the only thing keeping us from acting on it is ourselves.

  The Bible—has it grabbed you with overwhelming excitement lately?

  “Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord, O my soul!  I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.  Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.  His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.  How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever;  Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry.  The Lord sets the prisoners free.  The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous; the Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked.  The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations.  Praise the Lord!”  Psalm 146

  Lord may we get excited about Your love story as we read it and live it.  Amen


  Mark Johnson
  Psalm 111,112,113,114,146,147; Isaiah 43:8-13; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-7

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