Devotional for April 15, 2020

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?  Is it the language or the use of illustrations which drive home the content?  Is it applicable?  Just what drives us to look at the believability in a story which helps us to determine the value or the truth it may carry for us to apply it to our thoughts or to our lives?  What makes us want to tell others we have read or heard a good story?

  We engage in many stories which unfold before our very eyes and ears on a daily basis.  Many grab our attention as we read, hear, and watch the story reveal itself before us in the details of the story line.  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.  Perhaps it is the way it grabs our 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 of the story is revealed.  Until the story is fully revealed, we are engaged in the story with excitement wanting to know every detail which drives us to be part of the story.  We get lost in the details as they reveal their 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 does 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 hard to grasp, or are they hard to apply to our situation?  Just what is it about the best love story in the world which makes it hard to pick up and read?

  The Bible is a compilation of many stories which was printed for mankind to read.  It is a story of a Living God who in His vast love and resources decided to create living beings who He could share His love and resources with.  He could not bear the thought He had so much and no one to share it with so He created mankind.  He has provided for mankind from the very beginning giving them the opportunity to partake of His love and resources in many ways.  The Bible already has an ending for us to read and gives us details as the story reveals its mystery of God’s love, but we do not let the ending grab us and shake us to the point we are excited beyond belief.  We have tendency to let worldly 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 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 the other stories of life encroach upon the past actions of God in their lives, and they had forgotten just what He had done for them in the past.  He had to remind them they were looking in the wrong place to understand the details of His story as it was unfolding in their lives.

  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 stories unfold in front of them while they were with Jesus, but they did not let the details of those stories excite them.  They allowed other stories to have an influence on 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 acting in the same love 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 111,112,113,146,147; Isaiah 43:8-13; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-7

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