Who told you the story of Jesus? Talk about the people in your life who told you about Jesus and about how much God loves us.
I grew up in church. For as far back as I can remember, I had Sunday school teachers telling me about Jesus and how much God loves us. My preacher knew who I was and he told me about Jesus too. My mom told me about Jesus and my grandparents told me about Jesus. I knew that I was surrounded by God’s love. We tell the story of Jesus because it’s the most important one we know. We tell the story of Jesus because it shows others the way to God. The story of Jesus points us to God’s love. Telling stories isn’t new. In fact, it’s the way the people of the Bible passed on important teachings. It’s even how the Bible got started: the people would tell the stories of God. They passed on the stories of things that God had done to their children, and their children told their children, and so on, until eventually the stories were written down.
Read Psalm 78:1-7. From the NIV: My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
The writer of this psalm knew how important the stories of God were. We know that we can trust in God when we hear story after story of how God can be trusted. When we read that God rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians, that God used Moses to save the people, that God took Abraham and his family on a journey and protected them, that God was with David, that God gave Esther courage to stand up for her people, that God was with Joseph and used him to do amazing things, that God sent Jesus at just the right time to die for us. When we hear these stories, we learn that we can trust God. We see that God used ordinary people to do extraordinary things and we know that God can use us too. When we read these stories, we learn what God is like. We learn that we can trust God, that God is always with us, that God will always love us, and that God will show us what to do. When we know the stories of the Bible, we learn who God is. But the stories of the Bible aren’t the only stories that tell us who God is. We have our own stories of how God has helped us, of how we trusted God and God came through for us, of how we have felt God’s love. And when we share those stories, we help make God more real to others. We show them that God can be trusted and that God loves us no matter what.
The Psalmist reminds us that we should share our stories. Parents should share the stories of God with their children. They should share the things that God has done in their own lives with their children. And children can share their own stories with their parents and with their friends. Our grandparents share their stories of God with us too. Other adults in your life can share stories of what God has done. When we pass on our stories, we add to the kingdom of God. We add our own stories to the big God story, and we show people how God works.
So when God does something in your life: when you hear from God, when God shows you what to do or what not to do, when God does something really neat in your life, share it with others. Tell the stories of God to others. Share God’s love with them. When we pass on those stories, we help others see who God is.
• Talk about ways you have seen God in your life. Do you have any stories to share about God’s love, or about how you have heard from God?
• How can you share your stories with your friends? With others who don’t know God?
• As a family, write down important stories of things God has done in your lives. Start a family tradition of writing down stories of God working in your lives. Collect other family stories of how God has worked in your grandparents’ lives and other relatives. Start a journal or scrapbook that you can pass on.
Thank God for always working in our lives. Ask for courage to share your stories of God’s love.
Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.