I love stories, who doesn’t? Stories make the world go round. What makes a dinner better than sharing and telling stories? A movie is nothing more than a great story portrayed. Personally I like a good book because you can use your imagination to manufacture your own pictures to go with the story.
What’s your story? Ever think about it? If you wrote a book, would your story be a good, boring, exciting, peaceful, tumultuous, never-a-dull-moment? What would be the most important element in your story?
Recently, my pastor talked about writing your story in his sermon. I was all ears until he started stepping on this writer’s toes.
“Is Jesus central in your story or just a chapter in your story,” Jeremy Risner had the audacity to say.
I thought, “Hey wait just a minute. I just wrote my memoir and of course I’m the central character in my story.”
When I got over myself, I realized he didn’t say that Jesus should be the central character in my story just that He should be central. There is a difference.
My story is mine, therefore I will be the main character. But as the main character how Jesus has impacted my life is what the story should be all about. Without His impact there is no story worth reading.
If He is just a chapter, if He just makes a walk-on appearance in my book then it wasn’t worth writing.
There’s this wonderful story in scripture about four guys who raised the roof in order to get their paralyzed friend through the crowd to Jesus. Well, they didn’t raise the roof, they actually carried their friend up to the roof, dug a hole in it and lowered him down right to Jesus.1
Jesus forgives the man’s sins in front of the religious skeptics and then reads their minds. They think Jesus telling the man his sins are forgiven is just for show and can’t be proven. So he proves He is indeed God by telling the man to get up and walk and the man does.
He also tells the man to go home. He goes home “praising God.”2
The point of the story is the paralyzed man’s story and Jesus’ intersection with His life. From this moment on, Jesus is the reason this man exists. I’m sure that everywhere he went, he told people about how Jesus healed him. He sang His praises. He most likely couldn’t stop talking about Him.
The passage ends by saying when the people heard about what happened, “Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God.”3
This man’s story was all about Jesus. The two important things are it was the man’s story and he made sure his story led to Jesus’ story. The rendition of his story really wouldn’t have made any sense without the collision of his life with Jesus’ life. That’s why Luke wrote his story. And that’s why the paralyzed man made it into the best selling book of all time.
That’s what I want my life to be. I want it to be one that leads others to the story of Jesus.
That’s why Jesus can’t just have a cameo appearance or two. He has to be the reason for my story. He has to be underlying theme and central to the plot. My life, your life, should be all about Him.
In essence instead of writing our own story, we need to be letting Jesus write our story.
The words to this song give insight into how we allow Jesus to write our story. “Every day You show me another part of my story and there’s sure to be some hard times, but a whole lot of beauty. These are things that matter in life, living in every moment ‘cause I can’t stop the time. Tomorrow’s gonna’ be yesterday so I don’t want to miss a thing. This is the story You’re building in me.”4
I don’t know about you, but I’m determined to let Jesus build a great story through my life. However, that’s really not enough, is it? I want to tell everyone I know about the story He’s building in me and you.
(Go to Youtube and search for “The Story He’s Building in Me by Love and the Outcome. You’ll be glad you did. I tried upload but it wouldn’t let me.)
My memoir, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying To Earn God’s Favor tells more about the story Jesus is building in my life. It’s about weight loss but it’s also about a whole lot more. It’s about the power of God at work in a weak vessel. It’s about how I thought all my good works were earning me some kind of special favors from God. But mostly it’s about how God loved me and continues to love me in spite of everything. Get your copy HERE.
1 Luke 5:17-26
2 Luke 5:25
3 Luke 5:26
4 “The Story You’re Building In Me” by Love and the Outcome.