Enjoying the Journey
Everybody loves a good story. Some preachers and teachers are known as story-tellers. This should never be our goal. Our mission is to be truth-tellers. However, learning to tell a story that reveals the truth – that is another matter entirely! THAT is teaching and preaching as Jesus did.
Communicators in every field have come to understand the significance of stories. A few days ago I sat down on an American Airlines flight and picked up a copy of their monthly magazine. The editor’s comments were written under the title: “The Power of Story.”
My wife came home recently with a book that someone had given her. It was a fictional work and not something that I typically would read, but I put it in my briefcase on a recent trip. In just a few pages that fictional story opened to me some very real truths! I was reminded again of the power of stories.
The Master Teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ, used this tool most effectively. Mark 13:33-34 says, “And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them…”
I am not suggesting you simply tell stories. I am recommending that you tell God’s story. The story found in the Word of God…
- Use Bible stories. There are no stories like those inspired by the Spirit! These stories are true and full of truth. Like the rest of God’s Word we are promised that they “will not return void” (Isaiah 55:11). Illustration books are fine but we must ever be reminded that the Word of God sheds light on other parts of Scripture. William Cowper wrote, “God is His own Interpreter, and He will make it plain.” No where is that more evident than in the Bible. Every instruction in Scripture finds its parallel illustration in Scripture. Personalities and places often make plain some principle found throughout God’s Word.
- Tell the story behind every Bible passage. All of the Bible is actually a story, not just the narrative portions. Graham Scroggie called it The Unfolding Drama of Redemption. Indeed it is. Every text has a context. Every part of the Bible has some story behind it – an author, a time period, a setting, a people, a need. Discover that story and tell it! It will make every part of the Bible come alive and connect to the people you are speaking to.
Preachers, use a story! Teachers, use a story! Coaches, use a story! Parents, use a story! Witnesses, use a story!
In his book, Bible Truths Learned from Life, Gailen Abbett wrote:
Ever since the very earliest days of preaching God’s messengers have followed Christ’s example and have used parables or helpful stories to get Bible truths across to the listeners. Throughout the centuries some of the greatest preachers of the Word have been masterful story tellers as they helped the general public to look into the heavenlies and see Bible truths as God intended them to be seen.
A story may be the very thing that will open a spiritual truth to someone you love. Use a story!