Well-told stories capture the imagination, inspire the soul, awaken the spirit.
Well-crafted stories can also cast a dark shadow, embed prejudices, invoke enmity.
Like dynamite, a well-devised story requires careful handling, great attention to detail, accurate delivery, and perfect timing.
Jesus knew the potency of story in the human heart. He didn’t just tell jaw-dropping stories, He lived one.
John the Baptist provides a preamble to Jesus’ story. The contrast is startling:
John preaches from the Jordan.
Jesus preaches from the sea.
John turns river rock into a pulpit.
Jesus turns a fishing boat into a pulpit.
John’s message is straight-forward, “Repent.”
Jesus’ message is wrapped in wild tales.
John’s message falls on the ears of all who will listen.
Jesus’ message is unwrapped for those closest to him.
The stories are gifts, but they are also enigmas.
The moment we think we understand, the Holy Spirit uncovers a different facet of meaning, a fresh way to encounter them, to encounter Him. These are not stories of old, but stories anew, every day, meant to awaken our hearts to God.
Jesus tells the story of a farmer who scattered seed. Of the precious grain, some…
But no one understands. Jesus tugs his closest followers into a huddle to unfold the treasures of the story, to reveal their and our…
Jesus identifies what will choke the God-life out of our bones. Then exposes what will make the Farmer dance. Unlike the seeds plucked away, we are meant to be a people in whom agrarian embryos of Christ flourish and multiply resulting in a celebratory harvest.
The question today surrounds our soiled hearts.
Have you noticed any winged creatures circling overhead plucking hope and trust from your soul?
Have gravel chips and rocky masses slipped in when you weren’t looking?
Are dandelions and sowthistles taking root—though attractive—they will soon take over?
I confess my heart is cluttered as I listen to Jesus teaching. Feathered creatures gather. Stones sink deep. Those pesky weeds can’t be pulled fast enough.
Forgive me for giving into anxiety more than giving everything to you.
Forgive me for allowing hardness to set firm in my heart rather than embrace your tenderness.
Forgive me for grasping for control for what only you control.
Forgive me for losing sight of the long-term harvest you want to bring forth. Amen.
Rototil my soiled heart. Remove the impurities. Plant yourself, your truth, your spirit deep. Mulch me with your presence. Bring forth the harvest only you can bring. Amen.
Jesus speaks in enigmas and cryptograms to the masses to create readiness and nudge them toward receptivity.
But you and I are meant to move beyond the masses, to become His closest followers.
Today, Jesus wants to reveal the status of our soiled hearts. To move us beyond those who listen to good story, to those who want to live a better story.
And not just any story. But Jesus’ story.
That our lives and His may intertwine until indistinguishable. That we become more like Him with each passing page and closing chapter.
- Watch. Session 3: Recognizing that Everything Has Its Season(10:11) on the DVD.
- Write. Session 3 in the workbook (pages 50-65).
- Read. Chapter 2.1 – 2.16 (pages 73-116) in the book.
- Interact in the Private Facebook Group. Share what ideas or phrases that catch your attention. What God is challenging or showing you through the material. How we can pray for you. And of course, you’re welcome to send in quirky questions, too, since I’ll be interacting with them throughout our time together.
- Join me on Facebook Live this week.
Today, don’t just commit to live a better story. Commit to live His story.