The Greatest Story Ever!

Read: Acts 3:11-4:12

Do you remember having Bible stories read to you when you were younger? If you are a parent or grandparent do you read Bible stories to your children and grandchildren today?  I still remember one of my favorite children’s Bible story books that we used to read to our children when they were younger.  I can still picture some of the drawings and pictures of the various stories.

These stories are important for us to share with children and to continue to learn from them as adults.  This past week I read an interesting article by Ed Stezter in which he suggested that we make sure we are going beyond the well known stories of Jonah, David and Goliath, the healing’s and miracles of Jesus, and other well recited stories in the Bible.  While those do share the story of God and His Son Jesus they need to know the big picture as well.

Here is what Ed writes in his article “Making sure Children actually hear the Gospel and not just a bunch of Bible stories”…. Too often we teach the Bible as a series of isolated morality tales, like Aesop’s Fables. We want our children to learn how to live well, so we draw from the Bible stories of people who did the right thing and those who did the wrong thing.

We hope they are getting the idea that good is of God, leading to success, and bad is of Satan, leading to failure. If the kiddos can then live out and retell the story with the right names and main points, we feel like they have a grasp on the Gospel.  Churches have told children tons of good stories, but have we told them the Story?  It is easy to tell the stories within the story, but there is a big picture here. We miss some important points when we offer a slice of the Gospel as if it is the whole pie.”

What Mr. Stetzer goes on to say is that we need to communicate how those stories fit into the four major acts of the Bible which include Creation, The Fall, Redemption, and Restoration.  The Good News of the New Testament proclaims that we have Redemption and Restoration from the Fall through Jesus Christ who came to save us.  We need to tell all the stories of the Bible and include this bigger picture of the Good News as well.

In Acts 3 and 4 that is what Peter is doing.  He is trying to communicate this Good News of Jesus to the onlookers and then to the Jewish elders and teachers (the Sanhedrin).  In verse 12 of chapter 4 Peter summarizes it all by saying, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”  That is the Big Picture.  That is what we need to include in our telling of the Bible.

Make it personal:  Ed Stetzer writes, “When we take the Bible as a series of isolated morality tales, we think about 66 books with hundreds, if not thousands, of stories contained within them. In actuality, there are not thousands of stories. There are not 66 stories. There aren’t even two stories with the Old and New Testament. There is one story and that is the story of what God is doing—redemptive history.”  As we read the Bible and read it to our children and grandchildren let’s keep this Big Picture of the Good News in mind.

Have a Blessed Week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church