The Story of God and the Story of Us

History marched toward his birth; that baby marched towards his death, all so grace would march, with life and hope into our lives.

O Come Let Us Adore Him, Paul David Tripp

I love how Paul David Tripp reminds us today that the Bible is not a selection of isolated stories and events. It is not just a book of theological ideas, moral lessons, or short inspiring biographies. It is a story – an unfolding story of God pursuing a prodigal people for the sake of love and the sake of His own glory. Written over a period of 2000 years on 3 different continents, the Bible contains 66 different books by 40 different authors in 3 different languages. And yet there is one consistent thread and theme throughout of God’s unfailing plan to rescue a sinful and broken world.

God’s Great story begins in the Old Testament:

  • God creates – and it is all good. πŸ˜‡
  • God makes humanity alone in his own image (It is very good! πŸ˜€)
  • Man and woman rebel against God desiring their own will (Not good at all! 😑)
  • God removes them from garden (Not good 😒), but there is the hint of redemption (good πŸ™‚).
  • Prideful humanity marches on, sin spreads and increases. (Not good 🀬)
  • God starts over with one man – Abraham. (Good πŸ€”)
  • God promises Abraham a people (nation), land, & to bless/redeem the world. (Good. πŸ€—)
  • Abraham’s family becomes the nation of Israel. (Good πŸ™‚)
  • Israel becomes slaves in Egypt (Not good 😩), God sets them free. (Good πŸ˜‰)
  • Israel wandered 40 years in desert due to unbelief. (Not good πŸ˜”)
  • Israel crosses over into Promised land (Good 🀩)
  • Israel becomes greatest nation on earth – led by King David. (Good πŸ₯³)
  • Temple becomes place of God’s presence for worship and sacrifice. (Good 😌)
  • Israel wanders from God – & the Kingdom is divided into Israel and Judah (Not Good πŸ˜•)
  • God sends prophets over and over to His people (Good 😊) – (1) Calls them to repent/return to Him.(They are not good πŸ˜–) (2) Many promises of Messiah – Savior King to come & redeem his people. (His Promises are always Good πŸ˜‰)
  • Israel continually worships false gods, conquered by Assyria 722 B.C. (Not good 😒)
  • Judah falls away from God and Jerusalem conquered by Babylon, 585 B.C. Temple and city destroyed. (Ughh. Not good at all 😭)
  • God’s people in Exile, longing for return home (Not so good πŸ˜“). God still promises restoration and hope. (Good is still possible, and always will be with God πŸ™‚)
  • Some return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall & temple – but the glory is missing. (meh, okay but not super good 😐)
  • 400 years of silence between OT and NT. God are you still there? Do you remember us?

New Testament (The Story continues)

  • A Child is born on the outskirts of Bethlehem to a young virgin (Good! πŸ₯°)
  • Angels tell shepherds – this is Christ the Lord. (So good! πŸ˜‡)
  • Angels tell Joseph he will be called Jesus (meaning Savior for He will save His people from their sins) and Emmanuel for He is “God with us.” (Wow. Super good! πŸ€—)
  • Age 30, Jesus begins his ministry. (Good. πŸ™‚)
  • He is baptized by John, anointed with Spirit – He is the one spoken of by prophets. (He is Good. He is God 😜)
  • He does miracles. He teaches about the Kingdom. (Good πŸ˜‰)
  • He makes disciples/followers who will one day carry his message. (Good πŸ˜€)
  • He is hated by the religious leaders. (Not good 😬)
  • He is arrested, betrayed by a friend, & handed over to Rome. (Not good 🀭, but good πŸ€”)
  • Beaten & whipped 40 times (By his stripes we are healed). (Not good, but necessary😦)
  • A crown of thorns placed on his head. (Not good 😯, but still Good 😐)
  • A lonely walk of agony outside of the city, carrying his cross. (Terrible, but Good 😳)
  • Nails driven in, hung up between two thieves. (No! But Yes. Good 😫)
  • He is cursed! – Taking our sin, dying in our place (Not good! Very Good!!! πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯)
  • It is finished! And he breathes his last breath. (GOOD!! πŸ˜•)
  • Dead and buried in a borrowed tomb. (Not good 😣)
  • 3 Days – 3 quiet, agonizing days of hopelessness. (Not good πŸ˜”)
  • HE is RISEN! Jesus defeated sin, death, &mthe grave. (GOOD. Oh the Goodness! 😳πŸ₯³πŸ€©)
  • Jesus returns to heaven. Disciples sent to Jerusalem to pray/wait for Spirit. (Good πŸ™‚)
  • Jesus sends the Holy Spirit. Disciples are filled. The Church is born. (Very Good! πŸ˜€πŸ˜ŒπŸ˜˜)
  • The Message goes forward – Sins are forgiven, death to life, restoration is possible (Too Good 😍😜)
  • The Gospel spreads in Jerusalem – no longer is God’s presence in the OT temple, but lives in the temple of human hearts by the Spirit. (Good and getting “gooder”πŸ€ͺ😊)
  • The Gospel spreads into Samaria – outsiders are welcome. (So Good πŸ˜ŠπŸ™ƒ)
  • The Gentiles are invited into the Kingdom – Jesus came for ALL. (Good, good, good πŸ˜†)
  • The Gospel reaches all the way to Rome… (Unstoppably Good 😘).
  • The story continues… (Un-Ending Good πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°)

You Are invited into the story:

  • The Gospel has spread for 2000 years. (Good 😌)
  • The Church has endured, and continued to make disciples. (Still Good 2000 yrs. later πŸ˜‰)
  • There are billions of people on the planet who name the name of Jesus. (So Good πŸ₯³)
  • And yet billions of people have never met Him, and many have never heard his name. (Not good 🀭)
  • You are invited to find your place in God’s plan and story. (Good Stuff! πŸ€—)
  • Have you met Jesus Christ? (It will be good. He is GOOD! 😊)
  • Are you taking your place in God’s story to bring hope and salvation to the world? (Spread the Goodness 🀩)
  • What are you waiting for? (It’s All Good! πŸ˜‰)
  • Christmas reminds us that He came, & that we are called to GO! (Christmas = Good, Go = Good πŸ˜‡)
  • Come on. You will not be sorry. (Do Good! Spread the GOOD News. πŸ˜ƒπŸ€—πŸ₯³πŸ€©πŸ₯°)

The Bible! One big story from beginning to end, and will end up one day around the throne of God where men and women from every nation, tribe, and tongue will join together in the song of the Lamb. They did not get there because they were good enough. They did not earn their way to heaven They put their faith in Jesus Christ, the Promised Messiah, the Savior, the Lamb who was slain. They are in heaven at the throne because a Christ follower found their place in the story and shared the good news of Jesus with them, and their life was changed. And the story continues until we meet at that throne. Hallelujah, our God reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Today:

Hallelujah God. I stand amazed at your Glory and your Grace. I often lose sight of your glory and your story, and yet you never lose a beat. There is nothing random about your work throughout history. You always have a plan, even while we seek to choose our plan instead. You always had a plan before we ever walked away from you. Thank you for your faithfulness when we are faithless. The story of our rebellion and sin only amplifies the story of your Grace. We turned our backs on you and forfeited your presence, but You never stopped with your plan to redeem us and restore us to your presence. It was sin that made us outcasts from Eden as exiles in a fallen world, but it was love that compelled Jesus to take up the cross and die for sin as an outcast between two thieves. He took our sin so we could be forgiven. He was cursed to break the curse over our lives. His blood was shed so we could be cleansed and begin to live a new story. Jesus, come into my life and be the author of my story. Let my story be laced with love, mercy, grace, and glory. Let my story become so woven into your story that my life might lead others to see you; and that would create a desire to be a part of your story as well. I love you Father. I love you Jesus. I love you Holy Spirit. Amen.

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