To be or not to be, that is the question. Great stories always have a hook, a line that catches your attention, the part of the story or movie that stands out.
The Bible starts out, "In the beginning God created heaven and earth."
It has been pondered and debated for thousands of years. It's the hook. God isn't threatened by the questions of some. He was there.
The hook is the part of a story that gets interest.
Recently we published a book of stories about God's interaction in people's lives. As our publisher worked with our editor, the one thing we kept hearing was make sure there's a hook. The cover closes, "No matter what the struggle, there is hope; no matter how far a situation has gone, there is an answer; no matter how low you have sunk, grab hold of your lifeline!"
It's a hook.
We all have a story of the Lord either directly or indirectly throwing us a lifeline. It's our testimony, our declaration of evidence of an unseen hand at work in our lives.
The story of an encounter, the tale of intervention, the account of revelation, there are countless moments when God has moved, ministered, shared, given, blessed or intervened. Often they are not even noticed.
He works through others, through creation and through circumstances. He reaches out. He places seeds in hearts and watches them grow.
Every one of us can find that spot if we look. When we look well we will notice others. What is your story? Where were you met? Has he met you yet?
He is constantly looking for ways to get to know us better. He looks for opportunity to break out in our lives. Each of us has a chronicle of his interaction, a tale of encounters.
Some have sadly turned away, not finding what they expected!
My friend claims to be atheist; really though he is just mad at God. Religious people hurt him when he was young. God doesn't blame my friend; he just wants to heal him.
Another friend just chooses not to believe. He is trying to prove he's man enough or tough enough. His bravado doesn't fool me though. It is a lot of voice. Inside he is hungry, he longs for the assurance and company of heaven, and he just does not know it yet!
The Bible says, in 2 Cor 5:20, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God was speaking through us.
My friends, your friends need to hear our stories. They need to know where God met you. They need to hear the tale of your encounters.
Think about one thing God has done and write it down. It will encourage your own heart. Recall your encounters and then share them with someone. It will encourage them.
Jesus loved stories; the Bible is full of them. Today those stories are told and retold. They're evidence from others' lives.
To that chorus of testimony we should all add our own. Remember when God healed my leg, blessed my kids, paid my bills, sent me money, built my house, told me about a good deal, taught me something important, woke me up!
You don't want to hear all my stories but someone wants to hear yours. You're important, and God has placed in you a hook, a lifeline that may just bless someone else.
Tell someone your story and be an answer.
Bob Reasner is the senior pastor at Abundant Life Assembly of God in Sterling. Recently Abundant Life published a book called "Lifelines" that contains stories of God's intervention in the lives of real people from the community. Abundant Life is at Mile 81.5 of the Sterling Highway. The phone number is 262-7266 and Reasner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.abundantlifealaska.org.
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