“Tell me a story, Daddy!” That is something I hear almost every day from my children. There’s something about stories that capture the attention of children.
Then again, there is something about stories that speak to us grown-ups, too. Jesus, Himself, knew this. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus told dozens of parables, each of which are recorded in the pages of the New Testament.
From the parable of the lost sheep to the Prodigal son, His timeless stories have captivated the hearts of every generation and implanted deep truth unmatched by any other teacher throughout all time. Stories are at the very heart of Christianity.
Christians today would do well to harness the power of stories. In B.B. McKinney’s powerful hymn from 1924 called “Let Others See Jesus in You,” this theme of storytelling shines through in memorable fashion.
He says, “While passing thro’ this world of sin, and others your life shall view, be clean and pure without, within; Let others see Jesus in you. Your life’s a book before their eyes, they’re reading it thro’ and thro’ Say, does it point them to the skies, Do others see Jesus in you? Then live for Christ both day and night, be faithful, be brave and true, and lead the lost to life and Christ. Let others see Jesus in you.”
The refrain of the hymn says “Keep telling the story, be faithful and true; Let others see Jesus in you.”
Notice McKinney’s words underscore the fact that the Christian witness is both show and tell. Lifestyle evangelism alone, as one pastor recently noted, is not enough. Also, mere words from someone living hypocritically will not have the same power, either.
If you are a believer in Christ who has repented of your sins and found re-birth in Him, the fact is you have a story to tell. In testimony form, we combine the very best of words and example. While your testimony may not have the drama that some do, we must remember the real power behind a testimony is found in the Lord, not our mere words. In fact, the more simplistic your testimony is, the more relatable it might be.
Ultimately, the greatest story believers can share is the Gospel, the story of the life of Christ and His saving mission for men and women.
At the 2015 Oklahoma State Evangelism Conference on Jan. 26-27 (see page 7), we will be challenged and equipped to share the Gospel like never before. One of the most powerful methods of sharing the Gospel is simply telling the story of Christ’s birth, life, teaching, miracles, death, resurrection, ascension, work in the world today and promise of His return.
I mentioned my children’s craving for stories. After telling a story, my children, without fail, ask me, “Was that story pretend or real?” Isn’t it a joy to know that, in the Gospel of Christ Jesus, it is as real as can be?