What’s your favourite Bible story? I can’t count how many times I’ve asked someone that question. When I stop and think about it I regret phrasing it that way, but it’s become so ingrained in our language that it’s hard to shake. We often talk about the Bible as series of stories, which makes sense given it was written down by a series of authors over many hundreds of years. Unfortunately, it makes it easy to forget that the Bible is really one long story, God’s story, spanning from the beginning of time right up to today and even beyond. The most amazing part? God wants us to be an active part of His story.
So, in a story spanning all of time, where do we start? The beginning!
In the beginning God created…
From the smallest electron to the great vastness of the universe, it was all brought into being and ordered into the most incredible and precise balance by a wonderful, loving Creator. And He declared it GOOD.
Most important to the story, God created Adam and Eve. Man and woman created in His image, designed to be in intimate relationship with Him. God placed them in a paradise garden where they lived at peace with all of creation and in close friendship with Him. From the book of Genesis we know that God also placed 2 trees in the middle of this garden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam and Eve they could eat from any tree in the garden EXCEPT from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
One fateful day that intimate relationship between God and people was broken. Adam and Eve made a choice to disobey what God had told them, they ate the fruit. People created a gap between themselves and God, a gap that they could not cross on their own. We call this choice, going my way instead of God’s way, and the gap it creates SIN.
Over years of history we have tried to follow God’s Law, the 10 Commandments, to close the gap, to fix this sin problem. We couldn’t do it. Not perfectly. And nothing less than a perfect life could be in the presence of a perfect God. We tried following kings – some kings led us further away God. Generations forgot about Him entirely. God sent prophets with messages to bring us back to Him – we didn’t listen.
BUT GOD STILL LOVED US. Again and again and again and again, He called us back into relationship with Him, He showed us the way.
Way back at the beginning God promised Adam and Eve that He had a way to rescue them and make things right. God always keeps his promises.
At exactly the right time the loving Father sent us His Son – Jesus. God made flesh. Walking and living with us. Experiencing everything we experience.
Jesus did what we are unable to do, He lived a perfect life. Not once did He choose to go His own way. He showed us how to live, how to follow God.
During His time teaching us, Jesus said what has become the most famous scripture verse of all time:
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
Within this verse, He showed us The Plan. The Plan that God had from the very beginning. Let’s break it down.
God Loved – you, me, us, no matter what. We are His Masterpieces, created in His image to be in close relationship with Him. But that pesky sin problem gets in the way. How often have we shrugged and said “no one is perfect”? We all know it. But nothing short of perfect can be near a perfect God.
God Gave – Jesus. His one and only Son. To live with us, teach us and to die for us on a cross. To pay the price our of sin. Jesus, fully God and fully man, the only one who could fix what sin had broken.
Whoever Believes – ANYONE! Jesus is a real person. People touched him, talked to Him, witnessed his miracles. Biggest miracle of all? 3 days after dying on the cross He came back to life, proving His power over sin and death. His resurrection was witnessed by hundreds. They travelled all over their known world proclaiming that Jesus is alive. Refusing to change their story, even in the face of prison or death. We still proclaim today that Jesus is alive, living with God in heaven, and we can too. “Whoever believes”, whoever trusts that He is the only way our sin can be forgiven.
Lives Forever – we can have a relationship with God now and forever. That close, intimate relationship that God created us for. We can’t earn it, it’s a gift.
God wants us to be part of His story. How? Follow Jesus and trust in Him. Accept God’s gift of mercy and forgiveness. Then, we invite others to join us in being part of God’s great story. Share with them the difference Jesus has made in your heart and life and love them the way Jesus does.
That’s what God’s one big story is about.
Parents, here are some quick tips to help you as you talk about God’s big story with your kids!
Faith is a process if they don’t accept right away don’t give up. Keeping the lines of communication open will help your kids along their faith journey.
There is no “right prayer.” Everyone will express their faith in their own way. Don’t get hung up on the right words, but the heart with which those words are spoken.
Be careful of phrases like “invite Jesus into your heart.” Younger kids are concrete thinkers, that phrase could be confusing and even scary as they might think that someone is coming to live inside their actual heart. Try to keep your language clear and simple.
Don’t make up answers to questions about faith. “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer.
You are not alone! As a KidZone Team, we are here to support you. Let us know if you need help. There are also amazing communities available to you that will do life together with you. If you’re not already part of an MSC, check one out today!
If they did accept Jesus as their Saviour and Lord, CELEBRATE– Luke 15:10 says the angels in heaven celebrate over every sinner that turns away from their sin and chooses to follow Jesus. Let’s follow their example!