The Greatest Story in the World

The greatest story ever told was not made by hollywood or written by your favorite author. The greatest story ever told is the true story of the whole world. This grand story does not center on us, but on God. He is the grand story-teller displaying the glory of his name in the world throughout history. It is God who pens history in order to tell the greatest story of love and redemption that will ever be told. However many Christians are practically ignorant of God's story. Often we pick up our bibles and read a passage completely divorced from the story line of the Bible. There is a huge need in the church to be taught the meta-narrative or the grand over-arching plot line of the Bible. This plot line isn't just the narrative of Scripture, but the narrative in which we understand ourselves and our world.

Seeing a need for a solid Biblical Theology in the church I set out in the month of March to teach the entire Bible in 4-Weeks. It was a great challenge, but one I hoped served the church well. The plot line of the Bible and the world can be summed up in four words:

Creation. Fall. Redemption. Restoration.

Each sermon in this series centered on one of these events. The following is a link to the sermon audio for each of the sermons in this series. It is my prayer that they serve you and the church of Jesus Christ well as we understand our place in the world and the story of God.

Part 1: Creation

Part 2: Fall

Part 3: Redemption

Part 4: Restoration

Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, or Something More?

There has been an acronym that demonstrates how most people think about the Bible. You have heard it before it is "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth". We call the Bible to "road map to life". Most people think of the Bible as nothing but a rule book that Christians follow. It shows in the way many Christians handle their Bibles. When a person wants to know what the Bible says about sex, they open up their concordance in the back of their Bible, look at their teen study Bible notes, or do a quick google search to find the few verses that gives them the rule for them to follow. Many view the Bible as the strict task master of the Christian faith, and that it is nothing more than a rule book. Although the Bible does have rules. It does have instructions for us. It does tell us how we must live. However if that is all you think the Bible is your view of Scripture is incomplete. The Scriptures are not just about rules, but about Jesus! The Bible is a story, the true story of the whole world. The Bible tells the story of God's plan for redemption through Jesus.

In Luke 24, Jesus appears to two guys on the road to Emmaus. Jesus has resurrected and appears to these guys who are bummed out because they thought Jesus died in Jerusalem, not knowing he had risen on the third day, just like he said he would. Jesus joins in on their conversation and corrects them with the truth. Jesus begins to walk through the whole Scriptures with them and tells them how the whole Bible talks about Him! Here is what Luke 24:27 tells us, "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself".

The Scriptures are all about Jesus! The meta-narrative, the over encompassing story, of scripture revolves around Jesus. The Bible isn't just a rule book but a story book centered around Jesus as the hero. When we read the Bible then we don't need to just understand it as a boring rulebook, but as the amazing true story of the world. We read the Bible and discover how we fit in with God's story and what he is doing in the restoration of this broken world. Once you begin to understand the Bible as more than a rule book, studying the Bible gets much more exciting. The Christian life isn't about just succumbing to a list of rules, but joining God in his mission to redeem this world through the blood of Jesus! When you read the Bible, you are reading about a story you get to join!

A Mouse in the House: A Personal Tale of Bravery

When my wife Kaitlyn and I moved to Wilson, NC we found a great older house to live.  We absolutely love it, but we are learning that houses come with their own sets of headaches.  About a week ago, I saw a mouse scurry along our kitchen floor like a Tom and Jerry cartoon.  I hate pests and I hate rodents, so as good tenants we put out some sticky traps in our kitchen to catch this pest and get rid of him.  Well, easier said than done.  This morning, as I'm getting ready to get in the shower, Kaitlyn is screaming for help in the kitchen.  A mouse had gotten stuck in one of our traps in the kitchen over night!  I went down stairs to observe the scened as the tiny furry beast was squirming and attempting to break free as he sat in his own defecation. As I observed the horrific situation, I did what any good 21st century husband would do and grabbed the iPad and googled how to resolve the situation and dispose of our trapped prey.  The plan I came up with was simple.  I would use these gigantic tongs to grab the paper, then I would place it in a garbage bag and then toss it out with the trash.  Pretty simple right?  Well in order to perform this task I needed the assistance of my wife Kaitlyn, to hold open the garbage bag as I grab the mouse to put him in there.  So there we are, I am standing with my weapon of choice and my bride standing behind me with an opened garbage bag.  As we get closer we see the little monster squirm for cover.  For a second I think he is about to break free from his restraints.  I fumble with the tongs, and I am unable to grab the paper.  Kaitlyn is behind me screaming, "I'm going to throw up! I'm going to throw up!"  As I struggle to grab this paper to dispose of the mouse, in the hysteria and adrenaline of the moment I take the tongs and just grab the body of the mouse itself!  He squirms as I pinch him tightly with the metal tongs.  He's not going anywhere.

I turn around to dispose of him I see that my fearless assistant has now run out of the room screaming leaving a lifeless trash bag on the floor.  As I stand there holding a live mouse with BBQ tongs and no where to put it, Kaitlyn begins to scream and cry hysterically, "I don't want to do this!"  I am furious, because she has abandoned the plan and I'm stuck holding this disgusting mammal as she runs to hide! Holding the mouse I jump to open the door, unlock our back door and get outside all while this mouse fights for his life to break free from my grasp.  I open the door and fling the mouse and the sticky trap like a frisbee into the stoney walkway.  I return inside to chew out my assistant only to find that she had gone upstairs and left me all alone.  I take the trash bag left for me on the floor, go outside and dispose of this mouse once and for all.

Feeling pumped full of adrenaline and victory I take my weapon and clean my sword with the hose.  "What a way to start the morning", I thought to myself.  The tongs couldn't be spared so I tossed them in the trash with the mouse.  As I go upstairs my wife's horrid screams had now turned into laughter.  As I tease her for her cowardice, I'm thinking, "This is going to make an incredible sermon illustration one day."  Now this story has no theological point or purpose yet, but if you were a pastor, how would you use this story as an illustration in your sermon?  What is the lesson here?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.