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Listen while you read: "O Happy Day"1 (Lyrics)
Mark 16:15 – And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (NKJV)
When my father was close to the end of his life here on earth in 1987, I spent a lot of time with him, and he told me many stories. He was born in 1900, and he went to work when he was twelve. He told me about the time when the first car came down the street where they lived, and a group of children hung on to the back bumper and stalled it. He told me about the First World War and the depression years, and the struggles they had during that time and during the occupation of the Netherlands in the early forties. He was a man who grew up in the church and always attended until the later years of his life. When we talked about his impending death, he said, "It is good what my God does." This is just a small sampling of the stories that he told me. A few days later, he died, and all those memories were gone. I have written down all these and many more of his stories, as well as our own, in a book for my children and grandchildren to read and refer to in later years.
Luke was aware that there was only one way to preserve the stories of Jesus for future generations, and he starts his memories in such a human, easy-to-understand way.
Luke 1:1-4 – Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. (NKJV)
All through the years, people have told the story of Jesus. That is what Jesus told His followers to do, and that is what we do. After all,
- We've a story to tell to the nations,
That shall turn their hearts to the right,
A story of truth and mercy,
A story of peace and light.
(Colin Sterne, 1862-1928)
We have Jesus' instruction to bring the gospel to all people, and we do that, in part, by telling the stories from our own relationship with Jesus.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the words of Scripture where we read the stories of Jesus. How much that means to us here and now! We also thank You for those who went before us, and whose stories, as well as our own, we can pass on to future generations. We offer this prayer of thanksgiving in Jesus' name. Amen.
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I am a firm believer in journaling and keeping records. What a treasure for you children. After all isn’t that what God has done for us with the Bible?
Your devotion today was thought provoking. I have a plan to write down memories but have not done it yet. Must get on with that and hopefully can relate the life of my parents to God’s “work” as you have done. Thanks, Joel.
My dear Joel,
Thank you so much for your inspirational readings today.
May the dear Lord continue to bless you and your family, as it is always such a blessing reading your devotions. Enjoy the good weather.
Dear Joel, you are so good to tell of your own experiences this. Nothing touches me so deeply as hearing stories of other peoples faith. You are very kind and I just wanted you to know how this has made me more aware of the power in telling our own very human stories. God bless.
I was drawn to the line in your devotional, “We have Jesus’ instruction to bring the gospel to all people, and we do that, in part, by telling the stories from our own relationship with Jesus.” This becomes very powerful when we build up our own personal relationship to Him by prayer and reading His word — then we really have something to share. Thanks for writing.
Thank you for sharing these memories, Joel, I always enjoy your devotionals. It has also reminded me how important it is to write these stories down. My father died over 20 years ago, and I didn’t write much if anything down. My mother is elderly. I really need to get more on paper!
Thanks for writing often for PresbyCan Daily devotions.
I enjoyed your “We’ve a Story To Tell ….To The Nations.
The stories of our parents and grandparents are so important for us and the following generations especially when we have parents who love and serve the Lord.
Again, keep up the good work. You never know who you might touch in a meaningful way.
Indeed we do Joel.
Amen! Why do we hesitate to have those conversations?
Another good one. Have sent it on to my children and several grandchildren.
Great work Joel. Glad to know you’re continuing to write. What a blessing for all!!
THANK YOU FOR THE SIMPLE BUT PROFOUND DEVOTIONAL. Where would we be without the Written Stories?
You have reminded me of a story from our family history that I must share.
And….you are doing that: sharing God’s good news with us, the readers. As you say, we all have a story. Keep writing!