I Will Tell The Story

Psalm 96:3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

Last week I was given a homework assignment by one of Hayleigh's teachers. I had to tell all about my sweet daughter in a million words or less. A million words? How could her teacher limit me to just a million words? I could talk for hours about her fun-loving personality. I could talk for days about her kind heart. I could talk for months about her generous spirit.

Today I am reading Romans 15:14-33. Paul is beginning to wrap up his letter to the Christians in Rome. He expresses his heartfelt desire to come and visit them. His love had been sent ahead in his epistle and in prayers for them to God. As Paul writes his conclusion, he lets the Romans know that he has not ventured "to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me". Have you ever felt led to tell a family member or friend about your faith but felt unprepared to do so? I know I have.

Here, Paul gives us great insight into our most powerful tool - our unique story. Before I started walking with Jesus, my life was marked with achievement and overcommitment. I tried to fill the void in my life with accolade and accomplishment. There was nothing I wouldn't say "yes" to especially if I thought someone would thank or acknowledge me. That is except for anything God was asking of me. I was too busy earning gold stars to be concerned with God's plan for my life. I thought I was doing just fine on my own.

Then one day I wasn't. After the surprising end of a three year relationship, I found myself truly alone. It was then I noticed some fellow students who seemed different than other people I'd known in my life. They appeared truly happy regardless of what circumstance happened their way. I began to ask these kids what was different about them and one by one they gave me the same answer - Jesus! On New Years Eve 1990, I decided I'd had enough of planning my own agenda in my own strength and said "yes" to the only thing I'd ever really need to again - a personal relationship with God.

A number of years after giving my heart to God, I decided I really wanted to get to know Him. I began to read my Bible and talk to God in prayer. It was then that my life truly began to change. I learned to say "no". I realized I didn't need other's approval to be complete. Most importantly, I discovered that God would never be any more impressed with me nor could He love me any more than He already did, regardless of what I did or did not achieve. What freedom! What peace!

God wants each of us to tell our story because it's really His. Like Paul, we can simply speak of what Christ has accomplished through us. Jesus, today I will tell Your story. Indeed You've changed my life. You've made my heart new and filled it with joy and peace.

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