The Story

PASTOR THOUGHTS

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Decision you make affect those traveling with you!

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THE STORY


Chapter 2 / When the Last in Line Gets Chosen for the Team
 
The casting agent enters the room with her top picks for the show’s leading man and lady.  The new series will follow the spellbinding story of a clan that builds a powerful, world-impacting family tree.  This is the pilot, and it is crucial to make the right call on the individuals who will fall in love and launch this Kennedy-like family of influence and fame.
 
Producers and writers alike have waited breathlessly for this moment, the moment when who they have envisioned as the leading characters will be finally realized in an actor and actress.  But when they turn to see who has been tapped for these most special of roles, the thud of their collective jaws hitting the majestic mahogany conference table muffles their mutual groans.
 
There before their wide eyes, instead of the expected vibrant, young couple with gleaming white teeth and tanned and toned bodies, stand a 75-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman.  Not what they had pictured for their production.
 
And yet, this is what God has chosen.  His screenplay called for a couple to launch a new nation, one that would impact the entire world.  As he would say, a nation through whom “all the nations of the earth would be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).
 
Abram and Sarai stand there, adorned perhaps by dusty old robes and crowned with wispy white hair and loosely fitting skin and as befuddled as anyone else.  God chose them to begin a nation.  An unlikely pair, especially after factoring in the fact that Sarai was barren.  How could God expect to start a nation with a woman who could not bear children?
 
To complicate the story line, it will be 25 more years before they actually have their child of promise.  By that time Abram and Sarai will be 100 years old and 90 years old, respectively (and their names will be changed to Abraham and Sarah).  Perhaps Social Security checks will help this special couple decorate the baby’s tent and they’ll be able take naps when the baby does.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  His story.
 
God picks people you and I wouldn’t necessarily select to take part in his story. In fact sometimes we are shocked who plays the starring roles in his stories.  Unlike the way we do business, he taps people, not merely because of their abilities, but for their availability.  God searches for people who are open to be used by him.  Since he uses only those who are willing to be used for his purposes, there is no doubt that it is he who is doing the the wonder- working.  Let there be no doubt, throughout history he is the one making things happen. 
 
That’s good news, isn’t it?  In the business world, you may not have a great pedigree.  In academics, you may not be a Rhodes Scholar.  You may not have a lot of money and you may have average looks.  But you may be sitting in a pretty good position to be a top pick for God’s work.
 
Chapter 1 / God’s Great Passion is to Be with You
 
Some movies start at warp speed.  Case in point: Star Trek.  From the opening scene to the end it barely lets you breathe.  If you slip out for popcorn you were sure to miss something important.  And yet, people did. 
 
This disturbs me greatly since I am a movie snob.  I think the way to maximize the movie-going experience is to be in your seat at least 20 minutes early.  Never done that?  Then next time you go to a movie look around and spot the person that is in the prime seat—dead middle, eye level with the center of the screen.  That’s what 20 minutes early gets you.   Popcorn and drink in hand, nothing will move this person from their secured spot for the duration of the movie.
 
That’s where you need to be for God’s story.  Its opening scene also starts with a relentless pace that doesn’t let up.  The first line reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). 
 
Right off the bat we find the main character in the story is not you or me.  It’s God.  And the rest of The Story will unfold out of the nature and person of this character.  Just ten words in and there is enough action to leave you breathless. 
 
It doesn’t take long to find out what God’s great passion is.  Birds?  Nope.  Animals?  Not quite. Sun, moon or stars? Bright guess.  No, in Genesis 3:8 we find that God is walking in the Garden with Adam and Eve in the “cool of the day.” 
 
Sounds nice if you are in a hot, humid climate, doesn’t it?  And yet the “cool of the day” is not the focus.  God is, and he is near.  He is right with Adam and Eve.  And he is right here with us.  His simple vision for his creation was to spend time with them every day, to take a walk with them.  God’s supreme passion is to be with us.  
 
Some of you have lived your life with the idea that God is some angry cosmic kill-joy who sits in the heavens and watches you, waiting for you to make a mistake so he can zap you.  Or, you feel he is distant and doesn’t care or has simply forgotten you.
 
But from the beginning he has shown us this is not the case.  He wants to be with you.  He has not forgotten you.   In fact, this might be the perfect time for you to go for a walk.