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Why Christians Must Live a Better Story

In order for a story to resonate it must, on one hand, relate to the culture in which it is told. The audience must be able to comprehend the language and form, believe the characters, and follow the plot.

On the other hand, a good story will always stand out. The characters will be unique in the way they handle conflict, overcome disappointment, and triumph over adversity.

As Christians living in the midst of a dark and broken world, we have a different story to tell. We are invited to participate in God’s unfolding story of love, redemption, and renewal. Yet our story must always relate to its context. Karl Barth said that the Christian story must contradict the world in a way that is full of promise.

The world is telling a story of jealousy, bitterness, and unforgiveness…

We are telling a story of humility, service, and grace.

The world is telling a story of intolerance, racism, and hate…

We are telling a story of reconciliation and unconditional love.

The world is telling a story of unbridled consumerism, spending, and debt…

We are telling a story of simplicity, frugality, and contentment.

The world is telling a story of worry, fear, and anxiety…

We are telling a story of faith and hope and rest in the love of Jesus Christ.

Jesus told this story better than anyone who ever lived.

Although he was God – he became man – he entered into our story. Spoke our language. Understood the human struggle.

And yet his life stood out in radical ways. He touched lepers, welcomed outcasts, rose above the empty ritual and religion of His day, and offered a new life full of freedom and grace. 

Although he wanted all to be saved, he was never interested in simply drawing a crowd. In fact, when the crowd was the biggest, he called upon them to “eat his flesh and drink his blood.”

What was he saying?

He was saying come and die.
Die to the story you’ve been trying to tell.
Die to the ways of this world.
Confess of the sin in your heart.
Turn away from the shallow, predictable character you’ve become.

Instead, take my life within you.
Let my story penetrate your heart and soul.
Begin to live in me. In my rhythm. In my pattern. In my beat.
And I will set you free to write incredible stories with your life.  

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paulstewart@churchleaders.com'
IÂ’m the Lead Pastor of a The Gateway Church - a missional faith community in Des Moines committed to joining God in the renewal of all things. I am married to my high-school sweetheart, Jessica. We have three beautiful children; Sophia, George, and Evelyn.