January 5th Devotion

Your Story Matters
By Amanda Idleman

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” - Ephesians 3:20-21

God is the ultimate storyteller. Jared C. Wilson articulates it this way, “Only God can write a story that resonates not just in the power of the imagination or the heart or the mind, but in the very soul; only God can write a story that brings dead things to life.” He makes streams in the desert areas of our lives and connects dots that go way beyond coincidence.

Humans love stories. We were created with an innate desire to be captivated by epic tales. Humanity has been driven from the start of time to write down our history and pass it on to the generations to come. We are fascinated by what was and what is to come.

The beautiful thing is that we all get a leading role in this epic chronicle that makes up God’s plan. Each and every person is created in his image. They have value; he has made them for a purpose, and their story matters. Your story matters!

Obedience to the Lord creates greater opportunities for influence in our lives.
Oftentimes, acts of faith can lead to miracles we could have never foreseen! A friend of ours felt called to go to Turkey to share the gospel. Their family has now been there for several years and truly loves their new home. When they come home to the United States, they get the chance to share the story of God’s work in Turkey. To them, the decision to move across the world was one simple act of obedience that truly blessed their family. But others see this massive step into the unknown and feel convicted to make moves toward God’s plan in their own lives. The miracle of the work they are doing in Turkey is multiplied and even impacts the lives of those supporting them back in the states. God’s grace abounds!

Our obedience to the Lord creates our unique testimony.
We felt called years back to become foster parents. We were totally unsure what God wanted to do with this step of faith, but we were sure this was the direction he was calling our family to go. God is wild, and one faith step led to another until, suddenly, our family has been completely transformed. Now when I just give the basic facts about our family to a stranger, I end up sharing our testimony. I can’t tell you about the children we get to love without telling you about how faithful God has been in putting our family together in such a special way.

Be intentional to share with others when God has done a miracle on your behalf.
What faith steps have you taken that have led to God writing a unique, just-for-you story with your life? Take time to write down the things you have seen God do on your behalf. Make an effort to share parts of this miracle story when others ask about your life.

Your story matters most to those closest to you.
Our church has an amazing campus that is streamed into the local jail. God is changing the lives of men and women who have struggled with addiction for decades. It’s just incredible to see! Recently some of the prior inmates gave their testimonies on stage. Two of the men that shared were father and son. They had done and sold drugs together for years and spent time in the same jails. A few years ago, the Father gave his heart to the Lord while incarcerated. He has been clean now since being released and continues to share the gospel with others in jail. Since then, his son was in the same jail, and he began to share his story with his son. He encouraged him to read the Bible. In time his son gave his life to the Lord and has been living a clean and sober life. When asked what really led to this huge life change, he said it was seeing his Dad’s life change that changed him.

The story you are living matters most to your family and loved ones. Your choice to follow the Lord and his call makes a huge impact on the generation to come. When we live in a way that requires us to rely fully on God, our kids have a tangible example of what faith in God is. It becomes real to them and is so much harder for them to deny.

Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” God wants to do immeasurably more with our lives than we could ever ask or imagine. Trust him as you take those big and little steps forward towards bringing his Kingdom come here on Earth. As he does what only he can do, share his goodness with others. There is so much power in your story.

Intersecting Faith and Life:
Do you often gloss over God’s miraculous provision and guidance or do you freely share the ways your faith in Christ has shaped your life? Let’s be challenged not to just give the facts but to tell our full testimony when meeting people. Communicating what God has done in your life is one of the most powerful ways to show Christ to others.
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