This Time
I Will Praise the LORD

This time of year, our thoughts turn toward what the year may hold. We make plans and think about the previous years with all their disappointments and regrets.

Leah (Genesis 29:31-35) was doing this year after year. She thought children were the answer to not being loved. Having children was very important in biblical times, especially sons for they would carry on the family name. Leah believed that if she had sons her husband would be pleased, see her worth, and love her. The Lord gave her what she thought she wanted. Leah had three sons. Sadly, Isaac still didn’t love her.

Finally, Leah looked elsewhere and found love where it had always been waiting for her–in God’s arms. So when she had a fourth son, she praised God with that son’s very name, Judah which means praise. Pleasing her husband to make him love her was no longer the thing that defined Leah. Rather she decided to please God. After all, he had always loved her.

Have you ever done this? So caught up in what you think will make you happy, you miss how God can make you happy right where you are, nothing else needed.

Sometimes God gives us what we think we need to show us what we really need.

God is there for you whatever you feel you are missing in your life. God can satisfy it.

Is there anything in your life that you keep looking to for happiness other than to God?

Get Up. Take Your Mat.
Go Home.

When Jesus enters your story, you can’t keep quiet. Something within refuses to be still. Telling your story is a necessary part of your journey.

There once was a paralytic who received healing and forgiveness at the hands of Jesus, and he just couldn’t keep the good news to himself. Read his story in Luke 5:17-26.

The Paralytic’s Story

The crowd listening to Jesus and hoping for healing that day was so thick that a paralyzed man’s friends had to make a hole in the roof and lower their friend through it just so he could reach Jesus. Swaying on his mat as it was lowered to the ground, the paralyzed man was most certainly hoping for healing. He wanted to walk again. As his mat had come to rest directly in front of Jesus, his hopes must have been high.

Instead of healing the man, Jesus told him his sins were forgiven. As soon as those words were out of Jesus’ mouth, the Pharisees and teachers of the Law began to grumble among themselves, accusing Jesus of blasphemy–of claiming to be God–because only God can forgive sins. Jesus knew their thoughts and addressed their whispered accusations by saying (in essence), “I want you to know that I have the authority to forgive sins, so I’ll heal this man.”

So Jesus told the man lying there waiting for physical healing to get up, take his mat, and return home. Immediately, the man did as he was told. And he praised God on his way! As he headed home he told the people he met what Jesus had done for him–how Jesus had healed him AND forgiven his sins.

Reaction to the Story

This man’s story was witnessed by a crowd so large that his friends had been unable to carry him through the doors to see Jesus. The witnesses to this miracle AND the people this man told his story to were amazed by what Jesus had done. “Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe…” (Luke 5:26)

Telling Our Story

Our stories of what God has done for us and of how He has forgiven us have the potential to amaze people.

Our stories of what God has done for us and of how He has forgiven us have the potential to amaze people. Our stories can result in awe and praise directed to God. How?

Get Up – When the man got up, he was accepting the healing and forgiveness Jesus offered. Have you?

Take Your Mat – The mat he carried was the story of where he was before he met Jesus. Like this formerly paralyzed man, you need to take up your mat–the story of where you were without Jesus.

Go Home – Home represents the place you reside–your daily routine and the people who know you. Take your story with you every day and be prepared to share it.

Praise God – Share the story of where you were without Jesus and what He did for you as you walk through your daily routine. Give God the credit and honor He deserves.

Unless you take up your story and give God credit for what He did for you and how He forgave you, the people you meet will never have the opportunity to be amazed by your story and give praise to God. Give people the opportunity to be filled with awe. Share your story!

(As we explore how to Tell Your Story, each contributor will share a part of their God story with us. Here is Trisha’s Story.)

Think about it:

  • Get up! Have you accepted what Jesus did for you?
  • What is your mat (the place you were without Jesus)?
  • Where should you take your story?
  • How can you praise God as you carry your story along life’s way?

 

First post in series: Tell Your Story
Previous post in series: Storytelling Rules
Next post in series: Who Touched Me?

 

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.  www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™]