Have you read the greatest story ever told?
I decided when December came, I wouldn’t watch or read the news for the entire Christmas season and let me tell you, it has changed everything. Instead of watching the news every night, I’ve been watching Tim Mackie Sermons (I’m obsessed. Seriously, look him up. I have learned SO. MUCH.). Instead of reading all the online news outlets and scrolling through social media, I’ve been diving into my Bible to read the better stories, full of messy people and a God who comes to clean us up.
This is a radical change for me. I have watched the news every night for decades because I want to know what’s going on in our world, our country, and in all our lives. But these last several months, I’ve lost myself in the news and even more so, the opinions of the news. It all became so heavy and carrying that weight around has left me weary. (You get this, I know you do.)
I realized that in order for me to invite this Sacred Season into my life, my heart, and my mind, I needed to let go of those things that took up too much valuable space. I needed to release the relentless interference of my thoughts, so I could renew my mind on His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV
You can’t truly appreciate God’s provision when you are distracted by the clamoring voices that drown out His Truth. You surely can’t dwell on His promises when you slide down that slippery slope into the muddied path of doom and dread. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the landfall of the world’s deterioration, all the while, burying the greatest story ever told, the biggest headline of them all, the global gift given to us so many years ago, free for our taking…
Immanuel. God with us.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[a] (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23 NIV
This is a pivotal part of God’s story. God in human form, born into the world- to meet us where we are and take us where we need to go.
Ah, the arduous and glorious journey in discovering the Grace that God bestows on us is the greatest pursuit there is. And if we say yes to this gift that comes with Him, we must allow His ways to deconstruct ours and His story to reconstruct ours.
It comes with a lot of stretching of ourselves to understand His Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. I’m still learning what it’s all about and I believe God reveals the details of His story to us all, when we search for clarity, for truth, for answers. And when you discover more of His Ways and read more of His Word, your world will be turned upside down in the name of Jesus.
It is fraught with heart-bending challenges, like loving your enemies and praying for those who hurt you.
It is tense with conflicting guidelines, like the proud shall fall and the meek shall inherit the earth.
It is full of opposing principles, like the last shall become first and the first shall become last.
It tells us that in our weaknesses God is glorified and in order to stand strong, we must fall to our knees.
None of His Kingdom makes sense when we focus on the world’s rules, but it all becomes quite clear when we immerse ourselves in His Rule.
And when we really get it, as much as we humanly can, we have this Joy that goes beyond what is happening right here, right now. It extends through generations upon generations, because it lives on in the unchanging, unfailing, unrelenting love of God. This type of Joy doesn’t hold tight to our days, but rather, it wraps itself around the eternal Hope of Heaven that has been sent to us and opened up in us.
When we walk with Jesus, He comes with us through all the emerging terrain we travel, whether we are dancing on the summits or scavenging through the valleys. And somewhere along the way, we begin surrendering the road to Him. We offer up our mountaintops and valleys and our climbs and falls in-between. We give him everything, surrendering our will to His, and the transformation grows us more like Him, while we find that His upside-down Kingdom is and always was about turning us right-side up.
So, it is my hope that you can silence the world outside you, so you can experience this journey to Bethlehem and beyond.
I hope you can explore the impossible Truths that are only made possible by our great God.
I hope you can go on your search for the Savior and plan your pursuit into the greatest story ever told, so you will experience the incredible feat of faith too.
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14 NIV
Christy Prokop says
These are such beautiful words that give me such joy and sadness. Joy that I have Christ and get to experience the greatest story every told. Sadness because I can become consumed by the world and it’s view. Thank you for reminding us what is the most important news ever!
My beloved friend, walking this road with you by my side is the second greatest gift God has ever given to me. May we always help each other reach and stretch and grow in Him!!
Derek Carter says
Agree Chrissy the news is too toxic. A great time to focus on what matters and more uplifting messages.
Julie Jo Severson says
Hi friend, I finally have a quiet moment to myself so wanted to stop by here and say hello. And I’m so glad I did. Thank you for this message and reminder. I, too, have turned off the news for the past few weeks. But I need to direct more of the new space in my mind toward prayer and reflection. This series sounds wonderful and like a good place for me to start the new year. Hey, thanks for the sweet condolence card. That was really special, almost surreal actually, to see your name on that envelope. God bless you and your beautiful family. Looks like Cassie is going on another holy adventure. Oy mama! You are going to need HIS courage to let go eh? I can’t imagine. But I know you know it’s a calling, so all will be well. It’ll all be magnificent! Love you!
Donna Malloy says
Beautifully said Chris, as usual. It’s so easy to get consumed by this world and the things in it. Thank you for reminding us of the goodness and peace that comes from this wonderful story of our savior. It really is the greatest story ever told.