When I was little, my parents would take me to Sunday School every week. I learned about several Bible stories that I am sure most little kids learn. I learned all about Noah and how he took 2 of each animal on the ark. (Side note – did you know he actually took more than two of some animals so he could sacrifice them? Yes! I was amazed when I read this fact – in the Bible!!) Another favorite when I was little was Jonah and the Whale, or should I say big fish? I remember singing songs about Zacchaeus – “Zacchaeus – you come down, for we’re going to your house today!” – And songs about telling Pharaoh to let God’s people go. It was a good foundation of the well-known stories, but as I have grown and have read through the Bible a few times, there are other stories that fascinate me – stories that are not usually shared in Sunday School. Stories that guide me in the way I live my life. Today I am sharing 5 Fascinating Bible Stories, and I am linking up with Mrs. Disciple for her #FridayFive.
Throw a Stone
I love the story in John 8: 1 – 11, where the teachers and the Pharisees had brought a woman caught in adultery to the temple courts. According to the law of Moses, they could have stoned her and they were asking Jesus what they should do. Jesus knew this was a trap. He responded with a few powerful words.
“Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7 NIV)
The story continues to state that one by one from the older to the younger they all left. Not one of them picking up a stone. Jesus asks the woman if anyone has condemned her and she says, “no one.”
Jesus’ reply, “Then neither do I condemn you….Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11 NIV)
This story has been one that God reminds me of when I am ready to pick up a stone. I am not going to lie and say that I have never looked at another person’s sin and not made a judgment. I have. I think we all have. However, it is not long after that, that I am reminded of this story. Romans 3:23 tells us we are all sinners! All of us. You, Me, ALL. So who am I to judge someone else’s sin? I’m not. This verse has stretched me and filled me with grace to love others in spite of their sin. Let’s put the stones down.
Plans to Prosper
When I accepted the Lord as my Savior in my mid-twenties, it was an uncertain time in my life. I remember my Pastor was giving the final message at a family camp, so I drove to hear him. It was one of those messages where you don’t think anybody else is there, and the message is for you and you alone. He shared a few verses from Jeremiah chapter 29, and in a matter of minutes all the uncertainty I was drowning in was overcome by peace. In Jeremiah 29: 11 – 13 the Lord is speaking to those who were in captivity:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV)
These few verses not only carried me, but they also gave me hope for my future. I had never heard these verses before my Pastor spoke them in that message, and then it seemed like I saw them or heard them everywhere. God is awesome like that. I also love how this passage ties in with my one word for the year. Have Hope.
Train Them Up
The whole book of Proverbs is overflowing with wisdom. There are numerous takeaways on every page. It is the place to go if you are seeking direction and guidance. One of my favorite verses (not a story I guess) is in Proverbs 22:6. I love the King James version of this verse:
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
I was raised in the church, but I never really “got” it. To me, going to church was just something we did on Sunday mornings, and it was never really personal to me. However, when I was facing hard times years after I had stopped going to church, I returned to it. Now that I am raising four little ones, I am raising them to know Jesus and to live their lives for Him. I know, they might not always do so even though that is my prayer, but I have hope that even if they do stray, they will not fully depart from it, and they will find their way back like I did. Train Them in His Ways.
My boys are 6 and 4 years old. The story of David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel 17 is one that is re-enacted almost daily in our home. My husband has let the boys watch this clip from the Bible Series approximately 3,492 times. It is a great story, one that I want my boys to have ingrained in their heads. I don’t want them growing up thinking anything is too big for them to overcome, but that with God, they can overcome any Goliath. I love how in this clip David is reciting what we later know as Psalm 23. My 4-year-old is now walking around quoting this. The kids also go around saying what Goliath taunts, “Where is your faith? Where is your God?” I don’t want that to be questioned in my life. (Note of caution: not all the clips from this series are appropriate for young kids)
For Such a Time as This
What girl does not love a good ol’ heroine story? I know I do, and that is why I absolutely love, love, love the story of Esther. I love the whole book, but by far, the best part of her story is found in Esther Ch. 4. Esther’s story is fascinating. In short, Esther is just a girl who is made a Queen and then saves her people. A few weeks ago we had a guest speaker at our church. Darrin Whitehead, Pastor of Church of the City in Nashville, TN gave a message titled “Someone Should Do Something About This” It was based on the story of Esther and our ‘callings.’ He gave the equation that our Gifts + Passions + Opportunity = Calling. It was an outstanding message, and I invite you to listen to it if you are questioning your calling. If you know what your calling is and just want to hear an awesome message, listen too!
So, there you have it. Fascinating Bible Stories that guide me in Living the Full Life. You might be wondering why I didn’t share about John 10. I figured I covered that when I started the blog, so I wouldn’t repeat it here.
What Bible Stories fascinate you? What ones guide the way you live your life? Leave a comment and let me know!