The Art of Storytelling

January 14, 2015

Psalms 34:11
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

The Art of Storytelling

Many of us experience the difficulty of relating with our children and grandchildren. They live in a high tech world of video games and fast paced television. To them we may seem pretty boring and out of touch. Even so, I think children still have the same need to be able to be taught and nurtured by us. Often we are perceived as just the yellers and disciplinarians. Yet part of the role of an adult parent or grandparent is the role of a teacher. God has given us a good number more years to experience life first hand through both success and failures. We tend to forget the wealth of experience that we possess. Used in the right way, this can be one of the greatest avenues for us to relate and teach our children the positive lessons of life. It is our way to make real to them the reality of God and how He personally works in our lives.
God exhorted the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” It is a parent’s responsibility to pass on the laws, principles and precepts of God’s Word to their children. Many of us have been very guilty of ignoring this responsibility or feel like we have met our obligation by giving our kids religious videos and taking them to Sunday school. That is all well and good, but God has given us the responsibility to instruct our children. Maybe we don’t feel qualified or we think that just entails us sitting them down while we read scripture to them. No, the Word of God has to become alive to them through us. We have to convey to them spiritual reality.
Our grandchildren love all the things that other kids love, but I find that they are fascinated to sit and listen as we tell them the stories of how God has worked in our lives. We can share with them our victories and our failures. When they understand how God has worked for us and in us then they can mentally handle God in the flesh. It becomes reality to them and it makes the stories of God’s Word more of a reality to them as well. It is amazing to see the hunger in our grandchildren as they ask to hear story after story. The neat thing is that as you are telling them the stories you can teach God’s Word to them in a meaningful and interesting way.
We may not think we have much to share, but maybe we need to take some time to really meditate back through our lives and think about all of the times God has been there for us. As we think about it, most all of us have experiences where we have seen God’s hand in our lives, His blessing, His protection and His provision. We may find that encourages and stirs up our faith as we remember and reflect on all of God’s goodness in our lives. Be faithful to teach your children and instruct them in the ways of the Lord. They need it because it is what gives them a sense of identity and purpose for their own lives. There is perhaps no more effective way than through the art of storytelling. It is the way that cultures have passed their values and their heritage on to the younger generations throughout history. We don’t want to lose this art in our high tech world. Take the time to share your stories and do it often. It is the way that we instill godly character, values and knowledge about who God is, what He is and what He wants to be to them.

Blessings,
#kent

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Old Things Obstruct the New

Hebrews 9:6-8
Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service [of God]. But into the second [went] the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and [for] the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

As I was looking around my yard and home today I was noticing areas where we have made improvements, remodeled and changed our existing structure and yard. I also noticed how much of the remnants of those old things still remained and cluttered my house and yard. Either I hadn’t gotten around to getting them hauled off or I thought they might come in handy someday, so for whatever reason they remain cluttering up our lives and home, keeping us from fully enjoying the fullness of the improvements that we have made. It occurred to me that our spiritual lives are a lot like that. While we don’t remove the foundation of our homes we do update and make improvements to our existing structure. The same is true of our spiritual lives. We are continually growing in our revelation and understanding of God, of who we are in Him and who He is in us. Why aren’t some these revelations having a more profound effect in our relationship with God?
The Lord showed me some time back that He gave the tabernacle of Moses, the priesthood and that spiritual service as a type and shadow of the true spiritual tabernacle and service that is revealed in Christ and His Church. This is clearly seen and discussed in the book of Hebrews. What the Holy Spirit brought to my attention is the little phrase contained the scripture above, “the Holy Spirit thus signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing (Hebrews 9:8).” Now we know through the Word that when Christ died upon the cross, the veil in the temple was literally torn supernaturally from top to bottom, the Lord spiritually signifying to us that we all now have access into the Holy of Holies, His very presence. Hebrews 10:19-20 verifies this by saying, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.” Why is it that now that we have access to the Father we are not experiencing the measure of His fullness and presence we so desire? Much of it may have to do with the excess baggage we are still carrying with us from our former belief system that was steeped in law and the traditions of men. It may be that our first tabernacles are still standing or least remnants of them. We have our own religions, denominations, agendas and our own way of doing things. So much of it is not placed there by the Spirit of God, but by man, much of it by man’s own prejudices and opinions. While, in many cases it contains elements of truth, is it the truth of the revelation that God has for us in this hour. Just as the tabernacle of Moses and priestly service was truth in the day of Moses, in God’s reality it was only pointing the way to a deeper truth and reality of God’s true spiritual tabernacle contained in Christ and His Church. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.” The Lord is conforming and transforming us to His image from glory to glory, from understanding to understanding, from revelation to revelation. We are continually maturing and should be growing up into Him in all things. The question is, as we are growing in our understanding and revelation are we still clinging to the old? Do we still maintain our former belief system, our former mentality, our former thinking and level of faith? Is there a lot of clutter in our spiritual house that is hindering us from experiencing a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God’s presence? The only way we can enter into the Holiest of all is in full assurance of faith and the blood of Jesus. What other things in our lives and in our beliefs are we using to try and gain this access. The Lord Jesus has done it all, but we may not be experiencing it all because as long as the former temple is still standing the Holiest of all is still not going to be made manifest to us. The truth is most of us need to clean house and get rid of whole lot of junk that is doing nothing but hindering us from moving into a richer and more meaningful experience with God. This is where we need to begin to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in identifying and getting rid of old ways of thinking and believing that are not inline with His present revelation and truth. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” As the old things have passed away we must get rid of even the remnants of them from our lives that we may come, unencumbered into the fullness of the new, into His Holy presence, with boldness, fullness of faith and with the blood of Jesus.

Blessings,
kent

2 Corinthians 5:16-17
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

The Old has Gone, the New has Come

Have you ever known somebody from a distance and based on your outward observation you formed opinions of who he or she was and what he or she was like? Later, you came to know this person on a much more personal basis and as you gained access to really know their heart, your opinions and judgements of them changed. You came into a fresh and deeper revelation of who they were as a person. Many people know Jesus from a worldly point of view. They may know Him as a prophet, as a healer, as a teacher and even as the Son of God, but do they still only know Christ only from a worldly viewpoint? Many of us have experienced a deeper revelation and more intimate relationship with Christ. He has become so much more than a great and good person who walked upon the earth and impacted the history of mankind. As we have come to know Him intimately we no longer see Him from that worldly viewpoint. We have come to know Him after the Spirit. We have come into an intimacy and knowing of the most personal kind. We are coming to know Him not as just a Savior who awaits us in heaven, but as the person we walk with and fellowship with daily. He knows our heart and daily He brings us more into the knowledge of His heart as we walk and share life with Him in that most intimate place. There isn’t anything that we can’t share with Him and nothing that He doesn’t know. The richest security and safety that we feel in Him is that even though He knows all of our weaknesses, our faults and our failures, He still loves us unconditionally. In our marriages we come to know each other’s weakness, frailties and faults quite well. True agape, unconditional love is when, in spite of all those shortcomings we can love them just as much anyway. It doesn’t mean we love the faults or we don’t want to see change, but personal dislikes or desires for their change doesn’t change the fact that we love them anyway and hopefully they love us the same way in return.
When we come into Christ our viewpoint and paradigm has to be changed. We are no longer that worldly person that we once were. It doesn’t mean that those old ways suddenly all fall off, but in our inward man, our spirit, a transformation has taken place. Old things have passed away and the new has come. If we are intent upon knowing Christ now in this more intimate way then what began in our spirit will begin to permeate very part of our being, spirit, soul and body. It will become our new paradigm and mindset that we now will operate out of. While the transformation and habitation of our spirit changes immediately, the transformation of our soul and body is a work of salvation in progress. Our salvation isn’t over and done with when we walk the aisle or give our heart to Christ. It is just the “I do” that begins this marriage in His Spirit and life. In 2 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul prays, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is a progression of salvation from the inward to the outward. This is completely the opposite of how the flesh approaches it. We often think the better we are outwardly the more acceptable we are inwardly. The Lord teaches us that if we learn to live out of the inward or spirit man, the outward will line up with our spirit. His will, becomes our will, His thoughts become our thoughts and His desires become our desires. In that intimate place we start living no longer after the man of the world, but after the man of the spirit. The intimacy and relationship brings the transformation. Little by little He deals with the different areas of our life and because we love Him we yield them obediently to Him, because we know that He has first loved us and gave Himself for us.
Indeed, may old things pass away and all things become new in the light and glory of all that He is in us.

Blessings,
kent

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