Telling God’s Stories in My Own Words [Choosing Joy]
It will come as no surprise that I enjoy studying the Bible. However, [confession time] with the internet at ready access, in recent years, I have fallen into the habit of searching for key words from the Bible to answer my questions about life. You can google “what does the Bible say about worry… motherhood… stress… joy” and instantly you will find lists of verses that apply to the search query. The problem is that this instant bite of God’s Word only satisfies the need at the surface. To truly grow in my knowledge of God and His Word, I am finding it much more effective to learn not just single verses, but entire stories.
With that said, here is a story from the God’s Word, in my own words.
After Jesus was crucified, raised from the grave, and ascended up to Heaven, the newly formed Christian church was just beginning to grow across Judea. King Herod began persecuting the Christians, throwing them in jail and even killing a few. He arrested Peter, a personal friend and disciple of Jesus and an important leader of the Christians. Herod wanted to make an example of Peter so he set 16 guards to watch him and had Peter bound in chains while he awaited trial. All this time, the Christians were gathered in earnest prayer for Peter.
Then, on the night before Peter was to be presented to the people, as Peter lay sleeping, an angel of the Lord appeared in his cell, awakened him with a rough shove, and ordered Peter to get up, get dressed, and leave the prison. Peter thought he was seeing a vision, but as Peter stood up his chains were released and he did as the angel commanded slipping away from the guards. When they came to the prison door it opened on its own before them. Peter and the angel went out into the streets and then the angel disappeared.
Peter hurried to the house where the believers were gathered in prayer for him. He knocked on the door and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter’s voice, Rhoda left him outside and hurried to tell the others that Peter was at the door. The believers were not convinced at first, but they rushed back to the door to find Peter there, still waiting to be let in. Peter told them of the miracle that had taken place and they rejoiced that God had answered their prayers. This is a story from God’s Word.
Read the story for yourself in Acts 12. How does God speak into your life through this story?
PS: Thank you to Judy Miller and First Baptist Church Owensboro for teaching me about the Storying method of Bible study!