It happened one day quite suddenly when the pastor was preaching from John’s gospel.
I’d been taught from a very young age that the story of salvation began with John 3:16 but something made me flick back to the beginning of the gospel. Why, here was where the story of salvation began; not in chapter 3 but here in the words, “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
Why, I wondered… after years and years of being familiar with this, had it taken until I was 40 to see it?
The preacher and those around me faded into the background as I became lost in what I was seeing! I was realising how I’d become caught in tradition and old habits. It really shouldn’t have been so difficult to realise that God’s story of salvation would begin at the beginning; not even just the beginning of the gospel story, but way back in Genesis.
Why had I been content to focus on one or two verses and forget the full story; the full, complete story that begins in the beginning!
From Genesis to Christ’s death the Scriptures point to God’s redemptive plan for his people. This is the story I have to share.
So many times through the Old Testament we see God revealing his plan to his people. We have the story of Noah; and then there’s the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery and into a place God had prepared for them. We have the story of Ruth, of Esther and Rahab.
There will always be particular verses and truths that stand out as profoundly significant; truths and promises that are especially significant to me personally. However, I need to always be mindful to keep these verses in context and not isolated from the full story.
I’d grown up learning there were verses for salvation and others for discipleship etc, but now I was seeing it all from this new perspective.
The story isn’t about me and my experiences; nor about another and their needs. No, the story begins with God; a loving, redeeming God.
That was almost half a life time ago and I continue to delight in this love story of a God who desired to know a people for himself. And it’s the things I delight in that I’m going to talk about!