Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
July 9, 2003

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Here is this week's WINNING WAYS . . . .

The God of the Stories
by Tom Goodman

Christianity is a religion of stories.  Every week we come together at Hillcrest to tell stories – true stories of our spiritual ancestors.  Other religions take the form of philosophical instruction or mystical allegories or ethical codes.  But the Christian faith is a religion of stories.  One man said that the earliest order of worship was probably something like, "Gather the folks, break the break, and tell the stories."

When you become a believer, the Bible becomes your family scrapbook.  These guys are your ancestors, spiritually speaking – Daniel in the lion's den because he stayed faithful, Jonah in the belly of the whale because he refused to stay faithful, Joshua marching around Jericho, Zacchaeus up a tree because he wanted to see Jesus, the suffering woman who just wanted to touch the hem of Jesus' cloak, Simon Peter denying Jesus on the morning of his arrest.  These are our folks.

But then we come to a time when we become players in a story all our own.  Maybe the story is like Daniel's story, where we have to stay faithful to God and do the right thing even if it means sacrifice.  Maybe the story is like Abraham's story, where we have to step out in trust even when we can't imagine how God is going to provide what he promised to give us.  Maybe the story is like Moses' story, where we have to take on some leadership or ministry even when we don't feel worthy or capable.  All our lives we've told each other these stories, and then one day we say:

"As we have heard,
so we have seen"  (Psalm 48:8).

In other words, there comes a time when we meet the God of the Stories.  This Sunday we're going to look at Psalm 48 and prepare ourselves for that time we meet the God of the Stories.

See you at 8:30 or 10:45!

– Tom



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