“I Love to Tell the Story”
The scripture I read this morning was about Stephen telling the story of the Jewish people. Please read the following verses for a little under half of the story he tells.
Keep in mind, that the Jewish religious leaders are charging Stephen with following the risen Jesus and Stephen’s life is in danger. Instead of begging for his life, he preaches a sermon.
1Then the high priest asked him, “Are these charges true?” 2 To this, he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia before he lived in Haran. 3 ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’
4 “So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living.
5 He gave him no inheritance here, not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.
6 God spoke to him in this way: ‘Your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 7 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward, they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’ 8 Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
9 “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.
11 “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our fathers could not find food. 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers on their first visit. 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family.
14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our fathers died. 16 Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money. 17 “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt greatly increased. 18 Then another king, who knew nothing about Joseph, became ruler of Egypt. 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our forefathers by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
20 “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for in his father’s house. 21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. 22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
Do you enjoy telling the story of Jesus? The hymn writer did.
1 I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love. I love to tell the story because I know ’tis true; it satisfies my longings as nothing else could do.
Refrain: I love to tell the story; ’twill be my theme in glory to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.
2 I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams. I love to tell the story, it did so much for me; and that is just the reason I tell it now to thee. [Refrain]
3 I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat what seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.I love to tell the story, for some have never heard the message of salvation from God’s own holy Word. [Refrain]
4 I love to tell the story, for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest. And when in scenes of glory I sing the new, new song, ’twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long. [Refrain]
I pray that we would all love to tell the story. People need to hear the story. Will you tell them?
Be Blest, Be a Blessing.