Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: How to tell the gospel story of Jesus Christ

Tell the Story

A devotional by Carrie Del Pizzo

“As for us, we can’t stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
~Acts 4:20 (CEB)

The Apostles amaze me. In Acts chapter 4, Peter and John were telling folks about Jesus when they were picked up by the temple guard. The high priest and the Pharisees thought they had solved that Jesus problem when they had him killed, but He was like a bad penny. He always turned up.

So they started arresting people who followed Him. Peter and John were brought before the temple leaders and told very clearly to stop it. Stop telling people about Jesus.

Peter and John’s response is just as clear. Can’t do it. Actually, in the previous verse, they tell the Pharisees, “We’ll let you figure out if we should obey God or you.” Ouch. And then they continue on to say that they can’t stop speaking.

Sometimes I read this and wonder what I’m supposed to do. Should I tell my neighbor about Jesus? What about the cashier at the grocery store? Am I supposed to stop all those cars driving by?

Yes, we should be sharing Jesus with those around us, but I don’t think we need to endanger ourselves. (Especially since the road by my house is a highway.) But I did see someone who “can’t stop speaking” and I think he makes a pretty good modern-day example.

My family recently watched The Greatest Showman (movie) about the life of P.T. Barnum. If you like music, even a little bit, this is a very entertaining movie. I also came across an interview with Hugh Jackman, the star of the film, and Michael Gracey, the director. They tell the story of trying to get the green light to make the movie.

After eight months of work, they got all the studios executives, money people, and decision makers in one room so they could read and sing through the entire script. But the day before, Mr. Jackman had a spot of skin cancer removed from his nose. Because of his eighty stitches, the doctor said, “No singing.”

So, he had to let someone else do his singing for him. He read his lines, acted and gestured, but no singing. Until the song “From Now On.” It was the big number near the end. Like every good story, the main character, P.T. Barnum, stumbled and struggled. But in this scene, he learns from his mistakes and decides to make a change.

The song is very encouraging and moving. So moving, in fact, that Mr. Jackman can’t stop singing. Oh, he tried. Hands on hips, lips pursed, he shakes his head as though telling himself not to do it. But he just can’t hold it in. When he finally opens his mouth, he sings with unbridled passion, the rest of the cast cheers him on, and the room fires up with energy.

Yes, Hugh Jackman is a professional who is well paid for his moving performances. But in that critical workshop, when the entire movie was on the line, this man believed so much in the story they were telling that he could not stop himself from laying it all out there.

At the end of the clip, Mr. Jackman discovers blood trickling down his nose, and the next day he was back in his doctor’s office to get the popped stitches repaired. But from the smile on his face, I’m guessing he didn’t regret his decision for a minute.

And that’s how we need to be about Jesus. We don’t need to stop traffic or strike up conversation with total strangers. But when you’re with someone who is searching for the truth and wondering who this Jesus is, don’t even try to stop yourself from sharing His amazing story.

Author Bio:

In this world of texts, memes, and emojis, slowing down to truly communicate can feel like straining a muscle you haven’t exercised in far too long.

Seventeen years of business experience across a variety of industries has taught Carrie Del Pizzo the fine art of professional communications. Partnering with corporate executives and entry-level employees alike, she has written and edited major project proposals, direct marketing pieces, sensitive client communications, employee handbooks, and user manuals.

Carrie’s love of literature and story has led her to develop and exercise her fiction writing skills as well. Aside from her personal creative efforts, she also edits for self- and traditionally-published authors and enjoys writing short dramas for church presentation.

Carrie is a wife, mom of three Americans and host-mom to numerous exchange students. Italian-by-marriage means she loves to cook and eat. She lives in Spokane, WA, with her hilarious family, who keeps her in stitches and provides piles of material for great stories.

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