Telling the Best Story

O God, we have heard it with our own ears—our ancestors have told us of all you did in their day, in days long ago. Psalm 44:1 NLT

As I sat very still, he told me the most interesting story I’d ever heard, even drawing pictures to make it more interesting.

When I was nine years old, Dad said he had a story to tell me. He took me into his home office and told me a story about how I had sinned against God, how God loved me, and how God had sent His Son to die for my sins. To illustrate the story, he wrote God’s name on the left side of a piece of paper and my name on the right side. Then he drew a cross in the middle and wrote Jesus’ name on it. He asked me if I believed Jesus had died for my sins. I said, “Yes.” Shortly thereafter, Dad baptized me. He could do that since he was the preacher at the church.

Dad told the story because someone had told him the story—and because he loved me, because he wanted me to get the best out of life, and because he wanted me in heaven with him. I never knew my grandfather—Dad’s dad—to be vocal about his faith, although he lived it out in evident ways. Perhaps my grandmother told the story to my dad. Or maybe a Sunday school teacher did. Regardless, someone told him, and he, like I, believed.

And someone told my grandparents. I had the privilege of having both of my great grandmothers around until I was seventeen. Both were godly women. I’m sure they told the story to my grandfather and grandmother. I don’t know any family history about the story beyond them, but someone must have told them. Without hearing, they could not have believed.

I kept the story going the other way. I told the story to my children when they were just babies. When they reached the age where they could understand the full implications of the story, I told them again and asked if they wanted to believe. They did. Now, they are telling the story to their children—who I hope will believe the story and share it with their children.

The psalmist had heard a story too. A story of how God had delivered His people from Egyptian slavery. A story of God’s love. And he, too, planned to pass along the story.

Of all the people we can and should tell the story to, our families should top the list. Sometimes they’re the most difficult to share with. We don’t want to create friction if we know they’re not interested in hearing. But God wants us to start with them and branch out. Knowing our family believes is comforting. We can look forward to a large family reunion in heaven with them . . . and all who’ve believed the story.

But word isn’t the only way we share the story. Consistent examples of righteous living are also essential. As others see our example, they are more likely to believe the story when we tell them.

I’d love to hear about someone you shared the story with.

Martin Wiles

Martin lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (, the Senior Editor for Inspire-a-Fire, and a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He is an author, English teacher, minister, and freelance editor. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and the author of six books, including his most recent, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes for a Noisy World. He has also been published in numerous publications. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three. He can be contacted at

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