Before and After

Acts 17:1-15

This week’s Parade Magazine held the title “The Stories Behind the Songs.” It explored the meaning behind songs written by The Beatles, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan and more. I couldn’t help but wonder at the way simple stories, expressed through song, went on to become recognized, memorized, sung and spread through countless of adoring fans and beyond. Storytelling is powerful.

In Acts 17, we see Paul, Silas and Timothy sharing the story of the Gospel in Thessalonica, Berea and in Athens. Some affirmed it; others fought it. Regardless, change was affected. The power of the Gospel was (and is!) held in Jesus, but the evidence of the Gospel’s ability to change was held in Paul’s profession of his own story — once a murderer and now a worshiper. In this week’s message, Jason challenges us with the questions: Who was I before? Who am I now? And am I confident enough to declare the change? The transforming work of the Spirit in our lives is not meant to be held close and hidden. The Spirit works through us so that we can share Him with a world in need. How many stories are unsaid, lives unaffected and hearts unmoved because of our insecurity, timidity and apathy toward sharing with others the only agent of eternal and meaningful change? Tell your story for His glory.


Define your “before” and who you are becoming through the effect of the Gospel in your life. SHARE IT.