Today we’re sharing an excerpt from Elizabeth Woodson’s new study, From Beginning to Forever. Order your copy or view a free sample at lifeway.com/forever.
For generations, we have communicated the truth about our existence from the perspective of a character in a narrative whose plotline is continually unfolding. As humans, we “have a built-in narrative instinct, as if we have been designed to use stories to remember our past, make sense of our present, and shape our future.”1 A collection of facts seen through the lens of our mind, body, and heart, stories are the means by which we interpret our life experiences. They help us make sense of the world and find our place within it, answering the three core life questions all of us ask—Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I belong?
However, we aren’t born with these stories. Over the years, they are shaped by lots of different influences. The TV shows we watch, people we follow on social media, and our community all teach us how to view our lives and the world we live in.
Sometimes these stories teach us that we are what we have, look like, or do for a living. They encourage us to find our purpose in “following our hearts” or “doing what we feel.” And most of all, they tell us that finding a place of belonging is easy—as long as we are doing the right thing to earn our spot!
While popular and enticing, these stories simply aren’t true. In fact, only one can fully answer our core life questions—the story of the Bible! As the original and greatest Storyteller of all time, God gave us an epic story that explains who He is, who we are, and what He has for us to do in His world. It lays a foundation for us to build our lives upon and ultimately shows us that the good life can only be found in Jesus Christ!
In From Beginning to Forever, you and I will walk through this story together.
When we jump into the beginning of the story, we will see in the first verses of the Bible that God’s plan with creation was to establish His kingdom. But something went tragically wrong, and for the rest of Scripture, we will see God work to restore what He initiated at the beginning of time. With each session, we will take one more step toward the restoration of God’s kingdom. The kingdom of God is where we are able to live the good life, and it is the work of Jesus Christ that gets us into that kingdom.
We don’t have time in the study to dig down deep into all the nitty-gritty details, so we will examine the story from a fifty-thousand-foot level, using the theme of kingdom to connect all the pieces of the story together. The goal of our journey will be to give you the tools to tell the story in your own words. Yes, YOU have the ability to not just know the story of the Bible but share it in your own words. We will work on your ability to retell the story a little bit each week, so by the end of the study you will have a summary of the entire story.
My hope is that by the end of this study you will understand how the entire story of Scripture helps us know who God is, who we are, and what we are called to do in His world. The goal, friends, is not to just know facts, but to study information that will transform our motivation for living and love for God.
1. Alister McGrath, Narrative Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2019), 9.
Want to learn more about the From Beginning to Forever Bible study? Watch the short video below or view a free sample and teaching video clips at lifeway.com/forever.
We’re excited to announce that the From Beginning to Forever Bible Study Book includes continual access to all 8 of Elizabeth’s teaching sessions. You’ll simply redeem the unique access code printed in the back of your Bible study book to access the videos.
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