There Are Only Two Stories


Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you. 

Jesus, We belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Romans 5:12–17 (NIV)

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!


There are only two stories. The story of Adam and the story of Jesus.

The story of sin and the story of grace.
The story of death and the story of life.
The story of crucifixion and the story of resurrection.
The story of trespass and the story of forgiveness.
The story of idolatry and the story of worship. 
The story of brokenness and the story of wholeness.
The story of lost and the story of found. 
The story of darkness and the story of light. 
The story of ashes and the story of beauty. 
The story of empire and the story of kingdom.
The story of war and the story of peace. 
The story of despair and the story of joy.
The story of fear and the story of faith.
The story of condemnation and the story of embrace. 
The story of slavery and the story of freedom. 
The story of injustice and the story of justice. 
The story of pride and the story of humility.
The story of indifference and the story of love. 
The story of theft and the story of gift. 

There are only two stories. The story of Adam and the story of Jesus.

Who in their right mind would choose the story of Adam?

And therein lies the problem. We are the unfortunate inheritors of the mind of Adam. The bad news is we are all born into the story of Adam (and Eve). The good news is we are all invited into the story of Jesus. And the story of Jesus is truly a “how much more” story. There is literally no comparison. So how on earth could anyone ever choose to remain in the story of Adam and not take the invitation to enter into the story of Jesus? 

There are many reasons I suppose, but one should concern us the most. People don’t take the invitation because they see people who claim to live in the story of Jesus, who have no intention of leaving the story of Adam.

That’s not who we are. We are Jesus people. His story is our story. His life is our life. His love is our love. The Holy Spirit is making this a reality for all who accept the invitation and receive the gift. Indeed, the love of God is being poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit even now. That’s our story. That’s our song. 


Father, how we thank you for the story of Jesus, who has won, is winning, and will win the battle. What a beautiful story you have held out before us. What a gracious invitation you have delivered to our door. What a compelling life you offer us day after day after day. Forgive us for the way we continue to vacillate between these two ways. Forgive us for the way we remain of two minds. We confess our hearts become so easily divided. We actually need Jesus to heal us before we can even wholeheartedly follow him. And that’s the miracle, isn’t it? While we were still sinners he died for us, making the way open. Holy Spirit, let faith arise in us; deep, defining faith moving in love. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 


Can you add to the litany of our story above? Are you tired of vacillating between two stories? Between Adam and Jesus? Has your holy discontent reached the tipping point where you are ready to cross over completely? 


Today we will add everyone’s favorite verse of “And Can it Be,” verse 4. And thanks everyone for diving in so deep on this hymn. This has been a dream of mine to teach it to you all. It is 569 in our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise.  

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt

P.S. Join Us for Ascension Tonight and the Asbury Outpouring Storytelling from the witnesses who helped lead it. 

Passcode: 123456, gathering begins at 6 pm CST.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. These two stories, so simple to understand, yet, so impossible to live out in true fidelity without the power of Christ within us. The Gospel call to discipleship is neutered when we tell the story of Jesus and his love, and at the same time, live out the story of Adam. It’s only by God’s grace alone that our story and Jesus’s story can be made congruent. With man this is impossible, with God, all things are made possible.

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