The Bible is an ancient text, but it is also known as the living word of God. With these Bible stories that relate to everyday life, my goal is to show you how we can take these words from centuries ago and apply them to our lives.
I’m also passionate about helping parents teach scripture to their children, so I’ve chosen Bible stories that relate to everyday life that are perfect for family devotions. Let’s begin with a question. How does the Bible relate to everyday life? A perfect place to start.
How Does the Bible Relate to Everyday Life?
Some look at the Bible as a book of do’s and don’ts. Others look at the Bible in pieces, carefully choosing verses to fit their own beliefs. While still others like to focus on grace and love and mellow out the “hard” stuff.
We can’t take any of those approaches. We must look at the Bible for what it is. God’s communication with His creation, man, down through the centuries.
The entire text, all 66 books, are written for a reason and that reason is …
So, let’s go back to the question. How does the Bible relate to everyday life? It relates to us because it’s God’s communication with us. It is Him speaking directly to us. He wants to be involved in our day to day. He wants us to learn about Him as we apply His words to our lives.
But the Bible can be really difficult to understand! Which is the exact reason for this post. It can be difficult to understand and I want to break it down a bit to help you reach a point where you see yourself in God’s words.
At the beginning, I referred to the Bible as the living word of God. That’s because as we change and grow or different circumstances come into our lives, we find that a verse that was once unrelatable to us, suddenly resonates with us.
Bible Stories that Relate to Everyday Life
The Bible can feel unrelatable at times. It occurred centuries ago and the language is different. Even with modern translations, it can be difficult to apply them to our lives. Their customs were different and for most of us, they took place hundreds of miles away.
Which is why I am writing Bible stories that relate to everyday life! I know that they are applicable and I want to show you how! We are going to begin with Biblical stories with moral lessons and then move onto interesting Bible stories for young adults. These stories are good for kids as well, but I feel as if young adults are the ones looking for relatable stories.
Biblical Stories with Moral Lessons: Parables
The very definition of a parable is a simple story Jesus told with a spiritual (or in these examples, moral) lesson. Let’s dive into the words of Jesus and chat about how they apply to our lives today.
The Good Samaritan
The parable of the Good Samaritan is found in Luke chapter 10. A lawyer, with less than honorable motives, asks Jesus this question. What shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Jesus, always referring back to the Law of Moses, asks what it says.
The lawyer replies correctly reciting the ancient text about loving the Lord your God with your whole heart, soul, and mind, and your neighbor as yourself. BUT because that is very difficult to do the lawyer tries to justify himself and asks “who is my neighbor?”.
Jesus, in his wisdom, tells this story.
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’
So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
The answer to Jesus’s question is obvious. The Samaritan.
While we do not regularly encounter Samaritans, we do regularly associate with people we do not like or with people who have less than pleasant dispositions. Whether you bump into these people in school, at work, or in social circles, you are commanded to love them as you do yourself.
Now, this does not mean go over and hug them (which might freak them out a bit) but begin small. Pray for them, not that they suddenly become easy to get along with, but for their souls and for the difficult things going on in their lives that you know nothing about.
You will find that when you sincerely pray for someone that it is difficult to be unkind to them. Your next step is to encourage and support them like you do the people in your lives that you truly do love. And go from there.
The Unforgiving Servant
We find the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew chapter 18. A man comes forward and asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother. Seven times? Jesus, knowing that forgiveness goes much deeper than our day to day interactions, tells this story.
Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
In short, we are forgiven and reconciled to God through Jesus. Our debt, which we could not pay, has been paid, and therefore we should forgive others.
Easier said than done, right? Here are a few more posts for deeper study on this one.
Psalms for Forgiveness and Repentance: A Testament of God’s Mercy
Why is Forgiveness Important? Lessons from the Unforgiving Servant
Parables and Stories of Forgiveness in the Bible
Parable of the Lost Coin
Found in Luke 15, this parable shows how important we are to God and how all of heaven rejoices when we come to salvation. Salvation is not simply a box we check, it is the beginning of a new life, everything changes.
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Biblical Stories with Moral Lessons: Historical People
Scripture is full of stories of men and women who teach us the result of both righteous and wicked behavior. We can learn a lot from both examples.
How to be and how not to be! How our obedience or disobedience affects our lives and that of others.
Cain and Abel
Let’s begin with Cain and Abel. You may already know this story, but stay with me to the end because it will give you something to ponder. Remember, these are Bible stories that relate to everyday life.
Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve. They had never experienced the beautiful Garden of Eden. Their parents had sinned before they were born, but they had undoubtedly heard stories.
It is strange how the Bible does not tell us much about Adam and Eve after they are cast out of the garden. Did they beg forgiveness? Did they live in sorrow and regret? What did they tell their children?
We do know that Adam and Eve taught their children about God and that God still wanted to be a part of their lives. We know this because both Cain and Abel bring sacrifices to God.
These sacrifices must be an animal, afterall it is the blood that atones. God made the first animal sacrifice when he killed it to clothe Adam and Eve, and it’s been the same down through the years.
Cain decides he wants to go a different route and brings vegetables to God. Abel sticks to the rules and brings lambs.
Have you ever done things your own way and gone against God’s plan?
God gets angry at Cain for his disobedience, but accepts Abel’s sacrifice. This upsets Cain. He wanted to be accepted by God on his own terms.
Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.
As is the case with jealousy and anger, they ate away at Cain until he kills Abel.
Of course, that doesn’t solve Cain’s problem because now he’s in even more trouble.
So, how do we apply this to our own lives? This is a very relatable story!
- Obedience to God is necessary. We cannot serve God on our own terms no matter how much we want to.
- Jealousy and anger fester to the point we make terrible decisions.
- The same attitudes that were in Cain and Abel are in us. Which is stronger in you? Cain or Abel?
- We have the same choices as Cain and Abel, to obey or not obey. Which do you think worked out better?
We meet Rehoboam in 1 Kings 12. The wise King Solomon has just passed away and the people of Israel are restless. They are ready to rally behind Jeroboam if things are to continue the way there have been. However, Rehoboam is Solomon’s son and inherits the kingdom.
They approach Rehoboam and tell him that they are willing to have him as their ruler and serve him if he would lighten the burdens Solomon had placed on them. At first, we think Rehoboam is going to follow in the wisdom of his father because he tells them he needs to think about it and to return in three days.
He consults the elderly men in his political circle. They agree with the people. Lighten their burden and they will be faithful.
Then he consults the young men he grew up with. They tell him the opposite.
Nowhere does scripture tell us that he prayed about it and asked for God’s guidance. I’d say this was his first mistake. Secondly, he is foolish and rather than listening to the people and the experienced rulers, he does not treat the people kindly.
As a result, many of the tribes refuse to follow him and the country is divided.
So, why did I choose Rehoboam for Bible stories that relate to everyday life?
We make important decisions every day and if we do not seek God’s guidance as well as wisdom, we will end up making mistakes that not only affect ourselves but those around us.
Interesting Bible Stories for Young Adults (and older kids)
I have an entire series on Mothers of the Bible and how the lessons God taught them are not all that different from the lessons He is teaching us today! They make the perfect Bible stories for young adults.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Learning to Trust God in Difficult Times: The Mother of Moses
7 Lessons from Mary the Mother of Jesus that are Applicable Today
Waiting on the Lord: Lessons from Sarah
Ok, now let’s jump into our interesting Bible stories for young adults and older kids.
David and Goliath
The story of David and Goliath is one of the first we tell our children. What young person would not be fascinated by a story of a shepherd boy killing a mighty giant? But I’m going to ask you to apply this story to your life.
How? I mean you are not a shepherd boy and there are no giants around here (that I know of!). Let’s break this story down.
We have two main characters, David and Goliath. We also have God, the children of Israel, and the Philistine army.
Let’s say you are David. You are a simple shepherd boy, the youngest in your family. You have never been to war, but you have spent a lot of time alone in the fields talking to God. Maybe you don’t understand the way the real world works, but you do recognize evil.
Now, let’s take a look at Goliath. He is huge (some say ten feet tall) and knowledgeable about war. He’s skilled in the art of killing and has no conscious whatsoever. He doesn’t care about your god and he has a strong dislike for your people.
Now, let’s make this story applicable to your life. We are going to see Goliath as not a person but as something else in your life. Everyone’s Goliath is different, but they all have a common theme. They are evil and they are preventing us from victory. They are interested in our destruction.
Your Goliath might be a sin, a big distraction, an addiction, a person, or something blocking you emotionally. They are standing between you and where you need to be.
David has a secret. He may look like a simple young man, but he has a weapon that is more powerful than modern weapons of war. He has God.
Just like the Goliath in the story, your Goliath cannot be defeated without God.
David couldn’t count on the Israelite army to help him, they had been cowering in the corner for weeks. His help was God and God alone. Physically he was completely alone on that field, but spiritually he was mightier than anyone else there.
This is the place you need to reach in order to slay your Goliath. You must grow your faith to the point that you are mightier than your giant.
Paul and Silas
The book of Acts tells us some amazing stories of the early church and Paul’s missionary journeys. Among them is the story of Paul and Silas being thrown into jail in the city of Philippi (Acts 16).
As Paul and Silas were going around town preaching, we find that a young woman with the gift of divination was following them around shouting to the crowds. Paul, knowing her gift was the result of an evil spirit which was obviously upset by the presence of God, turns around and casts the spirit out of the young woman.
One would think this was a good thing, freeing the woman from the evil spirit, but rather, her employers who had made a lot of money from her gift become angry. How often is it about the money? Am I right?
People in that day are no different than today and her employers march down to the Roman authorities and cause a big ruckus amongst the crowds and officials. Can you imagine if they had social media in those days?
As a result, Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison, their feet in stocks.
Now, you may be wondering how this is a relatable story thus far. Evil spirits, prison and stocks, nothing you’ve experienced before.
BUT have you ever been falsely accused? Have you ever been disliked for doing the right thing? Have people ever hated you inspite of your best intentions?
The most important part of this story is the reaction we see from Paul and Silas. They do not become angry. They do not sit down and cry, giving up because life is simply too difficult.
We find them at midnight praying and singing praises to God.
Let that sink in for a minute. Is that how you react when you are mistreated? I will be honest here and confirm that is not how I handle it.
The story doesn’t end there. While Paul and Silas are singing, God sends an earthquake and frees them. As a result the jailer and his family all come to know Christ and are baptized.
And we think its all about us…
There is freedom in giving our trials to God. We experience release when we praise God. We are not alone in our troubles. God is waiting to deliver us.
As I’m writing these Bible stories that relate to everyday life, my mind is flooded with a dozen more examples. I am going to have to write another so look for it!
Which of these Bible stories that relate to everyday life did you find the most interesting? Which story answered a question you have been asking yourself? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.