Get Your Story Straight: A Teen's Guide to Learning and Living the Gospel
by Kristen Hatton
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What’s Your Story?
We all tell stories to each other–stories about what happened when we were kids, stories about last night, and stories where we dream about the future. Some stories are funny, some are amazing, others are sad, but they all have something in common–each of us is the hero of our own story. Our thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams take center stage. But when it’s all about you, it’s also all up to you. You have to make life work, find meaning, and hope for the best even when you mess up or things go badly wrong.
But what if we were made for something different? What if the main character in our life story isn’t us, but it is the God who became like us and is now with us? What if being fully human means knowing him and growing to be like him? What if the way to be fully alive is to be caught up in Jesus’s story?
This 52-week devotional book and small group resource is designed to help you live with Jesus in his gospel story–the good news that your sins are forgiven, your future is assured, and following him is the only meaningful way to live. No matter your age, where you live, who your family is, or what your past, God wants you to experience the freedom that comes in being secure in his love.
Divided into three parts, starting with creation, each section progressively explores the idea that the whole Bible is the unfolding story of Jesus. Through this grid, who Jesus is and why we need him will shape your understanding of freedom and grace and how you grow to be like him. This yearlong study for teenagers and young adults is designed for individual devotional times, but a small group discussion guided by a mentor would help participants to absorb and live out the truths of each week’s teaching.
Kristen Hatton is a native Texan now putting roots down in Edmond, OK with her church-planter/pastor husband and their three teenagers. With a public relations background from Southern Methodist University, Kristen has a wide array of professional experiences, none of which she counts as important as the job of being a “present” mom. Through leading a small group Bible study of teenagers, she has discovered her passion for teaching and writing about God’s grace. She is the author of Facetime: Your Identity in a Selfie World, Get Your Story Straight: A Teen's Guide to Learning and Living the Gospel and The Gospel Centered Life in Exodus for Students.
"We are story people, created by a storytelling God. Get Your Story Straight is a brilliant resource designed to help students discover the beauty and power of the greatest story ever written, the story of Jesus. This guide provides a creative and clear way for students to unpack the living and breathing Word of God."
Louie Giglio, Passion City Church/Passion Conferences
"If you're a teenager, you should know some things about Kristen Hatton and her new book: 1) She'll speak to you honestly; there's no soft-peddling the big issues. 2) She'll treat you with dignity; there's no talking down here. 3) She'll take you seriously; she knows what's at stake in your life. 4) She'll help you to maturity; she's learned the path. Good reasons to make Get Your Story Straight your book of the year!"
Sinclair B. Ferguson, Professor of Systematic Theology Redeemer Seminary, Dallas
"After working with teenagers for decades, I am well aware of the challenges that come with adolescence. Kristen Hatton cuts to the heart of today's 'me-centered' culture by placing Christ as the true hero of everyone's story. With a heavy emphasis on how God exists for his own glory, this devotional is a humbling reminder of his transformative grace. It's perfect for every teenager's walk with Christ!"
Dr. Joe White, President, Kanakuk Ministries
"A highly recommended, valuable contribution to teenagers and the church. This devotional cuts against the grain of standard teen devotionals, which historically point kids to their own inner strength. This devotional points kids to Jesus and his finished work. It also offers practical instruction on spiritual disciplines in a clear, helpful, non-legalistic way."
Cameron Cole, Chairman of Rooted: Advancing Grace-Driven Ministry; director of youth ministries, Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, AL; coeditor, Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry
"The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is not a story about us but about Jesus. The way teenagers begin to understand themselves is to get caught up in a story bigger than their own. Kristen Hatton has captured a unique, clever, and devotional way to grab the hearts and minds of young men and women. For those of us who work with college students, our plea would be: please give this book to teenagers a few years before they hit the college campus. They will come better prepared to face campus life and pressure. They will be men and women who understand that their life and story is defined by his story."
Rod Mays, Former National Coordinator, Reformed University Fellowship
"Get Your Story Straight is a powerful way to introduce teenagers to God's Word. The difference between Get Your Story Straight and other devotions for teens is that it goes through the Bible from beginning to end and reveals truths in stories from the Old and New Testament in a new, exciting way that they can relate to. Readers of this devotion are introduced to biblical principles like justification and sanctification—life-changing truths of what Jesus offers through the sacrifice he made for us on the cross. I would recommend Get Your Story Straight to any teen."
Lauren Nelson, Miss America 2007; author
"Raising kids in today's society to honor God and to invest in his kingdom can be a challenge. Get Your Story Straight is a great tool to encourage young people to find their true identity in Jesus and pursue him passionately."
Lance Berkman, Former Major League Baseball player
"The story about Jesus and the gospel isn't just a point in history. It is the history of thousands of years of love and hate, joy and sadness, victory and loss, all of which gets us ready for the greatest climax of the greatest story ever told. It's also the story that becomes our story when we see ourselves written into the purposes of God in the pages of Scripture. Kristen Hatton has done us a big favor by making the storyline clear and the applications personal and relevant. I wish my wife and I had this book when our children were teenagers."
"Finally, a devotional that connects youth to the substance and story of the Bible! Kristen Hatton has given teenagers a gift in Get Your Story Straight—with key Scripture passages to memorize, thoughtful questions to fuel reflection, and gospel application. Take up and read!"
Brian H. Cosby, Author, Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture
"Kristen Hatton in her book has struck just the right balance for a teen who is a new believer or is a searcher to learn and understand God's Word and the gospel. The readings are Bible-based and present the story in daily doses that build on content and repetition so that a solid Christian world and life view is firmly established."
Brad Bradley, Founder, Southwest Church Planting Network
"If you view the Christian life as being about your performance, then what do you do if you are not performing well? Regrettably, many Christians never follow an inductive Bible study or develop the daily exercise of meditating on the greatest story ever told. This incredible step-by-step guide to learning and living the gospel of Jesus Christ will help not only teens to approach the Bible but adults as well. Led by this devotional, become captivated by the narrative and the characters in God's story as you rest in the words of Jesus when he says, 'It is finished.'"
Mark Davis, Senior Pastor, Park Cities Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX
"What an outstanding job Kristen Hatton has done crafting a devotional that makes the Scriptures wonderfully accessible to modern teens. It invites them to study the ancient biblical narrative so they discover the life-transforming reality of the One who is at the center of that narrative. And in so doing, it encourages them to make sense of their 'story' in light of THE story."
Leo R. Schuster III, Lead Pastor, City Church, Houston, TX
"Teaching the next generation to understand how their story intersects with the grand story of the Bible is mission critical for the church. Kristen Hatton offers an engaging, relevant, and Word-saturated tool for this high and holy calling."
Karen Hodge, PCA Women's Ministry Coordinator
"As teenagers, we make the most important decisions in our lives. We decide who we will be, where we are going, and who we are taking with us, all before we reach adulthood. That thought scares me. If we want teens to make right choices, they need to know who they are. They need to know how they fit into God's story. Kristen Hatton's book aims to teach them that very thing. As we learn who God is and where he plans to take this world, we begin to see the way to follow him. I am confident this book will help teenagers of all ages and I commend it to you warmly."
Ricky Jones, Pastor, River Oaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa, OK
"God's call on my life came when I was a teenager, so teens have always been at the heart of my ministry. Following seminary, the first opportunity the Lord gave me to serve was as a youth pastor. I learned firsthand the importance of a walk with the Lord in the formative years of adolescence. Kristen Hatton speaks directly to the minds and hearts of teenagers with truth and grace. These young men and women, especially in today's culture, need a daily reminder of God's authority, his sovereignty, and his grace in a relatable way. This little book carries that big message!"
Ed Young, Senior Pastor, Second Baptist Church, Houston, TX
"Kristen has taken Scripture and made it accessible for teenagers in a culture that tells them to tune out and disengage. She challenges teens to take the next step beyond just reading the Bible. This study was written with them in mind; it allows them to engage Scripture in different ways throughout the week, helping Scripture come alive. Teenagers at any point in their relationship with Christ can use this book to help them grow in their faith and understanding of who Jesus is."
Sydney Miller, Young Life Director, Edmond, OK