This is a republish of an old blog post…
“When some people talk about God, 14% is from personal experience, 23% is from other people’s experience and 84% is hopeless exaggeration. It may be even more.”
I love to hear how God has saved people from a life of alcoholism, drug abuse, homelessness. These are incredible demonstrations of the grace of God.
But perhaps, like me, you grew up in church and your testimony is unspectacular, uneventful and dare I say it… boring?
Did you know that the biggest miracle of them all is the transformation of the human heart?
I believe that we must learn to tell our stories.
After his resurrection, Jesus is speaking to his disciples:
“This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:46-49 (NIV)
The disciples were witnesses of Jesus’ death and resurrection. And they were convinced of the gospel and they were convinced that God wanted to change the lives of others as well.
They had experienced the transformational power of the gospel.
God has done something wonderful in your life, and we are called to be a witness. To tell our story.
When Jesus meets with you, you are never the same again.
Do you know the account when the corrupt, greedy and selfish Zacchaeus meets Jesus on the road through Jericho? (You can read the passage in Luke 19:1-10)
After Zacchaeus had met Jesus he would never be the same again.
Zacchaeus became a changed man after his encounter with Jesus. You can imagine him telling his story over and over again to people. “I used to live for my own selfish wants but then I met Jesus, he changed my life and taught me how to truly care for people.”
We all have that story to tell about our encounter with Jesus and how he has changed our lives.
For several years I struggled with depression. Dipping in and out of dark places in my mind. Life truly felt like a rollercoaster, but this was no funfair. Eventually, I was stretched to my limits, I couldn’t keep going on. I called out to God for his help.
There was no flash of light in the sky.
There was no booming voice from the clouds.
But something happened.
I remember a sense of peace coming over my mind and my heart, deep down.
And I believe that God took me through this time, he was there in my pain.
I had the amazing opportunity to share this with a complete stranger recently.
I am sometimes on the street with others trying to speak to people about God. Myself and my friend decided to chat with a young girl who was sitting by herself on a park bench. We asked her about her beliefs, about church, about God.
Have you ever had those times where you’re speaking to someone about Jesus and it seems as if nothing goes in? It was one of those times.
I ran out of questions to ask. I was at a loss for what to say, so I decided to share about what God had done in my life, giving me peace.
It was if a switch had been flicked.
Her face changed and lit up. She opened up about how she’d recently been diagnosed with a serious mental health condition and she was facing other challenges in her life currently. She completely opened up.
I didn’t preach, or answer all her questions. I simply shared about what God has done in my life.
We had a great chat and then me and my friend offered to pray with her and she was more than willing to accept. So we prayed for her in the middle of the day, in the middle of the city of Glasgow.
Sharing our story about what God has done in our life is powerful. Maybe your story is along one of the following…
“I was striving trying to find acceptance… but now I’ve found that I’m loved”
“I was self-destructive… but now I’m healthy”
“I was continually felt guilty… but now I’m liberated”
“I was full of despair… but now I’m hopeful”
“I was angry… but now I have peace”
Everyone has a story; you can share your story with others.
The gospel is not simply a philosophy or behaviour-modification.
The gospel is the life-changing, life-transforming message of God’s grace!
You are a witness of this.
People don’t just want the truth of facts, they want to know if it works, if it could work for them.
The gospel is fact and experience. Jesus is someone to meet and encounter, to develop a relationship with.
We can worry that we don’t have all the answers. But learn to tell your story, tell as much as you know. You can’t give away what you haven’t got. But just because we don’t know everything doesn’t mean we don’t know anything.
“God made your natural abilities, your personality, and your experiences to impact your part of the world.” Rick Warren.
There are people that you can reach that I will never reach, and there are people that I’ll reach that you’d never be able to reach.
One of the best testimony-telling passages in the bible is between Paul and King Agrippa (Acts 26).
After sharing his testimony, Paul challenges King Agrippa in Acts 26:27 “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.’”
Paul demands a response from King Agrippa to what he has heard.
What can you ask to provoke a response to your testimony…
“That’s my spiritual journey, tell me yours?”
“Does any of that resonate with you?”
“What do you think of that?”
Your testimony is perhaps one of the most powerful, underrated tools in evangelism. It’s your story, no one knows it better than you.
For God’s sake, don’t allow yourself to call the power of the gospel in your life boring. It is anything but boring.
I want to know, what’s your story?