Wednesday, April 2, 2008

telling your story

I recently saw a friend talking with someone else who had recently professed faith in Christ. When I say "recently," I mean 10 minutes prior. It was quite a sight to see a seasoned journeyman speaking to an apprentice about to begin the adventure of a lifetime.

As they stood there, I wondered, "What story will she tell?" A decade from now, when this new convert reflects on the work of God that swept her into the Kingdom, what will she say? The Apostle Peter urges Christians to "always be ready" when it comes to talking about spiritual matters [Peter 3:15]. Our personal testimony is one of the greatest, most persuasive tools in helping others catch a glimpse of the living God.

Our staff recently reflected on the basic movements in a spiritual testimony. Three parts include a) Before, b) How and c) After. First, my story begins with BEFORE I came to know Christ personally. As you think of your story, think of who you were, how you lived, where you were going. All of us were separated from God prior to conversion and, one way or another, our lives proved it. Second, my story includes HOW I entered into new life with Christ. I tell about my conversation with my best friend, Robert Wehr. I reflect on our conversation in the parking lot of Six Flags Mall. I recall the Gospel: sin, death, the cross and faith. While my (or your) way into the Kingdom is unique, the fundamental door of "grace through faith" is the same for everyone. Finally, I love to tell how my life has been different AFTER that initial step. I am not completely changed, but God has been effecting a transformational work in me--and many people I know. The most compelling evidence of the Gospel is that God changes lives.

A personal testimony doesn't have to be long [8-10 sentences]. But, well-crafted and prepared, it can be used by God, not only to retell the story of His marvelous grace, but also to lead others toward Him.

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