Saturday, April 21, 2007

What's Your Story?

Never underestimate the power of your personal testimony. I would say that our own heartfelt story of how Jesus changed our life is one of the most powerful tools in our evangelistic tackle box. I know that signs and wonders and conviction are absolutely essential too, but more fundamental to the fulfillment of our commission from Christ is our personal witness: telling people from a first-hand perspective what Christ has done for us. For a great story of the power of testimony, hit the link in the post title. Now you may think that story is only stellar because it deals with a star, and it would be hard to contend that did not have something to do with the results, but let's not miss the point-- the proclamation of the life-changing power of the gospel by a life changed by the gospel has fantastic alluring affects (especially in conjunction with the conviction of the Holy Spirit).

For the past few days, the trout fishermen have been lining every brook, trickle and drip around these parts. They're not wading through frigid water, and mucking around slippery banks, and fighting their way through branch and bramble to waste their time fishing with empty hooks! They offer what they consider the best bait they have. We have some mighty fine bait in our personal testimony. Use yours and get out there and fish for people.

6 comments:

  1. Right on! But we tend to assume a very narrow meaning of "our testimony". It's not just the story of when we first decided to belong to Jesus. It's the rich tapestry of our lives woven into the redemptive plan in the heart of our Father. We have soooo many stories that will help open the eyes of those who have not yet discovered God, including the story they can see and taste right now! The story of our lives is part of the Good News that people need to hear.

    We bear witness of Jesus (Acts 1:8) and the Spirit bears witness too (John 15:26). The testimony of two witnesses is very powerful. The testimony of two witnesses was required under the Old Testament judicial system. When Jesus sent out the 12 and the 72, he sent them in twos so there would be the testimony of two witnesses. I believe that's one reason why He sends us out now with Holy Spirit.

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  2. Hello Mark,
    Good to hear from you, brother! You are right, our testimony isn't a story that's finished, but one that is still being written. His mercies are new every morning, so every morning a new chapter gets added to our story! If all we share is old news, folk will say, "yeah, but what has he done for you lately?" May we never lose our freshness with God!

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  3. I was reborn 8 years ago. There are a few people, those who are closest to me, who know what and where I've come from, and how God worked in my life over the years. I didn't have a "lightening bolt moment", mine was a "roller coaster" ride, sometimes with God and sometimes without God. Then when circumstances made me see that there truly is another realm with evil that DOES mean to destroy us I grabbed hold of Jesus and haven't let go since. If one writes their personal testimony what is to be included? I'm talking about details. I think my own would be a very long story. My church doesn't have a set time for testimonies because we are so large I think. Once in a while someone who has just recently experienced the life changing power of the Holy Spirit does give a testimony and they are wonderful to hear.

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  4. Rita,
    Testimonies within the church family are encouraging to us, and we almost always find venues for them in our congregation; however, the best testimony is one you can share with family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, neighbors, etc. who don't believe in Jesus yet. It doesn't need to be prepared or rehearsed (most people don't take too well to that). This is a witness function, so what you want to do is testify to what you've seen and heard in Jesus. Theology isn't important, experience is. If you feel the need for a format, you can adapt this one:

    At one time my life was this...,
    then I heard about Jesus power to forgive/heal/deliver/renew/etc.,
    I believed it,
    since then my life has been this...

    There is, of course, a multitude of other approaches, any of which would be fine, but the important thing is to share the story God has mad your life.

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  5. I like the analogy of fishing with the bait of my testimony.

    Awhile back I heard someone saying that about two days before going fishing you should go out to the bank you plan on fishing from and dump some dog food in the water. Then later when you go back to fish you'll catch more because more fish will be in the area.

    I'm having a good time trying to (because of your analogy) translate that story into spiritual terms. I wonder if the dog food would be random acts of kindness (a big trend in our area thanks to radio station kcbi.org)... or what.
    Thanks for this post. I'll be back.

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  6. Everybody...
    Stretch out your arm and then bring in your hand in a "come along" gesture and sing...

    If you follow me, if you follow me. I will make you fishers of men if you follow me.
    Did you remember to do the casting motion when you sang "I will make you fisher"?

    Sorry, Bum Sunday is coming up and I have Sunday School Rally on the brain.

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