You are the message. You don’t have to say a word. How you live your life is sharing the news of your faith.
“When you became a believer, you also became God’s messenger. God wants to speak to the world through you. You may feel you don’t have anything to share, but that’s the Devil trying to keep you silent. You have a storehouse of experiences that God wants to use to bring others into his family.”
There are four parts to your life message: “(1) Your testimony: the story of how you began a relationship with Jesus. (2) Your life lessons: the most important lessons God has taught you. (3) Your godly passions: the issues God shaped you to care about most; and (4) The Good News: the message of salvation.”
If you don’t share your own unique story (your testimony), it will be lost forever. You are the only one who can tell your story. There’s not another one like it on earth. There’s no one else just like you on earth. You are special and you have a special story to tell. “Your personal testimony is more effective than a sermon, because unbelievers see pastors as professional salesmen, but see you as a “satisfied customer,” so they give you more credibility.” People love to hear personal stories – we can relate, they “capture our attention, and we remember them longer” than a sermon. “Shared stories build a relational bridge that Jesus can walk across from your heart to theirs.”
The best way to share your story when someone asks is to be ready. The best way to be ready is to write it down, divided into four parts: “(1) What my life was like before I met Jesus; (2) How I realized I needed Jesus; (3) How I committed my life to Jesus; and (4) The difference Jesus has made in my life.”
“You have many other testimonies besides your salvation story.” You have a story for every experience in your life where God has carried you through, even if you didn’t realize at the time God was carrying you. You could make a list of all of those “problems, circumstances, and crises,” then when a friend needs to hear one of your stories, use one your “unbelieving friend will relate to best.” Mr. Warren says “unbelieving friend”, but I believe we have many stories to share with “believing friends, too.” Don’t you? Many people believe in God and Jesus but are going through a rough patch and need counsel with someone who has been there. It is our job to bring unbelievers to Jesus but it also our job to help and serve believers who need us.
Your life lessons are what “you have learned about God, relationships, problems, temptations, and other aspects of life. While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others.” Don’t make those mistakes your parents made. Don’t repeat the pattern. Do you remember how the actions of your parents made you feel? What about your siblings? Other family members, as well as just other people out there that hurt you? Do you really want to show that to your children? Honestly? I know how easy it could be to fall into that pattern – it’s a learned behavior – it has been taught to you. Did you know that you can unlearn? You can unteach yourself? It’s true. You can. I did it. So can you. You take those things that you’d like to keep that you learned growing up and teach those things to your kid – the good lessons. You take those things that were wrong that were taught to you and you refuse to teach them to your child. You train yourself to be a better person, a better parent, a better friend, a better anything. No one has the power except you, to change yourself and be the person you choose to be.
God can help you if you ask him, – but you – it’s up to you to make the effort to change and to be better. It’s like I tell Hallie: “Make the effort. Do the work. Meet God halfway and he will do the rest. You have to take action. God is not going to hand it to you on a silver platter.” We do whatever we can that is in our control. We try our hardest to do this thing. Then, we have faith (we know that God will help us). Do you get what faith is? It’s not hoping God will help. It is not wishing, crossing your fingers and it’s not praying. You pray for God to help you. Faith is simply knowing that he is helping you NOW. He’s workin’ on it. Even if you cannot tell. If you know he is, HE IS. THAT is faith. Know it and count on it and then give it up. Quit worrying about it. It’s under control. He’s working it all out for you. Don’t be so impatient. I’m talking to me, here. I’m a very impatient person – so STINKIN’ impatient! But waiting is so worth the trip. I waited 31 years for Hallie and I believe she is my greatest reward in this life. Waiting for her is worth all the trials of my growing up, of living this life and she has changed the way I see absolutely everything in this life, and in this world. Patience. Ah, patience. I know you want what you want, but have patience. Let God decide when it’s time or if it’s time. He knows what’s best for you. I promise you that. I would never have been quite ready for her, had she come sooner. I was in the place in my life I needed to be when she came along. I had to experience certain things first. Thank you, God, for that earth angel, and making me wait for her. Your timing is perfect!!!
Make a list of your life lessons so you’ll be ready to share them with others. “Here are a few questions to jog your memory and get you started:
- What has God taught me from failure?
- What has God taught me from a lack of money?
- What has God taught me from pain or sorrow or depression?
- What has God taught me through waiting?
- What has God taught me through illness?
- What has God taught me from disappointment?
- What have I learned from my family, my church, my relationships, my small group, and my critics?”
You have been or will be given a passion – a passion for something. God is passionate. He loves things and he hates things. He’s passionate about both. There is something you care about and think about or something that you experienced that you feel passionate about sharing. You should share it. Perhaps you are fearful about sharing. I get that. I know how scary it is to share. I’m doing it anyway. If I can do it and I’m a weak person, you can share, too. You find your way to do it. My way is writing and sometimes speaking (more one-on-one) when the moment presents itself. Let God use you. Let God speak through you to reach others, with that thing you are passionate about. Not one other person shares the passion you do and can share that passion quite like you can. Many have the same passion but only you can share in your way. Perhaps your passion is a problem you experienced: “abuse, addiction, infertility, depression, a disease, or some other difficulty.” Perhaps it’s standing up for a “group of others who can’t speak for themselves: the unborn, the persecuted, the poor, the imprisoned, the mistreated, the disadvantaged, and those who are denied justice.” Wow! I just had an AH-HA! moment. There are things I’m passionate about but haven’t even tried. Why? Well, I have a full-time job, I’m a mom when I’m not at work, we have activities outside the home, etc. I’m realizing I need to work toward my passions and see what happens. God wouldn’t put these passions inside me if he didn’t want me to use them, right? “God gives us different passions so that everything he wants done in the world will get done.”
“The Good News is that when we trust God’s grace to save us through what Jesus did, our sins our forgiven, we get a purpose for living, and we are promised a future home in heaven.” Learn to “love the lost people the way God does.” Have you helped someone get to heaven? Will you?
I got carried away with this one a little bit, so I’ll wrap it up and go get ready for work. Running out of time. Make this an awesome day, you guys! You have the power! 😉 I’ll even say a prayer for ya, that you may have a glorious day. Love you! *hug*