When folks look back through history it is difficult to dismiss the ministry of Paul. He did so much to spread the gospel and plant churches that he is often remembered for that alone. It’s easy to forget his testimony. Yet, Paul’s testimony wasn’t easy to dismiss for the his own Jewish class. They knew and respected him as a Jew among Jews. He persecuted the early church with zeal. Yet his conversion sent shock waves through the community of elite Jews. It’s also one of the compelling evidences for skeptics today. What would make a man who ardently persecuted the church do a complete 180 and willing take on suffering, hardship, persecution, and even work to pray his own way to promote the gospel?
I’ve been blessed to be a pastor for several years and it’s natural when I talk with fellow Christians for me to ask about how they came to faith in the Lord. It’s amazing to note how alive most people become when they start telling the story of how they came to faith in the Lord. It’s great that I get to see that passion and I count it a privilege that people trust me enough to share about their conversion experience. I wonder though how many neighbors and friends have heard our own personal story of how Jesus changed our lives?
I once lead a mission trip where I trained all of our students how to share their testimony in 100 words or less. I challenged our kids to share their abbreviated story whenever they had a chance during the trip. I gave them the example that if someone asked why they were there they should just launch into their story and then end with the phrase, “and I want other people to experience what I have in Jesus.” Late in the week one of the individuals working the front desk at the hotel came to me and asked us to pray for them. I asked what was up? They said that they had asked several of our teenagers and adults why they were here and they had heard testimony after testimony and they came under conviction about things in their life that needed to change (they were already a believer). I wonder sometimes too about how we might encourage one another by simply sharing our faith stories.
Paul shared his story in an adverse climate, but through his personal story of conversion and faith the gospel was going out in a compelling way. I challenge you to write out your testimony. Read through it and simplify it. Then share it with someone this week. You never know how God might use your story to encourage a fellow believer or even help spread the gospel to those you have yet to believe.
In the Resources I’ve shared several links to my personal testimony.
Father, thank you for how you have moved in my life to bring me to faith in you. I pray that you would use me to share the gospel and encourage other believers. Thank you that you give us all opportunities to share the reason for the hope we have in Christ. I pray that we will take the challenge to write our testimony and even share it with others this week. Give us clarity and opportunity. Grant us boldness that we might press your gospel forward. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Last Year’s Post was really good and deserves a look. There was some good application in on a few things that really stood out to me again this go round but I opted not to comment because I’d already shared those insights last year!
- My Story (Introduction)
- My Story: A Godly Heritage (Part 1)
- My Story: A Trial that Proves a Faulty Faith (Part 2)
- My Story: Lost in a Religious World (Part 3)
- My Story: Waking up from a Dream (Part 4)
- My Story: Living with Passion and Purpose (Part 5)
- How I Learned that God was Faithful