You don’t live near a pier...or a popular park...or even a Starbucks. And by the time you’re able to go witnessing the colleges are closed and no kids are walking home from high school. Where is a people-lovin’ saint to go when wanting to reach out? The answer is—the local mall. Enjoy this practical wisdom from Allen Atzbi.
January 19, 2018
“Remember your testimony isn’t about you—it’s about God. It’s the story of how Jesus came in and rescued you.”
Sharing the story of how God drew you to Himself is a wonderful way to honor God, encourage other believers, and reach out to the unsaved. Some people think their story isn’t significant because they weren’t a serial killer who saw a vision of angels, but that’s simply not true. Your story doesn’t have to be dramatic to be powerful. Remember your testimony isn’t about you; it’s about God. It’s the story of how Jesus came in and rescued you. If you were raised in church and have loved Jesus for as long as you can remember, fantastic. That is an amazing testimony! Don’t knock it; be grateful for it. Perhaps you don’t know the specific day, that’s more than fine too (I can’t remember the exact moment I was born the first time, or the second, but I can assure you both happened).
Paul thought sharing his story was so important that we hear him tell it three times in the book of Acts. You’ll notice that every time Paul shared his testimony, he also, very intentionally, shared the gospel, and so should we.
Your testimony is great to share anytime, but as it is disarming—you’re sharing your story, the gospel applied to your own life (not theirs)—it’s an especially wonderful approach to communicate the gospel with those you’re most concerned with offending: family and friends.
Paul Shared His Testimony Often
Take a moment and read Paul sharing his story in Acts 26:1-23 before you go on.
In Acts 26:
- Paul shared about his life before Jesus (v.1-11)
- What was his religious upbringing?
- What was his attitude toward believers in Jesus?
- What did he do to the believers?
- Paul shared how he became a follower of Jesus (v.12-18)
Notice how Paul gave the details of how he met Jesus.
- Where was he going?
- What time was it?
- What did he see?
- What did he hear?
- Paul shared how his life was different now (v.19-23)
- Notice how Paul weaved the gospel into his story.
- The fruit of “repentance” is a changed life. What evidence of Paul’s repentance can be found in the following verses 19-23?
How to Identify Your Testimony
Follow the same pattern the apostle Paul did. Answer the 3 questions below.
1. Describe your life before you met Jesus
Did you believe in God? What religious upbringing did you have? What was your life like? How did you spend your time? What cherished sins did you have (don’t mention graphic ones)? “I was the king, the god of my own life” or “I constantly lied to friends, family, even myself; I was lost,” etc.
2. Describe when and how you became a follower of Jesus
Give details: When? Where were you? Who was with you (if anyone)? Was it at a church service? Was it after a friend told you about Jesus? What made you want to follow Jesus? Did you realize you needed God’s forgiveness or was it some other reason? Don’t forget to share the gospel in either this or the next point, like Paul did.
3. Describe how your life is different now
What’s your new life like? While situations may not have changed, what has changed in you? Do you act differently now than before? Are you thrilled to have God’s forgiveness? Have you become a forgiving and loving person? How does it feel to know you are God’s child? How has God changed your view of life?