Friday, September 12, 2014

Your Story

                Today I sent out the study for our women’s group in Acts chapter 26. Paul, after being in prison for over two years finally gets a chance to share his side of the story with King Agrippa, Bernice and Festus, as well as the Jewish leaders and Gentiles who were in attendance. In Acts 26 Paul does not preach a sermon, instead, he shares his testimony. Take a few minutes today to read through Paul’s testimony in Acts 26, you won’t regret it. Over the years I have had women tell me that they don’t really have a testimony. They didn't have a grand experience, they did not hear a voice from heaven and they did not see a light shining all around them. They were just not a Christian one day, and then they were a Christian the next.
                I have shared my testimony many times with many people, and for me there was a dramatic change in my life and the way I was living it. But my testimony is unique to me. My testimony is a witness to the grace and mercy of God our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, just like yours is. My testimony is mine, and your testimony is yours. You may not have a grand testimony, you may think that your testimony is nothing compared to some of them you have heard. But I want to encourage you to share your testimony, no matter how grand or how not so grand you think it is.
           Each one of us has had a special, intimate, unique encounter with the Risen Christ, and that experience is meant to be shared. You may not think much of your testimony, but someone out there needs to hear it. At one point in my life I was ashamed to give my testimony because of how I was living before Christ came to me. I was scared of what people would say of me, I was scared of what they might think of me if they really knew who I was before I became a Christian.
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                It was not until the Lord showed me how special and unique my life was to Him that I began to share the change that took place in my heart. So many of us won’t share our testimonies because we think they are not powerful enough, and some of us are even afraid to share because of what others might think of us. But, take a moment to reflect on that time in your life when you did finally accept that Jesus Christ was Savior and that you needed Him in your life. Think about that moment when you realized that He was the Only One for you. All that matters is that moment. What people say, and how people respond is not up to you- that is between them and God.
                The enemy does not want us to share our testimonies because even he knows the power that lies in the midst of them all. No matter how small or how grand your testimony is, it is yours and it is proof that God works in you and through you. Our testimonies may be exactly what someone needs to hear today. Perhaps there is a young girl in your church that faithfully comes every week, but has not made that commitment to Jesus in her heart yet. Perhaps your testimony is what she needs to hear to take that final step towards Him. Perhaps you were like me in the midst of destruction and Jesus came and brought you out of that darkness into light. Someone you know needs to hear that today.
                I sent a challenge to our ladies this week. I challenged them to write out their testimony. To think back to that day when Jesus became more than just a story in a book, but became their personal story. I want to send this same challenge out there to all who read this blog. Share your testimony today. Write it out, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or email it to a friend, co-worker, unsaved loved one. Take some time today to allow God to use the testimony of His grace in your life to reach out to someone who needs Him just as much as you do.
                Our testimonies are meant to be shared. Each one of us has been given a special gift of grace that God wants to use to bring others to Him. He wants us to share our experiences before and after meeting Him. Your testimony, even though it may not be grand, or great, or even fantastic is still your testimony and someone out there needs to hear it. I want to encourage you and challenge you today to share the goodness and the grace and the mercy that you have found in Jesus with someone today. God can and will use your testimony. Allow Him to share through you the grace and mercy that is only found in Jesus Christ, and be that vessel of His grace to a dark and lonely world today. I pray we will all accept this challenge and be the light that someone needs to see today. I pray that we will see the glorious hope that we have in Him and give today our reasons for the hope that we have in Him. Amen and Amen.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;  1 Peter 3:15