Friday, August 17, 2007

A devotional I received this morning

by Rick Warren

"Your Life Message includes your testimony. Your testimony is the story of how Christ made a difference in your life. Peter tells us that we were chosen by God “to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you.” (1 Peter 2:9)

This is the essence of witnessing — simply sharing your personal experiences regarding the Lord. In a courtroom, a witness isn’t expected to argue the case, prove the truth, or press for a verdict; that is the job of attorneys. Witnesses simply report what happened to them or what they saw.

Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8) – not “You will be my attorney.” He wants you to share your story with others. Sharing your testimony is an essential part of your mission on earth because it is unique. There is no other story just like yours, so only you can share it. If you don’t share it, it will be lost forever.

You may not be a Bible scholar, but you are the authority on your life, and it’s hard to argue with personal experience. Actually, your personal testimony is more effective than a sermon, because unbelievers see pastors as professional salesmen, but they see you as a “satisfied customer,” so they give you more credibility.

Personal stories also are easier to relate to than principles, and people love to hear them. They capture our attention, and we remember them longer. Unbelievers would probably lose interest if you started quoting theologians, but they have a natural curiosity about experiences they’ve never had. Shared stories build a relational bridge from your heart to theirs – a bridge Jesus can walk across.

Another value of your testimony is that it by-passes intellectual defenses. Many people who won’t accept the authority of the Bible will listen to a humble personal story. That is why on six different occasions Paul used his testimony to share the Gospel instead of quoting Scripture.

The Bible says, “Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, but do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15-16) The best way to “be ready” is to write out your testimony and then memorize the main points. "


you know, it really got me thinking. Then feeling that I may never get to share my testimony. There was one point in time where I knew that was all I wanted to do but now I just feel like that opportunity will never arise. I think about it and I know I want to feel comfortable with the people. I would never be able to do it in front of a church. I wouldn't be able to do it on here either. I might have been able to share with a bunch of women though.
I just feel like that opportunity has passed. That I missed that boat. I am not sure it makes sense to anyone else. I am not sure I can fully describe what I am trying to say.
Funny how God has us go through things and it may be that one thing that someone needs to hear you have gotten through. You could be that hope. You can help spread that light. I can't describe how or why I just know it was God. Plain and simple. No grey areas. It was God. It had to have been cause there is just no other explanation.
I find it easier to relate to someone even more once they have shared their story with me. A little light goes off and you think, hey! I know what they mean.
Thank God we aren't all cookie cutter Christians and we have all gone through our own thing. Helps us to relate to others and for others to relate to us.

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