You Have A Story to Tell

You Have A Story to TellMany Christians don’t share their faith because they aren’t Bible experts. But all you really need to do is tell your testimony.

It was one of those days when you feel paralyzed by responsibilities. My nerves were raw and my patience had slipped into a coma. My wife was unable to meet the cable-TV repairman, so I was left with the “blessing” of being in charge of the meet-and-greet.

Running 10 minutes late for the appointment, I called from my cellphone to let him know I was on my way. Seconds after he accepted my lame excuses and cordially said he would be waiting, God brought a thought to my mind. Does this man have a relationship with Christ?

I confess I immediately began to tell God all the reasons I was too busy to engage in a lengthy discussion, not to mention that I was in the wrong frame of mind to try and “win” somebody to Christ. As I frantically sped home, the wrestling match in my heart was in full swing until I was pinned to the mat of conviction.

A mile from home I reluctantly told God: “OK, Lord, I will tell him about Your forgiveness. But it’s going to be quick!”

As I jumped out of my truck a sharp guy in his mid-20s greeted me with a handshake. He seemed very friendly. I welcomed him into my house and began to inquire how long the installation would take. He replied that it would take less than 10 minutes. I instantly felt the squeeze of urgency upon my heart.

As he crouched on his knees to open a cardboard box, I spontaneously fired off my question. After all, I had a captive audience.

“Have you ever really met Jesus and accepted Him as your Savior?” I asked. “Or do you only know about Him?”

Instantly, he stopped unwrapping and began to look at the floor. After a prolonged delay, he looked up with watery eyes and said: “I can’t believe you asked me that. I’m married, have a 12-month-old daughter and my marriage is on the rocks.”

He went on to explain that the night before, he had told his wife that maybe they should start attending church somewhere. And he admitted that earlier in the day he had asked God for a sign of what he should do.

I was stunned by the dramatic way God had brought into my home a distressed stranger who was unashamed to show emotion and express his desire for God.

I briefly shared my testimony of how I accepted Christ at age 21. It was nothing impressive. It certainly was not a doctrinal dissertation. It was gritty and real, and I felt anointed as I shared from my heart.

Once I finished, he asked if I thought God would forgive him. I assured him of God’s love and told him how he could call out to Jesus in prayer for salvation. With visible tears and a creaky voice, he asked if I would be willing to pray with him.

Right then, while we both knelt on the floor, we prayed to God. This young man became a new believer. It was an unforgettable moment and an experience I have been privileged to have similarly with waiters, waitresses, maids, cab drivers, pizza deliverers and even car mechanics.

It’s Easier Than You Think

Of all the tools God gives us to reach people, one of the most effective is a personal testimony. People can debate Scripture all day, but they cannot argue with a personal encounter.

When I first became a believer I organized a street-witnessing team that targeted the clubs and bars of the downtown area of our city. It didn’t take me long to realize that skeptical people who often weren’t interested in hearing the Bible quoted were usually open to listen to someone’s story. I was also amazed by how often God would lead me to people who had faced some of the same struggles, doubts, addictions, sins and weaknesses that I had.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:4 that God comforts us so that we can comfort others who have encountered our same difficulties. This revelation constantly stokes the spiritual fire in my heart. My painful past can be used as a catalyst to reach others.

I would never have dreamed that my tainted past of struggling with alcohol and suicide could be so effective in enabling me to relate to others.

Yet whenever I went to talk about Jesus on the streets, I saw some of the most incredible miracles and salvations take place among dancers, drunks and druggies in the parking lots of bars and topless nightclubs. Even though I now preach in churches all over the world, some of my fondest memories are of those early days when we pounded the pavement, not under spotlights but under streetlights and the stars of heaven.

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