By Jay Lowder, founder of Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries
Your story may not be unique to your ears, but it is to everyone else who hasn’t heard it. Sure, it is filled with regrets, failures, embarrassments, and pain, but it also contains lessons learned, wounds healed, and successes experienced. It may be messy, but it’s a beautiful mess because God can use it to give others hope, light, and direction.
When you received Christ as your Savior, you were immediately given a new mission and purpose. You were not left here on earth to build your kingdom; you were assigned a new purpose to build God’s kingdom. This mission is called the Great Commission and the directive is to GO: to take the message of Jesus’ love, forgiveness, and salvation to others who have yet to know Him through a personal relationship. This privilege and calling to share the message of Christ is repeated over and over in Scripture and is the undeniable will of God for every true believer.
Sadly, the majority of believers have never shared their faith with a non-believer. This is sometimes due to fear of rejection, feeling unqualified, or the uncertainty of what to say. Others wrongfully neglect this responsibility as an obligation only assigned to pastors and church staff. The truth is that not only does God want to use you, but he can and will use you if you are willing.
As you look to fulfill the Great Commission, here are three simple, yet helpful tips.
Share your testimony.
John 4:39 – “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.”
One of the most effective and non-confrontational ways to share Christ is to explain what He has done in your own life. The story is told in John chapter 4 of a woman who was in a futile search looking for love. She had been married and divorced five times and was living with a sixth man to whom she was not married when she met Jesus. Her encounter with Christ not only led to a radical new faith but also awakened a new desire to tell others about her experience with the Savior. She didn’t know any Bible verses or theology, but she shared the one thing she did know — what Jesus had done in her life.
Rehearse your testimony.
Acts 14:27 – “And when they had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them….”
Paul was the greatest Christian who ever lived and commonly told others about his salvation experience. When sharing his testimony, Paul talked about his life before receiving Christ, after meeting Christ, and even urged his hearers toward a decision. Several times in the book of Acts we see Paul retelling what God did for him personally. Paul may never have rehearsed and refined his story by writing it down but, undoubtedly, he was well practiced in sharing it effectively. A good way to be prepared to share your testimony is by writing it out and then whittling it down to the essentials that clearly communicate how your understanding of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection led to faith and forgiveness. Practice sharing it with others who can give positive and instructive input. People can deny or debate Scripture, but they can’t debate what God has done personally in your life.
Believe your testimony can be God’s tool to impact others.
Revelation 12:11 – “They overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.”
The forces of darkness and unbelief are real. These sinister forces constantly work to blind the unsaved from the truth of the gospel, but God’s Word promises that they can be overcome by the blood of Christ and the power of God’s story through our story. Don’t worry about being polished; focus on being authentic and transparent. God will give you the right words to say as He promises in Matthew 10:19–20: “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you shall speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you shall speak. For it is not you who speak but the Spirit of the Father who speaks through you.”
Your story is a tapestry of mixed, stray, splashed events that represent a life woven together to formulate a picture of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. It can’t be argued, denied, or debated. God has entrusted you with specific life experiences that will enable you to relate with others who can identify with you. Your story is a God-given gift. Use it to help others find the true meaning of life — a relationship with Christ. After all, it’s the greatest gift you could ever offer someone.
Jay Lowder is a full-time evangelist and founder of Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries www.jaylowder.com.