The Bible Is His-Story.
A woman at a well
A blind man
This guy was pressed by their hostile questions, so he shared his story and finally responded… ‘do you want to become his disciple… do you?.’
Peter, John, and Paul
Life experience is what they shared.
Acts 4:20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” NIV
Their opponents, stated, ‘These people have been with Jesus.’
we have heard,
we have seen with our eyes,
we have looked at
our hands have touched
we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
The life appeared;
we have seen it and testify to it,
we proclaim to you
the eternal life,
was with the Father
has appeared to us.
proclaim to you
we have seen
may have fellowship with us.
And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. NIV
Note: Paul didn’t get into political posturing, or theological debates, he told his story.
Tell your story it is relevant.
Telling what you have seen, heard, and experienced has amazing power in this generation.
How do you develop your personal story?
Seed: Tell Your Story.
Your personal story is one of the most powerful assets you have. Your story can impact the people in your sphere of influence. Your testimony tells the story of how you came to know Jesus Christ. Your story is a reflection of your changed life.
Over the years people have attempted to say my relationship with Jesus is just a figment of my imagination, somehow I thought myself out of my situation and the power of positive thinking alone is what changed my life.
However, my life-story reveals a life that declares much more. Jesus as Savior is my reality. I am not the same person; I have been born again. My story of a changing life reveals this truth.
The Bible is the story of men declaring what they had seen and experienced in the Old and New Testaments. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, declared,
“This (what you see and hear) is what was spoken by the prophet Joel. (a demonstration of what God said would happen)” (Acts 2:16, NIV)
The disciples had experienced a powerful infilling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Peter was testifying to this fact. His explanation was the testimony / the story of his experience. The early disciples declared to the opposing religious leaders of the day,
“We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20, NIV)
They encountered Jesus and were living a Spirit-led life. They heard His words and had also participated in His wonderful deeds.
His words and His works are what they proclaimed.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with (not was with) the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:13, NIV)
The religious leaders of the day had noted the disciples were unlearned men but they also noted something else—these men had been with Jesus. Something about their words and their lives revealed this reality.
When Paul was confronted by the skeptics of his day, his defense was not to begin a great theological debate. He simply gave his testimony, he told his story. (See Acts 22 and 26.)
As a matter of fact, his story had such power upon King Agrippa, the King himself exclaimed,
“Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (Acts 26:28 NIV)
The gospels and the Book of Acts are written testimonies, stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They wrote about what they had seen and heard.
In John 4, John noted Jesus revealing three key
1. The principle of progressive revelation.
2. The power of story.
3. The principle of sowing and reaping.
In the chapter, we see the impact one woman’s story had upon an entire town. Jesus was speaking with a woman at a well. As He spoke with the woman she received more than she bargained for. She was looking for water; she received a revelation. The revelation of who Jesus really was the water that changed her life. As the conversation developed, Jesus encouraged the woman to go and bring her husband.
“I have no husband.”, she replied.
Jesus said to her,
“You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
I laugh at her understatement, “Sir, I perceive you are a prophet.”
At the end of the conversation, Jesus plainly told the woman He was the Christ.
Here’s the progression:
- She first saw Jesus as a nice Jewish man.
- Next, she defined him to be a religious person.
- She questioned the where of worship.
He explained worship was not defined by where a person worshiped. True worship was defined by the Who and how a person worshiped, this is what was most important.
- Then he revealed knowledge about her life. She knew he had no way of knowing anything about her, so she perceived him as a prophet.
- Finally, as the light of revelation entered her heart she responded by boldly asking Him if He was the Christ. His affirmative answer revealed who He really was.
She was so moved by the insightful encounter, she left her waterpot, went back to her town and told her story to the men of the city. She said,
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29, NIV)
Jesus had not told her everything she had ever done, but just enough to let her know, he knew her. Her simple story had power. All the men of the city came out to see Jesus.
The result. “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him.”…and then they asked Jesus to stay. He stayed and interacted with them for two days. Because of their encounter, many became believers.
They said to the woman “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know/believe that this man is the Savior of the world.” (John 4:3942, NIV)
Her simple “come and see a man, could He be?” story had the power to draw the people of the city toward Jesus. Then as they were drawn to Jesus they were able to hear for themselves, and hearing Jesus for themselves, they believed. The whole region was transformed.
Your story and my story has this kind of if-it-happened-for-you, maybe-it-can-happen-for-me kind of power.
Your story can ignite faith in someone’s heart and draw people toward Jesus. In the same manner, as the people hearing Jesus for themselves your story may prompt the person to listen, and to hear Him for themselves… they may then believe.
This is the main purpose of all of our stories—people would hear for themselves and by hearing, they would believe and come to saving knowledge of the mercy and truth found in Jesus.
Many people think, “I wasn’t a Hell’s Angel. I never did drugs or got drunk. I didn’t hang out with people who did. What kind of testimony can I possibly have? I’m just a normal person.” Well, there are a whole lot of normal people out there who need to hear Jesus can save normal people just like you.
Your personal story has the power to change a life.
Your story is powerful.
Don’t listen to any lie that tells you your story isn’t valuable. You are unique and have unique circumstances. The people we want to reach are also unique. Our stories somehow connect to the heart and inspire people to move forward.
The best person to help another person is a person who has been through what someone else is now going through.
I was checking out at a grocery store. The lady checking my groceries was friendly. I mentioned I was heading out to visit my grandkids. She told me she was raising her grandkids. Intuitively I knew the reason.
I asked, “Why are you taking care of your grandkids?” She told me her daughter was in rehab and attempting to kick her drug habit. I briefly told her I understood. I was a person who made it. I had overdosed more than once. Jesus had changed my life. I told her if He could help me, He could He help her daughter.
I asked if I could pray for her and her daughter. More than grateful she agreed. I prayed a short prayer and again encouraged her, “If Jesus could set me free, He could set her daughter free.” We prayed. Hope flowed. That is the power of testimony. He did it once, He can do it again!
Here are a few helpful steps to help as you develop your personal story.
What was going on in your life before you gave your heart to Jesus? I was angry, hurting, disillusioned, sad, aimless, etc.
How did you begin to change and move forward toward faith? What was the process? What were you thinking, feeling? I felt discouraged, fragmented. I knew something was missing from my life. I began to think about my life where I was going; what I was doing. Someone told me about Jesus. Then…
When did you invite Jesus to come into your life? Be specific.
How is your life different now?
Also, our story is always changing. Daily Jesus meets our needs, heals our bodies, forgives our sins, provides for us, protects us, and speaks to us. As He lives with us and in us our lives change and our prayers are answered. We are growing from faith to faith. Our stories reflect our current reality.
When speaking to pre-Christians I often tell them I refused to acknowledge God as being a personal God who had a purpose and a plan for my life. I tried to find some convincing evidence so I could deny His existence. I wanted to deny His existence so I could live like I wanted to live and do what I wanted to do. I did not want to become accountable to a God who might be out there somewhere. The wisdom of men, more specifically, my logic, was foolishness to God.
Now I have come to know Him, I have been gathering a history of consistent evidence. He indeed does exist. He is very interested and active in my life. I testify to this reality by telling people what Jesus has done for my family and me. I tell them about the provision I have received at just the right moment, the healing I have experienced, the sins have been forgiven and the words I’ve heard Him speak.
Because He is a living reality I am learning to walk with Him on a daily basis. My current life story declares to all who will listen, my God is much more than some mystical idea or an impersonal force somewhere out there. My life declares His interest, His concern, His love, and His reality. It is Good News. Every person who knows Jesus can openly testify to this truth. He is changing us.
What’s your story? On a blank page take a few minutes and outline your story.