‘They (the churches of Judea) only heard the report: ‘The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’ And they praised God because of me.” Galatians 1: 23 & 24
We talked yesterday about the fact that we all have a story to tell. For followers of Jesus, our stories couldn’t be more powerful! Why? Because our stories tell others about Jesus. Too often, we don’t share our stories of encountering Jesus because we just don’t know how to do it.
The apostle Paul demonstrated a clear three-step method to sharing our faith journey with others:
- Life BEFORE Christ: Paul grew up in what today is southern Turkey. He was from a good, Jewish family and at around 12 years old he went to Jerusalem to study under the greatest Rabbi of his day. As an adult, Paul began persecuting the followers of Jesus, becoming one of the original religious terrorists. Like any religious terrorist – Paul believed with all his heart, that what he was doing was right.
- ENCOUNTERING Christ: As Paul was on his way to Damascus, modern-day Syria, seeking to imprison followers of Jesus– he encountered Christ. Jesus appeared in the form of dazzling light, blinding Paul for three days and forcing him to wrestle with everything he had known and believed up until that point. It was at this moment in his story that Paul recognized the truth about Jesus. This is repentance: the change of mind that leads to a change of direction, a change of heart, and a change of priorities.
Until a person is convicted of their sinfulness compared to the sinlessness of Jesus Christ, he/she will never understand the third part of the story.
- Life AFTER Christ: Paul, the staunchest anti-Jesus advocate there ever was became the greatest missionary in the history of the church and the author of much of the New Testament. All because of a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ.
So what’s your Christ story? No story is complete until it has all three parts: before Christ, encountering Christ and after meeting Christ. If your story is simply part one – make today the turning point. Open your heart to Christ and allow Him to radically transform your life! And if, like Paul, you’ve encountered Christ– when is the last time you shared it? Because a story is meant to be told – it’s a big reason that God chose you. Ask God for an opportunity to share your story today.