Archive for the ‘Sharing your testimony’ category

People Are Hungry For God But Don’t Know Where He Is

September 23, 2016

Today I went in for volunteer duty with a local agency and took with me four books written from a Christian perspective. We have a box marked  “free books – help yourself” and clients can take and keep anything they want while waiting their turn to be seen.

At the end of my 3 hour shift three of the four books had been taken away.   pile of books

I had a long conversation with one woman client who was going through life’s trials and had recently split up with her lesbian partner. She showed me two severe injuries her partner had inflicted and for which she had needed lots of stitches. She was very open to talking with me and admitted she found there was a spiritual dimension to our conversation that she really appreciated. In fact she said she sensed that God was in our encounter in a very real way. I was surprised to hear this, as I hadn’t said anything particularly spiritual up until this point.

She then picked up a little booklet “Finding Hope” and put it in her bag, saying that was exactly what she needed. She had experienced quite a bit of rejection in life, so I told her that Jesus was the man and woman huggingonly one who truly loved her and that he would never reject her. I also told her about an encounter I had where Jesus had appeared  to me when I was distressed many years ago. She seemed quite touched by this. I asked her: “would it be OK if I gave you a hug?” She said that would be good, so I did and she also hugged me tightly back for a few moments. Before she left she saw the book box, picked up the one at the front with the title “Finding God” and said with a laugh: “this has all been planned!” I agreed that it had, so she left with the book on a high, and a big smile on her face.

On the Street and At The Docks

April 17, 2016

Went into town on Friday and spotted the homeless guy I met last Friday. What a coincidence! We had a great chat. He told me he’d been to church since we last met. I reminded him of the places where he could get free/cheap food. He hadn’t visited the Homeless Healthcare Team, so I reminded him he should definitely go there as they could offer real help, plus a shower to get himself clean. I also blessed him in a practical way, which again he appreciated.

image of gloucester docksThe next day I was at the local docks area where we had a team offering to pray for people – for healing or whatever their need was. One woman went for prayer, so I was directed to chat to her husband who was waiting a few yards away. He told me he was into “Mindfulness”, which is all the current rage here in the UK. Sadly, it leaves God out of the equation, as I indicated to him. He was obviously reviewing his life, as he admitted to me. I was able to share the gospel in some detail, plus share a lot of my personal testimony, including the time Jesus appeared in my bedroom. He was quite keen to hear what I had to say, and thanked me for sharing. As his wife came over to join him I gave him my card and encouraged him to check out my website New Christian UK   After they left one of our team said that the wife had given her life to Christ during the 10 minute period she was there. Praise God!

How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian

August 3, 2015

man in horror saying oh no, not evangelism!

cartoon on sharing your faith

It ‘s the nightmare scenario of quite a few Christians. What if someone asks me about my faith??? How do I get the conversation started and what do I say??

If you’ve been born again by the Spirit of God, then you have a story to tell. There is no-one like you and there never will be again. You are a unique “God creation” and your personal story is both special and powerful.

The website New Christian UK has already created a helpful page on the web that will lead you through the steps in sharing your faith and the gospel message. This page is free to reproduce for non-profit use, so let’s look at the advice it gives:

What Is  Witnessing?
a). An overflow. b). One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. c). “To witness is so to present Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit that men and women shall put their trust in God through Him, to accept Him as their saviour and serve Him as their King in the fellowship of the Church” (Archbishop William Temple).

Why Should We Do It?

a). It brings glory to God – John 15:8. b). We are commanded to do it – Matthew 4:19. c). People are lost without Jesus – I John 5: 11-12. d). The love of Christ constrains us – 2 Corinthians 5: 14. This love is expressed, not by the emotions, but by THE WILL. We should never wait for our emotions to make us feel like witnessing.

Why Might We Not Do It?

a). Embarrassment – if I talk about what I believe I will feel silly. b). Fear of rejection – I might be rubbished and rejected. c). Inadequacy – I’m afraid I won’t know the answers to people’s questions and I will lose out, let God down and wish I’d never started the conversation.

It’s OK – Our Inhibitions Are Biblical!

a). Even the Apostle Paul shares our experience of feeling foolish – I Corinthians 4:10. b). Jesus’ own neighbours take offence at him and reject him – Mark 6: 1-6. c). Jesus promised the disciples that if they trust God, the Holy Spirit will speak through them when they are tongue-tied.

We Need To Remember…..

It’s possible to have faith without having all the answers. If we can have faith while still having problem areas, so can other people! Most people’s faith is like a set of balance scales. Faith comes when the reasons for believing outweigh the problems. Like the blind man in John 9:25 we can say: ” I don’t know, but this I do know…..” You can always offer to come back to someone with an answer if you don’t know it off the cuff.

We Need To Pray For People And Opportunities     hand lifted up in prayer

God loves those He made more than you do and doesn’t want any to perish. Someone once said “Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance but laying hold of God’s willingness.” We can therefore pray boldly and with assurance that God is with us in our witnessing. Having prayed, expect to see the opportunities that God will provide.

Make Sure There Is No Unconfessed Sin In Your Life

Repentance applies to Christians as much as to unbelievers. I need to take time before God to address those actions, attitudes and behaviour patterns in my own life that offend God. I cannot expect God to bless my witnessing or any other activities if I am knowingly disobedient to Him in some area of my life. Look at the promise in I John I:9.

white dove hovering  We Need To Go Out In The Power Of The Holy Spirit   

When you came to Christ you were sealed with His Spirit. To be effective witnesses, overcoming the hindrances of the flesh mentioned above, we need to go out in the power of the Holy Spirit. If we feel lacking in this area, we need to appropriate by faith the fulness of the Holy Spirit which is ours by right, by virtue of what Jesus’ accomplished through his death and resurrection. Jesus promised “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem; and in all Judea and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Look also at the parable of the Friend at Midnight in Luke 11: 5-13, in particular the promise in verse 13. Finally, I John 5: 14-15 says :”This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we ask of Him”. It is God’s will that we witness to Jesus, not in our strength alone, but drawing on the Lord’s resources to enable us.

WRITING YOUR TESTIMONY

Before You Start

Ask God to guide you in your preparation. Be honest in your statements and don’t exaggerate either the positive or the negative aspects of your story. Don’t criticise other people or denominations or make any other negative remarks in your story. God has lifted YOU up, so don’t bring anyone else down. Don’t use any religious jargon. Aim eventually to have two versions of your story; a two minute one and a ten minute one. You can than adapt to the circumstances, according to which version is appropriate for the occasion. Make sure both versions are concise and to the point! When you have written your story, practice reading it over in front of a sympathetic friend who can give you positive feedback.

First Part – My Life Before I Became A Christian

Some people have a sudden conversion experience. For others, it can happen over a period of time without a clear pinpointed date.Whichever way your conversion occurred, try and recall here what your life was like before. What attitudes did you display? What were your behaviour and feelings about life?

Second Part – How I Came To Realise I Needed Jesus

Include here what made you turn to Jesus. Did you have a need that Jesus met? Were you at the end of your tether and couldn’t go on? Was the process a long or a short one? Make it clear in your story that becoming a Christian was entering into a relationship with Christ, not just subscribing to some set of principles or way of living

Third Part – How I Became A Christian

Explain exactly what brought you to the point where you gave your life over to Jesus. What specific step did you take to become a Christian? Was it a sudden transformation or was it a long process?

Last Part – What Being A Christian Means Now

What difference has becoming a Christian made to your life? What are the highlights? Has there been a price to pay in relationships? Based on your experience to date, explain why you would encourage others to become a Christian too.

SHARING THE GOSPEL MESSAGE     note with important message

Is there a simple gospel message that you could get started with? Again the website New Christian UK has a useful page on this, as follows:

1. The Bible tells us all men and women are separated from God because of their sin  (Book of Romans Chapter 3 verse 23).  Therefore you are separated from Him.

2. There is a judgment to come when Jesus Christ will be the Judge of all, separating good and bad people. (Book of Acts Chapter 17 verse 31)

3. God wants to be friends with you so that you will no longer be separated from Him because of your sin.(Book of Romans Chapter 6 verse 23)

4. Jesus came from Heaven to solve this separation problem and to offer you forgiveness for your sins. (John’s Gospel Chapter 14 verse 6)

5. Although Jesus was innocent of all sin, God allowed Jesus to die on the cross for your sins, in your place, thereby solving the separation problem. Jesus became a scapegoat, taking the rap for you. (Book of Romans Chapter 5 verse 8)

6. After his death, Jesus rose from the dead and is now alive forever. His resurrection from the dead means you can put your trust in him as God’s answer to your separation problem.
(Colossians Chapter 1 verses 21-22)

7. Jesus is a friend of sinners. Therefore he is YOUR friend.
(Mark’s Gospel Chapter 2 verses 13-17)

8. Jesus is now offering you forgiveness for all your sins and a place in God’s kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven.
(John’s Gospel Chapter 14 verse 6)

9. If you want to accept his offer, tell him so. He will not reject you.
(Book of Romans Chapter 10 verse 13)

For in-depth study of the gospel used in evangelism, check out the British website What Is The Gospel?

In another post I’ll look at some questions you might get asked as you share your faith.      questions questions graphic image