Can I make an admission? I love real life stories. My favorite books are biographies, my favorite shows are true life history, crime or documentaries. I love sitting down with friends (and I have to admit, even strangers) to hear what is going on in their lives. People fascinate me and draw me in. Connecting through shared experiences or responding to another person’s saga is my delight. What can be better than a personal testimony?
The art of story telling is not new, in fact, it’s age old. Long before our digital age of blogs, podcasts and even before newspapers it was common to gather around just to hear a good story. When told well or with enough compelling details our audience jumps into the story with us and takes a front seat. I love that. It’s exactly what I try to facilitate on my podcast The Mom Next Door, Stories Of Faith.
Stopped in My Tracks
Today as I was reading, this quote by R.C. Sproul stopped me in my tracks. I went back and reread it several times. “Your personal testimony, however meaningful to you, is not the gospel.” Momentarily I thought “but it is so meaningful!” which spurred another reading of it. Hmmmm.. yeah. He’s right. Personal testimony is meaningful to ourselves and also to others. It is meaningful. But it is still not the gospel. What can be better than personal testimony? The Gospel.
Of course, following that I had to ponder the whole focus of what I am doing as a podcaster and what my show is about. Why do I do what I do and ultimately, could I do it better? I wonder if we tend to respond more to personal stories than we do the gospel? Does the telling of our stories put the focus on our lives or do we cast the spotlight on the one who gave us those lives?
Tell Your Story
“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!” 1 Chronicles 16:8. That’s just one of many scriptures that calls us out to remind us to share what God has done. I think all too often though, we can make our testimony about us. It’s easy to do. Often there are many details to cover and typically the revealing of those things sets the stage for the moment when God enters the scene. (As if He wasn’t there all along) But we can’t let the narrative of our own story fall short of the bigger picture and forget the greatest part of it.
When we see changed lives, changed hearts, healing, protection and victory, let us not forget why. We must never let our story be about us but about the God who made all those things possible. Our stories can be the introduction to what is greater. A springboard to introduce people to Jesus who is ultimately the why and the how we can share our stories.
Sharing Who He Is
I realize as I reflect on this more, that I often think of who God is to me. Or, I may ask someone who God is to them. But really, that will never measure up to who He actually is. That very thought makes me want to search Him out to go deeper and know Him more. Who is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit? Oh, sisters… grab your Bible. Jump into those pages and get to know Him. Get to know His character and His heart. As we grow in our knowledge and love for Him, I think it will be easier to share His story and what Christ has done for us. Let that be where we cast our focus. All glory to God. He is worthy.
Grab a Highlighter and Your Bible
Psalm 71:15-24 is significant to me. It’s a little long to write out here so you need to look it up. When you do, grab a highlighter. I have read this through so many times in the past two years. However, I think I was reading it wrong. Or at least with the wrong emphasis. So many times what stood out was the “my” and “I” phrases. Today I read it again while highlighting the things that God has done. “Your righteousness”, “Your wonderous deeds”, “Your might and power”, “You have redeemed”. Go ahead. Go look and mark it out.
A life changed is significant. Your story is important, powerful even. It is all those things because it is a reflection of who He is and what He has done. So as we share our stories, let us also share Jesus. Let’s put Him on center stage. To God be the glory for the things He has done. Let’s praise Him with our lives for who He is.
As you Ponder These Things, Reflect
Spend some time today reflecting on who God is. Focus on His names and His character. Honor Him with songs that exalt His name. Pray and thank Him for what He has done. As you do that, may I direct you to just a few places that blessed me today?
The Heart Of Worship by Matt Redman