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The Word of Their Testimony




I am very blessed to have a Pastor who is passionate about sharing the Gospel.  You will find him at every major event in our small state, "rallying the troops" {our congregation} to join him in passing out Gospel tracts.  His preaching showcases that same passion for reaching the lost, a passion spurred on by the fact that we don't know when Jesus will return - it could be today!

Our Pastor supplies many resources for the congregation to use so that we will always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks {us} to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within {us}, yet {to} [do it] with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

One such resource is a book called Your Story Counts by John Sorensen, President of Evangelism Explosion International.  The book's back cover boasts...

"One of the greatest witnessing tools you have is right in your back pocket.  It's your story.  Skeptics may debate Scriptural principles, but no one can contend with your particular, intimate experiences with God.  How He has blessed you, changed you, encouraged you or perhaps transformed you through the trials of life.  your story transcends the abstract into reality and, ultimately, communications God's inseparable relationship with you.

In Your Story Counts, Dr. John B. Sorensen explains how to easily and confidently prepare your story, or stories, and share them with those around you.

Peter wrote that we should "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."  1 Peter 3:15.  Your story contains the power to present Jesus, active and alive in you that you may administer the grace of God to edify others and build up the Kingdom of God."

I read this book from cover to cover in one afternoon.  It is a very easy read that shares examples of many people's testimonies, and how to develop your own "two-minute" testimony.  The testimony template is built off of two "diagnostic questions" to determine a person's understanding of the Gospel.

Diagnostic Question #1

Are you absolutely certain that if you died today you would go to Heaven?

Diagnostic Question #2

Suppose you were to die today and stand before God, and He were to ask you, "Why should I let you into My Heaven?"  What would you say?

The author shared the following key points for sharing your testimony with someone:
  1. Emphasize the positive in your testimony.  Mr. Sorensen says that too often people will belabor the story of their life before Christ.  Instead, he says to focus on the command that says "Go... and tell how great things the Lord hath done for thee".
  2. Identify with the people you imagine you will be sharing with.  Mr. Sorensen says when you begin to write your personal testimony, you will discover that you have multiple testimonies of what God has done in your life.  He said when witnessing to friends, family or coworkers, by identifying with people, you can share the testimony that relates the closest to their situation.  For example, if you have a friend that suffers with anxiety and you have a testimony of how God has freed you from anxiety, then that is the testimony that would probably be the most effective for reaching that friend.
  3. Do not give answers {to the above diagnostic questions} before you ask questions.   Mr. Sorensen says when presenting the Gospel to a friend, it should have certain elements of mystery.  "You confront the prospect with a problem in a manner that identifies him/her with the problem.  As you let him/her see and feel the problem, the suspense mounts and he/she gets into the problem; then you solve the problem by presenting Christ in the Gospel.  However, you do not want to give any answers to the diagnostic questions you will ask later."  He suggests rather than saying "When I received Christ", saying "When I received eternal life".   The purpose is to ensure an authentic response from the friend you are sharing with rather than the person parroting back what you said in your testimony.
Your Story Counts provides a questionnaire for developing your own two-minute testimony.  

Here is one of my testimonies...

Before I received eternal life, I was an anxiety-filled worrier.  Many nights I would lay awake in bed shaking, filled with anxiety over some perceived and/or actual health situation.  My general anxiety level then increased throughout any given day.  I went on to panic attacks and a season of agoraphobia, afraid to leave the house.

Then I met Cindy who asked me if there was anything I struggled with.  I said YES!!  ANXIETY!  She invited me to do a Bible study with her about anxiety and through that study I eventually received eternal life.

Now that I have eternal life, I know that my life is in God’s hands; that He goes before me and is with me, that He will never leave me or forsake me.  My anxiety level has reduced greatly, and I am filled with peace.

This peace became very evident through two difficult diagnoses; one for what appeared to be a serious heart rhythm problem, and the other, the possibility of thyroid cancer.  I remember thinking my Heavenly Father knows my body and exactly what is going on.  In both instances, I could feel myself surrender to the Lord knowing that whether I lived or died, I would be kept in His loving care.  The Lord blessed me with healing in both situations.

My assurance that I have eternal life and will go to Heaven when I die, allowed me to go through those serious health problems in perfect peace, free from the anxiety that once plagued me.

As you can see, I share a personal struggle that someone could identify with, build suspense and then end with the solution to my problem - receiving eternal life.  Asking the diagnostic questions afterwards will hopefully begin a great conversation.  The person will remember the freedom I received from my struggle with anxiety and will be ready to ask questions on how they themselves can receive that freedom through eternal life.

I highly recommend this book.


Another great resource I recently received from my Pastor is a short E-Book written by Neil Macaulay called The Way to Heaven.  

The author breaks down all aspects of a sinners life, from before knowing Christ to walking with Christ in a way that gives much clarity and encouragement.

Mr. Macaulay shares a questionnaire for developing a two-minute testimony.  This testimony differs from the first style suggested in Your Story Counts, but is equally as powerful.  Every person and every situation is different - just like every testimony...

Here is my testimony using the questionnaire from The Way to Heaven...

1. What was your life like before Christ?

Before I knew Christ, I was a Miss Goody Two-Shoes.   I had a guilty conscience that would keep me on the straight and narrow most of the time.  I was respectful of my parents and everyone I came in contact with.  I never smoked, drank or did drugs.  I was a good student.  For the most part, I always did the right thing.  

2. How did you receive Christ?  Mention one Bible verse.
How did you hear?
I first heard about saving faith through Jesus Christ from a friend of a friend, Cindy, who invited me to do a Bible Study.  She said I could pick something I struggled with.  I picked anxiety, and she chose a Bible Study on conquering fear.  It was not so much through Cindy’s own words, but my own personal reading of the Bible as I completed that study which opened my eyes to the Gospel.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17

         What did you hear?
The more I read God’s Word, the more I realized I wasn’t  a Miss Goody-Two Shoes  after all, and that I needed a Savior to cleanse me from all my sins; and One who would free me from the bondage of fear.

How did you respond?
I didn’t respond right away to the Gospel, but over a period of a few months, as I continued to read and learn more about the Savior, my heart responded.  I don’t know the exact date, but I know it happened because I then truly understood God’s Word whereas before “it didn’t make sense to me”, AND I noticed changes for the better in my behavior and thoughts, even as a former Miss Goody-Two Shoes…

3. What is your life like after receiving Christ?
After receiving Christ, the anxieties that plagued me as a child through to just before my conversion subsided.  I have a love and hunger for the Word of God.  I enjoy working in ministry endeavors the Lord has laid upon my heart.  I love talking about the things of the Lord with fellow believers.   I now never cease to stand in awe at how the Lord answers my prayers, prayers whose answers may not come until the 11th hour and in incredibly unexpected ways; but answers that bring me joy that I had never known prior to knowing Christ.   I no longer see myself as Miss Goody Two Shoes, but as a sinner saved by the Grace of God through the blood of Jesus Christ, whose blood cleansed me from all unrighteousness so that I could have eternal life.

Mr. Macaulay shares about the responsibility those with saving faith in Jesus have...

 "A Christian is one in whom Jesus Christ lives and abides; He now will live His life in you and will do His work on this earth now through you and His other true followers.

He will bring others to His fold, others into His family through you."

I found myself re-reading those words over and over again.  Letting the magnitude of them sink in. We truly are God's messengers.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony
they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Revelation 12:11


Our testimonies are Christ's story in us...



I found the exercises for writing personal testimonies shared in Your Story Counts and The Way To Heaven very helpful.  

Having these testimonies ready in my back pocket has increased my awareness to be in tune to conversations where I could offer Hope to someone, and the confidence to do so.


If you are interested in reading Your Story Counts, you can find it at Amazon here.  

If you would like to read the Ebook,  The Way to Heaven, you can find it at Amazon here.


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home Intentional Tuesday ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope










Comments

  1. I loved reading how God has worked in your life. I am so thankful He sent healing to you in both of your scary health situations. Anxiety is so tormenting, I can surely relate to that. No wonder the Bible says, "Fear hath torment". This was such an interesting post and so informative on how to be better prepared to share our personal testimonies with others. I really liked the parts about listening to them talk first and allowing God to insert part of our own personal story to show them how we overcame through Him. This gives people hope, and it holds so much more weight to be able to say, "I've been there, I know what you are going through, and God brought me through. I'm still standing, even after going through what you are right now." Thank you, sweet friend for always encouraging me and challenging me in my walk with Jesus. Sending you much love and gratitude!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl, I appreciate you so much!! Your thoughtful comments always bless me and always add so much to the conversation.

      You are such a sweet, sweet blessing to me. I am so thankful I started blogging to have met you!

      With much love,

      Delete
  2. Thanks for sharing this resource and your testimony. Praise God for the way He delivered you from intense anxiety. Please share this encouraging challenge with our readers at the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup http://www.foreverjoyful.net/?p=1189

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome!

      Thank you for the invite. I have shared the post over at Literacy Musing Mondays. :-)

      Delete
    2. We're so happy you did! Come back weekly!

      Delete
  3. Karen we have a wonderful truth-speaking pastor too. You and I are blessed.

    I agree we have a wonderful stories and testimonies packed in our back pockets. We just need to pull them out and cash them in to bless others.

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    Replies
    1. Deborah, Indeed! :-)

      I love that, "Pull them out and cash them in to bless others". Very well said!

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  4. This is a great resource -- and I loved the thoughtful way you approached your review of the book. You are a blessing!

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    Replies
    1. Michele, Indeed they are. :-)

      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. You have blessed me. :-)

      Delete
  5. Karen, this post is so interesting because I went through EE training in the 1990's and we were required to write out our testimony (story) just like you detailed! Thanks for sharing, it was great to read again! Blessings, Pam @ Everyday Living

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    Replies
    1. Pam, I'm so glad you enjoyed reading about it again. :-)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

      Blessings,

      Delete
  6. Very interesting resources it's a great blessing to have a passionate pastor. Thanks for sharing with the Cozy Reading Spot

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  7. Karen, this is such a great way to share faith. I think more than anything people want to know the difference loving God can make in their lives now. His grace is sufficient and His hope eternal. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

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    Replies
    1. Deb, I thought so too!

      You are very welcome.

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  8. Karen,
    Your pastor sounds like a wonderful man who follows Jesus with all his heart! These are fantastic resources! Thank you for sharing them with us at #MomentsofHope!♥
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    Replies
    1. Lori, He has been such a refreshing blessing. We have only been at the church since April, and I can already see positive changes in my spiritual walk.

      You are welcome. Thanks for hosting! :-)

      Delete
  9. Wonderful reminder here. Our personal story is a huge testimony for God's grace. I've often undervalued my story but I found when I shared it, it really did resonate with people.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely evening.
    xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Jennifer, Thank you for your kind words.

      And thank you for sharing your heart here.

      You are welcome! Thanks for hosting!

      Same to you!

      Blessings.

      Delete
  10. I would like to read this book. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!
    Tina

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    Replies
    1. Tina,

      You are very welcome!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Blessings,

      Delete

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