IDOLIZING MY REPUTATION
But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things! Romans 10:14-15
It seems that in almost every instance in the New Testament, the apostles are preaching the Gospel in a way that includes their story. They reveal when they met Jesus, what they believed at the time, how lost they were, how they came to understand that He was the Christ, and how that is changing their lives. Even when Paul stood before King Agrippa and his life was at stake, Paul told his story.
I am convinced that some are not in the kingdom yet because of the way the Gospel is communicated. People fail to include their story in the presentation. With a wagging finger, they talk of sin and its consequences. With persuasive speech, they speak of Christ’s coming, His death and resurrection. But there is one important element missing ~ a personal testimony.
What do you and I have in our hands? Our story. If I am a Christian and I’m not on a continuous growth curve, if I’m not living ‘in Christ’ and in the Word, if I’m not in an experiential relationship, then my story is sterile. I can tell others of the day I made a ‘decision’ to accept Christ but I tell it like I might tell about the day I met a memorable person on a plane. It doesn’t reveal connection and life-change.
For over ten years now, the Spirit of God keeps telling me the same thing. “Christine, you are not sharing enough of your story.” To me, it seems that this is MOST of what I do. But to Him, there is so much that I’m not sharing. While I consider it too personal, or too risky to tell, He wants me to offer my life’s story up as a sacrifice. I am being asked to share how Jesus has changed me at the point of desperate need. That’s the stuff effective Gospel presentations are made of. Has my family heard it? Have all my friends? Have my neighbors? I’m realizing as I write this that there are some close to me who don’t know my story at all. Ironically, you may know through this devotional – but my neighbor may not.
No one can argue with a personal storyteller. I am willing to lay down my reputation, yet again, to the more personal parts of my story. The only one who needs to look good is You, Lord! Amen