Last Sunday at TCC, I had the privilege of sharing a very personal story about how I learned to walk in forgiveness toward my Dad. It was an extremely difficult thing to do but I knew that was what God was asking of me. I realized it would put me at risk for some to think less of me because of the struggle I had in the process, but I also knew that God could use it tremendously to help those who were still stuck and needed some help to find their way out of the prison of unforgiveness. That’s a risk/reward that I will gladly take every time.
There are few things more powerful and disarming than a story, particularly the story of how Jesus changed someone’s life. In Acts 22, we read about Paul sharing his testimony with the crowd as he is being led away to jail because of lies Jewish leaders told about him. Paul could have argued the finer points of the law with anyone in the crowd. He could have expounded on Christ’s fulfillment of every nook and cranny of Old Testament prophecy. Instead, he shared his story of transformation with a vicious mob. A murderer of Christians morphed into a preacher of the gospel—that’s compelling stuff!
As he was sharing his story, he recounted two questions that he asked of Jesus when he was first encountered by him on the road to Damascus. First, who are you, Lord? That’s a legitimate question. How are we supposed to believe, trust in Jesus or serve him faithfully if we don’t really know Him? Secondly, what should I do Lord? After we have been adopted by God into His family and changed by the power of the Holy Spirit we can’t remain silent or still. It’s only natural to have a desire to be used of God in some way. Paul shows us in this chapter part of God’s answer to his question. He is called to share his story of redemption with others. He is keenly aware that some will hate it and some will love it and yet having counted the cost he realizes he cannot stay silent.
Every Christ follower has a story to tell. All of us have been rescued from a life of sin and disobedience, set free to follow Jesus. God does not call us to have to be articulate salesmen or well-educated theologians. He has equipped us better than that. God has given each of us a story of life change and the power of the gospel. Who are we sharing our stories with?