Updated: Mar 9
I remember well the pressure of passing onto people how God had radically changed my life. I found myself being overwhelmed, feeling the need to articulate the good news with absolute clarity, but putting huge weight on myself that God never intended. Years later now, I have some great news that will help you share the best news ever.
THE PRESSURE IS OFF
You can't change the soul of anyone, that's God's job. I don't care if it's a friend, your spouse, a neighbor, or even your child – God must bring them across the line from slavery to sin and into salvation.
The Holy Spirit is the one who does the changing of lives. He will convict of sin and cause a soul to churn for surrender to Jesus, believe wholeheartedly that Jesus died for them, and trust that Jesus rose from the dead to give them life today and for eternity.
Jesus told a man named Nicodemus that to be born again; a person must be "born of the Spirit." John 3:6 Here's a mind-bending truth, Jesus never led anyone to turn and be a disciple of himself apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. Our role in someone's salvation is to cast a clear vision of authentic faith and leave room for the Spirit to move. John 6:63 is clear, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all."
A CLEAR VISION
There are critical scriptures to arm yourself with that God will use to draw people to himself. I'll have those for you at the end of the blog. But the best strategy is the one frequently employed by Paul, a powerfully used early follower of Jesus – share your story! There are three vital elements of your story that you can use. The third is without question, the most important.
The valuable strategy is in Acts 26. Paul is in a kangaroo court for boldly proclaiming Christ as the Messiah. King Agrippa asks for his defense and what does he do, he shares his story. Please read the whole story for yourself, but let me give you a quick overview of the three vital elements.
ELEMENT #1 - Life without Christ.
Paul shares what he was like before God saved his soul. He was a religious man who hated and fomented hate for disciples of Christ. He was a persecutor of Christians and was on his way to chase down all he could find when God intervened. God blinded Paul and, at the same time, opened his eyes to the grace of God.
Share with people what your life was like without Christ. Even if you were young, you know what God had to save you from.
ELEMENT #2 - God's call on his life to turn his life around.
Paul humbled himself and received God's vision for his life of sharing the good news with non-Jewish people. This vision proves that Paul humbled himself to love and reach people who he would not have associated with prior. Only God could soften the hard heart of Paul. The wind of the Spirit was blowing powerfully into Paul's heart – It was God who radically turned Paul around.
Share where you were when you heard God call you to turn your life around and turn it over to Jesus. No person can deny your own story of transformation.
ELEMENT #3 - The fresh story of God at work in you.
Paul then shares something amazing with Agrippa. He says, "To this day, I have had the help that comes from God." What a fantastic reality of life in Christ. When the Spirit of God transforms a heart, he continues to reveal his power and grace. We will witness miracles, answered prayer, and doors kicked open to walk straight through.
Share the fresh things God is doing in your life. The story that matters most is how God is helping you to live life abundantly now!
Arm yourself with a few key verses. There are many you can use, but here's just a few:
John 6:36 Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst."
John 11:26 Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though he dies."
Romans 10:9-10 "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved."
God bless you big time as you share your story with the world. Someone needs to hear what God has done in you! Here's a challenge to you. Put this into practice by sharing your story with one person this week.
I invite you to be our guest at 180Chicago.church. We're a new, diverse, and dynamic church that is unwilling to settle for too little. Swing by our "Guest Connect" kiosk and receive a copy of my book, THRILL: When Normal Is Not Enough. Click here for directions. See you soon...Karl