Sharing Your Life Message
God wants to speak to the world through you---and when a person becomes a believer, they also become God's 'messenger'.
You may feel you don't have anything to share, but that's the Devil trying to keep you silent. You have a 'storehouse' of experiences that God wants to use to bring others into His family---and your "Life Message" has four parts to it: your testimony; life lessons; your godly passions; and the "Good News" of salvation. Let's look at each one of these in detail.
Your "testimony" is the story of how Christ has made a difference in your life. This is the essence of 'witnessing'---simply sharing your personal experiences regarding the Lord.
Sharing your testimony is an essential part of your mission on earth---because it is unique. There is 'no other' person on this earth that has a story just like yours---so, only 'you' can share it! If you don't share it, it will be 'lost' forever. You may not be a Bible 'scholar', but you are an 'authority' on your own life, and it's hard to 'argue' with personal experience. Actually, your personal testimony is more 'effective' than a sermon, because unbelievers see pastors as 'professional salesmen', but see you as a 'satisfied customer', so they give you more credibility.
Shared stories build a relational 'bridge' that God can then 'walk' across from your heart to theirs. Your testimony can also 'bypass' intellectual defenses. Many people who won't accept the authority of the Bible will listen to a humble, personal story.
The second part of your Life Message is the truths that God has taught you from experiences with Him---insights from relationships, problems, temptations, and other aspects of life.
While it is wise to learn from experience, it is 'wiser' to learn from the experiences of others. There isn't enough time to learn everything on life by trial and error. So, we must learn from the life lessons of one another. Mature people develop the habit of 'extracting' lessons from everyday experiences---so I encourage you to make a list of the major ones you have learned.
As you grow closer to God, He will give you a 'passion' for something He cares about deeply---so you can a 'spokesman' for Him in this world.
God uses passionate people to further His kingdom---and if you 'ask' Him, He will 'burden' your heart with a specific thing that desperately needs a strong Christian witness---and it will be specially 'designed' with your 'SHAPE' in mind.
Just like our personalities, God gives different passions to different people so that everything He wants done in the world will get done. So, don't expect everyone else to be passionate about your passion. Instead, listen intently and try to help others fulfill their passion.
Your Life Message also includes sharing the "Good News"---or the "Gospel" of God's grace in saving us through what Jesus did on the Cross: forgiving our sins, giving us a purpose for living, and 'creating' a place for us in heaven.
There are hundreds of great books on how to share the Good News---but most importantly, you must learn to love 'lost' people the way God does.
[Contact me if your are interested in a list of resources I have used in the past]
We must care about unbelievers because God does---and love leaves no choice. A parent will run into a burning building to save a child because their love for that child is greater than their fear. If you've been afraid to share the Good News with those around you, ask God to fill your heart with His love for them.
As was said in the last chapter, you don't have to become a full-time evangelist---you can simply be a friend by inviting them over for dinner, giving them a book, inviting them to a church function, or just pray for them every day. Your mission 'field' is all around you---so don't miss the opportunities God is giving you.
[One very simple way I have done this, is to become a "Lighthouse" in my neighborhood. For more information on this, visit the Mission America web site].
Question: Will there be anyone in heaven because of you? Imagine the joy of greeting people in heaven whom you helped get there. The eternal salvation of a single soul is 'more important than 'anything' else! Only people are going to last forever---and you only have this life to 'affect' them!
In the "Purpose-Driven Life" book you have been presented with God's five purposes for your life on earth: He made you to be a 'member' of His family; a 'model' of His character; a 'magnifier' of His glory; a 'minister' of His grace; and a 'messenger' of His Good News to others. Of these five purposes, being a messenger is the one that can only be done on earth---the other four will keep you 'busy' in eternity in some way.
That's why spreading the Good News is so important---you only have a short time to share your life message and fulfill your mission!
Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music still in them.
[Oliver Wendall Holmes]
In "Sports Spectrum" Ken Walker tells how after a Monday night football game in 1990 several players did something for the first time that would later become a common sight.
When the game ended between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants, eight players from both sides gathered in a huddle in the center of the field at the 40-yard line nearer to the scoreboard. There they bowed their knees for all to see and prayed together in the name of Jesus Christ.
The brief prayer meetings caught on and gained their highest visibility several years later with Reggie White and his 1997 Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. One Packer, Eugene Robinson, explains the purpose of the players coming together to bow their knees: "We don't pray about who wins the game or any of that stuff. That's not what it's there for. We pray basically as an acknowledgement of who God is and that men will see that He exists."
The players have taken heat for their public stand. An article in "Sports Illustrated" advised the players to pray in private, and the NFL made noises for a while as though they would shut the practice down. But the players stood firm, some saying they were willing to be fined for the practice, and the player huddles went on.
One moment of truth for a believer is when he or she decides to publicly identify with Jesus Christ. Whether it be praying over a meal at a restaurant, carrying a Bible, wearing a pin, or mentioning the Lord in conversation---it solidifies our commitment to Christ.
[Craig Brian Larson]
QUESTIONS TO PONDER:
- As you reflect on your personal story, who does God want you to share it with?
- What do you feel might be a part of the Life Message that God has given you to share with the world?
- What is the key part of your Life Message?
- How do you think the four parts of your Life Message has changed during your life?
- How do you know someone is ready to hear your Life Message? What are some of the life circumstances that create receptivity of the unchurched to hear your Life Message and the Gospel?
NOTE: If you would like to investigate thoughts about how God gets His 'message'
out, visit the following link:
The Search for Meaning: Learn With a Friend