“No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.” – Luke 8:39.
Remember the story of how Thomas reacted to the news that Jesus had risen from the dead? John 20:25 tells us: ‘”But he replied, (to the other disciples)“I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” Thomas had difficulty believing in something he had not seen and touched. Contrast that to what John said in 1 John 1:3: “We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” John is saying that he believes so strongly in Jesus (this Jesus that he’d seen and touched and heard) that he wrote that he was proclaiming “to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us….”
It would be a whole lot easier to convince people about Jesus if we ourselves had actually seen and touched and heard Jesus. Even so, people still want to hear about what you’ve seen, what you’ve touched and what you’ve heard. They want to hear about your experiences and how you handled those experiences. They want to know how you become a Christian? They want to know if Jesus really works in your life. They want to know your story. You can invite others to Jesus by your story and by your life.
There is a story of a demon possessed man in Mark 4:1-20. Jesus casts out the demons from this man and we read in verses 18-20: “As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.”
This is a story that shows Jesus’ power to overcome evil and change a life. But it also teaches about the power of story. The man in this story wanted to go with Jesus on His mission trip, so he asked to come along, but Jesus wouldn’t let him. Instead Jesus told him to “…go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” Jesus needed that individual to stay right where he was, at home among those who knew him for what he was and could see what he had now become in Christ. So the man went to his home as Jesus told him and proclaimed how much Jesus had done for him. I love the way the story ends. “And everyone was amazed.”
We have talked about how important it is to develop friendships with people, become people-focused, and discover their stories as we build these friendships. What I’ve discovered is that, after you’ve listened to someone else’s story, typically they will eventually ask you about your story. Therefore, it is important to be ready to tell your story of what Jesus has done for you.
- Have you told your story to other Christians? To non-Christians?
- Is there something that keeps you from sharing your story with others? If so, what can you do this week to remove that hurdle?
- What can you do this week to be more ready to share your story when opportunities arise?