By Laura Bailey, Crosswalk.com
A Message Worth Repeating
By Laura Bailey
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-2
“Can you give the devotion at our meeting on Tuesday night?” our women’s small group leader asked. Looking like a deer in headlights, I turned my head from side to side to ensure she was talking to me.
“Sure, I think I can,” I finally managed to stumble out. I’d been in church for almost thirty years, but it was the first time someone had asked me to teach the Bible. I called my mom the next day and confided how nervous I was, scared I'd say the wrong thing and look like a spiritual phony and a colossal fool. I didn't know what to talk about. I'd only recently developed a regular habit of reading my Bible. I surely didn't feel as if I had something to teach!
“Why don’t you tell your conversion story?” she gently suggested. My conversion story, what’s exciting about that?! These women know their Bibles; they would want to hear a message steeped in biblical truth, not a story about a wayward young woman who finally found her way back to God. Surely, they had heard similar stories a million times over. Surely they were tired of hearing about how someone came to know the Lord?
As I prepared my lesson, I felt the familiar tug of the Holy Spirit urging me to give my mother’s suggestion a second thought. Paul is my favorite person in the Bible. I love his no-frills writing style and his excitement for theology, and I have often gleaned much encouragement from his conversion on the road to Damascus. Here was a man who was actively persecuting Christians one day and then traveling the world to share the gospel the next day. His testimony is incredible and could only be accredited to the Lord.
While my story doesn’t involve the active persecution of believers, in my waywardness, I denied Christ daily, criticized believers for following God’s commands faithfully, and repeatedly chose worldly things over God. Until one day, God used a conversation with a co-worker to transform my life from rebellion to submission within minutes.
In Corinthian 2:1-5, Paul, well-established with the Corinthians, reminded them of what it was like when he first arrived in Corinth. He wasn’t overly prepared, particularly well-spoken, or charismatic. Regardless, Paul had a message to share and trusted the Lord would work through him despite his lack of ability. Paul’s sole purpose was to proclaim Christ! The gospel message doesn’t need to be glammed up, its speakers don’t require years of seminary or public speaking classes, and it’s a message that speaks for itself. It is a message worth repeating, not just for salvation but for the daily renewal of our hearts and minds.
So often, we focus on the presentation of the Scriptures. Are our words convincing? Do people enjoy listening to us? Will people think this is overly self-focused? And rightly so. We need to do our due diligence when teaching the Bible. Careful study and prayer are required to steward God's Word. But, ultimately, the Lord opens minds and hearts to receive the message. And what better way is there to communicate eternal salvation than our personal testimony and experience?
The next time you feel a nudge from the Spirit to share the gospel with a friend or coworker or are presented with an opportunity to share a devotion, might I encourage you to share your story? Tell your testimony and explain how they can come to know the Lord. Sharing our testimonies is the simplest way to share the good news, and despite any conflicting feelings or concerns about how it's all been heard before, it's a message worth repeating!
Interesting Faith and Life:
Have you ever been asked to lead a small group, teach Sunday School, or share a devotion but declined because you didn’t know what to share? If you haven’t already, write your testimony, incorporating some of your favorite scriptures and verses that share the gospel. Practice in front of a mirror, a spouse, or a trusted friend to build your confidence.
For Further Reading:
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