The Power of One Changed Life
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A young man named Jared became somewhat of an American celebrity, all because of the massive amount of weight he lost. A deli sandwich chain has featured him in a lot of their advertising the last couple of years. He says he lost basically the equivalent of another whole person, largely by eating their low-fat, low-calorie turkey sandwich for months. And as Jared's body has been shrinking, the sandwich chain has been growing!
Advertisers know the best way to sell a product, whether it's a diet plan, exercise equipment, or a medication: have someone who's living proof of their product's effectiveness tell their story. For two thousand years, that's what has motivated people to pursue the most important thing in life - a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It's what will interest the people you know in Jesus, if you will tell them your story.
Some call it their "testimony." I call it your personal hope story - the story only you can tell; the story of what Jesus Christ has done in your life. There's a great template for that story in our word for today from the Word of God in John 9:25. Jesus has healed a man who had been blind from birth. But the enemies of Jesus are trying to get the man to acknowledge that Jesus was a sinner because He had healed on the Sabbath. I love this guy's reply: "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"
He refuses to get entangled in their religious questions. He just tells them the difference Jesus has made, and who can argue about that? That's what you need to tell the folks in your world. They're not that interested in all our theology and our beliefs. They want to know, "What difference does Jesus make?" And your life is the answer to that right in front of them if you'll tell your story.
You need to take a little time and think through your Jesus-story; your "once I was (fill in the blanks) _______ but now I _______." There you go! That's your story. Take a piece of paper and make three sections: "B.C." - what I was like before I began my relationship with Jesus; then, "The Turning Point" - how I began my relationship with Jesus; and then "A.D." - the difference Jesus has made and He is making.
Maybe you say, "Oh no. I don't have a testimony. I was pre-natally nice." Well, you don't have a dramatic turn-around to tell about, but does that mean Jesus isn't making any difference in your life? Your assignment is to put these words at the top of a piece of paper, "If it weren't for Jesus..." Start writing the ways that your life would be different if there was no Jesus: how you handle your lonely times, your hurting times, your stressful times. How would you be different as a single person, a married person, a parent, a boss, a friend if there were no Jesus? People don't just want to know about how you got started with Jesus. They want to know what difference does He make in your everyday life?
And that means you don't have just a testimony. You should have many testimonies, describing the difference Jesus makes in the parts of your life that might matter to the person you're with. It's your personal hope story that opens the door for you to then explain the Good News about Jesus, about His death for all the wrong things we've done, the way He's torn down the wall between us and the God that we need so much.
You have a story that's all yours; that only you can tell. It's ultimately not a story about you; it's about the Man who is making your life what it could have never been without Him. It's a story that could help someone you know be in heaven with you!
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.