Before time began, God planned for you to be an important part of His grand story. It is no accident that you born on a specific date in history, live in a particular location, and speak the language that you do. All of this has been orchestrated so that you will have a platform for telling the people God has placed around you what great things He has done for you and others who know, love, and follow Jesus. Your personal story of how you came to believe in Messiah Jesus can be a crossroad in the lives of others. When it is connected to the larger story of God’s glory it is even more powerful.
Every follower of Jesus needs to learn how to share their personal story, the story of how they came to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as the means of receiving forgiveness for their own personal sin against God. That is what this exercise is all about. So far you have learned to tell the story of others who came before you at their appointed time. Now it is time to learn how to write and tell your story to those in your sphere of influence where you live, work, play and worship. Teach your disciples how to train their disciples to tell their story and you will share in the fruit of their lives, insuring that you will hear “well done” from the One who set all of history in motion.
You likely have verses that are important to you that speak of your relationship with God. Build them into your story. Be sure to memorize them perfectly. We suggest including these verses too.
- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4a
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
1. Your personal story will change over time. Update it as necessary to keep it fresh and relevant to your current stage in life.
2. Connect your story to one or more of the other stories in this series to make it more powerful.
3. The blind man of John 9:25 can provide an outline for your own story.
- What was the condition of your life before you met and believed in Jesus?
- How did you meet Jesus?
- Explain some of the ways your life is different since the point of your own belief in Jesus.
4. Make sure you share the content of the Gospel from 1st Corinthians 15:3b-4. This is a great
memory verse to quote in your story.
- Jesus died to pay the price of personal sin for those who believe.
- Jesus was buried.
- Jesus was resurrected.
- It is very simple. All who believe this simple truth have eternal life. Those who deny it, die.
5. Be brief, but be pointed. Your story should not take over three minutes to tell.
6. After telling your story, be quiet. Give God an opportunity to speak to the hearer.
Here is the story of Arlie Francis, founder of Disciple Daily.
I knew God existed. That was not an issue for me. My parents had taken me to church every Sunday, from an early age. My mother grew up that way, so that’s how my parents raised my brother and me. In Sunday School we heard all the well-known stories of the Bible. David and Goliath, Jonah and the Whale (really, a big fish), Elijah and the Prophets of Baal, the Birth of Jesus, all of those stories and more were part of the mix. Unfortunately, I was never told how these stories were connected and that God wanted me to play a role in His grand story. These stories told me that God existed. My problem was that I grew to hate God.
My parents struggled in their marriage and were divorced when I was nine. A few years later, she remarried. It wasn’t long before her second marriage began to fall apart. There was a lot of anger in the house. But, we went to church.
In June, after my freshman year in high school, my mother piled my kid brother and I into her car and we headed for El Paso where her parents lived. About 200 miles from our destination, she had a heart attack and drove off a cliff near Ruidoso, New Mexico. She was killed instantly. My brother and I were thrown from the car. Miraculously, there was a doctor in the car right behind us. He saw to it we were cared for until an ambulance arrived and taken us to a nearby hospital in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
I remember waking up a number of times on the side of the road, in the ambulance, and in the emergency room with a question. “Where is my mother, how is she?” No one would give me a straight answer. I realized she was dead even though no one would tell me.
From that point on, I had lots of questions. Many of them for God. Most remained unanswered. His silence fueled my hatred of Him. Let’s just say that the next two and a half years were very turbulent. My stepfather moved us to El Paso so that my grandparents could help take care of us. As my anger grew, so did the distance between myself and the people who loved me, people who were doing their best to understand me and care of me.
Guess what? I was still in church. Unfortunately, the church I was attending was more concerned with social justice than my personal sin issues. I was just another troubled kid. They didn’t know what to do with me.
Entering my senior year, I was headed for some serious trouble. My anger found its expression in the friends I was making, the way that I talked, the things I was experimenting with, and my increasing absence from both school and home. I knew something was terribly wrong, but I couldn’t help myself. Proverbs 26:11 says, “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool, who repeats its folly.” Over and over again I kept returning to my own destructive habits.
That was when God intervened.
Maybe you’ve heard the old saying, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” I had a close friend who was every bit as angry as I was. He was headed for big trouble, too. Over the Thanksgiving holidays in 1971, Fred was introduced to Jesus Christ and chose to believe in Him. It was immediately evident that something dramatic had happened in Fred’s life, something that I did not understand. Fred wanted me to believe like him. All I knew was that God had taken someone else from me. But Fred was tenacious. “Arlie, you need to know Jesus like I do.”
For three weeks, he kept pestering me to go to church with him. Finally, just to get Fred to shut up and leave me alone, I agreed to go with him to church… on a FRIDAY NIGHT! What was I thinking?
The date was December 21, 1971. We arrived at a little church built to seat maybe 250 people. There must have been twice that number jammed into the sanctuary. People were everywhere. They were sitting on the floor, in the aisles, and standing in the back. I thought to myself, “What is this? All of these people are Jesus freaks. Let me out of here!” Too late, the service had begun.
After the music, which was great if you ignored the words, a long-haired young man came to the center of the stage and sat down on a stool. He opened his Bible and began to speak. “I am a sinner, at one time separated from God by my own sin. Every one of us has the same sin problem. You cannot ignore your sin problem forever. You can deal with it now, or in eternity.” Whoa, I had never heard that. He continued, “No one can do anything on their own to correct their sin problem. God is the only one who can fix the problem of my sin, your sin. This is a fact that every person has to deal with, sooner or later.”
The speaker explained that God had become a man in the person of Jesus Christ. “Why did God take on flesh and become a man? He did it for me and for you. Jesus came to earth to live a perfect life so that He could pay the price God required for my own personal sin.” Several times the young man quoted a part of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
I knew I was a sinner. I knew the things I was doing hurt me and the people that loved me. Until that night, I didn’t care. I hated God. But I discovered that night that God loved me enough to send His only Son to give His life as the price for my sin. I knew the story of Jesus, at least some parts of it. But no one had ever told me that I needed to personally make a decision to believe in what Jesus had done on the cross, through His death and through His resurrection. Without my personal choice to believe in Jesus and what He had done, God could not do anything about the sad state of affairs in my life. I knew what I was hearing was the truth.
It was decision time. I had already made up my mind. I believed. As a public profession of my belief, I went to the front of the room and prayed with another young man. I told God that I believed in Jesus and thanked Him for what Jesus had done for me.
What happened next doesn’t happen to everyone, but almost immediately I knew something was different. It was as if a weight was lifted of me. I could not stop smiling. A Bible was given to me. I could not wait to go home and read it. Over the next couple of weeks, I read it cover to cover. The more I read, the more I changed. I was no longer angry. Everyone that knew me noticed the change. This was nothing that I did. God was changing me from the inside out. I was fascinated by 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
From that day to now, I have never doubted God’s love for me. In fact, I have come to realize that as painful as those early years were, God used them to draw me to Himself. I am no longer angry or self-destructive. I have struggled quite a bit with the unintended consequences of my own sin throughout the years. But in the midst of it all, God has never left me alone. And He isn’t silent anymore!
Points to Ponder
1. What convinced you that the claims made about Jesus Christ in the Stories of God were true?
2. How does your own personal story of faith connect to the other Stories of God that you have learned?
3. Is there one particular Story of God that resonates with your own personal story?
4. Are you ready to start using the Stories of God to disciple unsaved people towards their own belief in Jesus?
5. Are you ready to disciple new/immature believers in Jesus towards personal obedience to the Great Commission, to make more disciples everywhere?
6. How can Disciple Daily help you?
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