Wednesday, January 9, 2019
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Sometimes these commercials crack me up. You know, the weight loss commercials, you've got this eating program, and this movie star type lady comes up and says, "I lost 50 pounds. You could look like me." I don't want to look like her. Oh, and then they've got the guy's version of it. Yeah. Oh, and then the pharmaceutical commercials - all the drugs. Yeah. And you see these happy people coasting through life, jogging, out running, biking, and then the last two-thirds of the commercial come along and tell you of the many ways you might die by taking that drug. But the point is, they all tell you all these great things that will happen to you if you buy their product.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Power of One Changed Life."
Look, let's face it, advertisers know how to sell a product: diet plan, exercise equipment, 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'll 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 healed on the Sabbath. (Talk about missing the point!) 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's not going to get entangled in their religious questions. He just tells them the difference Jesus has made, and who can argue about that? They can't say you weren't blind. They can't say you can't see. His hope story is inarguable. That's what you need to tell the folks in your world--the difference Jesus has made. They're not all that interested in our theology and our beliefs. They want to know, "What difference does Jesus make? What does He do in your life?" And your life is the answer to that right in front of them if you'll tell your story.
You should take a little time and think through your Jesus-story; your "once I was (fill in the blank) _______ but now I (fill in the blank) _______." There you go! That's your story. Take a piece of paper and make three sections: "B. C."-who I was before Jesus began running my life. Then "The Turning Point"-how I began my relationship with Jesus; and that third part, "A. D."-the difference Jesus has made and He is making this very day.
Maybe you say, "Oh, 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, or a friend if there were no Jesus? People just don't want to know about how you got started with Jesus. They want to know what difference He makes in your everyday life.
And that means you don't have just a testimony. You've got 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 we need so much. Your story then includes His story, which changed your story that could change their story forever.
You've got 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 forever!