Share Your Story

A 5-Day Devotional

Use this five-day devotional to help you prepare the story of how God saved you in order that you may tell others of the hope you have in Jesus. Set aside enough time each day to answer the questions thoughtfully.

Pray that God would use this investment of your time to bring the gospel to those in need in our city, nation, and world.

  DAY 1  DAY 2  DAY 3  DAY 4  DAY 5

 

 

Why  Do You  Share Your  Story?

You  Share Your  Story  To  Glorify  God.

As believers, we all have stories to tell about how God has changed our lives through Christ. When we share our personal stories of redemption, we glorify God by magnifying His goodness in our lives. He has saved us from sin and from this broken world, and when we publicly rejoice in that truth by sharing our stories, God is glorified. Share your story in light of His story.

The following passages are examples of how the glory of God is declared throughout His Word.



Throughout history, stories have been crucial to shaping beliefs and culture. We share memories, thoughts, and experiences through storytelling because they help us to identify with one another. Throughout His creation, God continues to write the most significant for His fame. God is on mission, moving among His people to show the world His greatness. He desires to extend His gospel to all people so they can enjoy His grace for all eternity.

When we sinned and rebelled against God we became separated from God. The first of God’s created children, Adam and Eve, weren’t content being with God—they wanted to be like God. Only three chapters in to Genesis, the greatest story ever written took a radical turn. Chaos came, sin entered the world, and death was certain.

Thankfully, the story doesn’t end in Genesis 3. After the fall, God promised He would restore everything to Himself through the Messiah. In the fullness of time, God fulfilled His promise by sending His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived the perfect life God intended for us to live and died the death on a cross we all deserve. Jesus died for our sins and took God’s wrath in our place. Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins displays God’s marvelous grace to us.

Jesus was buried and on the third day He defeated death and rose from the dead. This news is the greatest story in the world. We need to share our personal story of God’s saving grace in our lives to point people to the death and resurrection of Christ. Because of the gospel, Jesus is the hero of all of our stories. All who believe in Jesus and repent of sin are granted forgiveness, righteousness, adoption, and love. Righteousness makes us presentable to God, adoption changes our identity and welcomes us into the family of God, and the love of God overflows from our hearts to the people around us.

After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, the church was birthed and believers were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit sanctifies believers and empowers us to tell the story of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection. The book of Acts tells stories of how many people believed the truth of Christ. To this day, the same story—the gospel—continues to change lives. The gospel story gives light to the darkness and glorifies the name of Jesus.

For all who have come to know Jesus, we have a story to tell. We should desire to share our stories so the gospel can be spread to all neighborhoods and nations for the glory of God. As Christians, we desire to share our story so the hero of our story—Jesus—is glorified.

When we share our personal story of salvation we must remember that Jesus is the main character of every story. Instead of focusing on ourselves, our story must point to Christ and glorify Him. No one will be redeemed by a story about ourselves. It is our duty to point others to Christ and highlight His glorious work in our lives and the world.

 

» Why are you tempted to make yourself the focus of your story of salvation and sanctification?

 

» What are some truths you can share that will keep your story God-centered?

 

» Why do you think it's important to make all stories about God’s glory and not about ourselves?


“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”
Psalm 115:1


John 3:16 is perhaps the most well-known verse in Scripture. It is also a verse that easily glorifies Christ word by word. Read this familiar verse afresh and be reminded of the greatness of God in Jesus.

GOD
the greatest lover

SO LOVED
the greatest degree

THE WORLD
the greatest number

THAT HE GAVE
the greatest act

HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON
the greatest gift

THAT WHOEVER
the greatest invitation

BELIEVES
the greatest simplicity

IN HIM
the greatest person

SHALL NOT PERISH
the greatest escape

BUT
the greatest difference

HAVE
the greatest certainty

ETERNAL LIFE
the greatest destiny

Ask God to help you share your story in such a way that celebrates all He has done and keeps Christ as the focus of your story of salvation.

Share your story in light of His story.

 

 

What  Do You  Share In  Your Story?

You  Share The  Gospel  Through  Your Story.

The Apostle Paul was a man radically changed by Christ. We see many examples of his teaching throughout the New Testament. When Paul told his story, he made sure the focus of his story was the story of Jesus. Share your story in light of His story—the gospel.


“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:12-17


What a story! Paul was transformed from a persecutor of Christians to a preacher of the gospel. In the story about the life of Paul, who seemed so far from God, we are reminded there is no sin too great that it is out of reach from the grace of God. Paul’s conversion is truly a miracle that only God could have done. When we observe Paul’s story, we see what should be the focus of our personal stories—the gospel, the greatest story of all time. The story of Paul’s conversion is found in Acts 9:1–6.

Paul uses his story in light of the gospel so that he can point others to Jesus. The gospel is a beautiful, powerful, captivating story about how God humbled Himself, became a man, walked among us, lived a perfect and sinless life, and then laid down His life so that we can be restored to Him. Jesus defeated death when He was resurrected from the grave, and by His power we are raised to life in Christ.

In 1 Timothy, Paul wrote to a young pastor named Timothy who served the church at Ephesus. The verses on the previous page show how Paul masterfully weaved the gospel into his personal story. Paul’s story reveals five things that encourage and instruct us about what should be included in our story.

 

1.  Paul  Was  Grateful

In verse 12, Paul began his story by thanking God for all He had done in his life. Our stories should always be saturated with gratitude. Our salvation is solely a gift from God and we must never believe the lie that we have done anything to earn it. When we were dead in our sins, God came to save us and restore us to Himself. He saves and sustains. He brings life out of death, hope out of despair, joy out of sadness, and peace out of chaos. Jesus our Lord took our judgment so we could be justified and made right with God. He calls and appoints us to be storytellers of the greatest story. We must always share our stories with a grateful heart for all Christ has done for us.

» What are you most grateful for in your life? How does gratitude toward God impact your attitude in other areas?

 

2.  PAUL  WAS  MINDFUL

In verse 13, Paul explained how he was once a dead man who Christ made alive. From Paul’s example we see how we must first tell of our former selves so that Christ can be glorified in our story. Good news is much more appreciated when bad news is delivered first. When we tell about our former life in sin, we can then highlight how Jesus continues to make all things new. Our stories include both our mess and God’s mercy.

» Write down your story and be sure to include what God has saved you from, how He saved you, and how He is working in your life today. Try to keep your story brief—no more than one page.

 

3.  paul  was  humble

In verse 15, Paul displayed humility by acknowledging that in his mind he was the worst sinner of all. He remembered what he was before Jesus made him new. He boasted only in the cross and our Savior. He bent his knee to the Holy One who changed his life forever. Our story must exemplify humility if we are to honor Christ. Our story keeps our hearts humble when we focus on the gospel.

» Does your past haunt you or humble you? How do you allow the gospel to soothe your heart as you reflect on the work of Christ in your life?

 

4. PAUL  WAS  MISSIONAL

In verse 16, Paul explained how his story displayed Christ’s perfect patience and limitless love. Paul says he received mercy so that his life could make much of Jesus. Paul’s story exemplifies God’s mercy toward sinners. To this day, Jesus still takes opponents of His mission and makes them objects of His mercy. He propels us to be ambassadors for the gospel. Our story is missional in that it shows how Christ pursued your sinful heart and redeemed you to Himself so that your life can bring glory and honor to Him. Our stories are used to draw sinners to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

» What hinders you from telling others of God’s mercy in your story? In what ways are you being intentional about sharing your story with people who do not know Jesus?

 

5. PAUL  WAS  JOYFUL

In verse 17, Paul concluded by praising God for who He is. This verse gives evidence that when we reflect on what Jesus has done for us, our hearts are filled with joy. As joy consumes us, it spreads to those around us. When we share our story, we share the joy of Christ in our lives.

» What is the difference between joy and happiness? What brings you joy? How has Jesus’ work in your life brought joy to your heart?

 

Share your story in light of His story.

When  Should  You  Share  Your  Story?

Share  Your  Story  Every Day.

As Christians, we are called to tell others about Jesus. We should tell the story of how Christ changed our lives every day. Our story is useful every day to encourage a burdened brother or sister in Christ, and also to point unbelievers to Christ. Share your story in light of His story. Share your story every day.


“Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.”
Psalm 96:1-2


There should be an urgency in our hearts to share the gospel daily. Eternity quickly approaches and the Holy Spirit of God is moving in a mighty way to call many out of darkness and into the glory of knowing Jesus. He is calling, redeeming, changing, justifying, and saving people each and every day. We know that we are in the last days (Hebrews 1:2), and therefore we must not waste our time. We are called to be diligent in sharing our story and making disciples.

The Psalms are rich with declarations of how short our lives truly are. Read the following verses and consider how you spend your passing days here on earth.


“Oh Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like breath; his days are like a passing shadow.”
Psalm 144:3–4

“Behold, you have made my days a few handbreaths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!”
Psalm 39:5


To live on mission with God is to actively seek opportunities to share your personal story of salvation with others. Now is the time to tell your story. Tell people about how God, in His grace and mercy, opened your eyes to see your sin and the greatness of our Savior, Jesus.


» What are some reasons why you don’t actively and intentionally share your story every day?

 

» What do you need to change in your routine and priorities to make sure the gospel is included in your daily conversations?

 


“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Ephesians 5:15–16


We glorify God when spend our time pointing others to Christ. If life is a breath, as the psalmist described in the verses above, then every day counts.

Jim Elliot understood the importance of glorifying God with every breath of his life. He committed himself to telling his story and pointing people to Christ. In his journal, Elliot prayed that God would not only allow him to share with those around him, but would send him to a place where Jesus had never been preached:


“I only hope that He will let me preach to those who have never heard that name Jesus. What else is worth while in this life? I have heard of nothing better. ‘Lord, send me!’”
(Elisabeth Elliot, Through Gates of Splendor, pg. 18)


Elliot lived a mere 28 years before he was killed as a missionary in Ecuador while preaching to unreached people.

We often find excuses for not sharing our stories on a regular basis. One excuse is that we are too busy to share our stories with others. Other excuses include being too shy, too afraid, or feeling irrelevant to the mission of God. No excuse will ever trump the command given in Ephesians 5 about using our time wisely. We glorify God in how we spend our time when we tell our stories to others and point them to Christ.

Other times we are more than willing to share our stories regularly, but we are too consumed with ourselves to point to Jesus. Jesus is the one who saves us, and if our stories don’t point to Jesus then we are fooling ourselves into thinking that our stories glorify God. Kristi and T. Lively Fluharty demonstrate how pride deters from the gospel in their book, Fool Moon Rising:


“I heard a cosmic story
And wondered if it’s true.
The Moon was stealing glory
And this is what he’d do.

He bragged each night that his great might
Could make the darkness flee.
And like a kite he scaled the heights
And said, ‘Hey look at me!’

It’s really strange but he could change
His shape throughout the year.
His face would change, then rearrange
And sometimes . . . disappear.

He bragged that he could cause the sea
To rise and swell each day.
Then all could see how mightily
He’d pull the waves away.

He’d boast away and loved to say,
'I am the greatest light!’
Until one day a piercing ray
Showed him a shocking sight.

He saw his pride and then he cried
Fall all that he had done.
For he had lied when he denied
His light came from the Sun.

So now each night a new delight
Is what he loves the most.
Reflecting light with all his might,
The Sun is now his boast!

So God I pray for grace each day
To find the joy that’s true,
In all my days and all my ways
In making much of YOU!”


» How can you live in such a way as to reflect Jesus daily? How can you tell your story in a way that magnifies Christ and not yourself?

 

» Is there something you can do each day to remind yourself to share your story with others?

 

You are called to share your story daily and point others to Christ. Your story serves as a means to tell others about the goodness of God and the grace Christ has given you.

Share your story daily in light of His story.

 

Where  Should  You  Share  Your  Story?

Share  Your  Story To  Neighborhoods  And  Nations.

 

“God has a will, and he has made it clear. From cover to cover in the Bible, God wills to redeem men and women from every nation, tribe, language, and people by his grace and for his glory.”
(David Platt, Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live., pg. 133)


What a privilege it is to represent the God of the universe and deliver the greatest news in the history of the world—Jesus saves! While we were sinners, Jesus died for us. Our story must always be centered around that truth. Share your story in light of His story.


“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.”
Psalm 96:3–4


“The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.”
Psalm 98:2


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16


“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”
Matthew 28:18–20


For many years, the western church has sought to program evangelism in such a way that many see it as something the church does instead of who the church is called to be. The gospel is delivered to unbelievers through the people of God. It comes into our hearts and then flows out of our mouths. How will people know the gospel? We must share the good news of Jesus with people everywhere and invite them to follow Jesus. 

Where in the world do we share this good news? We must share it in every place we find people—both near and far. The light that shines the brightest at home shines the farthest away. We must never sacrifice local missional living at the expense of international missions, and vice versa. We must never treat missions as either/or, but always as both/and.

In Matthew 28:18–20, Jesus shares God’s heart for all nations. He begins the passage by assuring us that He is in control. Because of this, we can rest assured that when we follow the command He gives to go to all nations and make disciples, He will be the one who directs our steps. As He guides us we are to tell our story of His grace in our lives to everyone who will listen. Jesus knew we could not accomplish this on our own, and that’s why He ends this great commission by reminding us that He is always with us.

Jesus commands us to go and tell the world about His love and grace. Be comforted by the following three truths from Matthew 28.

1.  REST  IN  THE  POWER  GIVEN  TO  JESUS

Because God is sovereign, we should go and share our story in light of His story. All authority has been given to Jesus. Jesus, by His Spirit through His church, is on mission to redeem people from every town, city, state, nation, and continent. His glory will spread and His gospel will save. Rest in His power as you share your story. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, the Apostle Paul calls believers, “ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” Throughout the world, Jesus has power and He has given you access to it in order to accomplish His mission.


“For we know that behind all our fumbling efforts and inadequate communication stands the supreme will of the living God, reaching out in loving self-revelation, incredibly willing to open blind eyes and reveal his glory through the treasures of the gospel delivered in the clay pots of his witnesses.”
(Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God, pg. 129–130)


» What intimidates you and hinders you when you share the gospel?

 

» Knowing that Jesus has power and authority over all things, how does His sovereignty liberate you to share without fear?

 

2.  REMEMBER  THE  PLAN  GIVEN  BY  JESUS.

Jesus simply, yet profoundly, commands us to go and make disciples. Many have heard preachers yelling the word “go” as if that is enough to mobilize the church. However, yelling a word at someone is not the best way to motivate and empower them to complete a task. We must pray to the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers to go and share the Gospel, and we must be continually captivated by the grace, glory, and greatness of Jesus. Anything less cannot propel us to tell our story to people everywhere. The command Jesus gave is to make disciples— introduce them to who God is and teach them how to know God through His Son. The command from Jesus is to walk with them as they learn to obey all God has written in His word. The command from God should never be replaced by our plans or personal preferences. To make disciples is Plan A; there is no Plan B!


» Where is God directing you to share the good news of Jesus? Will you obey His leading and tell others about Him?

 

» Write down three names of people God has put in your path that you can share the gospel with.

 

3.  RELY  ON  THE  PROMISE  GIVEN  BY  JESUS.

As we tell our stories, it is easy to become intimidated and overwhelmed with rejection and the fear of man. When these lies whisper to us that we are useless in the mission of God, rely on the promise Jesus has given. We are comforted by Jesus’ promise to always be with us. He is with us every time we share our stories with others, no matter where we are. The Holy Spirit speaks through us when we tell others about His grace and mercy. Take comfort; Jesus is with us.


» What fears do you face when telling your story of His grace in your life?

 

» Are you comforted when you remember Jesus is sovereign and is with you always?

 

Share your story in light of His story.

How  Do  You  Share  Your  Story?

Share  Your  Story  With  Great  Care  And  Compassion.

When we speak to others and share our stories it is critical that we show two things. First, we must show care in what and how we speak. Second, we must show compassion for those to whom we speak. Share your story in such a way that the one you are speaking about, Jesus, is evident in both the words you share and the way you share. Tell your story in light of His story, which is filled with care and compassion.


“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
1 Peter 3:15

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Colossians 4:2-6


For centuries, one complaint has carried over against the church in every culture—the manner in which we’ve shared the truth of Christ. The people of God have often withheld grace and compassion to those who do not know Jesus.

As we tell our stories of His grace in our lives we must show the grace of God in our speech and conduct. The Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Colossians while he was imprisoned in Rome. Instead of focusing his concern on getting out of prison, Paul wrote to the church to encourage them about how they were to share the gospel. Paul gives five instructions in Colossians 4 to help us strengthen our stories and point others to Christ.

 

1.  SHARE  PRAYERFULLY

Before we can share His story well, we must saturate our lives in prayer. Paul instructed us to “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” This means that each day we should have an attentive awareness of the presence of God by calling on Him continually. Prayer is talking to God and showing our dependence on God. We must pray with the same attention and awareness as a person in a war. While we are on this earth we are continually engaged in a spiritual war, and therefore we must be in continual communication with our King and commander, Jesus. We are also instructed to remain in prayer so that we can maintain thankful hearts to Christ. Our attitudes in prayer should always reflect gratitude toward God for His gospel.


» If every prayer you prayed yesterday was answered, would anyone have come to know Jesus?>

 

2.  SHARE  BOLDLY

» Before we can share His story well, we must saturate our lives in pray>

» How can you cultivate confidence and not become cynical when you share your story?

 

3.  SHARE  CLEARLY

To tell your story well requires that you are crystal clear about the truth— not culturally cool. So many have lost the truth of the gospel trying to connect with culture. Connect with the people God allows to cross your path by clearly stating how the grace of God has impacted your life through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. The gospel is the truth— the good news! Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead. Be clear about how we are sinners who deserve death and the wrath of God. Be clear about how Jesus has paid that penalty for us and there is nothing we can do to reconcile ourselves to God. Jesus is our hero and He calls us to repent and follow Him. Clearly communicate that it is only because of Christ that we are saved.

» What things need to be stated more clearly in your written story?


» Does your story communicate a merit-based salvation of moral behavior changes, or does it communicate that you were dead and have been made alive in Christ?

 

4.  SHARE  wisely

Use wisdom when telling your story. Paul reminded us to “walk in wisdom” and make the best use of our time when sharing our stories with others. We must use wisdom both in how we speak and live, always being mindful about whether or not our words and actions glorify Christ. Our stories are more than just our words—they include how we live in front of unbelievers. If you lack wisdom, ask and God will give it generously (James 1:5). Even if the world doesn’t hear our words, they watch our every move. We point unbelievers to Jesus when we walk in wisdom.

» How can you better walk in wisdom to point others to Christ? What sins in your life need to be repented of in order to walk in wisdom instead of foolishness?

 

5.  SHARE  graciously

We must be gracious in our speech when we share our stories. To be gracious does not mean you compromise the truth of the gospel. Instead, it means that you show compassion when telling others about Christ. Paul said our speech must “always be gracious, seasoned with salt.” Salt may sting at first, but it can heal an open wound. The gospel works the same way as it lands on broken lives. The truth of our brokenness is alarming, but with the truth comes great healing and restoration. Salt also creates thirst, and when our speech is salted with the truth of Christ people will thirst for the living waters found only in Him. Share your story graciously and point the world to Christ and His living water.

» Recall a time when your words were not gracious. How did people react? How do people react when your words are gracious?


Share your story in light of His story.

 

Preparing  Your  Story!

As you write your story out, use these questions to guide you. All of us could write a book but we recommend you write your story using a few paragraphs to answer the following questions. Try to do it around one page. As God opens doors to share the gospel, your story will become a great tool to weave in and out of everyday conversations that will give witness to the power of the gospel and how it transforms one’s life.

 

AN  EXAMPLE:

Look at Paul’s testimony as you consider how to tell your story.

Paul’s life before Jesus (Acts 22:1–5):

  • Paul describes what he thought and did before he became a believer.
  • Your goal: to give specific, yet appropriate, examples of what your life was like (attitudes, needs, problems) before Christ.
  • Remember that examples you give will establish you as a credible witness in the minds of non-Christians; however, avoid a religious focus. (You want to make it about Jesus and your need for Him.) Don’t spend a great amount of time talking about church activities or denominations before your life began to change.

How and when Paul trusted Jesus (Acts 22:6–11):

  • Paul explained how he became a believer.
  • Your goal: to allow the listener to walk away with a clear understanding of how you became a Christian and how he or she can trust Christ as the payment for their sins.
  • Be careful not to use clichés and church language. Talk in terms they’ll understand.

After Paul trusted Jesus (Acts 22:12-21):

  • Paul explained how becoming a believer changed his life.
  • Your goal: to explain specific ways Christ has changed your life— to show that having Christ in your life really does make a difference!
  • Avoid using general statements. Be specific. It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to draw someone to Christ, but you want to communicate your story in such a way to show the listener that your life is different and more meaningful with Christ.

 

HELPFUL HINTS:

1. Write the way you speak; make the testimony yours.

2. Practice this over and over until it becomes natural

3. Shoot for short—3 minutes. At that length, it’s easily something you can put into a conversation without it becoming a monologue.

 

WRITING IT OUT:

1. 

» How did I live before I trusted Jesus?

» What did my life revolve around the most?

» What did I get my security or happiness from?

 

2. 

» How and when did I trust Jesus?

» When was the first time I heard the gospel?

» What were my initial reactions?

» What were the final struggles that went through my mind just before I trusted Christ?

» Why did I trust Christ?

 

3. 
» How did my life begin to change after I trusted Jesus?

» What are some specific changes and illustrations about the changes Christ has made?

 

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