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Logo of Talking Points, 3rd Quarter 2020: Making Friends for God

11-Sharing the Story of Jesus

Mark Howard Kameron DeVasher
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  • August 20, 2020
    10:45 AM
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I'd camera to be sure and I Mark Howard and this is talking points we are at our quarter making friends for God our lesson is number 11 sharing the story of Jesus seems pretty straightforward that's what we're supposed to do is Christian witness is right here the story of Jesus and it is a little bit of a revisiting of Lesson number 2 is it now where we talk about giving our personal testimony this one gets a little bit more practical as we're going to see Ok on so we're going to be looking at several important points here but before we do that let's start with the word of prayer have been some introductory thoughts that break down are 3 key points can we do that all right let's start with a word of prosperity heads how we Father thank you so much for the privilege of knowing you and having your word to learn more about you as our life continues and more than just self edification Lord we want to learn how to effectively share this truth with others so bless our study time today as we prepare for 7 school help us to be each one the witnesses you called to be for you prayed in Jesus' name amen amen. Well I thought for the introduction for this one actually Saturday afternoon is a good introduction but let's just read through that a couple points in here to draw out. Says as stated in an earlier lesson so you've mentioned Lesson number 2 that's right nothing argues more eloquently for the power of the Gospel than a changed life people may argue with your theology they may debate about doctrines they may call into question your understanding of the scriptures but they will rarely question your personal testimony of what Jesus means to you and has done in your life. Witnessing is sharing what we know about Jesus it is letting others know what he means to us in what he's done for us if our witness consists solely of trying to prove that. What we believe is right and that what others believe is wrong we will meet a strong opposition if our witness about Jesus comes from a heart that has been transformed by his grace charmed by his love and amazed at his truths others will be impressed how the truth really believe has impacted our lives truths presented in the context of a changed life makes all the difference and I think that last sentence there is very important as. A lot of what we've talked about a lot of this introduction and I'm not knocking it but I. When it talks about you sharing your testimony there are Buddhists who have testimonies there are Taoists you have testimonies there are people of for example in fact if you've ever studied with somebody who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ that's all about excessively in more than that or maybe more than that but if you're studying Bible truths and you come to a place where they don't have an answer they will fall back on something that they refer to as the burn in the bosom and the burning in the bosom is this it was just just pray this prayer and ask the Lord if if Joseph Smith was a true prophet and if you get this burning in the bosom which is basically some kind of feeling and it's subjective because there's no descriptive. You know in other words did you feel it and all person has Yeah I think it is well then you got it then you got it and so I shy away a little bit to say well you know just your testimony as long as you feel a certain way and so I like the fact that it brings in that it's not just a feeling but it's it's sharing truth in the context of a change the life yes a life that has come in contact with Jesus and the fact that your contact with Jesus has impacted your life I think that's an excellent right so you have just felt something about it but you've actually seen the results of it your life that's tangible That's right and well let's get into our main points and work a I want to say we do for a well let me finish that last sentence is when Christ is the center of every doctrine and each biblical teaching reflects his character those we are sharing the Scriptures with are much more likely to accept his word and will take the time right now but some people read this to in today's church as Christ is the subject of every doctrine. And or the con you know it rather than the then the context or the center of right and so I've had people who you. No it's like any. Doctrine you study basically ends up being a gospel presentation and I know somebody says well what's wrong with that well not nothing inherently unless you never get around to the doctrine which some of them are right I think people come away from a say the deaths and all those were great gospel presentation you know what happens when people die not really so you the truth has to be clear right in the context of Christ being the center absolutely what we're talking about sharing the story of Jesus right and let's go through a good overview of the 3 takeaway points 3 talking points for this week and then we'll go back through and do a little deep dive into each one of them so our 3 talk away from the takeaway points are we need to tell what we have seen and heard Ok there's going to be the person we're going talk about that we need we need to tell what we have seen and heard point number one number 2 we need to accentuate the positive Yes And when we talk about giving our testimony and then simple to share your testimony and everything be true and still not be Wenzel Yeah we're going to be right and then number 3. Practically how to share your testimony Ok how you can share your testimony and. Point number 100 from Monday and Wednesday is lessons telling what we have seen and heard Number 2 accentuating the positive most of that from Thursday's lesson and then how we can share a testimony to mostly from Sunday's lesson and honestly in this quarterly Tuesday's lesson talked about the demoniacs we went over this whole thing in Lesson number 2 and I just felt like the lord over again there was a little repetitive it's a great story but I want to get to these other key points Ok so let's go back to number one then what we have seen and heard that's what yes a share and just a couple texts I've got a few listed here but just to I want to look at 1st with Jesus and then with us Jesus speaking of Jesus in John 332 of the Bible tells us. And John the Baptist is speaking here it says in what he speaks of Jesus has seen and heard that he testifies enormously as this testimony so Jesus himself only spoke of what he himself had experienced and then we come to Acts 22 in verse 15 and there are other verses that could be used for this but these are the ones that I drew out ACTs 22 verse 15 do you have it there if I didn't you read it says For you will be his witnesses to all men of what you have seen and heard again this is the same phrasing as before what you have seen and heard right and the point being it's you how can you convey the blessing of knowing Jesus if you don't know Jesus but I want to tell you about this great person personally never met him you know I mean that it was certainly undercut your witness was exactly right so when we're giving our testimony there's an important this is a key part. Does that mean just Page 34 he says as witnesses for Christ we are to tell what we know what we ourselves have seen and heard and felt if we have been following Jesus step by step we shall have something right to the point to tell concerning the way which he has led us we're going to come back that of a bit later on the lesson. We can tell how we have tested his promise and found his promise true we can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ this is the witness for which our Lord calls him for want of which the world is perishing So again it's what we have have known seen or heard and felt well and I think that we talked about this as we were making preparations for the study and I don't know if this is the right time to bring this up but when we talk about sharing what we've seen and was sharing our testimony many people kind of equate that with sharing your conversion story which to be clear we should all if we are converted have a conversion story so there should be but that doesn't mean that every time we talk to people we have to say let me tell you what I was in 1906 and I mean that's coming up right Ok but what in this statement that says we should have something right to the point to say that we should have something fresh and vibrant to say about an ongoing relationship with Jesus and it will come back to it we're going to come back to that so a couple of the ideas on seen and heard I think of you know Bible examples in when when Philip went in and then you're right and when he say you know Come in come and see right I've experienced something I want you to experience this come and see one of the woman at the well say when she went back to the people of her village come and see him and he told me all the things they were did you have the blind man who was healed blind man blind from birth in John Chapter 9 and they kept pressing it with questions and he said there's only one thing I know I was blind and now I see so the guy it wasn't telling what he didn't know he was telling the one thing you did know that Jesus healed him and that you gave that and so that that was the power of his testimony and I thought one thing that is interesting is that if you read the story in John 9 that blind man. I was so changed by Christ people weren't even sure he was the same guy as I was now the guy who is black and others said well he kind of looks like him and now is not the same guy so. But that that in fact makes me think of Monday's lesson paragraph 5 that makes this point the greatest testimony of a Christian of Christianity is a changed life and when you're given your testimony that's what you're doing you're testifying not just with your words but with your life of the power of Christ what kind of goes but if you have about him change your life that's right testify that we talked about last week where witnessing is a switch or turn of love but that's changed life is a is a constant declaration and representation of the God who changed you that's right now a piece of this is pick up on Wednesdays lesson at least for me this can't fall in the same category and that is testifying with assurance in the lesson brought up a few passages I'm going to look at some other ones but it talked about how in fact the very 1st sentence on lines is last and says if we do not have the personal assurance of salvation in Jesus it is not possible to share it with somebody else and that's true the concern I have with that is I know a lot of 7th Heaven is Christians who have who have wrestled with salvation and assurance of salvation. I also know other 7 evidence that are very confident in their surance of salvation that shouldn't have an answer of assurance and I have to say then say what kind of how can you be a judge of somebody else but by their fruits you shall know them and I'm just telling you that there are some people because they base assurance on how they feel right and assurance biblically you'll not find that and that's why some people struggle because they don't have the right feeling and in fact always says that the closer we come to Jesus the more we see our faults and exactly right so some people I just feel like I'm so close to well lss that that's evidence that you're far from Jesus so assurance when we look at assurance biblically a couple verses I have are 2nd Timothy 112 where the apostle Paul says I know in whom I have believed he doesn't say anything about how he feels the man is getting ready to be beheaded it's his final letter so he can't be feeling like I'm just feeling great as far as you know human circumstance but I know in whom I have believed in his confidence was in who Jesus was His eyes were on Jesus not on how he felt right he says the same something similar of Libyans 16 being confident of this very thing that he who started a good work in us who has begun to get we're going to will completed until the day of Jesus Christ again the confidence our assurance comes from believing what God is said to us that I've forgiven you that I will cleanse you from all unrighteousness and the reason a lot of people wrestle with assurance is because they don't believe God Well I've heard a pastor talk about this way when someone express their doubts and they didn't feel assured feel confident they said Well did you read the passage where it says that if you confess your sins he will just and they said did you confess your sins yes well then it didn't say you will feel it he said respect so regardless of how you feel the real question is faith is do you believe what it says regardless of what you feel it might say I'm trying to remember if it's in steps to Christ or thoughts from the nun and a minister he. Or maybe both were Ellen White talks about the man by the pool but this did but in that context he says don't believe it because you feel it's right it is not so because you believe because you feel it it's so because he said it that's right you know believe it and it becomes a friend of ours in his word that's right so if he says something we should so it's a good point that when we're when we're testifying obviously we can't convey an assurance we don't have but I just want to tell you there's no reason that you shouldn't have assurance in Jesus because of the promises in his word game it's not about how you feel it's not about how well you think you're doing it's about the promise he's given you to save you to finish the work he started he's the author in finisher of your faith and those promises are what are sure is based on a myth but let's talk about treasure in heaven how do we extend a sense was a pause if you have because is it possible to tell the truth about your personal testimony your conversion your experience with Christ and it still must be winsome to people not because it was untrue but because it accentuated the wrong elements and we tell our testimony of all the lesson on Thursday 2nd paragraph makes this point this is powerful testimonies that have a life changing impact on others focus on what Christ has done for us not what we have given up for him they center on his sacrifice not on our so-called sacrifices now that's not to say that you don't talk about some of those changes but there are many testimonies there like well when I came to Christ I had to stop this and I had stopped you know I had stopped drinking and smoking and hearing music I listen to it girls I hang out there and when you're talking to a person who's not made that decision yet and they're there your whole pitch is well basically going to have to give up this and this and this is going to be miserable but somewhere down the road you have eternal life well I was thinking back because we did kind of skip over the bony extort but the pig herders in that story the Bible. They went and they told everything that happened including Matthew's account of believe it says including what had happened to the demon possessed men that Mrs White picks up on that new watch she says to vim the loss of the pigs was more significant of a greater moment than the reason restoration of the men so they went and told everybody are pigs are gone the pigs are dead and this is the man who did it oh yeah and the demon guys are new in the picture and they in the Bible says the whole Tell him came out and begged Jesus to leave you know whereas the woman at the well she went told her story the whole town came and begged him to stay That's right so they both went and told their stories but the spin they put on it was a whole different thing and it changed how people listen to the testimony so we need to be careful that we send you a positive that life with Christ is better than well one thing that makes me think of is Elder Finley I wish he'd brought up in this lesson I've heard him bringing up before but the story the rich young ruler as an example. You know when Jesus talked to the rich young ruler he told him go so if you have the whole account then what do I like yet and Jesus said to him go sell what you have and I've taught this and I'm not giving the giving it away just yet I've taught this. I don't know how many times I've done this in whole groups of people and and it's always the same I asked the question Jesus said Go sell what you have and give to the poor and and I like look to the people to finish and they always finish this way I mean 99 times out of 100 they finish this way. And come follow me but that's not how the passage goes he says go sell all you have and you will have treasure in heaven and come follow me and that is such a huge difference when in the context of what we're talking about that's what he's doing he's eccentric and yes there is going to be sacrifice involved but the reward you're going to get is infinitely better in this life what do you say when Peter said look you know we've forsaken all we've left all in fact we did everything right yet you going to get 100 fold in this life and in the life coming to write so so we sent you the positive Jesus did that is ministry you want to maximize the benefits that you find in Christ you don't make it sound like well it's terrible but you will get to heaven well especially the 7 to have a soul hold too high but local standards of lifestyle 7 say well look here's the deal you don't smoke you don't drink you don't do this you know this and if they but we do have eternal life to come as if to say like I'll grant you this life's going to be terrible but on the other side of that I'm going to tell exactly get over this thing hopefully you die early in an accident no I don't have Evan but Mrs White brings up a point I think this is just across Page 46 she's asked her to what do we give up when we give all a simple looted heart for Jesus to purify to cleanse by his own blood of the saved by his matchless love and hit me and think you know heart think it hard to give up all I am ashamed to hear and spoken of ashamed to write God does not require us to give up anything that is for our best interest to retain excellence if you're to read the context that statement of urge you go home and read it she talks about how. God knows what makes us happy yet he has our highest joy in his mind and he wants to give to us those things that we can only enjoy in obedience that we could never find and just obedient so it's much better to be a Christian even though that's right and that just sentiment is just echoing saw maybe 4 letter where the Lord where David says that no good thing will God withhold from those who walk up rightly but isn't trying to withhold good things from us the only thing he he wants to withhold from us are things you know that hurting us right and so and honestly you know being able to share that and this goes into you in a moment just sharing our testimony. The basics of sharing our testimony being able to share what a blessing it is yes to have given up smoking and drinking in the open of things you know I had all these things in my life and I praise caught you know especially when I encounter people my age who have it because I didn't seem a Christian you know 25 years ago and so when I see people have made that change and what I mean the effects you just talk about alcohol and it's not just is physical effects or effects in the marriage the effects on the kids just that alone oh what oh what a blessing and I thought this before you know what would happen if the Lord came to me today and said you know you're you're not going to make it to having your last how would I live. There's no better way to live than the way they learn to live even without the right word why would I be why I choose to be miserable the last few days that I have you know I don't know if you've heard the testimony of c.b. Brooks we talked about to going back to his I think his 50th high school reunion or something like that and he said I looked around at all these people and is that they looked terrible and he said I realize that I've had you know 70 years of Sabbath rest that they didn't have and I had has been and so even in this life there's benefit to the principles of godly living but beyond that we have eternity to boot I mean how much better it's Can the news get I'm coming up on 54 in just about a week or so oh my goodness and I'm telling you I've met other 54 year olds that just don't you know obviously there are genetic things I'm a trying to but the evidence lifestyle has been an exceptional boon for me and I mean raise a lot of part of what Seabrooks was talking to that so yeah eccentric the positive yeah I go I was well I gave up all this stuff. That makes a huge difference in your test it does now let's move to the point 3 more practical use how can we or accentuate the positive as kind of a general thing that principle when you keep in mind but what are some practical ways we can share our testimony more well there's a there's a general flow of in fact the lesson brought up some of this on Sunday but I added some and when I'm when I'm sharing here is really pretty typical basic building blocks of testimony if you're going to give your personal testimony and when we talk about that initially it's that how you came to Christ how you accepted Christ testimony one of the reasons for sharing the personal testimony and don't miss this is because a person who's never come to Christ doesn't know how to come grace and your testimony more than a sermon more than half the bible studies they're going to get anything else. Helps them to know what steps they need to take to come to Jesus and so your key components in a personal testimony are for as I'm going to share them here 1st your life before Christ or without Christ and you know just and don't glamorize sin don't go forward don't make this the bulk of the testimony but it does give the context you know it's a good starting point some many people think that a person is a Christian as a Christian because they were just disposed to being a Christian so they're surprised to find out what you did always you chose in this you know an answer no that you had the kind of struggles maybe with things that they're struggling so well your life before you came to Christ and then how you came to Christ what what was it that led you to Christ what awakened your conscience what steps did you take and make this plain and simple knowing that a person is listening because they want to know what steps they need to take what were the steps you took to come to Jesus. And then Point number 3. What How has your life been once you accepted Jesus and this is where especially you want to accentuate the positive about that your new life in Christ and how life has been since you've come to Jesus and then there's a piece that's often left out of this. And I urge you to keep it in and that is always have some little appeal. And what I mean by that is just something that communicates that you know what Jesus has done for me he'll do the same for you because a lot of people without Christ are tempted to think that in and the devil works hard at this that Christ doesn't want them that they're too far gone that they've done to it and so it's important for them to understand what Jesus did for me he's more than willing to do for you that may sound almost redundant door obvious or whatever to you but that little just those few words that I just spoke can mean all the difference when you share your testimony of somebody else you know in looking at this I think typically people would look at 2 of those 4 say out here is my life before Christ and His my left across the 2 things that you had on there that I don't think are often Brickley highlighted by point number 2 how you came to Christ that yes that our testimony was a lesson in the this courtly didn't bring that out right but that's why we're drawing it out here because. I've never really I'm certain of the igitur of this quarterly make that point I think this was not a new thing you just invented but the idea of your testimony can mean more than just inspirational it can be instructional That's right because great it's great that happened for you but how can I have that for myself it's right and to walk them through well I got an invitation I read this thing and it started and how I prayed for the 1st or whatever the thing was those nuts and bolts which we might find kind of like you know the grid underneath it too many people are going to be very very helpful and then of course that appeal just that simple drawing them to it. Is an incredibly important powerful That's right and then now we're going back to something you brought up at the beginning of this and that is that personal testimonies aren't always limited to conversion stories trace conversion story has a function but that's not the only kind of testimony you can tell right in the testimony again testifying is just seen back back to the what we start of the lesson with what you have seen and heard and it doesn't have to be what you saw and heard when you started your walk with Christ way back then hopefully hopefully you have exactly we have still an ongoing growing dynamic relationship with Jesus who will have ups and downs and experiences and things you could share that might have happened if they had this quote desire he just 340 says if we've been following Jesus step by step we should have something right to the point to tell concerning the way which he's led us we right so his continuous continued leading our lives just as much a part of our testimony as it was what happened 20 years ago as Christ not done anything for you in 20 years right here and it's and so this is. I mean from from from helping you find your car keys from a struggle you've been having with your teenager any kind of thing that the Lord even at your local church when you have the opportunity to share how the Lord has worked through you to reach other people that's a testimony of his power in your life so we must not negate those daily experiences because they have a power to convert as well and what those experiences do experiences do when you share them is it makes Jesus real to people like wow you mean there he's still doing things in your life like it's not just you read a book you know the Bible this dusty old book and you just believe something there are things happening in your life it just has a powerful effect on people all right so let's close with some practical cultural What should people do if they want to make I really caring more effect I would encourage you know a lot of people have never really processed through their testimony and if you're asked on the spot and so I don't I don't know what to say I want you to think through in fact I'm giving you an assignment Write out your testimony these 4 steps your life before Christ how you came to Christ your life with Christ in appeal right out little things that he's done for your life in your life you out but this how you came to Christ testimony this is something you ought to be able to share in 2 or 3 minutes or even less but you're not going to do that off the cuff but if you practice if you write it out if you are hearse it periodically it will be fresh in your mind in the Lord to be able to use that to share with somebody else in just a moment and be a powerful way to lead them to finding the same joy that you found in Jesus so it's not innocent about writing rehearsing a set script of words but it's about familiarize yourself and keeping fresh that I walk with I'm not saying memorize it right but just rehearsing it you know keeps you if you've never thought through it oh what would I say but once you've thought through it you can kind of adlib it because you've been through the basic framework and you can do it in a concise way Well friends I hope that we've drawn out some very important. Lessons here about how we can share the story of Jesus is not just from the Bible what happened 2000 years ago or even in the lives what happened 10 years ago 20 years ago but hopefully we all have that dynamic growing active relationship with Jesus that will have something right to the point to say concerning how he has led us so it is our prayer that you are blessed by this and we will pray as we close that all of us will be the missionaries Jesus is asking us to be so less about heads Heavenly Father thank you again for the opportunity to study together please bless the results of this work help each one of us to be the witnesses that you call 1st to be effective in our sharing of our faith so the souls may be one and by your grace Jesus coming will be hastened for we pray.

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