The shepherds told their story, as they left the Christchild - Luke 2:17 says they "made widely known" their experience with God and what was told them concerning Jesus. Today my pastor challenged us to tell our story and he gave some leading questions. I'm using this exercise to hone the communication of my testimony, but feel free to consider these questions to clarify yours as well.
1. What has God done in my life? God has done many things in my life... sovereignly placing me in the home of 2 loving parents, whose love for God is an example for me every day. God was so kind and gracious to reveal his redemptive plan to me at a young age and to pursue me until I committed myself to his lordship in 1977. Since then He has been at work - teaching me, changing me, ....ultimately sanctifying me with great patience, love, and wisdom. There have been many answered prayers through the years - prayers for health, wisdom, spiritual victory, courage in witnessing, help with everyday things (like the $50 my son lost and God helped us find). My list can go on and on. I am trying to commit more and more of my life to His care - as I realize and consider my actions and opportunities along life's way. God has done much and will continue to do much, as he tells me in Philippians 1:6, "that He who began a good work in (me) will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus".
2. How has God changed me? As I was fairly young when God moved into my life, the outward changes may not have been as dramatic as for some - particularly when you consider the fact that prior to my conversion, my mom was teaching me to "live to please Jesus". I was a girl that liked to please those around me, so my life was often filled with "good works" - but not done for my God. Interestingly, about a year after God's salvation became meaningful to me, I can remember distinctly feeling the urgency of sharing my faith with my friends and doing so on the playground. I believe that was due to a changed heart. This burning passion to share the good news has continued and in the past months become one of my clearest missions in life. God has also granted me a deeper hunger for His word this past year, through reading the chronological One Year Bible. I have come to love God's words and I echo the psalmist: "For Your law is my delight" (Psalm 119:77) God still has much to change. I see it more and more and at times lament almost without hope. But I am inspired by Paul: "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses... And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON..." (Romans 7:26-29) I'm glad God has the blueprints for my life and that He is sovereignly working things out. I just pray that we all offer ourselves to Him in the process (Romans 12:1,2).
This is much longer than I anticipated, so question 3 will have to wait for tomorrow.