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Miranda Writes: Lit Up: Glowing for Jesus, Part 2




by Omar Miranda



Last week I told you a true but cheesy story about me using my cell phone to get ready for bed. I was amazed at how the little light could go such a long way to lighting a pitch-black room. And so it is with us as we decide to shine our light for God in a pitch-black world and draw people like moths to the light of God’s love and salvation.

This week we’re going to discuss the basics of witnessing—telling your story as a Christian. That’s right; it’s that easy. Here are three steps that should help you:

1. Start with talking about your life before you accepted Christ.
2. Then talk about how you accepted Christ.
3. End with talking about your life now, after you accepted Christ.

Also, here are three things to keep in mind when you tell your story:
1. Listen to the Holy Spirit.
2. Be real and honest.
3. Be ready for results.

Paul’s testimony found in Acts 22:1-22 illustrates my points beautifully. Give it a read right now.

Here’s some background: Paul is set on going to Jerusalem. Paul is warned by many people in many cities and in many ways about what will happen to him when he goes to Jerusalem. But Paul insists. Paul basically says that whether he lives or dies is not the point, because he is ready to die for Jesus.

So Paul goes to Jerusalem. Paul arrives in Jerusalem and starts a riot (everywhere Paul goes he’s starting riot, because he refuses to water down the gospel message). There is a definite lesson here. How many people get upset when you talk about your relationship with God? Or do you avoid talking about it at all costs?

As he was warned, Paul gets arrested, but he asks to speak to the crowd trying to kill him. Are you catching this? Paul isn’t concerned about himself. He sees this as a chance to preach to the folk who are looking to hurt him. Talk about devotion! So Paul tells his story.

Paul is honest. He doesn’t pull any punches. He shares candidly about his crazy life and his “baggage” with others. But—more important—he also shares how he met Christ and about the power of Jesus in his life. Every time a person does this, there is always a response (sometimes good, sometimes bad). What I’ve found is that when you share the gospel honestly and with power, people’s hearts will either melt or harden.

Sometimes they will open up and tell you their story, or sometimes they will become overwhelmingly angry. Don’t get a big head if they accept Christ. It’s not you; it’s Christ working through you. Conversely, if they get angry, remember that you’re just the messenger. Yeah, it’s a drag, but sometimes when you represent somebody, you end up catching a lot of flak that’s intended for them. In this case, people may feel upset because you’re raining on their parade.

The Bible calls the Ten Commandments a mirror. If you have a mess on your face, sleep in your eyes, and cornflakes in your hair when you look in the mirror, you’re going to see the dirt and the mess. The mirror reflects the reality. When you see that stuff, you can either clean it off or break the mirror and go on living with your messy face. In a way, you are that mirror for the world. Paul calls us Christ’s ambassadors and living letters. People may never set foot in a church or read a Bible, but they’ve got to see Christ when they come in contact with you.

When you share your testimony about what you’ve seen, heard, and experienced, both in your life before and after knowing Christ, you are a first-person witness. That’s why Christians call the act of telling their story “witnessing.” You can’t give your testimony if you haven’t witnessed Christ.

Now that I’m done talking about theory, let’s put it into real-life application. I’ve got an assignment for you. First, write your testimony; then give it to a Christian. Let them give you some constructive criticism. You can then make changes and start to pray the Three Openings Prayer: “God, open an opportunity for me to share my testimony, open someone’s heart to your Holy Spirit, and finally, open my mouth and give me the boldness and courage to share the lifesaving and life-changing message with somebody else.”

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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