Most of you reading this blog already know Jesus and and have seen how a relationship with Him has changed your life. Recently we’ve been asking Power to Change staff how knowing Jesus has changed their lives, and we’ve received some amazing answers.
One of the staff from our student ministry shared how knowing Jesus deepened her enjoyment of beautiful things in the world around her. Another shared how knowing Jesus brought her out of her comfort zone to love her neighbours, while another shared how knowing Jesus changed her fear into excitement for life.
Maybe you have a similar story. Something — maybe everything! — has changed in your life because of knowing Jesus. That’s where evangelism starts.
“Evangelism” is a word fraught with difficulty for both Christians and non-Christians. In parts of the Christian community, it’s treated as an obligatory religious requirement: something you have to do or feel guilt and shame. For non-Christians, they might connect evangelism to a big-name TV evangelist connected to financial scandal or to someone going door-to-door, treating the gospel like a sales pitch.
For me, that’s not what evangelism is about at all.
In the Bible, Jesus doesn’t guilt or shame his followers into sharing the good news. In fact, he frequently told people that he healed not to tell anyone what happened! But they were so full of joy about have their life changed by Jesus that they just couldn’t help it.
In Mark 7:36, it says, “Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it.”
The people that Jesus healed didn’t have all the answers. What they did have, however, was their story of how Jesus changed their lives.
John 9 tells how Jesus healed a man who was born blind. The religious leaders questioned the man (and even his parents) repeatedly, challenging him about who Jesus is. In the middle of the questioning, he rests in one simple truth: “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
[inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”null” suffix=”http://p2c.sh/youknowjesus”]”The people that Jesus healed didn’t have all the answers. What they did have was their story.”[/inlinetweet]
I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember, so I don’t quite have a story of life change as drastic as the man who was blind from birth. Instead, I’ve seen a series of smaller changes over long periods of time (sometimes far too long!), a process known as sanctification.
One of those small changes took place while I was a counsellor at a Christian summer camp. It was the weekend after the kids had gone home. Normally this was a time to take a breath, relax, and recharge for the coming week, but instead of feeling calm, I was stressed out. A year’s worth of worries had come crashing down on me that previous week and I found myself obsessing over the coming school year, finances, relationships, the future and whether I was even supposed to be working at camp that summer.
I went on a hike with some of the other staff and, since physical activity is one of the ways I deal with stress, I got out ahead of everyone else. When we stopped for a water break, I was momentarily alone.
As I stood there in tears, trying to wrap my head around all of the worries and concerns weighing me down, I suddenly had a profound sense of God’s presence. All other sounds seemed to drop away except for the wind rushing through the leaves. In the midst of this quiet came a voice in my head, speaking the words of Jesus to Peter from John 21:15-17.
“Do you love me?”
Instead of hearing these words directed to Peter, I heard them directed to me, personally. My response was the same as Peter’s: “Lord, you know that I love you.” And I heard the response: “Then feed my sheep.”
Like Peter, once wasn’t enough to get the message. I heard the question, “Do you love me?” three times, responded yes three times, and heard the instruction, “Feed my sheep” three times. And then I finally got it.
All the worries and concerns were just distractions. I was meant to be at that summer camp and for a very good reason: to feed God’s sheep, to take care of the kids entrusted to me each week, loving them the way God loves them and teaching them what I could about Jesus.
It was such a simple lesson, one that perhaps should have been obvious to me, but it was exactly what I needed in that time of my life.
Jesus changed my focus. It was a small moment with huge consequences: I was released from stress and given a renewed sense of purpose that carried me through that summer and beyond. It’s a story that I’m able to share with others about what a relationship with Jesus means to me. It makes me excited to see Jesus release others from worry and find their meaning in Him.
[inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”null” suffix=”http://p2c.sh/youknowjesus”]”The story of how Jesus has changed your life is a powerful testimony.”[/inlinetweet]
How do we know that knowing Jesus changes lives? Because we have witnessed it in our own lives!
The story of how Jesus has changed your life is a powerful testimony. Sometimes we think that if our testimony doesn’t include some radical rescue from drugs, alcohol, or some other big and obvious issue, then it’s not “good enough.” But your story always matters and may help change someone else’s life as well.
Your story of how knowing Jesus changed your life may be exactly what someone else needs to hear. Your story can be the tool God uses to change someone’s life forever.
If you’re still not sure you can do evangelism, Power to Change can help! We will provide you with training and opportunities to share your faith when you volunteer with one of our 11 ministries and partners. Whether it’s online from the comfort of your own home or in countries around the world, P2C can give you the tools you need to get started.
We also provide a number of proven, practical resources to help spark spiritual conversations and share your journey to knowing Jesus. Many of these resources are completely free, but we have additional resources available for purchase at the P2C Resource Centre.