Paul Shares his Story

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Today’s Text: Galatians 1:11-24

Here in the second part of Galatians 1, Paul shares his personal story, and in doing so, I see a twofold purpose. First, he wants to make it clear to the Galatians that he is a reliable teacher; that he knows what he is talking about.  Second, he is weaving his personal testimony into the letter as a means of adding persuasive impact to his point about the false teaching they have embraced, so that they might be edified and lifted up in their Christian walk, and I hope you will pay special attention to that as his story continues into the next chapter.

Notice how he begins his testimony by pointing out that the Gospel he preached to them was not made up by any man, but that it was revealed directly to him by none other than Jesus Christ Himself.  He goes on to remind them of the fact, that he was a Jew among Jews, a Pharisee further advanced than his age would normally allow, and that he wanted nothing more than to advance the traditions of Judaism. He sought to do this by persecuting most fervently the church, and was well-known for his efforts as he moved beyond Judea in pursuit of Christians to torment. Then, he recounts his experiences after his encounter with Christ on that famous road trip.

Finally, he sets the stage for his discussion of the interaction between Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ in the next chapter… which we will cover tomorrow… by reminding them of how everyone celebrated his conversion and praised God for it.

Here’s what I’d like for all of us to consider: We all have a story, even though it probably isn’t a well-known one.  How can we help others by sharing our story with them? You know, there isn’t anything quite as potent as a personal testimony, an experience, a personal recollection, when helping someone else with their walk.  Often, just the fact that you have encountered a similar challenge and gotten through it will inspire someone to keep trying.  You might be talking with a person who is struggling to understand, and when you share your experience at a similar stage in your growth it will really resonate with them.

If you are speaking with a non-Christian who is searching for truth, you will most likely have something to share about your experience in a similar position.  Understand that when we share our story, we are not the “hero” of the story; Jesus is.  Frank admission of how far we might have once strayed is powerful, and you will note that Paul didn’t hesitate to share this.

Can you see how honestly sharing from our hearts about our own experiences with others can help their journey?  Good. Can you see how this differs from making speeches or some kind of canned presentation? Can you see how much more powerful this is?

So, who will we share with today?

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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16 Responses to Paul Shares his Story

  1. katebortell says:

    Don what about a young woman (21) who just balks at any talk of Jesus pretty much. And yet, when someone she respects, a singer or actor, declares his Christianity she likes that. Thoughts??

  2. paulfg says:

    I sometimes think these personal stories should remain just that. Only seeing the light of day when it is the right place the right time and prompted by the lord. I have had moments wherein testimony amongst Christians seems almost like a “mine’s bigger than yours” contest. A kind of testosterone moment. The intimate guided sharing without all that razzmataz has great power.

  3. Since my wife won’t want to listen to my story, today i will share my blog stories with any followers who want to read my postings.

    Regards and good will blogging.

  4. Great comments. Yesterday I was in an office and a gentleman, a non-believer, was telling me of an incident over the weekend. He was a judge at a barbeque contest. A fellow had a tent up that kept bugging him about coming in and learning of Jesus. Inside the tent were a number of books for sale. He asked me what I would have done. I said probably I would have run. There is the right time, way, and place to share our testimony I believe, and practice. Its just when The Lord sets it up. Thanks for the great post.

  5. vwoods1212 says:

    Yep we overcome the evil one by our testimonies and the blood of the lamb. Just start sharing without barriers. VW

  6. Sharon says:

    Testimonies are no more than sharing your everyday life with someone except most conversations are “me” related rather than “Jesus” focused. It’s all in our perspective as we share our lives. We as Christians need to share more of the everyday ways God works in our lives. It is encouraging, helpful, and educational. I don’t know it all, but God does, and He uses the experiences of one to help another. But we can’t help if we don’t share.

  7. Yes Paul did often share about his life, it’s ups and downs, why, to show God’s greatness, Love, Mercy and Compassion and we too should share with the same focus. If we are honest about our sin and weaknesses in the past, some will reject us, some will judge us lovingly, some will ignore us but God tells us, others will be blessed knowing we don’t walk alone, even in the darkest times that we encounter in life.

    To share my Life Story Don, would take a whole Blog and my life is not even finished yet, so to save detail here, I will leave a link for you, it talks about a time when I had lost it or to be more to the point, I had become lost but Jesus found me, He rescued me and not because I was deserving but only because of His Mercy Grace and Love.

    Rescued- http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/jesus-rescued-his-lost-sheep/

    Christian Love from us both – Anne

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