Every Christian has a story to tell.
It is the story of how Jesus Christ changed their lives through His love. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He paid the price for all the sins of all the world for all time. Because God the Father accepted His Son’s sacrifice, all my sin and your sin is forgiven.
But that isn’t really the whole story. Not everyone accepts that forgiveness. Even though Jesus won that forgiveness, it doesn’t do a person any good if they reject the gift of that forgiveness.
The reception of that forgiveness through faith (a free gift brought by the Holy Spirit) is the story that every Christian can tell.
When told, it is a story that rocks the very foundations of the earth.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened (Acts 16:25-26 ESV).
It is a powerful story. It is a life-changing story.
So why isn’t it told by more people?
As Anne Jackson says, “Fear wants to stop our stories” (Anne Jackson, Permission to Speak Freely, Thomas Nelson, 2010, page 4).
Many Christians are afraid to tell their stories. They are afraid of what other people will think. They are afraid that their story isn’t interesting. They are afraid that their story will be wrong.
But it goes beyond that. Because Christians aren’t the only ones who are afraid of telling their stories of redemption and forgiveness.
Satan is also afraid. Very afraid. Because Satan knows what happens when Christians tell their story of Jesus Christ saving them from sin, death, and the power of the devil.
When a Christian tells his or her story of redemption, the Holy Spirit shakes and quakes the hearer’s heart.
Yes, sometimes the hearer rejects the Holy Spirit’s work in their heart. And Satan is glad again.
But more often than not, the one hearing the story of Jesus’ redemption of a person begins to melt down the rock hard heart of a sinner. They may not “come to Christ” right then and there, but they most likely will come back for more of the story.
And there will probably come a time when they will no longer need the story of a Christian. They will have their own story to tell.
But then they will need that Christian story teller to help them overcome their own fear of not wanting to tell the story.
And that is what the Church is. It is people telling the story, hearing the story, and encouraging each other to continue to tell the story.
I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee. (I Love to Tell the Story, A. Katherine Hankey, 1866)