Taking the Word to the World

Archive for November, 2012

3 Categories of Experiences – Part Three

Three Categories of Experiences

  • Store-away
  • Give-away
  • Throw-away

Thrown-away (Experiences that should not be given away. They are garbage. Worst experiences)

* “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

* “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:13, ESV).

* “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

* “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

* “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

* “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1, NLT).

* There are certain things that should be thrown away. Our past can be a stepping stone or a stumbling block. The choice is yours!

* Sometimes, we have difficulty getting past our past.

3 Categories of Experiences – Part Two

Three Categories of Experiences

  •  Store-away
  • Give-away
  • Throw-away

Give-away (Experiences shared with others, i.e. testimony).

* “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

* “And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey” (Acts 22:6).

* Henry Poitras in his Fishers of Men Series writes, “A witness tells what they have seen and heard (Acts 4:20, 22:15). Your story of personal experience is captivating, inoffensive, indisputable, and most of all ‘salt’ that will settle in and create thirst. Remember we are witnesses not judges.”

* When anything good comes our way, we usually tell it. The early Christians were told not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. They responded, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20) The NIV translation reads, “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).

* “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalms 107:8).

* Leonard Ravenhill said, “A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.” It is difficult to talk someone out of what he has experienced (John 9:24-25).

* “Witnessing” is an effective means of evangelism, because you are explaining what God has done in your life. No one can argue with a transformed life or other miracles experienced. “And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it . . . What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it” (Acts 4:14, 16).

* In a more specific sense “witnessing” is telling others what salvation/eternal life means to you. It includes three parts.

* BEFORE: What you were like before receiving eternal life.

* HOW: How you received salvation/eternal life. This would explain how you came to obey Acts 2:38.

* NOW: What salvation/eternal life means to you. Here you would also declare the peace you experience now and your hope for the future.

* In your testimony you should always emphasize the positive by telling the great things that the Lord has done. Be careful not to give credit to the devil in the first part of your testimony. Begin by telling what your life was like before you met Jesus Christ. It is not necessary to go into a lot of detail. Keep your entire testimony to 3-5 minutes. Be brief and to the point.

* Phil Callaway in Who Put My Life on Fast Forward confesses that one of the greatest stresses in his life is “witnessing.” He writes, “When I told others about my faith, I was as clumsy as a carpenter with ten thumbs…A few years ago I made a surprising discovery: When I simply tell others what I have seen or what God has done, they listen…I used to count conversions; now I count conversations. I don’t have all the right answers, but I know and care about the questions.”

3 Categories of Experiences – Part One

Three Categories of Experiences

  1. Store-away
  2. Give-away
  3. Throw-away


Store-away (Experiences kept for future use)

  • “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalms 119:11, ESV).
  • “It was there at Gilgal that Joshua piled up the twelve stones taken from the Jordan River. Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground'” (Joshua 4:20-22, NLT).
  • There is a story told of a old farmer who came under conviction one day and went out into the corn field and dropped to his knees and gave his life to the Lord. A few days later the devil began to harass him suggesting that nothing had really happened and that he was just deceiving himself. A few weeks passed and the old farmer got fed up with the harassment. He went to his barn and got a wooden stake and a hammer and said, “Devil, follow me.” The old farmer proceeded out into the corn field to the place where he had originally prayed and given his life to Jesus as his Lord. He took the hammer and drove the stake into the ground and said, “Devil, right here is where I surrendered my life to God, so be gone!” Writing and sharing your testimony is like driving the stake into the ground and saying to the devil, “Devil, right here is where God worked in my life, so be gone!”
  • “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

Faith Brings its Own Umbrella

Joshua Olmsted in his November 2009, Pentecostal Herald article, “What is Faith?” told the story of three farmers that met daily in the field during a dreadful drought. Every single day, they fell to their knees, and prayed that God would open the heavens and pour down abundance of rain. The heavens remained silent, and the farmers became discouraged.

One day a stranger came by and asked what they were doing. They answered, “We are praying for rain.”

The stranger shook his head and disagreed.

One of the farmers retorted, “We have not had rain for more than a year and we are praying for rain.”

The stranger told them that their efforts were futile and would never work.

Another farmer said, “We must have the rain, not only for ourselves but our farms and livestock.”

The stranger responded, “You are wasting your time.”

The third farmer annoyingly said, “What would you do if you were in our place?”

The stranger queried, “Do you really want to know?”

The three farmers answered, “Yes! We want to know!”

The stranger said, “I would have brought an umbrella.” That took faith!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Jump, I’ll Catch You!

Donnie Martin in his sermon, “The Faith that God Favors” quoted this story: “One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, “Jump! I’ll catch you.” He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: “Jump! I will catch you.” But the boy protested, “Daddy, I can’t see you.” The father replied, “But I can see you and that’s all that matters.”

Do You See Elephants or Frogs?

A preacher friend’s son, and his boy, went on an excursion to the local zoo, to see all the animals. In one enclosed area, across a small pond, there stood huge elephants and towering giraffes. The Dad tried to get the attention of his little son, “Look, see the elephants.” Amazingly, the boy was captivated by a frog leaping from the little pool of water. Every time the father would say, “Look, son, see the elephants, and the giraffes,” the boy would respond, “Frog. Frog!” Finally, the Dad pulled the son, away from the enclosure, and they moved along. The little boy kept crying, “Frog. Frog. Frog.” Isn’t that like us sometimes? God’s wants to show us the elephants, giraffes; the mighty things He wants to accomplish in our lives and ministries. Yet, all we see are the insignificant frogs.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Good to Great Through God’s Eyes

Jim Collins wrote a pivotal book called Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t. I loved one of the quotes found on Collins’ website: “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.” (It is easy to make the choice. It is harder to take the continuous grueling step to discipline…daily. I would say that is a substantial “leap.”)

Collins wondered if a good company could become a great company. He and his twenty-one man team looked through more than 1,000 companies. Eleven companies were chosen for careful study. Over two thousand pages of interview notes were generated. They studied the heart, mind, and soul of truly great companies. These companies had managed to figure out how to move from good to great.

Chip Ingram came along and wrote Good to Great in God’s Eyes: 10 Practices Great Christians Have in Common. I read this simple book and it has become one of my all-time favorites and remains on my bookshelf. It shows how Christians honor God with their lives, great faith, and excellent work. Amazon.com gave the following write-up concerning the book:

“Believers become great in God’s eyes by applying the 10 common characteristics of great Christians:

  • think great thoughts
  • read great books
  • pursue great people
  • dream great dreams
  • pray great prayers
  • take great risks
  • make great sacrifices
  • enjoy great moments
  • empower great people
  • develop great habits.

Using Scripture, personal stories, and examples from Christians who left a lasting legacy, bestselling author Chip Ingram offers practical steps for becoming great in all areas of life, in spiritual growth, family, relationships, and career.”

Enhanced by Zemanta