Discipleship starts with a relationship. The person may be a friend, or just an acquaintance. You’ve been around each other long enough that they sense something is different about you. Whatever it is, they are curious, and want to know.
In Acts 26, Paul stands before Festus, King Agrippa, and Bernice, and is afforded an opportunity to make a defense for himself against charges that are but nothing. Paul starts his story and says, “I beg you to listen to me patiently.” (v. 3) He then proceeds to tell his story.
What is your story? Could you tell it to someone if they were to ask you why you are different? Why are you able to react so differently to certain situations? What if they just flat out ask, “Why are you a Christian?”
We all have a story. Some are dramatic with a tale of a battle with cancer, drugs, alcohol, or pornography, in which a new found life in Christ saved them. Their lives today are drastically different than they used to be. Others have a hard time because they haven’t had a traumatic experience in their lives. They grew up attending Church with their parents each Sunday, accepted Christ as an adolescent, or teen. Nothing bad has ever happened to them. So, what has God done for them? Everything! What a story they have to tell! By trusting in Christ all their lives, they have been spared many of the hardships others have had to endure. God asked them to be obedient to His calling, and they followed, enjoying the fruits of not having participated in activities that could have led to their death.
Does that mean that if you follow Christ, remaining faithful and obedient, that nothing bad will ever happen to you? Obviously not. In fact, James says we should count it all joy when we encounter these trial. These trials test our faith, producing endurance. They make us stronger, giving us the ability to go on and face even harder trials. When we are able to stand in the face of these situations, others see this and determine that for some reason we are different. And then we get to tell our story.
King Agrippa asks Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian. (v.27)” Your story, too, can persuade another to become a Christian. It may take a short time, or it may take a long time. Regardless, know your story. After you read this, sit down and write it out. Read it out loud. Make whatever changes you need to develop it and make it a part of your life. Live your story. And above all, don’t be afraid to tell others.