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.”

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