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Sharing Your Story

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“Sharing Your Story”

Series: Gospel Tools for Gospel People [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

March 6, 2022

Introductory Comments:

I want to tell you one of my favorite stories. When I was in seminary, I worked on the maintenance crew at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Another member of our crew was a professional painter and he and I were tasked with painting a 97,000 square foot building. He was the painter, I was the guy that hauled around the five-gallon buckets of paint all day. Well, one day we were on the roof of this three-story building and we had a bunch of wooden sawhorses that had to be taken down to the first floor. [show picture on screen] It was a lot of stairs and a lot of work. So, we had this great idea of throwing these saw horses off the roof, three-stories above the ground. You see, the ground was kind of soft and muddy and we could throw them in a graceful way and everything would be fine. We discussed it among ourselves for quite a while and then convinced ourselves that we could do it. So, we threw the first one off, it fell to the ground and busted into several pieces. We both belly laughed for a few minutes because we had convinced ourselves that everything would be ok despite all the evidence that pointed elsewhere. That was probably 17 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. 

You see, that’s my story. I told you what happened before the event, then the event (throwing the saw horses off of the roof), and then what happened after the event. 

Today, we’re continuing our series called “Gospel Tools for Gospel People.” This morning, I want to tell you about one of your most important tools, your story. 

Before we go any further, let’s go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to speak to us. 


Today’s sermon is entitled, “Sharing Your Story.” [on screen] Your story is one of the most important tools you have for the Gospel because it is your story. This is what has happened to you.

Now as we discuss your story of how Jesus changed your life, some of you will refer to this as your “testimony.” A testimony is a recounting or a retelling of something that happened to you. It is a story. So, when I talk about your story, I’m talking about your testimony of how Jesus changed your life. 

So, if I went around and asked each of you what God has done in your life, each of you would share a little bit different story, because it’s your story. However, for each follower of Jesus, there are some common elements to your Gospel story; there are some common elements to your testimony. 

So, let’s look at some of the common elements of your Gospel story. 

First, let’s talk about your life . . . 

I. Without Jesus. [on screen]

Do you remember your life before Jesus? Some of you have to think back a long way. I have to think back about 32 years. 

As you prepare to tell your story to people, you have to prepare to tell of life before Jesus; life without Jesus. 

You may not remember every detail of your life before Jesus, however, there are certain things that we definitely know about all of us before we knew Jesus: we were sinners! We did not live for God! We lived for ourselves! We didn’t know the purpose for which we were created!

Paul speaks about this in Ephesians 2:1-3: And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. [on screen]

Paul says that we all lived this way. Remember, as Romans 3:23 say, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. 

We have this in common and it should be a part of our story. We have sinned; we were dead in our trespasses and sins.

Our lives were different before we experienced Jesus. 

What was your life like before Jesus?

In order to share the Gospel, we should be able to tell our story, which includes our lives before Jesus.

However, then something happened, right? We didn’t stay dead in our trespasses!

The next section is . . .

II. Wow, Jesus! [on screen]

Our Gospel story is about telling about something that happened in our lives. There should have been a wow moment in your life! There should have been a change brought about by Jesus!

Look down in Ephesians 2 again at verses 4-9: But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast. [on screen]

This element is essential to your story. You have to share what Jesus did in your life! You have to share what the change in your life was! This is the wow moment! [on screen]

In my story that I told earlier, this is the point where I threw the sawhorses off of the roof and they busted apart. It’s the heart of the story! 

Likewise, the heart of your testimony should be that Jesus changed you! The wow moment should be all about Jesus!

Some people speak about this moment without the wow factor. It’s not biblically correct to say, “I just became a better person,” or “I just decided to become a Christian,” or worse yet, “I’ve always been a Christian.” You must have a life-changing experience with Jesus! You must have a wow moment!

Now, I’m not saying that the paint has to come off the walls. However, you must experience the life-changing power of Jesus!

You’re not born a Christian, you don’t become a Christian by osmosis, you certainly don’t become a follower of Jesus by your own power. It’s all because of Jesus!

Being made alive by Jesus is the main ingredient in our Gospel stories.

We must share this part of our story. We must tell others about Jesus. 

So, we would say things like:

“Jesus set me free from my slavery to sin.” 

“Jesus gave me a new heart.” “Jesus gave me a new life.” “Jesus gave me a new purpose in life.”

“I realized that Jesus died in my place and He paid for my sins.”

So, tell of Jesus has changed your life. Tell of the “Wow, Jesus” moment. Finally, you need to share what your life is like . . .

III. With Jesus. [on screen]

How is your life actively different now that Jesus has changed you?

Now that you have a life with Jesus, how are you different? Think about that for a moment. 

God has not called you to salvation without a changed life. God had saved us from the curse of sin and He has saved us to a new life, lived for His glory. 

Do you remember the life of Paul before he was changed by Jesus? He was someone who hated the ways of Jesus and even played a part in bringing harm to followers of Jesus. However, Paul was so radically changed by Jesus that instead of persecuting Christians, he was now being persecuted as a Christian, and he was trying to tell more and more people about Jesus. 

We too are to be changed people who lived changed lives. We were created for that purpose. 

We read Ephesians 2:1-9 a moment ago. Listen to what verse 10 says: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. [on screen]

Before you were even a Christian, God was preparing good works for you to do so that you might be changed by Jesus and live for His glory. 

Will you live a changed life? Will you be who God created and called you to be?

How is your life actively different now that Jesus has changed you?

This is our calling in Christ: to live changed lives. God created us for this!

We must be ready to live changed lives, including being ready to share our story. 

Not only must we be ready to live these changed lives, we must tell people how Jesus changed us. With my story earlier. The wow moment was that we threw the sawhorses off of the roof and they busted into pieces. What resulted was that we laughed for a long time, threw all the others off, and fixed the mess later. That was what resulted from the wow moment. 

So, as you share your story, tell people how your life has changed by the wow moment with Jesus. 

Tell people how you used to have a short temper but the Holy Spirit has taught you patience and peace.

Tell how you used to argue with other people to prove you were right but the Holy Spirit has given you humility. 

Tell people how Jesus set you free from addiction. 

Tell people how you learned that going to church doesn’t make you a follower of Jesus, but following Jesus makes you a follower of Jesus. 

Tell people how you identified with Jesus through baptism.

Tell people about the power of Jesus to change your family. 

Tell people about how you found a church that has all kinds of problems, but Jesus is with them in the midst of that problems and He is changing peoples’ lives. 

Tell them of the power of Jesus in your life!

Concluding Thoughts:

Has God done something in your life? Tell others about it! The greatest Gospel tool you have is your story! 

I love to tell the story; ’twill be my theme in glory; to tell the old old story of Jesus and His love!

Listen to this bottom line:

Bottom Line: Tell Your Story, All for God’s Glory. [on screen]


Remember the words of the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:15, “but in your hearts regard  Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” [on screen]

We must be ready to share!

Followers of Jesus must live changed lives. When we live those changed lives, people will notice. When they notice, we should be prepared to share our stories.

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

1. Practice your story. [on screen]

Some of you know your story but you don’t how to tell your story. 

Practice this week. Remember these elements: (1) without Jesus; (2) wow, Jesus; and (3) with Jesus. 

Practice your story. 

2. Share your story. [on screen]

Practice sharing your story. In my discipleship group, all of us have taken time to share our story with each other. That’s a safe place to practice with each other. Find a friend, someone from your small group, one of our pastors, or someone to tell your story to this week.

Share the story of Jesus and His love!


Have you been changed by Jesus? Have you had that wow moment? Experience the love of Jesus! He’ll change your life forever!

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

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