That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:1-3 (NIV)
Read: 1 John 1:1-10
Consider: A couple of days ago I mentioned that many people are reluctant to speak about their personal experiences when sharing their faith. This reluctance might be born out of a real fear of sharing their faith, or might simply be a belief that their experience is not ‘dramatic’ enough to share with others. Too often we compare ourselves with the apostles and the early disciples, thinking that our lives are uninspiring in comparison. We may also have read biographies of the saints of the past and concluded that no-one would be interested in hearing about our mundane lives.
John, another eyewitness of Jesus’ ministry, knew the power of speaking about what he had seen and heard. Read again the verses from 1 John 1 quoted above and you will see that John is not presenting a theological argument for believing in Jesus, he is putting forward his personal experience. Look at the language he is using – ‘we have heard’, ‘seen with our eyes’, ‘looked at’, ‘our hands have touched’.
John’s personal experience of Jesus led him to share it with others. Of course we have what John wrote, but I am sure he also shared his experience of Jesus enthusiastically with others. John tells us that he could ‘testify’ to the truth. Remember the word ‘testify’ hints at a witness speaking in court about the evidence they personally can attest to. The other word John uses is ‘proclaim’; this means to speak publicly.
So with you, don’t be afraid to speak about what you know about Jesus. Sharing your personal testimony can be challenging, but people will be interested in knowing how God has been dealing with you in the everyday things of life. Don’t complicate things, keep it simple and straightforward.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
Pray: Father, may we always be ready to give a reason for the hope we profess in Christ. Show us that sharing personal experiences of faith can be used by the Holy Spirit to speak into a person’s need. Amen
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