664. Where’s Your “Antioch”?

“From time to time,” Stan began, “we’ve talked about the importance of having a personal testimony to share with other people.”

“We have,” I responded.  “It makes it easier to share the truth of God’s provision of free and gracious salvation if I can relate to another person how I came to faith.”

“Exactly,” Stan replied.  “No one can argue about what you or I have experienced personally.”

Continuing, he added, “And I saw a point on this earlier this morning in the Book of Acts.”

“It talks about sharing personal testimony?” I asked.

“Well, not exactly,” Stan replied, “but there’s a statement that I consider to be an essential part of my personal testimony.”

“What’s that?”

“Where I was first called a Christian,” Stan said.

“First called a Christian?” I replied.  “How so?”

“The Book of Acts,” Stan said, “records that those who were in the early church were first called Christians in Antioch.”

“So?” I responded.

“I think an essential part of my personal testimony,” Stan said, “is to be able to relate to others where I first knew I could be called a Christian. Without being able to relate that fact of my own personal experience, another person might wonder how important I considered my conversion.”

“If it wasn’t important enough for you to remember where it happened,” I replied, “maybe it wasn’t real important.  Is that what you’re saying?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied.  “And I can assure you it was the most important thing that ever happened to me.  I will never forget where I was when I was first called a Christian.”

Concluding, he added, “That moment changed forever my eternal destination and my life on this side of eternity while I wait for the train!  How could I possibly forget the location of my ‘Antioch’?”

________________________________

The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.  Acts of the Apostles 11:26.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your gracious and free gift of salvation through the finished work of Christ Jesus on the cross.  Thank you for the moment in time when by faith I accepted the truth of your provision and that I can remember vividly where I was when that occurred.  It changed forever my eternal destination and my life on this side of eternity.  Thank you it is an important part of the personal testimony I can relate to others so they, too, may have the opportunity to remember where they were the moment everything changed for them.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Do you consider having a personal testimony to be important?  Why or why not?  If you are a Christian, can you recall where you were when you accepted the truth of God’s free and gracious gift of salvation?  In what ways could that detail have an impact on someone who has not yet become a Christian?  Is that important to you?  Why or why not? Do you think it is important to God?  Why or why not?

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