DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
1) 1 “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.” 2) When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said: 3) “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4) I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5) as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished. 6) “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7) I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ 8) “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. 9) My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. 10) “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ 11) My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me. 12) “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13) He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him. 14) “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15) You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16) And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ 17) “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance 18) and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19) “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20) And when the blood of your martyr[a] Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21) “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ” Paul the Roman Citizen
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
Evangelism – 8
Sammy Tippit: I want to welcome you to our eighth session on talking about how to share Christ with others. We’ve talked about a lot of things deeply spiritual, from prayer to the role of the Holy Spirit, and then in our last session we began to talk about sharing your story, telling others what Christ has done for you. This is one of the greatest tools you’ll ever use.
I’m talking with Wayne Jenkins, a dear friend who grew up with me in Baton Rouge. Wayne, I want to share something with you as we get into this. We both grew up in Baton Rouge, and I went back to Baton Rouge recently and had a group of my high school friends come together. One of them reminded me that when I graduated from high school, I came to school during my senior year for final exams drunk.
Wayne Jenkins: It makes for a good exam.
Sammy: The teacher said, “Sammy, sit down and take your exam.” I took the test, wadded it up, and threw it at the teacher. It’s a miracle I ever got out of high school. This friend of mine reminded me of that, and I just think, “Wow! I can’t believe…” But you know what? God changed me. This guy went on to say, “Then I watched Sammy, and I saw a change in his life.” He was giving my testimony for me.
That’s really what people ought to see. People ought to be able to see, “There’s something about you that’s different.” Anyway, the testimony is really powerful. People need to hear your story. Your story is unique. We started talking. You gave us some great tips in the last session. What goes into our testimony?
Wayne: Your testimony is really about three aspects: your life before, the account of what took place when you came to know Christ, and what your life is like since you’ve come to know Christ. Those are the three elements. There’s probably no better example…
Sammy: Let me just say for the person listening to this, I want to encourage you to write those three things down. Give it to them really quickly again.
Wayne: Your life before, how you came to know Christ, and the third part is what your life is like since. The perfect example of that and the model for us is found in Acts 22 when Paul gives his testimony. You’ll find there that in verses 3-5, Paul describes his life before Christ. Then beginning in verse 6, he describes how he came to know Christ, and then in verse 14 he describes some of his change.
Not everything, of course, and that’s the way your testimony will be. You don’t describe everything, but you describe some things about how Christ has changed you. Let me give you some hints on when you start writing your testimony. If you’ll write, “My life before,” come down a little bit on an 8-1/2 by 11…
Sammy: Just a regular sheet of paper.
Wayne: A regular sheet of paper. “How I came to know Christ.” Leave a spot for that, and then come down and write, “My life since I’ve come to Christ.” You have those three things. Remember, you want to try to keep it brief, but here are some questions you may want to ask yourself when you’re writing down each one of these sections.
For instance, “My life before Christ.” You may include that you were lonely. That may be part of it. You lacked purpose. For me, that was a large part of it. I was about to graduate from high school. I was fixing to start my senior year. I didn’t have a clue in the world what I really wanted to do in life. There was a sense for me too of a fear of dying. I never came close to dying, but for some reason that just gripped my heart.
I would pray a little prayer. “If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” That haunted me every night. I just about had to die to go to sleep. It may be that. It may be hopelessness. It may be a lack of peace. It may be depression. It could be any of those things that were a part of your life before you came to Christ that are symptoms of the void in your life that everybody has.
Sammy: We were talking earlier about people who say, “I was just a child when I came to know Christ, and my life before Christ really isn’t that exciting.” The deal is not how exciting or how bad or whatever it is. It’s that void you’re talking about. Renee, my daughter… I remember she was just a small child, and my associate pastor of the church where I was… His daughter died, and it just gripped her as a young child.
In our family devotional time she said, “Daddy,” and she drew out something. She had a gap between God and man, and she says, “I’m over here.” That was what gripped her. She was just a small child. It’s not any big dramatic thing, bad thing you’ve done. It’s just that emptiness, that separation, whatever it is.
Wayne: I didn’t mention it there, but it could be that a person was an addict, an alcoholic. He would want to include that, because the very person he might be talking to might be a person who’s like that and thinks there’s no hope for him.
Sammy: When I was in Egypt, we had testimony from Egyptians who came to Jesus, and it was really exciting. One of them said, “I was on the verge of suicide.” One said, “I went through a divorce.” One said, “I had no hope in life.” It was the same things I would have heard in the United States. Just the very basic same things that all people experience. Those are the things we’re looking for.
Wayne: You answer that question, whatever it may be that relates to you. Then you come down to the second part where it says, “How I came to know Christ.” Was it through the witness of somebody who shared with you consistently, one-on-one, in friendship, and over a period of time? Was it that you were at a church service of some kind and you heard the gospel for the first time?
It may have been through a television broadcast. It could have been any number of things. Somebody may have given you a marked New Testament, given you a tract. I’ve seen that happen over and over to people. They’ve read that, and God’s Spirit convicted them. Whatever brought you to that point…
Sammy: Those things God used to bring you to that point.
Wayne: That’s what you want to emphasize in that second section. In the third section you come to what has your life been like since? What is the change in your life? I think sometimes it’s good to go back. For instance, if you had this fear of dying, like you said Renee had and like I had… I can honestly say one of the ways he changed my life is my wife can tell you to this day that when I lay my head on a pillow at night, I don’t wrestle. I go sound asleep.
It’s not like I was, because I know where I’m headed. Not because of my goodness but because of Christ’s mercy and his grace in my life, I know that if I die I’d go to heaven. So I have that wonderful assurance. That’s part of my testimony about what has happened to me. So you can relate back to section one. “Here’s where I was. I was lonely, but now I’m not lonely.” But be specific whatever it is on your life, what he has done for you since.
Sammy: One thing I feel like I need to bring out and go back to point number two, and that is how you came to Christ. Sometimes we get stuck on the method rather than the actual salvation experience, and we need to be very careful that we share… For instance, for people who grew up in the southern part of the United States, often I hear them share their testimony and say, “And I walked down the aisle.”
I know what that means. I understand what that means, but walking down the aisle doesn’t make you a Christian. They need to say, “And that day I invited Christ to come into my life,” and then go into the change he has made. Just be specific about that and remember the terminology. I want to encourage you. Just remember those three things.
Write them down and write them out, and then I want to encourage you to pray. We talked about prayer in an earlier session. Pray that God would give you someone to share your testimony with this week, that you would share your testimony with someone. God is going to give you one of those divine appointments, and he’s going to use you. Then we want to hear back from you how you shared your testimony with someone.
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
All Rights Reserved