|Much of sharing faith is experiencing faith. Sharing faith comes in many forms. Many of us have memories of Sunday School teachers who taught Bible stories and songs. Our grandparents have a special way, too, of sharing faith. There is much to learn about the Bible and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
But faith is more than transferring information. In many ways, we pass on our experiences. Yes, both are much needed. One, though, seems to be incomplete without the other. That is, you can share knowledge and information without having had the experience. For example, I’ve never crossed a divided sea. Anytime I’ve walked in water, I’ve come out soaked. Of course, that has never stopped me from teaching about the parting of the sea.
Had I not had my own parting-of-the sea experiences, though, my teaching would lack an integral aspect of faith. To be sure, that doesn’t make it better. I do think it adds more meaning.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. It’s quite possible to lean on experience too much. I know I’ve been in worship settings that tried to fabricate experiences. That’s not helpful. It’s scheming. Still, having experienced the grace of God in meaningful ways adds to how you share faith.
Let’s think of Joshua for a moment.
He had faith experience. As a result, the people “stood in awe of him” when he replaced Moses. Moses taught the people and shared their experiences. According to the text, we don’t know that Joshua had any teaching to offer. At this point, we only know of his experience.
When he led the people of God across the Jordan, Joshua gave a particular command. The people were to take twelve stones out of the Jordan to set up where they camped. These stones were to be a faith banner. In years to come, children would see them and ask what they represented. This would be the opportunity to share faith with them. Parents would tell their children about what happened that day. That “the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over…which he dried up for us until we crossed over (Joshua 4:23).
Do you notice the sense of personal experience in that?
That is what we’re considering today. People need information. But, more often than not, it’s your sharing of how you’ve experienced the grace of God that makes an impact. Tell of what God has done for you. Share your testimony. Let it be an invitation of faith for someone or an encouragement of faith for another follower of Jesus.
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