2017-10-19 / Opinions

A redneck may know how to start a fire but sharing testimony can start something bigger

By ROGER ALFORD
columnist

Perhaps you heard about the redneck who went to the insurance agent to get fire coverage for his home.

“Would you like flood insurance, too?” the agent asked.

“I reckon not,” he said. “I wouldn’t know how to start one of them.”

The Bible has a long list of wholesome, helpful things that we should start, including praying on a regular basis, reading God’s word, loving our neighbors, going to church, opening our wallets to people in need, and the list goes on and on.

I’m convinced that one of the most impactful things we can start doing is telling others about how we came to know Jesus and about the dramatic changes He has made in our lives.

Jesus calls for us to be his witnesses in our hometowns, in our state, across the nation and around the world. One of the most effective ways to accomplish that is through the written word. You realize that the Apostle Paul spoke to sizeable numbers of people in person in his day, but that he has reached multiplied millions through his written words over the centuries.

That’s one reason I feel blessed that God allows me to write this devotional column for newspapers. I’m aware that I reach far more people through the written word than through the sermons I preach on any given Sunday. Last Sunday morning, I shared the gospel with about 200 people in a church in Grayson, Kentucky. By comparison, this devotional column will be read by thousands throughout America’s heartland.

I’m always blessed when you share words of encouragement with me about these columns. And I’m especially blessed when you tell me you clip these columns out and send them to your family and friends in hopes that they, too, will be encouraged. I wonder how encouraged they might be if they could read your own testimony in this space. I’d certainly be willing to help you share the gospel through the written word. If you send me an email telling me how you came to know Jesus, I will do my best to include it in this column as space allows. Mind you, it may be impossible to get everyone in if the response is overwhelming, but we could give it a shot.

I believe your testimony would be quite an encouragement to fellow believers and quite compelling for nonbelievers.

My email address is always in the last line of the column so that you can easily be in touch with me.

That redneck insurance shopper isn’t the only one who can start a fire. You can too, spiritually speaking, by sharing your testimony.

(Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.)

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