I really love it, the lines:
“A man with a fried egg over his left ear came through the door of your church. ‘Oh,’ he says glowing, ‘this egg really gives me joy, peace, purpose in life, forgiveness of sins and strength for living.’”
What would you say to him?
Hey fellow, I doubt it.
Or maybe you would say you are a nut!
Or would you just have to admit that you don’t know.
Is that how it is with the Christian experience? We just don’t know.
I can testify to my own experience with God. I think I have changed for the better over the years. But truthfully, it is the people who are around me all the time who really can testify. They have observed me over a long period of time. However is my own experience all that I have to prove the Christian experience to a non-believer?
First of all, we have others and their testimonies. I am not the only one who has experienced an improved life due to Jesus. Many others can add their personal testimony to my story. Observers of believers can testify to the changes, because the external behavioral change is where the real proof of change exists.
Secondly, the Christian bases change on a real “change agent” who existed in human history, Jesus Christ. He came to live on earth, He showed all of us a better way to live, He preached His worldview to a few, He converted a few key people, performed miracles, died and rose from the dead. As Paul Little says, our “personal subjective experience is based on objective historical fact.”
John 8:12 “Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” What happens to a believer? They have a new purpose. They exist to glorify the Kingdom of God if they really believe. A non-Christian has temporary purposes “such as family, career and money that give limited satisfaction. But these, at best, are transient and may fail with a change in circumstances” [Little, 134]. God’s purpose in our lives is eternal.
When one experiences Jesus, there is something that happens that is unexpected—joy. Some call it contentment and some call it “spiritual refreshment.” This is what allows a person to rejoice in the midst of difficult circumstances. This joy is very real and it is observable. People who have God in their hearts have the capability of appreciating what they have even if it is insignificant in worldly terms. They take what God has given them and they do a lot with it.
Peace is another factor that is real for the Christian. People today are in a chase for the next big thing, a peace they think they can find in drugs, alcohol or sex but that is not the real source of peace. The deep longing we have in our lives today is really for the idea of lasting peace. We cannot find peace by chasing the desires of this world. Peace comes from a lasting relationship with God.
Life is about choices and today it seems that people are struggling with making moral choices. Many times, the Christian may opt for going with the crowd instead of obeying God. We need power to withstand the many temptations that we face in everyday life. Jesus Christ said, “I have come that they may have life, and they might have it more abundantly” [John 10:10]. What is Jesus giving us? He is giving us His power, power to make better moral choices.
Now before we go too far, how many of you have exercised that power? How many have failed? I have failed and I know why. I am human. When I fail, I need to understand why. When I became a disciple of Christ, I knew that my humanity would let me down from time to time. This is when I need forgiveness. None of us is in this life alone. We all fall short of the glory of God and it is not the end of life when we do. Jesus is there to pick us up. God extends His grace.
Last but not least is the personality change that happens to a person who begins to know God. When we become children of God, we have a change that is noticeable. Spirit and mind begin to work and slowly the body begins to follow. We have habits and they are slow to change. That’s ok, but over time; our bodily habits will catch up with our mind and spirit and we will present a better person to the world.
Some who do not know Jesus get very hesitant when they are asked to make the commitment to become a Christian. They are not prepared to pay the price. Maybe instead of focusing on paying the price, the focus should be on receiving the reward.
Focus on the values of the Christian experience.
You have more than a fried egg over your left ear.
You have a valid Christian experience.