I am often amazed at God's ability to bring several unrelated moments together to get us to move forward with His plans. Over the past few weeks, the Lord has been building a thought in my mind and has used several other people and situations to confirm the path forward.
The idea that has been stirring in my heart is our need to be able to offer a testimony of what the Lord has done and is doing in our lives. Please allow me to share a few of the things that God has been using to direct my thoughts on this topic.
Last week when I shared about choosing hymns to sing at church, I was also reminded of the times where we would have an opportunity to share what God was up to. It used to be a normal part of my church life to have times set aside for the congregation to offer a testimony of what God was up to in the lives of His people. Back then I was pretty intimidated about speaking in public so I did a lot of listening. It encouraged my heart to hear the joys and struggles, the hurt and help, or just a verse of blessing to think on. I wonder why so many churches have abandoned the practice.
Another thing that pushed me towards the idea of sharing a testimony was the sharing time at the Upper School Retreat. Each year on the last evening, we gather at the fire pit for a bonfire and sharing time. The students are given an opportunity to share whatever is on their hearts and mind. Sometimes they share a word of thanks and appreciation for others. Sometimes we hear a challenge. In the past, students have even shared about the hurts and struggles that they face. It is a great blessing to hear them sharing about some of the things that they are thinking about.
The final thing to mention is a conversation that I had with another teacher. We talked about how they also miss the days when sharing a testimony of God's works was a normal thing. As we discussed this issue it became very clear to me that we could easily begin to bring the practice back into our circles.
In an attempt to encourage you concerning your testimony, I would like to offer a few thoughts.
In John 4 we see an amazing picture of the power of a testimony.
And many of the Samaritans in that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His own word.
Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not only because of what you said, but now we have heard Him ourselves and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
There are at least 2 types of testimony. One is your salvation story, the other is to tell of what God has been doing lately. Both are valid and needed.
Psalm 107:2 - Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.
Daniel 4:2 - I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God has performed towards me.
A few practical tips when sharing your salvation testimony:
Pray about what needs to be said
Share about what your life was like before Christ
Explain your conversion story, being as clear about the Gospel as possible
Tell of your life after accepting Christ
In all of that, keep your audience in mind
Our lives should be marked with a desire to share all the works that we see God doing.
Acts 4:20 - For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
You should be ready to share at a moment's notice.
I Peter 3:15 - Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you for a reason of the hope that is in you.
I am looking forward to seeing how God can use the testimonies of His work to encourage and build up others in our community.
Dr. Dan - ICSB Chaplain