Again, as we often find him, Paul is standing in front of a crowd of people fighting to be heard. He’s made his way back to Jerusalem only to find himself being arrested on fabricated charges. But Paul knew he would be arrested, he knows that eventually he will be killed for the cause of Christ, yet he doesn’t look at his arrest as a bad thing, instead Paul uses this opportunity to testify to the saving power of Jesus Christ.
: something that someone says especially in a court of law while formally promising to tell the truth
: proof or evidence that something exists or is true
Above you will find the definition of the word “testimony,” as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Notice the foundational principles of a testimony:
- Something someone says (or writes down)
- Proof or evidence that something is true
“Evidence that something is true…” The testimony of our life should be evidence that something, or I would add, someone is true. With there being so much debate about the existence of God, our lives should be lived in such a way that the existence of God would be assumed. Meaning: Who we were, is not who we are; and who we are, is only due to the evidence of God’s grace in our lives.
Think about this question: When was the last time you shared your testimony?
I don’t mean standing up in front of your church on a special occasion. I mean, sitting down with another person and sharing with them what Christ has done in your life. Your testimony shouldn’t be relegated to that one time when you were driving home from church with your parents when you were six. That’s not a bad place to start, and for many of us, that’s the truth of your story, but your testimony is constantly being written. Peter helps to remind us that we should always be ready to share our testimony:
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Everyone Has a Testimony
Before we begin there’s something you should know: Everyone, everywhere, at any given time, has a testimony. Growing up in the church, and being involved in full time ministry, I hear people say either,”I don’t have one,” or “my testimony is boring.” Folks, there’s nothing boring about the grace of God penetrating even the tiniest of hearts. Know this, everyone has a testimony! Whether you’re testifying that your life is wreck and you have no need of God; or you’re sharing about the saving grace of God, trust me, you’re testifying to something.
Three different times in the book of Acts we find Paul giving his testimony. Each time he shares it a little differently, but every time he includes three distinct points.
- (22:1-6) Before: Paul’s life before Christ
- (22:7-16) During: Paul testimony of what happened
- (22:17-23) After: How life has been different now
This structure is a very simple and easy to get you started in writing down your testimony. Yes, writing down your testimony!
I want to challenge you this week to write out your testimony. This is an incredible practice that will only help you in sharing your faith. It also may serve as a catalyst to remind you of your salvation. I tell people all the time, “don’t ever forget what Christ saved you from.” If we don’t forget what Christ saved us from, we’ll always remember His wonderful gift of grace.
To help you get started, here’s three questions that may help:
- What was your life like before you encountered Jesus?
- How did you meet Jesus?
- What difference has following Jesus made in your life?
For more information, and a great resource, here’s an article on the Intervarsity Website entitled, “30 Minutes to a Shareable Testimony.”