Testimony is something that is very vital and important in Christendom to stir up the faith of someone in the Church. We thank God for the commencement of yet another Calendar Month and another wonderful time to appreciate God for His Faithfulness over our life.
What then is a Testimony?
A testimony is simply honouring the Lord by bearing open witness to others about His wonderful works in your own life to serve as encouragement to as many that are listening to you.
The Lord commends sharing testimonies throughout His Word, particularly in the book of Psalms. We continually read of the Psalmist promising to tell of the Greatness of the Lord “in the midst of the congregation.” Often, he asks the Lord to deliver him so that he can testify of God’s Salvation. So many of the Psalms exemplify this, but here are just a few examples: Psalm 22:22-24; 30; 32; 34; 71:14-24. In the New Testament as well, the Gospels and the Book of Acts provide us with a number of examples of men and women who testify about what Jesus had done for them: John 4:28-30; 9:8-25; Acts 4:13-22, Acts 22:1-21, etc. The saints in Revelation 12:10-11 are said to have overcome Satan “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Whatever the exact nature of this testimony, one thing that is sure that we know is that they were publicly identifying with Jesus Christ despite the opposition of Satan…Glory be to God!
One Principle that emerges across the pages of Scriptures is that one of God’s designs in saving us is that we will in turn honour Him by sharing our testimony with others around us.
Testimonies make Gospel’s Truth take on flesh and blood status. It is one thing to hear a sermon on God’s grace in a Church; it is quite another thing to hear a brother or sister speak personally of his or her experience of God’s Grace in his or her life. Testimonies invigorate and excite us as we are reminded that God is alive and at work always in our midst – no matter the circumstance.
The one giving the Testimony is obeying the Lord by “telling about His greatness in the midst of the congregation.” His soul also receives the benefit of reflecting slowly and intentionally on God’s hand of Grace on his life from his earliest days until the moment such Testimony was shared openly. And to the believers hearing the Testimony; it is their open way of obeying the Lord by allowing their brother to testify to the Lord’s Grace and Goodness. They are serving their brother or sister by patiently and attentively listening and offering encouragement. These listeners… who are in turn stirred to Praise the Lord for his work in the life of the speaker, and are moved to reflect on God’s work in their own lives as well. In essence, Testimony has a beneficial factor to both the Giver and the Listener of the Testimony!
Aside all the aforementioned benefits inherent in the sharing of testimonies; it also serves to bind the church together, as we open up our lives to one another rather than keeping one another at a distance. To an unbeliever hearing/listening to such a testimony; they are of course pointed to Jesus Christ as the Living Saviour of sinners.
To link the word “Christian” to the word “testimony” is to narrow the focus of the testimony and who can give it. Only a Christian can give a “Christian testimony”. A Christian is one who has received forgiveness for sin by trusting alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ for that forgiveness always in his or her life.
A Christian testimony is given when Christians relate how we came to know the God of the Bible through the moving of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Most commonly, we are sharing how we became Christians by God’s Miraculous intervention and work in our lives through specific events. Often we can only see that in hindsight, but sharing that experience is vital. Also, when giving this testimony, sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is always a necessity. Though we can include specific information about how we came to accept Christ as Saviour, those details should not be the focus of the testimony. The focus should be about the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
A Christian testimony should not end with the conversion experience, but should also include the ways in which the Lord has worked in our lives to sanctify us for His service. As an example, a testimony could include how He brought us through a difficult time in our life (such as a loss or some sort or a severe illness) and built our faith in Him through that experience. We should also be able to describe the continual process by which the Spirit who now indwells in us leads, guides, moulds and shapes us into mature Christians. Again, the focus should be on the Lord and His faithfulness, and should include at least one verse that speaks of that faithfulness
In this Month of September 2016, kindly rejoice because God is putting “TESTIMONIES” in the mouth of someone as from now on in Jesus Mighty Name!