Christian Testimonies: The Stories of Our Lives
Christian testimonies are the stories told by believers about what God has done and is doing in their lives. Today, we often think of the word "testimonial," in which people offer their personal experiences with a product. In this case, the encounter being described is with a person-the person of God in Jesus Christ.
Christian Testimonies: Eyewitness Accounts
Testimonies are words delivered in a court of law, usually by a witness to an event. In the case of the Christian testimony, we have as our first piece of evidence the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These four men were eyewitnesses to the life and work of Jesus Christ. Notice that each of these men include details not exactly matched by the others. That's because each of them saw Jesus Christ from a slightly different angle-the angle known as perspective. Because each of us is created by God as a unique individual, each of us will have a distinct perspective on the events of our lives and the people we encounter in them.
Consider for a moment a traffic accident, witnessed by four people standing on different corners. Each of these eyewitnesses will have seen the same event, but from a slightly different angle. Therefore, each of them will be telling the truth when they testify, but each one's story will be distinct from the others.
Christian Testimonies: Why They Matter
Christian testimonies can be viewed with skepticism by doubters. Sadly, that is often with good reason. Christians are people, and people are not perfect. All too often, people say they are Christians when they are not. Testimonies from these people often ring hollow or are proven false over time. But because they are "out there" for all to see, they can make it harder for the genuine testimony to find acceptance.
Why do Christian stories and testimony matter? Your experience with God as a believer is exactly that-your experience with God! Surely your life has been enhanced by the advice or true life story of another person. We are unique, but we have the common bond of being created by the same God. Therefore, even if we've stuffed different programs in along the way, we all have basically the same operating system! We are all bodies made by God.
My experience with God happens within my lifetime. It happens only once, to me. God has put me here, in this place and time, in order to tell others about what He has done and is doing in my life. As a Christian, do you really grasp this? Whatever you're going through, whether it's joyful or painful, is allowed into your life by a loving God, whose goal for you is to become like His Son, Jesus Christ.
Because God wants to transform you, He allowed your life to follow the path it did before you became a believer in order that you would recognize His work at some point along the way. Now, seeing it, you are responsible to tell others what He has done. That is your Christian testimony! Maybe you've been a Christian for an hour, a day, or for years. What is He doing in your life now? That is your Christian testimony. You are an eyewitness to the works of Jesus Christ in your life.
Christian Testimonies: What the Bible Says
What does the Bible say about our Christian testimonies? Shortly before Christ delivered His Great Commission to His followers (Matthew 28:19-20), Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying that the cup of suffering might be taken from Him. Naturally, He desired that there might be another way for us to be rescued from the penalty of sin. But supernaturally, because He was both God and man, His will was ready to be completely submitted to that of the Father.
While He was there, we read that Peter boldly proclaimed he would never desert or betray his master! How Jesus must have loved Peter, for He knew in advance what Peter would do, and that he would, indeed, betray Jesus. Notice in Matthew 26, when Peter was accused of being a follower of Christ, the first thing he did was to deny it.
Where is your heart today? Are you a believer in Christ? Are you a follower of Christ? Have you been afraid to admit it because you might be perceived as "weird" by your friends or family? Be careful that you don't regret that distancing, as Peter did just moments later.
Has Christ done a work in your life? Then tell someone! It may be just exactly what they need to hear, to give them faith that God can work in their life, too! He doesn't need our help reaching people. However, He does desire it-and that is the greatest Christian testimony of all. God wants you and me to partner with Him in the work He is doing! Won't you tell someone today? Let your life be your Christian testimony.
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