Testimony Time

Friday, July 26, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Sing Praise To God Who Reigns Above"1 (Lyrics)

Acts 23:11 – The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome." (NIV)

It's been too long a time since I have heard a great testimony of faith. Presbyterians tend to be introverted, academic people, so getting church members to testify is like trying to draw blood from a stone. It's not that these people have no faith; it's just that the age-old Calvinism inside their souls obstructs them from "showing off" about their personally-held beliefs.

There are some Presbyterians, though, who could give their testimony at the drop of a hat. They are very confident about their beliefs, but sometimes their testimony lacks real credibility because vanity and assertiveness comes through. As extroverts, they do not see this in themselves, but those who hear and see them observe these things.

Perhaps testimonies are best expressed when they are situational and not contrived. In Paul's case, from what we read in Acts 23, he testified to his faith in Christ because he was emboldened by the Holy Spirit to speak in a largely hostile situation. His life was on the line, and he could have been torn to pieces by an angry, religiously-fanatical gathering. Paul used the event to boldly speak of his faith in Christ's resurrection, without boasting or vanity. It was a crucial moment to show his genuine Christianity to people, especially those who may have known and admired him before he actually became a follower of Christ.

I guess that what I'm trying to write is that God gives us opportunities to testify about our faith in the experiences and situations that we find ourselves in daily. Today, whether we are introverts or extroverts, there may come a special moment where positively expressing our beliefs to another person may be crucial in their lives. Let's all hope and pray that when it comes, we will be ready.

Questions for personal reflection:

When was the last time when I heard someone give an effective Christian testimony? When was the last time when I made my faith in Christ known to someone else?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You came into our lives through the words and testimony of another person. Our faith was transmitted to us through the effective witnessing of other people, whether they were family, friends, preachers, or teachers. Remind us that we are also called to share our faith and testimony with other people. Help us not to shy away from those precious and crucial moments in our lives that will effectively, positively, and lastingly challenge and change other people. In Your holy name, may we continue to watch and pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    John – a good word!

    Well said and a huge Amen!!!!

    Thank you John, your words give me a timely PUSH. Blessings.

    A very good message badly needed.
    More than ever we must help others see the Light.
    Before it is too late.
    Dead on as always.

    Hello John. I find Anglicans are no better when asked to share what the Lord has be doing in their lives. That is too personal, they say. Yes, personal, but by no means private. I was there once, until my “spritiual ophthalmologist” opened my eyes years ago.
    Continued blessings on your days.

    John my very good fellow,
    You have once more hit the nail squarely on the head. That is why it is good to visit the evangelicals at times and hear people confessing their faith to one another. But we should not get away without be living testimonies of God’s work in our lives… that old “sermon in shoes”, as it were.
    But who knows a breakthrough might suddenly come. Sometimes a light surprises.

    Dear Mr. Stuart:
    Thank you for your words of encouragement. I will be giving my testimony this fall at church. The reason for this is the Lord’s leading. After several operations on a broken leg and months away from home and many more months of therapy, God has been my steadfast companion through all of this. I am actually eternally grateful for this break as it has been positive in so many different ways in my life.
    Please keep encouraging all of us out here.

    Good day Mr. Stuart
    I so agree with what you wrote. Our Presbyterian Churches in Trinidad don’t allow people to do a testimony.
    I remembered for Christian Education Sunday I did the service and the Minister insulted me in front of the congregation because I said to them we need to have testimonies and I gave one.
    So it is very sad we have d arrogant ministers that don’t encourage but discourage. Then we complain that the membership is declining.
    Anyway please continue writing your inspiring devotion and you can write a testimony to me anytime. I feel it is a blessing to all.
    God Bless,

    Dear John Stuart,
    Thank you for your devotional. You have challenged me, and reminded me of 2 Timothy 4:2 +: “Preach the Word: be prepared in season and out of season; Correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction….”
    And I suppose you mean by ‘testimony” a witnessing that is even more personal about one’s self in relation to what the Lord has done in one’s (my) personal life. May God empower and push all of us Christians to be effective witnesses of what the Lord has done for us.
    When was the last time when I heard someone give an effective Christian testimony? When was the last time when I made my faith in Christ known to someone else?
    Keep writing.

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