Listen to this devotional:
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.