Mini Study: The Power of a Testimony

Group Hug

There are a lot of weight loss products available but they all seem to use the same advertisement method: show a before and after picture, have someone give a testimonial, give credit to the product, encourage the person that they can do it too. As an example: My name is David, I lost over 40 pounds in 4 months by doing a modified Dukan Diet, you can lose unwanted weight too. If my goal is to have people around me lose weight I am not going to wait for them to approach me, they may not even know I lost weight. I am going to share my testimony with them. It will point back to the product as being legitimate as well as raising their expectation, because if it worked for me it can work for them.

When I was growing up my father had many legitimate hurts that came from Christians and the church. He was fine with me going to church and encouraged positive morals; however, he didn’t have much else good to say. The few times I tried talking about church and Jesus it would end in him expressing his frustration. I found the only way I could talk about Jesus with him is if I told him a testimony.

I define Testimony to mean a story about what Jesus has done in my life. It could be about his death, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement and how that has affected me. It could also be about God telling me He loves me. Either way, it is a story about me and Jesus. It is my experience.

I have always had a desire for people around me to come to know Jesus. I didn’t know how to introduce them to Jesus. When I was in high school one of my pastors said, “Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words.” The only problem is that the bible doesn’t say that. The bible says to use words. I didn’t feel comfortable telling people that Jesus loved them. I also don’t recall it ever ending well when other people did.

A friend of mine often told people that Jesus loved them. He would say, “Jesus loves you so much.” Somehow this would often turn into a heated argument. I would then attempt to intervene in order to salvage something from the conversation. My friend loved people and did what he thought was the best way to share Jesus with people, basically arguing with them about the gospel.

I had decided when I was younger that the best thing to do was to invite someone to church in hopes that the preacher gave an alter call. I had a bookmark in my bible outlining how to lead someone to Jesus just in case I had the opportunity. It was double-sided with about eight verses on each side. I didn’t have an opportunity to use it.

God has recently begun to change my view of evangelism. This was partially started through revelation about a verse I heard growing up. The verse was told to me out of context:

Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. – Romans 10:17

I was told the “word of Christ” is the Bible and to increase my faith I needed to read it. While you can increase your faith reading the Bible, this verse is talking about people receiving the word about Christ and His Kingdom. That is why verse 14 says, “How will they hear without a preacher?”

Romans 10:17 is saying that people will be able to have faith that they can respond to by hearing about Jesus. That is the testimony of Jesus. We have the ability to increase people’s faith. I believe it is through testimonies. This is a new revelation for me.

I work with Juvenile offenders and have been working with youth for over 15 years, primarily in a volunteer capacity. I had high hopes of being able to share Jesus with the Youth I am working with; the only problem is that I am not supposed to share my faith unless asked. I choose to honor the authority at work and have waited for the youth to bring the topic up before sharing anything about Jesus. This doesn’t happen very often.

Around the beginning of the year I realized that I had a number of co-workers that didn’t have faith in Jesus and some that needed their faith increased. We often talk about what was happening in our lives. I chose to start sharing about what Jesus was doing in my life, the same as I did with my dad growing up. I found people were very interested in what I had to say and their faith was increased. As a result I continued to share and found more opportunities to share with people.

I still had a question about what does sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom look like in the Bible. I felt God put two passages of scripture in my mind as I was driving to work last week. One is about the demoniac in Mark 5 and the other is the woman at the well in John 4.

In Mark 5 Jesus delivers a demon possessed man. The man then attempts to follow Jesus. Picking up in verse 19 Jesus then tells him:

Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed. – Mark 5:19-20

In John 4 a woman is at a well and Jesus has a word of knowledge about her life which He shares with her in verse 28:

So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” They went out of the city, and were coming to Him. – John 4:28-30

Both of these examples are testimonies about what Jesus has done in their lives. For the demoniac there was an obvious outward change, not so much for the woman at the well. She had five husbands and was living with a man who was not her husband. The demoniac had an amazing testimony of being delivered. The woman at the well had a testimony of Jesus having a word of knowledge about her life. Most people’s testimonies fall somewhere in the middle. Both testimonies were effective. People believed in Jesus.

What is also great is the results aren’t up to us. Sometimes we are planting seeds, other times we are watering, God is the one who causes the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6).

Why a testimony

A testimony declares what God has done. It gives glory to God. It raises people’s faith level. A testimony says, “God did this for me, He can do it for you.” It isn’t just effective with people who aren’t followers of Jesus. Several times a month I go on YouTube and watch videos of people giving testimonies. I love watching videos of a man named Todd White. I relate to the videos because people don’t always get healed when he prays for them. His goal is for them to know the love of Jesus. In most situations he shares his testimony with people. This raises their faith level. The best part is that people are getting to know Jesus as a result. I get to sit down at my computer and have my faith increased just by watching the videos and listening to the testimonies.

Encouragement

You and I have testimonies that have the ability to change people’s lives. Testimonies can be used to share the gospel. We can also use them to raise one another’s faith level. I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to show you 1 person this week who you can share a testimony with. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to “encourage one another and build up one another.” One way we can do this is through testimonies.

Thanks for reading my post! Be blessed!

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