Earlier today in our apologetics class, Steven, a new student, shared his testimony and explained how he went from addict to servant of God while listening to a radio show in his truck. His testimony was shocking to say the least, but was it inspiring? Is yours?
A manic depressive paranoid schizophrenic, Steven claims to be a God fearing Christian with a bold love for the Lord. As a matter of fact, he’s so bold he’s scary! My wife Elizabeth couldn’t resist comparing him to the kind of unstable crazies who walk into churches and open fire on innocent congregations. Quite frankly, I too stiffened up when I first saw him. His body language alone was threatening, and I soon realized Steven wasn’t dealing with a full deck.
After hearing his testimony, I came to the conclusion his presentation was disastrous at best and that a testimony such as his would most likely scare seekers rather than drawn them closer to establishing a relationship with Jesus Christ and, His church.
We are called to share our testimony with gentleness and respect. The bible reads “But in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15)
Do you have a testimony? Have you ever written it out, shared it with someone or been asked to explain how you came to Christ? If not, I invite you to follow the guidelines that follow so you can be an inspiration to seekers rather than a distraction.
First and foremost, a testimony should be brief, five to ten minutes, unless you are asked to go into detail in which case feel free to expand as you feel led.
Secondly, your testimony should include a description of the person you were before you met Christ. It is important to share this information to create a starting point which we all have. Birth is not a good example– No one has been Christian since birth hence the term “born again”. Anyone claiming to have been saved in the womb is a liar! To be saved, to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, one must be old enough to speak and understand who Christ is, why He came and most importantly, why He died for us.
Thirdly, your testimony must include how you came to invite Jesus into your heart. Sharing the moment, the location or the actual trigger that propelled you into the light is essential when talking about your rebirth as it may inspire others to seek the Lord in a similar fashion.
Last but certainly not least, describe your life since you have accepted Christ in your heart. Explain how your relationship with God has changed you and possibly impacted those around you. Share emotions and experiences that portray the difference Christ has made in your life.
In sharing your testimony, feel free to speak passionately. Be honest and humble. Admit your faults and the fact you continue to be a sinner. No one is perfect so don’t try to be! Also, don’t exaggerate, repeat yourself or include details that are not important. Though details can add to your testimony’s credibility, it can also deter someone or contribute to their missing the point which is that you were born again through Christ Jesus and that thanks to His eternal grace, you are headed to heaven!
My testimony is a simple one but I felt compelled to share it with you never the less. Before I was born again, I led a life of sin driven by money and power. I broke all the rules and did whatever I could to get ahead in life. At the pinnacle of my meaningless life, I came face to face with God while attending a nondenominational service at Saddleback Church in California. It was my first time in a Protestant church; curiosity changed my life! I sat in the back row of the worship center not knowing what was about to happen. Listening to Lee Strobel, the guest speaker that day, I was struck by overwhelming shame then overpowered with joy as I gave my life to Christ, on December 3rd, 2000. What followed was a rugged yet fulfilling road. I quit the high paying V.P. job, walked away from a destructive life of sin and began my walk with God. Since that day, I have been actively involved in ministry, I have been blessed with a wonderful godly wife and recently, the Lord has blessed both of us with an extraordinary child we named after God’s most precious gift, His Grace. I plan on living the rest of my earthly life serving the Lord and His disciples. I am living a life more rewarding than I could ever imagine in my wildest dreams and thank God each day for all He’s blessed me with. Jesus saved me from Evil, I am a changed man and I know if I can go from the darkness into the light, so can anyone.
Never underestimate the power of your testimony. Remember God often works through people. Be certain to write your testimony so you are prepared when the Lord calls you to be a witness…
We thank you for your blessings in our lives
For your guidance, your unconditional love,
Your forgiveness and your strength.
Lord we pray you will continue to look after us
Like a father does his children,
And that you will provide all we need
To fulfill our mission in this life.
Father we pray you will provide opportunities
For us to share our Testimony,
So that we may inspire others to seek you
As we have ourselves before we knew you.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre