Share your testimony – be a witness for what Christ Jesus has done in your life. SCARY!
Here is what Dictionary.com says about “testimony”:
1. Law. the statement or declaration of a witness under oath or affirmation, usually in court.
2. evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof.
3. open declaration or profession, as of faith.
4. Usually, testimonies. the precepts of God.
5. the Decalogue as inscribed on the two tables of the law, or the ark in which the tables were kept. Ex. 16:34; 25:16.
My testimony is about Jesus and consists of the nuts and bolts of where Jesus found me and of what the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God, have done in my life. My efforts amount to simply placing my trust in our creator and allowing Him to do the mighty work of changing my heart. And, in the end, I still am only filthy rags without the covering of the blood of Jesus Christ. He is perfect, and only He allows me access to God the Father and to eternal life in heaven with God. Beyond my salvation, even all of my “good works” will be tested in the fire. Only those whose motivations were to bring Glory to God will survive.
So where did the Lord Jesus find me? In a self-created mess. I accepted Jesus at the age of 20 just a few months after being married. And even then, after accepting God’s grace and gift of salvation, I didn’t really have much desire to attend church. More often than not, I didn’t want to go to church. It was still all about me, about my past experiences and past pain.
But God has proven His faithfulness to me over the years. He has revealed Himself time and time again. Slowly, bit by bit, my old self was being chipped away and He was helping me learn how to trust in Him. My faith grew ever so slightly each time He didn’t let me down. And in the times where I did feel unheard, or as if my prayers went unanswered, time revealed that His “no/wait” answers were just what I needed or even better, just what others needed. You see my faith was still all about me.
I have walked through some rough life lessons, after accepting Jesus as my Savior and Lord, that covered extended periods of time (years). During one trial, God seemed absent; the dark night of my soul. I hope to never walk through another trial like that. However, hindsight has revealed a treasure of knowledge from that time that only God could provide. It awakened and opened my spiritual eyes so that I now know how to look for spiritual things not just physical circumstances. During a second extended trial, God clearly was carrying me. He was so close I could feel Him.
The importance of reading, memorizing, and learning God’s word is unspeakable. God uses His word to pick up those broken pieces of our lives and reform them into a new and more beautiful vessel for His use. (WHAT? NOT about me?)
And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
(Jeremiah 18:4 ESV)
His Word is living and active. His promises are our strength in times of trial. His truth is the light unto our path, without which I stumble and fall over the landmines and bitter roots of which this world consists.
… and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17 ESV)
His commands are my gifts of love back to Him; obedience is better than sacrifice. The poet William Cowper, a friend of John Newton’s, wrote:
To see the Law by Christ fulfilled,
and hear his pardoning voice,
changes a slave into a child
and duty into choice.
Surrender is inevitable if you remain in Him. It becomes not an obedience to a command but a desire of your heart. A choice. Now I am still striving hard after God. The words “Press on.” mean a great deal to me. Success has a new definition. I no longer strive to serve myself. God glorified is my goal.
Lord, I am an unworthy servant whom You call a saint, and I surrender this day to Your use and Your service. Use me Lord. Amen.