So my friends – what’s your testimony? Don’t say “I really don’t have one,” because you do! All Christians have a testimony – a time when God picked you up out of the mud and mire; or strengthened you when you were feeling beat upon by someone.
Easter was drawing near in 2006, and one day our phone rang and it was our pastor, and he wanted to talk to me. What on earth for? I was currently leading a women’s Bible study – had I done something wrong in my group? Did I offend someone somehow? Did I teach something contradictory to Scripture? The thoughts were swirling and twirling…
His question startled me. He stated on Easter Sunday they were going to do some short skits, and after that he wanted me to share my testimony in front of the congregation!
Whoa, baby!!! Yes, I had spoken in front of women’s groups, and Gary and I had participated on a panel at our previous church in Washington (Sharing “Shadowlands”), but I’d never stood in front of the whole congregation before!
Yet interestingly enough (no coincidences with God), I had just finished reading the biography of Luis Palau, where he stated it had always been his dream to do great things for the Lord, and that meant speaking up when called upon.
That was also my desire, so I told the pastor I’d be happy to.
As I watched all the skits on the day of the rehearsal, I was floored at how powerful they were. They included 1) Jesus forgiving the thief on the cross; 2) a young man talking of how he always felt so alone; 3) a woman grieving because her husband had just walked out on her; and 4) a young woman who all of a sudden finds out she’s pregnant.
After that the pastor introduced me, and as I stood up to give my testimony at the rehearsal I was so nervous that I asked the pastor if I could just read it word-for-word that particular evening. He agreed, but my hands were literally shaking so bad that I couldn’t read my paper!
The day arrived, and I was sitting up front between the senior and associate pastors. I felt myself starting to lose control a bit, yet just started praying, and knew the pastors were praying, as well.
When it was time the pastor introduced me, and I began to speak. It was a little uncomfortable that first service, as I knew most of the people there. A lot of them hadn’t known about all the stupid mistakes I had made during the years. Yet it turned out well, and after the service many people came up and thanked me for sharing.
Then the second service started, and as before I was sitting between the 2 pastors. However my feelings this time were totally different. I felt flat! I was having trouble concentrating, and found myself thinking, Can I do this again?
Yet the Lord is truly amazing. As I stood, all of a sudden I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit giving me words – and they came out with force! The service was packed, and as I spoke I found myself staring eye-to-eye with a couple people I didn’t know – were some of my words for them?
After the service an altar call was given and one middle-aged man I didn’t recognize came down out of his seat and moved directly towards me. He reached out his hand and thanked me for sharing, and said he wanted to give his life to Jesus – wow!
So in my closing let me ask you again: What’s your testimony? Have you gone through a difficult divorce, gotten pregnant out of wedlock, been addicted to drugs or alcohol?
How about being a liar or a cheat? Have you stolen things in the past? Have you lost a loved one that you had a hard time recovering from? Have you ever had those times when you felt so alone that you thought of taking your own life?
People need to hear from you! Don’t be ashamed – Jesus has washed you clean.
I remember one time listening to a gal say she had no testimony as she’d been raised in a good Christian home by good Christian parents. She had stayed out of trouble at school, and never had experimented with all the gunk that’s out there.
You think that’s not a testimony? What about when you were made fun of by your peers as you declined all the offers to do the “wrong stuff?” Let me tell you, the testimony of accepting Jesus into your heart at a young age, and staying close to Him through the years is probably one of the most amazing testimonies you can have. Let people hear from you!