We've examined the elements of faith and prayer in relation to our witness over the last couple of weeks. This week, we turn to the 3rd crucial element to our witness. When combined with the previous two, we have the ability to win thousands of people to the Lord, shake the world, both literally and figuratively, and see our witness spread into every area of our culture and lives. What is that third element? Find out below
Devoted To Our Testimony
There is nothing more effective in reaching and building up others than a personal testimony. Coupled with faith and prayer, our testimony of Jesus Christ and what He has done for us can reach into the hearts and minds of every individual we encounter in this world and make a difference. However, in order to see our testimony succeed in reaching those souls, we must develop it; and our development of our testimony starts with a devotion to what created it.
At the time of the writing of 2 Timothy, Paul doesn't have much time left. He is in prison awaiting his death sentence at the hands of the evil emperor Nero. In his last days, he reached out to his loyal follower, Timothy, to encourage him in continuing the mission Paul had begun. Not long into this letter, Paul addresses the power and importance of devotion to a testimony:
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (2 Timothy 1:8).
Classics Don't Wear Out
In this scripture, we see the gravity of a testimony. It is not something we are to be ashamed of, which implies that it is not all that glamorous upon first inspection. If Paul is having to encourage Timothy, a young man who probably has some level of self-consciousness, to embrace something others might be ashamed of, we probably get an image of an old keepsake our father gave us. It doesn't look all that great and showy on the surface, but there is a lot of value behind it.
We see this analogy further cemented by the second half of the scripture. Paul had to remind Timothy that he should embrace the afflictions that came with the testimony of the gospel. Our father's gift may have been an old car that he and his father rebuilt. It may not have been as flashy as the new models or have all the technology rapped up into it like today's models, but it was built to last and the engine that he and his father had put under the hood was one that could outperform any standard model. We'd have to endure the funny looks of our peers when we drove it onto the school lot, but we'd also have a vehicle that, if kept up like before, would last to the next generation as well.
Testimony is the classic car of the witnessing world. It may not have the glitz and glamor of HD cameras, motion lights and smoke machines, but it has greater depth and a richer texture than they could ever present. It may not be as #-able as a Social Media Campaign, but it can create more conversations than any Social Platform. It may not be as great a photo-op as a food drive, but it can do more for our community than the best laid plans of the church. Like the classic car, it just needs some attention paid to it.
Keep Up With Your Testimony
When was the last time we revisited where Jesus brought us from? Can we recall all of what Christ delivered us out of? What was the feeling of that deliverance like? Where did it happen? Who was there when it happened? What did we immediately remove ourselves from and what did we still have to work on and allow Christ to further deliver us so as to add to the testimony? All of these questions were answered in the life of Paul and shared with sinners and saints alike on a regular basis. Paul was devoted to keeping track of what God had done for him and brought him through, and he was happy to share it with everyone he came in contact with along the way.
Each one of his epistles is a part of his testimony. The history of his early missions in Acts both work as a testimony and showcase him sharing his testimony along the way. This was a man who wrapped his life in his testimony. The good and the bad that came his way as a result of his salvation was laid bare before everyone. He didn't hold back in the proclamation of his trials, but even in that he used it as a testimony. If he could give glory to God while being beaten, reviled and imprisoned, so could those he reached for.
If we will look back to what God has done in our lives and devote time to piecing those events together to share with others we come in contact with, we'll see that we have the greatest resource available to us as witnesses for the Kingdom of God. Will we always be successful with our testimony? No, and we'll examine that next time. However, through devotion the testimony of Christ Jesus and His work in and through us, we'll have all the message we need to reach a lost and dying world.
We want to hear from you
Share par of your testimony in the comments below. Has God brought you through something in your life? Encourage us and others by spreading your testimony and see how that helps to open doors in your own life as a result to reach for the lost.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.