Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Value of a Spoken Testimony

They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11 NIV).

A strong outspoken witness for the Lord Jesus Christ will box you into a corner and make you put up or shut up.  That’s why you ought to do it.  That’s why you should erect a neon sign in your front yard declaring that “Jesus is Lord in this house.”  You should put a Bible on your desk at work and put the topic of Jesus in your conversations.  Pray in restaurants before meals, speak to the server about Christ, and witness to your colleagues at work.

Live and speak in such a way that when someone wants to attack Jesus Christ and they can’t lay hands on Him, they start looking for you instead.  (Acts 5:41 comes to mind).

In declaring yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, you ought to remove the safety harness and throw yourself totally into God’s Hands.

Quit playing it so safe.

Tell people you are a believer and that it’s the best decision you’ve ever made.  Keep doing it and then watch what happens.  It might be painful, so be strong.

What a resounding testimony will do for you:

1.  It will identify Jesus Christ as the Master of your life and everything of any value to you.  “Let the redeemed of the Lord SAY SO” (Psalms 107:2).

2.  It will force you to put up or shut up.  This kind of crisis can be the best thing that ever happened to you. Come through it victoriously and you will grow a mile overnight. Back away from it and you will be years in recovering.

You need to know that the process will be painful. You spoke your testimony in a moment of sweet giddiness when the Lord seemed so near and all your burdens had been lifted, and now, you’ve been called on to live up to your faith or admit you are a hypocrite.  And hasn’t the world seen enough hypocrites?  Let’s not give them any more.

3.  It will get the attention of the watching world.  Outsiders and onlookers – people who do not know the Lord, those who may know the Lord but have never been challenged, and those seeking the Lord and unsure where to find Him – will watch to see if things are as you said, if the Lord can do what you claimed.  They are deciding if this God is one they ought to be paying attention to.

You are exhibit A.

4) It will dare the enemy to do his worst.  You are throwing down the gauntlet to him, daring him to test you.  This is what baptism was intended to be, a public announcement to the world – to the righteous and to the enemies of righteousness – that this one is publicly declaring for Jesus. Until that moment, you were hiding in the shadows, a secret follower of Jesus. But no more. You are donning the uniform and carrying out His orders.

You have just painted a target on your own back.

That, I expect, is the reason most of us live for Him timidly, hide in the back recesses of the church, and keep our faith to ourselves.  We hope that the Lord notices and the devil doesn’t.

5) Going all out in your witness for Christ will honor the Lord.  The Lord loves it when His people stand up and claim ownership by Him. He particularly likes it when they back up their words by living like they mean every word of it.  (Mark 8:8 and Hebrews 11:16 come to mind).

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