When Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team is ministering in Word and Song, their Fire Choir will sing several songs and then lead the Congregation in singing.   Since that isn't possible, please click here and may you be blessed by singing along with "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus."

What is My Testimony?  
Revelation 12:11 

Good Morning from the Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team to all who are listening to or reading this message.   What a glorious day to worship God!  

Last week we talked about the “Great Commission” and how many Christians lack the will, fortitude and sense of urgency to actually follow Jesus’ orders; instead, they are content to live out the “great omission.”   We also mentioned that a survey several years ago found that 95% of Southern Baptist Convention Christians, those who are known for evangelizing, have never shared their testimony one on one.  They have invited people to church but not shared their testimony.  And if this is true for them, how much more so for other denominations?  So, our message today is titled  “What is My Testimony?” 

Our Bible reading comes from the New Testament Book of Revelation, Chapter 12 verse11 from the Amplified Bible Translation which says: “And they overcame and conquered him [Satan] because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.” 

Let’s Pray:
Heavenly Father, as Christians, we are in “Full-Time” Christian service.  Some of us are called to minister in other nations.  Some of us are called to minister in our homes, in our churches, in our schools and workplaces, and in our communities. 

Father, help us to see our daily activities as providing opportunities to share our personal testimonies with others so that they might be drawn to You through our witness.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen 

What does our testimony of Jesus look like? Is it clothed in the latest the world has to offer?  Is it under-dressed? 

The story is told of a rather pompous-looking deacon who was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. “Why do people call me a Christian?” the man asked. After a moment’s pause, one youngster said, “Maybe it’s because they don’t know you.” 

We laugh but that is a good point.  What do our lives say about our testimony of Jesus?  And we can just answer that to ourselves! 

But this does bring up some basic questions this morning. 

What is a testimony?  Do I have one?  If so, why should I share it?  

A testimony is a  declaration or proof of our faith in Christ. It shows how God has been at work in our lives. It essentially gives a story of our relationship and a confession of His saving Grace.  It is a form of praise and honor to Christ.  

Every Christian has a personal testimony of what God has done inus; it’s sharing how we came to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and how God has worked in our lives.  

Sharing our personal testimony with others is a must-do for all Christians.  A testimony can be likened to a bridge that God uses to draw people to Him. It’s a powerful tool that can plant seeds in people to lead to their salvation, deliverance, encouragement, or more. 

There are many people in our communities and surrounding areas that need to hear about the Love of God. 

• There are people right now at the funeral homes around us that need comfort, hope, and Jesus.
• There are people in the hospitals around us that need to know God cares, and loves them, and can heal them.
• There are people in the jails that need to know that they can be set free spiritually from what has them ensnared.
• There are homes that are being destroyed by drugs, alcohol, immorality, abuse and hopelessness.
• There are people around us who think that life is no longer worth living and want to destroy the life God has given them. 

A recent study states that only 10% of those who make decisions to follow Christ do so in a church service.  This shows us the need for our personal testimony throughout our daily lives.  So, why don’t Christians tell others about Jesus Christ? 

Some say it is because of apathy; Christians don’t care.  It’s more probable Christians really do care but they lack confidence in their ability; most feel they don’t know how to share their faith.  Although most Christians want to be effective witnesses, they feel inadequate, intimidated, or even fearful about sharing their faith, especially to someone who does not have a Christian background. 

But consider:
• Most people are not football, basketball, or baseball experts, yet that does not keep them from sharing their passion for the sport.
• Most people are not racing experts, but that does not keep them from sharing their passion for power cars.
• Most people are not fashion experts, but they still share their passion for clothing and shopping.
• Most people are not experts in interior decorating, but they still share their passion for home décor. 

So, we don’t need to be a Bible theologian to share our faith; all we need is a passion for Christ.  People can debate the validity of Scripture or argue the existence of God, but no one can deny our personal experiences with God. If we tell someone how God worked a miracle in our life, how He blessed us, transformed us, lifted and encouraged us, or perhaps even broke and then healed us, no one can argue or debate it. When we share our Christian testimony, we go beyond the field of knowledge into the realm of relationship with God. 

In Dr. Larry Gilbert’s book “Team Evangelism, How to Influence Your Loved Ones for Christ When You Don’t Have the Gift of Evangelism,” he shares the following points about personal testimonies. 

“Every Christian has a personal testimony of what God has done for them.  One testimony may not be as dramatic as another, but all Christians have a personal testimony. 

Besides your salvation experience, your testimony may include what God has done for you since you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior. 

Each of us can tell of special occasions when God has answered a prayer, met a need or brought us through a difficult time. We may tell of how God has changed our lives. 

Your testimony could include your renewed commitment to Christ. It is not only about your salvation experience. 

You might want to tell others about what happened when you really got serious and decided to do things God’s way or when you started letting His Word become your guide for daily living. 

You may not think you are really giving a testimony because what you are saying is not ‘spiritual enough.’  You may believe that you must be filled with emotion and use just the right words coming from the pages of Scripture to be giving a testimony. But this is not so. 

In fact, sometimes we make our testimonies so spiritual and scriptural that our Christian language does not relate to our friend who doesn’t know Christ. 

Remember, your friend may not have been going to church for years and may have a totally different vocabulary. Being too spiritual can scare them off. 

In any case, let the Holy Spirit guide you to share whatever you feel will demonstrate the love and grace of God. Tell your friend why you have faith in God.  That is your personal testimony.” End quote (Source:} 

In her internet article, “How to Write Your Testimony,” Mary Fairchild shares the following tips. 

“Stick to the point. Your conversion and new life in Christ should be the main points. 

Be specific. Include events, genuine feelings, and personal insights that clarify your main point. Make your testimony tangible and relevant so others can relate to it. 

Be current. Tell what's happening in your life with God right now, today. 

Be honest. Don't exaggerate or dramatize your story. The simple, straightforward truth of what God has done in your life is all the Holy Spirit needs to convict others and convince them of God's love and grace. 

Here are five steps that explain how to write your testimony. They apply to both long and short, written and spoken testimonies. Whether you're planning to write down your full, detailed testimony or prepare a quick 2-minute version for a short-term mission trip, these steps will help you tell others with sincerity, impact, and clarity, what God has done in your life. 

1 - Realize Your Testimony Is Powerful
First and foremost, remember, there is power in our testimony. Remember that today’s scripture says we overcome our enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. 

2 - Study an Example in the Bible
Read Acts 26. Here the Apostle Paul gives his personal testimony before King Agrippa. He tells about his life before his conversion on the road to Damascus when he persecuted the followers of the Way. Next, Paul describes in detail his miraculous encounter with Jesus and his calling to serve Christ as an apostle. Then he goes on to tell of his new life after turning to God. 

3 - Spend Time in Preparation and Prayer
Here are a few things to consider before we start writing our testimony: Think about our life before we met the Lord. What was going on in our life leading up to our conversion? What problems or needs were we facing at the time? How did our life change after knowing Jesus Christ? Pray and ask God to help us share what He wants us to include. 

4 - Use a 3-Point Outline
A three-point approach is very effective in communicating our personal testimony. This outline focuses on (1) before we trusted Christ, (2) how we surrendered to Him, and (3) the changes in our lives since we began walking with Him.”
End quote

In a class assignment, we were asked to write an essay on what the name Jesus has done in our lives.  Since I asked the question “Are We Sharing Our Testimony,” it seems appropriate for me to share some of my testimony here. 

“Jesus has been a part of my life for longer than I can remember.  Mom told me that before I could talk, I was humming the tune of ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus.’  But for this essay, I will only cover three of the areas that the name of Jesus has impacted my life:  Savior, Healer and Provider of Strength and Comfort. 

Jesus, My Savior:
Romans 10:13: ‘for Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ At age 16, I called on the name of Jesus and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior in a revival at McCaysville Church of God. 

Jesus, My Healer:
I Peter 2:24:  ‘…by whose stripes ye were healed.’  I have received more than one healing from our Lord but will cover only one.  In 2017, I pulled a muscle in my leg and the severe pain caused me to limp.  After a prayer service, while praying for healing for another, I felt a warmth and tingle go down my leg.  ‘Is that you Lord?’ I silently asked.  After we finished our prayers, I took several steps and had no pain or limp.  I continued walking to the car which was behind the building, then through the line at the buffet lunch and still I had no pain.  I received my healing and found out later that medical evidence showed the other person also received healing that day! 

Jesus, My Provider of Strength and Comfort:
John 14:14: ‘If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.’  During 2009 through 2020, I constantly called on the name of Jesus for His comfort and strength.  He provided both strength and comfort to me during the health issues of family members and myself and throughout the grief of two deaths. 

During the above period, God led me to a different church where I heard sermon messages that gave me a thirst for knowing more about God’s Word.   I spent time in studying the Bible as well as Bible Studies and grew in understanding the Word.  Jesus revealed truths to me that I hadn’t seen or experienced before and that’s when God called me to full time ministry. 

Every day, from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep, I am dependent on Jesus in my life.  I can’t imagine dealing with any of the above and not being able to call on the name of Jesus.”  

In conclusion, let’s ask ourselves:  When was the last time we shared our testimony with others? 

God has given us a past; we should tell it to others for His glory.  God has given us salvation; we should tell it to others for His glory.  God wants to use us today, to encourage others who are in similar situations that He has set us free from. 

However, there may be someone reading or listening to this Message who hasn’t trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and doesn’t yet have a personal testimony.  If so, I want to encourage you to invite Jesus to come into your heart and life. 

John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 

And I John 5:13 tells us: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 

Jesus has provided the gift of salvation to us which gives us not only hope for today, but hope for eternity.  Have you believed on Him from your heart? Have you acknowledged Him as your Lord and Savior this morning?  If you’ve never accepted Christ into your life, then this is your opportunity. You can receive God’s grace and begin a relationship with Jesus today.  

In Romans 10:9, we are told that “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 

We receive salvation when we:
(1) Repent of our sins.
(2) Trust Jesus Christ as our Savior.
(3) Confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, invite Him into your life right now. 

Or maybe there are those who are far away from Jesus.  Have you allowed your comfortable, personally focused desires to act as an eclipse between you and God?  Is Jesus obscured or completely blacked out of your life? Do you miss him? 

All it takes is to open yourself and say "I want things to be different. I know things need to be different. I know what’s wrong, what doesn’t belong and I invite You, Jesus, to come and change me. I want you back." 

When we turn back to Jesus in repentance, when we ask for forgiveness, intending to live a godly life, God’s mercy reaches out to us with a message of love.   God is a God of mercy, of redemption, of restoration and of renewal. Just come by faith to the throne of grace to receive it. He is waiting for you with open arms.   Repent all over again and get back to fulfilling God’s plan in and through your life. 

Let us pray: Thank You, Father, for being a perfect Heavenly Father for us, for sending us Your Son to save us from our sins, and for putting Your Holy Spirit into each one of us so that we are never without Your presence. Help us to depend on You, to trust in Your truth, and to serve like You.  We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.