“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11
This is something that’s been on my mind and heart for a week or so now. It’s actually something that’s pretty much always front and center to our thoughts and conversations, but for whatever reason, I’ve really been thinking a lot about wanting to get our testimony out there. In one of our earliest podcast episodes, we tell a very brief version of it, so I am going to include it here in the hopes that if you haven’t had a chance to listen to it, you will be able to easily do so. Check it out here: https://anchor.fm/salty-saints/episodes/Talking-About-Marriage–Our-Testimony-e14trkf
If you are a child of God, saved and transformed by the power of the Gospel of Christ and the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, you have a testimony. This is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians about the Good News and how we are called to stand firm in it:
1“Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters,a of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.b 3I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
He also tells us in Ephesians what the life of a follower of Christ should look like:
17“With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. 20But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Ephesians 4:17-24
And it’s so important to the lost that those of us who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb are living this way, honoring God and keeping ourselves pure in His sight. We never know who may be watching–and trust me, they ARE watching–and we need to be sure that the way we are living lines up with what we are preaching. We never ever EVER want to live as a hypocrite. They are the ones Jesus rebuked most of all and gave the harshest warnings to. God has so graciously not only saved us and set us free from the penalty of sin and death that we deserve, but He’s given us His own precious Holy Spirit to live in us and transform us completely! That’s a beautiful supernatural act that only a loving God can perform. But we do have a part to play. We are called to be always growing in our sanctification and keep ourselves unspotted from this world. Be in it, not of it. Set apart. That’s the meaning of the word “Church”-the called out ones (ekklesia). It’s a great privilege and also a great responsibility to be a child of God. An ambassador for Christ. And the grace He provides enables us to represent Him rightly to a watching world that is in great need of Him.
Jesus Himself taught about the Light within in us in Luke 11:33-36 where He said,
33“No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket.k Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. 34“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness. 35Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. 36If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”
As y’all know, the verses we chose for our ministry (and life) are Matthew 5:13-14–we are called to be the salt and light in this dark world and we need to be shining brightly. Period. Until He returns. And at that time, we are told that this will happen:
11“And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. 17And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.” Revelation 12:11, 17
That is a great calling, wouldn’t you say? To not love our lives even unto death–to be ready to die for Christ’s sake and to maintain our witness, our testimony, all the way to the end. The way we live now matters, as it will be preparing us for that Day. And not only us, but those who are watching to see if the faith we claim to hold is real. Let’s examine ourselves (as Jesus instructed above–see if the light is not really darkness!) and always be the Living Epistle that Paul says we are…does our walk match our talk? We want to say YES and we want to always be ready to give a reason for the hope that lies within us and share our testimony with others–“what Jesus has done for a wretch like me, He wants to do for you too!” The Gospel is what saves us and our testimony is a powerful way to share it with those around us. I hope and pray that you’ll listen to our story today and become emboldened to share yours with others. Share it with me and anyone else who may read this post in the comments if you’d like! I’d love that! I am going to do another post soon with my complete personal testimony, I think, so stay tuned for that.
Have a great day y’all, as we spur one another on to good works for God’s glory…Matthew 5:16. Amen and amen.