Why Your Testimony Matters

 

The purpose of a testimony is essentially to tell others how you made the decision to follow Jesus.

Chances are, if you’ve grown up in the church, you’ve heard these a lot.

Over the course of my 19 years, I’ve heard a fair share of testimonies.

I remember going to see Candace Cameron Bure at a women’s conference when I was ten. I was so impressed with her story and how her faith impacted her career. Hollywood and Christian morals don’t often align, so it’s been interesting to see how she’s staying true to God and making a difference in Hollywood at the same time.

In the back of my mind that day, I wanted to run away from home, “live”, and come back so I could have an incredible testimony too. I thought my testimony was too boring and insignificant.

Maybe you’ve felt that way too?

I was raised in a Christian home. I attended a Christian school from Pre-school through 8th grade. I was saved when I was four years old. I don’t even remember the exact date.

I’ve heard so many people in church talking about how their lives were so radically changed when they became a Christian.

I began to wonder if something was wrong with me. There was nothing radical about my faith. I don’t remember who I was before then.

One night in youth group, there was a lesson on testimonies. I initially rolled my eyes. It wouldn’t apply to me at all. Who would care about my boring testimony?

But the lesson basically explained that everyone’s testimony matters. Being a Christian is a lifelong process. It doesn’t stop when you ask Jesus into your heart. It’s a commitment to follow Jesus all the way. We’re all prone to sin and being “saved” doesn’t mean we’re perfect or exempt from temptations.

From a human perspective, we often try to rate sins. We may try to justify our actions by saying, “A little white lie isn’t so bad, but murder, well that’s just wrong!”

But that’s not the way God looks at sin. All sin separates us from God. All sin is wrong. No matter how harmful or innocent it seems to us, sin is sin.

As a four year old, I had sinned. I had fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). The wages of my sins were death, but through Jesus, I now had access to eternal life (Romans 6:23).

It can be easy to take salvation for granted sometimes, but think how incredible it truly is! Whether you were 4 or 94, the moment you chose to follow Jesus and accept forgiveness of sins, you were saved from eternal death. You now have hope of living with Jesus forever!

You were no longer defined by your mistakes, but by God’s grace.

Growing up, I was far from perfect. I would lie and manipulate to get my own way. I would hide the truth from my parents, wait a couple of years and then tell them. That way, the punishment wouldn’t be quite as bad.

I also back-talked quite a lot. I always felt compelled to give my two cents, even when it was obviously the wrong time to do so.

From the ages of 4 to 8, I probably asked Jesus into my heart at least 20 times. I wanted to make sure that Jesus would forgive me every time I sinned. I hated being in trouble, but I still loved lying and talking back. When it was less painful to lie than tell the truth, I usually did. On the outside, I was always a “good kid” at school, but very stubborn and strong-willed on the inside.

I guess you could say the perk to being saved from a young age is growing in Jesus as you grow in age. By seventh grade, I finally understood what a relationship with Jesus was all about. He wasn’t just someone we learned about in Bible class, but someone who genuinely wanted to know us personally. It wasn’t about how well I kept the rules. It was about how much I loved Him.

When my goal was to love Jesus, doing the right thing became easier. I wasn’t as much concerned with “getting in trouble” as I was with disappointing God.

Everyday is still a journey. I try to do what’s right, but inevitably mess up from time to time. That’s what makes following Jesus a lifelong process that is so worth it.

Every Christian has their own daily strengths and struggles. We can be encouraged to keep running the race (Hebrews 12:2) by hearing stories of what others have overcome with God’s help.

That’s why your testimony matters.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on testimonies.

How did you come to know Jesus? Have anyone else’s stories of salvation impacted your life?

Thanks for reading,

RaeAnn

Dead Bones Come to Life – Ezekiel 37:5-6 Devotional

Video Credits: “Dead Come to Life” by Jonathan Thulin (feat. Charmaine)

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'”

-Ezekiel 37:5-6 (NLT)

Ezekiel 37 accounts one of the strangest stories in the Bible, yet nonetheless fascinating.

God brought Ezekiel to a field of dry bones. God gave Ezekiel a prophetic message to speak over the bones – that the Lord would give them flesh and breath again.

And they did! The bones were scattered everywhere, but started coming together to make complete skeletons.

Muscles and flesh began to form on them, but they still had no breath. They were sort of like the Walking Dead.

Then, Ezekiel prophesied again and God brought  the breath of life to the bones.

Alive, they stood to their feet and become a vast army.

I can’t imagine how scary, yet cool that would have been. I live pretty close to a cemetery. There’s always this one tombstone that’s lit up and I swear it looks like there’s a party going on over there. I probably watched too much Scooby-Doo as a kid, but cemeteries still creep me out.

How crazy would it be to see skeletons come out of tombstones and become alive?!

I wonder if the bones in Ezekiel’s story were people he knew from his past or semi-recent ancestors? Or had they decomposed multiple lifetimes before?

While the Bible doesn’t say who the bones belonged to exactly, there were so many people brought back to life that they were as big as an army.

God allowed this to happen as a sign for Israel. They felt like dead, dry bones because they were exiled from their land and had lost hope. God promised that He would bring them back from the graves of captivity, put His Spirit in them, and bring them back to life in their land.

This passage is a reminder that we serve the Creator of life. No matter how “dead” you feel from depression, sickness, stress, or day-to-day life, God can revive you.

In the music video, Jonathan Thulin presents an allegory of the gospel message. This is the ultimate way God brings us back to life. When we choose to accept His free gift of salvation, we don’t have to wander in darkness and die aimlessly.

As we get closer to Easter, this is a great way to reflect on Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection. Through Jesus, we who were once dead in sins are made alive in Christ! (Ephesians 2:4-5)

He gives us purpose and life. He renews us and breathes life into our dry bones.

What a mighty life-giving God we serve!