KALEO NOTES: Super Words

Scripture: Whether He is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind, but now I see! (John 9:25).

Introduction: Last year I attended some meetings for a particular ministry, and the closing session was a testimony service. The head of the organization presided. Microphones were set up and he invited people to share a word for the Lord. At once a young man stood up, the first person on his feet. He said it was a joy to work in this ministry, that God had blessed him, and that he had become best friends with one of his co-workers, a young lady. “Here she is,” he said, beaming, and he asked her to stand. Then to everyone’s surprise, he fell on one knee and told her he loved her, that he wanted to spend his life with her, and asked her to marry him. He pulled out a ring and gave it to her. We were all flabbergasted, and we sat there holding our breath until she broke into a smile and accepted. The only problem was—where do you go with a testimony service after that? Well, in a sense every testimony is a proposal, isn’t it? We’re proposing that someone consider what the Lord has done for us. A testimony is our super weapon because it combines the power of the Gospel with the verification of personal experience and communicates that information through personal relationships. I’m not just talking about getting up and saying something in a public gathering. We’re sharing our testimony whenever we share a word for the Lord with someone else and tell them what the Lord has done for us. When we share our testimony, we’re committing…

1. An Act of Worship – In Galatians 1 and 2, Paul summarized his life’s story. He told how God had changed his life. People heard, “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And, said Paul, “They glorified God because of me” (Galatians 1:23-24). In sharing an answer to prayer, deliverance, a verse God gave you, or the story of your conversion, you aren’t glorifying yourself but Him.

2. An Act of Evangelism – This week I read about a young woman, a freshman in college, who went on a weekend treat with a Christian campus organization. Her sister had invited her. This girl didn’t have much interest in the Lord, but when the speaker explained Psalm 139 she found herself interested. Later that evening, she asked her sister about it and her sister shared her testimony. The girl said something like, “That’s what I want. I want Christ in my life.” That evening she was saved. She had heard the Word of God taught publically, but it was the power of a personal testimony that “sealed the deal.”[1] When the apostle Paul had opportunities so share the Gospel publically, he very frequently told the story of his conversion or of what God had done for him. Philip Schaff said in his wonderful volumes on the history of the church that the early church grew so quickly because every Christian was as eager to share his or her story as a sailor who was rescued from a storm at sea. We may not all be able to explain the doctrine of the Trinity or parse the doctrine of justification, but we can all say like the blind man in John 9: “One thing I know. I once was blind but now I see.”

3. An Act of Encouragement and Mentoring – The Bible is largely a book of testimonies. The Old Testament is full of autobiographical writings in which people like Moses, Job, Jonah, Jeremiah, Esther and others shared their experiences. And the New Testament says they were written for our encouragement. We all want to be mentors, to feel like we are leaving a legacy, that we are contributing to progress in someone else’s life. Our testimonies do that. If you’re hesitant to share a word of the Lord to a friend or neighbor, try starting with two simple words: “Let me…”

  • Let me tell you what happened to me.
  • Let me tell you something encouraging.
  • Let me share a Bible verse that I’ve been thinking about.
  • Let me tell you how God answered my prayer.

Conclusion: You’ll find listening ears. When we share our testimony, we’re worshipping, evangelizing, and encouraging. We’re saying: “I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus / Since I’ve found in Him a friend so strong and true; / I would tell you how He changed my life completely; / He did something that no other friend could do. / No one ever cared for me like Jesus. / There’s no other friend so kind as He. / No one else could take the sin and darkness from me / O how much He cares for me” (Charles Weigle). So let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

[1] Bo Boshers: Life-Changing Camps and Retreats (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998), 8.