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We know that we are to give of our time, talents, and treasures to the Lord. But there’s another “t” that should be included. The fourth “t” is “testimony.” We should always be ready to tell others about Jesus.
1 Pet 3:15 Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
Giving an answer is about how we speak or testify of Jesus. But how we live is also to testify of our Saviour. Peter tells us to speak with meekness and fear. And, James reminds us that the “wisdom from above” is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).
- We are to be a reflection of the “wisdom from above.”
- We are to witness (“give an answer”) “with meekness (gentleness) and fear (respect).”
- We are to speak boldly (Eph 6:20), telling the world of the goodness and kindness of Jesus, of His forgiveness and His gift of everlasting life (Read: Be BOLD or Be Gentle When Witnessing?).
When we go out into the world and reflect God’s wisdom, and speak boldly with gentleness and respect, we are a talking testimony, a walking testimony, and a living, breathing testimony to the glory of God and for the evangelizing of a lost world. Always remember that our actions can “speak” as loudly as our words.
Take Three Steps Forward in Your Testimony
1. Step Out Publicly
A testimony is public. It is stepping out, putting your “best foot forward,” and speaking out, with an encouraging and edifying word well-spoken. Peter tells us that our best example of living for Jesus is Jesus Himself—especially in reference to suffering. It’s much easier to speak gospel truths and to tell people about Jesus when people are kind and receptive and things are going well in our lives. But add worldly problems and stress to our day, or speak with antagonistic or defiant people, and our testimony for Christ can be stopped or diminished. In such situations, our lives often testify more of our pain, suffering, and struggles than of our loving Lord who heals our pain, give comfort in suffering, and peace in struggles. It’s important that we anchor our hope in Jesus so we can overcome the world and speak of His love and presence in whatever situation we find ourselves.
2. Step Up Proudly and Confidently
We are to boast, but only in the cross of Christ (Gal 6:14). Speak with confidence and pride in Jesus and tell of what He Has done. Live showing that you truly believe, understanding that when you speak boldly about Jesus, and when you live your life according to His will and HIs ways, you are opposing the world’s norms, morals, and ethics. And, you will meet with resistance and opposition that can bring persecution and suffering. But remember to suffer for Jesus’ sake honors God and blesses us.
Phil 1:29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
1 Pet 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
Paul spoke of such a time when he suffered, when he was “burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that [he] despaired even of life.” [“2 Cor 1:8] Paul overcame the despair by remembering His Lord and he wrote to the Corinthians that his “sentence of death” was to increase trust in God (2 Cor 1:9). Then he called to mind all that God had done. He said we should trust in God who raises the dead and “who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us. (2 Cor 1:10)
Be Confident in Your Deliverance
We have been delivered from the penalty of sin, we are being delivered from the power of sin, and one day we will be delivered from the presence of sin. Past, present, and future—our time is in His hands (Psa 31:15).
With that always in the forefront of our minds we can stand strong and live our lives in the joy of our salvation and be a living testimony to our Deliverer in both words and actions.
3. Step Forward Fruitfully
Finally, here’s a short prescriptive list of how we can live our lives as a testimony for Jesus. We have been given everything we need so we are free to give everything we have. That means we can freely give of our time, our talents, our treasures, and our testimonies. These are not to be kept to ourselves. They are to be given away.
Remember that James tells us that wisdom from above is full of good fruits (James 3:17). And Paul tells us that in all things we are to walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16, 25) and produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-24).
Be READY (1 Peter 3:15) and Be BOLD (Eph 6:20)
1) Step out publicly. 2) Step up proudly and confidently. 3) Step forward fruitfully. Walk in the Spirit and produce the fruit He has given—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- We live in love so others will know that we are His disciples (John 13:35)
- We live in joy because our hope is in Jesus. (1 These 2:19)
- We live in peace because by Jesus we have been reconciled to God. (Rom 5:1)
- We live in patience knowing that Jesus is in control and it’s all in His time. (Rom 15:4, 2 Th 3:5)
- We live in kindness because of the kind mercy and grace we have been given. (Eph 2:7)
- We live in goodness because Jesus showed us how to do good and love others. (Rom 15:14)
- We live in faithfulness to God because God is faithful to us. (1 Cor 1:9, 10:13, 2 Thess 3:3)
- We live in gentleness knowing that a soft word of hope is better received than a harsh admonition. (1 Pet 3:15, Rom 15:4, Phil 4:5)
- We live in self-control knowing that the world would like to silence our witness, and the world would like to destroy our testimony.
- We are overcomers in Christ. (Rom 12:21)
- We are capable of controlling our responses to oppression. (Col 3:12)
- We are able to stand strong (1 Cor 16:13) and to testify boldly (Eph 6:20).
Testify to His Love
Live your life giving of your time, talents, treasures, and testimony. Let your thoughts, words, and actions be a powerful testimony for Jesus. Tell about who He is, and about what He has done for you and in you, and tell everyone about His amazing and saving grace for all people.
Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
2 Cor 1:12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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