As we come to the end of another Great Banquet season, I am reminded of a fairly common question, “Have you heard his or her testimony?”  It’s usually a reference to someone who has overcome some major obstacle in his or her life, and come to faith in Christ despite seemingly impossible odds.  Maybe it's an addiction, or an abusive relationship, or an illness, or a rebellious lifestyle.  You name it.  There’s something about these stories that grabs our attention, likely because we all are exiles who have wandered away from our Lord in some form or fashion.  None of us has been spared from a natural rebellion towards God.

Testimony is defined as "a formal written or spoken statement, a declaration or claim, as given in a court of law."  In the life of a follower of Christ, it is the act of one sharing his transformation story, the story of his life before Jesus, to the point when he recognizes God's plan of salvation and accepts Jesus as his Lord and Savior, to where he stands now in his walk with Jesus.  The issue that arises, though, is that sometimes the transformation story loses it’s focus.  We seem to pay more attention to those who have had movie scripted stories than to those who have just followed a simple path to their Savior and Lord with only a few detours to the Way of Christ.  As I was pondering this, it was as if an epiphany happened.  You just know when a thought or idea is divinely inspired.  It was as if I was having a conversation with Jesus and He said, “It’s not a testimony to Me unless the listener is drawn closer to Me.”  Convicting isn’t it?  Or maybe it’s just the truth, and the truth can convict those of us who seek the story over the Savior.  The truth is that no one can make the claim that Jesus has made, and no story trumps His story.

He came into this world as a helpless baby, needing a family to raise Him, protect Him and provide for Him.  He was basically an unknown until He revealed His purpose.  He came to serve and save the exiles who have wandered out of the family, who need protection from the evil one, and who are hungry for what only He can provide.  His love is unconditional and unending.  He doesn’t base His love for us on what we’ve done or haven’t done, but solely on what He has done.  He came to redeem us.

“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you.  He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.  He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.  He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered.  He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.  He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.  By his wounds you are healed.  Once you were like sheep who wandered away.  But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.  Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life.  And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.  But do this in a gentle and respectful way.  Keep your conscience clear.  Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.”  1 Peter 2:21-25, 3:15-16

Testify to the glory of God revealed to us through Jesus Christ and confirmed in us through the Holy Spirit.  Share your story and make sure it always points to the redeeming work of Jesus and His gift of salvation and restoration for humanity.  Amen!  God is good, all the time and all the time God is good!

In Christ’s Love,

Rob,  Romans 12