Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! ~Psalm 107:2 (NLT)
Almost everybody loves to hear a good story. Even better if the story gives us hope that people or things or situations can change. We crave that light in the darkness which points toward better days.
God intends his people to be such storytellers.
The stories we tell aren’t farfetched myths of lofty, unachievable goals. No, our stories are about how Jesus changed our lives and brought us from our darkness into light. These stories of redemption are what we call testimonies.
A testimony at its core is a simple thing. It doesn’t have to be long or dramatic (though some, properly, are). It just has to be about Jesus and you. Before you came to know and follow Jesus you were a person who thought and did things in a certain way. Then you realized that way could not sustain you and give you eternal joy. Someone told you about Jesus, you believed in him, and everything changed.
For some this change is as dramatic as what Paul experienced in Acts 9 where he was knocked to the ground (literally) and went from being a man who hated Jesus and Christians to being a man who loved Jesus and identified with the Christians. For others, the change is more subtle but still as real—just as the two disciples of John the Baptist in John 1, who upon hearing his pronouncement of Jesus as the Messiah began to follow Jesus.
In both cases the need for Jesus was real and the change evident though most of the other details stood on opposite ends of the spectrum.
If you are a follower of Jesus, then you have a story to tell. You were lost in your sin, but Jesus rescued, redeemed, and forgave you. Now you have new life. Maybe you reveled in sin and partied hard before that or maybe you generally tried to be a “good person.” Either way, you met Jesus and he changed you.
You were redeemed from your former life. And the psalmist said of the redeemed: Then speak out! In other words, tell your story of how you met Jesus and how he changed you for his glory.
Think through these questions: Who was I before I knew Jesus? How did I learn about Jesus? What made me realize I needed Jesus? How am I different now that I have begun following Jesus?
Put the answers to these questions together in the way that only you can: It is Jesus’ story but it’s also your story. And then go and find someone to share your story with.
Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.