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The Power in YOUR Testimony

04 September 2022

In Acts 21, we see Paul is preaching the gospel in Jerusalem.  He is viciously attacked, to the point that the Roman soldiers have to lift him up over their heads and carry him because the crowd is trying so hard to kill him.  Acts 21:35 says, “When they (the Roman soldiers) reached the steps leading up to the fortress, they had to protect Paul and carry him up because of the violent mob following them”.

 

In the midst of the chaos, Paul gets the commander’s attention and asks, “Please give me a moment to speak to these people” (Acts 21:39).  The commander agrees.  Then Paul shares his testimony: He shares of his commitment to God, how he trained under the leaders in the temple, how he persecuted Christians and brought them back as prisoners for punishment.  He shares these things to open their ears to hear the truth that he wants to share.  (Acts 22:1-5)

 

Then he shares his testimony, his encounter with Christ.  In Acts 22: 6-16, as he travelled to Damascus, how Jesus spoke to him.  How the power of God was so strong that it blinded him and left him in a place where the only thing he could do was focus on what had just taken place.  Jesus spoke to Paul directly and declared who he is in Acts 22:8 “He said to me, ‘I am Jesus, the Victorious.  I am the one you are persecuting’”.

 

Paul continues sharing about this amazing encounter and of how Jesus sent Ananias to lay hands on him to restore his sight and to prophesy to him.  

“Then he said to me, ‘The God of our ancestors has destined you to know his plan and for you to see the Holy One and to hear his voice.   For you will be his witnesses to every race of people and will share with them everything that you’ve seen and heard.’” (Acts 22:14 – 15)

 

Paul finishes by sharing that he had a vision and the Lord warned him to leave Jerusalem because the people would not receive the truth.  When Paul concluded, the people reacted exactly how the Lord had shared they would: they began declaring their desire for the death of Paul.

 

Why am I focusing on this?  So often we think of our testimony and it is about the item or need we have believed God for and He supplied.  We share about the favour God has placed before us, but we don’t often share about the challenges we face as we follow Christ.  We don’t look through the hardships and challenges we have faced along the way.  But there is a testimony inside each test we have faced.  Why?  Because we can look back and see how God made a way to make it through.

 

We are surrounded by people.   We might see them as just another person, but God sees them as precious, His beloved, His priceless jewel.  God sees those around us and He longs to have a relationship with them.  Sometimes we have to look out into the crowds of those who persecute us and share the truth of what God has done in our lives.  Why?  Because just like Paul, we have been destined to know His plan.  We hear His voice because we will be a witness to every race of people and we will share with them everything we have seen and heard.

 

You see, the same calling to preach the gospel that God placed on Paul is on each one of us.  We have all been given the ministry of reconciliation.  As Paul shares in 2 Corinthians 5:14, Christ’s love compels us.  But why?  2 Corinthians 5:18 says, “because Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation”.  We all have the ministry of bringing others into a place to have an encounter with Him.

 

We can keep the testimony of how the power of God broke down the hardened walls surrounding our heart, how He changed us and shared His great love with us.  Or we can do what Paul did: we can stand in front of those who persecute us and declare the faithfulness of God so that all may hear.  Remember, it is not you that the world is rejecting, it is Christ.  But it is our job to give them the opportunity to hear what he is saying.

 

Let’s be bold in 2022 and share our testimony of the encounter we had with Christ with as many people as we can.


Photo of Julie Hattabaugh

Julie Hattabaugh

GoChurch Beirut