The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom
I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign LORD. I will tell everyone that you alone are just. Psalm 76
Have you noticed that the Psalms are packed full of personal testimonies, people telling others what God has done for them? It seems like in the worship of the Jewish people in the Old Testament there was an important place for what we today to call testimonies. They made time to hear and celebrate what God was doing in the lives of his people. I believe with all my heart that our worship should be the same. As a church we need to hear what God is doing in and through our brothers and sisters.
In a thought-provoking little book called THERE IS NO I IN CHURCH Keith Drury has a chapter on the role of testimony in the life of the church. Here are couple of things that he says
“The name “personal testimony” is inaccurate and inadequate. For the things we tell others about may be our personal experiences, but once we share them with the church, they become corporate property, and God uses them to build up the church’s faith. …. Our personal testimonies encourage others to expect God to guide and provide in similar ways. Having a personal testimony about our salvation builds the church’s expectations in God’s transformational miracle of conversion. Hearing a testimony of how God provided for the needs of others strengthens our faith in God’s providence for ourselves and the church. Hearing a testimony of a Christian about healing builds our faith in a miracle working God. Hearing someone testify how God delivered them from a besetting sin fortifies our faith that God could deliver us too from that or another besetting sin. When we hear the testimony of a Christian who has been transformed after seeking God to be filled the Holy Spirit, we begin to believe that God might do such a work in us. Personal testimonies inspire hope. Hearing stories about God’s work in another’s life increases our faith that God can do a similar thing for us. When we share our testimony, the church glorifies God, and its collective faith is increased. This why we don’t keep such experiences to ourselves”
Keith Drury reminds us of the vital role that our testimonies have in inspiring hope and strengthening faith among our fellow believers. When we share what God has done for us, we are reminding others that God is not imprisoned in the past but that He is living and active among us as His people right now. One of the implications of what Drury says in that quote is that when we keep quiet about God’s goodness to us, we spiritually impoverish our church.
As a church we always make sure that at the end of the year we make testimony a particular focus of one of our services, for all the reasons we have just thought about. This year we are going to be doing that over 2 services, on the 27th of December and 3rd of January. On the 27th of December we would like to incorporate some short video testimonies into our online service and on the 3rd of January through ZOOM after our online service there will also be a chance for people to share their testimony.
This has been an extraordinary year and yet I also know that many of us have had extraordinary experiences with God and seen him do extraordinary things for us and those we love. Let’s not quiet about that. Let’s encourage one another and build our faith and expectation as a church by sharing what God has done for us.
IT’S TIME FOR TESTIMONY.
Don’t give into the temptation to keep quiet or keep to yourself what God has been doing in and through you. Sharing our testimony is not boasting, it’s glorifying God and is vital in edifying the church.