Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Power of a Testimony

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).

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Everyone says that exercise is good for me. I mean me. Whenever I complain about exercising, people tell me, "Nope, you are wrong. It would do you well." It leaves me chagrined most of the time. 

Today, however, I actually tried. I went and took the time to willingly take a simple walk on our hill. Do you know what the best part was? I can testify to the usefulness and value of exercise. Because I experienced it, it now has meaning for me.

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The principle of Christianity is the having of an experience. It is growing in grace. It is coming to a knowledge of our Lord and Savior. It is my experience.
"He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true" (John 3:33).
Testimonies are a significant form of witnesses because they are based on the facts of one's experience. No one can argue with your testimony because, at the end of the day, they did not experience it -- only you did. God invites us to have an experience for ourselves so that we can see whether or not He is who He claims to be.
"O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him" (Psalm 34:8).
The word testimony is translated in several ways, including the following: witness, evidence, report, and precept. Isaiah 8:16-20 utilizes the precept definition. Most other Old Testament verses using the word testimony are saying "as a witness" or "as evidence" or, essentially, "as a reminder". Setting up the law in Israel was a testament to God's authority as a lawgiver (Psalm 78:5). The tabernacle of the testimony was called such because it held the ark of the testimony -- the continual symbol of God's stationary presence in Israel (Exodus 25:8; Numbers 17:4; Numbers 7:89). A testimony is something that stands as an indicator. It is "firsthand authentication of a fact" (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2012). 

God's people are strong because they have a testimony. They have something that they stand for and believe in; they have an experience which they have lived; they have something that sets them apart, that shows them to be a testimony to others. They are different, and they know why. They have a story, and they are willing to share. Lives have been changed, habits have been overcome, styles of life have been altered to meet with and fit in Christ. They have a story: and it is His story. They make something of their life.
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" 
(Heb 11:5). 
"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" 
(Rev 12:17).

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