A Heart of Testimony (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

We Christians have the wonderful opportunity to express our personal testimony about God’s personal intervention in our lives that only we can express as we become personally involved with our own tangible proofs of God’s loving care and concern for us. The Heart of Testimony is speaking up with your true story about what God has done for you personally. This is the greatest way to witness! The Heart of Testimony is a story of how God has touched our life in some way, and as we learn to recognize how much God has been enlightening, blessing, and encouraging us individually, we can begin to release our own true stories of deliverance that I like to call the Heart of Testimony. The Heart of Testimony inspires us to become more involved in our communities, Churches, or fellowship groups to help our families, our friends, and our neighbors see the greatness of God’s healing Word on a really personal level.

Spiritually, physically and mentally we can at times receive so much truth and understanding from God’s Word that a release becomes almost necessary, and the Heart of Testimony is a wonderful way to release and begin receiving more from God. Having an inlet and an outlet will prevent the Christian believer’s life from becoming stagnant, for it replenishes our ability to give and to receive.

In the Gospel of Mark, we have the story of Jesus delivering a man who had a “legion” of spiritual problems. This man became so blessed that he wanted to travel with Jesus, but Jesus told him to go home and share his own testimony with his family, neighbors, and friends.

Mark 5:19-20:
-19: Howbeit Jesus suffered him not {did not allow him to go with him}, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
-20: And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

The word Decapolis was not the word for a single city, but for an entire region, Decapolis means ten cities. This man whom Jesus healed in so many ways began spreading his own heartfelt testimony, his own experience that he had with Jesus throughout Decapolis, so much so that when Jesus himself passed through Decapolis it was easier for him to teach and heal (Mark 7:31-37).

When people express their own testimonies, even if it is only to their families, the wonderful healing Word of God becomes living and real to those who hear of them. In the Old Testament we read: And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: (Exodus 17:14). God wanted Moses to rehearse over and again the testimony of Joshua’s victories about his personal battle that would continue to inspire him. Knowing ourselves that we are more than conquerors with God in Christ (Romans 8:37), and knowing that we can be victorious in our endeavors is something that God desires for His children to know and understand, for the Heart of Testimony can continue to build us up as individuals as well as those with whom we share them.

To see countless examples of the Heart of Testimony, see the book of Psalms and Hebrews 11.  The Book of Acts is also filled with wonderful testimonies that the believers shared with one another. In Acts 14:27 we read that the believers: “rehearsed all that God had done with them.” In Acts 12:17 Peter: “declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison.” In Acts 11:4 after delivering the Gospel to the Gentiles, Peter and his company: “rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them.” These are all hearts of testimony that always bring glory to God, excitement into our families and acquaintances, and joy into our lives.

Bible Bytes

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Learning God’s Word in byte-sized portions is the absolute best way to gain an understanding of the Scriptures, especially the sections within the Bible that are written to the believer of today. The Church Epistles are directly addressed to believers who live and grow daily in the grace of God’s divine Word. In I Thessalonians we have a series of Bible bytes that give to the believer tremendous understanding and spiritual light.

I Thessalonians 5:16 – Rejoice evermore.

This is the entire verse of Scripture: “Rejoice evermore.” So when are we to rejoice? Evermore. This means always, during good times as well as hard times. To rejoice is to have joy over and again, and the result of rejoicing is laughter, like Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Her laughter was the result of beginning to believe in a promise of God and the joy within her heart overflowed into laughter. As we learn God’s healing Word, rejoicing becomes a second nature response from simply knowing that God is so very well pleased with us. Some negatives may come our way today yet we are able to rejoice evermore because we know the result, we know that we are more than conquerors because we believe God, His Word, and we believe His promises of deliverance to us.

I Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.

Again this is a Bible byte, yet it contains a world of truth with instruction, guidance, and encouragement. To “pray without ceasing” means never to give up on our prayers though at times it may appear that some of our prayers go unanswered. Still, when God’s Word promises us something and we pray with believing for it, it will absolutely come to us. I have one prayer that I have been faithful to for more than seventeen years, and I believe in my heart that the answer is still coming. Almost all of our prayers are answered right away, or in the due process of time as our need truly arises, and sometimes they do take time before we receive our answers; however, if we pray with believing and we do not give up, we will reap.

When we put our trust in the hands of God and pray without ceasing, even if we do not immediately see the results that we want, it does not mean that God does not care. Rather, we can use this as a challenge to help build our thankfulness and faithfulness to the words of life. When I first became a Christian believer I had hundreds of questions, and over the years I have received hundreds of answers to my questions, yet I still have questions, perhaps even more than at the start. Yet God continues answering me through His Word, or by hearing a teaching, or I see it in a book, or God inspires me with inspirations and revelations as life seems to go on without too much trouble.

This is the same with prayer, we can believe that God’s timetable is always perfect, and when we do receive the answers to our prayers they are usually greater than we could even imagine because God always goes beyond what we can ask or even think.

I Thessalonians 5:18 – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Being thankful for everything that God gives to us is a result of our prayer life, this is the context that the giving of thanks is set in, for this is living in the will of God. “Concerning you” means that God’s will is always directed toward you in Christ Jesus. God will is to be continuously answering our prayers as we continue to be thankfully “rejoicing evermore” along our life’s path.

The New Man

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When we believe in the inherent truth of God’s healing Word, the Word itself will begin making known to our minds the spiritual realities of having Christ within, whom the Bible defines as the New Man. Christ from within our hearts will then make known to our minds the Creator, our Father ― God. Then as we begin recognizing God as our Father ― He makes known to us the spiritual completeness of the new man (since we have the mind of Christ) that was created in us (Ephesians 1:16–23, 4:22–24). Additionally, God begins revealing to us the spiritual reality of the one body of Christ, of which body Christ is the head, and we are all members in that one body, and this one body of Christ is nurtured and grows in the love of God with the light of His Word.

Romans 12:5: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

I Corinthians 12:27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The Bible refers to those who walk with the knowledge of the one body as being spiritual (I Corinthians 2:15), for they have the inward man (Romans 8:6, and II Corinthians 4:16), who resides in their hearts ― this inward man is Christ in you (Colossians 1:27). Having Christ within means that we have the hidden man of the heart {Christ}, in that which is not corruptible (I Peter 3:4), for believers have the incorruptible seed of Christ (I Peter 1:23). But though our outward man perish {or gets older}, yet the inward man {the Christ within} is renewed day by day (II Corinthians 4:16), renewed by placing God’s Word in our minds day by day, as Paul wrote, For I delight in the law of God {in His Word} after the inward man (Romans 7:22). For the inward man builds up the believer from within as he or she accepts the renewed mind that the Word of God illustrates and allows this new man or woman to shine with effervescence as he or she reaches out to build up the one body of Christ in love.

Ephesians 4:15–16:
-15: But speaking the truth {God’s Word} in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ {for Christ is the head of the body — Ephesians 1:22–23}.
-16: From whom {Christ} the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part {this is us, see Romans 12:5, and I Corinthians 12:27 above}, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

The most effectual working part of this new body is the head, who is Jesus Christ himself, and we are encouraged to follow his lead by walking in love, and in so doing we will be assisting in the building up of the body, and in this process we will also be discovering the new man! As we learn the Scriptures and allow our renewed mind to reveal what the Word itself teaches us, we will begin supplying (or giving) to the body of Christ and further be edifying (building up) the body in love. Believing the Scriptures is how we bring the Word of God into reality, off the pages of the Bible and into our daily lives. God’s Word can give men and women a true spiritual revival that grows within the heart and supplies the mind with impressions of tangible truths contained in God’s Word. This is what gives men and women a true godly renaissance, and fuels an enjoyment in our rediscovery of eternal light and love.

 Ephesians 4:22–24:
-22: That ye put off concerning the former conversation {lifestyle, behavior} the old man {biblically the old man means ourselves before salvation}, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts {which is latent within everybody, Romans 5:14}.
-23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
-24: And that ye put on the new man {i.e., the Christ in you}, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

One of the most wonderful things about the church Epistles is that the Word of God never demands that we change our minds without something else to replace old thoughts and actions. Rather His Word always shows us how to replace old thoughts, emotions, and actions with new concepts that come to life by putting on the mind of Christ. We are encouraged to put off the old man and to put on the new man; this must be possible because the Bible tells us so, and God’s Word instructs us about how to do this successfully. Romans 6:6 says that the old man, which is the old nature in man, the nature of sin, “is crucified” with Christ, and this means we can set our old nature aside and put on a heavenly nature to walk in newness with Christ who has been resurrected and spiritually dwells within us.

Often propounded today are the “thou shalt not” sermons imbued with hellfire, brimstone, and condemnation only serving to scare people away from the truth that the new man is available to each and every one of us. In all honesty, God’s Word is always teaching us to have rather than to have not (Matthew 7:7–8, and I Thessalonians 4:12). It is the old man nature that denies the gifts of God and the new life in Christ we have been given. Jesus Christ freed believers from the course of this world (Ephesians 2:1–10), so that they (WE ― you and me) could enjoy our lives as we anticipate Jesus’ return to gather the believers up to our heavenly Father (I Thessalonians 4:14–18). Jesus had borne our sins in his own body and took them to the cross nearly two thousand years ago (I Peter 2:24), so why in the world would anyone want to resurrect and still carry them around and live in condemnation any longer? No ― not us, “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The new man is in Christ Jesus and in him we may thoroughly enjoy our spiritual freedom (Romans 6:22, and Galatians 5:1).

In Ephesians above, the Word is specifically dealing with the renewed mind, expressing what is in our renewed minds, and that specifically is the new man which is after God, and is created in us and revealed to us throughout the Epistles.

Colossians 3:9–10:
-9: Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
-10: And {you and I} have put on the new man, which is {being} renewed in knowledge after the image of him {God} that created him {him is our created spirit, called the new man}:

The old man is as old as you are, but the new man is only as old as the day you became saved, and at that moment in time you became born again and received Christ in you and this is what God’s Word encourages you and me to enjoy in our day to day lives. By doing so, we will have tapped into a whole new realm of enlightenment and find a spiritual power base to become “more than conquerors” as Romans 8:37 boldly proclaims that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” It is this inseparable love and belief of God’s Word that allows mortal men and women to become more than conquerors over the daily pressures of life.

Colossians 3:12–17:
-12: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
-13: Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
-14: And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
-15: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
-16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
-17: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

By putting God’s Word in your believing heart, you will have more than a fighting chance to overcome the obstacles that life throws before you, because you will have the Word of God to stand on and believe. You have the hallowed opportunity to know and understand the new man, and fulfill a heavenly calling, a destiny ordained by God. Did you know that you already are a child of God, a child dearly loved by Him and by Jesus, and you have the heavenly calling to enjoy the new man, the new you, your new life in Christ ― today? Jesus came to give you a more than abundant life (John 10:10b). You have been called to this life by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and this life is realized through the new man. The abundant life is yours because Jesus paid the ultimate price, and he paved the way for you to follow because he loved you then and he still loves you ― now. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).

Being a Christian should be the most enjoyable experience in this whole world! You are loved by God! Yes, God loves everybody, but not everyone reciprocates by returning God’s love. This makes you a very, very special somebody ― to God you are precious (I Peter 2:7). You are your heavenly Father’s child, and you are a special individual before His Majesty, and when you believe His Word you have clout with unfathomable power to back it up (Ephesians 3:20)! The world often tries to extract the joy out of the believers’ hearts as though having a life without God and Jesus is practical. Thankfully, the new man, the Christ in you can fend off these unfounded ideas and subtle notions that belittle the believer or cause him to stray.

For you ― Jesus died! For you ― Christ was raised! For you ― Christ intercedes at the right hand of God in heaven until you personally arrive! For you ― God sent His only begotten Son! Oh, yes ― indeed God did this ― for you! Just how valuable are you to God and Christ the Lord? If it was only you in this whole wide world that was going to believe, Jesus would still have offered himself, for that was the will of God, so that you could enjoy the new man in your life with His ever-renewing love, now and for all eternity!

God created within us the means to walk in newness of life, a life that is being renewed in the knowledge of God (Romans 6:4). To walk in the new man is not a command but a request from a loving Father to His beloved children so we could be “partakers of the benefit” (I Timothy 6:2). The benefit is an invitation to have a meaningful relationship with Him Who created life, for His Word shows us how to enjoy life by bringing the Christ within us ― up and out to the forefront of our lives.

II Corinthians 6:2 (The Amplified Bible):**  For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!

 Ephesians 4:14–16 (The Amplified Bible)**
-14: So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.
-15: Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
-16: For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.