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.

Let Your Light so Shine (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

One of the very first places that we Christians can inspire and bless other people is in our homes, and to recognize the spiritual light that is in one another in our own families. As an example: In my home, I am the Dad; however, my two children also know me as their brother, because God is our Father. This understanding alone has opened wonderful moments in our family’s relationship. Sometimes our conversation becomes so open and exciting that it causes me to be thrilled with complete thankfulness that we have allowed God, the light of His healing Word, and Jesus Christ into our lives.

My wife, my helper and companion is also my sister in God’s household, and this understanding has made it possible for us to become and stay the best of friends. I Peter 3:7 confirms to us that we are “heirs together of the grace of life,” in other words, we equally share in a “life of grace” ─ together, as one (Matthew 19:4-6). I would also like to point out that not every moment is like living in paradise, we are only human, and we certainly have our share of life’s trials, yet as we look to God’s Word, we always end up being more than conquerors as we let our light so shine forth for God and our Savior. Overall, I would not change anything, because we as a family have worked very hard to build our relationship with God, His Son, and with each other as we have seen the light of God’s love within each other.

One of the greatest gifts that God has ever given to men and women who believe is spiritual light. With this light, the eyes of our spiritual understanding begin opening to the life that Jesus called the more abundant life, for it is eternal life (I John 5:10-12).   Jesus Christ made this life available to us by sacrificing his own life. As we personally come to know and experience Jesus Christ who dwells in our hearts (Colossians 1:27), and who resides within every fiber of our beings (Colossians 3:4), the greater the experience of “the more abundant life” becomes. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I am come that they {believers} might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The word might in the Greek Text is the word for “may” and the meaning is that we have Jesus’ permission to enjoy the more abundant life. This is the very reason and purpose why Jesus Christ came in the first place, so that we may experience the abundant life, which is not just an abundant life, but ─ life ─ MORE ABUNDANTLY!

John 8:12:
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

The light of life is the necessary spiritual light needed to enjoy life more abundantly. Now, how can we get the words of Jesus off the pages of the Bible and begin applying them in practical living? By following Jesus, who is clearly perceived throughout the Scriptures as the light of the world. In Ephesians 2:10 we read, “For we are his {God’s} workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” The word should is an interesting word (a kin to the word “may” above), because God is not demanding that we practice works of any kind, rather this is a loving request from our heavenly Father, and it is only when we decide to walk in them will we turn the light on from within.

God designed the good works from the beginning. He, being the Creator of life, has given to us the blueprint for living life in the way He designed it, and the blueprint is His Word and His Word reveals Christ, and him we are instructed to follow. He loved his fellow man and encouraged us to do the same. God’s Word contains all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3-4). When and where we try to apply Scripture we will experience the true life and goodness that God placed in His healing Word for us to uncover, and to discover, and to treasure, and to enjoy as we effortlessly allow our light to shine from within our hearts.

Following Jesus is one of those good works that God ordained we observe; in fact, it is a wonderful work because in doing so we will recognize that we have access into the light of life. The guidance of Scripture is always requesting that we follow Jesus Christ, for he is the way, the truth, and the life to the Father (John 14:6, Hebrews 12:1-2).

Ephesians 5:14:
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light {so that we may first see, and then enjoy God’s good works}.

Isaiah 60:1:
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

When we became saved, we are spiritually awakened to a new life with (and in) Christ: this is the meaning of arise from the dead. In Matthew 5:16 Jesus said: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Jesus did not say to pray for more light, or to struggle through life trying to keep it burning. Rather he said let and the reason for this is that we already have light and we are encouraged to allow this light to shine by enjoying the good works, our proof that we have the light of life.

The Amplified Bible* translates good works from Ephesians 2:10 to read: “living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live” for living the good life with God in Christ in us is allowing our God-given light to shine. Enjoy a deLIGHTful life as you let your light so shine!

Ephesians 5:8:
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross~

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