A Heart of Testimony (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

What is A Heart of Testimony? It is one of the greatest, personal witnesses ever given to man by God. When I say testimony, what I mean is your own personal story of deliverance spoken with genuine enthusiasm. You – being the recipient of a personal blessing from God – become an authority on your own testimony that is lived by you, appreciated by you, and enjoyed more by you than any other living being because of the genuine excitement that your life reflects.

The heart of testimony is your outpouring spoken from your inner heart. When you, with your testimony – your true story – reach out and actually touch someone else’s heart with your feelings of joy and inner thankfulness, your life and testimony become a divine treasure released from the depths of your soul, as you become a precious gem and showpiece for the glory of God.

When you rehearse your testimony, even if it’s just to yourself, it becomes a reminder of why you can be so thankful. In II Corinthians 1:10 it says that God has “delivered us {past tense} and does deliver {present tense} in whom we trust that He will yet deliver {future tense}.” So not only does God deliver us once, but many times, and there’s still more to come!

From God’s point of view, the world needs more testimonies to establish Him as being alive and well, contrary to some popular beliefs, and those testimonies will lead people to Christ. From your point of view, your community, your neighbors, friends, and families need your testimonies to introduce Christ to them.

A 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! A heart of testimony is your story of how God has touched your life in some way, and as you learn to recognize how much God has been enlightening, blessing, and encouraging you individually, you can begin to release your own true stories of deliverance that I like to call, A Heart of Testimony.

Psalms 119:111:
Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

We Christians have the wonderful opportunity to express our personal testimonies 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.

A 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 real personal level.

We can receive so much truth and understating from God’s Word spiritually, physically, and mentally, that a release becomes almost necessary, and with a heart of testimony, we have 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.

Your own testimony carries more weight, more power, and more conviction than secondhand stories because you witnessed it personally, and rarely can it be disputed because you were there as a firsthand witness – you saw it – you lived through it – and you sincerely believe it to a greater degree than anyone else could. The excitement of your own conviction, my friends, is what people will see and know as you speak up to tell someone your own story — your own heart of testimony.

There will always be people living in your sphere of influence that only you can help with your testimony. Why, even when Jesus Christ was here walking on the earth, other people spoke up to help him spread the Gospel with their own testimonies. There were the twelve Apostles whom Jesus sent out (Mark 6:7), and later Jesus sent out seventy more (Luke 10:1), and he encouraged future generations to continue the mission (Mark 16:15). It was Andrew who brought the fisherman, Simon Peter to Jesus, and Philip brought Nathaniel over to meet Jesus.

The same should be happening today, our ministers or clergyman or the heads and leaders of our youth groups cannot win everyone in their community to the Lord Jesus Christ. It should be an effort by all to help get the God of deliverance into society’s mainstreams, highways, and byways.

Who else is in our schools and campuses? Who else is really out there in our societies amongst the people? You and I are out there! God gave us all eternal life by His “grace” and He made us all able to share our own testimony from our hearts.

We have hundreds of thousands of personal and different stories of deliverance that we have to share with people. According to the Bible, our very lives are an “Epistle of Christ (II Corinthians 3:3). Like Christ taught, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34), for the testimonies that we can deliver will come from the abundance of our hearts.

For the most part people will usually read your life, your words, and the fruit you bear before taking a serious look at God’s Word. What comes out of your mouth might be the critical factor in someone’s decision to turn to Christ and accept his or her own deliverance.

Let’s go to the Bible and see just a few examples of testimonies starting with Simon in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 26:6:
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

You know what? Simon was healed of his leprosy before this day occurred. Yet he still carried his old name, Simon the Leper. To Simon this was not an insult or disgrace, but a blessing to have this title, just as honorable as if he were known by Simon the Just. Why? This was Simon’s story, his testimony of his deliverance. He was now clean and free of leprosy, yet was still affectionately known by his title, as it was a wonderful reminder to Simon of where he came from and who healed him.

Simon’s story must have just thrilled his family, friends, and neighbors to hear his testimony over and again, especially for those who knew him before his healing and had seen his bodily devastation of leprosy. Oh, how thankfully humble that must have kept Simon. I have no doubt that Simon’s Heart of Testimony led many to Christ for years to come!

Mark 16:9:
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had {past tense} cast {out} seven devils.

Mary Magdalene did not have seven devil spirits anymore, yet God’s Word still points it out to us. Why? Again, for the same reason as Simon’s, this was Mary’s testimony. Think of the people Mary could have helped, people in similar circumstances with devil spirits or living around satanic influences, and as she relayed her testimony, explaining how Christ cast out those spirits to set her free, her testimony would give others the same hope of freedom that comes from knowing the Savior. What a wonderful testimony Mary had.

John 12:9, 11:
9: Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
11: Because that by reason of him {Lazarus} many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

Many people believed on Jesus, not only because of his preaching, but also because of the once dead man, Lazarus. Perhaps Lazarus would have said, “Oh yeah, I used to be dead! I was in a sepulcher wrapped in grave clothes for four days, but now I am alive and every day is new and exciting, every moment is a great gift! I really appreciate life and I owe it all to God through His Son, Jesus Christ!”

Possibly Lazarus would have reminded his two sisters and friends of the words Jesus spoke in John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” By believing on Jesus Christ and his words, we, much like Lazarus, can pass from spiritual death unto spiritual life and enjoy our lives more abundantly as Jesus Promised in John 10:10.

It was Jesus Christ that raised Lazarus up and gave him a new life with a new song in his heart and a testimony that could reach into the very lives of people as he presented himself a living testimony for all to see, hear, and touch.

Perhaps it may seem to us that our testimonies are not as dramatic as Lazarus’ was, but there is no doubt that God, Who “is no respecter of persons” has given each of us a personal testimony to bring the God of deliverance to those in our immediate surroundings.

Lazarus, who was he? Much like you and me, touched by the Master’s hand, our Physician of the heart, and blessed with a testimony as a real living Epistle for the glory of God. As Jesus told one man, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” We have the story of Jesus delivering this 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 later passed through the regions of Decapolis it was easier for him to teach and preach the Gospel and heal people (Mark 7:31-8:9). Similarly, when we express our testimonies, we are preparing hearts to receive Christ and the healing Word of God.

When people express their own testimonies and they convey the compassion Jesus had upon their lives, even if it is only to their families and friends, the wonderful healing Word of God becomes more accessible, living, and real to those who hear them.

When we realize the compassion the Lord has on our lives, it is easy to be compassionate enough to reach out and share our testimony that we have placed in our hearts. This is how the Word of God flourished in the first century, and it is certain that even today the Word of God again can prevail as we tell our testimony with the love of God.

Perhaps one of the greatest recorded examples we have of testimonies is that of the Apostle Paul who expressed his story at every opportunity. Paul’s testimonies are written throughout the Book of Acts and the Epistles and Letters he wrote that are in the New Testament as a real example for all to see how he came face to face with God’s Word and his Savior.

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 battles that would continue to inspire Joshua as the next leader of Israel. Knowing ourselves that we are more than conquerors with God in Christ (Romans 8:37), and believing that we can be victorious in our endeavors is something that God desires for His children to know and understand, for our heart of testimony can continue to build us up as individuals as well as all of those with whom we share them.

To study countless examples of a heart of testimony, see the Book of Psalms and Hebrews chapter 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,” and thus, they outlined the details of their own testimonies with one another.

In Acts 12:17 Peter: “declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison,” which blessed, emboldened, and inspired the believers with encouragement and comfort.

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 to our families, our friends, and our neighbors, and personal joy into our lives for speaking up and sharing our own heartfelt experiences that we have had with our Savior and heavenly Father.

Psalms 119:111:
Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

Matthew 5:16:
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

John 3:21:
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

The Daily Inspiration of Jesus Christ (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

This is a study revealing how we Christians can allow the principles of the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ, into our daily lives so that his teachings motivate our daily thoughts, and his inspiration can become our rescue in times of need. Following is an example from the Gospel of Luke wherein we learn how Peter learned to allow the daily inspiration of Jesus Christ into his heart, giving us a vivid example of how we can allow the written Word to nourish and strengthen our souls.

Luke 5:4:
Now when he {Jesus} had left speaking {the Word of God}, he said unto Simon {Peter}, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

To set this morning scene for you, Jesus had been sitting in a fishing boat and teaching the Word of God to a multitude of people. There were so many people that Jesus went out a little way from the shore where the acoustical sound over the lake must have carried his voice quite well as he expounded divine truths. Then after Jesus had finished teaching, he asked Peter to launch out further and let down his nets so they could haul in a load of fish.

There are stories, and maybe you have heard some of them, about Peter and the other Apostles quitting their career trades and at full throttle began pursuing after Jesus, come hell or high water. Well, Peter was still fishing with his partners here in the Gospel of Luke, and still walking with Jesus. How else did Peter have the funds for supporting himself, his family’s home, his wife, and even his mother in-law who lived with him (Luke 4:38)? One cannot sustain himself without some kind of employment, and Peter was a fisherman, a noble profession, and we, like Peter may also walk with Jesus and carry on with our careers. Jesus Christ is with us wherever we are, and he is with us in whatever we do to support ourselves.

There needs to be a balance in life while we are walking with Jesus, or the scales will tip and things will not go as smooth as they should. Peter set a wonderful example and worked to support his physical needs rather than solely living off the charity of others, while God continued to bless him. Even towards the end of the Gospels, after Jesus was raised up from the dead, Peter and his partners were still fishing (John 21:1-8), and still walked with the daily inspiration of Jesus Christ.

In the example we are looking at in Luke’s Gospel, we see how Peter recognized Jesus as a wonderful teacher during the meeting, yet when the meeting was over, Peter left Jesus’ teaching and inspiration behind at the shore, and let us notice the result that followed.

Luke 5:5:
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled {worked, fished} all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

Peter told Jesus that the previous night’s fishing expedition was a waste of time and grudgingly Peter said, nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. When Jesus spoke to Peter he was speaking the Word of God to him (John 14:23-24; 15:15), but Peter felt that he was the expert when it came to fishing; after all, was it “only a carpenter” who told Peter what to do? No, it was the Son of God, who in Scripture is the inspiration and guidance of the human heart. It is he who leads and directs and lights our life’s path to the way our heavenly Father desires for His children to follow. “I am the light of the world {says Jesus, and}: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Notice what Peter did with Jesus’ instructions. Jesus said, let down your nets (plural), but what did Peter do? He let down a net (singular).

Peter literally had the opportunity to take Jesus Christ with him to work and to take his word at face value. Can you imagine the awesome blessing of having Jesus sitting beside Peter in his boat? Today in God’s grace we have Christ within (Colossians 1:27), and he does reveal God to our minds whenever and wherever we allow him and his inspiration into our hearts and life’s endeavors.

Luke 5:6-7:
-6: And when they had this done {the letting down of the net}, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net break {because they did not use their nets as instructed by Jesus}.
-7: And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Proverbs 3:6 comes to mind: “In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” No matter what we do for a living, or where we are at any moment, we can carry God’s healing Word and its inspiration with us to become successful. Jesus Christ reveals God to our hearts, and as we allow Jesus into our daily lives, the greater he reveals his Father’s will and His direction to us.

Luke 5:8-10:
-8: When Simon Peter saw it {recognized that Jesus was right}, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
-9: For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
-10: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; henceforth thou shalt catch men.

Peter immediately knew that he was wrong, he knew that even with Jesus in his boat, sitting at his side, he did not allow the words of his Savior’s inspiration to filter down into his actions.

Peter, to his credit, realized that he was just a man, one that was not perfect, and like any other, a sinful man.

Jesus, to his praise, did not condemn Peter (or throw him out of the boat), but rather encouraged him that he most definitely would have better days, more opportunity to believe the Word that Jesus would continue revealing to him.

Jesus’ words of comfort still rings true for us: fear not, because we are dearly loved by God and by His Son Jesus Christ. So today, as we continue living our lives to the best of our abilities, let us continue walking with our Savior and allow him and his inspiration into our lives. Then watch God work miraculous things for us as we believe and act on the inner inspiration emanating from the words of our Savior for which we have purposely made room in our hearts.

When we allow the Savior’s words of comfort and inner peace to be at home in our minds, his words can inspire us to be the best in our relationships, in our workplaces, and in our life’s endeavors. When we allow the Master Teacher into our hearts — his words will become our thoughts (our inner consciousness) as his inspiration will be with us in our time of need, and this is the how of utilizing the daily inspirations we receive from Jesus Christ.

The Daily Inspiration of Jesus Christ (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

This is a study revealing how we Christians can allow the principles of the master teacher into our daily lives so that his teachings become our daily thoughts, and his inspiration becomes our rescue in times of need. Following is an example from the Gospel of Luke showing how Peter learned to allow the daily inspiration of Jesus Christ into his heart, giving us a vivid example of how we can allow the written Word to nourish and strengthen our souls.

Luke 5:4 – Now when he {Jesus} had left speaking {the Word of God}, he said unto Simon {Peter}, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

Jesus had been sitting in a fishing boat and teaching the Word of God to a multitude of people. There were so many people that Jesus went out a little way from the shore where the acoustical sound over the lake must have carried his voice quite well as he expounded divine truths. Then after Jesus had finished teaching he asked Peter to launch out further and let down his nets so they could haul in a load of fish. We will see how Peter recognized Jesus as a teacher during the meeting, yet when the meeting was over Peter left his teaching and inspiration behind, and let us see the result.

Luke 5:5 – And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

Peter told Jesus that the previous night’s fishing expedition was a waste of time and grudgingly Peter said, “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” When Jesus spoke to Peter he was speaking the Word of God to him (John 14:23-24; 15:15), but Peter felt that he was the expert when it came to fishing, after all it was “only” a carpenter who told him what to do. Notice what Peter did? Jesus said, “let down your nets {plural}” but what did Peter do? He let down a net (singular). Peter had the opportunity to take Jesus Christ with him to work. Can you imagine? Today in God’s grace we have Christ within, and he does reveal God to our minds whenever and wherever we allow.

Luke 5:6-7:
-6: And when they had this done {the letting down of the net}, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net break {because they did not use their “nets”}.
-7: And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Proverbs 3:6 comes to mind: “In all thy ways acknowledge him {God} and he shall direct thy paths.” No matter what we do for a living, or where we are at any moment, we can carry God’s healing Word and its inspiration with us to become successful. Jesus Christ reveals God to our hearts, and as we allow Jesus into our daily lives, the greater he reveals his Father and His power.

Luke 5:8-10:
-8: When Simon Peter saw it {recognized that Jesus was right}, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
-9: For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
-10: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; henceforth thou shalt catch men.

Peter immediately knew that he was wrong, he knew that even with Jesus in his boat, he did not allow the words of his inspiration into his life. Peter, to his credit, realized that he was just a man, one that was not perfect, and like any other, “a sinful man.” Jesus, to his praise, did not condemn Peter (or throw him out of the boat), but rather encouraged him that he most definitely would have better days, more opportunity to believe the Word that Jesus would continue revealing to him. “Fear not” because we are dearly loved by God and by His Son Jesus Christ.

So today, as we continue living our lives to the best of our ability, let us continue walking with the Savior and allow him and his inspiration into our lives, and watch God work miraculous things for us. When we place the Savior’s words of comfort in our minds, they can inspire us to be the best in our relationships, in our workplaces, and in our life’s endeavors. When we allow the master teacher into our hearts – his words will become our thoughts (our inner consciences) and his inspiration will be with us in our time of need.