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.

A Firsthand Witness (Your Spoken Testimony from the Heart)

“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 very 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.” ~LMJ~

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.” ~LMJ~

The Crown Incorruptible

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

II Kings 11:12a – And he brought forth the king’s son {Joash} and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; . . .

At Joash’s coronation as king, he received first his crown, secondly they gave to him the testimony, which was the Word of God; this was to be his standard and rule of practice in ruling his kingdom. They also anointed him.  The anointing set him apart as the king and established him as God’s servant and leader for the people.

Today in God’s grace we, His children, believe in the future crowns that we may receive from God when Christ returns for us. We are anointed today with holy spirit by God Himself (II Corinthians 1:21-22), and we have God’s Word as our standard to believe in and enjoy as we serve one another with the love of God. With God’s Word we can discover His guidelines on how to receive the crowns that will be given to believers who live in God’s love and grace.

II Timothy 2:5 – And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

“Strive for the masteries” literally means to contend or compete in the games.  These games were common to the believers in the first century and were known as the Olympic games. Paul is teaching that when we look forward to the spiritual goal of Christ returning for us, that we must compete lawfully by the rules. The rules are recorded in God’s Word. We are saved for eternity, yet there is more to be received if we follow the guidelines recorded in Scripture, and the underlying principle to everything recorded in God’s Word is always to walk in love.

As we apply and enjoy God’s love we will literally stay in bounds.  When Christ does return, we will indeed receive the prize and be crowned, “I press toward the mark {the finish line} for the prize {the crown} of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Each believer can receive the crowns now offered by God, the crown incorruptible is eternal, and will be “reserved in heaven” (I Peter 1:4).

I Corinthians 9:24-26:
-24: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but {only} one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
-25: And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they {in a physical race} do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we {in a spiritual race} an incorruptible {crown}
-26: I therefore so run, not as uncertainly {because we know that we can win}; so fight {box} I, not as one that beateth the air {one who shadowboxes}:

Noting that God uses so many metaphors of competition about receiving our crowns is interesting. In a physical race one must stay in bounds, and one must be “temperate in all things.” Temperate means to have self-control in all things. In the Greek Olympics only one received the prize and only one received a crown of olive leaves, but in God’s Word all believers who strive to follow His healing Word will receive the “crown incorruptible.”

The crown incorruptible is for believers who practice self-control over life’s circumstances and walk within the bounds of God’s wonderful Word. Whenever we walk (conduct our lives) according to Scripture, then, we are more than conquerors. When we walk in love and believe the Scriptures we are literally hitting the mark rather than simply shadowboxing against the forces of evil.

Hebrews 12:1-2a
-1: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses {recorded examples of believers who believe in Hebrews chapter 11}, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us {that can knock us out of bounds}, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
-2a: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; . . .

When we keep our eyes on the goal of the coming of Christ Jesus and look to him through the Scriptures we can “run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Running with patience is like getting a second wind (an ease) which believers receive as they continue “striving lawfully.”

Then at the finish line we will receive the crown incorruptible for having patience and self-control in our own lives. Jesus as our “author and finisher of our faith” has already won, we only need to follow his lead by living in the love of God to achieve and receive the crown incorruptible.

To be continued in The Crown of Glory