To give a testimony is the act of telling an audience of what you have heard, seen, or experienced. I have experienced many times and even to this day the reluctance of people willing to tell the story of what Christ has done in their lives. I would ask people in a crowd on who would like to give a testimony or I begin a particular mission trip training with the word testimony and you can begin to feel the tension in the air. People begin to shift in their seats, some look side to side or down, and some think that if they begin sinking down their chair as if a black hole has suddenly appeared would save them from testifying the works of Christ in their lives. I get it though, some people are afraid of the stage that brings all attention on them but I wonder how many opportunities that God sends us to see something miraculous are wasted because of fear? How many potential breakthroughs, revelations, and salvations have been stumped because of our refusal to testify about God? We forget at times that testimony is more than a story about your life but is a story that opens the door for more encounters with God for not only the speaker but for those who are hearing!
Today’s point is going to be simple,
testify the works of Christ in your life so that we can see faith arise in Jesus for restoration.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,
16 “‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant[a] of mankind may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’
Paul and Barnabas are testifying to what God is doing amongst the gentiles. The idea that anyone that is not a Jew to be part of the community of God is still a foreign concept but the testimonies that are being relayed by the early church members of God’s movement amongst the gentiles cannot be denied! As Paul and Barnabas are testifying, James who is one of the core leaders of the early church brings up a prophecy from the book of Amos to validate what is going in the church. In the prophecy, there is talk of the tent of David being fallen but that it will be rebuilt. What this is saying is that Israel has fallen but that it’s restoration is assured but what is the highlight here is that the restoration of God’s people will not be just about them but for ALL of mankind will be able to seek the Lord through it! God restoring His people is the platform for other people to be restored in the process and God’s intention was not to have His people be made up of one ethnicity but anyone that seeks His face! God is not just going to restore a small segment of the world but seeks whole restoration of all creation. So what does this tell us?
We must realize that our restoration is not simply our own story but that our restoration can be the spark to help someone start their own restoration journey.
Always be willing and ready to share your testimony and sharpen it! Why? If God’s intention is restoration for all mankind, one of the ways he works is through testimony where the people of God who are restored, testify to the works of God and a fire is lit for restoration for those who hear. We must constantly refine and develop our ability to tell our story of what Christ has done because when we just simply “wing it,” we are not stewarding the full potential of it. Steward the story, steward the restoration.
When we testify, it builds faith in the believers who listen. Testimony has a way of encouraging faith and furthering the mission of restoration through inspiration. Being a christian is tough and at times we may walk away but a fresh testimony of God’s movement sparks passion for new testimonies to develop as people move out!
We as Christians have a story to tell. Let us not be silent about it but proclaim it so that we spark a fire of passion for Him and His kingdom.