2 Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.
By the time of this letter, the apostle Peter was coming to the end of his life. He was writing to a group of people who were not eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life and ministry as he was.
“We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven…”
Since you and I were not around when Jesus walked the earth in flesh and blood, what does this passage have to teach us? I believe Peter is giving us an example of a powerfully important practice of Christian people – the practice of giving one’s “testimony”.
What is a testimony? In short, it’s telling one’s story of faith – how you have been changed/transformed by following Jesus. It might involve a story of conversion to Christianity, or the awakening of a faith life that was dormant. A testimony might describe how the Lord sustained you through a difficult time, brought healing in a time of illness, or gave you strength to break free of addiction. The possibilities are endless. But know this:
In an increasingly secular culture resistant to Christianity, your personal faith story is particularly important.
People can argue the merits of the bible and its teachings. They can argue doctrine and your understanding of “truth”, but they cannot argue with your personal experience. What happened to you is what happened to you. Personal story speaks powerfully in a post-modern, post-Christian world. This morning I’m thinking about my own testimony. Some questions for today:
What stories do I have to share about the difference Jesus has made in my life?
Who are the people in my relational orbit who need to hear my story?
Am I prepared to share my story in such a way that I’m not stumbling, but can say it well?
If I tend to share testimony from many years ago, what more recent faith story might I have?
Heavenly Father, there is great power in testimony. When we share our faith stories we not only build our own faith, but we elevate the faith of those around us. Give us grace to be ready to share our testimony when the opportunity presents itself. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.