We are about to wrap up our Stewardship Series, Spill the T for 2022, and we will be looking at the theme of Testimony this Sunday.
I love hearing people share the story of how they became a Christian. Whether it's someone giving a testimony in church or just an informal conversation, it's always encouraging to hear personal stories of people putting their faith in Jesus. But I think there's often something missing. Have you noticed when we tell or write our testimonies, they follow a set pattern?
I was lost. I was saved by Christ. I will go to heaven to be with Him!
Before and the future. That’s all that we think that really matters. Of course, the above three points are true and important to tell people about! But what I think is missing is the bit between becoming a Christian and ultimately going to heaven. In other words, we should talk about what's happening right now as we live in anticipation of Christ's return.
In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul says: "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)
He was reminding them that being a Christian wasn’t simply deciding to follow Jesus; they had to continue to know Jesus more and more. The same is true for you and I.
We are a bit like a fruit tree!
We've been planted as a seed. Then we decide to follow Jesus and get watered and a little shoot pops out of the ground. If we leave it as that, it remains very fragile. But if we grow in our faith, if we make deep strong roots in the ground, we will continue to grow stronger and we will eventually bear fruit.
There's going to be tough times in our lives. Life isn’t easy being a Christian. The rain, the wind and the hail might come, but if we have strong roots in God’s word, and continue to grow in the knowledge of Him, we can stand strong.
Next time you're asked to tell your story of coming to faith in Jesus, be sure to explain not only how you became a Christian, but how you're continuing to live in Him:
To bear fruit, to be strengthened and to grow in your knowledge of God.
My prayer for all of us is that just as we received Christ Jesus as Lord, we continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith we were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
"...we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might..." Colossians 1:10-11a (NIV)
With all my love, always,