“I suppose you remember,” Stan commented one morning, “about how we have talked about the importance of the personal testimony.”
“I do,” I replied. “Having a personal testimony is important for each one of us so we can tell others how we came to faith. What we have to say may have an impact on someone else choosing to accept God’s free and gracious gift of salvation, as well as to pursue the eternal life of knowing Jesus and God the Father on this side of eternity.”
“Exactly,” Stan exclaimed. “And this morning I was reading in Luke’s gospel and saw where Jesus made a powerful statement on this subject.”
“Jesus was talking about personal testimonies?” I asked.
“Sure was,” Stan replied. “And it struck me as a real encouragement to tell others about my faith walk.”
“What was going on with Jesus?” I asked.
“He and His disciples had made their way to the country of the Gerasenes, which was opposite Galilee, and encountered a man who had a serious problem with being possessed by many demons.”
“Is that the account where Jesus sent the demons into a herd of swine that then ran off the cliff into the sea and were drowned?”
“Same one,” Stan replied. “An amazing story of healing that changed everything about the man.”
“And,” I added, “as I remember, the people who owned the swine that drowned were quite upset by what Jesus had done.”
“That’s right,” Stan replied, “but that’s another story for another day.”
Continuing, he said, “What struck me about this story is that the man, once he was healed, asked Jesus if he could go with Him. Jesus told the man he could not. Instead, Jesus told the man to go home and tell everyone about what had happened. In essence, Jesus told the man to go tell his personal testimony.”
“Tell his personal testimony,” I repeated. “Did the man do that?”
“He did,” Stan replied. “It says that he went throughout the whole city telling what great things Jesus had done.”
“What happened when the people heard what the man had to say?” I asked.
“Luke’s gospel doesn’t say,” Stan replied, “but the parallel account in Mark’s gospel says that ‘everyone marveled’.”
“Everyone marveled,” I said. “How wonderful would that be if everyone marveled when I told them about all the great things God has done for me?”
“Seems to me,” Stan replied, “that’s the point of the personal testimony. People can’t marvel if they don’t hear anything about what God has done! Each one of us is to go and tell.”
Bible verses to consider:
But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him (Jesus) that he might accompany Him, but He sent him away, saying, “Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” And he departed, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:38-39.
And as He (Jesus) was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was entreating Him that he might accompany Him. And He did not let him, but He said to him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.” And he went off and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone marveled. Mark 5:18-20.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving me a personal testimony to tell about how you provided and I accepted by faith your free and gracious gift of salvation. I confess that too often I do not tell others what you have done and continue to do for me. Please help me in following every step of your lead in telling others all you have done so that they may marvel and come to have their own personal testimony that they can then pass on to others. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you have a personal testimony to tell others about what God has done for you? If no, is that because you haven’t accepted by faith His free and gracious provision of salvation? If that’s the reason, what is holding you back? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with having and sharing your personal testimony? Remember that believers’ personal testimonies of what God has done in their lives can have a huge impact on those who hear what you have to say. By sharing your personal testimony you may well help others come to have their own personal testimonies.