REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Cami King who serves as associate pastor at Remnant Church in Manhattan, was first posted on April 5, 2014. Cami is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“No Greater Gift from God to Us”
For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
One of the greatest, and most neglected, defenses of our faith is our personal testimony. Much like apologetics, theological debates, and Gospel-centered sermons (all of which we readily identify as ways to prove or explain our faith), our personal testimony has great power to make clear the person and work of Christ to those around us.
In Paul’s defense of himself and of the Gospel he preached, he turned to his own story – the narrative of his relationship with God – to bring to life the truths he wished to convey. Much like a sermon illustration, our personal stories bring to life the truths God longs to teach the world. Not that we rely upon experience over or against Scripture or theology – by no means! They all work together. But Scripture and theology apart from the sharing of our personal stories can be much like a sermon without illustrations… dry and impersonal.
“The greatest gift you can give someone is the story of Jesus and how he changes lives –especially yours” (Bill Hybels).
There are a number of ways we can tell our testimony. We have our salvation story which usually consists of three components: (1) BC – our lives before Christ; (2) the Cross – how we came to believe the Gospel; (3) AD – our lives afterwards. This is what many of us imagine when we hear the word “testimony.”
I grew up in the Black church in the South where we would regularly have testimonies shared in the service. But people weren’t only telling their salvation stories: They also shared all kinds of stories of how God was moving in their lives, leading listeners to give thanks and take greater steps of faith.
Sharing our testimony not only illustrates for an on-looking world the person and work of Christ, but also reminds us of the good things God has done, leading to thanksgiving.
What is your salvation testimony? What are some ways God has been working in your life lately? Spend some time reflecting on these stories and thanking God for His faithfulness. Think of those in your life who can benefit from hearing them and ask for the courage and boldness to share.
Remember, your story is a powerful one that God has taken great care to write and that others need to hear!
Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of salvation. Thank You for all the wonderful things You have done in my life. To You belong all the glory and praise. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 6-7