Last week in “Sharing Your Testimony: An Introduction” we examined the ideas encompassed within the word “testimony” and how they affect the way in which we view (and tell) our own “God Stories”. This week, we’ll be diving in a bit deeper as we look at some Biblical testimonies which don’t quite fit the model that we’re used to seeing and how those testimonies better prepare us to deliver our own!
A testimony consists of what we have witnessed concerning God, His character, and His value in our lives and the Scriptures are filled with such stories. Startlingly, many of these testimonies aren’t lengthy dialogues or detailed descriptions of life before and after encountering God, but rather, one-line testimonies to His greatness. One of the earliest such testimony is that of Melchizedek recorded in Genesis 14:20:
“…blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
That’s one powerful line (and only one) describing God’s involvement in the life of Abram. Melchizedek doesn’t go into a long, drawn out story, but simply states things the way they are: Abram’s enemies have fallen because God delivered them into his hands. We know to Whom the praise is due – and that’s all we need to know.
Another great example of a one-line testimony (well, actually two) can be found in Job 19:25-26:
“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God.”
Simple, yet effective, we see both a declaration about Job’s God and Job’s confidence in his God.
Or how about this one found in Psalm 84:11?
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
These brief testimonies are present frequently throughout the Scripture in the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the Judges, David, Solomon, and the writings of the Psalmists, each declaring God’s goodness and mercy in light of His tremendous blessings and, on occasion, even amidst deep sorrow. They testify to who God is, what He does, and His value in the life of those who serve Him.
Such one-line testimonies are perhaps the easiest to give: they require no preparation and can be delivered in an instant. More importantly, they give us an inoffensive way to share our faith without tying other people up in a lengthy dialogue – allowing them to enquire about our faith in their own time.
Not sure you could sum up God’s involvement in your own life in a single sentence? Try answering one of these questions:
What has He done for you today?
What makes your relationship with Him worth the investment?
What about Him brings you comfort, peace, or reassurance?
These questions, of course, are just a starting place and you’ll likely find quite a few others that inspire equally effective one-line testimonies. Next week, we’ll take a look at the New Testament and some slightly longer models, but in the meantime, why not share a few of your own one-liners in the comment box below?