The Worship of Testimony
by Angela Kay,
Assistant Worship Coordinator for Planting Roots
It was about midnight. They were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly, there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prisons were shaken. At once, the prison doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose.
The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought all the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He asked, “What must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household.”
That night, the jailer got saved-he became a believer. He took Paul and Silas to his home and cleaned their wounds. All of his household became believers in Christ and were baptized. The jailer’s house was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God-he and his whole household. (See Acts 16:25-34)
This story is one of the many stories penned by the Gospel writers. And what a wonderful story it is! Stories are happening all around us every day. You are in the midst of a story. You experience stories. You enjoy stories. You learn from the stories you have seen, endured, and experienced. And you are inspired by the stories of others.
Testimony is from the Latin word “testimonium,” meaning, “evidence”, or “witness.” It is a firsthand account of what one has experienced, seen, heard, felt, enjoyed, or endured. For believers it is a public profession of faith and a powerful means to communicate the good news.
Sing to the Lord and praise his name;
Every day tells how he saves us.
Tell the nations of his glory;
tell all peoples the miracle he does,
Because the Lord is great;
He should be praised at all times.
Will you share your story of God’s grace?
When you share your testimony and proclaim the wonders of God, you provide evidence of God’s goodness to the lost. When you share your personal stories, your testimonies, of how God transformed you, healed you, and delivered you from sin, you provide “evidence” or “witness” about the existence of God that is hard for one to deny.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
make known His deeds among the peoples!
1 Chronicles 16:8
The book of Acts is a series of testimonies and eyewitness accounts of what God was doing in the early church and how it affected worship. The early Christians experienced power, insight, conviction, and passion to tell their stories. The role of “Testimony” in the establishment of the Early Church was significant not only to the individual’s story but it opened the door for evangelism. John, the beloved disciple was overwhelmed and overcome by all Jesus had done in him and through him.
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
One of the Hebrew words for worship is halal, which means “to celebrate God foolishly” and “to boast about His attributes.” John “celebrated God foolishly” and “boasted about His attributes” by sharing his story. He lived it and He preached it. We read in the word of God how the testimonies of the disciples incited fear in those who heard them, we witness people becoming saved, we witness the power manifested in the one testifying, and we witness the gospel on display. We too have stories that have great power. The gospel is a story of great momentum and power.
“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.” Maya Angelou
But how do you go about sharing your story? We must be generous with the Good News!
Like the early Christians you will receive power, insight, conviction, and passion to tell your stories. Your story is a love story set in the midst of a battle. Struggles, temptations, and failures are a reality, even for those actively walking with Christ. Your story is a story of redemption, hope, love, purpose and abundant life.
Go read the testimonies in God’s word. Go read Fox’s famous book detailing the lives, sufferings and triumphant deaths of the early Christian and the Protestant Martyrs. (Fox’s Book of Martyrs)
Will you worship God with reckless abandon (halal); having no concern for the cost of sharing your story, but celebrating your story as an act of worship to display His Glory and His Wonder?
He is the author and finisher of your story…as this song called, All This Time, by Britt Nicole, so aptly says,
Every heartache and failure, every broken dream
You’re the God who sees, the God who rescued me
This is my story
This is my story