Prepare Your Testimony
By Daniel Scot Sept. 2008
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Of Him [Jesus] all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.—Acts 10:43
For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.—Acts 22:15
How to prepare an effective testimony when sharing with Muslims.
Your testimony is not a story about you as much as it is about how God met you, and is and has been molding you. In other words, you are privileged to have the living God working in your life and should be eager to share that good news with others.
Jesus told His disciples to bear witness of Him to all the earth. Be honoured to be a witness of the grace of God! Furthermore, Jesus says in Matthew 10:33, 'But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.' In Matthew 10:32 Jesus promises, 'Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.'
The disciples undoubtedly were called upon frequently to testify how Jesus had changed them; Paul frequently told what God had done. Jesus himself told people to testify about what He had done (Mark 5:19). And you are commanded to always be ready to answer unbelievers. In short, your testimony is a testimony to the power and faithfulness of God in your life (1 Peter 3:15).
Your testimony is not a substitute for the Gospel even though it may concisely contain the Gospel. There are numerous dangers in confusing the two. If your testimony is particularly spectacular or powerful, and the person with whom you are sharing doesn't have a similar experience, they may think they are not saved.
There are some potential pitfalls in developing a personal testimony. Consider the following tips carefully:
Generally speaking, strangers, acquaintances and friends do not ask for your testimony without you letting them know that you are a Christian and speaking to them in such a way as to impart a knowledge of God and His love for them. This is frequently done through times of struggle, encouragement, kindnesses, practical help etc.
Living your testimony is not the same, and will never be the same, as telling someone. Imagine that your neighbors's house is on fire. Do you first run inside your home, have a shower and put on clean clothes, have a shave etc., and then parade up and down outside their house, trying to entice them out by your lifestyle? NO! If you have concern for them you will shout at the top of your voice that they are in danger and need to get out. Simply being good will never bring someone into the Kingdom; you must have the testimony as a Christian who is led by Jesus. Without the Gospel, no one can be saved. The Bible says that God has chosen the "foolishness" of the Gospel to save (1 Corinthians 1:18, 21 etc) so that, apart from the presentation of the Gospel, the conviction of their sin and the righteousness that comes through Jesus, they cannot be saved.
The general structure of your testimony should provide a before and after snapshot—how you were convicted of your sin, how you knew that Jesus alone could atone for you, plus how God is working in you today.
4. It is God who works in you and through you. You cannot live a life that is pleasing to God apart from His enabling. Since the God of this universe lives in you, He can and will give you the courage and ability to testify about Him since that is His revealed will for everyone. God is glorified most when we are weak and rely on His grace and power!!
5. Pray that the Lord will give you boldness, wisdom and the opportunity to share what He has done!
6. Be genuine. Refresh your memory by reading the example of Paul before King Agrippa (Acts 26:2-29). Paul appealed to the knowledge that Agrippa had of the law; he told some positive aspects of his own life before conversion - such as his strict observance of the law. But he also told some of the negative aspects as well, i.e. that he killed the saints! He told of his conversion and his subsequent life after seeing Jesus—an inspiring and courageous presentation! Use this page to make notes and prepare your own testimony. Write Scriptural references that you know that will support your story. Remember! Your testimony should be only 3-5 minutes and is about how Jesus has been faithful to His Word.
Think to positively affirm the person with whom you are about to share. Speak truthfully and with appreciation.
Thoughts about God/Jesus, works, sin, the Church: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Positive Qualities: ________________________________________________________________________________
Negative Qualities: ________________________________________________________________________________
How you realized the need for Jesus alone: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How you trusted Jesus: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Results of Conversion:
Fruit of salvation initially: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Fruit of salvation now: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How you know that you have peace, fellowship with God the forgiveness of sins, and assurance of Heaven. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
May the Lord Jesus Christ be glorified through this testimony and many people
Read the Holy Bible online: http://www.ibs.org/bibles
Watch the Jesus Film online: http://www.jesusfilm.org/languages
Mizan ul Haqq
Christian Debater™ P.O. Box 144441 Austin, TX 78714