“So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” (Mark 5: 20)
So what does this new life with Jesus look like? Today’s verse is it in a nutshell. You have an encounter with Jesus. He sets you free without pain and in a way that only God can. You can’t help but tell others about what has happened. It’s a simple as that.
There is no theological diatribe. There is no debate about predestination, or the trinity, or how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. There is no arguing evolution verses creation, or the negative effects of religion on society. There is no program, no meetings, no training. It is simply experiencing God, and telling others about what you have seen and heard.
It was the pattern a Christmas. “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” (Luke 2: 20)
It was what Jesus told a messenger to do when John the Baptist was having second thoughts about who Jesus was. “So he replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor’ ” (Luke 7:22)
It is even the pattern Jesus used himself. “…The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard…” (John 3: 31-32)
Certainly it was the mainstay of the church in acts. “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20) And later in acts, when Paul was converted on the road to Damascus he was told explicitly “You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.” (Acts 22:15)
If you have not had an encounter with Jesus, if you have not seen him work in your life, if you have not heard his voice, then you don’t have a testimony. You can’t motivate yourself to share good news. It’s either good news, and you want to tell everyone, or it’s not, in which case you have nothing to share.
I’m not saying that telling others is easy. It does require you to actually get up and do it, and not be afraid to face the shame and rejection that might come your way, but what I am saying is that you need to ask yourself if you are not doing it, why? Is it that it no longer means anything to you? Is it that you haven’t seen or heard from God in a long time, and don’t have anything to share?
Don’t feel condemned about not sharing your testimony, simply ask Jesus for a fresh encounter. Ask him to show you things, to tell you things, to give you something you can share. Then step out in faith and tell others about what he is doing in your life. If the focus is about what Jesus did (and not on intellectual arguments, or personal achievements) then people will be amazed.
Every Christian has a testimony. If you invited Jesus into your life, then you are becoming a new creation, the old is passing away and the new is coming. This is your testimony. Share how Jesus is changing your life, and setting you free from your old way of living.
Everybody seems to be searching for the truth that will turn their life around. The want something better, something new, something different. You have that something! No self-help guru, or life coach, or motivation speaker can offer what Jesus offers.
If you haven’t experienced it for yourself, then there is no time like the present. Right now I would encourage you to accept Jesus at his word with a simple prayer. “Jesus I am sorry for trying to do things my way. Forgive me. I give my life over to you so that you can set me free and I can live life the way you intended. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and your grace to make me a new creation. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Once you have prayed this prayer, know that Jesus is faithful and this single encounter will change your life forever. As this happens, tell others about it! That way if they are fellow Christians they can share your joy and support you during the difficult times, and if they are not Christians they can discover a new life for themselves.