My family has been involved with the Protestant Reformed Churches for just over three years.  Prior to that we were Arminian and very involved with Charismatic and Pentecostal churches.  God graciously revealed His truth to us through the diligent study of my mother who had come across a newsletter that dealt with the similarities of the church today and Rome.  This greatly disturbed her, and she began to read everything she could get her hands on about the Reformation.  So, of course, her study included Martin Luther and John Calvin.  In the end she got a hold of something by Prof. Engelsma, and she called him.  We have been in the PR churches ever since.

There is currently some work going on here in Fort Wayne.  We have Bible studies here twice a month and Sunday services twice a month.  Ministers from South Holland, Peace and Bethel conduct them.  We have a very small group, but we are growing spiritually and there has also been a certain amount of numerical growth.  We pray that the Lord will continue to bless this work.

What is a testimony?  The popular definition of a testimony is:  an open or public declaration of one’s faith or conversion.  Sometimes a testimony is the story of some difficult experience or recurring problem that has been overcome, and that has resulted in a lesson learned or a strengthening of faith.  Whatever the definition, the giving of testimonies has become a very popular, widespread practice in the church world today.

Do you have a testimony?  You may not think so because most of you have grown up in the faith, and have never known anything else.  But let’s take a closer look at what a testimony is.  The Random House College Dictionary defines a testimony as evidence in support of a fact or statement.  A testimony, therefore, testifies of something.  In that case, our words, our actions, indeed, our entire lives are a testimony.

Everyone has a testimony.  Each life on this earth testifies of something.  The question then becomes:  of what does your life testify?!!  The life of the atheist makes a clear statement of hatred and enmity against God.  The life of the Arminian proudly acclaims himself against the unchangeable justice and sovereignty of the Almighty.  There are others who simply believe that God exists.  Their testimony bespeaks a god who is around when they need him, but they are self-satisfied to live the rest of their lives totally apart from him.  All of these are testimonies, but they are the wrong kind of testimonies.

What is a right kind of testimony?  A good testimony?

What does the Bible say on the subject of testimonies?

Scripture speaks of testimony in the sense of a witness or bearing witness.  In the Old Testament God’s law is frequently called His testimony (Psalm 119:22, 24, 59, 79) because it is His affirmation concerning His nature, attributes and subsequent demands.  In the New Testament the idea of giving a testimony or testifying referred to the activity of affirming that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that he knows something because he was taught by divine revelation.  The apostles are said to testify or bear witness of what they saw and heard of the life of Jesus which proved that He was the Messiah (Acts 2:40; 8:25; 18:5; 20:21; 24; 28:23).

Therefore, we see that a testimony, in the Biblical sense, does not refer to what I have done or what has happened in my life, but refers to what God has done.  In this sense the Scriptures call every believer to bear witness.  We all have a testimony, if it is only the fact that our life is a manifestation of what we believe.

When the world looks at us can they see the fruit that our lives should be producing (Galatians 5:22, 23)?  What is our testimony?  Do they see love and joy, or do they miss that because they cannot see past gossip and bitterness?  Do they see peace and patience, or is that obscured by our discontent and our eagerness to get on with our own agenda of earning money and having fun?  Can they discern gentleness, goodness, meekness and temperance in us, or are these qualities hidden beneath selfishness, pride and greed?  Do they see our faith?  Most importantly, do they see God in us?  They should because the true church is a reflection of Him.

Exodus 20:7 says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”  Every professing child of God has taken on the name of the Lord:  CHRISTian.  We bear His name, and we are representatives of Him.  We are not to bear it falsely.  The testimonies of our lives will do one of two things.  They will either bear witness of Him, or they will deny Him before men.  We do not even have to open our mouths to deny Christ.  We can also deny Him with our actions.  In fact, our actions carry much more weight than our words.  There is an old saying – “Your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you say.”  This is very true.  Matthew 10:30 says, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”  Think about that!!!  Christ will deny those who deny Him!

Fellow young people, let us examine our lives.

Are we living according to God’s law?  If not, we need to ask ourselves why not.  You see, many people view Christianity as a long list of rules and regulations that no one live up to.  But that is not what Christianity is.  Being a born again Christian is simply love for the faith in God.  He tells us, though, in John 14:15 that if we love Him we will keep His commandments.

The fruit of our lives that the rest of the world sees, our testimony, is simply a result of our love and gratitude toward Him.  God does require that we keep His commandments, but our obedience involves more than duty.  If we love God it becomes the earnest desire of our grateful hearts to obey Him and keep His statutes.  They become a part of us.  He writes them on the tables of our hearts.  Then we can say with the Psalmist in Psalm 119:129, “Thy testimonies are wonderful:  therefore doth my soul keep them.”  And in Psalm 119:143, 144, “…yet thy commandments are my delights.  The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting:  give me understanding and I shall live.”

Your personal testimony is something that you give wherever you go and whether you want to or not.

When the world is watching us (and you can be assured that they ARE watching us) they can look into the mirrors of our lives and see exactly what we reflect.  We need to consider our actions.  Do the things that we do and say point to Him?  Or do we carry His name lightly?

We would all do well to remember Matthew 5:16. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  May God grant us all the strength and the desire to be a testimony unto His glory.  Amen.

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

Continue reading

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

Continue reading

The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

Continue reading

Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

Continue reading

Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

Continue reading

Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

Continue reading

Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

Continue reading