Summary: My testimony is something of which God expects me to be a good steward.
Every Christian is called to live like Jesus. In John 20:21, Jesus said, "As my Father has sent me, even so send I you." How was Jesus sent? He was sent on redemptive mission by the Father. Jesus said, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" (Luke 19:10). Every Christian is called to be involved in winning the lost to Christ.
Sharing Jesus should be a natural expression of walking with Him. Our relationship with Christ begins when we admit to God that our way is the wrong way. Then we accept Jesus as being the only way to God. From that point, our relationship with Christ should grow deeper and deeper. Our witness should then flow out of that daily and life-changing relationship with Him. You see, each of us who knows Christ as our Savior has a story to tell. We commonly call this story our "testimony."
There was a time in my life when I did not know Christ; then, I came to know Him; and now, my life is different because of Him. These are the three basic elements found in the testimony of every Christian.
Share your testimony)
Do you have a testimony? If so, what was your life like before trusting Christ? How did you come to understand that you needed to trust Christ? How did you commit your life to Jesus? How did you make that decision? How has your life been impacted since trusting Christ?
Let me encourage you to examine yourself at this point. Do you have a testimony of having had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ?
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? - 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
If you do not have a testimony of having trusted Christ, let me urge you to do so today.
(Lead in the sinner’s prayer)
Assuming you truly do know Christ, you must understand that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our testimony. In this series so far, we have talked about being good stewards of our time and talents. We need to understand that the reason God gives us the time and talents He does is so that we might use them to tell others about Christ. Sharing Jesus is the Christian’s primary mission in life!
In his book, Becoming A Contagious Christian, Bill Hybels says, "God custom designed you with your unique combination of personality, temperament, talents, and background, and He wants to harness and use these in His mission to reach this messed up world."
With this in mind, let’s look to see what the apostle Peter has to tell us about how we can be good stewards of our testimony.
Peter says that if I am going to be a good steward of my testimony:
1 need to show Christ - vs. 13-14a
A. I need to delight to do good - v. 13
The NASB uses the word, "zealous" where the NI V uses the word "eager." The idea here is that our commitment to living the kind of life God has called us to should be such that it is a consuming passion. The word "zealous" is the word from which the title of "zealot" came. The "zealots" in Jesus’ day were Jews whose lives were filled with a passion to see Israel freed from Roman oppression. All their time, talent, and treasure was committed to this objective.
Likewise, the Christian’s commitment to living a life that counts for God and blesses others should be his consuming passion and daily delight! But delighting to do good is not enough. Because this world stands in opposition to the things of Christ...
B. I need to determine to do good - v. 14a
Sometimes, we make those around us uncomfortable when we seek to stand for what is right and good, because it is easier on them for us to "go along with the crowd."
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example." - Mark Twain
When that happens, we might find that "doing good" is more difficult in the short run, but Peter assures us that it will, nevertheless, be worth it in the long run. Therefore, if we are going to be good stewards of our testimony, we need to commit to doing what is right, even if it is not what is popular, and even when it is difficult. This is the kind of testimony that will be used of God to change the hearts of those who are lost.
In verses 8 through 12, Peter describes what life is like when we "do good." What characterizes the life of a Christian who is "doing good?"