Living our Lives as a Credit
Several years ago I heard a Pastor preach a particularly convicting sermon on our testimony. As he leaned into the pulpit he asked the congregation if there was enough evidence from their personal testimony to find them guilty of being a Christian. To further illustrate his point he continued with another pointed question. “Would a jury of your peers be able to recall any testimonials presented from you about your love for the Lord?” Other pastors have used variations of this same theme to demonstrate the importance of our testimony. You see our testimony bears witness or gives evidence of our relationship with God. It is our living declaration, the proof, to the difference made in our life by Christ.
The reason for testimonials is people motivate people. Hearing the testimony of another person triggers the “If they can overcome and end up strong, I can too.” When I hear of someone who has overcome incredible obstacles in their life, it makes me want to take on the challenges in my life. Granted the most effective testimonials are those which demonstrate the highest degree of improvement or change but all people have a story to tell that may help another. Recently, I surveyed my senior strength training class and discovered many of the students have been able to eliminate their high blood pressure and cholesterol medications due to exercising. They have also increased their bone density and endurance. With new class members coming regularly, it is easy to see they are practicing the way of the testimonials.
When I decided to dedicate myself to serving Jesus Christ it impacted every aspect of my life, especially, my fitness routine. It was not that many years ago that I wondered if teaching fitness was all I was going to do with my life. I was reminded of Christ’s impact on my life this past week when I had the pleasure to speak with 25 radio hosts as part of a national radio tour to promote my new book from Guidepost Publishing, Shaped By Faith. As each host asked various questions regarding how I was led to write this book or what exercises I would recommend for a person to do in their home, all of my answers pointed straight back to my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The radio tour was an opportunity for me to share my testimony of what God has done in my life and how He is able to use a small town girl who lives in Calhoun KY to spread His good news. The hosts represented New York, Colorado Springs, Boston, Minneapolis, Oklahoma and Canada, to name a few. Even though I consider working out a worship and praise session to the Father, I quickly realized the hosts had never heard of blending the spirit and body together to make us healthier, holier and able to endure the challenging things that invade our life. They allowed me to share with the listeners that Christ has transformed me from head to toe, inside and out. I was able to explain in detail the process of whole person wellness and how personal testimonies inspire others to pursue a closer relationship with Christ while helping them take care of their physical bodies through exercise.
Not only did I share my personal testimony,
I also gave the testimony of my students and what exercise and a relationship with God has done for them. The hosts, now thoroughly motivated, started asking questions about how to blend the spirit and body together while exercising. As I answered their questions, I felt right at home and right where God wanted me to be. I felt His peace as I encouraged them to take care of their bodies and to rely on God for their strength.
In First Peter 3 we find this important guidance, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
The morning of the live radio tour, I prayed that God would direct my words and the tone of my voice. Most importantly, I asked God to speak through me during each interview so that his purposes would be fulfilled. After my prayer time, I reached for my new devotional book that was a gift from my prayer partner. As I opened it to read God’s word, I knew I would be encouraged and motivated to share my testimony with perfect strangers.
Here is the scripture that I read that day from Isaiah 43:10. “You are my witnesses, declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He.” God’s word never fails or disappoints us! We all have a testimony to share, whether it is how we lost weight or how God has changed our life. Let all who have ears listen and be encouraged by your testimony. Your words of encouragement could be just the words that person needs to hear.
Picture taken from my kitchen window this morning:)http://www.shapedbyfaith.com/