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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.”— Acts 22:15 (NLT)
According to Dr. Gary Wells, “Eyewitness testimony is critically important to the justice system. Indeed, it is necessary in all criminal trials to reconstruct facts from past events, and eyewitnesses are commonly very important to this effort.”
If you’ve ever watched any crime dramas, before a trial, there is usually a period where lawyers are trying to find eyewitnesses that will support their argument. Time and time again, we’ve seen how a compelling eyewitness testimony can be the difference between a life of freedom or one of imprisonment . . . sometimes even between life and death!
When it comes to eternity, the eyewitness testimony of a disciple of Jesus can make all the difference in the world for someone. That’s why the apostle Paul declares in today’s verse, “For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.” Because what you have seen is the power of the gospel at work, and what you have heard are the words of life!
The word he used for witness is martys, which is where we get the word martyr. I find this interesting and appropriate, because for many believers, the idea of sharing their testimony seems as terrifying as being martyred. I don’t say this with judgment, as I myself have felt a morbid sense of fear at the thought of sharing the gospel or my testimony with someone I don’t know. But it’s something we’re commanded to do (Mark 16:15–16; Matthew 28:19–20; Acts 1:7–8). And the byproduct of our obedience to this call, of our willingness to share our eyewitness testimony, does indeed mean the difference between life and death. It can change a person’s eternal destiny!
But I think it starts with—and rests on—our lives . . . on the way we live and act, on our attitudes, and on the way we treat people. Consider what happens in John 9:8 (NIV), after Jesus healed a blind man. Upon seeing the change in this man’s life, “His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, ‘Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?’” His life showed a difference, which led people to wonder, to ask, and to seek the answers to how this happened.
This is how we need to be! We don’t need a blind-to-sight testimony, but the real power isn’t in the miracle, it’s in the gospel and the Spirit of God in us. So, live in that power and be a witness of that power; allow His Spirit to work in and through you. When you do, lives will be changed and souls will be saved!
DIG: Read Acts 22:1–23 and John 9:1–34.
DISCOVER: How have you seen testimonies at work? Has someone’s testimony ever impacted you? Has your testimony been used to impact and change someone’s life? What made it so powerful?
DISPLAY: Be very intentional about your words, actions, and attitude. Ensure that you’re being a living witness, and as people see the Spirit at work in you, find opportunities to share your testimony about the work the Lord has done in your life.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.