The Power of Your Testimony

by Sami

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After I truly came to know Christ in my twenties, I still had lots of questions, especially when it came to processing the Old Testament. Because of my Jewish background, my mentor thought it would behoove me to just go ahead and take an OT survey class.

So I promptly signed up for a distance learning course through Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. As I began to learn about and travel virtually through the beginning of time up until the birth of Jesus, so much of our Lord became clear to me, even as deeper questions arose.


Me and my dad, Jerry

One epiphany I had was that my (Jewish) father and I could finally have a common ground to start a conversation on religion! After all, we could agree on the first five books of the Bible (that we know as the Pentateuch) which are also known to the Jews as the Torah, right? But when I went to him with this as the basis for our conversations, he still attempted to debate and disprove me.

Where had I gone wrong?

It took me years from that point to finally come to the understanding that my father was actually a cultural Jew, not a religious one. And it shouldn’t have surprised me. Though we celebrated all the Jewish holidays in our home and I could still chant the Hanukah prayer if you asked me, the only time I ever stepped foot in a temple as a child was for a cousin’s Bar-Mitzvah or the wedding of a family friend. Even at that, if I was asked to give a blessing during a Jewish ceremony, it had to be next to and under the covering of my father. You see, true Jewish heritage is passed on through the bloodline of the mother and since I never had my own Bat-Mitzvah, I wasn’t allowed to take part in Orthodox ceremonies.

Though this used to be one of the biggest dividing points between me and my father, if has now become close to a non-issue.

I stopped trying to barrage him with the facts about why God exists and why Jesus is my Lord and Savior and instead started simply living my life in a way that demonstrates those very principles. Though he still may not agree with my religious stance, he appreciates the consistency of my life and the way it translates into my relationship with my husband and my kids.

I think about all the times people tried to convince me of the gospel before I was a Christian instead of just taking me on their journey with them. Stop searching for all the answers and instead work on articulating your personal testimony. After all, while someone may be able to discredit your stance, then can never dispute your story.

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Krista @ Life in Texas October 27, 2010 - 7:34 pm

This is such a profound truth. We affect so many people just by being transparent and taking them along on our imperfect, less than intellectual journey. Great thoughts, thanks.

Sisterlisa October 27, 2010 - 7:33 pm

That is absolutely correct, Sami. I recently had a conversation with a Jewish friend and I never spoke of our Lord as ‘Jesus’ I simply kept the conversation about ‘Messiah’. really the same person.. they will agree with you on everything about their ‘Messiah’ except that He already came..but their hope IS in the ‘one to come’. So that is where I stay in conversation with my fellowship with Jewish friends. My friend finally realized that the one she looks forward to has the same characteristics as the one I believe is already here with us now. Then the light came on for her. Another thing was Paul. She realized that Paul (who was a rabbi) taught ‘how’ to live out the ‘scriptures’ in love, mercy, and grace..and thus the NT is an extension of the OT in how to apply that living in the Spirit. She totally got it! And regardless of what mental strongholds she has about her understanding..our salvation is not based on our grasping of theology as interpreted by a religious forefather. It has to do with the indwelling love of God. So I keep love as the foundation of our conversations. And the fellowship is amazing.

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