First Hand Testimony

First Hand Testimony

By. Chris Taylor


There’s nothing like hearing a story first hand. Working with men who are finding freedom from addictions, I hear a lot of testimonies that really stir up my spirit. You can feel the fire burning inside as these men tell of the goodness of God and how his word is so true. They tell of promises in the word they’ve held onto and how those promises became reality to them. I can, and do, share several of their stories, but the impact is so much greater when it’s heard directly from the lips of the delivered! There’s a power flowing from the true faith that comes from experiencing and knowing that this really happened. There’s power in your testimony.


I imagine this power as I read the story of the two disciples met by the Lord on the resurrection day. (Luke ch. 24) They were blinded to who He was and they were downcast due to the recent events and the uncertainty they felt as to what was going on with His body. Jesus came and walked along with them as they discussed everything that had been happening and He questioned them to hear their take on the situation. As they begin to explain everything that had taken place, we quickly realize that not only are they blinded to who’s walking beside them, but current situations and confusion have blinded them from God’s word. They’d heard it several times, but now that things look hopeless, they’ve forgotten the promise. They were focused on the trouble, when the greatest triumph is standing beside them. Then Jesus, calling them foolish, reminded them of all the things the prophets had spoken. He reminded them of the suffering that had to take place before the glory. Then He began to open up the scriptures to them concerning everything that was written about Him all the way back to the time of Moses. They had no idea that they were hearing a first hand testimony! Later He reveals Himself to them and they see clearly that it was Him all along. When He disappeared from them they ask each other (vs. 32), “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us?” They’re hearts where burning because they were hearing this from the Master Himself. A first hand testimony.


Sometimes circumstances, fear, and confusion blind us, just like these two followers of Christ. We may even miss the fact that He is right here with us, in us. Our minds get focused on the trouble rather than the triumph. That’s when we have to remind ourselves of what God has said and what He’s promised. We look at what the word says concerning Him and how that relates to us. Then, as we read the word, it begins to burn inside of us because we have His Spirit living in us that brings the word to life in our hearts. The word IS the first hand testimony of every believer! He want’s to remove the blinders today so that you can see that victory has already been won. Remember today that the word isn’t just a book or a man, this is your life story. Share the victory today. Focus on the triumph today!


My view of Ministry

By Chris Taylor


Ministry is a word that includes so many things. Many think of the Pastor of their church when they hear this word. Some think further to encompass things such as prison “ministry”, children’s “ministry”, music “ministry”, homeless “ministry”, or ladies’ and men’s “ministries”. The list could go on and on because there are so many forms and so many types of people who need ministered to. In fact we all need ministered to. This is why ministry is so special and essential to the Christian life.


Every believer in Christ is a believer because of ministry. Someone had to share the good news of the gospel in order for it to be believed in. Ministry is leading people to Christ and then making disciples of them so that they can do the same. In Matthew chapter 28, verses 18-20, the word says Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”


In these three verses, there are several things Jesus has instructed his disciples to do. The first is to GO and to MAKE disciples. He’s calling his followers to not only find others to “save”, but to make disciples of them all over the world. Not just Israel, not just Jews, but also every nation. What great news that everyone can receive what we as believers have been given! So how do we do this? It’s more than saying Jesus loves you and passing out a track. It’s more than just telling someone about Jesus and then leaving them to figure the rest out on their own. It’s more because it’s ministry. Part of ministry is the follow up. It’s living life together as a family… God’s family… Christ’s body! It’s the making of the disciple. It’s time invested, it’s gathering in confession and prayer and study. It’s teaching them what the word says so that they can grow in Christ and in faith. It’s baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I think most people know these things from this famous passage of scripture. I also believe that everyone should be obeying these commands given to these 11 disciples, as we are all disciples of Christ.


To the ones who are called into the very sacred place of leadership, I believe there is something much deeper that strikes the heart when we begin to think of the word ministry. I know it does with me. For me, Ministry is the purpose I was created for. It’s a burden for other people that is heavy. It’s a place of standing in the gap for others. It’s a passion for others to know what has been done for them and what is available to them. This passion leads to aspects of ministry that others don’t see. Aspects such as intercession, when you take a person, group, culture, or country before the Lord as if you are the only one who is going to plead with God for them. Aspects such as fasting, when you show through your actions that there’s no thing the body craves that could be worth more than what it is you’re seeking from God.

Ministry is loving others the way Christ has loves us. Ministry is not for wimps because really loving someone could be an event in the Olympics. It can be difficult. It must be selfless even to the selfish. This is ministry to me. It’s constant communication with the LORD so that you’re always prepared to give the Biblical answers to the questions asked. This communication is through prayer, study of the word, and listening to the Living God who still speaks. It’s being a leader and follower at the same time. It’s the life of a servant. It’s carrying concerns and finding ways to meet needs.

If you want to see my soul smile, say “Ministry”. There’s no greater joy than watching true ministry affect the life of another. So when asked my view of ministry… I would have to say it’s loving others in a way that leads to the fulfillment of what the Lord has asked us to do in his word.