The Women at the Well - Her Testimony was Brewing
John 4:39 - Now many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” (CSB)
I had a great conversation with friends this weekend, which happened to be outside in the glorious sun while having coffee. We discussed our testimonies and the purpose behind them. Our testimonies are stories of Christ’s glory in our lives. We all have these stories. We all experience events in our lives that are heartbreaking, joyous, devastating, celebratory, and we want to be able to encourage others through sharing them. But, my friends and I say this sternly, if our testimony of pain, or joy is told only to bring, “Awww” , or “oh, no!”, or “I feel so sorry for you”, then you are sharing your testimony for the wrong reason.
The communicating of your life accounts to other people, as a testimony, should only be to shine light on the glory of our Almighty God. I was able to share testimony about my life this weekend to a great friend that truly does not understand the greatness of Christ and what He can do for our lives. During my testimony to this friend I was able to say, over and over, my life is different because of Who my belief was in, not any man-made thing. I shouted, again and again, “Christ is my joy”, so he would begin to understand that Christ is the source of hope and joy and nobody or no thing could come close to bringing me what I have received through Jesus.
This is the purpose of our testimony. To bring Christ glory. If you are beginning to look at your testimony in order to be able to share it with others and you keep coming back to the part you played in the story, then it is no longer a testimony of Christ, but a testimony of self. We don’t need to glorify ourselves in any way when we are speaking of Christ. In fact, when we share about Christ, the words “me” or “I” should be the least used. But “He”, and “Him” should be the most spoken. Truly, our testimony, in this sense, is us shouting to the world, Christ is Lord!!
If you are unfamiliar with the story of the Samaritan women at the well, it is a testimony worth reading. The story is found in John chapter 4 beginning with verse 7 with the greatest part of the story being John 4:39. It says, “Now many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” (CSB) This statement shared by the Apostle John tells the exact reason why we should give our testimony. When this simple woman revealed to others her encounter with Jesus, people in the town ran to Jesus and believed in Him because her account. I believe she was so changed by her meeting with Jesus, that she probably looked, sounded, and behaved entirely different and everyone in town noticed.
Her story should remind us all we need is to have an encounter with Jesus in order for us to have a testimony. You don’t have to be dying and then brought back to life, or lost in the wilderness or 27 days and then miraculously found in order for your truth to be important. You simply have to believe in Christ and then tell others about Him. This woman met Him and then immediately ran to the town to talk about Him. She wanted others to be given a freedom they could never understand, unless they had this same encounter with Him and spent time sitting and listening to Him. Our testimony is just this, this is what we have to share as well. Each and every encounter we have had with God is our story. God will bring people to the understanding of His greatness; we just need to bring them to meet Him.
One thing that makes this sharing so easy for us is we don’t have to have any knowledge of the Bible to do it. We don’t have to be able to quote scripture, or discuss how the Old Testament and the New Testament support each other, we don’t have to have a degree from seminary or even be Biblically articulate. We simply have to know Jesus personally and tell others about Him.
When you first encountered Jesus and your life changed, is when your testimony began. You know the moment I am talking about; you can picture it in your head as clearly as the day it happened. And, there is no one better to share that life changing moment than you.
Maybe you are thinking, “well, there are better people than me, people who have better stories”. Untrue! This woman was not popular in her small town. She went to the well at different times from other women because they whispered and spoke about her. They didn’t acknowledge her, laugh with her, share family stories with her. She had been married 5 times and was currently living with a man that wasn’t her husband. She was ashamed. She was disliked. She was not an upstanding citizen by the standards of that day. Yet, she encountered Jesus and everything changed. Her life became new. She was given THE living water, offered by THE living Savior, and her life was transformed. One simple encounter with Christ made her the exact person who was perfect for sharing the story in town and leading others to meet Jesus and then to believe. She saved people from death by introducing them to the only One who can save, because she, herself, had been saved.
This is you, my friend. If you have had one amazing encounter with Jesus and have been saved by His life-giving blood, you have the greatest testimony on earth. You have exactly what is needed to share with others in order that they may believe as well.
I have survived two bouts with cancer in my life. Both times I endured chemo, radiation, surgery and finally a complete mastectomy. Of course, Christ, the great Healer, brought me through it all and gave me a great curly head of hair on top of it, but the story I tell the most is not this one.
The story my husband and I both share is of the day we first encountered Jesus. This was the day we both rose out of our seats at a convention, neither one looking at the other or waiting for the nod of approval. We rose, and walked to the alter. We stood front and center and cried, raised our hands, and accepted Christ. Our lives changed beyond belief. This is the story I share the most, my first encounter with Jesus. This is enough. This is THE testimony to bring others to Him.
I have shared my cancer story with many women who are struggling, but I always come back to the story of knowing Jesus and because of Him, I have survived. Not because of anything I have done, just because He held my hand through all of it. He gave me life-giving water on my dry lips during chemo. He provided me with a warm blanket when I lay in pain on the couch. He brought food to my door when I was not able to cook for my husband and son. He provided protection when my husband drove to Dairy Queen at night to bring me a Blizzard.
I have encountered Christ in so many ways and have shared them all. It is time for you, my sweet friend, to share your encounter with Christ. Choose today to be the day you bring a colleague, friend, family member to the comfort and joy of Christ simply because He chose you to be the storyteller.
Oh, sweet Jesus, I love You. I love every perfectly planned encounter I have had with You. I love the story of my life You have created. Lord, I pray You are able to give confidence and courage to each individual who has encountered You to share their story today. The world needs to Hear about You. Our close family, friends, co-workers need to hear stories of joy and hope that have come from You. Thank you for the encounters You have planned for the rest of our lives. Send Your Holy Spirit to help us see the goodness in each encounter and to be able to share it with others. Amen
What is the one thing you remember most about your very first encounter with Jesus? Share this story with someone you love who may not know about the feelings you had, or the way you cried, or the way your life began to change. Speaking the words of your glorious encounter will take you back to that day and rejuvenate your soul.