Understanding Acts | Testimony | Acts 22.1-11 | Movementministriesblog.com

by | May 8, 2023

“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.” When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia,but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished. “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. 10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.” Acts 22.1-11

The writer of Acts is Luke who tells the story of Paul three times. Two times, we find that it’s Paul giving his testimony. The story was so impactful that with limited space and time, Luke includes it three times. This should be significant to us. The telling of one’s testimony, of how we encountered God, matters enough to share it with others.

You know the story well I assume, or at least you can read it above. Paul was a hater of Christians, even to the point where he had some killed. Being a chief opponent of the Gospel, God could have either punished Paul or won him over. In his compassion, God chose to save him. He meets him upon the road leading to Damascus, Syria, and it’s there the risen Jesus encounters Paul. He is then blinded and for three days Paul has to be led around by his travel companions. Paul’s experience with Jesus changes the trajectory of his life forever. Now we find Paul back where he started but instead of hating, he’s loving all who would follow God.

The testimony matters. Perhaps your call to grace and salvation was a gradual receiving of his love. Or, perhaps like Paul, you can name a time when Jesus met you upon the proverbial road and you surrendered your life to his care. Whichever the case for you, tell your story. Affirm his work in you life. Call upon the Lord to guide and direct you into all manner of service and holiness.

This week in London, my wife and I found the conversation spot of the Reverend John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, on Aldersgate Street. It’s here that Wesley’s heart was strangely warmed. The spot was not easily found! It took upwards of 20 minutes just to locate it. There were no crowds at the spot, unlike Harry Potters 9 3/4 platform at Kings Cross Station. There was no gift shop. It was in an out of the way, obscure location where Wesley met the Lord. And yet, the words of that encounter with Christ live on and are famously written all over Methodism and the world of evangelical life. To quote Wesley, “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” From there Wesley should shape a church that would claim over 70 million members to this day.

Testimonies matter. Yours matters, Paul’s matters, mine matters. How we have met with Christ matters enough that the world should know. Will you share your story? If you don’t have a testimony then why not commit your life to Christ now, surrender your will to him, receive him in your heart and you will be saved.

“O Lord God, thank you for testimonies. Thank you for your love for your people. Call us back to you. Renew our hearts so that we might walk in obedience and joy. I love you Lord and thank you for this day, for Paul’s witness, and for the saving acts of Jesus. Come now, Holy Spirit and fill us with your love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen