Cuyahoga Valley Church Guidelines
for Writing “Your Story” (Testimony)
God calls us to proclaim what we have seen and heard! A testimony means we profess our faith in Jesus Christ publicly. As you write your testimony, the focus of your story will illustrate God’s work on the cross, how He drew you to Himself, how your heart turned to Him in repentance. Trusting in Christ as your Lord and Savior has given you New Life in Christ. It is import that it is God honoring and that God’s work of forgiveness and redemption are shown throughout the story. It is important that all the glory goes to Him and not ourselves, church, or other people. While those things have all played a role in our journey, they need not be the central focus. We share who Jesus is and what He has done for us. We are to be examples of His love, reign, and work; we are to reflect His light to a dark world. This means we are not to just profess our faith. Rather, to be an effective witness of our Lord, we need to have a well-prepared testimony, and it needs to be written out. In writing out your testimony, you are seeking to point others to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Please use the following headings as your write your testimony.
If you were to die today, are you sure that you would go to heaven? Please explain.
Assurance is intended to provide confidence, a promise, a pledge or a guarantee.
In John 3:16, God assures us “that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life in heaven”. God gave his one and only son, and it is only through Jesus and His death on the cross that my sins are forgiven that I can have eternal life with God in heaven.
John 10:27-29 says, “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Scripture to think on:
A Gracious Introduction
Tell us about who you are.
I am 35 years of age, married for 11 years, and have 2 children. I am blessed with many family members, friends and neighbors. I worked for 13 years in a corporate and small business environment. I was raised going to church with both my father and mother heavily involved in the church activities. I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio and now live in Broadview Heights.
The Good in Your Past
What are you grateful for?
I’m grateful for a loving family who loved me well. I’m grateful for God’s provision in my life, that before I knew who He was, He still loved me, protected me, and gave me the opportunities to encounter Him.
The Sinfulness of Your Past
Share some thoughts, actions, and attitudes unpleasing to God.
I have struggled with judging people due to anger and bitterness. My attitude was at times hostile if I felt someone had more than me. Another area I struggled with is my speech habits, because the words of my mouth were not always pleasing to the Lord. My thoughts were not always pure or Godly thoughts. I played the role of a good person but deep inside I knew I was not leading a Godly life. I was living my own life for me.
The Gospel Message
Explain the Gospel message in your own words. Use Bible references and share the basics of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
I realized my sin, how every person (including me) sins, and how that sin separates us from God (Romans 3:23). I remember coming to the realization that my sin demanded condemnation from holy God and that I would live apart from God when I died (Romans 6:23).But then I heard the good news – I could be forgiven and made right with God through the death & resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus, on my behalf. I repented of my sin and prayed to place my trust in Jesus Christ alone for my eternal destiny (Romans 5:8). I asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. I am a believer and I love Jesus! I am in Christ and a new creation with my sins forgiven due to sincere, ongoing repentance and communion. God gives me many promises daily through his biblical words and providing me guidance through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Scripture to think on:
The Circumstances of Your Conversion
Who and/or what were instrumental in your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
It was a little over two years ago that I attended my first service at CVC with my neighbor at Easter time. I had not attended a church in years because I had been deeply hurt by the church I was attending as I was going through difficult family situations. At the service the Pastor spoke about how Christ allowed Thomas to doubt for eight days when he could have easily told him earlier. On hearing that, I then felt that God by His grace allowed me to doubt for years as well. So, I was confronted with my doubting and asked the Lord to help me believe! After that service my life began to change day by day. A CVC friend gave me the book “Living on the Edge” by Chip Ingram. I learned about what a Christian’s life should look like. That fall I joined a LifeGroup, and these people have become truly my sisters and brothers in Christ for they have shown me what a Christ-like person should look like. As I’ve grown in understanding His word, I gave over ALL my hurts, difficulties, sadness, problems…and truly put them in His hands. God gave me peace in a joy-filled way. It felt like He was saying, “You finally got it! I will carry everything for you! You are mine! My Beloved!” I danced with lightness as I realized I no longer had to carry my load. My coming to Christ has been happening over these past two years in gentle, loving ways.
Changes after New Life in Christ
Describe your New Life Transformation.
My biggest transformation has been this past year really learning to trust and be challenged with my faith and obedience through temptations and trials that I have had no control over. Knowing God is beside me, allowing the suffering to bring me closer to God, not becoming withdrawn or detached, falling into sinful ways to relieve unpleasing feelings. I am continually becoming a new person in Christ…each and every day. As I study and read the Bible, go to my LifeGroup, meet with others outside of church, and try each day to follow the will of Christ, I find new ways to stretch myself more in doing God’s will. I try and reach out to those in need. I hold myself morally to what Christ has said in his word. Along with my daily bible reading, I listen to sermons daily, so I continually learn more and more about Jesus.
What is Baptism?
In your own words, describe what baptism means and why you would like to be baptized.
Baptism is the mark of a New Life in Christ. Jesus commands us to be baptized as an outward sign of an inward commitment. It lets others know that we have left the old life behind, and we have entered New Life in Christ. Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.