You Betta' Tell It!
1 Peter 3:15 “But honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” ~HCSB
During my middle and high school years, we used to talk about each other’s ‘Mama’s’. Among close friends this could be funny and fun. But every now and then, even with close friends and family, you would have that one who wasn’t having it. If you said anything about their ‘Mama’, you would be in a fight!
Now let us move away from the ‘joke’ perspective. Any of us would stand in defense and ready to fight if our mother’s mind, body, or reputation were at risk. We would do this because of our history with our mother. She took care of us, fed us, dressed us, cared for our wounds. She made us feel safe at night when the storm was going on outside. And she always had a light when the power went off in the house. Guiding us through the darkness of our homes and leading us away from our fear with the tenderness of her voice, constantly telling us, “Everything will be alright.”
When and how we 'tell it' about our mothers, pretty much sums up how we feel about them. This is also the stand Christians must take in defense of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It starts by declaring and proclaiming that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Believing that with all our hearts. We continue to declare that He hung, bled, and died for our sins. We tell the story of how the Father in heaven resurrected Jesus for our salvation. What Jesus did for us during that time, saved lives all the way up to our time.
Because of Christ, we have been led through the darkness of this world. God provides for our every need. His Word is the voice that comforts us in our fears and allows us His peace in our storms. Just like we speak about our mothers and defend them because of what they have done for us, we speak and defend in the same way, the Son who gave His life for us.
Just as we speak of how our mothers loved and cared for us, we must continue to speak the same about how God loves and cares for us. We continue to talk about it. We continue to scream and shout about it because we should be grateful that He first loved us. The hope that is inside us, comes from our faith, our trust, and our belief that God is in control no matter what happens. We pass on the testimonies as a “…defense to anyone who asks you for a reason…” for that belief in you.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:16, “Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.” ~NLT. Belonging to Christ means that we are in the hands of the Savior. There’s no place I’d rather be.
May God’s Word flow through you as you testify about the Son to those around you. In Jesus’ name,
The Battle That Counted
1 Peter 2:11 “Dear friends, I warn you…to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” ~NLT
The way my cravings for alcohol pulled at my flesh, even when my mind spoke against it, was so strong that my flesh would always give in and feed that craving I desired. There was a pattern to my craving. I would wake up every morning saying I would not drink this week. But I could not pass a liquor store without stopping and buying a bottle.
After the Lord healed me of that craving for alcohol, I promised myself that nothing would ever get a hold of my flesh like that again. Then, something else crept into my flesh. Cookies. I began to eat cookies with a tall glass of milk with ice. I had been eating healthy for so long that it started out as one weekend a month. Then two weekends until I was eating cookies just about every night.
Now some may say, "Cookies are alright." But it's the pattern that's the problem. The pattern was the same. I would get up in the morning and say, “No cookies this week.” Then after work I couldn’t pass a grocery store without stopping to pick up some cookies. When I noticed this, I said, “No! Not today!” I made a promise not to allow myself to get into another position where my flesh would be stronger than my spirit.
God created us with a great and powerful spirit. That spirit contains the fruits found in Galatians 5:22-23. But in life, before we are saved, before we know Christ as our Savior, the world strengthens our flesh so that it will out vote and out weight its influence in which we act and/or react to people and situations in our lives. In other words, there is a war waged within us.
We know right from wrong. And if we ever stepped out of ourselves, we could give ourselves some real good advice. But within we always give into the fleshly desires. That is until we allow ourselves to get to know God and learn just how much He loves us! This is when the spirit in us grows stronger than our flesh. So, no matter how much the flesh wants to go one way, our spirit takes over and directs us in ‘Christ’s way’!
I used myself as an example to show you that it was easy to give into the sugar and ice milk. But the spirit allowed me to see the many things I needed to stay healthy for. It allowed me to see the family members, the friends and anyone else the Lord placed in my life for Him to bless through me. The spirit allows us to stay focused on why we were created by God to do ‘His’ will, not ‘ours’.
The ‘…war waged against our very souls…’ is a never-ending attempt for the enemy to claim victory in a battle he has already lost to Jesus Christ. Jesus says in the Word that, “…I have come so that you may have life and have it in abundance…” (John 10:10). His death on the cross and His resurrection sealed our ‘VIP’ ticket to a place in the kingdom.
Let us silence this war within ourselves. Pray for God’s peace as you embrace His love for you as His child and know that the enemy cannot touch you. The war in you does not exist unless you allow it to. The war that counted, is already won.
May God bless and keep you in his love as you continue your journey in Jesus’ name,
Spiritual Labor Pains
John 16:21 “It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has bought a new baby into the world.” ~NLT
As a father I have been blessed to see three of my four children born. It is a miracle worth witnessing. It starts off great. We find out we are about to be parents and we begin to plan all the things we will do as a family. From taking turns rocking the baby after coming home from the hospital; to what collage they are going to.
This is how it is when God calls us to a ministry. We are excited! We begin planning everything, on paper, in our minds and hearts in preparation for the ministry we are called to. We get certain people together we think we can count on and prepare them to be ready for the call you have been given.
But as childbirth progresses, everything begins to get harder, and more painful. For the mother, the ‘uncomfortable’ sets in her mind and body. As her body changes it moves from uncomfortable to painful. The uncomfortable and painful feelings lead to her becoming impatient in areas where she would otherwise be patience. For the daddy, he must live with the fact that there is nothing he can do for the mother except, attempt to make everything as comfortable as he can for her.
Again, like childbirth, our calling may become uncomfortable. The pain hits you in the form of stress and anger. That feeling of impatience creeps into your flesh. We find that we are in a position where there is nothing we can do about where we are in our calling. We find ourselves asking God, “Why did you tell me to do this? This is harder than I thought it would be! Why?”
These are 'spiritual labor pains' that come with being impregnated with God’s calling in our lives. These pains come in the waiting period. This period is where God is works on us. Spiritually we need to be trained and groomed for the calling He has blessed us with. This training takes time, God's time.
Just as the woman lies in wait while pregnant, God is blessing and creating a new life in us as we go through our spiritual labor pains. The scripture says in John, “…when her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.” The world will now see the blessing created by God that she bore.
This is the same concerning us and our endurance through our trials as we walk in our calling. During the times of your struggles and pain, God seeds you with the tools for your calling. So that you will want for nothing as God uses you as a vessel for the kingdom. The seeds of obedience, discipline, courage, wisdom, and guidance to fuel your faith in Him.
And in God’s time, that miracle of ministry through you will be born and God will do many wonderful things through you for the kingdom! So, remember, hang through the ‘contractions’ of your spiritual labor. Take peace in waiting on God’s time because only He knows when we will be ready to give birth to our gift from Him. When we do, we will hurt no more.
May God continue to bless and keep you in His eternal peace in Jesus’ name,
Authors Billy & Yolanda
This is the place where we share our heart through God's Word in faith that will inspire and empower you to live in peace.