“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
― Elie Wiesel
Be inspired today to act. Step out and do something in taking a stand against injustice. Your voice matters, so even wearing the color orange speaks of a coalition of the world’s citizens against persecution and killing of people who belong to the Christian faith. Rev. Patrick Mahoney explains the power of your voice in his interview with FOX News. You can view it in its entirety here. Tweet your call for justice with #orangejumpsuit.
Reverend Patrick Mahoney of Washington, DC hopes not. But he’s doing more than wishing. He’s activating Christians, Muslims and national leaders to use our united voice in speaking out against the injustice caused by ISIS and terror groups who continue to perform mass killings of Christian men and who subject women and children to slavery. Rev. Mahoney counsels Christians to remember the power of prayer and to “remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3).
Watch the full FOX News report here.
“For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
I’m not buying it. In fact, when I saw the message, “Finish the fight” on a tee-shirt last summer, I started worshiping my Jesus. He went to the cross and made full payment. He fought the entire battle for man and He overcame! Jesus is enthroned in heaven, and God has put everything under His authority. No title exists nor ever will exist that isn’t already under His gloriously scarred feet (See Ephesians 1:20-22)! Hallelujah! The Lamb has overcome! Heaven celebrates extravagantly as a result (See Revelation 5)!
Faith in Jesus means lavish benefits. I belong to a new bloodline. A victorious one.
Praise the Lord, O my soul: all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:1-5).
All these benefits I have received and continue to enjoy as a co-heir with Christ. Being God’s child does bring great privilege, but it also includes suffering. “Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory” (Romans 8:17). Here is my approach to this truth: “Show me, Father, the sufferings of my Lord, and I will embrace them fully; however, keep me from accepting illegitimate sufferings.” I’m serious! I don’t want to get duped by the enemy and participate in the delusion. In a furious second he’ll put something from the pit of hell upon me and say I’m suffering like a good Christian!
As I study the yielded life of my Lord and Savior, I discern His sufferings. Now, the obvious suffering of Jesus for the sin of humanity is the Cross, a “once for all” sacrifice, and no human can nor will repeat that sacrifice. Not even Jesus will take up the Cross again, so stop asking Him to do so (often our begging in prayer conveys that our heart refuses to believe that He already overcame the world on our behalf; we approach Him with an apparent distrust, as though the Cross was of no effect). Our sin is paid in full. So, what co-heir type of sufferings do we experience?
- sometimes being misunderstood by family when we obediently do what we see the Father doing and speak what we hear the Father speaking (See Matthew 13:54-58)
- persecution (See John 15:18-20)
- physical exertion leading to fatigue in ministering to others (See John 4:4-6)
- hunger in times of fasting (Matthew 4:2)
- sorrow over unbelief of the people (Matthew 23:37-38)
Dear brother and sister in Christ, embrace your identity and your privileges in our Lord Jesus! Reflect the glory of God in this earth by singing Psalm 103 with conviction because your life knows its truth! Run fast from the delusion that there is more fight left undone. Your good fight is the fight to operate in faith and not fall prey to unbelief. Keep the faith by knowing the counsel of God’s Word and by living it out every day!
With love and compassion,
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
Fear leads to striving (self-dependency). God’s love leads to rest (trusting in His promise to provide all).
What would your life look like if you rested in God’s provision, thereby eliminating fear and worry? In Luke 12:22-31, Jesus teaches us that we are perfectly provided for. He asks us to consider the greater concern God has for us in comparison to His care of ravens and the lilies of the field. If we believe that God provides our food in even greater measure than He feeds the birds, then we will not fear malnourishment leading to death (the root fear). In the same way, if we believe that the Lord clothes us with more concern than He has for clothing flowers in splendor, then we will not worry about the shame (another root fear) resulting from being inappropriately clothed.
Receiving what God already promises means you are free from death and shame. You cease striving for life and dignity and, instead, receive life and dignity through grace. Such freedom allows you to focus on better things, higher things. The kingdom of God becomes priority, and the necessities of life come effortlessly as a result of your renewed alignment.
Living without fear,
A couple of things happening around here at Sharing Love and Truth… One, I’m especially THRILLED to be going to Sandbridge this weekend to speak with women at a beach retreat! My girl, Jacqueline Owensby, is a jewel, so when she asks me to come aboard her ministry projects, I get right on it! Over the years, we have seen God move in our midst! I love partnering with this woman! By the way, whoever thought of a retreat at a beach (the rhyme means it was meant to be) was genius! Will I be able stay focused for forty minutes and follow my outline with the oceanfront view? Just joking! All will go well- the Presence of God will be in the house, and this girl is mighty pumped about teaching His life-giving Word! “Rest in His Supply,” a perfect message for a perfect place!
Next, I’d like to share this reminder of more offerings from Sharing Love and Truth. We’re excited about Restore 2015- A Marriage Building Event in the Hampton Roads Area. But you don’t have to be from here to attend. Make a long weekend of travel and enjoy the Friday night/Saturday morning event, and then take in the beaches that are still enjoyable at that time of year as well as a historical site or two that Southeastern Virginia has to offer!
The Early Bird Registration rate is $60/couple!
Did you hear the report coming out of the Cleveland Zoo that a parent dangling their two-year old over the cheetah exhibit accidentally dropped the child and then went into the animal’s habitat to rescue him? You can click on the link and watch the FOX News report here. The wild cats harmed neither the adult nor the child, but this event lends itself nicely to a teachable moment. (The zoo thinks so as well. There is talk of a lawsuit against the parents for child endangerment.)
Children are dependents and their greatest need is to know that they are safe in their guardian’s care. Whether you are the parent of one or several, a grandparent with custody of your grandchild, a foster parent, a teacher, a coach, or a mentor, your greatest call is to protect the child(ren) under your watch. It’s really a simple matter.
May I pry a little? If you are married, you need to give all you have and rely fully on Jesus at the same time to keep your marriage and family intact. The enemy would love nothing more than to dismantle your home. Do you see his advantage when successfully dividing a family? The children, now ripped from the security of two parents raising them full-time, have a greater likelihood of believing that those in authority over them will not remain faithful in their care/protection. The trust they once had in their parents’ presence is not as strong as it once was. The enemy loves this state of doubt because he knows it translates well to how one views the trustworthiness of his/her greatest authority- God. Is it any wonder that America’s godlessness has emerged over the past fifty years? The breakdown of the family and the turning away from faith in the Almighty walk hand-in-hand!
If you are a parent, I’m sure you can say as readily as I do, “I haven’t done this parenting thing perfectly. I’ve made many mistakes.” But one thing I aim for- I want Jacob and Jordan to know that Mom and Dad have their backs. May they trust us to be there for them in every situation- good and bad. May they know that our love for them is not based on their doing good and getting everything right. May they understand that we love them because they are our children and their lives have tremendous worth.
Ultimately, I want for the soon-coming day of transition to be a seamless one! Jake and Jordan are teenagers, and they will be launching into their young adult lives. Jon and I will be here for them always, but the level of their dependency upon us will change, and that will be good. My desire is they translate our love, presence and protection that they experienced in their early years to a confident trust in the One who never leaves them nor forsakes them. I will feel successful as a parent if these two precious children enter into adulthood with a daily resolute hope in the Lord!
Parenting in faith,