Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Are You Ready for a Change?

This morning I awoke to another encouraging word that lead me to seek more understanding of what exactly was being spoken:

[13] Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? [14] But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, [15] but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter 3:13-15, NASB)

Mike often says the problem he has with my writing and talking about Jesus Christ is how loud I get at times. By loud I don't mean volume, I mean that I don't hide my belief. Quite the opposite, I profess it daily. He is afraid of what others may do to me for my faith in the LORD due to how I express myself.

I tell him, when it is my time to go, it is my time to go. I am not going to stay quiet in fear that I may end up beheaded one day. I know the world is crazy. I know people are being beheaded for their faith even today. If that is the way I exit, then that is the way I exit. Fear of death enforced by man is not going to become my silencer. If I am meant to be a martyr then so be it. Until that moment arrives, I will continue to profess my faith in the LORD Christ Jesus. I simply cannot help myself!

As I read this mornings verses, my thoughts fell to Stephen and the defence he gave in the book of Acts. He was one I feel that was stoned before his time. He was an incredible speaker who did a great job at defending his faith in Christ! Where he went wrong in the end was in the way he called his accusers out. Perhaps that is why Peter advises us to speak with gentleness!

For those of you not familiar with Stephen or his defense, allow me to summarize it a bit.

[8] And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. [9] But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cicilia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. [10] But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. [11] Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God." (Acts 6:8-11, NASB)

Due to this, Stephen was brought before the council, which in today's time would be the same as being taken to trial only back in the day, one represented themselves! Stephen eloquently addressed his accusers by calling them brethren and fathers and instantly began his defence in the retelling of their history beginning with Abraham, flowing right into the story of Jacob, Joseph and onto Moses. Since it was Moses that he was accused of blaspheming, he eloquently retold his history. He continued the retelling of the Ancient Israel's own history by then speaking of Joshua and next of David and Solomon.He made mention of the fact that it was Solomon who built a house for the Lord. It was after this that he pointed out that the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands. From there he quoted from Isaiah 66 and after having said all of this, he finished his speech like this:

[51] "You men who are stiffnecked and uncircumcised in the heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. [52] Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; [53] you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it." (Acts 7:51-53, NASB)

His accusers were deeply angered by the truth that Stephen ended his speech with to the point that they lost there minds and drove him out of the city in order to stone him. This is also the same moment that we are introduced to Saul. He was present at the stoning of Stephen. This is the very Saul who later was renamed Paul, who is also the very same person that wrote so many of the epistles we read to this day!

Paul is one of my favorites people in the bible due to his never ending zeal for the LORD after his conversion. You see Paul was a mighty force for God all along. However, in the beginning, he did not have faith in Christ. He was actually the major persecutor of the Christians! It was upon meeting Christ on the road to Damascus that everything about Saul changed. The LORD renamed him Paul and as they say, "The rest is history."

If today you find yourself struggling with who Christ is, I encourage you to send me a message saying such. I have a beginners bible study that I can do with you over the internet that I did with the women I was in jail with over the course of 6 days prior to my charges being dropped.

During this study, eyes were opened and hearts were moved to accept Christ as their personal Savior. One woman inparticular pulled me to the side to share her amazing story that the bible was now coming to life for her and she was suddenly able to understand what she was reading. This will be one of the incredible things I share in my upcoming book "16 Days and Two Head Counts"



Until then, if you long for a change in your life that will provide you with a confident hope that no one can rob you of, consider doing this short bible study program with me via the internet! Father, one of the best times I had was diving into your word through this study with my fellow sisters behind bars. It has been my prayer to lead others to you in the same way ever since. Please expand my territory, please use me in multiple ways. I long to be a mighty seed caster! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Wendy, Mom of Many!
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