I have a strong deire to help people. I want to reach out, do what I can, and give what I have. The fact, however, is that I don't have a lot. I can't do a lot. My reach only extends so far. But is this when I stop, or do I push to those limits anyway?
When my non-incident occurred my heart was split open. I don't know how, but God used that moment to show me how so many are put in danger, simply by not knowing how to protect themselves. We have had two girls in the news locally who have been kidnapped by human traffickers. One who ended up dead, and the other who is still missing. My heart is broken for them and the hundreds of others who are out there.
So what does this have to do with the verses this week?
I had a conversation about self-defense with some other women, and they were conflicted. They were trying to find the balance between protecting themselves, and trusting God with everything that happens. I understand this dilemma, and I hope they can find their balance. For those who may cross this way who are currently trying to find the same balance, let me say this: God does not want us to give up. He wants us to fight for this life we have been given. He wants us to flee from persecutors. He wants us to choose life. The more prepared you are for facing these situations when they arise, the better.
I think about all the girls I know who are suspect to this life. I think about their vulnerabilities, and their weaknesses. I think about my own. It's not just physical. It's emotional and mental as well. And we have to gird ourselves. We have to be wise and do what we can to protect ourselves from those out there who would wish to do us harm. Because God has things He wants for us to do, and the enemy would love to do nothing more than stop us.
But we can't walk around in fear. So, what do we do? What I'm hoping to do for myself, and help others do as well. Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power. Learn about God, learn about how much you are loved, work to make yourself less vulnerable, and learn to protect yourself. Then walk out into this world and do what God has called you to do knowing that you have done what you can. Know at that point, whatever happens, God has your soul firmly in His hands and there is nothing anyone can do about that.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but cannot kill the soul.
Rather be afraid of the One
who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Will there come a time when speaking openly about Christ will bring possible death to us? Yes. This time has been, is, and will be again. Go to Iran where believers are jailed and killed for their belief in our Savior and know it is a current threat for many. We sometimes forget this is a real possibility, for those of us living in the land of the free and the brave.
Many will use this verse to state we should stand firm and deal with whatever comes our way. There are times God may very well ask this of us, but let us not dismiss the verses which came before this one. In verse 23 Jesus says, “When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” There are also times we must flee to save ourselves, and there is no shame in this as long as we don’t deny our Savior in doing so.
You see, we should live as long as we can, to do the good works God has called us to do. But when a choice comes, when we must stand firm, when it is time to make the choice, we must choose to follow our God rather than man. We can’t allow the fear of our death to win over the fear of our salvation.
Jesus is telling us this may be a choice we have to make. He’s also telling you not to be afraid of the one who takes your body. Your soul is real and alive and God is the only one who has power over that.
Question 1: Have you ever faced death because of your beliefs? Man of us have not, and sometimes we ridicule small tribulations we go through because others have to deal with so much more. I challenge you not to take this approach. Each tribulation we have, every struggle we go through is learning ground for us. Next time you face a tribulation instead of minimalizing it, simply ask for God to strengthen you through it.
Question 2: How strong are you in your beliefs? Where are your doubts and questions which need to be answered to strengthen what you know? I challenge you to face those head on, and answer them so that when you are faced with tribulation you will know for sure the Solid Rock in which to stand on.
Thank you for being with us
Regardless of what we face
Thank you for assuring us
Of the power you have
Thank you for holding us
Firm within that power
Monday, February 18, 2013
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (NIV)
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both sould and body in Hell. (Amplified)
Don't be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There's nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life - body and soul - in his hands. (The Message)
IVP NT Commentary Series:
Because God is judge in the end, we should not fear even persecutors who threaten death. Mortals can destroy one body, while God can resurrect the body for damnation and destroy the whole person. The choice is not between courage and fear but has to do with whom we will fear more.
Hence we find that the body and the soul are distinct principals, for the body may be slain and the soul escape.
It is remarkable that our Lord commands thow who love God, still to fear him, even on this account, under this notion.