We're excited to add a new voice to the Radius Writing team. Here's the first Rad blog from Angela Schuck. -
The theme for this past Sunday’s service was ‘Overcomers: Speaking our Testimony as we overcome the World and Help People Meet Jesus.’ After I saw this theme, God impressed upon my heart the words of Revelation 12:11, which Pastor Blake also mentioned during his sermon on Sunday:
Revelation 12:11 (KJV) – And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.’
Wow. This is a powerful passage that sums up how we should be as Christians right now.
Has anything bad ever happened to you? Is anything negative affecting you at the moment? Have you ever felt like some of the issues you are dealing with are just too much? I think we can all say ‘yes’ to at least one of these questions. Whether big or small, there may be something that hurts you or causes you pain. Have you seen anyone around you deal with this? I currently have a dear friend dealing with a disease that may take his life soon and it pains me to see him this way. I also see an entire world with some terrible events happening to people who don’t seem to deserve this fate. The question is: How can we deal with our difficult problems as well as help others deal with theirs? We can find the answer in that Revelation passage.
‘And they overcame him’ – Who’s ‘they’? It’s Michael and his angels, who are an example for us to follow. The ‘him’ is our adversary, the devil. We can overcome the devil. How? By the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. As most of you know the Lamb is Jesus, our Savior. But who is Jesus? He is the Living Word…God’s Word. What is inside the Lamb or the Word? It is his blood (from the cross) and it is the Truth. We must read the Word as often as we can and ask God to help us understand it; then it can be planted in our hearts and illuminated in our minds in those difficult times.
But we need one more thing to be victorious; we need the ‘word of our testimony.’ Testimony can be defined as evidence of the existence of something. We need evidence of the Truth we have planted in our hearts, which are the words we speak out and the actions of our lives. It is all rooted in Love. Are we showing this love to all people we encounter, even to the people we would not normally like? Are we speaking life in difficulty or are we scaling back? Are our everyday activities bearing fruit? Take a moment to reflect on this and ask God if there’s any area in your life that needs refining by Him. God will show you what you need to know to make your personal testimony shine like the Son.
‘And they loved not their life unto death.’ The NIV translation says ‘They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.’ It does mean we should not be afraid to physically die when that time comes in our life, but think about this: we also should not be afraid to die to ourselves. Every situation where we put God first in our lives and others above ourselves, our old man is dying – we are dying to ourselves. Our heart is becoming a heart of flesh, and we are becoming new. This is a process, and God is patient with us as we change for the better. We need to come to Him often through repentance, reading His Word, conversation, prayer and praise. We must listen to His calling and obey it. God will certainly guide us in this endeavor, and our Christian brothers and sisters will encourage us. We are overcomers through Jesus!
Join us this Next Sunday as we Start our new series through 1 Peter. Hope to see you there!