Spiritual Double-Consciousness

“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate to do, that I do…for to will is present in me, but how to preform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not do, I practice…So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Romans 7:14-16, 18b-19, 25b

“…double consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness, – an American, a Negro, two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, who dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”

W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk

As a child of God born in and shaped by sin, I ever feel this spiritual tug of war within my mind and my members. On the one hand I desire to do the will of God and bring glory and honor to His name, yet on the other hand I feel my body and mind crying out to fulfill the lust of the flesh. My sin, ever before me, I wonder if it is truly possible to be of one mind, of one body in the Spirit when the law of God ever stands revealing my flaws and iniquities?

Spiritual Double-Consciousness

Like DuBois articulates concerning the African American’s journey on the color line, I too experience a “double-consciousness.” Only my double-consciousness is not restricted to my body. I have found myself living with a spiritual double-consciousness. I ever have the sense of always looking at myself through the eyes of the divine, measuring my soul by the law of a world that looks on in loving compassion, yearning for me to commit to their world and stop traveling in and out on dual-citizenship. I ever feel my two-ness, – a Righteous woman, a sinner; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose faith in the power of God alone keeps me from being torn asunder.

What makes it worse is that my fair ideals show that I am light, allowing me to pass. But true spiritual things are spiritually discerned and the spirit knows my darkness. I can’t pass in heavenly spaces. Places where God sits and clearly sees sin running through the veins of my actions. Running through my thoughts. Passing simply allows me the privilege of walking in earthly spaces and not be judged, because man can’t tell if I’m light or dark.

I think about this often. How these two souls live within me, the righteous man, the sinner. Sometimes I want to only be righteous, and sometimes I wish to only be a sinner.

Spiritual Identity

But the Spirit has revealed to me that I am called to find self-hood in the amalgamation of both. It is in my recognition of the sinful man that I understand that I am weak and in need of the strength of God. It is through such self-revelation that I desire to unite with the Spirit of God to be the righteous man. For unless God abide in me and I in Him, I cannot produce spiritual things; I cannot create, articulate, nor postulate of the Spirit because the Spirit is not in me. I cannot live and walk in the will and way of God, unless God live in me and walks with me.

Just as the black man is not simply American or Negro, he is the American Negro, I am not simply righteous or a sinner. I am a righteous sinner. The Bible says, “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again” (Proverbs 24:16a). Meaning my righteousness is defined by my rise, not my fall.

Spiritual Warfare

These two souls: the righteous, the sinner, living within one human body will ever war against each other, as the ideals of one will ever seek to oppress and suppress the ideals of the other. I cannot seek identity or belonging in one or the other, but must see the salvation that is presented in the fusion of both. I must understand that I can only find my righteousness in the only One who lived a righteous life. Therefore, I cannot settle for an identity based in my fall, for I am determined to continue to rise. It is God living within me that comforts me “because He [God] who is in me is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

I do not look to myself to live a righteous life. For no man other than Jesus Christ has done this. Rather I look to “Jesus, the author and finisher of [my] faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). It is because of His sacrifice and His spirit living in me that I can boast of my two-ness “[that] the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:10). For I am a sinner saved by grace strengthened to be a righteous woman.




Message Daily: Glory in The Lord

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, November 15, 2019

This is devotional thought number 48 in our devotional series titled, “Power!”

That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:31

The Lord has a way of making Himself abundantly clear so no one need be confused. When He wants to get a point across, He does extraordinary things. He defies natural processes. He goes beyond human reasoning. The Lord is above all.

Think of some of the things God did in Bible times to separate Himself from the crowd. He loved the world so much that He gave His only Son that we might be saved. He moved the sun back ten degrees for Hezekiah. He overcame Jericho through marching Israelites and sounding trumpets. He overcame the proud Philistine Goliath, with a smooth stone in the hands of a shepherd boy. He separated the Red Sea through the staff of Moses to allow the Israelites to pass over on dry land. Perhaps the most incredible thing God did was devise a plan to empower us to be born of the Spirit. God’s demonstrative resume is quite impressive. One thing is certain. None of the things that He has done can be duplicated by human beings. He has proven beyond all reasonable doubt that He is God all by Himself.

There were many in Paul’s day who esteemed their human wisdom to be noteworthy. They worshipped their own abilities. God demonstrated through the foolishness of preaching that salvation and high godly status came only through Christ. Those who esteemed themselves above God considered godly things foolish. In turn, God chose the foolishness of this world to confound the wise. Jews required a sign and Greeks required human wisdom in order to believe in Jesus, but God gave no such signs. God did not resort to our wisdom to make Himself known.

In order to reveal His power to save, and love for humankind, God gave us salvation through Christ. As a result, He became our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. If anyone wants to glory, let them glory in the Lord. In Him, there is no room for self-worship.

Thank the Lord for giving us the most incredible blessing imaginable in which to glory. It is much more satisfying giving Him the praise, because He alone is worthy.

You can listen to Pastor Harris speak on this topic in greater detail by listening to our podcast Message Daily by clicking on the link here: https://anchor.fm/messagemagazine/episodes/Glory-in-The-Lord-e8v3e3.

Be Blessed!




This Pineapple Love: A Testimony

Heartache. Heartbreak. Two miscarriages. Two separations. Two foreclosures. Two children. Two divorces.

Multiple lives shattered into innumerable little pieces. Darkness with seemingly no entry point for light. Long, winding roads that seemed to go nowhere. Depression. Anxiety. Anger. Grief. Numbness. Challenged faith. Pruning. Winter. Spring. God, who? God, where? God, here? Not here? Yes, absolutely here. Right here.

This is the tale of a love story where boy meets girl on a beautiful summer night and wonderful things happen. Luc, my pineapple love, and I vowed to become partners on this marital journey for the rest of our lives. And it’s been a harmonious love song since we exchanged those vows on November 3, 2018.

What is “this pineapple love”? Grab a cup of tea and let me tell you a story.

In 2014, I was two years removed from a tumultuous divorce and on the road to rebuilding my life with the help of supportive family, friends, and a lot of therapy. Over the course of my six year marriage I’d lost two children to miscarriage, our home, as well as pieces of myself I thought I’d never regain. Divorce is a death of sorts.

But, this particular year was different. A collective of women from my church and I formed a prayer circle that changed our lives forever. We gathered once a week and read, prayed, and fasted our way through a book called Draw the Circle – The Forty Day Challenge by Mark Batterson.

I’m entirely certain that I did not know what I was getting myself into. As we met in my little oasis I trudged ahead hoping to get something out of it. I sought God’s guidance over numerous areas of my life – one of which was remarriage. God had given me a vision of what He intended for marriage though I had not yet experienced it, and it was this vision that I held on to. The zaniest part of Batterson’s challenge talked about crazy faith and encouraged us to pray about what to pray about. If ever I was confused, this day took the cake.

Dear Future Husband,

While talking with God about the desire to remarry, He responded telling me to demonstrate my belief by writing a letter to my future husband. Then He instructed me to buy him a tie. What an odd thing! How do I write a letter for someone I haven’t yet identified, and how do we select the right tie for this mystery man? Y’all, I sat down with pen in hand and the words came. I bought a gift box and placed the letter in the box. But I held off on the tie for a while.

Soon after this prayer circle ended, I began to hear stories about how God was answering the prayers of the other women. I celebrated all that He was doing in the lives of my sisters excited about what I believed He was about to do for me. These answers to prayer made me so happy some days I found myself leaping forward almost as if to jump into the things I was believing Him for. 

On the heels of a 2016 trip to London with my cousin, she and I talked expectantly of how life would change when these husbands appeared in our lives. At the end of that trip, we decided to refer to our husbands as pineapples. Why pineapples? We needed to be able to talk about potential suitors without being obvious, and so pineapple it was. Little did we know, some view pineapples as an expression of “welcome” – an invitation of hospitality, friendship, and warmth.

Obedience in Dating

I finally got my dating shoes broken in by 2017 and got past the shell shock of swiping left and right. However, it was time for another fast in my life. I met this guy who seemed to line up with a number of prayer journal entries but something was just a little off. I was confused (major hint that this probably wasn’t God) and wrestled with God. After toiling through this 40-day journey with a couple girlfriends, the Lord distinctly showed me that His hand was not leading me toward this man and He instructed me to leave him alone. By this time, I’d learned to tell my feelings what to do and let them catch up. My spirit was at peace. On that last day of the fast, July 14, 2017, I released that man and registered my own business.

The next day, July 15, 2017, I took this newfound freedom and peace out for a spin. I was schmoozing with friends at a fundraising event when I met a gentleman by the name of Luc A. Gabriel. He approached me and our exchange was light-hearted and easy. Little did I know that here stood my “pineapple.” We became friends and things would remain that way for nine months until God revealed who we were to each other.

The Other Side

After nine years of marriage and subsequent separation, Luc found himself a year removed from divorce in late 2014, and at the time I wrote that letter, God was in the process of pulling Luc back toward Him. The divorce had left him injured but he struggled forward.

By 2016, Luc was reconnected in church and regaining his footing. God began speaking to Luc very subtly and persistently. He wanted to remarry and serve God alongside his wife and though unsure if God would come through, he began to search. He continued to date and started wrestling with God over many things. God challenged Him to go deeper and though he couldn’t conceive His will at the time, Luc accepted the challenge.

About this time, Luc had actually come across photos of me by way of social media and thoughts of interest surfaced but nothing would come of it for quite some time. He dated around, searching for something more but not quite finding it.

Preparing For What’s Ahead

Luc relocated back home to Philadelphia in late 2016. His life took many twists and turns with his career, living arrangements, and his own share of dating escapades. He too suffered many losses along the way and wondered if God was ever going to deliver on His promise to restore to him what he’d lost.

Around the time we met in July 2017, Luc was recommended for jobs he was well qualified for but nothing was materializing. Suddenly, after joining the Navy Reserves, an opportunity for full-time orders came about and what would normally take up to a year, took less than two months! Approximately nine months later, Luc began the process of moving back to Maryland.

Looking back on that time, Luc needed that temporary move back to Philadelphia to reset his frame of mind, desires, and focus. He believed that God pulled him back home as a means of preparation for something ahead. He had no idea what that would be until that first friendly date in November of 2017. It was short and sweet. We discovered a few of our common experiences and life moved on. But one thing we both took notice of was that our friendship developed effortlessly.

There’s Love in Hard Conversations

Months later, as our core values seemed aligned we both sought clarity from God about whether this was what He was orchestrating or not. Either way, we were prepared to accept the friendship. Not long after, we had a turning point conversation in Spring of 2018 that laid things out pretty clearly. You know the ones – the make or break conversations that determine whether to move forward or not.

I returned from another trip with girlfriends to a very serious Luc who stated his intentions with crystal clear precision. I stated my expectations and requirements and God showed off from there. Suddenly and abundantly, just as God had said, I AM began to restore the years the locusts had stolen.

Luc and I began taking this journey together and I had a few Gideon-like encounters just to make sure this was it. Remember the tie? Remember the pineapple? After several signs, I asked God for one more. One morning I prayed in my heart and said “I’ll walk away today if you say to.” While getting my hair done, I got a call from Luc. We’d already spoken a couple times that day so it was a little odd that he was calling back so soon. He’d been window-shopping and began gushing about a pin-striped shirt and I wondered where he was going with this story.

Then time seemed to stand still as he uttered the next few words, “and you should see this dope tie to go with it, it’s navy blue with gold pineapples.” I have no idea what he said after that. I simply sat in shock looking down at my wrist staring at my gold pineapple charm bracelet. It was at that moment that I realized I would never have to question God about this pineapple love ever again. I bought the tie and presented it and the letter at just the right time. He wore it on the day we married.

The rest, is His story to continue writing. We are now expecting our first pineapple chunk this December.

The lesson from this pineapple love is…

God restores!




Social Justice: The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Growing up in the 90’s as a Seventh-day Adventist, there were few things more impressionable than evangelistic meetings or what many would term “Revelation Seminars.” These meetings would last for weeks with the goal to bring individuals to Christ at their culmination. As an 8-12 year old child those seminars were quite daunting and foreboding. The preacher’s emphasis was heavily placed on Biblical prophesies, “signs of the times,” and ultimately the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

While it was a very captivating experience, I often left more confused about Jesus, and my salvation. I would think to myself, “If I have heard this stuff for years and am still confused, I cannot imagine how a visitor might feel!” Revelation Seminars seemed to be anything but a revelation – at least not a revelation of Christ. Don’t get me wrong, I understand their intent and have witnessed God work on the hearts of those who sat through them. But looking back sometimes I wonder what exactly was being revealed.

A World in Need of a Revelation

We live in a time when we have unlimited and unfiltered access to information, but the least sense of direction. We can communicate with one another across the globe, and yet we feel the loneliest. There is a desire for community, belonging, and a hope that the God everyone talks about is actually real and relevant to our lives. In other words, the world (and the church for that matter) is looking for a revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Bible is replete with passages that reveal a God whose ear is tuned to and brokenhearted. Better yet, we serve a God whose heart breaks over the injustices of this world. However, the mantle has been laid on the Christian believer to make sure that the world experiences the love and power of a God that sees their plight. It is clear that the follower of Christ is primarily called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:16-19 NIV), but how can we disciple a world that has yet to have a revelation of Jesus?

Christ Revealed to the World

The Apostle Paul provides profound insight as to how Christ is revealed to the world. In the Book of Romans Chapter 1:20 he says “For His (Jesus Christ) invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, and understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead!” In other words, the long-standing question of “is there a God?” “Who is God?” and “does God care about what takes place on earth?” can all be answered by the actions of those who claim to serve this God according to the scripture above. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we have the power to reveal the “invisible attributes, the eternal power and divine nature of God” just by how we relate to one another and the world!

Paul places more emphasis on our role in revealing God to the world when he pens Romans 8:19 (NIV) “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.” If Paul were writing in laymen terms today he would be saying “ Would the real Christ followers please stand up?” If God is revealed through His creation, then there is little wonder why at this moment in Earth’s history the entire creation from plant to person is under attack. The enemy aims to suppress the revelation of God to the world! On the contrary, mankind has been ordained to facilitate the revelation of God. I submit to you that it is through acts of benevolence and a keen sense of justice that God is revealed to the world.

A Christian Code of Ethics

As a practitioner in the Social Work profession, my practice is bound by a code of ethics. As listed in the National Association of Social Workers Book of Ethics, I am bound to Service, Social Justice, Dignity and worth of the person, Importance of human relationships, Integrity, and Competence. If a secular profession can hold its practitioners to such noble standards of Righteousness and Justice, should those who stand under the banner of Christ live by anything less? Christ has in fact given us a “code of Ethics” that calls for its practitioners to not just agree with the code but to also live by the code! In fact, the primary criterion for entrance into Heaven is not based on our doctrinal subscription but on how we served those who could not help themselves (Matthew 25:35-40).

When we as the body of Christ are ready to give, that is when the Kingdom of God will receive. When we are ready to listen to the plight of the downtrodden, those same individuals will in turn become receptive to the message of a crucified and risen savior. When we are ready to extend a hand in our community, our community will make their presence felt in our midst. I believe we are called to move away from some of our traditional practices that often only yield conversion to a denomination. Now, God is calling us to move toward the practices of the early church: genuine benevolence and a pursuit of justice that yields conversions to Christ.

He’s Revealed in Me

Recently, I had an encounter with a young man who was homeless. I felt led to give and as I did, he looked me in the eyes and said, “I feel so alone, confused, and misunderstood.” I believe his are the sentiments of the world at large. We can no longer afford to be benefactors of a revelation of God in our own lives, and not share it with those who are seeking for it as well. The question then becomes; “how do I do my part in revealing God to the world?” Author and messenger of God, Ellen White penned a familiar statement that I believe provides a guideline for those seeking one.

In her book, Ministry of Healing p.143 she states “The savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs and won their confidence. Then he bade them, ‘follow me.’” That passage and formula is riddled with genuine, tangible ways in which Christ revealed himself to the world. When we become more intentional about being present in the triumphs and trials of those around us, we wont need them to sit through a Revelation seminar in hopes that they see Jesus. They will have already seen him revealed through our love for them and for one another.




A Word for the Weathered

It was January 15, 2018. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The campus was closed for the day except for a program later in the evening. I decided to take advantage of this chilly Monday morning and take my time. I got ready for a brunch meeting I had in a few hours. I opened my blinds and the brightness reflecting off the snow filled my apartment. The snow was steady falling, but it was nothing for Michigan. I reached into the cabinet and pulled down my jar of flour. With a deep breath I began a process I know so well, combining measures of flour, milk, butter and baking powder to my bowl. I floured my counter and began to shape my biscuits as I waited for my ride to a mid-morning meeting.

“Weathering”

Like many others, I use baking as an opportunity to catch up on my growing list of podcasts. Immediately one of the hosts of NPR’s podcast Code Switch, Gene Demby, introduces today’s topic: the impact of racism on health. My interest is peaked as the podcast shares the story of Shalon Irving, a 36-year-old epidemiologist at the CDC who died just weeks after giving birth to her daughter in 2017 due to complications post-pregnancy.

The researchers and experts attributed Shalon’s death as a result not of race, but of racism. They call the term “weathering” and researchers are finding that the impact of systemic racism in the United States, the stress responses to micro-aggressions such as being followed around in stores, stopped by the police, or even being called the n-word create a response that the body internalizes and it can impact the very DNA of an individual.

The Dangers of Being a Black Girl

The statistics are striking – black women today are tree times more likely to die in childbirth or after childbirth than white women. Black women are five times more likely than white women to report experiences of headache, upset stomach, tensing of muscles, or a pounding heart because of how they were treated in society based on their race in the past month. The American Journal of Public Health reports that black women are twice as likely to have higher stress scores than white women – regardless of age.

In fact, black women are dying faster and at higher rates than any other group in America from preventable diseases. For example, 82% of black women are over a healthy weight right now, 53% of black women are obese, and every 11 minutes 137 black women die from a preventable disease. T. Morgan Dixon, founder of health nonprofit GirlTrek, likened it to a plane full of black women crashing to the ground every 11 minutes.

The Mule of the World

The research and statistics made my heart weep for my sisters, aunties, cousins, mothers, and myself as I realized that Danyelle Solomon of the Center for American Progress was right, “The impact of systemic racism is manifesting itself in black women’s health.” I mean, Zora Neale Hurston did write in Their Eyes Were Watching God that the black woman was the mule of the world. Hurston wrote this not to belittle black women, but to call to our attention the unnecessary burden and stress that is placed on black women in particular.

If we’re honest, “weathering” is also caused by the burden black women bear of being valued by the amount of pain we can endure, and how much we can give to others, and sacrifice for others oftentimes to the detriment of ourselves. This burden of blackness “weathers” a black woman’s body and according to these statistics – kills her.

I mourn for the women whose lives have been cut short because of “weathering.” I mourn for the generations of weathered ancestors who died at the hands of this patriarchal, white supremacist American system. I mourn for women like Erica Garner, Sandra Bland, and Shalon Irving. I mourn for the women whose names we do not know and faces we will never see on TV, names we won’t read in our newspapers or hear on our podcasts. I mourn for the 137 black women who would succumb to preventable disease in the next few moments. I mourn for those of us who remain, and who move through life day-to-day with aches and pains and problems in our bodies that we cannot quite pinpoint. Those of us who are yet enduring the “weathering” of being a black woman in America.

Weathering in the Bible

Although I’m in mourning, as a womanist I am comforted by the way Scripture responds to the weathering of black women. Mark’s account of Jesus healing the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5:21-34 reveals to us how the Divine responds to weathered women.

After His journey to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (the non-Jewish side), where Jesus delivered the man with the Legion of demons, and restored his ability to function in society socially and economically, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee again returning to the Jewish side. The oppressive Roman legions that monitored this side of the Sea also cripples the people socially, economically and politically.

These soldiers kept the privileged and powerful safe, while abusing, misusing and discarding the powerless and the poor. The legion, merely agents of the more powerful oppressive system, ravaged the lives of those they had taken captive. And the effects of this ravenous system were truly seen in the lives and bodies of the people Jesus encountered, like this nameless woman whose story Mark interjects in the midst of this larger narrative of the healing of Jairus’ daughter.

While I write specifically to black women, this text has relevance for black communities as a whole. There are three words this text gives to the weathered that I’d like to share with you here:

1.You are debilitated, but not defined by what weathers you (v.25-26)

This woman was most likely known in the community by her ailment. At this point in her story, there were many who believed that she would never be healed. But, the woman herself believed that while she was debilitated by her health problem, she was not defined by it. On a larger scale she was not defined by the oppressive socio-economic system that alienated her on every level. 

Black women know the statistics, we know what is stacked against us, but it does not define us. I know this to be true because like the woman in this narrative, we continue to see healing and resolution even when others believe our journey is in vain.

2.Tell the whole truth (v. 33) 

I am certain, when given the opportunity, that this woman did not just tell Jesus about her physical ailment, but also about all the loss she had suffered because of it. I image that she spoke about the system that made it difficult for her to receive care. She probably shared how no one believed her and how those who were supposed to support her abandoned her when she needed them most.

Verse 33 says that she told Jesus the whole truth. Likewise, black women are empowered to be truth-tellers. We have to tell the truth to our friends and family about what is happening to us physically, mentally, emotionally. We have to tell the truth to a society that attempts to ignore the root of what weathers us. We have to tell the truth to ourselves and realize that this truth is one that will set us free.  

3.Accept your status as “Daughter” and know that you are whole (v. 34)

This woman entered the crowd as a nameless woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and left as a whole daughter of God. She had been alienated from society and community, but in a word God restores her to community. She was unclean, but in a word God made her clean. From the beginning of the narrative, this woman believed she was going to be healed and by the end of her encounter with Jesus, her status was changed to whole.

While I live as a black woman and see the effects of weathering on myself and others, I know that we will be healed and eve more than that, I know that our God will continue to speak a word over us and make us whole.




Breaking Bread

Jesus is coming again. Your parents said it. Their parents said it. I’m sure the parents before them said the same thing. For what seems like ages we’ve been told, and talked about the soon coming of Jesus Christ. Living in a time when so much takes up the space in our minds how often do we think about this life we’re living being only a portion of what God has for us? Join us as we take on the challenge of being ready for the return of Jesus.


1) Read Acts 1:4-11; Isaiah 40:31

They had to have been astonished. The disciples just saw their teacher, leader, and friend float into the sky and then vanish from sight. To make matters more challenging, they had just been told to wait for the Holy Spirit. Doesn’t it seem like a lot of your relationship with God involves waiting? What have you had to wait on in your walk with Him? Tell us on Social Media using  #MessageMag

2) Read Acts 1:4-11; John 14:1-3

While the disciples are standing there staring into the nothingness, two men in white appear and tell them that the same way they saw Jesus go, is the same way He will return. Maybe you think it would have been easier to believe that He was coming back a few days, months, or years later. What about a couple thousand years? Is it harder for you to believe living in 2019? Is it harder to be ready in 2019? Tell us on Social Media using  #MessageMag

3) Read Acts 2:1-4, 22-24

After the disciples waited as instructed, they receive the Holy Spirit. Eventually Peter begins to preach about who Jesus was and what He did. That is what each of them did for the rest of their lives. Is that true for each follower of Jesus? Sharing the gospel and living in compromising situations? Is “fun” out of the question? What about the dreams I’m perusing? How can I be ready for Jesus while still dealing with the life in front of me? Have you ever asked any of these questions? Do you have any answers? Please Share on Social Media using #MessageMag

4) Read 1 Thess. 5:1-6; Romans 14:17-19

Chronologically speaking, Thessalonians is Paul’s first letter, and Romans is his last. Isn’t it interesting that the tone with which Paul talks about the life of a follower of Jesus changes from “get ready” to “do your best to be at peace with those around you”? The way the Apostle Paul talks about the second coming transitions from how soon Jesus is coming to how sure Jesus’ coming is. Maybe there is a difference in how one lives when something is “soon” in comparison to when it’s “sure.”  Tell us what you think on Social Media using #MessageMag 

5) Read Acts 2:40-42; Matt. Chapters 5-7

The Holy Spirit enabled Peter to preach and thousands of people were baptized. Thousands of people now looked forward to the return of Jesus. As the story goes, they didn’t just sit around, but they learned from the apostles. The apostles did the best they could to pass on what Jesus had passed to them. He taught them who they were and how they were to live the life God gave them. Can we be ready for his return by simply showing people a better way to live life? Is that enough? Share your thoughts with us using #MessageMag on FaceBook, Instagram or Twitter. 

6) Read Acts 2:40-42

It is interesting that Luke decided to include the fact that a part of the initiation into the faith was breaking bread, or eating together on a regular basis, with familiar and new faces. When we think about being ready for the coming of Jesus does being surrounded by strangers register as a prerequisite? It makes sense though because the same Jesus they saw ascend into heaven was always surrounded by strangers, doing the best He could to improve their lives.

7)

It has been said, “don’t be so heavenly minded, that you are of no earthly good.” In being ready for the second coming of Jesus we must be heavenly minded and earthly good. God pours into your life and simply desires you to do the same for the rest of His children. He knows that care for others will whittle away the hard parts of your heart and strengthen your faith. Nothing causes more friction than our interaction with people who are different than we are. God knew, to get to the welcome table in Heaven, He had to call us to break bread at tables down here. 

…......……………………………………………………………….

Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.


This article is part of our 2019 September / October
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“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” 

Acts 1:9-11.

Believe: He Will Come Back

From Ellen G. White’s The Desire of Ages, the chapter entitled “To My Father, and Your Father.”*

“C

hrist had ascended to heaven in the form of humanity. The disciples had beheld the cloud receive Him. The same Jesus who had walked and talked and prayed with them; who had broken bread with them; who had been with them in their boats on the lake; and who had that very day toiled with them up the ascent of Olivet,—the same Jesus had now gone to share His Father’s throne. And the angels had assured them that the very One whom they had seen go up into heaven, would come again even as He had ascended.

He will come “with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.” “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise.” “The Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.” Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Matthew 25:31. Thus will be fulfilled the Lord’s own promise to His disciples: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3. Well might the disciples rejoice in the hope of their Lord’s return.

When the disciples went back to Jerusalem, the people looked upon them with amazement. After the trial and crucifixion of Christ, it had been thought that they would appear downcast and ashamed. Their enemies expected to see upon their faces an expression of sorrow and defeat. Instead of this there was only gladness and triumph. Their faces were aglow with a happiness not born of earth. They did not mourn over disappointed hopes, but were full of praise and thanksgiving to God. With rejoicing they told the wonderful story of Christ’s resurrection and His ascension to heaven, and their testimony was received by many.

The disciples no longer had any distrust of the future. They knew that Jesus was in heaven, and that His sympathies were with them still. They knew that they had a friend at the throne of God, and they were eager to present their requests to the Father in the name of Jesus. In solemn awe they bowed in prayer, repeating the assurance, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:23, 24. They extended the hand of faith higher and higher, with the mighty argument, “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34. And Pentecost brought them fullness of joy in the presence of the Comforter, even as Christ had promised.”

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This article is part of our 2019 September / October
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ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlinebooks.





Believe: He Will Come Back

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” 

Acts 1:9-11


From Ellen G. White’s The Desire of Ages, the chapter entitled “To My Father, and Your Father.”*

Christ had ascended to heaven in the form of humanity. The disciples had beheld the cloud receive Him. The same Jesus who had walked and talked and prayed with them; who had broken bread with them; who had been with them in their boats on the lake; and who had that very day toiled with them up the ascent of Olivet,—the same Jesus had now gone to share His Father’s throne. And the angels had assured them that the very One whom they had seen go up into heaven, would come again even as He had ascended.

He will come “with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.” “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise.” “The Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.” Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Matthew 25:31. Thus will be fulfilled the Lord’s own promise to His disciples: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3. Well might the disciples rejoice in the hope of their Lord’s return.

When the disciples went back to Jerusalem, the people looked upon them with amazement. After the trial and crucifixion of Christ, it had been thought that they would appear downcast and ashamed. Their enemies expected to see upon their faces an expression of sorrow and defeat. Instead of this there was only gladness and triumph. Their faces were aglow with a happiness not born of earth. They did not mourn over disappointed hopes, but were full of praise and thanksgiving to God. With rejoicing they told the wonderful story of Christ’s resurrection and His ascension to heaven, and their testimony was received by many.

The disciples no longer had any distrust of the future. They knew that Jesus was in heaven, and that His sympathies were with them still. They knew that they had a friend at the throne of God, and they were eager to present their requests to the Father in the name of Jesus. In solemn awe they bowed in prayer, repeating the assurance, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:23, 24. They extended the hand of faith higher and higher, with the mighty argument, “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34. And Pentecost brought them fullness of joy in the presence of the Comforter, even as Christ had promised.”

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ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlinebooks.


This article is part of our 2019 September / October Issue
Subscribe –>

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Jesus is coming again. Your parents said it. Their parents said it. I’m sure the parents before them said the same thing. For what seems like ages we’ve been told, and talked about the soon coming of Jesus Christ. Living in a time when so much takes up the space in our minds how often do we think about this life we’re living being only a portion of what God has for us? Join us as we take on the challenge of being ready for the return of Jesus.

1 Read Acts 1:4-11; Isaiah 40:31

They had to have been astonished. The disciples just saw their teacher, leader, and friend float into the sky and then vanish from sight. To make matters more challenging, they had just been told to wait for the Holy Spirit. Doesn’t it seem like a lot of your relationship with God involves waiting? What have you had to wait on in your walk with Him? Tell us on Social Media using  #MessageMag

2 Read Acts 1:4-11; John 14:1-3

While the disciples are standing there staring into the nothingness, two men in white appear and tell them that the same way they saw Jesus go, is the same way He will return. Maybe you think it would have been easier to believe that He was coming back a few days, months, or years later. What about a couple thousand years? Is it harder for you to believe living in 2019? Is it harder to be ready in 2019? Tell us on Social Media using  #MessageMag

3 Read Acts 2:1-4, 22-24

After the disciples waited as instructed, they receive the Holy Spirit. Eventually Peter begins to preach about who Jesus was and what He did. That is what each of them did for the rest of their lives. Is that true for each follower of Jesus? Sharing the gospel and living in compromising situations? Is “fun” out of the question? What about the dreams I’m perusing? How can I be ready for Jesus while still dealing with the life in front of me? Have you ever asked any of these questions? Do you have any answers? Please Share on Social Media using #MessageMag

4 Read 1 Thess. 5:1-6; Romans 14:17-19

Chronologically speaking, Thessalonians is Paul’s first letter, and Romans is his last. Isn’t it interesting that the tone with which Paul talks about the life of a follower of Jesus changes from “get ready” to “do your best to be at peace with those around you”? The way the Apostle Paul talks about the second coming transitions from how soon Jesus is coming to how sure Jesus’ coming is. Maybe there is a difference in how one lives when something is “soon” in comparison to when it’s “sure.”  Tell us what you think on Social Media using #MessageMag 

5 Read Acts 2:40-42; Matt. Chapters 5-7

The Holy Spirit enabled Peter to preach and thousands of people were baptized. Thousands of people now looked forward to the return of Jesus. As the story goes, they didn’t just sit around, but they learned from the apostles. The apostles did the best they could to pass on what Jesus had passed to them. He taught them who they were and how they were to live the life God gave them. Can we be ready for his return by simply showing people a better way to live life? Is that enough? Share your thoughts with us using #MessageMag on FaceBook, Instagram or Twitter. 

6 Read Acts 2:40-42

It is interesting that Luke decided to include the fact that a part of the initiation into the faith was breaking bread, or eating together on a regular basis, with familiar and new faces. When we think about being ready for the coming of Jesus does being surrounded by strangers register as a prerequisite? It makes sense though because the same Jesus they saw ascend into heaven was always surrounded by strangers, doing the best He could to improve their lives.

7

It has been said, “don’t be so heavenly minded, that you are of no earthly good.” In being ready for the second coming of Jesus we must be heavenly minded and earthly good. God pours into your life and simply desires you to do the same for the rest of His children. He knows that care for others will whittle away the hard parts of your heart and strengthen your faith. Nothing causes more friction than our interaction with people who are different than we are. God knew, to get to the welcome table in Heaven, He had to call us to break bread at tables down here. 

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Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.


This article is part of our 2019 September / October Issue
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When the Tables Are Turned

Revelations of Payback

You may have heard—or used–these clichés ultimately bear the same meaning:

  • “What goes around, comes around.”
  • “You do dirt, you get dirt.”
  • “Live by the gun, die by the gun.”

These and other similar formulations are meant to represent what many people call “karma.” Now while karma is not a biblical term, many might be surprised that at its core, its concept is actually biblical. It was the apostle Paul who said, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Even Jesus said, “they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matthew 26:52).

Herein is a principle that our Creator has interwoven into the fabric of the universe. It is akin to the law of gravity, the second law of thermodynamics, the law of relativity, and the like. I refer to it as “the law of sowing and reaping.” No farmer has ever reported a harvest of apples from his orange tree or figs from a grapevine. Yet, whatever you plant, in considerable time much more will come back to you.

Revelations and Real Reaping

The book of Revelation is, in many ways, harvest time. This concept is expressed on several different occasions through a myriad of ways within the book. As a matter of fact, Revelation ends with an example of the idea. In Revelation 22:12, Jesus announces, “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me to give to every man according as his work shall be.” I could write an entire book about the rewards outlined in Revelation. Nevertheless, I’d like to focus on a couple of the significant examples of the law of sowing and reaping.

These examples appear to transpire in successive progression as the further you progress throughout the book, the plagues and punishments get worse. In Revelation 16 the wicked receive the seven last plagues. In this chapter, they tell of seven angels who are handed seven bowls. The bowls are described as golden bowls that contain “the wrath of God” which are reserved to be delivered to the earth; particularly upon those who rebel against God.

Then, just as the seven plagues are being completed, the harvest of destruction continues. One of the angels, who helps to deliver the seven plagues escorts John the Revelator to a far away place to witness the destruction of an evil woman (Revelation 17:1). This woman represents the wicked confederation of rebellion against God in the form of deceptive religious leadership. Supporting her are an array of global, political, economic, and commercial institutions that help her maintain power, control, and terror over the innocent people of the earth (Revelation 17:2, 18; 18:3,9). Nevertheless, God ensures that her just reward will be meted out.

“For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done”(Revelations 18:5,6). “The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire” (Revelation 17:16).

Thousand-Year Earthbound Sentence

In Revelation 20, another angel appears to deliver punishment to the arch-enemy of all humanity. This angel descends from heaven with the tools of confinement.

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while” (Revelations 20:1-3, NLT).

There is no firing squad, no electric chair, no lethal injection, but a prison of loneliness, in the strictest of solitary confinement. Since he was cast from heaven, Satan’s existence has focused on deception and destruction of earth’s inhabitants. Now in Revelation 20, everything has already been destroyed and there is no one left to be deceived. The enemies of God have been vanquished and God has rescued His saints, (See Revelation 19). Suddenly, Satan is not the oppressor, but the oppressed. In this moment, the great “slavedriver” of sin and sorrow shall suffer under the weight of the finality of his deceptive work.

End of The Line for Satan And His Followers

After the 1,000 years are finished, Satan makes one last attempt to marshal the forces of evil and take the Kingdom of God by force (Revelation 20:7, 8). It’s not clear how he does this. Perhaps he musters all of his dark and evil magic for one last great push. Who knows? What we do know, however, is that according to the scriptures, this last effort is allowed only for a very short moment. In conclusion, fire comes down from heaven to consume the evil insurrectionists (Revelation 20:9). This is the very end of the line for Satan and his agents. After fire falls from heaven this time, there will be no remaining mark of Satan’s rebellion.

Yes, in the here and now, the powerful seem to find new kinds of oppression with which to victimize powerless people. One day, however, the tables will be turned. The evil forces will soon become the recipients of the very same devastation they dished out upon planet Earth. The divine principle of sowing and reaping will finally need to be settled. We have waited, and God has promised, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them” (Deuteronomy 32:25, NLT).

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CARLTON P. BYRD, D.MIN., is Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Church in Huntsville, Alabama and the speaker and director for Breath of Life Television Ministries.

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Holy Bible, New Living Translation (NLT), copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


This article is part of our 2019 September / October Issue
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Faith Over Fashion

“I’m gonna’ put on my robe, tell the story how I made it ova’.”

Contention over dress within the Christian church it is nothing new. For African Americans, clothing, fashion, and style have historically been acts of resistance, liberation, and counter-narrative. Our garb has also signaled and signified who we are and how we “made it over.”

So why is it that we ask the controversial question “how should we dress for worship?”

Many have harbored strong feelings about the topic of dress and worship for some time. And whenever people feel strongly about a topic that the Bible does not give explicit instructions on we find ourselves in an imbalanced state of division. But if we look back at history, P.E. Klassen documents in an article for Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation that Black women in the 19th century used dress to communicate. Both the political and religious messages in their attire suggest that women understood the power of dress and how it legitimized them in a society that was originally hostile towards them. In other words, dress in African American communities has traditionally not been a separate entity. Our dress was functional, political, and religious, all while displaying our cultural expression through style.

With dress originally playing such a pivotal role in African American political and religious culture, when did the two separate? How is it that now, African American dress is a choice between religious respectability or cultural identity?

Sacrificing Culture for Salvation

The truth is, I believe some African Americans have sacrificed their culture for salvation. Many African American Christians have traded in their cultural identity for respectability in Western European Christian churches. It’s as though we’ve omitted the origins of dress as a feature of culture, and an expression of being. But there is no Scriptural support for such a sacrifice. In fact, Scripture reveals that dress and all its particulars has always been important to God. In fact, God even believed certain religious leaders, those being the priests, should wear particular garb. Exodus 28:2 says, “Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him divinity and honor.” Some translations say “for glory and for beauty,” meaning the robes of the priests were to be both appealing to the eye and sufficient to represent the glory of God.

In other words, the garments in Exodus represented the culture of post-Egyptian bondage as now they are a people that has been set a part to worship Yahweh and Him alone. But they are also a representation of God’s standard of “divinity and honor.” These robes were to help them understand the significance of humanity coming into the presence of God in the sanctuary.

Covered

But God also spoke to the Israelites about His plan to save them and atone for their sin using the dress of the day as a metaphor. In Ezekiel 16:10-14, God describes how He found humanity, metaphorically a woman in the text, naked and covered in blood. He washes her and covers her:

“I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you,” says the Lord God.

Here, God is speaking to the prophet Ezekiel and He’s likening His redemption of humanity to clothing a woman in fine linen and jewels. Speaking of the fabrics and ornaments of that time period, God is not put off by cultural dress. No, here God uses the cultural dress of the time to describe His plan of justification and sanctification. The beauty of such spiritual covering, God believed, would be best understood by the people if likened to the finest fabrics and jewelry of that time.

Dress is an Act of Worship

By likening salvation to the cultural dress of the time, we see that African Americans have the authority to express their relationship with God through dress. God desires that we be beautifully garbed. But what’s of greatest significance is that our garb is not a prerequisite for coming into His presence. In fact, the truth is, all we do and anything we wear is as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). This is why God promises to clothe us and cover us like the Father did the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.

Yes, God designed a robe specific for the priests because of their role as intercessors on behalf of the people. But to the people at large God did not designate any particular kind of clothing that was specifically for worship. This gives us the freedom to celebrate our authentic walk in Christ enjoying how our clothing is a symbol of God’s infinite grace. God is the Master Stylist. He took our fig leaves and clothed us in lamb’s wool, and because of the sacrifice of Christ takes our sin and clothes us in His righteousness. And God has even promised that when it’s all over He’s going to hand us a crown and a robe and we will put on the garments of Heaven and tell the story of how we made it over. So until that day, let us feel free to worship Him with the fashion of our various cultures remembering they are beautiful symbols of our justification and sanctification.

 




Secrets in the Storm

The story of Jesus and the twelve disciples on a small boat in a big storm reminds us that life is full of swift transitions. It reveals the seasonal nature of circumstances. Indeed, life’s atmosphere can change from peaceful to turbulent in a moment. It did for Jesus and the disciples.

“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.” Mark 4:37

That morning the disciples awakened to the thrill of possibility. They had been walking with Jesus for several months and saw the growth and rise in popularity of His public ministry. Each day, they marveled as He served the broken and the bound with compassion unmarred by selfish ambition. They were eyewitnesses and recipients of the love and mercy of Christ extended to fallen humanity.

The Great Teacher

The swelling crowds gave evidence to the draw of Christ’s ministry. Jesus possessed unpretentious dignity and from His person emanated something beautifully attractive. There was peace in His presence, poise in His manner, and power in His touch. His genuineness and authenticity was not only attractive, but also persuasive. Men, women, and children feasted on His simple yet profound teachings. As Jesus spoke, more and more pressed in to hear principles of the kingdom of heaven. The crowd was mesmerized as He utilized everyday examples to illustrate out of this world realities. Somehow, Jesus made the complex simple and clarified the confusing.

Who knew that so much truth could be illustrated by a farmer, his seeds, and various types of soil (Mark 4:1-20)? Who knew that a lamp could shine the light of truth and meaning into the heart (Mark 4:21-25)? Who knew that a tiny mustard seed, barely visible, could highlight the Christian growth experience (Mark 4:30-34)?

As if Jesus had only taught for a few minutes, the crowd’s appetite for truth, though well-fed, was not satisfied. They hungered for more. But Jesus, knowing the benefit of rest and reprieve, bade the disciples to weigh anchor and head for the other side. As they rowed in reflection, Jesus fell asleep. Then, the unforeseen happened.

“The evening had been calm and pleasant, and quiet rested upon the lake; but suddenly darkness overspread the sky, the wind swept wildly down the mountain gorges along the eastern shore, and a fierce tempest burst upon the lake.” – Ellen G. White (Desire of Ages, 334)

We may dislike them. But, if we listen, God speaks in and through the storm-tossed episodes of our lives. He shares secrets in our storms. What are these secrets? God whispers to us: Sometimes, I will permit storms to rise. The tone of the text suggests the disciples’ storm arose suddenly. What about yours? Was there a meteorological warning? Out of nowhere, you fell ill. All of a sudden, tragedy struck. Just like that, the glass shattered. And all this with God’s permission.

Stewarding Sovereignty

It’s not easy being God. Being God of the universe comes with awesome responsibility. God, too, exercises stewardship. His exercise is beyond calculation. He manages the affairs of this world, balancing justice and mercy without inequity. When God permits storms, it is after He has taken inventory of every intersecting possibility, oppositional threat, and miscellaneous footnote. In other words, God studies before He sanctions.

In the storm God says: Sometimes, I will allow storms to rage. Boats don’t begin to sink as soon as a storm rises. The storm must carry on for a while before it begins to sink. Their combined strength and collective efforts were fruitless against such a storm. You’ve been there haven’t you? Try as you might, no employment opportunities. You explored all pathways toward healing, yet the sickness rages. You’ve prayed morning, noon, and night for the wayward child, but the child cannot seem to find her way home. She still rages.

Speaking to Storms

It is in the midst of a raging storm that we mingle our woeful cry with Peter, James, and John exclaiming “Master, carest Thou not that we perish?” One version says, “Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?” The disciples were terrified by the thought of breathing their last breath before being swallowed by the mirky deep. Their fear resonates with ours doesn’t it? Uncertainty can be unsettling. Uncertainty and fear is nearly paralyzing.

It is during these moments, when the risen storm rages that God speaks sweetly: Sometimes, I will command the storm to rest. Jesus stood in the storm and restored sanity to the sky, stability to the sea, and serenity to the wind. While the words were spoken directly to the wind and waves, it was also a message of peace to the disciples. They could rest in His promise. They could live without fear and full of faith because of Jesus their Savior.

Are you in a storm right now? I have great news. It will not last. No storm does. Let Jesus stand in your boat. He still knows just what to say.

“And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39