Friday, June 24, 2022


Words for the Season.

February 25, 2022 by  
Filed under Christian Talk, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Spending time in God’s word provides strength, wisdom, and peace. Daily fellowship encourages a closer, more intimate connection with Christ. This article offers four special themes to help you receive inspiration found in the assurances of knowing our Lord and Savior. The four themes are Relationship, Healing, Courage and Perseverance. It is our hope and prayer that these four empowering themes bring encouragement to your everyday lives.

Relationship

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39)

Merriam-Webster defines relationship as the state of being related or interrelated. However, according to this writer, its definition is shallow, superficial, and abstract. After my wife transitioned into the presence of the Lord, the term “relationship” has taken a deeper meaning.

A relationship is more than two people agreeing to be together because they like one another or have similar interests. Relationship, according to the Thompson “For Real, For Real” dictionary, is an amalgamation of two people who are willing to put the other persons interest above their own. When one talks about relationships, often you hear the word compromise.

Compromise is a good start, but sacrifice is the goal. Sometimes on the path to developing a strong relationship, circumstances may require all-out sacrifice on the part of one or both partners to sustain the relationship. This writer discovered along the way that the happiness, joy, and contentment was not in a sensuous sex life, a strong financial portfolio, or even attaining all the material things that this life has to offer. My happiness, joy, and contentment were fulfilled while caring for her once she became ill. It was those attributes that strengthen the relationship and the marriage.

God desires to establish a bond with each of us. Individually we should strive to build a more passionate, meaningful, and loving relationship with Christ. Furthermore, his love is not intended to be held selflessly, but to be shared with others as evidenced in Matthew 22:37– 40. The most valuable and most satisfying thing we have in this life is the relationships we share with God and with one another.

Healing

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

This specific verse is so applicable to America today. Our nation is in desperate need of spiritual, cultural, and physical healing.

Spiritual healing overcomes “blinded” minds. The Apostle Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 4:4, “in whom the god of this world, (Satan), hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, least the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Jesus the Christ is the only hope and spiritual healing for a world crippled with a debilitating disease called sin.  The mission of the church is to “make disciples” according to Mathew 28:18-20.  Only a personal relationship with Jesus promises spiritual healing and deliverance from the grips of Satan.

Our nation needs cultural healing from the scars of racism and xenophobia. We continue to suffer from the wounds of prejudice, injustice, and marginalization. Ephesians 4:32 states, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NIV). Jesus Christ has commanded forgiveness of oppressors which allows one to overcome the deep wounds inflicted by racial injustice.

We need a physical healing from the ongoing pandemic. This pandemic has caused over five million deaths worldwide and over 900 thousand in the United States. Its secondary effects have divided the nation concerning vaccine status and mask wearing. Furthermore, it has widened the educational, economic, and political divisions as well as identified new divisive trends regarding the origin, causes and mitigation methods to combat the virus.

Imagine if across our nation people united to pray and fast for a physical healing? Only an omnipotent God can hear from heaven and forgive sins and heal the land. There is only one name under the sun that provides power for spiritual, cultural, and physical healing, the Lordship of Jesus the Christ.

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Courage

Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the vast army. For the battle is not yours, its God’s.

(2 Chronicles 20:15)

There are times in our Christian walk when we are faced with difficult situations and decisions. We will receive bad news from the doctor, loss of a family member, or an unexpected catastrophe causing both financial and emotional setbacks. Courage gives us the strength we need to face adversity, grief, and our deepest fears. It is that source that lies within us that moves us forward, that drives us with purpose and direction. Having courage doesn’t have to be a bold, supernatural act. It can be something as simple as trying a new food, raising your hand to answer a question, or doing something that might be a little risky such as singing or reading to a public audience.

We have several biblical examples of courage where we can draw strength. The book of Daniel provides two well-known examples of courage, Daniel in the lion’s den, (Daniel 6) and the three Hebrew men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3). In both examples, the men demonstrated courage in the face of fear, adversity, and death.

We also have several African American examples of courage to draw strength. We can look to Rosa Parks, Katherine Johnson, John Lewis, and others who in the mist of harassment, intimidation, and threats stood firm and true to their believes.

Courage was demonstrated by Ruby Bridges, in case you didn’t know, she is the little girl being escorted to school by U.S. Federal marshals to integrate schools in the south. One of the escorting marshals later was quoted, “She showed a lot of courage.” Like the old gospel song, “There is something inside of me, telling me to go ahead” that something is “Courage.”  For more inspiring testimonies of courage like Ruby Bridges’ story, visit the website, “Voices of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Perseverance

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

As we journey through 2022, we must continue to press forward despite the many obstacles of life. We must continue to press forward despite COVID and other illnesses.  We must continue to move forward despite social barriers and higher prices. We must continue despite political and cultural divisions. We must have the faith and the courage to persevere in the pursuit of truth and Godliness with love and patience in our relationships with family and loved ones.

The Book of James encourages us to persevere under trials because those who do will be blessed and will receive the crown of life which God has promised. According to Merriam-webster, perseverance is the persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. As believers, when we persevere in Christ, we are eternally secure in his salvation.  As we walk in faith and courage, we are empowered to persevere in affliction, sickness, persecution, and the other trials of life that are common to all believers. Christians can be assured that those who obtain the prize are those who persevere and continue to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Christians who persevere in godliness and the spiritual disciplines will be blessed in the midst of their persevering. The more we persevere in the Christian life, the more God grants His blessings upon us, thereby enabling us to continue to persevere. Let us continue to persevere in 2022. Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we will reap a harvest if we faint not (Gal. 6:9). Those who continue to persevere in loving one another and doing good in the face of evil will obtain their reward.

And finally, we are to persevere in prayer never losing hope in faith, praying without ceasing, praying in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. So, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with (James 5:16).

Written by Rev. Dr. Larry E. ThompsonRev. Dr. James A. Cobb, Rev Henry L. “Charlie” Sanders Jr, and Deacon Glenn Davis


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