The Power of Our Message

We all have a past.                                                                                    And because we all have a past, we all have a message we could share with someone somewhere.Our stories of struggle turned into victory, or helplessness turned into hope scream to be told and others ache to hear about them in their hour of need.

The enemy of our lives would like nothing better than to keep us silent in the shadows. You see, silence takes away the opportunity for freedom to emerge. Silence strips our soul of courage and covers us in shame, trying only to remind us of who we once were. And when someone feels shamed, they feel inadequate to talk freely about who they really are and who they have grown to become.

Shame puts a muzzle on our personal message.

Jesus, however, speaks a better word over us.He allowed himself to be shamed and stripped, beaten and bruised and took our shame with him to the cross. Through His death and resurrection, He made all things new- including us. Redeeming our lives, bringing us back to Him through the power of forgiveness, and ultimately empowers us through The Holy Spirit to share our lives and life-story with others.

Not just the pretty parts, but also the parts that were excruciating to walk through. Even the pieces that are still difficult to stand in.

Friend, our personal messages have power…

We often only want to share about the victories won, but not the struggle or battles we’ve had to endure.The truth is, people around us need to know that life can be found in the middle of their own battle and hope can be discovered in the midst of hardship.

Think of the make -over shows that display a “before” and “after” picture of a person: We can admit that we all want to be presentable and walk around with the “after” look, but we rarely speak of how we looked (inside & out) during the “before” part, or how it made us feel.

When we realize we that our message is full of the power of God and the hope of Christ, it frees us from the shame that silences us. God’s strength enables us to share with others what we did to keep living, moving, and even breathing.I know for a fact that during many seasons of life, even just breathing can feel like a struggle.

Maybe you’ve had to walk through really trying times; financial hardship,jail, separation, divorce, brokenness to the most grueling degree, loss…feel free to insert your struggle here___________.

Your message matters.Not just to God, but to those around you who are searching for signs of life.

Your message could be a lifeline for someone today who is walking in similar shoes.You may have fought depression, eating disorders, anxiety, abuse, fear, helplessness and hopelessness and have overcome, but someone around you or behind you is looking for the peace that brought you through.

Silence doesn’t suit us.                                                                                We are meant to speak out our stories.

We can give our past the power to restrain us at the mouth or to release us to bless and give life to others. We just have to choose which way we’ll look at our past.

All throughout the bible, there are accounts of people (just like you and me), sharing of their story with those around them. This one in particular jumps out to me:

The Samaritan Woman John 4:1-42                                                             28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him…39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

The testimony of this Samaritan woman revolutionized her whole town.    It’s time to start a revolution with our own messages.

Friend, when we uncover our past, we begin to discover our present and then we can begin to recover our future. And when we do, let’s make are to pass along the hope, faith, and the lessons we’ve learned to those who surround us.

May God’s hope rise up within you today as you begin to see where your message can make an impact.

May His presence go with you and His words speak to you and through you when you refuse to be silenced,

And May The Hope of Jesus flood the hearts of all who hear it.

peace-Liz

P.S.- If you’re looking for a song that can solidify this message into your heart and mind, take a listen to the song, “Where Would I Be” by NCC Worship. You won’t regret it.

Something New

Every Easter, my mom would do her best to get us a new Easter outfit. It didn’t have to be extravagant or expensive, but it was always new. One year I had a beautiful yellow dress with a white sailor collar; another year I wore a white a blue ensemble. I loved Easter time because I knew I would get something beautiful and something good to wear, so I could look my very best. I even look forward to it now that I have my own kiddos because I get to see them looking sharp in their new outfits- even if it is just for a few hours until my son gets stains on his pants from the chocolate:).

Isn’t that what Easter is about though?

Jesus took all of our sin, all of our old ways with him to the cross where we can see our forgiveness taking place, and those things were buried with him in his death. Then, He miraculously and powerfully resurrected to new life so that we might have complete new life in him and with Him.

The old was dead and buried, the new came became reality.

I’ve always liked the old song that says:

 “Something beautiful, something good,

All my confusion He understood,

All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife,

But He made something

Beautiful if my life.”- Bill Gaither

Something beautiful,

Something good, something new.

Isn’t that what we want on the inside of us too?

Something fresh that springs up from the inside and covers us; something that is noticeable and lovely, and hopeful and inspiring…friend, that is what we’ve been given by our Heavenly Father who loves us so.

Not only have we been made new through the sacrifice that Jesus gave through the brutal death on the cross, but

-We’ve been given a new name: Redeemed, paid for, loved

(Galatians 3:13, 2 Thessalonians 2:16, Ephesians 5:2, 1 John 4:10)

-We’ve been given new life: eternal life with our Father (John 3:16-17)

-We have been given forgiveness for ourselves, and the ability to forgive others (Colossians 1:13-14, 1 John 4:11)

-We have been given a purpose and a hope for our future.

(Jeremiah 29:11)

The list goes on and on…

You see, it’s not just parents who want to give their children something at Easter time. Our Heavenly Father gave and continues to give us new things too.

When we give Him all of the old junk that clutters our life, all the hurts and habits, all the brokenness and disguises, He can make something beautiful of our lives.

May the rest of your Holy Week be full of the reminder that you have been given new life,

May it well up deep inside you and radiate out from you,

May your new become visible from the inside out,

And May you experience the beauty in and through His process.

peace-liz