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Tag: persecution

Be Strong!

THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: WHY BELIEVERS IN CHRIST NEED INNER STRENGTH

WHY DO BELIEVERS IN CHRIST NEED TO BE STRONG?

In the third chapter of Ephesians, Paul prayed inner strength for the Gentiles (non-Jews) who had become believers in Christ. Paul, who was appointed as an apostle of Jesus Christ, knew all too well that inner strength was vital for  Christians. During this era, men, like Paul, faced much persecution. Paul detailed some of his suffering in II Corinthians 11:23-27 (New Living Translation):

“23 Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served Him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.”

Today, most specifically here in the United States, we, as believers, are not threatened with physical persecution, like the apostle Paul. Nevertheless, we are persecuted. For instance, perhaps you have endured lies, ridicule, and, even, rejection for believing in Jesus. Whatever the case may be, through it all, you must be strong!

HOW DO BELIEVERS WITHSTAND OPPOSING VIEWS?

Besides persecution, we need inner strength to withstand the opposing views of non-believers: 

Jesus isn’t real!

Jesus isn’t the Son of God!

Jesus isn’t God!

Jesus was only a prophet!

Jesus didn’t die for our sins!

Jesus didn’t rise from the dead!

If you’re not strong in your faith, you can be easily led astray by those who don’t follow Christ.  Therefore, you have to be strengthened daily through prayer, worship, and God’s Word. You will then know how to “[cast] down imaginations, and every high thing that [exalts] itself against the knowledge of God, and [bring] into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ,” (II Corinthians 10:5, King James Version). In other words, in time we learn how to dismiss words of doubt from naysayers with God’s Word, just as Jesus did when He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4, Mark 1, Luke 4).

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR BELIEVERS?

As Paul prayed inner strength for the Gentile believers, he said in Ephesians 3:16-17, NLT):

“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”  

Once we invite Jesus Christ to live in our hearts, through our faith in Him—believing He died for our sins and rose from the dead—we should also invite the Holy Spirit to fill us. At our church Power and Faith Ministries in Fairifield, Ohio, while we believe in accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, we also believe in being filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, as the believers did on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.

Each time we pray in our heavenly language (as we also like to call it since it comes from God), our spirits are strengthened. 

 In Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT) Paul then said:

“18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

Overtime, we recognize more and more just how great God’s love is, and His love becomes strong in us.

WHY IS LOVE SO IMPORTANT IN THE BODY OF CHRIST?

Love is important in the body of Christ because GOD IS LOVE (I John 4:16). Since God is love, His love strengthens us. Please recognize that it’s GOD’S love we need, not worldly love. What do I mean? Worldly love is conditional, which says, “I love you IF…” On the other hand, the love of God says, “I love you IN SPITE OF….”

If we’re full of GOD, then we’re full of LOVE; if we’re full of LOVE, then we’re full of GOD, thereby being strengthened.

When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment by some of the Pharisees or religious leaders in Matthew 22:37b-40 (KJV), He replied:

“37…..Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

When we’re full of love—GOD—we won’t do anything to hurt God and each other.

DO WE LOVE AUTOMATICALLY? 

Once we are saved, do we possess unconditional love automatically? No, not necessarily. Thus, we must follow the example of Jesus which is displayed so vividly in the Bible. What was His biggest demonstration of love? Absolutely! His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection! Naturally, we are not expected to follow in His footsteps and sacrifice our lives for all mankind on a rugged cross. Nevertheless, we can show the love of God in other ways. Just as Jesus exemplified, while He lived as a man here on Earth, we can love through our kindness, encouragement, helping hand, generosity, and selfless prayers. In a nutshell, we must CHOOSE to love!

A RECIPE FOR INNER STRENGTH

Again, how do we gain inner strength, so we may be able to stand up against persecution, the views of non-believers, and sin?

  • Repent of our sins and receive Jesus into our hearts as Savior and Lord
  • Be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues
  • Spend time praying to and worshiping God
  • Study and obey the Scriptures
  • Walk in God’s love

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION

If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (New International Version) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Is Every Struggle the Devil?

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: In All Things Persevere)

IS EVERY STRUGGLE THE DEVIL?

As believers in Christ, the Bible encourages us to persevere.

To persevere is “to never give up, continue, carry on, keep going, be persistent, be determined, press on, stand firm, go the distance, stay the course—even in the face of suffering.” In fact, a believer may suffer as a result of persecution. II Timothy 3:12 (New International Version) says,

“….Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”

As the verse states, Christians will be persecuted just as Jesus was persecuted, by Satan, his demons, and those who choose to walk in darkness, rather than in the light of God. However, I want to make something very clear. Not every hardship is from the devil. He doesn’t have that much power!

IS YOUR STRUGGLE PERSECUTION OR A CONSEQUENCE OF BAD BEHAVIOR?

Perhaps a struggle you are facing is the result of bad behavior on your part.

Colossians 3:25 (New Living Translation) says,

“But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.”

Let’s consider King David of Israel who, at a young age, was chosen by God and anointed by Samuel to be the next king (I Samuel 16). In II Samuel 11, late one afternoon while walking on the rooftop, King David noticed a woman nearby taking a bath. He was immediately drawn to her. When he inquired about her identity, his servants informed him that she was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of David’s soldiers. Although he now knew she was married, with lust in his heart, David still summoned her. As a result of their adulterous act, Bathsheba became pregnant.

When David learned of the pregnancy, he did everything in his power to cover up his wrongdoing. First, he had Uriah removed from the battlefield and sent home in hopes that he would sleep with his wife and, in turn, think he was the father of the unborn child. However, Uriah was a man of integrity and devoted soldier who remained abstinent during battle. Feeling he had no other choice, King David then ordered Uriah to be placed on the frontlines in battle, where he knew Uriah would more than likely be killed. Once Uriah was out of the picture, King David married Bathsheba thinking he was now in the clear. However, God wasn’t going to let David get away with what he did simply because he was king!

After Bathsheba gave birth to their son, the Lord sent the prophet Nathan to confront David about his sin. He prophesied that because of his sin, his household would suffer death. In that moment, David didn’t run away or hide. Instead, he owned up to what he had done and repented. In Psalms 51:1-12 (NLT), David prayed:

“1 Have mercy on me, O God,
because of Your unfailing love.
Because of Your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
4 Against You, and You alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in Your sight.
You will be proved right in what You say,
and Your judgment against me is just.
5 For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But You desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.

7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
You have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from Your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and make me willing to obey You…..”

Although David sincerely repented of his sins and God forgave him, he still had to suffer the consequences. David didn’t die, but their infant son did.

Like King David, if you have done something you know was wrong, confess to God, repent, and persevere through the consequences.

You persevere by learning from your mistakes, moving forward, and making better choices. As Gospel singer Martha Munizzi sings, “Your latter will be greater than your past.” David and Bathsheba may have lost their first son, but God blessed them with Solomon, who later became king of Israel and the one to fulfill his father’s dream of building the temple in Jerusalem.

IS YOUR STRUGGLE PERSECUTION OR A TEST FROM GOD?

Your current struggle may be a test from God. O yes! God takes us through tests every now and then. However, I don’t think the test is as much for God as it is for us. A test is designed to measure your growth, to see how far you’ve come and how far you still need to go. For example, in Genesis 22, God tested Abraham when He instructed him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. This particular commandment had to be very trying for Abraham considering how many years he had waited to receive his promised heir. Nevertheless, Abraham obeyed the voice of God and, in turn, passed the test! In verse 12, an angel of the Lord stopped Abraham just when he was about to sacrifice Isaac and said,

“…now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from Me even your son, your only son.”

Abraham proved his faith, faithfulness and obedience to God! Consequently, God also informed him that He would bless him with innumerable descendants and that they would all be greatly blessed. Like Abraham, God wants to give us more, but we have to be ready to receive. So, whenever God takes you through a test, recognize that it’s designed to make you better, stronger and wiser. Therefore, persevere through it! Greater is coming!

IS YOUR STRUGGLE PERSECUTION OR JUST A PART OF LIFE?

Are you familiar with the phrase “Stuff happens?” The phrase is an acknowledgement that life here on earth is not perfect and unpredictable events will occur. For instance, consider that everything seems to be going well for you financially. Your bills are paid on time every month. You’re able to keep groceries in the refrigerator, gas in the tank, clothes on your back and shoes on your feet. You even have some money left over in the bank. Life is wonderful! Unfortunately, one day your car breaks down, your furnace goes out, and the dentist informs you that your child needs braces. The costs of what you need is more than what your salary will cover. Now, you’re frustrated, confused and scared.

However, in the midst of this overwhelming situation, you must persevere! I Peter 5:7 (NLT) says,

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”

You may have family and friends who truly care about you and are willing to help you any way they can. Nonetheless, no one cares about you more than God, the Creator, the one who owns everything! Therefore, He should always be the first one you consult when you find yourself in a tough situation. He will provide you with what you need. You just have to trust Him totally.

DON’T LET IT DESTROY YOU!

Whatever challenges you may be facing for whatever reasons, as Philippians 4:13 states, know that through Christ, you can do all things! What you’re going through right now doesn’t have to kill you, unless you let it. YES! Unless YOU let it! So, don’t let it destroy you! Rather stand tall in God! For instance, even though Job had lost everything, in Job 23:10 (King James Version) he declared,

“But [God] knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION

If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

If you would like to make a donation to help with my mission of spreading spiritual inspiration, you may donate to The Kimberly Joy Show via Cash App, Venmo or paypal.me/thekimberlyjoyshow.

Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

A True Soldier

WHAT IS A TRUE SOLDIER?

On April 5, 2003, at the age of 34, Army Staff Sergeant Stevon A. Booker was killed by enemy fire in Iraq during a raid into Baghdad. Although I had heard and read about other casualties of war, this particular incident hit close to home because he was family! To the world he was Staff Sergeant Booker, but to those close to him, he was Stevie.

I was in shock the night I received the news that he was dead. My heart especially ached for his mother, sister and nephew. Stevie was gone??? No! It couldn’t be right! Again, he was ONLY 34 years old!!! He had been in the service since he was 18 or 19 years old.

He still had so many more years to live. In fact, following his death, I was told that Stevie had made plans to bring home a special lady, also a member of the service, to meet his family, and in just a few more years, he would have been eligible to retire. However, none of that was going to happen now, and it just didn’t seem fair!

As I pondered over the tragic event, I found solace in knowing that Stevie was a true soldier! A soldier can be defined as an enlisted man or woman. However, just because one survives boot camp doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is a TRUE soldier! A true soldier is willing to fight in order to defend his or her own. In battle or war, a true soldier risks being injured, maimed and even killed. Although we didn’t want to believe that Stevie was never coming back, we had to remember one thing! He was a true soldier who had made an allegiance to the army and to this country, even if it meant losing his life!

ARE YOU A TRUE SOLDIER?
The book of Romans was an epistle or formal letter written by the apostle Paul to the Christians at Rome. In Romans 8:35-36 he asked,

“35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Paul was informing them that as Christians they would face trouble. In other words, at times they would be persecuted, hungry and destitute, and in grave danger because they chose to follow Jesus Christ.

This truth still resonates today. As believers in Christ, we will face challenges, just as Jesus faced challenges while living on earth as a man. Because He was ridiculed, we will be ridiculed. Because He was mistreated, we can expect to be mistreated. Because He was attacked, we shouldn’t be surprised if we’re attacked. Therefore, we must learn to persevere.

To persevere is to endure through difficult circumstances. II Timothy 2:3 says,

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

Paul wrote a letter to his young Christian brother Timothy encouraging him to continue doing the work of the Lord and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, despite any suffering and hardship he would experience.

Like a true soldier, as believers in Christ, we’ve made a commitment to serve God. Consider the apostle Paul. He was totally committed to telling others about Jesus, even if it meant sacrificing his life. In II Corinthians 11, he acknowledged being a prisoner and facing death countless times, including being whipped and even stoned by Jews and Gentiles alike. Three times he was shipwrecked. There were nights he didn’t get any sleep and days he went without food, water or warm clothing. Nevertheless, because of his faith in Jesus and undying devotion, he continued to persevere. He kept praying, preaching and encouraging other believers.

ARE YOU FULFILLING YOUR COMMITMENT?
Just as the apostle Paul persevered, I encourage you to do the same! Don’t allow anything or anyone to stop you from fulfilling your commitment to God. Trust that even when you go through, that God is with you. Know that every struggle is worth it, because not only do you gain rewards on earth, but you will gain the reward of eternal life because you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and remained faithful to the end!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

If you would like to make a donation to help with my mission of spreading spiritual inspiration, you may donate to The Kimberly Joy Show via Cash App, Venmo or paypal.me/thekimberlyjoyshow.

Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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