We Can Withstand and Overcome Anything (Part 6) – Have You GIVEN Your LIFE To Christ?

by Rick

Today we continue our series “God is faithful!”  I was led to 2 Corinthians 4.  In this passage, we will look at what it looks like to believe God is faithful.  Because of God’s faithfulness towards us, we can withstand and overcome anything!

In our last message, we deal with verse 9.  Today we will look at verse 10.

(2 Corinthians 4:1, 7-13, 16-18 TPT)

1  Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or faint with weariness.

7  We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God’s, not ours.

8  Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.

9  We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out. 

10  We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

11  We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

12  So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.

13  We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.”  So we also first believe then speak in faith. 

16  So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. 

17  We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, 

18  because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.

So what does this mean for you today? A few things.

(2 Corinthians 4:10 TPT)

We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

Tomorrow I will break down this verse further.  But for today, I feel led to tie my testimony to it.

1.  God performed a miracle in my life at the age of 3.

When I was 3yrs. old I was hit by a car on New Jersey Ave., in Brooklyn, NY.  The year was 1975, and the car that hit me was a Lincoln Continental.  Those cars were built like tanks.  I was hit so hard that I slid under a van.  At first, people were struggling to find me.  My uncle Sergio found me under the van, and he pulled me out onto the street.  My mother looked down and saw I had blood coming out of my ears, nose, and mouth.  I was unconscious.  My mother did not know what to do.  She and my father had recently divorced.  So there she was, in a foreign country (the U.S.), she had just lost her husband, and she was about to lose her only son (so she thought).  

Someone flagged down a cab.  My mother jumped into the cab with me, and the cabbie rushed off the hospital.  In the cab, my mother looked at me, seemingly lifeless and bleeding all over her, and all she could do was pray.  She told the Lord, right there in the cab, that if He spared my life and she would dedicate me to Him and that I would be His.  When she did, at that moment, I woke up.  

When we arrived at the hospital, the doctors ran a battery of tests, and they were dumbfounded.  They could see the blood on my clothes and my mother’s clothes, but they could not find anything wrong with me.  I had no broken bones, no internal bleeding, no cuts, no bruises, and no sign of trauma whatsoever.  The doctors kept me for three days, and all I can remember is all the ice cream I ate.  I am 49 years old today, and those three days I spent in the hospital during this event are the ONLY days I have ever spent in a hospital.  I have never even received an I.V.  

During the event in the cab, when my mother dedicated me to God, in her mind, she saw herself at a particular church in the Dominican Republic.  This church is up on a mountain.  She saw me dressed in white.  As she lifted me up in the cab, she imagined herself lifting me up on that holy mount in the Dominican Republic, “giving” me to God.  She made a vow to the Lord, in the cab, that if God spared me, she would do what she promised to do.

A few months later, my grandfather was dying.  My mother received the news in Brooklyn, and she immediately purchased two plane tickets, so she could rush home to see her father on his death bed.  That day, as we went to the airport, my mother dressed me in ALL WHITE.  She knew what she was she was going to do.  When the plane landed in the Dominican Republic and one of my uncles, her brother, picked us up, she told him that we needed to go to this particular church, up on a mountain, BEFORE she went to see her dying father.  My uncle thought my Mom was making a mistake, but she was persistent.  We went to the church, my mother lifted me up, all in white, just like she vowed to do, and she “GAVE” me to God.   

God is so gracious that He kept my grandfather alive until we got there.  My mother was able to see her father and spend time with him before he died.  She fulfilled her vow to the Lord, and the Lord was merciful to her.         

2.  Have you truly “GIVEN” your life to Christ?

My mother raised me in the Catholic church, and I can say that I wanted to know and please God throughout my youth.  I faithfully attended catechism classes, received First Communion, and went through my Confirmation, but I never truly experienced God.  I spent countless Sundays in mass, but I never truly came in contact with Jesus.  Please don’t take this as an indictment against the Catholic church.  The Catholic church is full of believers who walk with God.  This is simply my personal testimony.  I spent years in religious activities without ever having a true relationship with Jesus.

I joined the U.S. Army at the tender age of 17 and as I traveled around the world.  One of my assignments was to Fort Bragg, NC.  I arrived there in 1993.  While there, one of my Army buddies invited me to play basketball at his church on a Saturday, and I would up attending the church service the next day.  At the end of the service, the Pastor said, “Every head is bowed.  Every eye is closed.  If you want to receive Jesus in the pardon of your sins, if you don’t know for sure that you would go to heaven if you were to die today, raise your hand.”  I raised my hand.  I really wanted to KNOW Jesus.  I was taken to the church; a church member asked me to repeat the words that some call “the sinners prayer.”  I repeated the words.  He said, “Congratulations, borhter.  YOU ARE SAVED!”  At was kind of excited, but deep down, I knew nothing happened.  That church kept calling me to come back, but I would not, because I knew I was still the same and I did not want to deal with that reality.    

A couple of years later I got stationed in Kuwait.  At this point, I was a 23-year-old Staff Sergeant.  It had been 20 years since my mother “GAVE” me to God.  I was still on my journey to find Him.  In Kuwait, I met another young Staff Sergeant named Leo Jacobs.  There was something clearly different about him.  He carried himself well, he was highly respected, well-spoken, and I was drawn to him in a way that I had never been drawn to another person before.  I wanted to know what made this man ‘tick’.  I wanted to know what made him special.  I wanted to be like Leo.  And Leo was not shy about telling me that the only thing that made him special was Jesus!  Leo told me he was “saved.” 

Leo invited me to church.  On August 27, 1995, I walked into the chapel on Camp Doha, Kuwait as a 23-year-old hard-charging, arrogant and egotistical overachiever and I walked out a Born-Again believer.  That’s the short version.  I have given my testimony before, so I won’t give you all the details.  What I will say is that on that night, I “GAVE” my life to Christ.  When I made Jesus my Lord, I GAVE Him everything I was and everything I was not.  Good and bad, I gave it ALL to Jesus!  In that moment, I knew I was saved.  I did not go to the altar.  No one prayed with me.  No one asked me to say anything.  No one laid hands on me.  It was just me and God, I asked God to save me and He did.  I knew I was BORN-AGAIN!

Since that day, I have been living for God.  God IS my life.  Jesus is not something I do.  Jesus is who I am.  Going back to our text for this morning, Paul said:

(2 Corinthians 4:10 TPT)

We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

I will deal with this text more tomorrow.  But for today I will close with a few quick thoughts:

— The goal is for Jesus to be revealed through you!  People can see Jesus in the stars, the sea, and the oceans.  People can hear Jesus in the wind and through a still small voice.  But people are also supposed to see, hear and experience Jesus THROUGH YOU!

— Some people join a church, but joining a church is not the same as GIVING YOUR LIFE to Jesus!  God wants ALL OF YOU.  Either He is Lord OF all or He is not Lord AT all!

— God made plans for me before the world began.  My mother GAVE ME over to God when I was 3 years old, so those plans could come to pass.  20 years later, I GAVE MYSELF over to those plans.  If you ever truly GIVE YOURSELF to God, giving Him YOUR LIFE, you will never be the same.  God will live through you and the world will see Jesus through your humanity!

We will stop here.  I have given you enough for today.

Declaration of Faith:  

Father, I thank You for leading me to LEVEL UP in this season.  I LEVEL UP by dying to self.  I have GIVEN YOU MY LIFE.  This means You have it all.  Everything I am and everything I am not ALL belongs to You, Father.  You are my life.  I am not just a church-goer or a church member.  I am a child of the Most High God and my God lives in me.  I have given my God MY LIFE.  Everything I am is IN YOU, Father, and everything You are is IN ME.  I am ONE WITH YOU!  The world will see Jesus in me and I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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