Are WE Prepared?

The more we mature in the LORD, the more we come to realize our absolute desperate need of Him.

The more we become mature, the more we should become transparent and open to our fellow man. All of our suffering and tribulations are for the sake of the gospel.

The more we mature in the LORD, the more we come to realize our absolute desperate need of Him.

The more we become mature, the more we should become transparent and open to our fellow man.  All of our suffering and tribulations are for the sake of the gospel.

The more power or influence we are given, the greater the danger of pride and deception.  Power without death to self, brings corruption.  Our cross is our means of execution.  It is to be picked up everyday.

We must be humble, broken and lowly of heart before God.  God wants to prepare us for what is coming to the church and the nations.

I had a dream years ago.  I was in a coliseum like in Rome.  I was looking at the people in the stands, all shouting, laughing and mocking what was going on in the arena.

I looked down and there were Christians tied to poles and others running around the bottom of the arena from lions.  The lions were killing the Christians and eating them, while the crowds cheered and seemed to enjoy the sight.  I was so sick.  I had a hard time shaking the images of my mind from that dream.

The passion of the Roman culture for entertainment was enormous.  During the reign of Claudius, 93 days each year were expressly devoted to games and spectacles.  By the end of the second century the number had risen to 135.

The Roman coliseum was an arena of butchery.  It was in this coliseum that many of our brothers and sisters were given to the lions and other forms of terrible torture.  The brutalizing effect of the arena on Roman society was hard to comprehend.  How could so many people of “culture” fail to condemn this practice?

Christians were unpopular partly because their rites were widely misunderstood.  The communion rite especially.  The Romans thought that their arrogance and impious behavior towards the gods of Rome, must have angered the gods themselves.  Thus natural disasters such as earthquakes and fires sent by the gods, were the fault of the Christians.

Nero had self acknowledged Christians arrested.  Then, on their information, large numbers of others were condemned, for their anti-social tendencies.  Their deaths were made farcical.  Dressed in wild animals’ skins, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or made into torches to be dipped in oil then ignited after dark as substitutes for day light.

Persecution has a way of stripping our masks and hypocrisies.  For those who truly believe the gospel, will not compromise it, even unto death.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death,”   Revelation 12:11 KJV.

During the heat of Rome’s persecution, many Christians found sanctuary under ground.  In a place called the Catacombs.  I was stationed in Italy when I was in the Air Force and visited Rome personally.

It was an eerie feeling going under ground knowing that Christians lived in such places as the literal under ground church.  The caverns all over Rome were of volcanic porous rock.  Many tunnels and caves were dug out under the city of Rome to house the under ground church.

They worshiped, prayed, taught, lived and died in those caves while persecution raged above.  They buried the dead in dug out places and sealed them into the rock.

I think of all the entertainment we have as a church.  How entertaining will it be when they start taking us to jail or killing us for our message?  Will Christianity still be appealing to us then?  We must search our own heart and mind.  We must get ready and be ready for whatever comes.  Are we ready?

“For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.  We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but yea are strong ; ye are honorable, but we are despised.  Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labor working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless: being persecuted, we suffer it:  Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the off scouring of all things unto this day; I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.  For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me,”   1 Corinthians 4:9-16 KJV.

“And others had trial of cruel mocking and scourging, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment, they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy, they wandered in deserts, and in mountains and in dens and caves of the earth,”   Hebrews 11:36-38 KJV.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds,”   Hebrews 12:2-3 KJV.


In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey

Prisons Of Afflictions

God was faithful to start in us, He will be faithful to complete in us. Personal circumstances don’t limit the work of God in our lives, for He continues to work “all” things together for our good. If Satan himself comes to attack our bodies, the Word of God declares what was meant for evil will be turned around for good.

I already know that this message will not be received by some, however, here it goes.

God was faithful to start in us, He will be faithful to complete in us.  Personal circumstances don’t limit the work of God in our lives, for He continues to work “all” things together for our good.  If Satan himself comes to attack our bodies, the Word of God declares what was meant for evil will be turned around for good.

We thank God in all circumstances, because no matter how bad our circumstances may appear, He promises that we will triumph in Christ Jesus.  You may say, “Triumph?  In this mess?  How can any good thing come from these circumstances?”

You may be in prison, convicted of some crime that you may or may have not done.  You look at the bondage and wonder how can God be working something good by this prison.

Just as there are real prisons with real criminals, there are also spiritual prisons, emotional prisons, physical prisons, prisons of our own making.

Being a prisoner is not limited by locked bars and legal decrees.  A prisoner can be walking about in society looking every bit whole.  What we cannot see are chains to weights and bondage’s.  Those who are chained to weights and bondage’s are ashamed because others drive them into hiding.

There are many who wish they could share their information with other brothers and sisters in Christ to have support and confidence in their love for them.  However, many have found they can’t be open with the body of Christ because many violate confidence.

It is not wisdom to share such personal things unless you use them to help others through the same issues.  Finding a good and faithful friend takes God to arrange.

There are also prisoners because of their faithfulness to God.  The determination of those who try to hit the mark of the high calling, sent a wave of demonic persecution that sought to completely disengage the threat to the enemies plans.

You may be one of those who are being hailed with arrows and bound to circumstances that you have no control over.  God wants you to know He is with you and is working a higher purpose through it all.

For example, look at the stroke victim.  I see an individual who is a prisoner within a body that won’t work properly.  Inside the person is free but outside they are bound.  The frustration they must feel is mind blowing.

I believe totally in divine healing, and understand the life of faith.  We the church, need balance in all things.  Does being in prison disqualify you from the love of God?

We, the body of Christ, are going through many hard trials and circumstances.  Some of us are bound with no control over our circumstances.  We can sit in our homes, go about our daily activities, be in a large group of people and still be in a type of prison of circumstances and feel alone.

There are some things we must go through and some of us have been going through these things for years.  Some feel so ashamed to even say anything to another person when in a dry season or trial.

We must be wise who we share things with and making sure we keep it personal.  Personally, when these things are shared, that is between you, the person and God, PERIOD.  You must prayerfully be led to such believers who truly know your heart and life.

In America we are good at painting a pleasant picture of the life of faith.  Not many speak of the trials and circumstances we “all” go through.

It is not a popular message, so needless to say, a lot of hurting people are suffering in silence wondering what’s wrong with me?  Didn’t I pray enough, didn’t I rebuke enough?

Some prison sentences must be gone through.  After all, God is the one designing the lessons of our lives.  After you have rebuked every devil, confessed every scripture and you still seem to be in a prison, the word of God says to stand.  God has a higher purpose for the darkness of the dungeon.  Gods word is not bound.

The trees sway when the winter winds blow, and some of the brittle branches break off, but the sap goes to the base point.  You may feel dead, dry and brittle, but know you are loved and that the sap of the tree, who is the Zoe “God kind of life” is within you both to will and do His good pleasure.

I look at the example of faith in the Apostle Paul.  You may or may not know that Paul spent a wide expanse of time, perhaps a decade in various prisons.  The incarceration of Paul began with his arrest in Jerusalem about A.D.58 and ending with his incarceration and final martyrdom under Emperor Nero in A.D.67.

I look at the circumstances in the natural and think how can any good thing come out of this persecution of Paul.  Paul was alone and cold in the dungeon, the beloved Paul wrote many Pastoral epistles that speak to us today.  Paul wrote weighty powerful letters in prison right where he was.

 “… wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds, but the word of God is not bound.  Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory,”   2 Timothy 2:9-10KJV.

With all of the suffering and persecution the church is going through, God knows the whole matter.  These things make us know that we are right on the mark with God.  If the enemy never tested your resolve, it would be time to sound the alarm!

Satan thought he could shut Paul up.  Bound and put into a pit, his ministry flourished.  Paul’s writings became weighty and powerful through trial.  His faith was not a formula or a quick fix program.  Paul’s faith was produced through many experiences that tested it.

Paul said, “I have learned to be content.”  Paul’s example revealed the prize of patient endurance.  He boasted of his afflictions that the power of Christ would rest on him!  He spoke of his imprisonment’s, how he was driven into exile, and how he had been stoned.

If Paul spoke these things and it wasn’t wrong, why are so many popular teachings telling us not to confess anything negative?  It sounds like denial to me!  Let the rock throwers hit me in the head, it doesn’t hurt, as I don my mask and cloak!

I was once in a particular church that taught the book of Job was a mistake.  The person said, “If he would have confessed right and feared not, the book of Job could have only been a few chapters long.”

Suffering has never been a popular message.  The church has neglected to properly prepare the body for these types of trials.  The idea is, “if everything seems perfect and I feel good, then I’m okay with God.”

Beloved, if you are His, no matter what circumstances you go through, you are still okay and love by God.

“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way, for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:  For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my My name’s sake.”   Acts 9:15-16 KJV.

“And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witness in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the LORD Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God,”  Acts 20:22-24 KJV.

Saints, no matter what type of prison of circumstance you are in right now, know assuredly that God is with you and will use you right where you are!

Be encouraged knowing our brothers and sisters world wide are going through the same situations!  Amen?


In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey