The clatter of utensils on dishes and ice hitting the bottoms of glasses. The aroma of culinary delights wafting from the kitchen. The happy laughter of children and the harmony of several conversations all happening at once. The sounds of Sunday dinner in a multi-generational gathering. This is what my sister and I always call “second Church.” We may all be talking about what the kids are doing for the summer, what is currently challenging us in our various vocations, or what the weather will be like when we all go to the beach next month, but what is really going on underneath all that is the brooding of the Spirit and the present working of God’s word in our hearts. We are living life together loving each other with great energy and hope.
The facts for many of us include some pretty difficult situations. There are children with learning disabilities, parents with financial constraints, grandparents with health issues, and the occasional personality conflict or disagreement. The eternal truth, however, overarching and undergirding, is that with God all things are possible. So, we press in and press on with hope and joy. Faith stabilizes, hope encourages, and love strengthens. Our bond is in Christ, and His love unifies us.
There is nothing so captivating as witnessing God’s goodness, His grace and His mercy in the lives of those we hold dear. His miraculous work of redemption never loses wonder, and it does us good to recall and rehearse all He has done. We do this for ourselves and for each other, strengthening the ties that bind and overcoming the enemy of our souls.
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them!'” (Revelation 12:10-12a NKJV)
I know there is so much more going on in these verses in Revelation than what I am intimating here. I do, however, truly believe that God gives us the power to overcome the enemy with our testimony of His salvation, His mercy, His grace, and His truth. When we testify of His goodness to each other, it strengthens our faith and glorifies His name. When praise rises, the enemy is silenced. What might happen if we wielded this spiritual weapon with more finesse and frequency?
Dear one, what testimony of His goodness do you need to rehearse? Where have you witnessed His hand at work, His heart of kindness, His word of power? Tell someone, and together you can praise Him.
Until next week, beloved, overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony.