By Pastor Shana Wise
WCM December 2022 Theme Scripture: John 1:1-5 , “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
· We used to live in a neighborhood that had two churches near the entrance of the community. We moved away, and years later we moved back to the same area where the churches were located. One day I was riding past the churches and one had a new name while the other church was brought by a company, and they used it for a funeral home. I was baffled and saddened that a place that used to be a church, which represents life and hope, was turned into a place that housed dead bodies. When I saw this, I wondered, what happened? Was the church dead before it closed? Did they outgrow the building and move to another one? Why would they sell it to a funeral home instead of to another church?
On the other hand, the church next to the funeral home had a new name. I figured that either another church came in or the previous church decided it was time for a name change. Either way, that church was still operating and from the looks of it, they are growing.
These two churches represent the state of the global body of Christ today. Some are thriving and full of life, while others are spiritually dead and many of them are closing.
· In the book of Revelation, we see Jesus, the Life, addressing the dead church:
Revelation 3:1-6, ““And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”
· The church (we are the church) can become dead by the works that we are or not doing. When we forget that Jesus is the life of the church, and He is also the head of the church and that we are the His body left on earth to continue the work of the Kingdom until He returns, we can become spiritually dead. When we let sin rule in our lives and the Holy Spirit cannot convict us to repent, that leads to stagnation and non-growth.
· Notice in the scripture that Jesus, the Life, has the power to put your name in the Book of Life or blot it out. We want to make sure that our name is in the Book of Life not just to make it to heaven, but because we love Jesus.
John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
· The thief is our enemy, Satan. He does not care about us. All his works do not produce life, they produce the opposite, which is, “kill, steal, and destroy”. Satan's intention is to kill anything that can produce life. He wants to steal our attention away from God so that we cannot walk in our purpose and calling. He wants to destroy every good and perfect gift that comes from God.
Satan walks in darkness. Jesus is the Light. Light and darkness do not mix. Satan is a liar; Jesus is the truth. Satan brings death, and Jesus brings life. Satan is a deceiver, Jesus lights our path. Satan was kicked out of heaven because of rebellion, Jesus freely came to earth to give his life for us. Satan hates us, but Jesus loves us (John 3:16).
· Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. What that means for us is that not only do we have access to eternal life, but we can experience our new life in Him from day to day here on earth. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it means that we not only have access to the Father but we are enabled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us the will of the Father through His Word. The will of the Father is for us to experience life through His Son Jesus Christ in our everyday lives. As we grow in Christ, we will see the abundance and life of the Kingdom culture operating on earth.
· Abundance=overflow. When Jesus gives us life, it’s not just for us, it overflows to others. He wants us to be so full of His Life that we are compelled to share it with others (discipleship, evangelism, and prayer). Even non-believers will benefit from the believer’s life because that is the nature of the life that Jesus gives. For example, you can be in a crowd full of people, and you sense in your spirit danger. You begin to pray against the impending threat, and it dissipates. The ones in the crowd experience the benefits of your prayer without even knowing.
John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
· This statement by Jesus is hard for non-believers walking in darkness to understand. If we want a relationship with the Father, we must go through His Son; there is no other way to get there. There are teachings in the world that say there are many ways and paths to get to God (or heaven). Yet this statement alone separates our faith (religion) from others in the world.
Jesus is The Way.
How do you need Jesus to direct your way today?
He is The Truth.
What things do you need Jesus to show you the truth about?
He is the Life.
What areas of your life do you need Jesus to breathe on and give new life to?
If you have not given your life to God yet, what is holding you back? Do you believe that He sent His Son Jesus to the world to save you and break the power of sin over your life? Do you believe that Jesus is God in the flesh and that He died on the cross and rose from the dead because he loves you?
Decide today to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
If He is already Lord of your life, then what more does He have for you to do? Have you obeyed the last thing He told you to do? Is anything completing with His time with you? How many are others depending on you to witness the life you have in Jesus Christ? Who is assigned to you to disciple?
Be sensitive to the ones who need to experience Jesus the Life. Always be ready to respond by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ (evangelize).
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotionals Acts of Intercession and Chief Women Arise, The Impact of Your Election, and Basic Ministry Training Manual (all available on Amazon). She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets. Shana is married to Deacon Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.
For speaking engagements email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Acts of Intercession
The Impact of Your Election
Basic Ministry Training Manual
Chief Women Arise
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