Summary: To surrender to the grace of God through our Savior, Christ Jesus is to fulfill the need to seek truth for Jesus fulfilled the law.
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid (May 30, 2017)
“And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (St. John 1:16-18, King James Version [The testimony of John]).
Greetings in the Holy Name of Jesus,
My sisters and brothers, I am here to tell you a second chance becomes a third chance, fourth chance and forever chance for God’s grace through our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. We fall short each and every day of our lives tempted by our flesh to assume that we do not need Jesus, so we go out there in the wickedness of the world to wallow in bad choices, denial, the iniquities of mistakes, poor judgment, and rashness to become bound to all the unfounded consequences---darkness of the heart, mind and soul, only to end up a lost soul, a prodigal son, slaughtered sheep, condemned, delusional, possessed instead of a virtuous woman, the apple of God’s eye, the light, the truth, child of God and brother, sister, friend of Christ Jesus. One day, a woman rehearsed the saying that she was mercifully blessed and highly favored of God, wonderfully joined in oneness to Christ Jesus yet her audience even as she herself was a spectator heard the complaints of the congregation say she truly had not been through enough of something to witness to the wholeness of the one body but she could witness to married women of the shortcomings in a flesh relationship---moving from flesh to spirit to seek the love of God for the unity of the one body of Christ Jesus---bewildered at best, she felt the need to ask God to prove himself through her for she would not stop, she would not turn around, she would not accept the defeat of being pushed to the small group of women---to witness to those women, only. I felt the pain of our struggle, for her struggle was my struggle---one body in Christ and I knew every day of our lives we raised children in the love of Christ Jesus believing in a second chance---deliverance out of darkness, we counseled our husbands and friends when the battles of life that they fought became our battles, too---again, one body in Christ Jesus, now, we face the hard truth that those experiences were not enough to stand before the whole congregation in the oneness of Christ Jesus to reach the hearts and minds of everyone---able to pull them up and out of the darkness of their souls. I thought about Eve and the fall of Adam, Hannah’s barrenness, Deborah judging the people, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, the handmaidens, the concubines, the whores and the saints, the wives of one man and all their stories of struggle to survive, to stand, to sit, to witness, to minister, to share in the royal priesthood of Christ Jesus, for truly all things were possible.
Was a share in the royal priesthood of Christ Jesus---to inherit what we---women wanted, from God? Was it God’s love above all else what we wanted praying for acceptance to say I have been through something, in my life, in my marriage to man, in my marriage to Jesus---there have been times I knew I was chosen because the pain I felt in the struggle I was in had me bound to belittlement and shame of purpose and I cried as I walked with a lamp to my feet keeping the light with me always; I could not would not give up. I knew God would see me through the darkness of my soul---another trial of purpose. I just had to resolve to love God no matter what else like Job, like Elijah, like David, like John, like Peter for Jesus saved and I was saved in my heart in the midst of the forces of darkness---the neighbors in the municipalities that lived next door, across the street, down the road who might not accept the way of Jesus for all things---I had to go all for one and one for all---accepting Jesus for all things, without compromise, without 50 percent, half- good and the other half- evil; I had to go through the darkness to God’s marvelous light. I was woman- a nurturer not man-a provider, a protector, yes; I was human flesh, only.
Most importantly, the people could hear my loneliness, my closeness to the Word of God, my love for God’s only begotten son [John 3:16], my disappointments and discouragements but I was determined to let them see my encouragement, my joy and my love for God so loved the world [3:16]. How much did it shatter my heart into pieces when my husband did not desire me anymore and chose another woman---not leaving me but he needed more than I could give? How much did it matter to me that I attended all community and church activities alone without my husband seeing the pain of my pain in the eyes of those who welcomed me near to them to speak to me as I stood without my husband and I thanked them for not feeling threatened that a woman alone would end up like Eve, in trouble and cause the whole nation to fall, once again? How much did it seem impossible that my appearance was not enough to keep my wandering husband at home loving and attentive to me only---shutting out the world for us, our union, our oneness so that we stood and sat in wholeness of God’s love and purpose---able to contribute our oneness to the one body, in unity? How much was it that my man lost his way---was no longer on the straight and narrow and wanted to stay in the world tempted by the snake, giving in to forces of possession that would bound him in prison, death, misfortune, lost of everything even death?