The Fight of Your Life

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Are you spending time in prayer, in God’s Word, in His Presence to prepare yourself and others for the trials coming? Are you loafing or preparing for the fight of your life against our enemies? Sharing the following devotional written by Ohio elementary school teacher, Debra Neal. This is part of a free, Monday thru Friday devotional service of The Christian Public Servant, a publication sponsored by the Regent University Robertson School of Government. To receive their daily devotionals via email, contact  epatterson@regent.edu

 

 

Reading

Daniel 12:3 (NIV) Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Reflection

Being a mother and a teacher, I’ve wondered about the mother and teachers in Daniel’s life.  We know little about them, but we do know a lot about their living legacy—Daniel.  And the same with Timothy. We know little about his mother and grandmother, but much about their living legacy—Timothy.

God fully equips us to serve as we walk through the doors of our current mission field. But I am concerned with the trend of many Christians—forgetting morning devotions/scripture and time at the altar for prayer. Instead, we seem to fill our minds, and our children’s minds, with worldly particulars: TV, video games, social media. We are quick to prepare meals, but we are slow to give spiritual nourishment to face the “lion’s den” or “the race” encountered each day. What will it profit if you or I gain the whole world but lose the soul?

The-Lions-Den1

Imagine the impact if you and I begin with purpose of heart to train for the fight of our life: facing the lion’s den or that marathon race.

God’s mission for me is to prepare souls for that fight. I will pray and inform parents and coworkers of our spiritual responsibility. Maybe that means removing things from our homes, or at least from our morning routine, and replacing them with God’s word and prayer.

How about you? Will you do the same? And are you prepared for the fight of your life?

Are you eating the Bread of Life and drinking Living Water? Are you praying for protection over your family and co-workers so that when they face their den of lions, or their race, they will be fully equipped to shine like the brightness of heavens or stars that will shine forever and ever?

Today at work, and everywhere you go, be a living legacy. Be dedicated to the fight of your life—just like Daniel and Timothy. Let your mother and grandmother, sons and daughters, say: you fought a good fight, you finished the race, and you kept the faith.

Yes. Today, prepare for the fight of your life.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, I bind the enemy from wasting my life with useless information. I ask You for help in managing my time in such a way that I am prepared for that lion’s den and that marathon, which I will certainly encounter today and every day!  In the precious name of my Lord, I pray! Amen.

 

 

 

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Why Kim Davis Is in Error

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

When is a supposed “hero” not a hero? Such a scenario is playing out in Kentucky. This past week, the supposed “heroic” actions exhibited by Rowan County Clerk and Apostolic Christian occurred when Kim Davis refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. This is after the Supreme Court decision passed in July makes it lawful for same-sex couples nationwide to marry. Davis rather, chose to stand on “principle” and her Christian faith by not issuing the marriage license (Davis is asking to have her name removed from their marriage license issued via a state amendment but at this stage would still be in violation of the law).

In response, Davis has been jailed for not honoring the law. She is also being sued by couples she disenfranchised/infringed the rights of. The county has proceeded to issue the marriage licenses that Davis denied. Davis will defiantly remain in jail, believing she is standing on principle. Many Christians near and far have rallied behind Davis, encouraging her to continue standing her ground in this contentious battle we daily wage of man’s law vs. God’s Law in a fallen world.

As Believers, we clearly see it: the contrast between dark and light is so palpable in our society and world. Good is bad, bad is good. Our fallen world is in a perpetual state of moral decay. One could wonder why God would allow such immorality to continue. In addition, when Believers confront darkness with light, truth, virtue and morality, we are often met with hostility by those who choose to continue operating in lawlessness.

Getting back to Kim Davis: I recently began grad school with Regent University (Christian-based educational institution) to pursue and obtain my Master of Public Administration. Considering myself a Christian public servant prior to classes by virtue of how God has equipped me to lead this ministry, I am being equipped even more to understand the wisdom and discernment one must constantly embody as a Christian serving the public, in public office, etc.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Although her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied, Davis still refuses to issue marriage licenses. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office’s refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Although her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied, Davis still refuses to issue marriage licenses. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

In this, here is why Ms. Davis is not heroic, but is in fact, in error:

Believing that she was standing on principle and doing what was right, Davis stepped on other citizens’ rights. While I support traditional marriage between one man and one woman, Ms. Davis swore an oath before God as a public servant. As the founder and leader of Voices Against the Grain, a ministry that “advances God’s Kingdom in a ‘do your own thing’ society,” I understand not compromising God’s Word to gain favor with the world. In doing so, as Christians, in sharing God’s Truth, we are also to show love and compassion to those who have views that contradict God’s Word.

Our goal is to remove the veil that blinds them. To deliver truth in love that brings restoration. As Christ’s Ambassadors, we are asked to “deal gently with those ignorant or misguided since we ourselves are subject to weakness.” (Hebrews 5:2). This is even more true in Davis’ role as a Christian public servant.

We must use wisdom and operate as critical thinkers in all situations. We must trust that God is indeed Sovereign over all things, even in this situation, as God’s law is Supreme even when we exercise free will. Davis has minimized the greatness of God to overcome even this. Davis is in error by violating the law and worse, missing an opportunity to show Christ’s love. God is God all by Himself and doesn’t require us to help Him. None of her actions have shown these people Christ. Certainly the laws have changed since her being elected to the job 27 years ago. She should now consider if morally, she can still fulfill this role.

Is it possible for Christians and Christian public servants to operate as vessels of light, truth, morality and virtue in a fallen world? Yes, absolutely. By sharing God’s light, we help bring clarity to confusion and hope to darkness in our fallen world. By not doing so, we’ll continue to see moral decay and the tragedies manifest and proliferate our communities due to our silence and absence from these influential spaces. In order to transform such spaces, we need to be a light in the room and a voice of truth at the table. But there is a right way to do it. 

First-Peter-4-8
This is the call for those who truly yield to the Holy Spirit and are not swayed by self-interest and emotions. This is the call for those who choose not to acquiesce in being a vessel of truth, virtue and morality when it is unpopular to do so. This is the call for those who are committed to serve in love, to operate in wisdom and deploy truth in the right tone at the right time while not inflicting injustice upon others. This is the call for those who choose to decrease self and increase Christ.

This is the call of a Christian public servant. I pray as the Body of Christ that we come into unity in this understanding.

-Nicole

Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes here.

Serve Without Outrageous Nonsense

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

As Christians, shouldn’t our “God talk” be followed by “God acts”? Yes. We likely know people who talk the talk but their promises aren’t kept or followed up by actions. Unfortunately, we see this most often in public office. The candidate campaigns, promises to take certain actions to help the public once they’re in office and then…actions fall short. Is there anyone who will not only say God’s Word but carry it out to serve others?

This fall, I will pursue my Master of Public Administration (MPA) with Regent University’s Robertson School of Government. While I already consider myself a Christian public servant by virtue of being Christ’s hands and feet on this earth, I desire the additional knowledge and undergirding to lead effectively our Voices Against the Grain ministry and in other areas of public service to which God is calling me.

If you are a Christian, layperson, minister, business leader, etc., you are also a public servant wherever you are, wherever you go. Delighted to share the following devotional written by fellow Regent University Robertson School of Government student Matt Whitman. The Christian Public Servant is a Monday through Friday devotional service written by Regent University Robertson School of Government faculty and students, offered to anyone who wishes to subscribe. Following the devotional is information about the The Christian Public Servant and how you can receive their devotionals.

May 18, 2015 – Monday

Reading

James 2:14(b)-17 (The Message) do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

ReflectionJames 2-14 work your faith

When public servants campaign for office, they try to convince the voting public how they will govern. If elected through the faith of the public, the citizens will actually get the chance to see that faith in action…or not.

Too often, promises made are not promises kept. Talk of future action is never realized. After the election, too many forget to walk the walk. And that means not just knowing what’s right, not just saying what’s right, but doing what’s right.

As Christian public servants—elected, appointed, or employed—we have a daily obligation to practice our faith. To translate God-talk into God-acts. To keep promises for the good of those we serve. To proclaim what is right, and then to do what is right. To do as Jesus would do.

Today at work, put your faith into action. For His sake, serve without outrageous nonsense.

Prayer

Lord, in Your name, I step up and accept the responsibility of putting You into my action. Today I serve without outrageous nonsense. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Matt Whitman

City Councillor

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canada

What is The Christian Public Servant?

Issued Monday through Friday since 5 November 2012, The Christian Public Servant is sponsored by the Robertson School of Government at Regent University (Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA). It is dedicated to public servants world-wide in all areas of government, non-profit management, health care, social work, faith-based service organizations, public safety and defense, k-12-college education, and church management. For the glory of God, it affirms the public servant on six continents by offering morning devotionals and by receiving prayer-requestsRegardless of faith-path, all are welcome to join us!

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