A Generation’s Confidence in Christ Equips the Next

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6 (New King James Version)

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Some of the wisest words written. Raised in a Christian home, I am a bi-product of such wisdom, enacted by my parents and family members who told us of God’s love, the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. I, along with my brother, cousins and a host of relatives are reaping the fruits of obedience sown by our family’s legacy of faith in God that extends many generations. We are experiencing Exodus 20:5-6.

During this past Wednesday’s Voices Against the Grain radio show, I enjoyed authentic and inspiring conversations with godly women in my family as we wrapped up this month’s series, “March with Us, March with Her.” I was joined by my aunt Alyce Brown, aunt Lilly Hayes, cousin Cheri Brown and Grandma Thelma Hayes,  and delighted in sharing them with you. In our conversation of “Celebrating Faith and Family,” we reflected on the prayers and faith-living we saw through relatives past. We discussed how prayer and worship has changed over the decades. We also shared words to equip the next generation in Christ for successfully navigating in this challenging world.

 

Forever Mercy Exodus 20 and 6

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) This truth has compelled Believers to confidently tell others the power of God’s love, despite the world’s hate for such engagement. The world would rather we embrace other options to make our lives “easier” so we are not rejected by the world in our living for Christ. Yet, Jesus tells us in John 15:18-19 that, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19- If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”  As Christians, we should never want to be comfortable in this world. Only Jesus Christ offers us true hope, peace, redemption from our sins and life everlasting. Nothing the world offers compares and can only best serve as a counterfeit.

We have received inspiring comments shared about how our conversation reminded you of your family’s faith legacy and foundation in God. For some of you, your family resembles mine—many generations who’ve stood upon Christ, the Solid Rock. For some of you, you or your parents may be the first generation of Believers who are boldly sharing this greatest gift with your loved ones, neighbors, community.

How has God revealed himself in your life? In your family? Please comment! I’d love to know. Thank you for listening! If you missed the episode or previous shows, click here

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Filling the God-Shaped Vacuum Within Us

Dear Friends. I am happy to share with you a guest devotional from a great brother in Christ, Dracy Jenkins. His devotional reminds us that when we were formed in our mother’s womb, God deliberately created a void within us that only He can fill. People seek other people, things and behaviors to fill this void and find themselves feeling empty and always seeking but never finding the joy, love, peace and security only He can provide.  Thank you Dracy! God bless each of you.   -Nicole

There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ. Blaise Pascal (17th century mathematician, physicist and Christian philosopher)

Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Philippians 1:9-11- 9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ —for this will bring much glory and praise to God. (New Living Translation)

I still remember how I tried to fill the emptiness in my life with so many different things, in order to bring me joy and happiness.  The more I purchased or did, the more that was required to appease the desire to be someone that I wasn’t.  At that time, like so many of us, I had bought in to the lie that to be somebody, I had to look and act like what was being portrayed in the media.  And every time, I achieved a certain level or purchased the next great thing, I was left emptier than before.

It wasn’t until I was in the midst of my frustration, despair and anger, that I was able to hear Christ knocking at the door to my heart.  I heard Him speak to my spirit and tell me that I wasn’t created to be like the world, and that no matter how hard I tried to fill my life with anything other than God’s love, I would never be satisfied or complete.  He said that only He could adequately change me into the person that would be pleasing to God and to me.  He then said it was my choice.

Maybe you are struggling to be satisfied with your life and are looking to fill that emptiness you feel inside with everything you see or hear from society.  Can I share with you how futile that is going to be?  Maybe you already realize it.  But the reason that the things of the world will not fit the void in our lives is because that void is shaped exactly like a cross.  It’s an old rugged, wooden cross, where our Savior Jesus was nailed to and died upon for our sins.  There are many things of the world that appear to fit, but a closer self-examination will show gaps, voids, air pockets and holes, that continue to leave one incomplete, unfulfilled and without hope.

But I’m here to tell you that Jesus is still knocking on a lot of our doors with the answer to our incompleteness.  He wants to fully fill that emptiness in your heart, but He’s not going to force Himself into it.  You have to ask Him.  It’s your choice.

My prayer today is that we all will do a self-assessment to determine if there are holes or gaps in our heart.  If so, let’s remove those things that are inappropriately in the cross-shaped vacuum of our hearts and allow Christ to complete us and make us whole again.  He’s standing at the door and knocking.  Will you open the door?

God bless.