BY: ELAINE WILLIS
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: 1 Peter 2:11-12: Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: My 10 year old son will only brush his teeth with one brand and flavor of toothpaste. He knows that it is best for him to brush his teeth, but he would rather not and suffer whatever consequences. He refuses to use something other than HIS toothpaste because the others taste yucky. Nothing will do but his toothpaste, and believe me he knows the difference.
There’s a “squeeze” coming on the earth and has already begun for many. It is a further sifting and purifying of His church. The squeeze is for the Lord’s purposes in us. It will serve the purpose of setting apart and purifying us, but the better news is that the squeeze will propel us into the next assignment and next level with the Lord.
The “squeezing” is like a tube of toothpaste. When we are squeezed what will come out? Will it be Jesus? Will it be joy, praise, forgiveness, God’s character, love or complaining, offense, anger, rebellion, broken relationships? The world must see something different coming out of us and the church to even want a part of it. We have looked like the world too long, and we are being called to a higher standard and level in this new year. When the squeeze is on, they will need to see only the “Jesus brand toothpaste” coming out of us. Anything else will leave a bad taste in their mouth and will be rejected no matter the consequences. No substitute will do anymore — only the pureness and holiness of Christ.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: I am not sure if we can avoid the squeeze, but we can make sure that what is coming out is Christ-like. How do we do that? We have to spend time in His presence and in His Word. We must protect our mind, body and spirit in a greater way than ever before.
PRAYER: Lord help us to prepare, with You, for the squeeze. Help us to be pure in our mind, bodies, actions and spirits. Take us to the next level with You and help us to represent You well. Let your church be different than the world. Help us to do our part to draw those who need You to You. Help us to live in Your presence in a greater way. Squeeze out of us anything that is not of You, as You propel us to the next place. In Your precious name, Amen
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Elaine and Jon Willis have been married over 21 years. They have two boys: Justus and Jordan. The Willis family has lived in Mt. Juliet since 2003. Elaine has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in counseling. She has counseled in many areas and settings. Her specialties are marriage, family, adolescents, and trauma. Jon and Elaine currently own and operate the Mathnasium, math learning centers in Mt. Juliet and Hendersonville. She is a licensed counselor in Tennessee and is ordained by Powerhouse Ministries.