Apostle Charlezetta Nixon
Words for the Week: I Am a Survivor
By Apostle Charlezetta NixonFounder of Blessed Ministries Interdenominational Ministry First Lady of Brookins Community AMEC. "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12:10 When I think of the word strong, I think of durability, resilience, and toughness. As children of God, it becomes hard to remain strong when the enemy consistently attacks us. However, we can survive the attacks when we stop operating in our own strength and operate in God's strength. As we prepare to celebrate Mother's Day, the strength of Mary, the Mother of Jesus comes to mind. She survived although she and her family were persecuted, especially her beloved son, Jesus. As children of God, we can learn some key survival skills from Mary. The first survival skill we learn is when we are obedient to God there is no need to worry about the consequences. When the angel of the Lord visited Mary, he told her that she was highly favored and that as a virgin she would give birth to a son. Although Mary questioned how this would happen, her response was, "I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me as you have said." Mary knew that a servant does not tell their master "no." When God ask us to do something, often times our response is, "Let me pray on it," "I am afraid," or "I am not worthy." Instead Mary said, "As your servant, May it be to me as you have said." Her answer was the one God waits in vain to hear from so many of us. Like Mary, no matter what the consequences, we must be willing to do whatever it takes to be obedient to God as His servant. Tell God "yes." The second skill we learn from Mary is that we must surround ourselves with other Godly men and women in order to gain strength from them. In Luke 1:39, we learn that after Mary received the good news, she went to her cousin Elizabeth's home. Upon arrival, Elizabeth said to her, "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the child you will bear." It is a wonderful feeling when another sister or brother blesses you! Elizabeth could have been jealous of Mary because Mary's son, Jesus, was going to be greater than her son, John. Instead, Elizabeth was filled with joy and she gave Mary positive affirmations. We need to ask ourselves if we have a spirit of envy or jealousy toward people that God has singled out for a special blessing. Favor is not fair and instead of being jealous, we should rejoice with the person realizing that God uses his people in ways best suited for His purpose. Mary also drew strength from Mary Magdalene and other men and women that followed Jesus. She attached herself to Godly people and we need to do the same. Ask God to send Godly individuals to you and then you can say what Mary said, "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior." The final survival skill we learn from Mary is to keep praying through it all. In Acts 1:14, we find Mary, her sons and the disciples in the upper room constantly praying. Mary had endured much heartache. She had witnessed her Son being talked about, laughed at, spat on and abused during His three- year ministry on earth. She watched Him being sentenced for a crime of love. She observed Him being brutalized and witnessed Him taking His last breath. Although she knew on the third day that He got up out of the grave with all power in His hand, I'm sure her heart was still aching for her earthly Son. However, Mary didn't turn her back, she didn't quit, she didn't get angry at God, she went to the Upper room and prayed. Saints, when you get tired of all the mess, just pray and praise God in advance for working out your situation. Remember, when the praises go up, the blessings come down and through it all, you will become a survivor.