The Challenge

The Challenge
By Christina Beightol

1 John 3:23 says, “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”

My very first public sermon occurred when I was a teenager. I admit, it was quite different from anything, to which I had been accustomed.

You see, I was always The Singer, the one anointed, whom God saw fit to use to woo prodigals and sinners to repentance. I’m not boasting about me but about God.

While singing, I would literally see people dash from the pews to the altar. Believe me, I would have chosen someone else, but He saw purpose and potential in me, for HIS glory and that is all that mattered.

Giving a sermon, well, that was new territory indeed. Yes, growing up, I would sing, announce the song and, the older I became, I began adding words of encouragement – and sometimes admonishment to the Church – without realizing it was actually the Holy Spirit working through me. Still, that wasn’t a sermon. However, it was preparation. I was changing.

I struggled a little for a subject. For me, music was different. Music is me. It’s in my blood and closer than second nature. Here I was to give a sermon in front of people whom I have known for years. Thoughts began to spring up in my head like:
What am I going to say?
What if I mess up?
Am I living the message that I am preaching?
Oh boy, this is serious. What if I mislead someone???

We don’t often think of music as planting a seed the way we do a sermon. Oh, but it does! This is why we must protect our ear gates, for what we allow to pass through truly matters.

What I began to notice later on was a pattern of “What if I…?”I think, starting out, many of us have made this mistake, and so I had to challenge myself to change. As long as I obeyed God and followed His Word, I would be in His will and all the “What if I’s…?” wouldn’t matter at all because it wasn’t me but Jesus in and through me!

Well, now that changes everything!

My first sermon…? Yes, I remember. It was entitled, “A Single Moment In Time” and was completely inspired by Holy Spirit while watching the Olympics.

I don’t recall verbatim. The gist of it was all the many years of disciplined preparation for less than one moment in time. For the sermon, that moment being death and eternity. I correlated it to salvation and how we can spend a lifetime being good Samaritans, charitable and of notable character, yet still miss Heaven. Without Jesus we are and have nothing at all.

There are no guarantees this world can offer you. No amount of money can buy you time. Jesus paid with His life the ultimate sacrifice. You can live your life storing up riches and notoriety here on this earth, but what about eternity? You can’t buy eternity. God has already given us everything we need. It’s FREE and costs you absolutely nothing.

Just sincerely ask God to reveal Himself to you. Ask Him to come into your heart, to forgive you of everything not of Him.

You cannot spell “Challenge” without “Change.” To tackle something, one must oftentimes change their perspective and point of positioning. To challenge another in a race or competition, one must see themselves as a formidable opponent, capable of winning. All these occurrences require one commonality, to complete and undertake the challenge… and that is change.

I challenge you to be real with God. I know beyond all doubt He will show you. Besides, what do you have to lose? Surely you aren’t scared. After all, one doesn’t fear what they don’t believe. Right?

So, accept the challenge and go 1 on 1 with God.