James 5:16 KJV - "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
"Confess our faults one to another." Many times are testimony turns into a confession. As humans, we feel confession is vindication for our past mistakes. Often times, our confessions turn into "spilling the tea sessions." "Spilling the tea" is an African American colloquialism that simply means, "gossip." These type of sessions gives your haters the necessary receipts needed to either destroy you or make your life a living nightmare. At no point in your Christian walk do you ever want to give your enemies ammunition to say, "See, I told you so."
Confession is a formal statement admitting that one is guilty of a crime; an admission or acknowledgment that one has done something that one is ashamed or embarrassed about. Testimony is a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The older Saints use to say, "God has done so much for me, I couldn't tell it all." Recounting the goodness of Jesus is a perfect example of a testimony. It edifies the Body of Christ which is spreading the Good News.
The Bible says in Revelation 12:11 KJV, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Anytime you hear the word testimony, one thinks about Court, Lawyers, Prosecutors and Judges. Ironically, that is exactly what it is. Satan is the "Great Accuser" (The Prosecutor) roaming to and fro seeking whom he may devour. He comes before the Throne of God (The Only Righteous Judge), with receipts to discredit your testimony. He pleads a case from a confessional standpoint to recall all of the things Jesus Christ (The Lawyer in a Courtroom) died on the cross for. Jesus has already came to our defense, over two thousand years ago. So any receipts that satan attempts to present is thrown out of court because it is consider inadmissible evidence to The Lord.
Testimony is about how, even though we don't deserve it or haven't done anything to earn it, God still gives us grace and mercy. Jesus' love far exceeds anything that our mere mortal mind can conceive. That is what the devil is truly testing. Your testimony of Christ' unconditional love. Even if we had nothing at all, we have everything with Jesus. Confession is good and all, but Testimony of our relationship with Jesus is the ultimate Good News.
We are human and we have many faults and make a lot of mistakes. But, get over yourself and realize that it was just a mistake, except the consequences and move on. Confession does not build or edify The Body of Christ. It is designed for one to admit to a crime or immoral act they're embarrassed about and then be sentenced by a jury of one's peers. I don't know about you, I love my peers, but I only want God, The only Righteous Judge to hear my plea and hand down my sentence.
Bottom line, Confess to Jesus and Testify to men.
Matthew 13:45-46 KJV - "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it."
The pearl itself is a beautiful, single entity, formed through suffering in the heart of the oyster that is normally put on display. Merchants will go to great lengths to find the most perfect pearl because they understand its value. Merchants and Consumers alike are willing to pay an enormous price for the perfect pearl.
According to history and myths, pearls are symbolic of wisdom gained through experience. Pearls are well-known for their calming effect and they have a way of bringing about balance to your body. Myths say that pearls keep your children safe while strengthening your relationships. It is also believed that pearls are symbolic of the wearer's loyalty, generosity, integrity and purity. Despite the many different things pearls are said to symbolize, the most common is purity and loyalty of its wearer. This is one reason why more brides are choosing to wear them on their wedding day.
The Pearl of Great Price made me think about Married Couples in Ministry. Being the wife of a Minster for 28 years has not always been easy. It is even more challenging when both you and your Spouse are called to the Ministry. My attention was directed to Priscilla and Aquila who were Christian missionaries under the leadership of the Apostle Paul. They lived, worked, and traveled with the Apostle Paul who described them as his "fellow workers in Christ Jesus." They are mentioned six times in the Bible in four different books of the New Testament, always named as a couple and never individually. Whether one or both of you are called to the Ministry, Husbands and Wives must work together as a unit, collaboration and partners in Ministry.
Wives, we are Pearls of Great Price where God has chosen each of us specifically for our Husbands. Each marriage with a partnership anointed by God to work together in Ministry for His Glory. Ephesians 4:11-12 KJV states, "And he gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for edifying of the body of Christ:"
Theologians have different interpretations of The Parable of the Pearl or The Pearl of Great Price. One interpretation is that it illustrates the great value of the Kingdom of Heaven. Another interpretation is that the merchant represents Jesus, and the pearl represents the Christian Church. I would definitely agree with both of those interpretations.
May I submit to you that The Pearl of Great Price as it pertains to Christian Marriages refers to both husband and wife, but for the purpose of this post, we will focus on the Wives. Husbands, no worries, Chef has your back. He will speak to you next week.
The pearl itself is a beautiful, single entity, formed through suffering in the heart of the oyster that is normally put on display. Wives, as Pearls of Great Price, we know that this comes with great suffering and at times it is difficult to conceal our emotions and reactions to it. Someone summoned up enough courage to ask me why was I so tough on side Baes and side Boos. I explained to them that Bae and Boo simply have no interest in ever becoming a Pearl of Great Price. They want all the benefits and perks of being a Wife or a Husband, but they don't want to pay the cost. Fake pearls can be made to look like more expensive pearls, but they are made up of glass, ceramic, shell or plastic. This bead or fragment is then coated with a varnish or some other material that simulates a pearl-like luster and false iridescence. They are manufactured by humans to fool the human eye.
After all, being a Pearl of Great Price comes with an extensive job description. A Pearl of Great Price hours of operations are from sunup to sundown. A Pearl of Great Price often has to work in the house, on their regular nine to five and work in the Ministry. A Pearl of Great Price sits through hospital stays, aftercare stays and often assumes the role as Caregiver for everyone but herself. A Pearl of Great Price is there when times are bad and when times are good. A Pearl of Great Price is there when there is no money and is there when the money is rolling in. A Pearl of Great Price is there through baby mama drama. A Pearl of Great Price is there when "Sister Too Loose n' Tight" is there trying to low key holla at their Husband, saying, "Not today devil!"
A Pearl of Great Price is there after the sermon is over to comfort and strengthen her Husband who is in pain and exhausted from pouring out all that God has poured into him to give to His people. A Pearl of Great Price is never "out of service." A Pearl of Great Price would never withhold sexual intimacy from their Husband for days, weeks or months on end and still send them on the front lines of Ministry frustrated and vulnerable to the devices of Fake Pearls or Beads laying in wait for any sign of weakness. Then brag about it to their Fake Friends. Like when God was handing out Va-jay-jays, you were the only one who got one. Oh we are going to talk about this on today. STOP it. Stop pretending this isn't happening or hasn't happened. Do you think ignoring it, is going to make it go away? Then you are not A Pearl of Great Price.
The Parable of the Pearl is demonstrating to us the cost to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It is demonstrating the lengths that Jesus went through to put us into a position where all our sins would be forgiven and we would now have access to eternal life. God so loved us that He sent His Only Begotten Son down from Heaven to save us from eternal damnation. He showed us what to do with A Pearl of Great Price and just how much it will cost. The question is, "Are you willing to pay the cost, which is everything, to be A Pearl of Great Price?" Or "Are you going to join the ranks of Fake Pearls or Beads that are manufactured by humans to fool the human eye?
Ministry is bigger than you and I. In fact it's not even about us. It's all about Jesus. It's all about saving lost souls. It's about paying the cost for The Pearl of Great Price.
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." - John 10:10 KJV
The most common usage of the word theft is defined as the taking of another person's property or services without that person's permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it. As Believers, it is our daily prayer, that we allow the Holy Spirit to bring our intentions into subjection under the Mighty Hand of God.
If you have ever been the victim of having someone take something from you with the intent for you not to have it anymore, it lends for a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and makes you question your judgement. Why didn't I see this coming? What did I do to deserve this? Why would someone want to hurt me? Why?
To be transparent, I have been sitting back watching a surge or trend if you will of tomfoolery happening both inside and outside the Body of Christ. I am usually not the soul of tact, but it never stopped me before from saying what I want to say. Today is no different. If you cannot accept the reality of the highs and lows of marriage, then you probably want to read something that will make you feel better about the lies you've been living with. Our mission is to invest in marriages through biblical principles and reality.
So here's the thing! I am not sure at what point it became acceptable to commit "Grand Theft" of marriages? Has anybody ever asked, "Why is the devil fighting marriages in alarming numbers?" Has anybody ever asked, "Why has the original intent of the marriage/family structure been mangled and is getting more and more distorted everyday?" More importantly, "Does anybody care?" "Or have we surrendered our marriages and families to Thieves?"
The idea of someone making another person's spouse their "mark" is very disturbing to me. But with any criminal court case, in order to get a guilty verdict, you must prove intent. Did him or her intend to have sexual intercourse or fallatio with someone other than their spouse? This idea of, "We didn't have sex, we just engaged in fallatio." STOP swapping DNA with people whom you were never meant to connect with. If he or she is NOT your spouse, you have committed Grand Theft. Grand Theft as it pertains to marriages means intentionally depriving the two parties of everything that God had for them. Grand Theft as it pertains to marriages means allowing the Thief access to a valuable vault filled with blessings specifically designed for a Husband and His Own Wife...A Wife and Her Own Husband.
Thieves usually have a plan. Thieves choose the person or persons they want to deprive of what's rightfully theirs. It could take a Thief days, weeks, months or years even to finally carry out their plan. Thieves study their intended targets. Thieves do their homework. Thieves try and crack the correct code. Thieves never rob empty vaults. Thieves only take what's valuable once they're in. Thieves could be male or female. Thieves could be saved or unsaved. Thieves could be young or old. Thieves actually think they have gotten away with something. Thieves have planned their escape routes. Thieves anticipate getting caught and devise a way to get out of it. Thieves "go big or stay home." John 10:10 KJV states, " The cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
The house we live in came with a complete home security system. Anti-theft devices have come a long way. We downloaded and app to our cell phone which connects to the main server at the house and we can open the app from where ever we are and see live feed of what's going on both inside and outside the perimeter/grounds of our house. We are more at ease when we are away from home or when one of us is at work and the other is at home with the children. We can also monitor the children when they are outside with their friends.
It made me think about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who hung on an old rugged cross between two Thieves on Calvary. The scripture says, "one on the right hand, the other on the left." After all, the two Thieves' intentions had been weighed in the balances and were found wanting. The two Thieves had been convicted of the intent to deprive rightful owners of something they owned that was taken without their consent or permission. The All Knowing, knew before the beginning that we would need the greatest example of an Anti-Theft device. He gave us the greatest example of what to do when you are a victim of Grand Theft.
There on display for the whole world to see, He gave us an example of how to sentence two Thieves on a cross. God is the only Righteous Judge. One mocked and tempted Jesus because of his unbelief that Jesus was the Messiah and received the sentence he deserved. The other repented because he believed that Jesus was the Son of God and was sentenced to an entrance ticket into Paradise, a sentence he did NOT deserve. Luke 23:43 KJV, "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."
This is an appeal to Husbands and Wives to hold to God's Unchanging Hand concerning your marriage. Stop allowing Thieves to have access to your bodies, minds, spirit, joy, love and peace. You do not have to become or succumb to the devices of Thieves. I read a quote that said, "Condoms won't protect you from sexually transmitted demons." Pray, cover each other with the blood of Jesus and cover your Union with the blood of Jesus. Remember, Jesus hung between two Thieves in front of the whole world so you and I would not receive the sentence that we deserve.
The Chef and The Ref, as we are more affectionately called, are just two individuals who God joined together in the Spirit and then in the Natural to walk through the challenges of life together. We have been married for 27 years and have four amazing children. We get many calls, text and emails asking us questions about a variety of topics as it relates to marriage. This blog was inspired by the Holy Spirit and an answer to the growing demand of couples who inquire about our experiences in marriage as it relates to their own. We do not make any claims of being anything more than two sinners, saved by grace who wanted to give couples an opportunity to have safe conversations that will make their marriage stronger. The Chef and The Ref are both licensed and ordained Ministers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ who wanted to create a safe platform for married couples to converse about a variety of topics.