One truth that I see repeatedly in the Word is that there are NO VICTIMS IN CHRIST. When you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are given a winning hand. Scripture calls us overcomers, conquerors, even MORE than conquerors! We’re missing the mark as believers if we don’t live and preach this. It’s not simply a trite saying meant to encourage those feeling discouraged, it’s a promise.

Many people have been born into unimaginable circumstances, enduring all sorts of abuse and unmentionable atrocities. Some have been terribly wronged, or are covered with invisible scars. Others may simply have been neglected, accepting the silent rejection. More than a few have been conditioned into believing lies about their identity or worth.

But God…

In God, we have been given true freedom. II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” God has given us a new identity; we are a new creation! One of my favorite Scriptures reaffirms this. Galatians 2:20 declares, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” I am no longer the one who lives, but it is HE who lives in me.

This revelation covers and cancels your previous shattered identity. It nullifies your right to remain a victim or to use the past (or even the present) as a crutch or a means of validating your inability to move into healing. The Word of God does not condone holding onto an unredeemed identity. God has made a life of overcoming available to anyone who asks and believes to receive.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I taught school in South Africa, and I was intentional about never teaching my children to be victims. Instead, I taught my students that in Christ they were victorious and could do anything with and through Him. I taught them that the only way to overcome the sins of the past (of apartheid) was to forgive and not commit the same wrongs. How could they honor the Lord with their lives? To live “facing forward towards hope and a future in Him, choosing to turn from the past and the pain.”

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

Several years ago, my father-in-law spoke with a black man in South Africa named Elijah. He asked Elijah how he kept himself from hating white people for the crimes committed during apartheid. Elijah responded, “I forgive in advance…Whatever is done against me, I have already forgiven the wrong before it was ever done to me.”

Wow; if ever there was a statement of someone living in God-given freedom! Ephesians 4:32  says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” We forgive as Christ forgave us. A choice for Christ is a choice for freedom.

As believers, one task we have is to model an overcoming life to those who are downtrodden. Our message should always be one of hope and newness in Him, whether people have been neglected or abused, experienced hatred from a different race, suffered great loss or any other result of a broken, sin-filled world. A message of an overcoming life, a message of who we are in Him, a message that we are no longer victims. A message of worth.

We must keep our focus fixed on that which honors the Lord.

Hebrews 12:2 states, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Instead of fixing our eyes on our circumstances, we must fix them on the Kingdom!

1 Peter 2:9  declares, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

Because the blood of the Lamb was shed, all who believe in Christ and belong to Him are more than conquerors. We choose to declare our testimonies, exalting what He has accomplished; we live our lives for His glory, to make Him known and to declare all His marvelous works.

“And they overcame… by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 12:11

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Dr. Dinesh S. Michel



Strategies for Pastors and Leaders

Dr. Dinesh S. Michel

Loneliness is a common human experience that transcends age, occupation, and social status. Even in the context of church ministry, where pastors and leaders are surrounded by a congregation, it’s possible to feel isolated and alone. This article explores the unique challenges of loneliness within church ministry and offers strategies that I myself am using to combat it.

The Loneliness Paradox

At first glance, it might seem paradoxical that individuals in church ministry, who are often surrounded by a community of believers, can experience loneliness. However, ministry can be isolating for several reasons:

Role Expectations:

​ Pastors and leaders are often seen as spiritual guides, and there’s an expectation that they should have it all together. This can make it challenging for them to admit their struggles, including loneliness.

Lack of Peer Relationships:

​ While pastors and leaders have strong connections with their congregations, they may lack close peer relationships within their own ministry circles. They often shoulder the burdens of others but may not have someone to share their own burdens with.

High Stress Levels:

​ The demands of church ministry, including sermon preparation, pastoral care, and administrative tasks, can lead to high stress levels. This stress can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Strategies to Combat Loneliness

  1. Seek Accountability:

    Pastors and leaders should actively seek out mentors or peers with whom they can build accountability relationships. These relationships provide a safe space to share struggles and receive support.

  2. Prioritize Self-Care:

    Ministry can be all-consuming, leaving little time for personal well-being. It’s crucial to prioritize self-care, including regular exercise, rest, and time for hobbies that bring joy and relaxation.

  3. Establish Boundaries:

    Set clear boundaries for work hours and responsibilities. Overextending oneself can lead to burnout and increased feelings of loneliness.

  4. Foster Peer Connections:

    Create opportunities for pastors and leaders within your church community to connect and build peer relationships. This can be done through small groups, retreats, or regular meetings specifically for leaders.

  5. Spiritual Discipline:

    Deepen your spiritual discipline. Regular prayer, meditation of the word, and reflection can provide a sense of connection with God, helping to alleviate loneliness.

  6. Professional Counseling:

    Don’t hesitate to seek professional counseling if loneliness becomes overwhelming. Therapists can provide guidance and support to address these feelings.

Loneliness in church ministry is a real and challenging issue. However, with awareness and proactive steps, pastors and leaders can combat these feelings and create a more supportive and connected ministry environment. Remember that it’s okay to seek help and that you don’t have to battle loneliness alone. By prioritizing self-care, seeking peer relationships, and deepening your spiritual discipline, you can find greater fulfillment and connectedness in your ministry journey.

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Rev. Ron Wood

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Let’s examine an important issue in many parts of the Body of Christ. Biblically, “What is the role of women in the church?” As a prophetic reformer, I have an assignment. I’m trying to write my vision and make it plain so leaders can run with it! I’m for church growth, evangelism, and the Great Commission!

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Recently, one morning, I asked the Lord, “What do you want to show me today?” I heard words quoted to me that Jesus had spoken to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb. “Stop clinging to Me for I have not yet ascended to My Father.”

Strange! What could that possibly mean?

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