11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.
And they did not love their lives so much
that they were afraid to die. — The Revelation 12:11 NLT
Oftentimes when I read this verse, I am reminded of summer revivals out in the country. The revival services were usually scheduled for a week but would often times run longer because there would be a move of the Holy Spirit and God kept adding people to His Kingdom. The thing that I remember most about these revivals were the testimonies of the good people that came. There was a testimony service every night of the revival. Since the people usually gave pretty much the same testimony, I wondered why they did this night after night. Now I know there were at least three good reasons. First of all, it is very encouraging to other Christians to hear a brother or sister testify about the saving grace of Jesus and all of its benefits. Secondly, it is good practice for learning to talk to others about Jesus in a public setting. Thirdly and most importantly, our testimonies, not just the spoken ones but the way we live every day, are a huge part of our overcoming satan and his demons. We defeat satan by reminding Him daily that Jesus shed His blood for our redemption and we do that with the spoken word and our actions. Brothers and sisters, you may have never stood up all by yourself in a public setting and declared your love for Jesus and thank Him for all that He has done for you. But, believe this, we testify to what we believe every day. The outsiders are watching and they see our testimony every where we go every time we go.
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it. — 1 Peter 3:8-11 NIV
After the fact that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, the next best thing is the acts of love and kindness that we see this time of year. I would imagine that there is more compassion shown in the days from Thanksgiving through Christmas than there is in the other eleven months total. There are more smiles in the malls and more greetings spoken than at any other time of the year. It is a time of remembering old friends and family. Through this season, we can even tolerate those we would normally find abrasive. Everyone, even those who don’t profess to be Christians, is affected by and participate in the charitable acts and greetings. Perhaps, if we lived this lifestyle all year round, we might attract more unbelievers to Jesus. Maybe, this year, our gift to Jesus on His birthday should be a covenant to show His love all year long, to seek peace and pursue it on a personal level as well as “world peace”. After all it isn’t Santa who is watching us all the time!
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” — 1 Peter 3:12 NIV