Publisher: There is Victory in Jesus

By Brian Whitmore

 

Cause I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody

All about Somebody who saved my soul

Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing

I'm living for the world to see nobody but Jesus

I'm living for the world to see nobody but Jesus

- Casting Crowns

 

 

Witness (noun): A person who sees an event take place.

 

 

I am a witness to the good my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has done in my life.

 

On Jan. 1, 2003, I brought in the New Year by giving my life to Jesus Christ. I was 30 years old. My verse: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14

 

I grew up in church, but had not gone regularly since graduation. I was a goody two shoes. I knew God, like most people do, but I didn’t know God or have a relationship with Him until 2003.

 

Today, 17 years later, I still walk with God. The narrow path has had many potholes.

The journey started well. I was on fire for Jesus. At the time, I was very legalistic (holier-than-thou) like many of the Christians that surrounded me.

 

As I was looking up and focusing all my attention on God — I was in His Word (The Bible) every night — things were looking up.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6:33

 

Soon, I met the love of my life. At 31, I had given up on finding love. Shoot, I had few friends (that term means something to me, I don’t apply it to just anyone).

 

We were married. Our verse: “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. — 1 John 4:16.

 

First pothole — it was a big one. After a 7-month battle, following a stroke, my Daddy died. Outside my wife, my father and mother were and are the closest people in my life and still the only ones that love me like Jesus does (unconditionally).

 

It was tough. Only my faith got me through it. Jesus carried me through it.

 

Second pothole — infertility. After 7 years, no baby. I’d given up on being a “Daddy.” Then we were pregnant and I was on Cloud 9, until a week later when the carpet was pulled out from under me. No baby — miscarriage.

 

It was tough. Only my faith got me through it. Jesus carried me through it.

 

Third pothole — my mother’s health declined, and quickly. After four years of assisting her at home, following my father’s death, she ended up in rehab at a nursing home. She never came out and today has no mobility and dementia.

 

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” - 2 Corinthians 4:8-11

 

That third pothole continues, but during it God showed His love in a big way. My daughter was born. Long story short, He made a way. Like her mother, she has blessed my life.

 

That’s my story in a nutshell. My story is His story. No longer legalistic, I need His grace to get through every day.

 

You notice this story doesn’t include work.

I’ve been in newspaper journalism for 24 years and won a bunch of awards for writing. The industry has been in turmoil since about 2007. Being a publisher today is not easy.

But my job doesn’t define me.

 

In my years on this earth, I’ve been hurt deeply by family, friends and even God’s church. I’ve had family, friends and people in the church tell me, “You are not good enough.”

But people do not define me.

 

Only God, my Creator, Savior and Sustainer, can define me. And He says,” You are My child.”

 

The fire that burned so bright within me at rebirth is often dim, but it still burns. And as long as an ember burns, a fire can rage.

I want my legacy to be Jesus. When I return to Him, I want those left behind to remember Him in me.

 

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. – Ephesians 5:1-2

 

Jesus died and rose so you may live. Life without him is no life at all.

We all are missing something in our life. Some try to fill it with sexual perversion, substance abuse, lust for money and power. Only Jesus can fill that void in your life, everything else you try to put there will lead you to ruin.

He can change your life for the better. The problems of life keep coming, but you’ll be bulletproof as His child.

He loves you. All He wants in return is your love.

Realize the sin in your life keeps you from Him. Ask for His forgiveness and recognize His death on the cross gives you life. Follow Him and praise Him.

Just as He rose from the grave, you now rise reborn. Find a church that loves you, faults and all. Serve Him.

Live a victorious life, not a defeated life.

 

For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. – 1 John 5:4

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