Monday, April 6, 2015

The Art of Declaring by Susan May Warren

Susan May Warren
Hey everyone, Annette here. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend. We have a treat today, in keeping with this season. Today, award-winning author Susan May Warren is here to share a nugget from her life lately. This devo came in her newsletter over the weekend. I was so encouraged I asked if I could reprint it here, and she kindly agreed. Read on! 

The Art of Declaring
by Susan May Warren



“Who do you say that I am?” 
One of the joys of being a writer is occasionally sneaking out of northern Minnesota to visit reader friends. I often teach at conferences and women’s retreats and after the weekend is over, join them at their house of worship.

I love lifting my hands in praise with my fellow readers/sojourners and discovering truths alongside them.

A few weeks ago I attended the Thunder game with writer and publisher Lacy Williams, and friends from the ACFW Oklahoma group. I joined Lacy that Sunday in church, and the sermon reached right down to my soul and grabbed a hold.


What does it mean to confess? The pastor got up and asked this of the audience. I stifled the urge to run as I pictured strangers telling each other their dark, broken secrets. Oh no, I wasn’t in one of those churches, was I? 

Phew. Nope. But. . .

“Confession isn’t just something you do when you get saved, but rather, something you do every single day.” There I sat thinking about prayer, and going to God with my list of sins.

Still, nope. 

“If we take a look at the word Confession, it also means declaration,” the pastor said. 


That’s right, it does! We don’t often think of the word in that context. . . But God does.

Romans 10:8-9 says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Confess, as in declare...which is exactly what Peter does in Matthew 16:13-16.

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

The Messiah. The Son of the living God.

This is big stuff in Peter’s time. 

This is still big stuff in our time. 


Our family is a big Comicon fan. We love DC and Marvel Comics (actually it’s split down the middle) and Sci Fi, and Dystopian worlds, and Star Wars. . .Why? Because the innate nature of these stories centers on Epic Heroes saving the World from Destruction. 


Ahem, hello. This is exactly who Jesus is, what Jesus did on the cross. 

Yet, as a world, we seem to be still looking. Still hoping. 


What if we took Peter’s stance and began to declare that we have found our Champion. Our Savior. Our Messiah? 

Declare that our searching is over. 


“But Declaration is just the first step. Because after we declare. . .we must BELIEVE. Because belief is what changes everything,” said the pastor.


What do you believe, really believe, about Jesus?

Do you believe he can forgive EVERYTHING? Do you believe He can change people COMPLETELY? Change you completely? Do you believe he—let’s get crazy here—loves, really LOVES you? 

Because if you did, I believe that would change everything. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) In God’s love, what do I need to fear? Nothing, not even death.


There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

The following week I attended another worship service, with different friends, and the speaker (thank you Robin Jones Gunn!) said, “We walk around in a world that says, indirectly, constantly, ‘Shame on You.’ ‘Shame on you for thinking that, saying that, believing that.’ But Jesus came to say shame OFF you! Grace ON you.” 

Grace on you, friends.

“Who do you say I am?” 

Jesus, asking Peter. Jesus, asking you. 


This season, you get to declare what you believe. Are you ready to walk in that belief? That conviction? To BELIEVE in GRACE ON YOU?

Luke 24:6-7

He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again.’”

Acts 4:33

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.

Grace ON you, friends!

~~~~~~

The Wonder of You is available for pre-order. Releases 7/1/15
The Wonder of You by SMW

Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?

~~~~~~
 Susan May Warren, an award-winning author, has published books in multiple genres of Christian fiction. She also mentors other writers through MyBookTherapy, teaching writing craft and plotting techniques to hundreds or perhaps thousands of writers. Learn more about Susan at her website: www.SusanMayWarren.com

8 comments:

  1. What a perfect post for the day after Easter!

    It's just my opinion, but I think that theme of salvation shows up so much in Sci Fi/Dystopian works because of the longing we have in our soul for a Savior ... a Rescuer ... the ultimate Hero.

    Grace on you, Susie! (LOVE THAT!)

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  2. I was blessed to hear Susie speak the weekend she mentioned being in Lacy's church. She is a phenomenal teacher!

    I agree with Angie, this message is perfect for Easter season.

    I'm going to keep agreeing with Angie, she's so smart! I find Sci Fi and Dystopian full of the message of salvation. Same with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

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    1. LOL, you better watch how you agree with me, Terri! You could get into all kinds of trouble. :D

      The first time the lightbulb in my brain flickered was while watching Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. When Luke comes down from outer space to save the Ewoks ... well, my mouth just fell open.

      And I'll agree with you on this, too: Susie IS a phenomenal teacher. :)

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  3. Thanks for visiting, Susie! :) Terri, you can't go wrong listening to Angie. Smart decision. ;) Grace on you, Angie, and you, Terri!

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  4. "Grace on you." I love that! Anyone want to create the t-shirt and wristband? :)

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  5. Thanks to Annette, Susie, and Seriously Write. I think it's so important as I read Scripture to ask myself when I read a particular verse, "Do you believe this? It's time to decide." For a while I was capturing those verses on my iPad, every verse I'd decided to truly believe instead of just reading and thinking, "That's nice," or "Ouch."

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