Never Give Up!

by Mike Ratliff

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:4-6 ESV)

Over the last several weeks I have been on quite a “ride” emotionally, physically and especially spiritually. I began a series of articles that have been quite unpopular with certain people who have issues with preaching the gospel and law together as well as how genuine Christians are called to walk in repentance until they are taken home to be with the Lord forever. The focus has been on the eternal at the expense of the temporal and the flesh. We have looked at the necessity of living lives in which we deliberately seek to work with God in mortifying our sin.

A little over a week ago I was awakened early in the morning with severe pain all through my abdomen. Everything hurt, especially my shoulder joints, ribs, and spine. My eyes were as red as a fire truck. My face was swollen and covered in red splotches. These same splotches covered my shoulders. All I could think of was that that tick I had found several weeks earlier had given me some tick-borne disease. Since it was the weekend, I waited until Monday to go to the doctor. When he saw my face and how much pain I was in, he prescribed antibiotics and ordered several blood tests. He warned me that I might not like what they would find. Continue reading