ABOUT MICHELE SPERBER
I was raised in a family that did not know the Lord, and I was not told by anyone that it was even possible to know Him. I was a proud, young woman who thought people who believed in God were fools until after my first husband left me with two children, 2 ½ and 1 ½ years old to raise. Crippling disease tormented my body day and night, and I was a mass of tears for weeks not knowing what to do, not able to work a full time job. Finally I cried out to the One I didn’t believe in: “God: HELP ME!” I screamed. Every ounce of my body, heart and mind was in that cry, and “Whosh!” His presence was made known that day, not in a church, but in my own living room.
Never, never, NEVER had I felt anything so wonderful in all my 26 years of living. I went around telling everyone I knew and every stranger I met: “I found God! I found God!” When I shared my experience with my neighbor who always greeted me with “Praise the Lord” (I had no clue what that meant,) she cheerfully exclaimed: “That’s wonderful dear, but you must believe in Jesus to be saved!”
“What if I can’t?” I responded, believing that I had to do what she said. Strange, huh? But not so strange, because God was in it…. He leads us, and I was like ripened fruit ready to be picked.
“It’s a gift,” Maria explained, and then told me how God’s son, the Lord Jesus Christ, came to earth to die for our sins, along with other details about the plan of salvation. It was just like she said: One minute I didn’t believe, and the next moment I did. Truly, it was an undeserved gift and instantly, I experienced all my sins lift off me. It was as if I had been carrying a ton of bricks miraculously taken away.
This spirit-filled neighbor and her husband, a born again, tongue-talking Jew, became like a mother and father to me. They were not part of an organized church, but Jake preached the Word in black churches in the south. Oh God is really something in what He does, eh? Both Jake and Maria not only taught me the Word, but were there for me in times of trouble, and all of you who are reading this, know times of trouble and tribulation surely come. Since I had some major changes to make, they came full blast.
It was a hard test when the Lord let me know that I was not to depend upon my mother for financial aid, saying that HE was my provider and that depending on flesh was not His way. My mother was deeply offended when I told her that I could not take money from her. As my first husband was still in college when we married and then later, a teacher with a low-paying salary, she had helped with many of our needs, and my mom didn’t react well when I took this stand.
“We’ll see how He takes care of you!” she stormed, and praise God! She did get to see that I and her grandchildren had our needs met, never having to beg for help from anyone. God is good and He is faithful! Sadly, my relationship with my mother was strained for many years, but thankfully not severed. She became stricken with A.L.S. at the end of her life and was unable to talk, but she could write. When I stayed with her that last summer, my mama wrote on the blackboard: “I don’t know Jesus Christ, but I want to.” Hallelujah! She did get to know Him. Before she died, she was making the sign of the cross with those precious hands of hers that cradled me and took care of me all through my childhood years.
I am the firstborn believer in my family and several of them know Him now, too. O brethren, I am pressing in by His grace to win the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus, even becoming more than a firstborn in a family, but a firstborn in the kingdom among other firstfruits of this age.
How blessed I have been and am: How blessed it is to be called of Him: How blessed everyone is who has put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! May God be praised and given the glory for all that we are:
We are HIS!
NOTHING IN HERSELF, YET SOMEBODY
One who looked like nothing knew who she was- “Nothing in Herself.” She did not know however that she was a test, even called to be a test for everyone who judged by appearances, and indeed, that was everyone.
She took very seriously the Most High’s admonition to become as a little child and His commandments to love Him and to love others. “Nothing in Herself” came to understand that it could only be done by God’s grace through many humbling experiences and trials. There were so many that beat her down until only a meek and contrite spirit remained. What price!
Those who were great in their own eyes turned their noses up at her with great contempt. They could not smell the beautiful aroma of the perfume she wore and had become; They could not see her great heart of compassion out of which many prayers for mercy, forgiveness and transformation came for them; They could not hear the still small voice within them that tried to warn that “Nothing in Herself” was great in God, even His treasure to be valued and honored.
So the great ones in their own eyes smugly belittled “Nothing in Herself” and spoke condemningly of her to others. They did not realize that they were bringing a snare to themselves, for every word believed and spoken against God’s chosen ones had repercussions.
“Nothing in Herself”’s destiny was just “to be” and to let God be ALL that HE wanted to be-…..a vessel through whom He could express all that He was …. a pure vessel who was not seeking anything for herself…. a holy instrument to bring conviction on the wayward condition and course of man.
Unlike the seemingly great ones, “Nothing in Herself” had chosen “Simplicity” to be her teacher and hence, her way of life. The kingdoms of this world had become as nothing holding not even one iota of attraction for her. The praises of men had become as sounding brass and clanging cymbals, and because “Nothing in Herself” believed in God’s Word, vexation of spirit and vanity were no longer the fruit of her actions. No care of the world weighed her down and the deceitfulness of riches were not a temptation to her. What a blessed one she was!
This chosen one had been awakened by the kiss of the Prince of Peace-…. the sweet and potent kiss that permeated her with peace and good will toward man…. the kiss that empowered her to become life, joy, steadfastness, and wisdom… even perfection of “being.”
“Nothing in Herself” was and is the message of love to all men.