Updated: Jan 2, 2021
If you're reading this first post, I'd like to start off by thanking you. I appreciate that you've chosen to give some of your time to my thoughts, as our time is very precious here on this earth. This post which you are reading, is the first in a series which I hope will make you think about and perhaps even inspire you to know and understand the living God, and to increase in a desire to know and serve Him in your own life.
In order to do that, I'd like to begin now by introducing myself. My name is Raffaele Steven Richichi. I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, and a believer in who He is and what He did for us (John 3:16). What I'd like for you to know about me is that all of my life I've felt that God has put a lot of things on my heart to say, but I've never found the voice to say them. I'm the kind of person who observes, analyzes and applies things (an introvert, in layman's terms!), but not always the one to speak about them. The Lord has done a great work in my life to both reveal himself to me in extremely personal ways, but to also reveal the things about my character that have held me back from His plans for me in His kingdom.
As I've grown in my faith, and my relationship with the Lord, He's shown me that my voice, and every voice that seeks to follow Him, is so important. Sharing the good news of who Jesus is (Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 3:17) and what He did for us on the cross (1 Peter 2:24, 1 Corinthians 1:18) is crucial for us to understand who God is (Isaiah 41:10, John 1:1) and to truly understand His Holiness (Isaiah 6:3, Habakkuk 1:13, Revelation 15:4), His Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 2:11-12) and ultimately, His Love (1 John 4:9-10, 2 Chronicles 6:14, Galatians 2:20). These are all things that He wants to extend to those who accept His Son (Jesus) as their Lord and Savior and who live their lives for His glory.
This is the setting for the inspiration of this blog - The Story of Stephen. Stephen was the first martyr for the cause of Christ. The Bible tells us that Stephen was "a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 6:5). He was stoned to death for sharing the good news of Jesus, and pointing out the hypocrisy of His people as outlined in The Acts Of The Apostles (Acts 6 and 7) of the Bible. He demonstrated what it was like to have a bold passion for His faith, and how to speak out about regardless of the consequences. He was a firebrand in every sense of the word, for the greater glory of God.
What To Expect
In the same way, the posts and topics that I'll be discussing through this blog will use the same spirit - a zeal for faith and for the Holy Spirit to work through these words, a desire to respond to these topics with references and understanding taken directly from God's Word, and to unashamedly tell the truth so that it impacts others. To be God's firebrand during my time here on earth, and to help others to do the same, for His glory alone.
I'll be using this platform to discuss various topics that persist in our modern culture, and addressing them in truth and for righteousness' sake. The words you will read will of course come from the perspective of the unique viewpoint that God has given me through my experiences, but I encourage dialogue, questions, and reflection wherever possible. The goal is to come to a greater knowledge of our Lord, and how to live our lives for His glory, and to passionately help others to do the same!
How You Can Help
There are a number of ways you can help this blog be successful:
Personal Application - Think about how to apply these thoughts in your life.
Subscribe - If you like what I have to say, please feel free to subscribe to get access to more posts!
Follow Us On Social Media - feel free to like, share and follow my posts on social media @FirebrandSpirit!
Dialogue/Feedback - If there's something you don't agree with, or you want to have a conversation, please feel free to send me a message or provide feedback!
Pray - please pray for me, that my words would be pleasing to the Lord and show readers the truth of who He is. Pray that God would use this platform for His glory - to sow seeds and bring readers into a new or deeper relationship with Him.
Prayer Requests - we all have something that we need help with or we're struggling with. Feel free to share your prayer requests either on social media or in the comments section, and I'd be happy to pray for you or your situation!
Suggestions - If you have a topic or issue you'd like to see me write about, let me know!
I look forward to sharing in this journey of growth with you!