Speak Carefully

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​1​0  “For the person who wants to love life    and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit.  
​- 1 Peter 3:10 ISV​
 

 Somehow, somewhere, it seems that we have gotten the idea that it is not necessary for us to be careful of the words we speak and the tone of voice we use when we speak those words.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  When I become frustrated and/or angry, I hear myself speaking unkind words in a tone that I should not be using.  I am always convicted of the words and the attitude that caused me to speak those careless words.  Not always immediately, but the Holy Spirit does not leave me alone until I agree with Him and confess my sin. I am so grateful that God loves me enough to discipline me, no matter how long it takes. The passage of scripture quoted here in 1 Peter (originally from Psalm 34:12-16) reminds me that as a Christian, I should not be guilty of speaking words in that tone of voice.  If I truly “love life” and want to “see good days”, I must “keep my tongue from evil and my lips from deceitful speech”.  I must “seek peace and pursue it”, then God’s eyes will be on me and He will hear my prayers.  If I continue to rebel against God with unkind words and a bad attitude,  I have no basis to expect Him to do anything for me. God seems to be teaching me a lesson that “bad things happen to good people” sometimes because He disciplines His children.  The obverse of this is that He doesn’t discipline those that are not His children, but they will receive the full brunt of His wrath in the fullness of time.  Our part, then, is to remain obedient and faithful and He will do His part. As the Psalmist puts it:

8  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.  9  For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.  10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.  11  But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity— Psalm 37:8-11 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

 

Post 08-28-2018

Human Anger Does Not Produce Peace

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20 For human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. – James 1:20 ISV
 
As the end of time draws nearer and nearer, satan seems to be reacting like the cornered, trapped animal that he really is. That same spirit of anger and violence seems to be permeating our society.  We see it in all the headlines, the senseless murders and crimes that are being committed on a daily basis. Yes, these things have been happening every since Cain slew Abel but the frequency and the intensity seems to be magnified more and more everyday. That is on a worldwide basis, but what about each individual?  There was a time when we could laugh at our mistakes and have a little fun with each other over those issues on which we disagreed.  But, more and more we have to be much more sensitive to these things.  Statements that once would have been seen as light humor are now taken seriously and great harm is done.  Even small, unintended injustices suddenly become someone’s newest campaign against whatever was mentioned.  We see over and over the truth of the verse that “human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”  Therefore, we, as Christians must put aside all our foolishness and fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God. Meditating on and storing God’s word in our hearts is our strongest defense against any kind of unacceptable behavior.  
 
11  I have hidden your word in my heart

that I might not sin against you.
12  Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 
— Psalm 119:11, 12 NIV

In a world of violence and anger, we must stand as lighthouses to lead others to Jesus, the Prince of Peace. We must let the light of Jesus shine through us.  We must be the ones to show others that in the middle of the storm, there is a safe harbor, a place of calmness and peace. More and more, the world needs individual peacemakers. By blessing others with our examples of peacemaking, we ourselves receive God’s blessing.

 
Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God. — Matt. 5:9
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-30-2018

Do You Want a Good Answer or a Great Answer?

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 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. – James 4:3 NLT
 

God always answers our prayers. He answers us in one of four different ways.

1. Do it now–and of course that is the answer we want so we recognize it right away.
2. Delay–It wasn’t what we wanted to hear so we assume God didn’t answer our prayer.
3. Don’t do it – I’m not hearing that so God must not have answered
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4. Dynamically Different–He answers in such a better and highly effective way than what we anticipated that we don’t recognize it as His answer.

When our prayers are from wrong motives and for selfish reason, His answer is always no. Then, because of our pride, we get angry with God and accuse Him of all sorts of things. God understands that anger and when you get through pouting and ask Him, He will forgive you. God is not bound by our desires or our timetable. Even the “yes” answers are not always immediate. We have to wait on His timing. Do we really want our answer or would we prefer God’s answer?  Remember in​ ​
1 Kings 19:3-5  when Elijah prayed “I have had enough, Lord, just take my life.”?  Then think of how God answered that prayer in 2 Kings 2:9-12 when God took him up in a chariot of fire!  If God had taken Elijah’s life when Elijah wanted him to, Elisha would not have been trained to become Elijah’s replacement and Elisha would never have seen all the great miracles. God answered Elijah’s prayer in a way far better than Elijah could have thought of or dared to ask. So when we don’t get the answer we want or it is not in the time frame we wanted relax, God is still in control.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-05-2017

Seek Wisdom – Walk Wisely

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7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,  but fools despise wisdom and discipline.  – Proverbs 1:7 NLT

We are born in sin into a world of sin. We are inundated hour after hour with violence and sexual innuendos. It seems more and more that billboards and commercials are using worldly, sinful things to get us to turn away from God. Along life’s way, we pick up a lot of bad habits. Not just drugs or violent actions, but gossip, off-color language, outbursts of anger, pride, idol worship and the list goes on and on. Some of our emotional outlets can become as addictive as drugs. How do we “fix” these things? Oh, sure, I can fix some of my problems temporarily, but where can I get a time-released, longer-lasting “fix”? Our flesh is weak, but God, in His omniscience has provided us with a “how to” book for humans. It’s called the Holy Bible. Specifically the book of Proverbs gives us guidance and wisdom for our daily living situations. Read it, meditate on it, and it will be in your heart when you need it. You can get help 24/7, the line is never busy and road service is free. He comes to where we are, no waiting, no charge.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 02-10-2017

This Is How God Loved!

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16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16 NLT
 
 
Has anyone ever asked you, “What does it mean to be saved? Saved from what?” If you have been asked that question, were you able to answer it? When you were saved, from what were you saved? We were all born in sin, born into a world that is filled with the darkness of sin. Because of that, we are condemned to an eternity of punishment because Paul tells us in Romans 2:8, “But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.” Is this fair? Yes, because God has offered each of us the opportunity to be saved. God does not want anyone to go to hell and he doesn’t send us to hell. We earn our way to hell. (Romans 6:23–For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.) Each person has to accept God’s free gift of salvation. When we do that, we can and must walk in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hate the darkness, come to the Light so others can see Jesus in you.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 02-01-2017

What Voice Are We Hearing?

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Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. — Romans 8:5 NLT

How can we know if we are being led by God’s Spirit or by our flesh? If we are giving in to the flesh, we will be prideful, we will harbor hate, anger, resentment and bitterness. The acts that our flesh produces are illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. If we are Spirit led, we will show others love and respect. God’s Spirit produces (in us) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We should all take a few moments alone with God and examine our actions for the last few days. What voice are listening to? Who are we following? Flesh? or Spirit?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 01-24-2017

Sanctification

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14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. — Hebrews 12:14 NASB
The test is this: How do we react when we are betrayed by someone that is close to us, whether it be a family member, friend, close associate or a stranger? Is your first thought, “I should pursue peace with all men”? Or does anger immediately fill you and your mind starts to think about ways to “get even”? What does “get even” mean and how do we know when we are “even”? Ignore the anger? No, iyou hold your anger, it will eventually become a “root of bitterness”. That root, as it grows, will push every good thing out of the way to manifest itself in your personality. Let God handle it for you. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, a “friend” who had been the treasurer of the disciples and a companion for the better part of 3 years. What was his reaction to that betrayal? He allowed Judas to carry out his work even though Jesus knew it would mean His death. Remember, because of our sins, we have all betrayed Jesus and yet, He died for us. Easier said than done, right? So, how do we allow God to do it?
 
6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.–Zechariah 4:6 (NASB)

We listen to the Spirit of the Living God and His Spirit directs us as to what we should say and/or do. Most likely, the only action for us will be to pray for the person who has offended us and prepare our hearts to forgive when we are asked and render assistance and encouragement when the offender needs it.
 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-10-2017