Guard Your Words & Emotions

Guard Your Words & Emotions

It is important for us to guard our words and our emotions.  Words are very important in life, and the Bible attests to that.  Let’s see what the Scriptures tell us.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  (Jam 1:19 NIV) 

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues guard themselves from trouble.  (Prov 21:23 CEB)

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.  (Prov 10:19 ESV)

Whoever controls his temper is better than a warrior, and anyone who has control of his spirit is better than someone who captures a city.  (Pro 16:32 ISV)

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.  (Col 3:8 NKJV)

We’re taught by the Word of God to be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry.  Do you notice that the only thing we should be QUICK about is listening?  Isn’t that opposite to what usually happens?

The wisdom that we can glean from God’s Word is that:

  • Restricting our words keeps us away from trouble;
  • We should control and limit our words;
  • Curtailing our lips is sensible and discreet;
  • Being able to control our own spirit is better than conquering an entire city; and
  • We should put away anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy and all filthy language.

As we live in harmony with and obedience to the Word of God, we invite God’s blessings upon our lives.  Hallelujah!

Be Kindhearted and Empathetic

Be Kindhearted and Empathetic

The Word of God teaches us how to live good, righteous, and content lives.  All we need to do is to honor and to obey His Word.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  (Rom 12:15 NIV)  Be considerate of and sympathetic to other peoples’ feelings and life experiences.  In this way we minister God’s love to them.

And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.  (1 Cor 12:26 NKJV)  We should rejoice with those who rejoice and sorrow with those who grieve, since we are all a part of the family of God.

Remember prisoners as if you were in prison with them, and people who are mistreated as if you were in their place.  (Heb 13:3 CEB)  The Lord wants us to be benevolent and gentle with other peoples’ feelings and life experiences.  He wants us to respond to peoples’ needs as if we have been in exactly the same spot that they are in.

Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.  (Phil 2:17-18 NKJV)  The writer of Philippians, who is allowing his own life to resemble a drink offering unto the Lord, reminds his cherished readers to be glad and to rejoice with him.

This is the right way to respond to all who are members of the family of faith–the family of God.

Sweet Meditations on Scriptures

Sweet Meditations on Scriptures

It is a blessing of our salvation that we may have sweet meditations using the promises of God. 

The Bible says:  For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.  (Pro 23:7a)  Our very thoughts govern our actions, according to the Bible.  So if we meditate upon Scriptures and the promises found therein, we can write God’s laws and blessings into our hearts and even into our lives!

My meditation of Him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord.  (Ps 104:34 KJ21)  We have the privilege to think about all of the beautiful and precious attributes that belong to our Savior and God.  And doing so will cause us to praise and worship and rejoice in the Him.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.  (Ps 19:14 KJ21)  If we would like our words to be acceptable to God, we will memorize Bible passages, because our words flow from our hearts and thoughts.  And meditating upon the promises of God will always be acceptable to God, for it is one of the purposes for which He gave us His written Word.

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my meditation.  (Ps 119:99 KJ21)  This Scripture communicates to us that we can be wiser than our teachers by making Bible passages our frequent meditation, and by obeying and honoring God’s Word. Why is that?  Because the wisdom of God is found within the Word of God, and He is willing and happy to share His wisdom with us.  Blessings upon you!

God Holds Us

God Holds Us

The Word of God tells us that the Lord has engraved [inscribed, imprinted, etched] us on the palms of His own hands!  Wow!  What a concept!  That’s worth meditating upon.

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands . . . (Isa 49:16a ESV) 

God also tells us that He holds us by the hand, and He reminds us that He is the One who helps us.  What an honor and a blessing to be helped by the all-powerful, living God!  He is not only “close” to us, but He is actually holding us by the hand.  Glory!

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”  (Isa 41:13 ESV) 

Even if people who are blood relatives of ours desert us, our Savior God holds us close to His heart.  He will never leave us nor disown [reject] us.  (Hebrews 13:5)  God’s love is constant, enduring and unfailing.  (Ps 136:26; Rom 8:39)

Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.  (Ps 27:10 NLT) 

NO ONE has the strength, might or power to be able to take us out of our Father God’s hand.  Praise the Lord!

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  (Joh 10:29 ESV, emphasis added)

The Lord says that He is our God for our entire lives.  Once we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, He cares for us and will carry us and save us—even into eternity!

I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.  (Isa 46:4 NLT) The Lord upholds [sustains] our very lives.  (Isa 54:4 NLT) 

Did you realize that?  Return His perfect love and worship Him today!

Sow Righteousness

Sow Righteousness

The concept of sowing and reaping is an important one in the Scriptures.  We are instructed by the Lord to sow righteousness.  How may we do that?

The wicked man does deceptive work, but he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.  (Pro 11:18)  We are taught by God’s Word, that those who “sow righteousness” will have a certain reward.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  (Gal 6:7)  We are warned that whatever we sow, we shall also reap. 

In other words, if a person sows corn, they will produce a corn crop.  If they sow malice and hatred, they will gather heartache and sorrow.  If we sow love and mercy in order to honor the Lord, then we will harvest blessings for ourselves and our children.

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  (Gal 6:8)  If we satisfy our own fleshly desires and sinful nature, we will collect only decay and death as a result.  But if we will sow to the Spirit (or sow righteousness), we will harvest eternal life and many of God’s blessings along the way..

The Bible makes it very clear that the seed that every believer should sow is the Word of God.  When we sow the Word of God, we sow righteousness.

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.  (1 Pet 1:23 NIV)

The seed is the word of God.  (Lk 8:11b NIV)

Sharing our testimony with other people, inviting people to visit our church so that they can hear the Good News, and praying for the salvation of people that we know are also beautiful ways to sow righteousness.  Praising God and supporting the Kingdom of God financially, as well as doing good works, are other righteous seeds to plant.  Blessings upon you!

The Word of God and Healing

The Word of God and Healing

How is healing connected to the Word of God?  This is a thought that occurred to me and made me interested in pursuing the subject for study and meditation.  And for sharing with you!

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.  Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.  (Pro 4:20-22)

The Scripture passage above tells us to pay attention to God’s Word!  Listen to the Word (obey it); and meditate upon the Word.  Keep them in your heart which means to memorize them.  And the equation is that when we follow this advice, we will find LIFE and this life will be health [healing, medicine] to all of our flesh.  It is indeed a crucial point that we, as believers and followers of Jesus, must hear and obey God’s Word.

He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  (Ps 107:20)

Notice that this verse says that God sent His Word, and IT (the Word) healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  Destructions means ruins, devastations or annihilations! God’s Word is alive and active and powerful. (Heb 4:12)

He who is of God hears God’s words . . .  (Joh 8:47a)

Hearing God’s Word means listening and obeying it.  God says that when we do that, we are “of Him”!  We belong to Him and can be recognized as being His children.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.  It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.  (Pro 3:7-9)

Rather than relying upon human wisdom, we must live with a deep respect and regard for God and for His Word.  We must depart from evil of every kind, including sin.  And living in this way will give health to our flesh and strength to our bones at every age.  Hallelujah!

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  (Mt 9:35) If we will live in harmony and obedience to the word of God, using the gift of faith that we have each been given, then we will be empowered to pray for others (just like Jesus did in the above verse) and witness Him heal them right before our eyes.  Be encouraged and be bold in the Lord.  Glory to God most High!

Purify Yourself as Unto the Lord

Purify Yourself as Unto the Lord

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.  (1 Joh 3:2-3 NKJV)

Just as the Lord is holy, He desires His children to live morally clean, wholesome lives guided by obedience to the Word of God. 

When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.  (Col 3:4)

If we live a life of Christian purity and devotion now, ‘when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall also appear with him in glory.’  This is a promise from God that shall absolutely be fulfilled. 

That’s why it’s crucial that we keep our relationship with the Lord Jesus in good shape and current by reviewing ourselves daily.  If we slip and commit sin, turn to the Lord in repentance, knowing that He forgives and provides repentance and the grace that we need to renew our commitment to holiness.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  (Rom 8:18)

Living obediently for the Lord has its certain rewards.  One day, we won’t even remember the pain and suffering that is a consequence of living on this sin-filled planet!  All of the pains that we receive from human frailties, betrayal, abuse or wickedness will be as nothing when compared with the glories that will be revealed in the future to all who believe in Christ.  Such glory is incomprehensible to us now but God promises that we will surely experience it.  Glory to God!

Don’t Be a Stumbling Stone

Don’t Be a Stumbling Stone

This study is about causing people to stumble spiritually, and it is a serious matter in God’s sight. 

As followers of Jesus, we have a grave responsibility to expose people to the light of the true gospel of Jesus Christ as outlined throughout the entire scriptures.  The gospel of salvation sets people free and makes the promises of God available to them.  It also gives them the blessing of an eternity in heaven.

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!  (Mt 18:7 NIV, emphasis added)

My reading of the verse above is this –

This present world is an evil and dangerous place. It’s full of attacks, sins, traps, and sorrows.  We all recognize that it’s a treacherous road that we must travel through life, full of stumbling-blocks, precipices, and false guides.  But God forbid that any one of us should be the cause of spiritual or moral stumbling on the part of another person.

Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!  (Lk 17:1 NIV)

Here a similar idea to that of Matthew, above.  The truth of Luke 17:1 is that God is warning that a great wretchedness shall come upon anyone who causes injury or harm—in word or deed—to one of His little lambs.  Who qualifies for God’s punishment?   

  • 1. Anyone who has in some way discouraged a believer in serving Christ and in fulfilling their calling.  Or anyone who has discouraged a Christian so deeply that the believer is in danger of being driven away from serving Christ completely. DO NOT discourage other people in any way that would undermine them or discourage them from achieving their goals.
  • 2. Those who corrupt the truths of Christ and His Word, and so distress and hassle the minds of believers. This is an evil practice of planting seeds of doubt into the hearts and minds of those who have faith. WE ARE NOT CALLED TO hassle or distress brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • 3. Those who profess to be Christians, but who live scandalously (shamefully, sinfully), and thereby weaken the connections between and sadden the souls of God’s people. We must live in OBEDIENCE to and in agreement with the Word of God.

May each one of us live in harmony with the standards of God’s holy Word. Blessings upon you.

Jesus Reveals the Father

Jesus Reveals the Father

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father.  Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  (Mt 11:27)

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  (Lk 10:22)

As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.  (Joh 10:15)

Jesus has a distinctive and unmatched relationship with the Father.  Since His relationship with the Father is personal and direct, ONLY Jesus can accurately disclose God the Father to us. 

How has Jesus revealed the Father to us?  Through His life and through His acts, He has displayed His Father’s character and heart for all to see and understand.  Here are just a handful of gifts that the Father has given to believers:

  • Love (Joh 3:16; 1 Joh 3:1)
  • Freedom from Guilt (Rom 8:1)
  • Health, healing (Ex 15:26; Isa 53:5; Mt 12:15;Lk 5:17)
  • Daily benefits [blessings]  (Ps 68:19)
  • God hears and answers our prayers  (1 Joh 5:14-15)

As we study the Word of God and think deeply about it, we gradually learn more and more about the character and nature of God.  And the more we learn of Him, the more confident that we can be in the fact that He loves us; that He enjoys blessing us; and that He’s always with us.  Have a wonderful day!

BRIGHTEN SOMEONE’S DAY

BRIGHTEN SOMEONE’S DAY

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.  (Pro 12:25 NIV)

A cheerful heart is good medicine . . . (Pro 17:22a NIV)

We all experience days when we feel a little down or maybe worried or stressed out.  On days like those, we all appreciate a cheerful word or a phone call from a friend.  We all need encouragement, and we need other believers to come alongside of us occasionally to strengthen us.

We need a fellow believer to encourage our faith, to remind us of God’s goodness and glorious attributes, and to let us know that we are loved by God.  Only another person who follows Jesus, and has experienced life’s challenges and victories is able to help us in this way.  I encourage us all to cultivate friends who are fellow believers and who have been serving the Lord longer than we, ourselves, have.

Jesus taught us to love one another, and to be kind to one another.  He gave us His own example of how to live like this.

Offering hope, support, and cheer to one another is a wonderful and practical way to spread God’s love in this stress-laden world.  It’s important to encourage yourself first, in the Word of God. Another way to encourage yourself in the Lord is to remember all of the answered prayers you have experienced, and to remember all of the miracles that God has performed in the past in answer to your prayers. Rejoice! Thank and praise the Lord for these past testimonies and victories. Once you have done these things, you will have the strength to minister to others.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.  (Joh 16:33 NIV)

The Good News is still true.  The Lord is always reliable, and we can depend upon His Word and His matchless love.  He has overcome! 

So take a little time every day to share joy and cheer with everyone around you—with your family, friends, and co-workers.  Hallelujah!