A Life Giving Well


Several years ago, when I was going through a rough time and was barely hanging on, my Sunday School teacher and his wife spoke life into me. Week after week, I’d show up for class and he would say, “I’ve been praying for you this week. I feel like God wants you to read this verse.” Or he would say, “As I was seeking the Lord for you this week, God spoke this to me for you.” When the voice in my head wanted to end things, I would remember those verses or what God spoke through him and keep going.

His words and prayers were life to me. I looked forward to going to Sunday School each week because I knew that he would have something for me. I needed the life giving words that he would show up with. I’m reminded of Proverbs 18:21 that says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose” (MSG). I’m thankful that he chose words that give life. He could have easily condemned me, but he didn’t. 

Another proverb I love is Proverbs 10:11. It says, “The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well, but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.” These verses always make me question what words I choose to use. Am I speaking life from a deep well or death from a dark cave? It’s one or the other and we get to choose. Today, find someone and speak words of life to them. You never know if they’re just barely hanging on and need the encouragement like I did. 

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Your Story


In Mark 4, Jesus and the disciples got in a boat and headed for shore on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. On the way, Jesus took a nap to recover from ministering all day. While they were somewhere in the middle, a storm arose and threatened to sink the ship. The disciples woke Jesus up because they were afraid they’d capsize. Jesus then rebuked the winds and waves and the storm calmed down. That’s pretty cool, but it’s the rest of the story I want to look at today.

They later arrived in the town they were headed to. A madman came running to Jesus, bowed down, but then the legion of demons in him took over. Jesus cast them out into a heard of pigs, who then ran off a cliff and drowned. The man, in his right mind, then asked to follow Jesus, but was turned down. In Mark 5:19, Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you” (MSG).

I love the fact that Jesus crossed over the Sea just God this one man. He knew where He was going and what He needed to do. The storm arose to try to stop Him, but His love compelled Him to calm the storm and keep going. Then, once the man was free, Jesus sent him out to tell his story. There’s no telling how many became believers because of this man’s obedience to tell others how he’d been set free.

If you’re a believer, you’ve been set free and have a story to tell. Only you can tell that story with the greatest impact. You have friends and family that need to hear it so they can find their salvation. Our mission is not to quietly follow Jesus. It’s to go to those we know and have a relationship with (your own people), and to tell our story. You may encounter storms that try to stop you, but keep going. Eternity hangs in the balance for them, and your story could be what they need to hear to find salvation. 

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How God Really Is


One of the things I like to watch for in sports is when a member of one team helps a member of the other team up. It not only shows sportsmanship, it also shows character. Helping others up is important in sports and in life because sooner or later, we all fall down and need a little help up. As Christians, when we fall down, we can expect God to help us up when we fall. He’s not the guy in the sky who’s waiting for you to fall so He can keep you down. He’s holding out His hand to you to help you up.

Psalm 37:23-24 paints this picture and even adds more to what God does for us. It says, “The Lord guides us in the way we should go and protects those who please him. If they fall, they will not stay down, because the Lord will help them up” (GNT). Not only does God help us back up, He also protects us and guides us. Contrary to what so many of us believe, He’s not out to get us. Like a father, He’s wanting to direct us in the right paths, to protect us from dangers and to help us back up.

If you’ve grown up with the idea that God is just waiting for you to mess up so He can send you to Hell, I want you to memorize these verses. They tell the story of a God that loves you and cares for you like a father. He’s out to help you not hurt you. If you need guidance, ask Him for it today. If you need protection, call on His name right now. If you’ve fallen, hold out your hand. He’ll reach down, grab it, and lift you up. That’s how God really is. You can trust Him with your life.

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Release Worry And Anger


Two the most taxing emotions are worry and anger. Worry robs us of our strength and anger blinds us. I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about things that may or may not happen. My mind is excellent at going through all the worst case scenarios. If there’s a possible bad outcome to any situation, my mind will think of it and make me worry. That stress then wears me down to the point that my mind and body get exhausted. It hinders me from accomplishing the things I need to get done today.

On the other hand, I’ve been so angry before that I couldn’t sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, I could only picture a bad scenario. That got me upset, got my heart racing and my blood boiling. It made me fantasize about doing evil things to pay them back that were worse than what they did to me. I didn’t want to get even, I wanted to get so far ahead that they never wanted to mess with me again.

These two emotions were given to us by God for a reason, but we can’t let them run wild and free or they will destroy us. Psalm 37:8 says, “Don’t give in to worry or anger; it only leads to trouble” (GNT). Notice how the writer didn’t say, “Don’t feel them.” No. He said, “Don’t give into them.” Don’t let them rule your mind. Left unbridled, they will destroy your well being and later your life. You can’t dwell on them. In both cases, you have to release them.

I know that’s easier said than done, but it is possible. In both situations, the way to release them is to trust God. Do you trust God to do what’s right for you? Then let go of worry and trust His plan. Do you believe that vengeance belongs to the Lord? Then let go of your anger and trust Him to do what’s right in the situation. If you’re struggling with either of these, pray and give the situation to God. When you release it, you will watch the worry and anger go with it. 

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Know Peace


When I was younger, there was a bumper sticker that was pretty popular among Christians. It read, “No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.” I loved the word play there, but I loved the message even more. So many of us struggle trying to find internal peace. We want our chaotic lives and busy minds to find peace. We want the rest that peace brings because a lack of peace in our lives is tiresome.

Each night, I pray over my family that God would give us peace in our hearts and in our minds. I pray that our home would be a place where peace dwells. I know personally the importance of having that peace and a place of peace. I’ve found that we can have peace in our storms, our trials, and in chaos. It starts with knowing God and trusting that He is in control. Once you arrive at that place, you will find peace.

Here are some Bible verses on peace.

1. But give great joy to those who came to my defense. Let them continually say, “Great is the LORD, who delights in blessing his servant with peace!”
Psalms 35:27 NLT

2. Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 GNT

3. Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
John 14:27 AMPC

4. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 NLT

5. But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
Galatians 5:22-23 AMPC

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Access To God


If you have a smart phone, you’ve probably downloaded an app. There are two main types of apps: ones that cost and ones that are free. Sometimes an app company will develop a lite version of their app so you can try it before you buy it. That allows you to try some of its features, but not the best parts of it. To do that, you’ve got to pay the price. Many people download the lite versions and free apps only because they’re unwilling to pay what they cost.

I think it’s human nature to try to get out of paying the cost of things. We identify with the end result of things, but we are unwilling to put in the work to achieve those results. Bowflex is proof of that. Their commercials show you the results of hard work, and then get you to buy by telling you that you don’t really have to work that hard or long to achieve those results. As a result, most Bowflex machines end up as very expensive clothes hangers. 

As Christians, we want full access to who God is, but we only want the lite or free version of Him. We want the faith of the people in the Bible without putting in the effort. We identify with those who have the strongest faith, but we don’t want to put in the time and effort to worship and know God. Just like any relationship, you get out of it what you put into it. We can’t know the depths of God if we aren’t willing to have more than a social relationship with Him.

In Psalm 34:9, David wrote, “Worship GOD if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness” (MSG). Worship is more than bowing down to Him or recognizing His greatness. It’s an internal submission to Him. It’s putting His needs above our own. Worship is the price for the full version of God if you will. It’s not just a type of song on Sunday morning. It’s what we do with our relationship with Him the rest of the week. If you want access to all of God, learn to worship Him every day.

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No Strings Attached 


We all get those calls where they’re offering a “free cruise”, a “free weekend in Vegas” or a “free TV”. I never accept because of the strings that are attached. To me, they’re luring me into a trap and whatever is “free”, is not worth the frustration I’m going to have to go through to get it. My buddy fell for it once. He told his wife, “Look, we need a get away. Let’s just do this. We can’t afford what they’re selling anyway.” They went, but he told me the sales people were relentless the whole trip. They couldn’t enjoy themselves. 

I tell you that, not to demean those salesmen, but to remind you that when someone offers us something, we get pretty skeptical. Our whole lives we wonder, “What strings are attached to this?” We become pessimistic with people who offer to help us, give us something, or even say something nice to us. We wonder what they want. What’s their hidden motive. I’ve been known to put off “having coffee” with a friend because I know they’re in a home based sales group. It’s not that their product isn’t good, it’s that I don’t want to be ambushed.

Let’s take this a step further. How many times have we taken that mentality into our relationship with God? How often do we wonder what strings are attached? What’s His hidden agenda? Is He trying to send me to some place in the world with no electricity or internet? Think about salvation. It truly is a free gift. You can’t earn it. You can’t buy it. He gives it freely, yet we can’t understand that because there’s nothing “free” in this life. We wonder what the catch is. The truth is that God is not out to get you. It’s truly free.

I love what David wrote in Psalm 33:4. He said, “For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does” (NLT). We can trust what He does in our lives and the free gifts He gives us. He’s a good Father who wants to give things to His children. His Word holds true. He’s not trying to trick us. So whatever He’s doing in your life, you can trust that it’s for your good, and there are no strings attached. You can trust everything He does for you.

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