Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Power Of Words

When I was a kid and someone said something ugly to me, the appropriate reaction was to say, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” It wasn’t until later in life that I realized what a lie that was. Broken bones heal, but the wounds from words rarely do. They cut deep into the subconscious of people and alter their self-image which changes the future they could have had.

When we hear words about ourselves that are negative, we often use those to replace the thoughts about ourselves that God gave us. We become insecure and self-conscious about everything we do and how we look. Words spoken in a moment can create damage for a lifetime. Some people never get over the words we use to describe them or to hurt them. I’m always amazed to hear stories from people about how a simple phrase changed their identity. That’s why it’s so important to speak life into others.

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body” (AMP). Some translations say, “Kind words are like honey.” An interesting thing about honey is that it never goes bad. There’s no expiration date on it just like there’s no expiration on kind or pleasant words. They’re not only sweet, but they’re long lasting in someone’s life. You can change someone’s mindset for the better by choosing your words wisely.

This verse says that pleasant words are sweet to the mind. What I’ve learned is whatever you put into your mind is what comes out in your actions. If you put anger in there, you tend to have violent actions. If you put bitterness in there, you tend to have sarcastic actions. But if you put sweetness in your mind, it will produce actions that are pleasant to others. So when you speak pleasant words, you’re actually creating a ripple effect in the lives of others.

I like how the verse ends. It says kind words are healing to the body. At first thought, I wondered what that meant. Then I started thinking of all the psychosomatic illnesses people have because of hurtful words spoken to them. When your mind is negative, it produces stress and illness in your body. Conversely, kind words bring health to people. It gives them a positive mindset that keeps the body in balance thereby, bringing health. Proverbs 18:21 says the power of life and death are in the tongue. So choose your words wisely today and speak life.

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The Effectiveness Of Quietness

We live in a loud, busy world. We are always connected and rarely find time to find a quiet place. Throughout the Bible, the authors write of the importance of being quiet and finding a quiet place to meet with God. Here are some verses on the effectiveness of quietness.
  
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.

Mark 6:31-32 NLT

I’m asking GOD for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.

Psalm 27:4-5 MSG

My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting-places.

Isaiah 32:18 AMP

Trust in the Lord and wait quietly for his help. Don’t be angry when people make evil plans and succeed.

Psalms 37:7 ERV

Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

Matthew 6:6 MSG

It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:26 AMP

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

GOD, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.

Psalm 23:1-3 MSG

And the effect of righteousness will be peace, internal and external, and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever.

Isaiah 32:17 AMP

Then in their trouble they called to the Lord, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the raging storm, and the waves became quiet. They were glad because of the calm, and he brought them safe to the port they wanted.

Psalms 107:28-30 GNB

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The Importance Of Rest

I like to jokingly tell people, “I’m the busiest person I know.” My life, like so many people’s is full of coming and going. Home it seems is just the place you go to sleep at night. Between work, family, friends, and ministry life can get so busy that it’s hard to stop and eat. Most days you plow through work, answer emails, solve problems, get on conference calls, head home, go to a family event, or visit with friends or someone in need. Life is rarely quiet, but that’s just what we need.

Early in Jesus’s ministry, He sent the disciples out two by two. He gave the authority to cast out demons, to heal the sick, and to preach the Gospel. They went from town to town doing just that. Before long, Jesus was a household name in that region. People would come from miles around just to hear Him speak or to get healing for themselves or a loved one. Jesus and the disciples were finding it hard to take a break from ministry.

Mark 6:31 records an interaction between Jesus and the disciples that we can learn from today. It says, “Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat” (NLT). Sound familiar? Jesus lived a busy life just like you and I do. The difference? He understood the importance of rest.

The Blue Letter Bible defines the rest Jesus was talking about as, “To cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength.” Jesus gives you and me permission to take a break and to rest from our ministry and our busy lives. He knows that at times you need to go to that desolate, technology-free, communication-free place in order to recover and collect your strength. There is much work to do, but you’re going to need your strength to be effective in doing it.   

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Restoration From The Depths (Video)

“You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭71:20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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Truth Compacted

In a lot of Paul’s letters to the churches, he starts off slow and then hits the fast forward button in the last chapter. It’s like he knows he needs to wrap up the letter, but has so much more to say. In those moments in his letters, there’s a lot of truth compacted. One of my favorites comes from I Corinthians 16:13-14. He wrote, “Be on guard. Stand firm. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything in love” (NLT). There’s so much good stuff packed into those two verses.

First, he warns us to be on guard. He knows there is an enemy out there looking to mess you up, so he can destroy your testimony and your work for God. I Peter 5:8 puts it this way, “Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” We can never forget that there is an enemy who is out to prevent you from doing the work God called you to. Be on guard.

Next he says to stand firm. In Ephesians 6:11 he goes into deeper discussion about what he meant. He wrote, “Put on God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the devil” (NLT). The enemy comes in like a flood to knock you down, but by the power of God, you have the ability to stand firm when you are under attack. Utilize the armor that God gives us to defeat the enemy.

The next two go hand in hand. He wants us to be courageous and strong. Winston Churchill said, “Courage is the foremost of all the virtues, for upon it, all others depend.” You can’t stand up to the enemy unless you have courage. David had it when he fought Goliath. Jesus had it as He carried the cross to Calvary. You and I can have it and we can be strong in our faith. Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (NLT). You can have God-given power to be courageous.

Finally, he tells us to do everything in love. In I Corinthians 13:2, just a few chapters back, Paul wrote, “If I had the gift of prophesy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing” (NLT). It doesn’t matter how much faith you have or what you can do for God in your own strength, you’ve got to do it in love or it’s worthless. Love is the key element in our walk with God. Live your life doing everything in love, and what you do will prosper.
 

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Useless Prayers

As school starts back up, I’m reminded of my school days. The world was different, but the actions of people were the same. I remember being in classes where certain kids wouldn’t pay attention in class, they wouldn’t do their homework and were distractions to other students overall. When they would fail a test, they’d be the first ones hollering for extra credit. Do you think the teachers gave it to them? Of course not! They never paid attention to what the teacher was trying to teach. They were bound to fail the test.

It’s very similar to people who have gone to church their whole lives and have never paid attention. They go to church to be seen rather than to grow. They won’t help others in need or come to the aid of those less fortunate than they are. However, when they’re being tested, they’re the first ones hollering for God to help them. They rarely get a favorable answer from God. Proverbs 28:9 tells us why: God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to Him (MSG).

God does not want to just hear from you when you’re in an emergency. He doesn’t want you to ignore the things He tries to tell you through people. He’s a loving God who tries to speak to His children in order to guide them down paths that give them hope and a future. To those who listen, He hears their prayers. To those who don’t, He has no use for their emergency prayers. He didn’t sacrifice His son so we could use Him on,y when we need Him. He gave us His son because He loves us and wants a full time relationship with us. If you want your prayers heard, start listening to what God is saying to you or risk failing the test.   

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Verses On Knowing God’s Will For Your Life

  
Most of us confuse God’s will for our lives with God’s direction for our lives. We wonder what His will is when really we’re asking for His direction for our individual life. If you’re wondering what God’s will is for your life, here are some verses to help you know it.

1. God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 NLT

2. For such praying is good and right, and it is pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, Who wishes all men to be saved and increasingly to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the divine Truth.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 AMP

3. Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD ’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil!

Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG

4. So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:15-20 NLT

5. But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what GOD is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously.

Micah 6:8 MSG

6. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [or be] fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs, but be transformed (changed) by the entire renewal of your mind by its new ideals and its new attitude, so that you may prove for yourselves what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect in His sight for you.

Romans 12:2 AMP

7. Be happy in your faith and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer, praying perseveringly; Thank God in everything no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks, for this is the will of God for you who are in Christ Jesus the Revealer and Mediator of that will.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 AMP

8. So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

Colossians 1:9-10 NLT

9. Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy of the church as embodiment and proof of fellowship, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Hebrews 13:16 AMP

10. What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.

Philippians 2:12-16 MSG

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