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    “The lips of the godly speak helpful words.” Pr 10: 32 NLT Prt 3

    Thursday, December 9, 2010, 1:23 PM [General]

    BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY (3)

    A World War II poster reads, “Loose lips sink ships.” So when you hear something negative about someone, ask yourself: (1) Is it true? “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Ex 20:16 NKJV). That’s one of the Ten Commandments, not ten suggestions! Until  you’re certain it’s true, say nothing. Wait; time always reveals the truth. (2) Is it confidential? Did you hear it as a result of someone else having broken a confidence? If you speak it, will you be contributing to the violation of a confidence? Remember: “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered” (Pr 11:13 ESV). Your usefulness to God requires that you not sacrifice your integrity by betraying trust. (3) Is it helpful? Will tear others down or build them up? Satan is devoted to pulling down, discouraging and defeating- don’t be his accomplice. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph 4:29 NIV). Will it be beneficial and encouraging to those who hear it? (4) Is it necessary? Stop and ask yourself, “What do others and the cause of Christ gain by my saying it, or lose by my not saying it?” Always keep this in mind: you’re more likely to regret the things you said than the things you didn’t. “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards” (Pr 29:11). Be wise, be careful what you say.

     

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    “The lips of the godly speak helpful words.” Pr 10:32 NLT (Pt. 2)

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 12:10 PM [General]

    BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY (2)

    Your words can bring two things: (1) Encouragement. Ella Wheeler Wilcox said, “A pat on the back is only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the seat of the pants, but is miles ahead in results. Solomon said, “Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim” (Pr 15:4 TM). When life is hard, “a word spoken at the right moment-how good it is!” (Pr 15:23 AMP). Hope pierces the despair, and people begin to believe that they really have a chance to make it. Many a wounded soul has gotten through their deepest valley on the strength of a word of encouragement. “Pleasant words are a honeycomb sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Pr 16:24 NIV). People wounded by life are healed by words of encouragement! Just a card, an e-mail, a phone call- the Bible calls them “apples of gold in settings of silver” (Pr 25:11 NKJV). (2) Salvation. “The fruit of the ….righteous is a  tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men- he gathers and receives them for eternity]” (Pr 11:30 AMP). The highest use of your tongue is telling others about Jesus. He doesn’t need to be defended, just introduced. “The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well” (Pr 10:11 TM). You can speak life-giving words to those who are lost, changing their past, their present and their future. Your words can also help people to mature and grow in their relationship with God. Yes, “The lips of the righteous feed many” (Pr 10:21 NAS).

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    “The lips of the godly speak helpful words.” Pr 10:32 NLT

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010, 12:02 PM [General]

    BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY (1)

    Your tongue can be a source of great blessing. It can provide people with two things they need: (1) Wisdom. “The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice…The lips of the godly speak helpful words” (w. 31-32 NLT). Paul told Timothy, “You have heard me teach [many] things…teach truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (2Ti 2:2 NLT). Pass on what God has taught you to those who need guidance and are hungry for knowledge. Don’t be pushy, but don’t be timid; share with them what God has shared with you. If you give a hungry man a fish he will live for a day; if you teach him how to fish he will live for a lifetime. (2) Correction. Nobody enjoys being corrected. But if you “Listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the standing…humility precedes honor” (Pr 15:31-33 NLT). Nobody likes to risk rejection by being the truth teller, but “You can trust a friend who corrects you” (Pr 27:6 CEV). Three important principles apply here: First, you speak truth on the basis of friendship. If you haven’t proven yourself, leave the truth telling to someone who has. You have to earn that right. Second, truth telling isn’t a license to go hunting. A true friend cares about others’ feelings, and speaks the truth in love (See Eph 4:15). Third, appreciation will come, but be prepared it may be delayed! “In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery” (Pr 28:23 NLT).

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    “I shall go with him.” 2Sam 12:23 NKJV

    Friday, December 3, 2010, 11:40 AM [General]

    WHEN A CHILD DIES

    The child David had with Bathsheba lived only a week then died. Heartbroken, with his thoughts toward heaven, David said, “I shall go with him.”

                When a child dies, questions arise: (1) Will I see them in heaven? Yes, David’s story confirms it. Picture a Shepherd leading his flock to greener pastures. The journey requires crossing a river. The sheep stare at it, paralyzed with fear. So the shepherd picks up a lamb, carries it over and sets it on the other side. At first its parents are upset, but eventually they overcome their fear and become willing to follow the shepherd through the waters to a glorious reunion on the other side. Think: when what you value most is in the next world, the appeal of this one diminishes with each passing day. (2) Will I know them in heaven? Yes, on the Mount of Transfiguration the disciples knew Moses and Elijah even though they’d died centuries before. Would we know less in heaven than we know on earth? Paul writes: “Then I shall know just as I also am known” (1Co 13:12 NKJV). (3) Will they grow up in heaven? At thirty-three, in the prime of life, Jesus died, rose again and went back to heaven. And John the apostle says that when we see Him, “we shall be like Him” (1Jn 3:2). (4) What will they do in heaven? The Bible says that in heaven, “his servants shall serve him” (Rev 22:3). Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I could do better?” In heaven, you will. You’ll be at your best-forever.

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    “Strike the ground.” 2Ki 13:18 NKJV

    Thursday, December 2, 2010, 11:30 AM [General]

    AIM, SHOOT, AND KEEP SHOOTING!

    W hen the king of Israel needed a strategy for defeating the Syrians he turned to the prophet Elisha, who told him, “Take a bow and some arrows.’ So he took himself a bow and some arrows. Then he said to the king of Israel, ‘Put your hand on the bow.’ So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. And he said, ‘Open the east window; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, ‘Shoot; and he shot. And he said, ‘The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.’ Then he said, ‘Take the arrows’; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, ‘Strike the ground’; so he struck three times, and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him, and said, ‘You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times’” (vv. 15-19 NKJV).

                What are you asking God to do? Save someone you love? Provide finances? Help you break a habit? Succeed in your career? Find out what He has promised you in His Word, and use those promises like arrows. Aim them at your problem, shoot, and keep shooting until God moves on your behalf. If this story teaches us anything, it’s this: there are situations in life when faith and persistence not only determine your victory, but the extent to which you win. So aim, shoot, and keep shooting!

     

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    “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Ro 8:31

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 11:38 AM [General]

    BY GOD’S GRACE YOU CAN OVERCOME

    Some of  the world’s greatest people faced the world’s greatest challenges, but they overcame them. Cripple a man, and you have Sir Walter Scott, Lock him in prison, and you have John Bunyan. Raise him in abject poverty, and you have Abraham Lincoln.  Subject him to bitter religious prejudice, and you have Benjamin Disraeli. Strike him down with paralysis, and you have Franklin Roosevelt. Have them black in a society filled with racial driscrimination, and you have Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson and George Washington Carver. Make a man the first child to survive in a poor italian family of eighteen, and you have Enrico Caruso. Have him born to parents who survived Nazi concentration camp, paralyse him from waist down when he’s four years old and you have the incomparable violinist Itzhak Perlman.Call a man a slow learner, mentally challenged, and write him off as  ineducable, and you have Albert Einstein, Helen Keller was born blind and deaf, yet she graduated college with highest honors and impacted the world. Margaret Thatcher, England’s first and only woman prime minister, lived upstairs over her father’s grocery store. For a while her childhood home had no running water and no indoor plumbing. Gola Meir, Israeli’s first and only woman prime minister,was a divorced grandmother from Milwaukee. What do these people teach us? That success doesn’t depend on our circumstances, but on overcoming our circumstances! And with God on our side we can do it! Paul, one of the world’s great overcomers, wrote; “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

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    “I will praise you more and more.” Ps 71:14 NLT

    Friday, November 19, 2010, 11:08 AM [General]

    THE DOMINO EFFECT OF PRAISE (1)

    Don’t limit yourself to worshipping God in church. Be like the Psalmist: “I will bless the Lord at all times” (Ps 34:1). When you don’t feel like praising God but you do it because you want to please Him, that’s called “the sacrifice of praise” (Heb 13:15). And when praise becomes a lifestyle it has a domino effect (that’s where one change causes another, which in turn causes another). When you tell God how wonderful He is, how much you love Him and want to spend time with Him, you’re more likely to find your mate telling you how wonderful you are, how much they love and enjoy being around you. Over time your family and friends start to feel the effect. On the other hand, when you withhold from God the praise He deserves, you deprive yourself of what you need in your own life. David said, “Magnify the Lord with me…let us exalt his name together” (Ps 34:3). God inhabits [occupies, sets up house in] the praises of His people (See Ps 22:3). When you tell Him, “You’re wonderful, there’s no problem You can’t solve and no need You can’t meet. I’m casting all my cares on You. I know You love me and I’m not going to give in to depression and defeat. I’m trusting You to conquer my enemies, break down the doors that are locked and give me victory,” God sends angels to fight and win the battle on your behalf (See Heb 1:14). No wonder David said, “I will praise you more and more.” It works! Isn’t it time you started thinking along the same lines?

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    “Teach …sound doctrine.” Tit 2:1 NIV

    Thursday, November 18, 2010, 11:19 AM [General]

    THE IMPORTANCE OF SOUND DOCTRINE

    Today “sound doctrine” is being replaced by “feel good theology,” and we should be concerned! Pilots fly by fixed laws. Surgeons operate by fixed protocols. Aren’t you glad they think doctrine is important? The story’s told of a psychology student in the army who was given kitchen duty. He decided to test the response of different groups, of soldiers to apricots. First he took the negative approach: “You don’t want apricots, do you?” Ninety percent said no. Then he tried the positive approach: “You do want apricots, don’t you?” Over half said yes. With a third group he tried the either/or technique: “Would you like one dish of apricots or two?” In spite of the fact that most of them didn’t like apricots, forty percent took two dishes and fifty percent took one dish. Be careful; when you have no fixed belief system of your own, you’ll fall for somebody else’s. Paul instructed Timothy: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2Ti 4:2-4 NIV). When your feelings won’t sustain you, sound doctrine will, for one rests on emotion and the other rests on the eternal Word of God.

     

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    “Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.” 1Cor 13:7 CEV

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 10:33 AM [General]

    YOU’VE GOT TO “WORK AT IT”

    Clara Null writes: “At a wedding my granddaughter Melissa asked, “Why is the bride always dressed in white?” I replied, “Because white represents happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.’ Her next question was: “Then why’s the groom dressed in black?” Marriage only works if you “work at it.” So here are three principles for strengthening yours (1) Become a good listener. Jesus said, “Consider carefully how you listen” (See Lk 8:18). Sometimes the most important thing in communicating with your mate is to hear what is not being said, to learn to read between the lines. Just “being there” isn’t enough; your mate needs to feel heard-and validated. When they are, they’ll open up and accept what you have to say. (2) “Speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15 NLT). Nobody likes to be corrected, but when someone is heading down the wrong road, love will “get in your face.” Our marriages break down when the truth is violated, integrity is forsaken, trust is broken, manipulation is allowed, self-interest is the rule, control is the goal, and time isn’t invested. (3) Always believed the best. Love sees you at your worst but never forgets your best; thinks you’re a little bit more wonderful than you really are; will talk with you endlessly or just sit with you in silence, is happier about your success than you are; doesn’t try to know more, act smarter or be your constant teacher; it listens even when what you have to say is not particularly interesting. That’s because love believes you’re important!

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    “You have been wandering around…long enough; turrn.” Dt 2:3 NLT

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 11:19 AM [General]

    WHERE YOU ARE MATTERS!

    God’s plan for your life always involve your gifts, His timing, and being in the right place.  But three things can keep that from happening: fear of failing, unwillingness to leave your comfort zone, and being swayed by the opinions of others. There came a point where in order to enter the Promise Land, God said to Israel, “You have been wandering around…long enough; turn.” When you reach this point it’s crucial that you say yes to God and be willing to step out in faith.

    During a famine God said to the prophet Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of Jordan. You will will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” So he did what the Lord told him…and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook” (1Ki 17:2-6 NIV). God’s plan for your life is always connected to a place. Jesus “had to go through Samaria” (Jn 4:4 NIV). Why? To meet a woman who was destined to reach that city with the Gospel. You can’t just go where you like, God will honor you when you’re where He wants you to be. God has promised to bless you, but sometimes He has to reposition you in order to receive His blessing. It was when Ruth moved to Bethlehem that she met Boaz and married him. It was when Bartimaeus went to where Jesus was that he received his sight. Where you are matters!

     

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

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