Thursday, June 30, 2016

Small But Powerful

I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle.  Psalm 39:1

Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire. 
Our lives are plagued by the small part of the body which caused the fall of man - The Tongue. So the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire. James 3:5 It’s been estimated that the average person speaks 18,000 words per day. That’s enough to write a 54-page book!
Supervising our words is essential, and we desperately need the help of God to know: when to speak, what to speak, how to speak and to whom we are to speak. Our words always speak louder than our religious rituals. Anyone can dress nicely and come to church, put a fish icon on their rear bumper or listen to Christian music. But without a doubt, one of the greatest indicators of our faith, spiritual maturity and wisdom is the ability to have firm control of our tongues. More harm has come to religion, family, government, and society by the tongue that of the bottle, pill or gun. It is the sin of all ages of people. 
James speaks to all abusers of speech:
  1. To the person who speaks praise to God in the worship service and then verbally abuses people at home or at work, James commands, "Purify your speech through the week." (James 3:10)
  2. With the person who says, "Oh, I know I talk too much," and laughs it off, James is not amused. He insists, "Be quick to listen, slow to speak."  (James 1:19)
  3. By the person who boasts, "I always speak my mind, no matter who gets hurt," James is not impressed. He commands, "Discipline your speaking."  (James 3:2)
  4. Of the person who says, "I know I gossip too much, but I just can't help it," James still requires, "Control your tongue."  (James 4:11)
  5. Of the person who is in the habit of speaking with insults, ridicule or sarcasm, James demands, "Change your speech habits."  (James 1:26)

The tongue has great potential for good or evil. Those who love to use it a lot must be prepared to take the consequences.  We are to build people up, not tear them down! When used properly the tongue can mend fences, heal broken hearts and encourage those in need of encouragement. Just as the tongue has power to destroy, it is also has power to heal, to build-up, to edify and encourage.
A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23
Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. Proverbs 25:11
Scripture to Claim:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Preparing Your Mind

Submitted by Sam Nobles
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ
1 Peter 1:13 ESV

Your mind is a wonderful and powerful gift given to you by God. With your mind you can memorize verses or passages of Scripture. With your mind you can discern truth from lies. With your mind you can recall and remember the ways in which God has changed your life.

In the Bible, God’s most effective servants were those who intentionally disciplined their minds for service to the Lord. Moses, educated by the best schools in Egypt, put together Israel’s five books of Law. Isaiah used his scholarly mind to pen some of the most exalted prophetic passages of Scripture. Paul the Apostle took the teaching he received, under the tutelage of Gamaliel, and presented much of the New Testament theology that we have today.

It is a sad fact that many Christians do not exercise their minds to be of service to God. We live in one of the busiest eras of history and it shows in Christendom because of the vast number of believers that will allow others to “spoon-feed” them their faith. Books, conferences, and seminars have become the source of theology, and the Bible has been cast aside. Speakers make authoritative statements and it is accepted and lived upon without any thought of its biblical collaboration.

Paul the Apostle urged Christian people to strive for maturity in their minds (1 Corinthians 14:20) because he was one who knew the importance of growing up in the way we think (1 Corinthians 13:11). Paul was one who did not let others do his thinking for him. Be certain to use your mind in a way that is intentional – in a way that brings glory to God.

Scripture to Claim:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 ESV

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Submitted by David Miller
For what does a man get with all his work and all his efforts that he labors with under the sun? For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile. (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23)
"This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine … Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”  Then comes the hiding under a bushel part and the not letting Satan blow it out part.  I hope many of you remember that song. It is simple, but it is powerful!
The song serves to remind us that we are the light in a very dark world.  And how we choose to live our faith out in front of others does, in fact, give the world a view of who we believe Jesus to be.
Look at the words of Christ the book of Matthew:
Matthew 5:14-16 (NASB) 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a [
a]hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a [b]basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Now those verses are in red so they must mean something powerful.  As Christ points out in the verse, our good works -- while not the means by which we are saved (Eph. 2:8-9) -- do bring glory to our Heavenly Father, as should all that we do. Specifically, look at what Paul tells us in these two verses.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NASB) 31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:17 (NASB) 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
So that pretty well covers all aspects of our life.  Work, play, and any other actions.  However, what we do will not glorify Him unless people know why we are doing them. Otherwise they will give us alone, the credit. We need to be sure that when people see a difference in us -- whether at work, school, in the supermarket or wherever, that they know that the reason we are different, is our relationship with God.

There should be a discernible distinction between us and non-believers around us. Patient responses to being cut off in traffic, a lack of participation in gossip, not laughing at dirty jokes, standing with those who are made fun of, watching what we post on social media.  These are just a few examples of ways we can let our light shine in our everyday world.  When people see us, do they see Christ in us, or do we work for our own glory?  If the latter is true, it is time that we reprioritize our heart and allow His light to shine through us to the people who are lost and looking to see Christ in us and through us. 

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