Maranatha Devotionals
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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What is Your Tongue Worth?

The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. (Pro 10:20)

The tongue is such a small member according to the Apostle James. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (Jam 3:5)

It's amazing how such a small member can wreak so much havoc one moment and yet be sweet as honey the next. Should this be the normal way of life for a believer? Absolutely not! The believer who is being led by the Holy Spirit, producing the fruit of the Spirit, does not struggle with his tongue but has command over it. He has learned to control the sin of gossip.

The weak minded believer, however, does not share in this. Not only is this weak minded believer allowing the devil to control him, he does not have the sense to get into the Word and allow the Word to keep him from sin. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) Instead, this weak minded believer relies on what is in his heart to guide him. If the heart is ruled by sin, it won't guide this person to anything but trouble.

How can a heart filled with gossip allow the tongue to speak gracious words? The weak minded believer thinks he can fool those in his church by pretending to be a good Christian but then gossip and strife come out of his mouth only to reveal his true colors. The Word says that this is wrong! Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (Jam 3:10) This gossip stirs up strife and sows discord. I've yet to meet a gossip who has not caused much problems. How can the church have a sweet spirit when there's a gossip in its midst? How can a church attract visitors when there's a gossip in its midst?

That gossip not only hurts people with his tongue, but he is also known as a sower of discord! If you want to see just how God feels about a gossip, a sower of discord, all you have to do is search for verses with the words "God, hate" and it will be an eye opener! God hates the sower of discord! It does not say He hates the sin - but he hates the one who sows discord. In fact, it is an abomination to Him. Prov. 6:16-19, "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (16) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (17) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (18) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (19) A gossip is not only a liar but that gossip is also one that sows discord among the brethren (meaning in church).

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (Jam 3:5) James continues to say that the tongue is like a fire! Fire destroys and kills. This little member of the body can do so much destruction if it is allowed to continue. We cannot sweep a sower of discord's actions under the rug. It must be dealt with, swiftly, or the church body will be destroyed. What better testimony for the devil than to allow this sower in the church! This should not be so. What a sad day it is when families are destroyed by this person! This gossip and sower of discord is at war with everyone around him, except other gossips. Darkness fellowships with darkness. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. (Psa 55:21)

I have witnessed this gossip in action. I have witnessed this sower of discord in action. These "supposed" Christians have allowed the devil to rule in their lives. Yes, the devil can rule in a Christian's life. Even Jesus had to rebuke Peter and tell him that the devil was ruling. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Mat 16:23) Jesus was not saying that Peter was possessed by a devil. Jesus was stating that Peter was allowing the devil to rule in his life and Peter's words were evidence of it. Jesus did not mince words. He did not sweep Peter's conduct under the rug. Instead, Jesus brought it out and exposed it.

The words of a gossip are wicked, wicked, wicked. There is no life in them but only destruction. Guard your tongue, oh Christian. Be careful what you expose your heart to. What is in your heart will come out of your mouth. No Word, you know much gossip and discord. Know the Word, you have no gossip and discord. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (Mat 15:18)

So, what is considered gossip? If you want to steer away from even the appearance of evil on this one, consider gossip as anything that is said about someone that is not gracious and kind. Many disguise their gossip with statements like, "Bless her heart, she just doesn't have enough money to buy a dress that would cover her whole body!" My friend, don't be fooled. You can only Febreeze a skunk so much and his scent will come right through it! Don't allow the devil rule over your mouth. Yes, I said "allow"! It is our choice to gossip. Recognize the sin of gossip ... repent ... confess it ... seek forgivness from those you have hurt ... forsake it. Then fill your heart with the precious Word and allow it to cleanse you, keep you clean, and prevent you from falling.


Dear God...
Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight,
O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
(Psa 19:14)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Pride

He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. (Pro 28:25)

The proud heart thinks himself better than those around him. He does not see that this is sin. In fact, he does not even think he is sinning, but the Word says otherwise. An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin. (Pro 21:4) It is extremely difficult to witness to the proud of heart. They do not see their sin. As long as this person does not see his sin, he will not see that he needs a Saviour. We see this time and time again when we're out witnessing to people. "Well, I'm not that bad." One person even told me he never sinned! The sin of pride is what caused Lucifer to be cast out of Heaven. He thought himself to be like God (as good as, if not better).

Sadly, there are many believers today who also struggle with the sin of pride. Yes, they are saved but they grieve the Holy Spirit in their lives by refusing to see what they are doing as sin. This prideful believer causes strife, the Word says. God's Word says that He resists (stands against, according to Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary) the proud but gives grace to the humble. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (Jam 4:6b) Why would a believer want God to stand against him? Would a son want his father and mother to stand against him? Of course not. This same son would want his father and mother to stand behind him and encourage him. This is exactly what happens when a believer struggles with the sin of pride: his Heavenly Father stands against him.

Oh that we would always keep our hearts soft enough that we hear that still small voice of the Holy Spirit when He tries to point sin out in our lives. When we do so, we grieve Him. I always thought that the word grieve here meant to make sad. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30) However, Noah Webster defines this word as:
4. To offend; to displease; to provoke.
When we grieve the Holy Spirit, we offend Him - we displease Him - we provoke Him to deal with us. The Holy Spirit is God. His goal for our lives is to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ and to mold us into vessels of honour. He is our Potter (Rom. 9:21).

When pride settles into the Christian's life, the Christian stops growing in Christ. How can I say that? The Spirit's job is to mold us to be Christ-like - there's no pride in Christ at all. He is the epitome of the word humility. Therefore, if the Christian battles this sin, he is not being Christ-like.

Dear God...
May my mind always be
Focused to be more like You
Help me to recognize my sin
And keep You always in my view

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wandering

As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place. (Pro 27:8) The chick thinks he can leave the nest for a moment to check out the world around him. Mother's not in sight, here's his big chance. He looks around - everything looks safe. He takes one small step outside the nest, pauses and looks around for predators. Still safe. So he takes a few more steps. Suddenly, a hawk swoops down from above and snatches him! The chick's adventure cost him his life.

I love that the Lord picked a bird to convey a message to us. God wants us to think of these illustrations as we read His Word. He put them in there for a reason. There is always a good lesson to be learned by an illustration. We see this evidence in the parables Christ shared with His disciples. We know that this bird had to be a chick because of the word wandereth. The adult bird does not wander because he is quite aware of the dangers lurking about. He has learned to be careful. The nest is his haven. Not only is it his resting place but it protects him.

The Lord warns us that it is just as bad for a man to wander from his place as well. What place could that be? Surely, God does not mean that we should not wander from our homes. We must go out to work, to church, and carry on with life. I believe the Lord is telling us not to wander from our place by His side. When we do, we subject ourselves to the predator of this world, the devil.

What can we find at His side? Well, Jesus is our Shepherd. He rules over the devil and all his fallen angels. They are afraid of Him. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (Jam 2:19) Their knee shall bow to Him. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (Phi 2:10) They have no control over us and our lives unless we allow it. What are some ways a Christian allows the devil to control us?

  • By not reading our Bibles and feeding our spirits. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11)

  • By not praying. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1Ti 2:8)

  • By allowing unconfessed sin in our lives. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jo 1:9)

  • By not being faithful in the things of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (1Co 4:2)


  • Each time we wander from our haven at the Saviour's side, we toy with temptation. Wandering away a little more allows temptation to turn to sin. It is our choice, my friend. We don't need to wander. But if we do, our Shepherd is so faithful that He even provides a way for us to come back. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1Co 10:13)

    Let's learn from this little bird. As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place. (Pro 27:8)

    Dear God...
    May I learn from this little bird
    That I must stay close by Your side
    And leaving no room for the devil
    So in Your Word I must abide

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    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    The Proverbs Friend

    Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel. (Pro 27:9)

    If you've never had a friend that has loved you unconditionally, you have missed out on a precious thing in life. Unconditional love is described as someone loving you no matter what you've done to them.

    The perfect example of unconditional love is the love shown to us by Jesus Christ. Our sin is the reason He had to die on that cross... in fact, my sin is the reason He had to die on that cross! Yet, He loved me so much that He chose to leave His Heavenly home, come to this earth, and suffer a cruel death ... just so I can go to Heaven! That's as unconditional as love gets, my friend!

    As I reflect on this friend in Proverbs 27:9, I see a friend who provides hearty counsel. This friend loves so much that he sticks with a friend through everything. How can I tell? This friend is providing hearty (strong, sincere, warm) counsel. When was the last time you had a friend who loved you enough to give you strong advice? When was the last time you had a friend who loved you enough to show you in the Word where you were going wrong? Anyone can give you worldly advice and counsel. Anyone can give you their opinion. But a true friend will counsel you when it's not easy - when you've sinned. A true friend will point things out that will cause you to think. A true friend will show you that the path you're on is going to lead you to heartache, and possibly chastisement from the Lord.

    Do you have such a friend? I do. In fact, my friend is the one who led me to the Lord over 26 years ago. She brings me to tears with laughter - but she also brings me to tears with conviction through the Word. Yes, my heart has to be tender and willing to be taught in order to receive the hard counsel she has to give me. However, how many people do you know in your own life who love you despite of what you are doing? How many people do you know in your own life who see the sin in you yet their main desire is to help you get right with God? That, dear Christian, is a true friend.

    I thank God, daily, for my spiritual mother. Not only has she been faithful in her friendship, but she has shared the Word of God with me when it was not easy to receive. She did not compromise the Word just to keep our friendship. She has stood firm and prayed for me so that I would stand firm also. What a friend!

    Are you such a friend? Do you offend others by what you say (your opinions) or are the words you give to your friend from God's Word? My friend's words were. I could never go back to her and say that what she told me was her opinion. In fact, quite the opposite - she quoted Scriptures and it is very hard to refute God. How could I be offended when it was His Word that was spoken to me?

    We should strive to be this type of friend to those the Lord has placed in our path. If they are truly walking with the Lord, they will look at your counsel as sweet. As well, if the Lord has put someone in your life who has given you wise counsel, be sure to keep your heart soft and teachable so the Lord can bless you through that counsel. My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. (Psa 49:3)


    Dear God...
    Thank you for sending me
    A friend whose love is strong
    Leading me always to Your Word
    And keeping me from wrong

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    The Way That Seems Right

    There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Pro 14:12)

    There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Pro 16:25)


    I was searching for a specific group of words in my e-Sword and found that this group appeared twice in Proverbs. This Proverb was so important that the Lord put it in His Word twice. Anything the Lord states more than once in the Bible should be noted and carefully heeded, don't you think? Why do you think God did that?

    I can't speak for God because His thoughts are not mine (Is. 55:8-9). But I can get a pretty good idea. I've always heard preaching on this verse in conjunction with salvation. Oh how true it is!! When I was a "good" catholic, I just knew I was in the right religion. Why did I know that? Because I was told so.. not because I had studied the Word of God to come to my own conclusion.

    Notice how the verses state that this way of salvation seems right unto a man. Not "right unto the religious leaders" but unto the man himself. Every individual, every breathing soul that ever lived will have to make this choice, this decision, for himself. We cannot place the burden of blame on someone else for the choices we make. Why, then, do we think that we can leave the decision of salvation to someone else?

    When I look back on the day I got saved, I remember a young woman who thought she was "OK" with God because I belonged to the biggest/richest "church and religion" in the world. How could so many people be wrong? Praise my wonderful Father in Heaven for pricking my heart through His Holy Spirit and showing me that nothing and no one could remove the burden of guilt from me but Jesus Christ. No church, no priest, no pope can say that I have eternal salvation because I am catholic as the 1994 catechism clearly states on page 215, #816 "The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: 'For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.'" Why do I know that? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6)

    Yes, the catholics will refute this by saying that Jesus IS the way but THROUGH the catholic church. The Word of God says differently, Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:12) There is NO salvation in any other! None! The Word of God is clear. The Word of God is final. Jesus is the Word, according to John 1:1, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Therefore, Jesus' authority is final. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (Joh 5:26) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (Joh 5:27)

    This way that I thought was the right way was leading me straight to hell. I wasn't even questioning it. I wasn't even concerned. My parish priest never once had me thinking about where I would spend eternity. NEVER! I thank God daily for sending someone to warn me that I was heading down this path that was leading me to the ways of death! Thank You, Lord!

    For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Rom 14:11)

    Dear God...
    I will never stop thanking You
    Precious Saviour, Lord Divine
    Your death was love in action
    As You gave Your life for mine

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    God Sees All

    For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. (Prov. 5:21)
    We may not think about it, but God sees every footstep we make on our life's journey. He is also aware of every word we speak. Not one thing in our lives escapes God's eyes according to Prov. 5:21. Furthermore, God weighs our every action. He knows our motives. Nothing is hid from Him. Wow! If every believer truly believed these Proverbs and statements, he would be living as righteously as he could, don't you think?

    God gives us every opportunity to do right, my friend. First, He provided a way for us to get to Heaven. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

    Second, He gave us the opportunity to say no to sin. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor. 10:13)

    We will be without excuse when we stand before Him to give an account of what we have done on this earth. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Rom. 14:12) Every unconfessed sin, every word, every deed, every thought, will be brought to light. Will our works on earth as Christians earn reward or be burned? If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Cor. 3:15)

    God sees everything, my friend. It's not worth a moment's pleasure here on earth to lose reward for an eternity. Faithfulness is difficult but the rewards are great. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. (2 Chron. 16:9a) God sees your efforts and is right there to show His strength when you are weak. Not only are the Father's eyes upon the righteous but His ears are listening to every word we speak to Him. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: (1 Pet. 3:12a) What a wonderful Father we serve, my friend!

    Be faithful, dear Christian. A faithful man shall abound with blessings: (Prov. 28:20a) Your eternal blessings await you! These are the blessings which count!

    Dear God...
    There is none like You
    Your love is true and pure
    May I be found faithful
    Each trial may I endure

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    Monday, October 23, 2006

    Wisdom, Knowledge, Discretion and Understanding

    It is God who gives wisdom, according to Prov. 2:6. However, God won't cram that wisdom down our throats! We must first allow His wisdom from the Word to enter our hearts. We can read and read the Bible, but if we do not let it take root in the heart and apply it to our lives, we won't glean from God's wisdom.

    The same applies to knowledge. How many times have you read a history lesson in preparation for a test? After reading it through once, did you remember all the dates? Did you remember every single event? Of course not. To truly glean from that history lesson, you had to read it a few times, memorize dates, places, people and events, right? More importantly, did you remember any of it two weeks after the test? If you were anything like me, probably not.

    It's the same application with the Word of God. Unless we approach God's Word with the same fervency, how can we glean? How can we walk away with the knowledge that will be pleasant to our soul, according to Prov. 2:10? If you are like many Christians, you walk away from your time in the Word and forget what you read in a day or possibly sooner. It's not until the Word enters our heart that we are promised its fruit. How does the Word "enter our heart"? It enters by applying it to our daily lives, learning from it through studying, gleaning from it, and memorizing it.

    I love the results of the efforts made by the believer to get wisdom and knowledge. The believer receives discretion and understanding. Not only that, both are promised to preserve and keep him! Preserve and keep him from what, you make ask? Verses 12-19 list what this believer will be kept from. In essence, the believer who seeks wisdom and knowledge will not only receive discretion and understanding, but will be kept from evil. The believer won't be so quick to willfully sin because he has received wisdom and knowledge and is keeping himself from sin. Is that as clear as mud?

    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Pro 9:10)

    Great promises await us when we allow God to do His work in our lives.

    Dear God...
    May my heart be open
    To what You want to teach
    Keep me from hard heartedness
    So I can grow in Thee

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Train Up A Child

    Prov. 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

    How I have clung to this promise time and time again - and I still do! There is nothing in life that has a life-time guarantee! However, the Lord has shown me that this verse does have a guarantee if my husband and I do our job first. This guarantee is conditional. The promise of them not departing when they are old will only happen if we, as parents, train our children in the way they should go. No training, no promise.

    Training comes in many forms: salvation/Bible, manners, chores, etc. However, all forms have one thing in common and that is the trainer must have that experience in order to do the training. How can you train your child in the Bible if you are not in your Bible? How can you teach manners if you have no manners yourself? How can you teach chores if you're lazy? I think you get my point.

    God's Word teaches how we can become good and effective trainers to our children in Deut. 6:6-9, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: (6) And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (7) And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. (8) And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (9) Here we have a clear, concise training manual to follow. How many times have I heard parents say that babies do not come with a training manual! Oh, but we do have a training manual in our very own Bibles.

    Our training manual tells us in Deuteronomy to do the following:
    1. Words shall be in my own heart - I should memorize it and apply it

    2. I should teach my children diligently not just when it suits me

    3. I should teach my children throughout the day using every opportunity

    4. I should have the Word so entrenched in my heart and life that they are ever present before me and guide me

    5. My eyes should continuously/daily be focused on the Word

    6. The Word should be everywhere in my home and I should be a living example of the Word in action
    When a trainer lives by this training manual, how can his child go wrong? The trainer is then assured that his child won't depart from this teaching when he is old. This is when the guarantee kicks in, dear Christian. If you leave your child to his Sunday School teacher, you cannot claim this promise. You, personally, have to be the one to take charge in this training.

    Dear God...
    Guide me as I train your child
    Not just in word but in all I do
    Using every chance I get
    Lovingly leading him to You

    Thursday, October 19, 2006

    Announcing Maranatha's Bible Study Blog

    I'm adding to the Maranatha family by adding a blog for my Bible studies. I pray that they will be as much of a blessing to you as they have been to me!

    Maranatha Bible Studies

    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Sowing Wisdom Reaps Kindness

    Prov.31:26 "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."


    When I was first saved, I looked at the Proverbs 31 woman as an impossible achievement. How could I possibly become like her? There are so many things about that woman that I lacked in my own life, I saw this task as impossible! It reminded me of eating that proverbial elephant!

    I'm sure you've heard: "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!" I knew then that God would have to teach me a bit at a time because looking at the whole picture was so discouraging. From speaking with other believers, I find that I was not alone. Each believer had been in a similar situation in their own spiritual lives.

    How do we go about becoming more like this wonderful woman in Proverbs 31? I think a good place to start would be with Proverbs 31:26 with wisdom and kindness. The two go beautifully hand-in-hand, don't they? The Lord gives us wisdom according to James 1:5, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." Therefore, we are getting our wisdom from the perfect Source. The Lord has everything we need to guide us in His Word. There is much wisdom to be given to us if we just spend time in the Bible, my friend. No Bible, no wisdom. Much Bible, much wisdom.

    When we get wisdom through God's Word, our hearts will reflect it. The Word says But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart;(Mat 15:18a) What we sow in our hearts will be evident (reaped) in our actions and our words. I've never, ever, met a believer who walked with the Lord who was not kind. In fact, each of them excelled in this area of kindness, both in word and in action. This Proverbs 31 woman opened her mouth with wisdom and she "thought" about what she was going to say. She did not speak her mind but carefully weighed her words with what God's Word had to say. Why do I know that? The rest of the Proverb shows that her tongue had the law of kindness. Do you really think that a woman who speaks her mind is being kind? The two contradict each other, don't they?

    What an excellent spiritual muscle to exercise for the believer. We cannot be used of God if we are unkind to others. Kindness, however, is one of the characteristics of God (Ps. 31:21 and Ps. 117:2). If we grow in wisdom and show one of its fruit, kindness, then we are becoming more like Him. We are becoming more like that Proverbs 31 woman. This woman's worth is far above rubies according to God (Prov. 31:10). I can see why, can't you?

    Dear God...
    Make me more like You
    With each passing day
    May my words be kind
    To all who come my way

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    Whose Way?

    Prov. 12:15-16 "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame."

    Have you ever heard the saying, "It's my way or the highway!"? The fool sees his way as the only way. He does not and will not listen to reason or the possibility that he may be wrong. This fool sees all conflict in his life with a distorted view. It couldn't possibly be something the fool has done wrong. In fact, this person truly believes that it is someone else's fault. It is sad that one gets to the point that he cannot be taught of God. His heart has hardened to the point where the Holy Spirit cannot pierce it. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26)

    A foolish person does not need a request to speak his mind because he speaks it quickly and loudly. You hear much more than their two cents' worth! Solomon says in verse 16 that the fool's wrath is presently known. This person does not take time to think about what he is going to say. He does not weigh the consequences that his words will have on his life. Instead, he speaks now! Speaking too hastily is like a tube of toothpaste. Once you squeeze it and the toothpaste comes out, there's no way to put it back in. The words out of a fool's mouth are quick and it's too late to do damage control as the damage has been done. The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. (Ecc 9:17)

    I love Solomon's style of writing. He gives you the consequences which come as a result of the bad and the good. The wise person listens to counsel, whether from parents, a godly friend or the Pastor. The prudent man keeps himself from blowing his temper and losing his testimony. He guards his mouth carefully. The believer's testimony speaks the loudest about how he walks with the Lord. He can blab all he wants, but his actions will reflect whose fruit he is displaying - the fruit of the Holy Spirit or the fruit of the world (the devil's fruit). The Word says that temperance (self control) is one of the Spirit's fruit according (Gal. 5:22-23). The more a Christian is in the Word and applying it to his life, the more he will exercise that muscle of self control. It does not come over night - it comes with much practice. The world thinks that it's good for you to speak your mind. However, the Lord thinks differently. You can be sure that if the world thinks that speaking your mind is right, then God will say differently. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isa 55:8)

    Dear God...
    May I guard my every step
    Heeding Your Word in all I do
    May each of my actions bring praise
    Honor and glory to You

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    The Mouth

    Prov. 10:31 "The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out."

    We know that we all sin - none of us are righteous or just. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (Ecc 7:20) So who is the just man in Ecc. 7:20? Only Christ is righteous - our righteousness is as filthy rags (Is. 64:6) There is nothing good in us. Therefore, today's Proverb must be speaking of the born again believer because Christ's righteousness covers us at salvation! Thank You, Lord!

    We have the words which will lead an unbeliever to Christ! Our Heavenly Father puts people in our path that only we can witness to. What are we doing with our assignment from the Lord? Do our words reflect wisdom received from the Word? Do our mouths speak knowledge from the Word? If not, why not? The unjust cannot bring forth wisdom ... it would be like expecting your 10 year old to write a thesis. If we are not bringing forth wisdom in our words, it is only because we are not spending time in the Word. It's amazing how some can recite the words to a song after hearing it a few times. Some can rattle off the names of those in the starting line up of a football game. Some can rattle off baseball statistics like nobody's business. But can these same people rattle off verses which will lead another to Christ? It's not because God has not made His Word available to us.

    Our actions include the tongue according to Prov. 10:31. Here Solomon goes on to say that the froward tongue shall be cut out! Froward is one of those words that deserves studying because God says that this type of tongue will be cut out! That's a serious statement and one that we should heed as believers. As you know, I love comparing the modern-day dictionary's definitions with Noah Webster's 1828 definitions because the meanings are so different. Today's dictionaries liquify the meaning of a word and, therefore, giving you a dilluted meaning of this Bible verse. Froward is a perfect example as to why I no longer use today's dictionaries to look up words in my Bible. Listed below are Merriam Webster's definition of the word "froward" and Noah Webster's 1828 definition:
    Merriam Webster says: 1 : habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition 2 archaic : ADVERSE
    Noah Webster says: Perverse, that is, turning from, with aversion or reluctance; not willing to yield or comply with what is required; unyielding; ungovernable; refractory; disobedient; peevish; as a froward child.
    Do you see why I prefer Noah Webster's definitions? This Proverb surely packs more punch when you understand why God says the froward tongue will be cut out, doesn't it?

    We are truly blessed of God to have the Word. Most of us have more than one Bible, but not many read it regularly - let alone study it. The believer's words should be filled with hope and excitement. In these end times, the lost world needs hope more than ever before! Can you imagine yourself being lost right now listening to the news? What hope is there for the unsaved? Nothing but gloom and doom lurks around every corner for them. We are their only hope to hear the gospel. We are their only hope for them to see the gospel in action.

    We should weigh our words carefully. Remember, we'll have to give an account to the Lord for every word we speak. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Mat 12:36) That includes words spoken by the froward tongue. I would hate to be the person who has to stand before God having to account for a froward tongue. With God, there will be no excuses and He won't listen to justification as to why these words were spewed forth.

    Let our words be gracious ones filled with hope - not only for a lost world to hear but for the building up and encouragement of the brethren. We need each other in these last days. We need to encourage and uplift each other, not tear each other down with cruel and harsh words. We believers need to encourage one another in these end times because the times are evil. No wonder the Lord placed this verse in the Bible exactly the way it was worded! Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Heb 10:25) Rapture is upon us - any day now. Let's make use of our last days here with words which fit a Christian who has been saved from much and is looking forward to our Lord's return!

    Dear God...
    May I think before I speak
    Seeking only to be a blessing
    To share with a lost world
    And lifting the weary brethren

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    A Prudent Man

    Prov. 22:3 "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished."

    Noah Webster defines "prudent" as: Cautious; circumspect; practically wise; careful of the consequences of enterprises, measures or actions; cautious not to act when the end is of doubtful utility, or probably impracticable.

    He also defines "simple" as: Weak in intellect; not wise or sagacious; silly. The simple believeth every word; but the prudent looketh well to his going. Prov 14.


    It amazes me how the vocabulary and definitions I learned in school are different from the meanings intended in our King James Bible. Prov. 22:3 is a good example of my interpretation in light of what I "thought" prudent and simple meant. When I read Noah Webster's definition of these two words, the verse is suddenly revealed and its warning of the consequences is much more severe than I had initially thought.

    We can read verse after verse with our own definitions in mind, but is what we are interpreting truly what was intended for us? I've mentioned this in a prior blog, but it's worth repeating. I challenge you to look up the word "sin" in today's dictionary and then look it up in Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary. You will understand where I'm coming from.

    It is nothing to wink at when we are warned that the simple will not see evil and will be punished. Look at what the prudent man does... this cautious man foresees what this evil will bring to him and weighs the consequences. How can he foresee the consequences? He has been in the Word, heeding the Spirit's teachings and growing thereby. He has been equipping himself for battle, as I pointed out in yesterday's blog. I am reminded of policemen at this point who enter a situation where danger lurks. They don't immediately run into a building where a report has been made of breaking and entering. Instead, they are trained to proceed with caution. They sense danger as though it was a sixth sense. They check every dark corner - their gun is drawn and ready for battle. They do not enter alone but always have backup. If backup has not arrived, they do not proceed.

    What a great analogy of the prudent Christian. We are trained by the Word of God to proceed in our Christian walk with caution. The Word teaches us to discern what is evil. Heb. 5:13-14, "For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (13) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (14) This discernment has been exercised by the older believer. The Word is our weapon - we need it "drawn and ready" for battle every day.

    The simple one handles danger in a totally different way. This intellectually weak person has not spent any time of worth in the Word. His weapon is not loaded and ready for battle. In fact, this person walks into evil without forethought and Prov. 22:3 says they are punished because of it.

    I don't know about you, but I don't care for punishment and I surely will not be quick to enter a situation where I know the end result is punishment. We must grow from our mistakes. If not, we are a foolish one indeed.

    Dear God...
    May I prepare for battle
    By spending time with You
    May your Word direct me
    In all I say and do.

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Studying and Teaching



    Prov. 15:28, "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things."

    Prov. 16:23, "The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips."


    How much do you study God's Word in the course of a month, a week, a day? Is studying God's Word the last thing you do? Reading is wonderful, but studying will open your eyes to the sin in your life. Maybe that is why not too many dive into the Word like they do other areas of the daily Christian walk. Solomon's wisdom is compared to no other man that has ever lived. He asked God for wisdom and he received it. If Solomon didn't use this wisdom to continue in righteousness, how much less will we if we don't study the Word?

    We have three books dedicated to his writings inspired of God. God doesn't command us to study just to have head knowledge. He wants us to study so that we don't need to be ashamed when someone confronts us with day-to-day life trials. we have the Word to stand on for defense! Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15)

    God wants to give us wisdom. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (Jam 1:5) He gave it to Solomon, why not to us? Solomon didn't have the Bible like we do today. We have God's Word to turn to any time we want yet we do not take the opportunity to study and seek wisdom. How sad is that?

    When you encounter battles with those prickly people, do you have God's Word to feed them with? Do you have verses committed to memory? Do you know where to turn in your Bible to defend your stand? Do you at least know the verse's "address" so you can turn to it? The believer has everything we need at our fingertips to use in the battle of everyday life. The Marine would not go to battle without his rifle, would he? Why do we go to spiritual battle without our Sword?

    Amuse me for just a moment as I make an analogy. The Marine has to memorize a creed about his rifle. Ask any Marine today to recite it and he'll be able to do so without even batting an eye. I posted it here because there's quite a lesson to be learned from it:
    My Rifle (The Creed of a United States Marine)

    This is my rifle.
    There are many like it, but this one is MINE.
    My rifle is my best friend. It is my life.
    I must master it as I must master my life.
    My rifle without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless.
    I must fire my rifle true.
    I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me.
    I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...
    My rifle and myself know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire,
    the noise of our bursts, nor the smoke we make.
    We know it is the hits that count. We will hit...
    My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life.
    Thus, I will learn it as a brother.
    I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights, and its barrel.
    I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage.
    I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready.
    We will become part of each other. We will...
    Before God I swear this creed.
    My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country.
    We are the masters of our enemy.
    We are the saviors of my life.
    So be it, until there is no enemy, but PEACE.
    -- Maj Gen WH Rupertus
    Can you substitute the references to the Marine's rifle with your own Bible? Ouch! Granted, the Bible is not useless on its own because it is the Word of God. However, if man does not pick it up and read it and use it, he cannot glean from it. Our Bible does not have any weaknesses but the rifles does as pointed out in this creed. However, everything else is quite compatible. I am not trying to spiritualize the Marine's creed for his rifle. What I am trying to do is to point out the zeal the Marine has for his rifle and learning everything about it to survive the battlefield. How much more should the believer have zeal for his Bible and learning eerything about it to survive spiritual battles?

    The Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Ps. 119:105). It is our Sword (Heb. 4:12) and our Guide (Ps. 32:8).




    Why not equip yourself, Christian? In so doing, you will not battle to find an answer when a situation arises. You won't have to learn to control your tongue because you will have already built up your defenses to fight off the flesh!

    Dear God...
    You have fully equipped us for battle
    None of us lacks a tool for this trade
    The Word guides and directs us daily
    Shining brightly and never will fade.

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    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    The Merry Heart




    Prov. 17:22 "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

    Have you ever been around a Christian who just simply was a pleasure to be around? Their laugh was contagious, their smile brightened your day and their whole demeanor glorified the Lord, Jesus Christ.

    We always like being around someone like this don't we? It seems that all our problems temporarily disappear and, for a time, we've entered their field of joy. No wonder Solomon stated that this merry person was like a good medicine. So many times I have visited a brother or sister in Christ with the sole purpose of encouraging them. Yet, it was I who was encouraged by spending time with that dear, merry saint!

    Neh. 8:10b says that the joy of the LORD is our strength. In the world's eyes, this dear saint's circumstances were glum at best, but the Lord provides joy and peace to that merry heart. How? Through His Word! And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:7) The person whose heart and mind are focused on Christ, won't be worrying - won't be depressed - won't be anxious. Instead, this person knows that the Lord will take care of all the details no matter what. That kind of faith brings such peace - and peace brings joy. There's nothing better than to know that a problem is being taken care of and you no longer have to fret over it.

    Solomon was also quick to point out in the same sentence that the person with a "broken spirit" dries the bones. This person wears his emotions on his face. His countenance clearly tells you what is wrong in his life. The sorrows of the mind "drieth the bones" - in other words, this person's demeanor consumes the very marrow of his being. It's not superficial but goes way down deep into the heart of the person. He does not have a merry heart - he is joyless. I see this person walking with stooped shoulders as though the weight of the world is upon him. He has no confidence or faith in his God. He does not seek to find the solution but wallows in self pity. Rather than remove himself from the fires around him, he sticks around. Rather than go to the Source where healing can be found, he remains in his circumstances.

    So, are we as quick to be around such a person? Many times, this joyless person blames his circumstances on everyone else but himself - never searching God's Word for encouragement, let alone for healing.



    I would rather be known as a Christian who has helped cheer another and brought healing into their lives than a Christian who has brought a frown upon people's faces by my demeanor and actions.

    Dear God...
    Testimonies of a merry heart
    Are like a ripple on still water
    Touching many lives along the way
    Sharing peace through stormy weather

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Receiving Instruction

    Prov. 9:9 "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning."

    Prov. 15:32 "He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding."


    Receiving instruction or correction is never easy - for anyone! But what we do with the instruction is what distinguishes between the wise and the foolish person. I can recall receiving instruction early in my Christian walk. I remember thinking "How dare she say that to me! Who does she think she is, super Christian or something?" How ashamed I am today for even having those thoughts. All this sweet precious sister wanted to do was to help me to grow in the Lord. I, on the other hand, let the devil stir up resentment and I allowed pride to rear its ugly head in my life. Praise God for giving me a patient spiritual mother who loved me and wanted to see me grow in Him! \o/

    Receiving correction and instruction is like exercising a muscle actually. The more we open our hearts to receiving correction and instruction, the easier it becomes - we become stronger in the faith, we gain understanding and we become wiser. Each time we are corrected, the "pill" becomes easier to swallow and we receive the instruction with a more thankful spirit.

    On the other hand, the Lord tells us that if we refuse instruction we despise our own soul! The Holy Spirit's jobs are to teach us and to glorify Jesus Christ. John 16:13-14, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (13) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.(14) Who better to teach us than the One who wrote the Scriptures (2 Pet. 1:21)? As He teaches us and we grow, we become more Christ-like and we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We teach our children the Word of God and its instructions, don't we? We teach our children to be good citizens, don't we? The Holy Spirit wants to do the same for us.

    How can we bear the fruit of the Spirit if we refuse instruction? How is it in your home with your children? If our children refuse our instruction, do they become better and more well behaved? If we don't instruct them to do right, what will they learn? They'll learn what the world has to offer. It's the same with our own spiritual lives. If we do not receive instruction, either from the Word, the Pastor, or a dear friend, we become like our undisciplined children. Do we really want to be this way? I would hope not. Speaking from experience, it takes more energy out of me to fight the Holy Spirit and His instructions than it does for me to simply submit and grow in Him.

    Let's be like the wise man of Prov. 9:9 and receive instruction so we can become wiser in the Lord. It is then that the precious fruit of the Spirit becomes evident in our lives. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Gal 5:22) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal 5:23) Do we really think that a person who refuses instruction from God would display these same fruit? It's something to think about the next time a dear brother/sister in Christ comes to us and tries to correct us.

    I always think of this Psalm when something offends me: Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa 119:165) If we love the Lord and His Word, will we be offended when we are instructed? No, in fact we are promised great peace! Thank You, Lord!

    Dear God...
    Oh may I always love Your Word
    And live by It with each day
    May I be open to instruction
    So You can guide me along my way

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Discrete or Indiscrete

    Prov. 19:11 "The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."

    Discretion does not seem to be practiced much today. The opposite of discretion is uncontrolled restraint/lack of self restraint. Oh how true of modern-day society. Even today's Christian does not practice self restraint. They over indulge in food, etc. but most importantly, they do not over indulge in the Word of God. If they did, there would be revival in our land, but sadly there is no revival.

    Every believer should be saying, "Let revival start with me!" One cannot be forgiving or merciful if that person does not have discretion. We can be self indulgent in our own feelings - we won't let go of a sin committed against us, for example. We toy with it and harbor resentment to the point of becoming bitter toward a person. Proverb 19:11 says that the discrete person postpones his anger and passes over a transgression. An indiscrete person will be quick to get angry and will point out another's sin without so much as praying about it or reading God's Word before acting.

    The discrete Christian is a wise Christian. The discrete Christian is a forgiving Christian. The discrete Christian is a Christian who is controlled by the Holy Spirit. How can we be spiritually revived if we cling on to the works of the flesh? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (Joh 6:63) We must yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. We must allow ourselves to be taught by Him. That is His job. He leads us to be more Christ-like so that Christ may be glorified through us.

    Dear God...
    Let me be yielded to Your will
    As You teach me in Your Word
    Guide and direct me in the way
    So I can be pleasing to You Lord

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Do You Struggle With Pride?

    Prov. 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

    Prov. 8:13 "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."


    The usual meaning for "pride" is a high regard of one's self (self esteem). But Noah Webster defines pride further:
    2. Insolence; rude treatment of others; insolent exultation.
    This prideful person cannot be encouraged toward righteousness. This prideful person cannot be reasoned with. In fact, Prov. 16:18 says that this prideful person will be destroyed by his actions. That prideful person also has a haughty spirit which means that in addition to their pride, they have contempt for others. What a miserable life indeed.

    The Christian who is growing in Christ and displaying the fruit of the Spirit will hate evil, pride and arrogancy, according to Prov. 8:13. God goes on to say in this same verse that He hates the froward mouth. Noah defines forward as:
    ... not willing to yield or comply with what is required; unyielding; ungovernable; disobedient; as a froward child.
    These two verses on pride do not paint a pretty picture, do they?

    How miserable a prideful person must be! There surely can't be any peace in this person's life. I have known a few people in my life time who are living examples of these two verses. To be honest with you, they do not see themselves this way. But the Word of God is truth and we are told that this prideful person will fall. The prideful person is always right in their own eyes. They do not see their mistakes - they only see their own good. They don't look to the Word for their direction because they are not able to be governed by the Word. In fact, the Word says that a froward heart departs from God (His Word). A froward heart shall depart from me: ...(Psa 101:4a) Is it any wonder that they can't be governed? Is it any wonder that you can't plead with them to change their ways using the Word of God?

    It's a shame that Christians act this way. It drags the Lord's name in the mud and paints a horrible picture to the unsaved world. My heart breaks when a believer won't heed the counsel of God's Word. The Lord puts us together to help one another. We've all been through various sins in our lives, various trials, and various scenarios. As the Lord "grows" us through each of these, we are to take that knowledge and help someone else. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Cor 1:4)

    It is the Word (Jesus) who will heal us and forgive us of all our unrighteousness. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jo 1:9) Let's be the testimony for Christ that we should be and leave pride behind. We must recognize our sin, confess and forsake it, learn from it, and help someone else to be reconciled with God through sharing our experience. That is truly the way God wants believers to be. The Word convicts, heals and challenges us toward righteousness.

    Dear God...
    Thank You for giving to us
    Access to Living Water
    It's Cleansing and refreshing
    Grounding us like an anchor

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    The House Filled With Wind

    Prov. 11:29 "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart."

    Once again, Noah Webster's definition of certain words just shed light and give much more meaning to what we are reading. His definition of "troubleth" is:
    1. To agitate; to disturb; to put into confused motion.
    Are you someone who "brings trouble" to his house? Do you bring agitation and disturbance into your home? Do you bring confusion into your home?

    The fool does all these things. I found it quite poignant that Solomon would add the rest of the verse - "shall inherit the wind"! Have you ever seen the cartoon where someone turned on an occilating fan in an office where the desk was filled with paper? What a catastrophe that produced! It's like a hurricane hit the office! I believe this is what Solomon was trying to portray here. I think of the contentious woman who is never happy with her circumstances and is always complaining. She troubleth her own house and creates a whirl wind of trouble. She reaps what she sows.

    On the other hand, the Christian who is wise is quite the opposite. The wise person's home is peaceful. True peace can only be had when we are truly born-again and are displaying the fruit of the Spirit. Noah's definition of wise is:
    1. Properly, having knowledge; hence, having the power of discerning and judging correctly, or of discriminating between what is true and what is false; between what is fit and proper, and what is improper; as a wise prince; a wise magistrate. Solomon was deemed the wisest man. But a man may be speculatively and not practically wise. Hence,

    2. Discrete and judicious in the use or applications of knowledge; choosing laudable ends, and the best means to accomplish them. This is to be practically wise. Gen 41.
    Does the fool display such wisdom? Of course not. The fool is busy doing the opposite and turning on that occilating fan in their homes which produces nothing but chaos. There's no peace in that home. It is not to say that a born-again Christian cannot be a fool. We have all done foolish things at one time or another. But the believer should be growing - moving forward in the Lord - seeking to better himself and becoming more Christ-like.

    The fool will always be the servant of the wise one. The fool will always be in subjection to the wise Christian because the fool won't have Scriptures to cling to or refer to - the fool won't even be interested in applying Scriptures to their circumstances so that they may grow. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Pet 2:2) The fool is worse than a newborn baby - at least the newborn baby desires to drink and does so to survive. The fool is not interested in growing and it is evident in their childish behavior.

    Are you the foolish Christian today or the wise Christian? Better yet, are you the unsaved fool? The Word says that the scenario of the unsaved fool who will not listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be likened to the Christian witness casting his pearls (the Gospel) to swine (the unsaved). Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (Mat 7:6) Instead, the unsaved fool thinks he is spiritually OK - the unsaved fool goes to church, knows the scriptures, does the motions but their actions speak louder than words. They are the hypocrites that Jesus speaks of.

    James' account below is also quite the eye opener and we should examine oursleves if we are guilty of being the person he speaks of:

    James 3:13- 18, "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (13) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. (14) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. (15)For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (16) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (17) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (18)

    I can see now why Jesus would tell Peter: But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Mat 16:23)

    Dear God...
    May the words I speak
    Be clean and pure
    Not just in my eyes
    But foremost in Yours

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    How Are You Building Your Home?

    Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. (Pro 14:1)

    How I love Noah Webster's definition of the word build:
    1. To construct, rest or depend on as a foundation;

    The wise woman of Proverb 14:1 constructed her home which rested and depended upon the Foundation. This verse was not speaking of us actually constructing and building our own houses in the physical sense. This verse says that the wise woman here was constructing her house on the foundation of the Lord. This woman knew full well that this foundation would never move. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Tim. 2:19)

    Ah, God's foundation stands sure, ladies. His foundation does not move. His foundation does not crumble under the pressures of the world. His foundation won't even form a slight crack - it is Perfect! What comfort for the wise woman.

    2 Tim. 2:19 goes on to say that the Lord knows those that are His!! I don't know about you, but I'm doing an alleluiah dance here! God knows me! If I am building my house on His foundation, I will be leading my household to Him and He will know them as well.

    2 Tim. 2:19 does not stop there either. The Lord tells us that we must depart from sin since the Father knows us. We must be sinning less and less in our spiritual walks - not staying the same - not going backward - but walking forward and sinning less. Yes, we're going to stumble - yes we're going to sin, but the key is not to remain in that condition. Did David remain in his sinful condition? Did Peter? God gave us examples in His Word so that we could learn and grow from their experiences. Both these men repented of their sin and moved forward doing great things for God. Are you sinning just as much today as your yesterdays? If so, why? You should be examining yourselves, ladies. We ought not to be this way.

    Notice the last half of Prov. 14:1, "...but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." Have you ever watched someone pluck a chicken? It's not done all at once. It's an arduous process at best, feather by feather. The chicken's skin doesn't appear all at once - but bit by bit, the skin is exposed. I also thought of the blood that comes out of the pore that bore the feather. The process of plucking does not go without causing pain or shedding blood. God is so Awesome, ladies. He puts a word like plucketh into a verse so that we can glean from the visual picture it portrays! Each time the foolish woman tears down her home bit by bit, she is causing pain and shedding blood - maybe not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense.

    What do you suppose the foolish woman is doing to pluck her home down with her own hands? Noah Webster defines the foolish as:
    5. In scripture, wicked; sinful; acting without regard to the divine law and glory, or to one's own eternal happiness.
    Soooo, this foolish woman does not care for the spiritual matters of her household. I was thinking of only an unsaved woman before I meditated on this a bit more. I changed my thinking - I believe this could also be referring to a woman who is saved but not looking well to the spiritual and physical needs of her family. Her actions and testimony tear down this house.

    Wives and mothers are responsible for setting the "tone" in our homes. What kind of tone are you setting in your home? Does your family know you love the Lord? Is it evident in your walk with Him? Do they see you in the Word? Do your actions show that you are in the Word? If not, you're quenching the Holy Spirit and not bearing His fruit. Don't be like the foolish woman. Take heed from this warning in Proverbs. Don't pluck your home down with your own hands! Instead, be like the wise woman whose home is built on the Foundation of Christ and her goal is to keep adding to that foundation with her words, her testimony and her love :-D

    Dear God...
    Let my actions build my home
    Let them not be foolish but wise
    May I glorify You in all my ways
    So your Name will be lifted high!

    Day 22 - Who Will Inherit the Kingdom of Heaven

    Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

    Today’s verse:

    “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

    Verse 9 starts listing the various sins the unrighteous do which will prevent them from getting into heaven. The Apostle Paul says that we should not be deceived. In other words, don’t lie to yourself or try to convince yourself otherwise. NONE of the sins listed in these three verses will be allowed in heaven. Let’s look at them:

    • Fornicators – Sex with unmarried person(s)
    • Idolaters – We seem to think of idolatry as worshipping an idol, which it does mean. However, the Bible says it can be loving something/someone MORE than God. See "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:" (Col 3:5)
    • Adulterers – Sex with someone other than your spouse
    • Effeminate – The dictionary defines it as; 1. Having the qualities of the female sex; soft or delicate to an unmanly degree; tender; womanish; voluptuous.
    • Abusers of themselves with mankind – The Greek word for mankind here means Sodomite or homosexual.
    • Thieves – One who steals
    • Covetous – One who is constantly wanting something someone else has
    • Drunkards – One who drinks to get inebriated
    • Revilers – One who is abusive, One who scoffs, insults, censures or reproaches with contemptuous language
    • Extortioners - Given to plunder; disposed or accustomed to seize by violence; seizing by force; as a rapacious enemy.


    The Apostle John added a few more sins that would not be allowed into heaven: "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:27)

    WOW! Do these definitions not speak volumes to you? If this be so, then NO ONE can get into heaven. Now you’re getting it! No one CAN get into heaven by his or her own merits. As you can see, we are all sinners. Each of us have done one of these at one time or another. But notice verse 11 of 1 Corinthians. 6. There is hope! God states that those that are washed and sanctified through Jesus Christ have had their sins washed away. They no longer have to worry!! Also, Revelation 21:27 says that these same people whose sins are washed away by Jesus Christ have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!!!

    Dear God…
    Your Word makes it perfectly clear
    Not one sin will go unpunished
    You say our sins are as filthy rags
    And our hearts are completely tarnished

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    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Friendship

    Prov. 22:24, "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:"

    Only twice in my spiritual life have I had to remove myself from a friendship because that person was the angry person spoken of in Prov. 22:24. Neither time was pleasant. In fact, both times caused me much grief and inner turmoil. This morning, I am saddened because I have had to do this. The sad thing is that this person will never know the pain and turmoil caused by their actions unless the Holy Spirit is allowed to work in their life.

    I don't believe Prov. 22:24 is telling us to stop a friendship with someone because they have gotten angry every once in a while. However, I do believe that the Lord is speaking of people who have that constant and consistent display of anger and bad attitude. We all know people like this. Nothing ever goes their way - they see the bad in most everything - their mouths get them into much trouble and their words show exactly where their hearts are.
    ...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Mat 12:34b) But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (Mat 15:18) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luk 6:45)
    God is clear when He tells us that we are not to make friends with an angry person. Why do you think that is? Haven't you ever been around "Mr. Negativity" for a few hours and started thinking or feeling the same way? I know I have. It is far worse being around someone who is constantly angry and cannot control their temper. Friendship is a close relationship with someone - more than just a casual acquaintance. A friendship involves sometimes daily contact and interaction.

    It is a sad state of affairs when you cannot even speak to this person because their angry outbursts take over. It is like a childish temper tantrum. Nor will this person accept admonition - they do not want to see their sin. In fact, in their eyes, they see you as the "bad guy"! They are quick to call you self-righteous for bringing their sin to light. No matter how much Scripture you give this person, their venom continues to spew forth.

    One thing I have learned, this person is not a happy person. You become who you hang out with. We preach this to our children - our parents preached it to us. The Lord admonishes us in Prov. 22:24 not to hang out with an angry person. We must heed this warning from the Lord. Otherwise, we will become just like them. How can we be a help to others if we allow ourselves to be sucked into a life of anger and discontentment? We sin against God when we display anger and discontentment. This does not display His Spirit in our lives - whose fruit we should be displaying.

    An angry person also is very prideful - they cannot be taught or admonished because they do no wrong in their eyes. But the Lord has much to say about the prideful. I found it interesting that in these two verses in Proverbs, both referenced wisdom coming from the lowly and well advised. The angry person doesn't follow this route at all. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. (Pro 11:2) Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. (Pro 13:10)

    As I heal my broken heart over this cessation of fellowship, I find great comfort in knowing that I'm being obedient to my Heavenly Father. Daily must we put to death the natural man and the pain that this natural man brings. Daily must we set our sights on the Lord, His Word and go with confidence that He will bring us through each trial.

    Dear God...
    Although my heart is broken
    You've reminded me that You
    Are always there for comfort
    With much mercy given too

    Day 21 - Repent and Believe

    Reading: Mark 1:15

    Today’s verse:

    “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

    There are two simple commands from Jesus in this verse. Repent and believe. Two very simple words but packed with punch. One cannot be done without the other. You can repent from your sin but not believe on the saving power of Jesus Christ. This will make you a good religious person – but there’s no gaining entrance to heaven with repentance alone because this would be a “work” on your part. Remember, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:9-9)

    Or, you could just believe on Jesus Christ and not repent. I’m afraid you’re not in any better shape. There are many so-called “born-again” Christians out there who say they have been saved by the Blood of the Lamb but their lives have not changed whatsoever. They still live the same way, watch the same movies, get drunk with the same old friends, listen to the same old music, go to the same dead church, and never read their Bibles. Remember, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) Those old things you use to love to do should now begin to appear to you as sin. You should be “hearing” those curse words now. You should be seeing that taking those paper clips from work is stealing now. You should be able to read your Bible and understand it now. You should be noticing that the message at church is a dead message and not filled with the power from the Bible. You should be hungering to be around other Christians. These things come naturally to the born-again believer.

    Picture this : Your baby is born and he starts to cry. Moments later, that cry becomes hysterical. There is no soothing your baby until he is brought to the mother’s breast so he can drink the milk that is awaiting him. God’s Word is our milk. It awaits us as new born-again believers. It is our food and we should crave it and not settle unless we get it. Why? So we can grow as Christians. This Christian walk is not one that comes automatically. We just don’t “become” spiritual. We need to learn just as a baby learns to roll over, to crawl, to walk and then to run. So must we grow as Christians in like manner. Do you hunger for the bible? Dear one, if you are not born again, you surely are not hungering for the Word of God. In fact, you will want to run from it because it exposes your sin.

    Peter said that we should desire the Bible as new babies. "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" (1 Peter 2:2)

    Dear God…
    I accept your gift with child like faith
    I don’t want to complicate Your plan
    With true repentance I seek Your face
    And leave my soul in the Master’s Hand

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    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Wise and Discrete

    Prov. 3:21-23 "My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble."

    The Lord warns us not to allow the Word (and Its wisdom) to depart from our eyes. Our eyes rest on millions of images throughout the course of just one day. In those millions of images, how many of them make up the Word of God? The "theme" of the ruling images will be the "theme" in which the path of your life will go, my friend.

    I love Noah Webster's definition of discretion:
    1. Prudence, or knowledge and prudence; that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding ones own conduct. "A good man--will guide his affairs with discretion. Psa 112."
    Proverbs 3:21-23 encourages us to keep sound wisdom and discretion. Wow! When we are in the Word of God and keeping it before our eyes, we have the capability of keeping sound wisdom and discretion. If every believer exercised discretion in their own lives, they would be very quick to monitor their own conduct. How many times have we seen a Christian with no discretion? They do not monitor their own conduct. In fact, they are busy monitoring the conduct of others instead. That is not what discretion is.

    The Christian who exercises sound wisdom and discretion lives by Matthew 7:3, "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? The Word of God provides abundance in teaching to the one who desires growth in the Spirit. A Christian who wants to be yielding to the Spirit is one who is wise. I also think of this as the meek and quiet spirit spoken of in 1 Peter 3:4 "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." According to Noah Webster, meekness means:
    1. Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.
    It is the wise Christian who practices meekness. It is the wise Christian who practices discretion. The Lord tells us that if we practice these things, we will receive grace, we will walk safely and we will not stumble. What does this mean that we will have grace to our necks? Noah says grace means?
    1. Favor; good will; kindness; disposition to oblige another; as a grant made as an act of grace.
    The neck turns the head in the direction the head should go. Oh my! What a beautiful picture of the saint who practices sound wisdom and discretion! Here's what the Christian looks like:
    • Wise
    • Discrete
    • Gracious
    • Sure footed
    • Mild tempered
    • Soft
    • Gentle
    • Not easily provoked or irritated
    • Doesn't judge others before judging himself

    This definitely portrays the beautiful fruit of the Spirit doesn't it? Remember that fruit? It is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance! Won't we strive to be alive in the Lord instead of dead? Being alive in the Lord is growing and continuing to grow in Him. If we are dead, we are not doing any growing at all... in fact, we are decomposing. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (2Co 2:15)

    Are we a sweet savour of Christ to other believers and the unsaved? Oh that we would guard our hearts, tongue and spirit against ole slewfoot and be diligent in the Word so we may be wise and discrete.

    Dear God...
    Let my eyes be fixed on You
    Never losing focus or sight
    May I keep Your Word in view
    For in You I find my delight

    Day 20 - None Are Righteous

    Reading: Romans 3:10 and Romans 3:23


    Today’s verse:

    “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10)

    Anyone who says they are a “good” person is seeing themselves through rose-colored glasses. The Bible says that there is no one that is righteous (without sin). Only God is without sin. So does this mean that your “goodness” is equivalent to that of God’s?

    Maybe I cannot convince you that you are not a “good” person. But the bible also says that everyone has sinned. Yes, including you. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Rom 3:23) The word all means everyone. The Bible does not only have one verse which proves this fact. There are many. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12) As you can see, because sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, we can also say that we have sinned because their sin nature was passed on to us. Have you ever wondered why you have to teach a child do right? You never have to teach them to lie or to disobey. It comes automatically, doesn’t it? That is because of the sin nature we adopted from Adam and Eve.

    Do you now see your sin? If not, ask God to show you. He will not deny your request. He will even show you those secret sins that you do not share with anyone and you keep hidden. … "cleanse thou me from secret faults." (Psalms 19:12b) David, the Psalmist, readily admitted he was a sinner and that he had secret sins. I can see why he was known as the apple of God’s eye. David knew he could not hide anything from God. Neither can we.

    "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?" (Psalms 139:7)

    Dear God…
    Help me to search my heart
    To reveal deeply rooted sin
    Help me to confess and forsake
    So that You may enter in

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