Showing posts with label Words. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Words. Show all posts

Monday, July 13, 2020

You Don't Say

For years medical research has been studying and discovering the impact spoken words have over an individuals health. Whether they want to admit it or not, they are agreeing with what the Bible says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (Proverbs 18:21) So, how a person perceives themselves will determine what they say. If you perceive yourself as having poor health, even if you don't, it will become so real that you will most likely live out that reality until you die. However, the opposite applies. If you speak of yourself as having excellent health, even when you don't, chances are you will live a long healthy life (remember, Proverbs 18:21) Jesus said it this way, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45)

Right now some who are reading this may be thinking that I talking about metaphysics, the power of positive thinking or some type of mysticism. No, I am talking about the confession of God's Word through faith. I am talking about believing in and agreeing with God's Word and speaking it over your body. "My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health (medicine; marginal rendering) to all their flesh." (Proverbs 4:20-22) We can say it this way, "God's Word is medicine to my entire body." Look at what the Psalmist says, "He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions." (Psalm 107:20) Did you notice something here? He sent His Word and healed them.

In Matthews gospel we see a great act of faith. However, it was not from a child of Abraham, but from a pagan. Let's look at what took place, "Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented." And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed." (Matthew 8:5-8) Look at what the centurion said to Jesus, "...only speak a word and my servant will be healed." Do you see the power that words have. Now let's look at the outcome of this event, "When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel...Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour." (Matthew 8:10, 13) This event had nothing to do with metaphysics, but faith in Christ and the power of His Word.

All to often Christians speak things that are contrary to God's Word because they have been taught or have assume things that are contrary to God's Word. This is a result of living today on their own past experiences, the experiences of someone they know or accepting the word of another even a church leader that they admire. What it comes down to is their personal perception or interpretation of God and His Word. This is due to a lack of understanding His nature, character, will, purposes and plan. This is also why many Christians believe that God lets bad things to happen to His Children (them or other Christians) even though Jesus has fully redeemed humanity and has restore him to what Adam was before the fall.

The following are some other scriptures concerning speaking words whether they be positive or negative; "You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth." 
(Proverbs 6:2) "There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. (Proverbs 12:18) "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24) "A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul." (Proverbs 18:7)

So, with that said, "Let us hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering, for He who promised is faithful". (Hebrews 10:23) PTL...

Monday, January 7, 2019

Choose Your Words

Choose your words is an expression that many parents with young children say to get their children to express what they are feeling and or trying to convey. Basically, they are asking their children "to think carefully about what you are saying, before you say something." This is true with all people not simply children. Jesus warns us, "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:37) This is a very important word for all, especially believers. Our words do three things. First, the words you speak identify you; The words you speak set the boundaries of your life; and the words you speak affect your spirit (the inward man of the heart).

If a person truly desires to know what manner of person they are, they just need to listen to the words they speak. Jesus, giving us a lesson on faith tells us, "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says." (Mark 11:23) Notice, the word "says" appears three times and the word "believes" only once. This in itself shows us not only the power of our words but the power of our faith, or our doubt in speaking things. The thing that defeats a lot of people is their double confession. One time they will confess one thing in faith, and the next time they will repudiate that confession with doubt, for instance, "By the stripes of Jesus I am healed" to "Oh well I guess its not my time to be healed."

According to the writer of Hebrews, believers are to, "...hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23) In other words, never give up. Hold on to and confess the Word of God because God is faithful! Yes, sometimes it is not easy, but we must believe "that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6) The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul to Timothy tells us to, "Fight (preserver against opposition and temptation) the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." (1 Timothy 6:12) The Bible tells us to "fight" and have a "good confession."Why? "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12)

The devil works hard at trying to "sway" believers from faith to doubt. He does this by deceiving people into making a negative, faithless confession. He knows that life and death are expressed through the words that we speak. (Proverbs 18:21) Faith confesses life, doubt confesses death. In the fight for faith, believers must fight. Not in the physical sense, but by applying faith in our confession of God's Word. Paul exhorts us to, "...stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving (laboring, making great effort) together for the faith of the gospel." (Philippians 1:27) The Holy Spirit through Jude tells us "...I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend (to struggle for with intense force) earnestly (with sincere and intense conviction) for the faith..." (Jude 3) 

As we can see, faith filled words will put us over and doubt filled words will hold us down. So, let us purpose in this new year to change the way we speak. Let us grab hold of the amazing grace of God, fight the good fight of faith, having a good confession and, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

What's on Your Mind

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul reveals to us the great difference between the old man, that is, the fallen, spiritually dead, sinful, satanic nature of man as inherited from Adam, and the new man, the recreated, new creature created in Christ with God's own divine nature. Paul admonishes the church saying, "This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:17-24)

The Apostle Paul is showing us what comes forth from the old man, that is, the flesh. In a sense, wrong thinking, produces wrong believing, which produces wrong confession, which produces wrong actions, which are all a product of the old nature. Rather than living by the old nature, the Apostle Paul tells believers to put on the new man, the new nature, "which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." The putting off and putting on requires faith in God's Word. Like Abraham, we must be fully convinced that what God said, He is able (and willing) to perform. (Romans 4:21)

Paul continues, "Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:17-32)

The attitudes of the heart and mind are to be renewed, edifying speech is to come from our mouth and our actions are not to be the works of the old man, the flesh. Believers need to pay close attention to verse 27, "nor give place to the devil." The devil cannot read minds but he hears our words and see our actions. He then lays out his deceptive game plan in hopes that the believer will act in the flesh which robs us, and grieves the Holy Spirit. Paul also tells us that the Holy Spirit has produced in our recreated spirit nine wonderful attributes to live by, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22) Of course this takes faith.

He goes on to say, "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." (Galatians 5:22-25) Notice, "those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Paul assumes that every believer understands what being crucified with Christ truly means. It means that the old man, the passions and desires of the flesh, have been executed, killed, put away. But, we need to ask ourselves, "are we walking in the Spirit or are we giving ourselves over to the passions and desires of the flesh?"

This question is easily answered if believers are honest with themselves. Are we living in the fruit of the spirit as our witness that we are living in the realm of the new man or does the flesh crop up, even on occasion, as the witness? Our gauge is not based on mans words but "every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God." We simply need to get Gods Word into our hearts and act upon what it says. Acting upon Gods Word is faith in action. Again, it is wrong thinking, wrong believing wrong speaking and wrong actions that defeat most believers, not the devil. The devil has already been defeated and the weakest believer has the authority to overpower him if he is standing on the integrity of Gods Word and his faith is in Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul tells us, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1-2) So, let us make it a daily routine to dedicate our bodies to the Lord and  renew our minds with God's Word. If our thinking is right, our believing will be right. If our believing is right then our confession will be right and if our confession is right then our actions will be right.It comes down to, what's on your mind?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Words That Prosper

The Holy Spirit spoke through Solomon some exceedingly great words of wisdom that all believers should embrace and apply to life. One of these nuggets of wisdom concerns the words that we speak. Now, if the words that we speak have no impact, then the Holy Spirit would not have given us these words of wisdom that are recorded in Proverbs. Due to believers not being mindful of this, many find themselves always struggling or are living in defeat and failure, because they speak or confess the wrong things. In fact, whether blatantly or out of ignorance they have spoken the words of the devil, of darkness, and those words hold them in bondage. Solomon tells us, "You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth." (Proverbs 6:2) 

As we can see, this is not theory, but a fact. In other words, it is a spiritual law. Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63) The Word of God is spirit and life. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, "Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it." (Ephesians 4:29 AMP)

This Scripture is a strong, direct command to every believer. Polluted language, corrupt communication out of ones mouth are things such as, gossiping, griping, murmuring, complaining, faultfinding, cursing, speaking vulgarities or any speech that is unprofitable, that is, speaking words which do not build up, edify. Simply put, our words are to minister grace to the hearers which includes ministering grace to own hearts as we ourselves speak. That's why we should say what God says about every detail of our lives. For instance, our speech is corrupt if we were to say such things as, "It seems as though everyone is sick, therefore I will probably be sick also." God's Word tells us, "And the inhabitant will not say, “I am sick..." (Isaiah 33:24)

Another example of this comes from doubting God's Word. You may find yourself saying, "God is withholding something from me," when God's Word says, "For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold f
rom those who walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11) Jesus said, "...Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34) Therefore, whatever is in the heart will come forth through the mouth. This is one of the reasons why believers must be filled with God's Word. It needs to be in our heart, so it comes to the forefront in every situation, in every conversation. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter says, "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever." (1 Peter 4:11)  

As believers let the Word of God take hold of their lives, the Holy Spirit will inspire your words. He
will lead you to speak words of health, prosperity, and power, instead of sickness, financial struggles and weakness. The Apostle Paul tells us, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 3:16-17) When God's Word dwells in you richly, you will speak His Word in the face of all circumstances and or situations. 

With that said, here are a few things to consider removing from our speech... 
  • "I can't." For God's Word says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) 
  • "I have lack." For God's Word says, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) 
  • "I am fearful." For God's Word says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) 
  • "I do not have faith." For God's Word says, "...God has dealt to each one a measure of faith." (Romans 12:3)  
  • "I am weak." For God's Word says, "...The Lord is the strength of my life..." (Psalm 27:1)  
  • "I am defeated." For God's word says, "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ..." (2 Corinthians 2:14) 
  • "I lack of wisdom." For God's Word says, "But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God..." (1 Corinthians 1:30) 
  • "I am sick." For God's Word says, " His stripes I am healed." (1 Peter 2:24) 
  • "I am worried." For God's Word says, "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7) 
  • I am unworthy." For God's Word says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus..." (Romans 8:1) 
  • "I am just a sinner saved by grace." For God's Word says, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21
Solomon also tells us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (Proverbs 18:21) Therefore, because words are so powerful, the very words we speak program our spirit, that is, our heart, either to success or failure, victory or defeat. Our words carry either faith, or fear, and, like it was in creation, our words will produce after their kind. (Genesis 1:11-12, 20-25) With Jesus as our greatest example, believers can, like Him, overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. How? Here is something that we can take away and apply to our daily lives as we consider the life of Jesus on earth as the Son of Man. He never prayed or spoke the problem. He prayed and spoke the desired result, the solution, what God said or it is written. (Matthew 4:1-11; John 5:19, 8:28, 12:49)     

So, let us train ourselves to imitate our Lord (Ephesians 5:1) and speak His Word in every circumstance or situation that we may face. In doing so, we impart grace to the hearer and also to ourselves. The Holy Spirit through the Prophet tells us, "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you...

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Right Words

When looking at the life of Jesus on earth as the Son of Man, we see that He only spoke the words that He heard from the Father. (John 8:28, 12:49) We see the power of His words through His preaching and teaching (Matthew 7:29); through healing the sick and diseased (Matthew 8:8); and casting out demons and evil spirits (Matthew 8:16). Simply put, Jesus used the Father's Words to do the supernatural in the same way that all things came to be in the beginning, "Then God said...and it was so..." (Genesis 1:3, 6-7, 11, 14-15, 20, 24, 26, 29-30).

After His resurrection, and moments before Jesus ascended to heaven to take His place at the right hand of the Father, He gave His disciples some instructions, "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen" (Mark 16:17-20)  

A closer look at His words reveal that He was basically telling the disciples to "speak" God's Word in His name and that He would confirm it "through the accompanying signs." We also see this revealed in the lives of the seventy (seventy two in other manuscripts) upon their return to Jesus after He sent them out, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." (Luke 10:19) The Apostles Peter also "spoke" the name of Jesus over a man who was born lame and was instantly healed. (Acts 3:1-10) These things were accomplished through words. This is important for believers to fully comprehend and act upon, because words are just that powerful.

Also, along these lines we must recognize that there are only two sources from which words originate. They are from God, His Word, or they are the words of the world, which are actually the words of the devil. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle John reveals this from the reality of people being children of one of two families, "In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest..." (1 John 3:10) So, we can clearly see that our words will come from one of two sources.

When we think about being a believer, we must understand that Jesus planned that the believers life in Him should not be kept to themselves, but to be given to the world through God's Word. Testifiers, witnesses and confessors have been the great leaders in the revolutionary life that Jesus gave to the world. The major problem that faces every believer is to know what words are to be spoken or confessed. The believers confession centers around several things: First, is what God in Christ has accomplished for us; Second, what God through His Word and the Holy Spirit, has worked and continues to work in us; Third, what we are to the Father in Christ; Fourth, what God can do through us by us speaking His Word.

We also must keep in mind, no one can speak, confess or witness, about things that they do not know. Naturally, every person can open their mouth and have words come out, but what is meant by this is, in a court of law, it is what you have seen and heard, what you know, that counts. In the same way, it is what you know personally about Jesus Christ as well as, who and what you are in Christ that counts. It is unfortunate how few believers dare to confess to the world what the Word declares that they are in Christ. Take this scripture for instance,  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

What a revolutionary thing it would be for the church to make a confession like this. What a stir it would make in the church today for believers to believe and confess that they are absolutely redeemed, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,." (Ephesians 1:7-9) Just these few scriptures spoken from the lips of faith would mean that Satan's dominion has been broken, that he lost his dominion over the life of every believer. The old habits can no longer lord it over you, because you are a new creation created in Christ.

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, "And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak." (2 Corinthians 4:13) This passage is found in Psalm 116:10. When the psalmist uttered these words, he was experiencing great afflicted. In his affliction he spoke to God; he spoke of his confidence in him; he proclaimed his reliance on him; and his having spoken in this manner was the result of his belief, or of his putting confidence in God. Paul, in quoting this, was in circumstances of trial and affliction similar to the psalmist. Speaking or confessing God's Word, "we also believe and therefore speak", will always grow faith in the believer. However, on the other hand, speaking words contrary to God Word, will always erode faith.

So, as we face the trials that may come in this life, "Let us hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23) Let us be mindful of every word that proceeds out of our mouths, for as the Holy Spirit spoke through Solomon, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (Proverbs 18:21) Let us speak the Word of God through the lips of faith and love to ourselves, to one another and to the world, which will loose the power of God and bind the powers of darkness.

Monday, September 19, 2016

What Have You Heard

The word "percolate" means to, "filter gradually through a porous surface or substance." Looking at the first part of this definition, "filter gradually through" we can, in a sense, apply this to the words that we hear and their affect on us. For instance, if a person grows up in a household where negative speech is common, then all the negativity that is heard will eventually "filter gradually through" and effect that person in some way, most likely in an adverse way. In the same manner, if a person grows up in a household where positive speech is common, this also will "filter gradually through" but will have a positive effect upon the hearer. This is to show us just how powerful words are, or can be.

Jesus warns us, in two important ways concerning words. First He say, "Take heed what you hear." (Mark 4:24) Take heed to what you hear, tells us, that we are to be selective, that is, use caution to what we hear. Why? The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul warns, "that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting." (Ephesians 4:14) Children (new believers) are very impressionable and can be drawn into various church doctrines that are contrary to the unadulterated Word of God, which can "filter gradually through" and cause them to remain, "as to babes in Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:1) or as Paul also says, "Carnal and behaving like unsaved people." (1 Corinthians 3:3) It also implies, that we should make good use of every opportunity to learn. If we consider what we hear and make improvements or advancements in God's Kingdom, we shall be well rewarded. (Mark 4:24-25)  

We see a great example of this, "When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:13-14) Notice, the report of His disciples, "some say...others say." They were reporting what they had heard. But was what they heard true? No! We are not sure as to whether they believed these reports or not, but one thing is certain, out of the twelve disciples only one heard and spoke the truth, "Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16) How do we know that Peter heard and spoke truth? Jesus replies, "for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 16:17) It can be very easy to hear and speak, even when what we have heard is not the truth, which leads us to the next statement that Jesus made concerning words. Jesus also warns, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37) 

Our words can either hold us in bondage and in constant defeat or they will put us over and we will live in victory. It is simply our choice. Jesus tells us, "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says." (Mark 11:23) Basically, we can say what we have, problems, troubles, lack or put this verse into practice and have what we say, the promises of God. Of course to have what we say must be spoken with faith and it must be in line with God's Word. The simple truth is, as long as we say what we have, we will have exactly that. Saying what we have will produce nothing more than what has been said. Unfortunately, many believe fall short of what God has for them as they serve Him, due to hearing and speaking the wrong things.  

Believers must train themselves in these two realm. We are to take heed to what we hear and take heed to what we say, because words are that powerful. We can do this by studying the life of Jesus. In doing so, we will find some very important facts that caused Him to overcome the world, the flesh and Satan. He spent much of His time in prayer, (Luke 5:16); He never prayed the problem. He always prayed the answer. He never spoke idle words. He only spoke what God said, (John 12:49); He only and always spoke the desired results, God's will, (John 5:30); He used the written Word to defeat the devil, (Matthew 4;1-11) If we will become imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1) and speak the things that God said, we will rise to a new level of faith (Romans 1:17) and walk in the same level of life that Jesus walked in as the Son of Man. (John 14:12). So, let the Word of God percolate, filter gradually, through our hearts and mines, always "speaking the truth in love and grow up into all things in Christ." (Ephesians 4:15)  May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ rule in our hearts...

Monday, January 19, 2015

What's the Word

Did you ever notice that when you are around a person or group of people who talk negative, how it seems to weigh on you? For the most part, negative speech comes from people whose heart, their most inner person, has been either hurt or has been inundated most of their life with negative speech from those around them. Jesus tells us, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45)

Negative speech usually comes in three forms, blaming, murmuring and complaining. People who continuously play the "Blame Game" blame everyone else for the problems in life that they experience. Basically, one goes through life not taking responsibility for anything. All they do is blame someone or something. This certainly is nothing new. As a matter of fact, the blame game started in the Garden of Eden immediately after the fall of man. "Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:9-13) Notice that the Adam blamed the woman and God and the woman blamed the serpent.

Murmuring is very similar to complaining. The difference is that one who murmurs speaks their distress, displeasure or discontentment in a low voice so that they are the only one that can hear clearly, whereas one who complains voices their distress, displeasure or discontentment loud and clear. The children of Israel were notorious for their murmuring and complaining against God, especially His way of doing things. "Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord..." (Numbers 11:1) "And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron..." (Numbers 14:2)

In the incidences shown above, we see that blaming, murmuring and complaining comes with consequences. Solomon tells us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (Proverbs 18:21) For Adam and the woman, they lost their perfect and pure standing before God; were banished from the Garden; lost their spiritual dominion to their soul (mind, will and emotions); became spiritually dead and eventually died physically. (Genesis 3) For Israel, they took themselves out from Gods provision, protection and blessings and became prey for their enemies, both natural and spiritual, to have their way with them. (Deuteronomy 28)

It is very important that believers stand watch over their tongue for the same reason. Our words will either takes us captive, "You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth" (Proverbs 6:2) "A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul." (Proverbs 18:7) or they will put us over, "A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth," (Proverbs 12:14) "He who guards his mouth preserves his life" (Proverbs 13:3) "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit." (Proverbs 15:4) As we can see, negative speech has serious consequences whereas wholesome speak releases blessings.

The Apostle Peter tells us, "Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing" (1 Peter 3:8-9) Unfortunately, many believers never receive the blessings (promises) of God due their their constant blaming, murmuring and complaining. If you find yourself in the position of always looking at something or someone to blame, always murmuring and or complaining due to your distress, displeasure or discontentment, then it is time for you to have heart surgery. Not with a surgeons scalpel, but with the Word of God.

The Bible tells us, "He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions." (Psalm 107:20)  "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) God's Word is so powerful that it heals the heart by revealing to us the things that are of the mind, will and emotions, which have not been born again, and the spirit, which has been recreated in the image of God in righteousness and true holiness. So. let the Word of God rule and reign in our heart so that we no longer "Let corrupt words proceed out of our mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29) May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all...        

Monday, May 5, 2014

Do You Want Some Figs?

"Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, Jesus was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, "Let no one eat fruit from you ever again. And His disciples heard it." (Mark 11:12-14) 

 Further into this situation as recorded in Mark 11:21, Peter says,  "...Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away."  The word "cursed," here does not imply that Jesus was angry or disappointment or that He spoke with malice. It means, devoting to destruction; causing to wither away. It has been commonly thought that Jesus spoke these words in reference to the destruction or the sudden withering away of the Jewish people. To the eye the fig tree full of leaves looked good. In a similar way, the Jews, especially the religious leaders, looked good on the outside but, as Jesus said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.." (Matthew 23:27-28) 
Both the fig tree and the Jews were equally barren and as the fig tree was destroyed or withered, so would the Jewish people be. Although this is a good illustration of the destruction of the Jewish people, and Jerusalem did fall in 70 AD, there is no evidence that Jesus intended it to be so. Without scriptural evidence of meaning such, it becomes just a good illustration.

As we continue looking at this incident we see the heart of the matter, "Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away. So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:20-24) The lesson that we should take away from this is not only a lesson on faith, but also the power of our words.

The words that we speak have greater affect than what we believe. Many times we have neutralized our faith due to our words. "You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth." (Proverbs 6:2) When we look closely at the ministry of Jesus we will discover why He had such great faith. It's because He only spoke that which He heard the Father say. "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak." (John 12:49-50)

Jesus only spoke the Father's Words. When He did, it caused faith to well up and be released. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." ( Romans 10:17) Notice that this says, "faith comes by hearing" not reading the Word of God quietly. God told Joshua, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." (Joshua 1:8-9) Notice the specifics of God's Word to Joshua, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night." In other words, "Keep saying my Word and as you hear, meditate on it. This also was to be a continuous event, "day and night."

Although Jesus tells us, "...the words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63)  does not means that people believe or understand what He is saying. What we need to be certain of is, it is impossible to get faith from God's Word if we do not have faith in God's Word. As Paul tells us, faith comes by hearing God's Word. As we audibly speak God's Word, it is absorbed by our recreated spirit and in turn renews our mind. Notice what Jesus tells us in Mark 11:23. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. The words "say" or "says" appears three time and the word believe only once. This again points out the importance of our words.

Some people worry continually which causes them to think wrong things which in turn cause them to speak wrong things. They constantly think and talk doubt and unbelief. You will never build up your faith doing this. The more you talk about the problems, the bigger the problem seems to be. The Apostle Paul tells us, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things." (Philippians 4:8-9) So if things are not true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous or praiseworthy, then you shouldn't be thinking about it, because sooner or later the wrong things will come forth from your mouth. Instead, let us take seriously the words that Solomon spoke, "My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh." (Proverbs 4:20-22)  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sticks and Stones

After doing a little research I found that  the "old adage," "sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me" is an English language children's rhyme. It was to persuade a child who was a victim of name calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm. It is reported to have appeared in "The Christian Recorder" of March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Although it is excellent advice to ignore the taunt of name calling, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm the truth is, words are more powerful than sticks and stones.

Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can crush the heart, "How long will you torment my soul, and break me in pieces with words?" (Job 19:2) Few people realize that the very words that we speak can torment our soul and imprison us. It is the words that we speak that will build power or weakness in us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (Proverbs 18:21) We will eat the fruit of our spoken words. Our mind may cast away the unkind words that are spoken, but they are absorbed in your spirit. We confess what we believe and what we confess is what dominates our inner being. If we talk or confess sickness, it's because we believe in sickness. If we talk weakness and failure, it's because we believe weakness and failure. If we confess lack in any area of life, it's because we believe in lack. When we realize that we will never rise above what we confess, we are getting to the place where God can really begin to use us.

"Let us hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23) Our confession is the Word of God. His Word cannot be broken because God is faithful. What He said is true. What He said, He will do, because He cannot lie, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19) When we doubt His Word it simply means that we do not trust Him. Our confidence may be in our abilities. It may be in medicine. It may be in highly educated people, but whatever our confidence is in, if it contradicts the Word of God, then it neutralizes faith. It causes our prayers to be powerless. It will bring us into bondage and we may find ourselves blaming God for something that He had nothing to do with.

The Bible tells us, "For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7) Every person who walks by faith will be tested. However, testing does not come from the Father, "Let no one say when he is tempted (Tested), I am tempted (Tested) by God; for God cannot be tempted (Tested) by evil, nor does He Himself tempt (Test) anyone." (James 1:13) Testing come from our adversary. The devil is going to test  you in every way he can for one reason. He knows the day that you become strong enough to resist all of his tests and deceptions, you become dangerous to him. When believers come to the place where they, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6) the adversary is defeated in your life.

My prayer for you is that your confidence in the integrity of God's Word be strengthened to make you know that you know, "that no Word from God is without power." God told Jeremiah, "I watch over my Word to perform it." (Jeremiah 1:12) Your confidence in the Word of God and holding fast to your confession of faith in the face of every assault of the enemy will put him to flight, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)