“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Pr 18:21 NKJV Your words either work for you or against you. The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” The old saying, “You’ll eat your words,” is more than a meaningless cliché, it’s the truth! Jeremiah the prophet writes, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer 15:16 NKJV). The Psalmist writes, “They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses (worries). He sent His word and healed them” (Ps 107:19-20 NKJV). God’s Word is the medicine that heals worry. So what God has to say about the issue must be what you have to say about it too; otherwise you’re contradicting Him and disconnecting yourself from the source of all blessing. If you’re wise, you will surround yourself with like-minded people who speak God’s Word into your life, and limit your time with those who have no interest in it. If you want to grow the right kind of fruit, you must have the right climate. And the words you speak (and listen to) determine the climate of your life, the direction in which it goes, and the results you get. There is no “secret” to success. The Bible says that when you learn to “meditate day and night” in God’s Word, you “will prosper in all you do” (See Ps 1:1-3). So the answer to your worries is in God’s Word!
Published on Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 6:18 AM MDT
"Why should we sit here waiting to die?” 2Ki 7:3 NLT Unless you’re willing to take risks you won’t succeed in life. Yes, there’s a time for playing it safe. But when caution becomes a lifestyle, you get bogged down in mediocrity and failure while life passes you by. When you finish praying, searching the Scriptures and listening to godly counsel—you’ve got to step out in faith. Four lepers sat outside the famine-stricken city of Samaria. They considered their situation. “We’re starving to death. There’s food in the city. Enemy soldiers are in the city. We can play it safe, sit here and die. Or go into the city and see whether they feed us or kill us!” They knew their worst option was playing it safe and doing nothing. So what happened? They were saved by taking a step of faith. Now, your risks may be less dramatic, but unless you take them you’ll never fulfill your God-given assignment in life. The Bible says, “Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them” (Ecc 10:8-9 NIV). By trying to avoid falls, bites, injuries, danger, etc., you miss out on life’s opportunities. Walking by faith means: (1) Accepting worthwhile risks. You’ve got to go out on a limb, for that’s where the fruit is. (2) Preparing wisely for your risks. God rewards excellence. “Using a dull axe requires great strength, so sharpen the blade…That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed” (v. 10 NLT). So go ahead, step out in faith!
Published on Sunday, May 19, 2013 @ 8:39 AM MDT
“Let us not grow weary while doing good.” Gal 6:9 NKJV Fatigue: Remember the old saying, “You can’t burn the candle at both ends”? Today we’ve gone from candle power to atomic power, and few of us pay heed to that old saying anymore. We want bigger homes, fancier cars and more exotic vacations, etc. So we start earlier, work harder, and finish later. Then we stagger home and fall asleep in front of the television, worn out and feeling guilty about spending so little time with our family. We forget that God designed us to need one work-free day a week for rest and spiritual renewal (See Ex 20:8-11). As a result, fatigue saps our creative energy, distorts our outlook, diminishes our joy, erodes our confidence and drains us spiritually. Elijah is a great example of this. Single-handedly he defeated the prophets of Baal (See 1Ki 18). In answer to his prayer, God sent fire from heaven that consumed the altar and turned Israel back to God. It was a spectacular victory, yet on the heels of it he got so down that he actually asked God to take his life. Now that’s a major league downer! So what did God do? Like any good doctor, He diagnosed the man’s problem and prescribed three things: proper diet, adequate rest, and a good assistant: Elisha. Many of us who love what we work at, tend to get out of balance. We have no boundaries so we risk burning out. We “grow weary while doing good.” What’s the answer? “He restores my soul” (Ps 23:3 NKJV). The word “restores” has two parts: “rest” and “store.” Relax physically, and replenish spiritually. That’s what to do when you feel down!
Published on Saturday, May 18, 2013 @ 8:16 AM MDT
“We will stand in your presence…cry out to you…and you will hear us and save us.” 2Ch 20:9 NIV A parishioner asked his pastor, “Do you ever feel down?” “Sure,” he responded. “What do you do about it?” the parishioner said. “I get up again. Being down isn’t my problem—staying down is. I’m either up, or I’m getting up. I’ve learned not to park in between.” Although feeling down is universal, sociologists warn us to guard against its two most common causes: fear and fatigue. Let’s look at them: Fear: When Edomite armies marched against Israel’s king, fear gripped him and his nation. Feeling powerless, they feared losing their God-given land and possessions. If the stress of the last few years has left you feeling fearful, do what Israel’s king did. He turned to God and prayed: “Whenever we are faced with any calamity…we can…stand in your presence…We can cry out to you…and you will hear us and rescue us” (v. 9 NLT). Don’t let fear cause you to abandon your hope and your vision. Instead, stand in God’s presence, cry out to Him, and watch Him rescue you. Throughout the Old Testament God reminded Israel of His track record of goodness. He wanted them to remember it and take courage. But sometimes fear would cloud their memory and they’d begin to doubt. Sound familiar? So He told them, “Do not be…discouraged…the battle is not yours, but [mine]” (v. 15 NIV). In other words, “You don’t have to defeat the foe, that’s My job. I’m in charge; trust Me to work it out.” So remember Who’s in control of your circumstances today. Stand in His presence; believe His promise!
Published on Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 7:01 AM MDT
“If you know these things…do them.” Jn 13:17 NKJV The Bible says, “Faith without works is dead” (Jas 2:20). Certain prayers only get answered when you take action. When the woman with the issue of blood took the initiative, pressed through the crowd and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, He told her, “You took a risk of faith…now you’re well” (Mt 9:22 TM). And on another occasion we read, “As He entered a certain village, there met Him ten…lepers…they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ So…He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests’” (Lk 17:12-14 NKJV). According to Jewish law, an unclean person discovered in the vicinity of the temple could be stoned to death. So by following Jesus’ instructions these guys were literally putting their lives on the line. But they did it, and “as they went they were cleansed” (v. 14 NKJV). Jesus said, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” Your decisions and actions are based on what you believe. One teacher writes: “Anybody can believe sitting in church, or when all is right in their life. But when you get outside, you find out what you’ve really got. Healing power was obviously available, and these men believed Jesus could heal them. That’s why they came to him in the first place. They didn’t doubt His ability…The key was, as soon as they did what Jesus told them they were healed.” So the word for you today is: Put your faith into action.
Published on Thursday, May 16, 2013 @ 9:37 AM MDT