Word of the Day

Speak Wisely

Proverb 13: 2 – 3               NIV

From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence. Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

This is right in the middle of many of the things I am thinking about and meditating on right now. If you are a journaler, this verse might make for an interesting question to take to the Father and, I would love to hear what He says to you if you journal it.

As a whole, I think we have failed to grasp how powerful, significant and effective our words are. Preachers have been telling us for years that there is power in our words, for good or for ill. For that matter, I remember PMA speakers and authors telling us forty years ago that our mouths would direct our success.

Our health is in our words, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverb 18: 21). Our financial well-being is in our words, and lest I recite every area impacted by the words we speak, shall we just accept that every facet of life reflects the words we have spoken?

I have written on this topic many times and yet I have not fully grasped this principle myself. Upon the occasion of a previous Word of the Day on this subject, one of my friends commented that we need to hear this every week if not every day. It is that important and that easily lost.

It is our words which bind and loose the powers of heaven. Angels will either be loosed into your life or bound by what you say. In like manner, you can give Satan’s imps permission to tamper with your life by those words. The spirit realm responds to what you say. You have authority over your life but how are you using it? Adam and Eve had authority too.

Your body is listening to what you say too. So is your mind. If you say you are old, infirm, or that your body is going to fall apart at some specified age, then you are right. If, however, you say that you intend to be as strong as Moses, Joshua and Caleb until you move to heaven, then that is the truth you will live. If you are speaking nourishing words to your mind, your mind will respond. If you continually spew language of senior moments and confusion, then you are going to talk yourself right into senility.

Wherever you are right now is the result of the words you spoke, or even the good words you didn’t speak, in the past. The good news is that you can change course right now. You can reprogram your body and your mind in the next few moments. What would you like your body to believe? What do you say about your mind? It is your choice. Choose and speak wisely.

Pride, Advice and Wisdom

Proverb 13: 10               NIV

Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

Among the unpopular topics of the day, this must be one. We have become a proud, arrogant people who value our own opinions above all others and rarely will lower ourselves to receive advice from anyone, even God. We don’t inquire of the Lord because we are smart enough ourselves. Hasn’t God given us wisdom? He has given us brains for a reason, right?

I have observed us become smarter than our doctors, smarter than our lawyers and smarter than our pastors. While no one is perfect and no one except the Spirit has all the answers, surely some people know better than we on some subjects. We have become so prideful that we do not wish to hear advice or even teaching. Learning should be a lifelong process. I heard it said one time that as soon as you stop learning, you die. The point is not that you die physically but rather the person within you begins to decay. How shall we continue to learn when we are unwilling to bow to the expertise of another? Even though the Bible is packed with the wisdom of God, Christians don’t value it very highly. We certainly are not clawing for wisdom. We worship the Bible itself but not the content.

We don’t want to be told what to do, we don’t want to be under the authority of another. To listen to the counsel of another is to raise them above us, and that we will not have. I think, “God, save me from myself,” but perhaps what I should pray is, “Father, save me from my pride.” How do we change this tendency in ourselves, much less in our culture? If we do not humbly seek our God, then how will we be able to receive the wisdom He gives others for us? We talk often about our cultural woes and bemoan how our nations are becoming less godly, but I think people have other things in mind when they decry the current state of the culture. This issue, though, is more dangerous to the fabric of our culture than some of the things people would cite. We need to understand which issues are merely symptoms and which are causes. Pride would seem to be a root cause. In fact, I believe it is embodied in the Ten Commandments in which God told us to have no gods, no idols before Him. Our arrogance lifts us up above God which is the original sin. Satan thought he was as smart as God and his insolence shook heaven. God cast him and all of his cronies out because of his insolence. Then man was silly enough to listen to the devil and elevate himself to godlike status. That is what caused man to eat of the forbidden tree.

Pride certainly does breed quarrels. It won’t allow us to listen to anyone’s thoughts so each person vies for the floor which causes friction. Wisdom awaits those who enable themselves to receive instruction. The question, though, is how to we train our egos to allow advice? What is needful? Perhaps we should throw ourselves at the feet of Christ and ask his advice?

Wisdom is for those who take advice. Therefore, seek wisdom. Inquire of God but also allow yourself to be led by those who have gone before you. If you don’t have anyone who knows more than you, you need some new friends. There is guidance available for those who will humble themselves. I pray that we all can learn this valuable life lesson.  Please think about, or even meditate on, today’s verse and email us with your thoughts.  What can we do to right this ship?  Thank you.

How Long?

Joshua 18: 3

So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?

God had already given the land to the Israelites. They had only to take possession of it. What held them up? Why did they delay?

The question applies to us as well. What land has the Father already given you that you are not taking possession of? I imagine that we delay for the same reasons as the Israelites. Perhaps fear constrains us. Could it be that we are not certain of God’s word or confident in His support? How are we to know that He is with us? Sure, the Bible tells us time and again that He is with us even until the end of the age and that He will never forsake us but those are words. It is when we have the experience that God’s Word is truth rather than simply a belief that His Word is reliable, that we find the courage to forge ahead into the land.

The land God has given us all is strength, courage, stamina, health, financial well-being, friends, family, redemption, spiritual gifts, faith and more. Anything promised in the Bible is yours. Beyond these things, though, there is something which God has or is speaking specifically to you, a land He wishes to lead you into. Perhaps there is a job opportunity or a position in your church that He has opened for you. In all promotion, there is a tremendous risk. Sometimes you are so aware of the risk that you fail to grasp the opportunity.

Wherever God is leading you, no matter how risky or frightening, that is the land of opportunity. Did you know that two and a half of the Israelite tribes stayed on the eastern side of the Jordan? They never crossed over into the promised land, the land flowing with milk and honey. That is so amazing. It staggers the mind. Don’t let this be you. Take the land. Whatever God has promised, wherever He is leading, that is the land of promise and just as He did Israel, He has empowered you to walk the land victoriously.

Too many of us are living below God’s intention for us. We are not walking in His will which is life in the blessing. I declare that you are not of the tribe of Reuben, Gad or the half tribe of Manasseh. You are the tribe of Judah with Jesus. He has already won all the territory God promised. Now, go in and stake claim to your inheritance. Do not leave it to the locusts and wild animals. It is bought and paid for. Go in! Take what belongs to you. Seek God’s will and go boldly where the Spirit leads.

Never Give Up

Luke 18: 1

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

The word of the Lord to you today is that you should not give up. Jesus has sent you this word of encouragement so that you will know that God hears your pleas.

You can go to Luke, chapter 18 and read the parable but the essence is that this parable is about justice and prayer. Jesus is teaching us to be persistent in prayer. Wait a minute, you say, Mark 11: 24 tells us that when we pray we should believe we have already received our petition and it shall be granted us. Why then should I continue in prayer when the Father has already heard my request and granted it? Good question.

Some prayers actually take importuning, or persistence. Do you remember what happened to Daniel when sought the understanding of a vision he received? An angel came to him and said, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But, the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia,” (Daniel 10: 12 – 13).

There is so much rich content in that quote alone that we could be kept busy for days. The point for today, though, is that Daniel did receive his answers. He persisted until the angel appeared.

We are in a different situation today in that Jesus has the victory and we have the Holy Spirit. Notice, however,  that in today’s verse Jesus is the speaker as well as in Mark 11: 24. So what is going on here? You have probably prayed a prayer before and not received the evidence of your answer immediately. That does not logically mean, however, that your prayer was not answered the moment you prayed, hence Mark 11: 24. The angel told Daniel that his prayers were heard and answered the very first day. Therefore, we should never lose heart and, as Jesus encouraged, we should never give up. You can continue praying for the same thing over and over again, but we should pray according to Jesus’ direction from the book of Mark, believing that at the very first moment we prayed, God heard us and sent the answer on its way to us. We stand in Thanksgiving seeing from Daniel’s experience and from faith in Jesus’ words that our answer is in route. Give your angels continued authority in your life by speaking words of faith. You can always inquire of the Holy Spirit as to the need for any prayer other than thanksgiving and positive affirmations. He will lead you. It’s his job. Stand firm believing and never give up. You are not forsaken.

Life – Chai

John 14: 6

I am . . . the life.

My friend told me that the number 18 in Hebrew means “life” so, since today is the eighteenth, it is the day of life. The word “chai” means life, or alive. I like to think it means “fully alive.” Let’s celebrate life today.

Jesus is the life, he is who gives us life. When we were dead in our trespasses, he came and gave us life, his life. This Jewish concept of Chai, then, is very significant to Christians. Of course, let us not forget that Jesus is Jewish. For that matter, so are you because you have been adopted into the family of Abraham.

Jesus also said he is the truth. The truth is, there is no life without Jesus. When we were Gentiles, we thought otherwise, but life and the fullness thereof, is only found in the life devoted to and in Christ. As you have undoubtedly noticed, this ministry’s slogan is “Intertwined with Jesus.” The reason is that everything to do with life is tied up in Jesus. We have a mission to go into all the world and tell people the good news about Jesus, that he came to bring us abundant life (John 10: 10). The thing which concerns me, though, is that many of us are not living the life Jesus came here to give us, the life he won for us.

Life should be full. It embraces physical health, financial solvency, rewarding relationships, spiritual nourishment and meaningful work. It means adventure and fulfillment in the Spirit and joy unspeakable. All good things are in Christ and it is this fullness of life that he came to give us. Anything less than everything is a debit in the life column. My heart is with Jesus in this. I want you to have fulness of life. Today is a good day to reach out for all Jesus has for you. It is a great day to receive fulness of life and the perfect day to thank our God for sending life to us.

Lift your glass and celebrate with me. L’chaim – To life.

Grand Inquiry

Joshua 9: 14

but they did not inquire of the Lord.

What a great reminder this is. I wonder how many tasks I do and decisions I make in a day in which I err in the exact same way as Joshua and the Israelites. In this story, the Gibeonites tricked the Israelites. They pretended to be from far away to deceive the Israelites into making a treaty with them. God gave the Israelites certain land. He went with them clearing out the inhabitants of all those lands. The Gibeonites put on old clothes and put old provisions in their sacks. So, the Israelites sampled the provisions but did not inquire of the Lord and thus were fooled.

Worldly wisdom and analysis will never be as complete, thorough or accurate and God’s wisdom. God knew who the Gibeonites were and that they were from a nearby land. He would have gladly told Joshua or any of the Israelites had they paused to ask Him. How is it that Joshua, who witnessed so much and was led even as Moses was, could fail to continue in the way he was taught? Did he get comfortable in his leadership?

It seems when the pressure is on we seek God with all our hearts and strength but then when the pressure isn’t as intense, we kick back and begin to rely on our experience or our own assessments. What error! It is in those times that we can make grievous missteps as did the Israelites. We need to train ourselves to ask Father about all things. Along with that, we must grow accustomed to talking with Him all day long and hearing His responses. One who cannot hear the Lord, cannot be led by Him. We can develop a “Him with us” consciousness too. When we believe He is with us at all times, I mean really convinced in this, then speaking with Him becomes more spontaneous.

Seek the Lord’s wisdom and presence in all you do. Where are you headed right now? Take God with you. There may be Gibeonites there.

Truth or Consequences

Isaiah 35: 4

Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not.”

That is a good word to speak to your friends and family. Fear not, says the Lord.

I am increasingly surprised with the number of people who live with fear. I hear all kinds of confessions about the myriad of things that people are afraid of. It’s not just heights, it’s not just terrorists. People are living with what sometimes seems like fear of everything. It is a challenging world out there, but we have a declaration from God. He instructs us to speak to those with an anxious heart to tell them they need fear no longer. God is our peace, comfort and victory.

If I tell you the whole story, though, it is that even we Christians, who are the kids of the King, are plagued my fear and anxiety as those who don’t know Jesus. This is not as it should be. Why is that? Have we not seen God’s mighty right hand in our lives and hence our faith has faded? Some have the ability to read God’s Word and as simply as children, believe what they see there. How are they able to do that and others of us are not? People say that some times Christians worship the Bible more than the God of the Bible, and that may be true but we seem unable to apply what we read and worship to our own lives.

It is said that there are 365 places where the Bible tells us to not be afraid. If that is the case it is handy to have one for every day of the year. It seems we need reminding. Perhaps, though, there is something we need more, some way to believe what the Word says.

The Bible is a dead book unless you know Jesus. To those who know him personally, the book is alive and brimming with life giving sustenance. Perhaps our real issue is that we are becoming too insulated from our beloved. Maybe we don’t know him like David. So, the real question becomes, how do we get to know Jesus on a personal, intimate level?

Perhaps you will reply to this email or post a comment on our site describing the ways you have come to know God’s Word is true and applicable. Have you had an experience with the God of the Bible, His son, or their Spirit? What did you discover that can help others meet Christ face to face in all truth?

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