Words Matter – Part 1

The reservoir of a good heart produces encouraging words. The abundance of an evil heart generates evil results (Luke 6:45). Our words are the product of how we think, what we feel and our beliefs (Matthew 12:33-35).

Rash or too much talk can lead to sin (Proverbs 13:3); therefore, it is sensible to keep a guard over our words (Proverbs 10:19). To bridle our tongue is a talent that only the perfect person masters, but it would help us to control our whole body (James 3:1-2).

Lies and negative thoughts are like a skein of matted thread, so tangled that they are impossible to unravel. They weave confusion and cause us to miss God’s best for us.

When we believe Satan’s lies, complain or focus on the negative aspects of life, we miss the hand of God bringing blessings from the midst of all our trials (Romans 8:28).

Disparaging thoughts come from a troubled heart and never help us to prosper. They lead to negative words and actions, which cause trouble in so many ways (Proverbs 17:20).

Before we speak, a good rule is to pray first in order to speak the words, which God gives us to say and which will bring glory to Him (1 Peter 4:11). Wholesome, positive, uplifting words.

This is hard to do, especially in any moment of controversy. We are either exonerated or ruined by what we say and do (Matthew 12:37). Praying first gives us the needed boundaries.

Our thoughts affect our beliefs, our emotions and our attitude. We reap the consequences of our words, and they affect our relationships and even our health (Proverbs 8:21).

Therefore, we reap a blessing if we choose to think only about those things, which are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable (Philippians 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, help us to submit to Your Spirit as You transform our mind, so that we may prove what Your good, acceptable and perfect will is for our life (Romans 12:2). Only a fool keeps on talking (Ecclesiastes 5:3), and an evil man is trapped by his sinful talk. Help us to live a righteous life in our thoughts, words and deed, so that we may escape trouble (Proverbs 12:13).

Thought for the Day:
Let us conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ, and to live with each other in one mind and spirit rather than in arguing. – Philippians 1:27

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Healing from Loss

In this world we will have troubles and trials, but we can rejoice through them all because Christ IN us has already overcome them all (John 16:33).

However, it is important to allow our soul to grieve each loss. Everyone experiences loss at one time or another during our lifetime.

We all react to loss in a similar fashion. We suffer both emotional and physical distress in our grief, caused by the heightened levels of adrenalin in our bloodstream.

When a segment of our support system in this life crumbles, our assurance of security, safety and stability crumble as well.

Part of our purpose, identity, social status and provision vanish. Unfamiliar and unwanted issues occur, which demand our attention and time.

Our life is full of turmoil, loss, isolation and grief. We feel overwhelmed, depressed, hopeless and unable to cope. We find it difficult to function in both our normal roles and new responsibilities.

Some people are angry and others withdraw from society. We feel abandoned by significant others, and maybe even by God.

However, we have hope of full recovering when we cling ever closer to God. He gives us His peace, which transcends all of our circumstances.

Prayer:
Father God, our life on this earth is a series of losses from favorite toys, to special treasures, to important people and places, all of which helped to define who we are. Remind us to allow our self to work through the grief process and not to short-cut our time of healing.

Help us to reflect on the positive side of grief as an opportunity to evaluate our priorities in life, to examine our values and to deepen our beliefs. Guide us as we move toward a more mature relationship with You, and a stronger faith in Your faithfulness as we experience Your provision in all of our negative circumstances.

Thought for the Day:
The impact of loss is so profound that it reaches to the very core of our being and affects every aspect of our life–physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually.

Fight, Flight or Faith

To “fight or flight” is the normal human reaction to trauma. We want to defend our self or to run from confrontation on any level. We either use our human ingenuity to escape from trials or else we just sit and complain about them.

James recommends that we find joy in our trials, knowing that they are building up our faith in God’s faithfulness, as well as increasing our endurance to face other trials in the future (James 1:2-4).

James assures us that endurance will help us to walk in complete perfection and to have no lack in any area of our life. We eventually know without a doubt that God will see us through any negative circumstance.

God allows trials to teach us that nothing else matters in our life except Jesus (Colossians 3:3-4). As we endure suffering, we wait on God in every aspect of our life, and He always provides.

Our beliefs about God affect our thoughts, words and deeds. If we believe by faith, we will also think, speak and act in faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). This allows the light of Christ to shine forth from our life.

We do not have to experience trials to trust God or to walk in the faith of God’s Son (Galatians 2:20). God also blesses us in the good times of life; and He loves it when we acknowledge His gifts and give Him thanks.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to praise You in good times and in bad. Remind us that You are working out Your purpose in our life through every circumstance, which we face; and that You will make sure that everything works out to our advantage (Ephesians 2:10; Romans 8:28). We praise You for who You are, what You do for us and for Your Word, which encourages, guides and gives us a rich life of unending hope.

Thought for the Day:
It is impossible to please God, unless we have faith in His faithfulness.
– Hebrews 11:6

Be Still and Know

Salvation through Jesus Christ is a free gift; we do not earn it by our beliefs or our behavior (Romans 6:23). The gift of God’s presence, however, entails our obedience and love for Him. Walking in God’s Spirit allows us to maintain this constant communion with the lover of our soul (Galatians 5:16-25). It also helps to stop the good activities, which we are invited to participate in, from becoming the enemy of God’s best for us.

Constant busyness keeps us in continual stress and turmoil. Do we really need a two family income, a new car, family phones, premium cable channels, clothes from the mall, the hottest toys on the market, etc? Some people work two or three jobs to supply their family with the lifestyle they believe they need. When does the workaholic have time to spend alone with God, family and friends?

Our hectic lifestyle prevents us from entering into the rest of God’s presence (Hebrews 4:1-16); but as we love the Lord with our entire heart, having no idols in His place and ordering our steps to seek Him throughout the day, He will provide us with His love and guidance (Proverbs 3:5-6). We always walk in fulfillment and we find joy in the simplest revelation of His goodness.

Alone (All-one) time with God allows us to enter that place of abiding, which connects and fills us with His Holy Spirit. Abiding provides us with an opportunity to enter God’s rest, to soak up His presence and to operate from a sense of His peace. His joy gives us needed vitality to meet the trials of the day (Psalm 46:1-3). His wisdom and goodness help us to succeed.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to make time every day to stop all activity and to cuddle in Your lap, like the little children that we are (Matthew 19:14). Help us to allow You to immerse us in Your love as we love You with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). We admit that we are powerless and cannot control the events in our life, so we relinquish all control to You and Your perfect will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
Take time to be still and to focus on the fact that God is God and there is no other like Him. – Psalm 46:10