The Power of Words

proverbs31

 

Words, have the power to tear down or build up. They have the power to praise God  or to curse God. Words are used to give thanks or to complain.

How then we use our words is vastly important. The old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” though catchy is untrue. Words have the power to spur others on to good deed but likewise have the power to cripple and hurt others. King David prayed that the Lord would, “set a guard over his mouth,” because he knew his words could do either harm or good. Peter was known for sticking his foot in his mouth because often he failed to think before he spoke.

In our home, unfortunately, there are many days our use of words is not good. Often arguing over trivial things, complaining over difficulties or about what we don’t like and even at times using words to hurt one another. James tells us in 1:19, that “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” How many problems would be solved if we just applied this principle!

Growing up I often heard others say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Interestingly, I now find myself saying the same thing to my children. But, I have added a second one, “If you can’t speak without grumbling and complaining, don’t speak!”

We are told by James in chapter three, that “the tongue is set on fire by hell itself. That with it we bless God and curse others made in His image (3:6-9).” He makes it clear that this should not be! I love how James ends his letter in chapter five. Basically summing up what we should say depending upon our circumstances. He says, “Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? He should sing songs of praise (5:13).” Therefore, when times are hard, instead of grumbling, we should pray. When times are good, we should sing His praises. Knowing that they are only good by His grace.

So how then do we instill this attitude of gratitude into our own lives and the lives of our children?

1. We must pray, pray for ourselves and our kids for a desire to please the Lord with our words.

2. We must set the example. Choosing to remain quiet instead of complaining. Choosing to give thanks for all that the Lord has done.

3. We must resist the devil and the urge to give into the negative pull. Don’t get sucked into the attitude of others.

4. Refuse to argue and learn to walk away.

5. Think long and hard before you speak, measuring the best use of your words.

6. Depend fully upon the Lord for He alone can tame the tongue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Is it enough to believe??

images - CopyGrowing up in church, our youth choir sang a song called, “I Believe.”  It speaks of believing Noah built an ark, that Isaiah was a prophet,  that God created the world, in Adam and Eve and so forth. Its a catchy song, one I always enjoyed, but lately I have been wondering, is it really enough to believe?

The Bible says that “the demons believe and tremble (James 2: 19).” Yet, we know they are not followers of Christ. The majority of people you ask today will say, they believe in God. Many believe Jesus lived and died on Calvary. Yet, is this enough?

Is it enough to believe God is faithful, that He can provide, that He is in control? Is it enough to believe He cares and never leaves or forsakes us?

See, believing these things is great and they are indeed the starting point, but I do no believe belief is enough. Belief without faith, belief without action is not enough.

Our actions will prove what we believe, whether it is true or false.

This is the message James was preaching to the Church at Jerusalem. Over and over he tells them that “faith without works is dead (James 2: 26).” Apparently many professed belief in Christ but these beliefs were not matched by action. Sounds a lot like today.

As my kids and I have been studying James, I have sought to drill into their heads like James over and over again. That it is not enough to know what the Bible says, it is not enough to even memorize it. We can know it backwards and forwards. But, if we do not live it, it is useless. What we say must be followed by what we do, how we live. Otherwise, we are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites to the lost world.

Throughout the past year, this has been a theme. The Lord taking me through trials and hardship, showing me my weak areas, demonstrating the places where my actions don’t always testify of what I say. Likewise, in James, this church had faced persecution and trials, otherwise he wouldn’t have begun by saying, “Consider it all joy…” Now it was time, all that they said they believed was put into action. In essence time for them to “put up or shut up.”

I believe that is the day and time we live in today as well. Too many are fed up with church, entire generations are walking away from the church. Why? Because frankly, peoples lives and actions don’t  jive with what the Bible teaches.

It’s time then that we as believers live what we say. It is time we quit quoting Scripture and start truly living it. What the world needs now is true religion which James says is “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world (James 1:27).” 

images (1) - Copy

Why They Go

all nationsIn the past few weeks, the news has been gruesome. The bombs and killings in Egypt, Syria, Pakistan and now in Kenya have been a lot to take in. Everyone has an opinion on this and most point their fingers directly at the Muslims. However, I have a different take. You, see the reason the Muslims and others are doing these things is because they are lost and do not know the love of Christ.

In all of these countries as well as others hard places. Numerous people have gone taking the good news of Christ. By many these are seen as radical, crazy and are not understood even by their loved ones. People can not understand why they would go.

The stark reality is many of us don’t care about what is happening on that side of the world and are only affected when it gets closer to home. Yet, daily millions are dying never having heard the name of Jesus.

Why do they go, why do these missionaries give up everything the world has to offer to live among the least of these? It’s actually rather simple. They go, because the love of Christ compels them. Knowing that they could have been born on that side of the world, knowing they could have been brought up Hindu or Muslim. They realize if not for the grace of God, they too would not know the truth.

They go because they can not get over the fact that the God of the Universe loves them. That He sent His son Jesus to die for their sins. They go because they understand that the Lord deserves the praise of all peoples in all nations. They go to declare His great name.

The truth is it’s the hard places that need the love of Christ the most. So, they go knowing the worst thing that could happen is that they go to be with Jesus. They go understanding that this world is not their home. That this world has nothing to offer and they want the Lord to use them as He see’s fit.

Join me today in praying for the missionaries who have gone. Pray certainly for their safety. Yet, pray more so for the grace and strength of the Lord to be upon them. Pray that in the midst of these hard places and these set against them, that the Lord would use them to bear His name and reach the hard hearts. Pray the Lord’s name is praised throughout the whole earth.

Delighting in God’s Word

mandylynncarpenter

booksDid you know the number one best seller of all time is the Bible? It is written in countless languages, is illegal in many countries and numerous are willing to die for this book. For it is so much more than a book, it is the living Word of God. So, why then do so many of us take it for granted? Shouldn’t we be passionate about God’s Word? Shouldn’t we love it and desire it above all else?

As I came to the end of my reading of Psalm 119, I found one who truly delighted in God’s Word, who desired it above all else. Take a look at this writer‘s desire and passion for the Word of God.

“My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your Word (vs 148).”

Do you, do I anticipate reading the Words of God? Or do we…

View original post 550 more words

Beautiful in His Eyes

images (1)Have you ever walked through a Fun House at the fair? Thursday night, our family attended a fair and as my daughter and I walked through the fun house, we came upon the trick mirrors. Some made you look tall and skinny (I liked these) and others made you look short and fat (not so much). As we left the Fun House, I was struck by the number of girls all over the world who when looking at themselves in the mirror see themselves not as they are, but as fat, short and in essence ugly.

I know this to be true because I was once the same way. When I looked in the mirror, I did not see myself as beautiful, instead I saw only my flaws. As a high school student who longed to fit in and be popular, instead of seeing myself as God saw me, I saw myself as short, fat and ugly. It was if I was looking at a trick mirror when in reality, it was my mind and the lies of the world. Because of this I became obsessed with looking a certain way, weighing a certain amount. My days became consumed with counting calories and working out rain or shine.

I know that today many girls also struggle with their self-image. Like me they believe the lie that says they must be a perfect size and look a certain way to be accepted. Due to this, countless girls every day starve themselves, purge and dress provocatively in order to fit the part.

imagesYears ago, I wish someone had sat me down and drilled into my head that it is only the opinion of God that truly matters. That in His eyes, I was beautiful.

Ladies, listen to someone who had to learn the hard way. You are beautiful! You are created in the image of God. He designed your body and chose the color of your eyes and hair. You are His beloved, a daughter of the King. He knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7) and His thoughts of you outnumber the grains of sand on the seashore (Ps. 139:18). You are beautiful, you are precious. Believe not the lies of this world and do not live to attract the attention of others. You are more than the number of likes your receive each day. More than the height of your popularity. More than the certain size you are. You are His. The only opinion that matters is Gods and He thinks you are awesome! Live for Him!!

images (2)

 

 

Overcoming Fear

fear

We get it, fear is not of God. Fear is the opposite of trust. Fear is sin. Yet, we all have fears. Fears of change, fears of the unknown, fears of failure. We worry about our kids, grandkids, jobs and future. We are afraid of spiders, snakes, heights and more.                                                                         It has been said that the Bible states 365 times, “do not be afraid” or “do not fear.” Therefore I’m assuming this must be important and realize since God had it written so many times, He knew we would all struggle with this issue. Remember the stories of Abraham, Moses, Noah and Joshua. “Leave your family Abraham and go to a land I will show you, Noah, build an ark and while you’re at it, gather up two of every kind of animal because I am going to flood the earth. Moses, go tell Pharoah to let my people go. Joshua, lead my people into the promised land by marching around the walls of Jericho and on the final day, shout.” All asked to do major, life changing things and yet told do not fear.  Most of us like to excuse fear and claim we have a right or good reason to be afraid. The reality, however, is that we do not  and when we are afraid, we are failing to trust in God. So, what are we to do with our fears? How do we respond when we are afraid? In essence we are to think upon truth.

1. “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Psalm 56:3                                                       

When fear rises, we must immediately give our fears to the Lord. Instead of being afraid, we must trust God, who holds the world in the palm of His hands.

2. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7                                                                                                          

When we are afraid, pray. We must give our fears to Him, trust Him and enjoy His precious peace.

3. “Do not be afraid…..Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.” Nehemiah 4:14    

 We do not serve a weak God. We serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Our God is great. Our God is awesome. Therefore, no matter what we are facing, He is greater. We can trust Him! We must remember then whom we serve!

pray

The Secret to Joy – Praise

imagesPraise the Lord.

Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord, all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

100331-590x393 - CopyDo not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.

When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.

images (2)Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,

the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – the Lord who remains faithful forever.

imagesHe upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down. The Lord loves the righteous.

images (1)The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow,

but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

praiseThe Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 146:1-10