Are You A Stubborn Heifer?

hosea 4-6Hosea is a pretty depressing book in the Old Testament. It’s hard to see a verse, meditate on it and then apply it. But this verse jumped out at me for the sheer purpose of reflecting on the Israelites. 

They are God’s chosen people. They’ve been given so much. Talk about entitled. They seem to have one line of sight and it’s forward. They never look back and looking back is key. We must remember what God has done for us – what he has helped us overcome. If we only have eyes that look ahead to more, and never look back at what has been accomplished, we will always want more and live without gratitude.

This is the story of the Israelites. 

I think I am a bit fearful that I will become an Israelite one day. I certainly don’t desire that and am placing myself in His presence daily, but the world and all its pleasures has a way of enticing anyone who gives even a piece of his/her heart away. Which is why we must guard against that. We must Philippians 4:8 everything and steer clear of the world’s philosophies or we, too, will fall victim to ingratitude and worldliness.

May we always have our Holy Spirit radar operating and guiding us toward purity. May we follow God with our whole hearts all the days of our lives. Father, draw us to you.

Do The Word

James 1-22James is definitely bold, right? He is saying that we have to do more than just listen to the Word. We actually have to do what it says. If we don’t, we will be deceiving ourselves.

I am in God’s Word everyday. I listen to His Word in worship songs everyday. I see truths from His Word everyday on social media, on blogs, in text messages from my friends, through many avenues And that’s great. We need the Word around us, in us, through us. But, I would argue: Is it really residing in us if we aren’t doing what it says? If we read that we are to love, and yet, walk out our door and spew hatred because someone cut us off on the highway, did we really digest the Word of God? Or was it at a temporary rest stop inside our minds?

May we obey what the Word of God says. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Father, help us. Spirit guide us.

Consider Him

Heb 12-3We are to consider, to think carefully about Jesus dying on the cross and all He went through. For when we do this, our own struggles will seem light and almost non-existent. Not only that, but it will help us not get overly sad, hurt or frustrated. It will keep us from feeling defeated.

This verse literally leapt off the page at me. We are to consider (to think about carefully and thoughtfully) Jesus and what He went through for us. In the middle of the mundane activities of life that often frustrate us or smack dab in the midst of a ferocious personal storm, we are to consider His sacrifice for us. It was a giant, incalculable one that when compared with our present sufferings, great or small, will always be the trump card.

For when we do this, when we consider the cross of Christ and His death for our earthly abundant life and eternity, it will be very difficult to grow weary and lose heart.

Thankfully, we have a God who knows we hurt and is still very near to the broken hearted, counting tears and providing shelter as a strong tower, to those of us who follow Him.

May we always remember Christ’s sacrifice. May we always honor it. May we always consider it.

Full Of Grace

Col. 4-6Paul is exhorting us to be mindful of the words we speak. They are to be gracious toward and about everyone. They should also be salty, as if to leave the listener longing for more and not in a gossipy manner. When we do that, it seems like we will know how to answer any person who crosses our path.

Full of grace.

Grace is something we don’t deserve, but we desperately desire. It’s something that we don’t always give but always want given to us. I strive to keep this in mind. Many don’t want to extend grace, but often want to teach lessons to people. Funny. God never told us to get back at anyone. He says to be gracious. Why?

Because He didn’t get back at us.

Our words should also be salty, leaving the listener thirsty for more of what we have to say. Do my words have an attractiveness about them? Not always. May that change today.

May the Holy Spirit of God help us see where we are failing in this area. May he give us the resolve and ability to change our words. For in merely changing our words, we could change someone’s life.

Shut Yo Mouth!

Woman With Hand Over Her MouthIf you don’t want to experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit about the things that come out of your mouth, don’t read Proverbs. 

You’ve been warned.

I read through the Old Testament book of Proverbs a couple of times a year. It is jam packed with so much wisdom and insight. Which I why I read through it every year. 

Over the past two weeks, I’ve come across the following verses:

Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. Proverbs 10:19

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24

Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. Proverbs 13:3

A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. Proverbs 11:13

Need I go on? Because there are plenty.

I talk a lot. Wish I didn’t. I think about not talking a lot and then I go somewhere and people are like, “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you saying anything?” I tell them I’m just trying to talk less and they look at me with weird eyes hoping this phase in my life will be over soon.

Guess they like my words.

Whether or not I stop talking so much isn’t the issue. I must choose to quit gratifying my flesh with less than godly speech. I do it often all in the name of “being myself.” But I’m tired of myself being the self I don’t want it to be anymore. I want myself to be a self who has a pure heart which in turn leads to pure desires and pure speech.

So, I’m committing Ephesians 4:29 to memory AGAIN and will speak it throughout the day. Everyday.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Care to join me?

Good.

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