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Archive for February, 2012

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades!
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame!
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise!
From the inside out Lord, my soul cries out…

To You!


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A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

~ Proverbs 25:11 ~

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Words have power.  They can make or break a person.  They can breathe life or death into a situation.  With the right words, people will give a sigh of relief.  With the wrong ones, their whole world could come crashing down.  Yes, words are very powerful.

The above verse gives the analogy of words being like “apples of gold in settings of silver.”  How would a person feel if they were served beautiful golden apples on a silver platter?  Honored, maybe?  So, this verse is alluding to us honoring or showing respect to others with the words we speak.

Ephesians 4:29 tells us, “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.”  Not only is this speaking of not using foul language, but it’s also talking about how we speak to others.  Do we lift others up with our words, or do we tear them down?  Do we give hope… or discouragement?

Here’s a short prose by William Arthur that gives some insight into how our words really may affect others:

Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I may not forget you.
 

Why not make it a point to honor others with the words we speak?  Ours may be the only voice of kindness some people will ever know.

Just something to think about…

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Related post:   Some Things are Better Left Unsaid

 

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  1Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.

 2Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

 3Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.

 4Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.

 5Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

 6Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

 7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

 8The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

 9Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

                                                                                   ~ Psalm 28

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The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? ~ Jeremiah 17:9

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What do most people think of when they hear the word “heart?”  They may picture the organ that pumps blood through the body.  Or maybe they visualize the pretty red “Valentine” shapes that children draw and color.  However, another less thought of meaning would be “the innermost character, feelings, or inclinations of a person.”

What is being conveyed in Jeremiah 17:9 is that our hearts (our innermost character, feelings, or inclinations) are full of deceit.  And not only that — they are more deceitful than anything!  What a shocking statement!  But it doesn’t stop there.  This passage goes on to say that our hearts are also desperately wicked.  And the sad thing is — we don’t even realize it.

The Bible says in Proverbs 27:19, As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”  What this is saying is that our hearts are the mirror image of our true selves.   And because our hearts and our thoughts go hand-in-hand, if the majority of our thoughts are loving and compassionate towards others, then we are truly loving and compassionate people.  However, if we constantly have negative and critical thoughts in our hearts towards others, then that’s the “real us” — whether we know it or not.  Even if we’re smiling and seem friendly on the outside, this is just a façade.  We may be able to fool other people —  and even ourselves — but we can’t fool God.  (…for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. ~ I Samuel 16:7)

So, what can we do to overcome the negative thoughts that bombard our minds on a regular basis?  The Bible gives us answers regarding this.  In 2 Corinthians 10:5, it speaks of “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  What exactly does this mean?

The definition of the word “captivity” is an interesting one.   It’s “the state of being kept within bounds.”  So, if a thought goes out of the boundaries of what God says is pure and right according to scripture, then we should “cast it down” or discard it.  Then we should replace it with a good one — one that is in accordance with what Christ says in His word.  This is a conscious effort on our part to do this continuously.  Eventually, it will become easier and easier to think good thoughts, and the bad ones will become less and less.

I once heard a speaker years ago who really helped me to purge the evil thoughts I used to have in my heart towards others.  Like most people, I thought it was okay to have these thoughts — just as long as I didn’t act on them.  But this person helped me to realize that God knows our every thought and if they’re bad ones, He views them as sin.  And He is very grieved when we choose to dwell on these thoughts.

If we look back in the book of Genesis, we get a glimpse of how God really feels about evil thoughts.  Just before the Flood of Noah, the majority of the people’s thoughts were evil — as well as their actions.  God was so vexed by this that He destroyed all but eight humans on the earth.  Genesis 6:5-6 says, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” So, I think it’s safe to say that the way we think is very important to God!  We should do all we can to keep our thoughts pure.

There’s a little prose I ran across years ago that I’ve shared with my children to help them realize the above principles.  It goes something like this:

Watch your thoughts, for they become words;
Watch your words, for they become actions;
Watch your actions, for they become habits;
Watch your habits, for they become character;
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

There’s so much wisdom in those words.  It all begins with the thoughts of our hearts.  They can make us — or break us.

May we all be mindful of the thoughts we think every moment of every day.  Choosing to think good ones will eventually transform us into people who please God not only outwardly, but also inwardly — in our hearts.  And let us not forget the age-old saying based on Proverbs 23:7, which says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  So true.

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Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? 

~ Proverbs 20:9 ~

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And the answer to this question is, of course – no one!  Human beings cannot cleanse and purify their own hearts from sin.  Only God can do this. (Psalm 51:10)

The definition of sin is, “an offense against religious or moral law.”   More specifically, it is a transgression against the law of God.  And the law of God tells us not to hate, lie, steal, lust — the list goes on and on.  So, if we’ve ever done these things, then we have committed sin.  How many of us can honestly say that we’ve never sinned?

“So, what’s the big deal about sin?,” some reading this may be asking.  Well, for one, it separates us from God who resides in a place called Heaven.  And that’s a REALLY big deal if you consider the consequences of not getting things right with Him before we leave this earth.  Need I say more?

But the good news is that God provided a way for us to overcome this dilemma that we find ourselves in.  He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to this earth to pay the penalty of death for our sins.  Only through us accepting what He did on the cross can our hearts be cleansed and we, ourselves, be purified from sin.

Even if you’re having trouble believing this message to be true, why not at least prove to yourself once and for all whether it is or not.  What can it hurt?  A hundred years from now, all who are reading this will know for sure if this is right or wrong.  If it’s wrong, you have nothing to worry about.  But if it’s right… 

Just something to think about…

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Related post:  None of Us are Promised Tomorrow


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Adonai! Adonai!
Every knee will bow to You Lord Most High!
Adonai! Adonai!
You alone are God; Every tongue will cry,

ADONAI!

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