“What Would Jesus Say?” – part 2

“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4

Purpose.  Purpose.  Purpose.  This is how Jesus spoke.

Continuing to cover this verse in Isaiah, we see that Jesus never used words in a flyaway fashion.  With everything He spoke, it was either with a purpose, for a purpose, or to fulfill a purpose – or all three in one.

When we think of “with a purpose”, we can think along the lines of healing, miracles, and deliverances.  Jesus, in those instances, spoke with the intent to deliver an individual from some illness, or spiritual oppression, or to perform a miracle such as the feeding of the five thousand.

When we think in terms of “for a purpose”, we can think along the lines of the parables He taught.  In those instances, He spoke for His audience to gain a greater understanding of something, particularly Kingdom principles.

And, when we think in terms of Jesus speaking to “fulfill a purpose”, we can easily associate this with prophecies such as the one He spoke from the cross: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).  Those exact words open the Messianic psalm found in Psalm 22:1.

Jesus used His words with exactness and preciseness.  In this chosen verse in Isaiah, we see His words were carefully chosen “that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.”  The right words at the right time, especially for the weary worn, are a special kind of sweetness to a soul that dreadfully needs it.  Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones,” and nobody could do this better than the Lord Jesus Christ.  He said, “…the word that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,” (John 6:63).

Becoming more aware of the intentionality of our words can help us to use our speech in a way that mimics that of our Savior.  Words without aim tend to get us in trouble.  The Bible encourages us that “He that hath knowledge spareth his words. . .” (Proverbs 17:27), while opposite that it warns, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin. . .” (Proverbs 10:19a).

A wise person, Proverbs continues to teach, is one that “that refraineth his lips” (Proverbs 10:19b).  Not only does this one refrain speech from being unnecessary and unprofitable but a person who acts with this sort of discipline can also be seen as one who will train their words.

Previously, I wrote,

“James gives us the best possible illustrations of the power of the tongue by referencing it to two things we can easily understand.  In James 3:3-4 he writes, “Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths,  that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.  Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.”  Through these two examples using a horse and a ship, James shows that mankind has down through the years discovered ways to bring these powerful objects under control.

Both of these instruments are used for control.  They both direct the course of which way the operator wants each to go, be it a rider or the governor.Both are great examples of how these large and strong objects can be made to comply with the will of him who is controlling that little, vital piece.  If these little things under proper control can move great objects into obeisance at its master’s will, what more of the little tongue?” (Word for Life Says/ Don’t Speak Against the Destiny God Has For You!)

We may sometimes struggle with guiding our tongue in which way to go, but Jesus’ tongue was always controlled with purpose and aim, and just as His Father, those words were spoken with the intention to see them fulfilled (Isaiah 55:11).

We have the power to discipline our speech, to train our words in which way they should go.  The Holy Spirit is our guide and if we are actively applying the fruit of the Spirit principles found in Galatians 5:22-23, the whole of our lives, including the way we speak, will have a good aim and be filled with good purposes.

How we direct our mouths is up to us.  When our lips part to speak, may they speak the same way Jesus would.

This three-part mini-series is adapted from a Sunday School Lesson I previously published titled 4 Ways to Use Words Better.  You can click on that link if you are looking for a deeper study on this topic.

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Count Your Blessings!

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:” Psalm 103:2

I love Autumn.  To me, it is a season of tucking in.  The air turns a little cooler, with just a hint of crispness touching you amid the fall breezes.  Smells change as we turn from super floral fragrances to that of cinnamon, spice, and everything nice.  Schedules, prayerfully, slow down a bit as the run around of summer dissipates and more time is gathered around home and family.

For me, the feeling of fall brings an added bonus.  It seems that with the shifting of seasons we become more reflective and our hearts turn more to being appreciative of what we have and have been blessed with.

One day recently, things did not go according to plan.  My schedule was shot and the things I had on my agenda for the day – well, most of them didn’t happen.  But, as I spent time thinking about it, I just began to mentally thank God for all the things He did allow me to do.  Although my plans went awry, I was able, in those moments, to be there for others, to support them, and help them.

Lately, I have felt a strong impression on my heart to literally count my blessings.  Not by number, but by being more appreciative of daily things.  The day may have been hard and full of work that was strenuous, but I thank God that I was able to work it.  I may not have gotten the whole house clean, but I thank God for the small chores that I was able to accomplish.  The food on the table may not have been food cooking show worthy, but I thank God, not only for the food but for the opportunity to serve my family in this capacity on this day.

In the little things, as well as the big things in life, there are so many reasons to be grateful.  If we truly took a moment to reflect, we would readily say that God has been so good to us.

Life is going to happen.  And while we are living, it’s going to happen to us all.  Some days are going to go off perfectly, without a hitch, and we’ll feel like we can take on the world.  Other days may feel like a constant struggle – just making it through – can’t wait until bedtime comes and bring this day to a close.

Whatever the day brings, may our hearts find reminders of gratefulness in it.  Focusing more on God and the blessings that He has already provided can tip the scales, allowing the counting of blessings to far outweigh any negatives we may face.

How does Autumn speak to you?  Do the changes of the seasons stir special feelings inside you?

Whatever this season brings you, I pray God’s best for you in it all.

Blessings ~

“Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;” Psalm 105:5

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” Psalm 116:12

“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 118:29

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17

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“What Would Jesus Say?” – part 1

“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4

Words, despite the children’s poems we recite, we know and have more than likely experienced the stinging effect of the wrong words spoken at the wrong time.  We know that just as easily as words can build, they can also tear down and hurt the receiver of them.

One thing is certain, our world is full of words and full of people who like to use words.  The human language and the ability to communicate with one another is a beautiful thing.  It is when we mar that beauty with unrighteous speech rolling off our tongues and flowing from our mouths that we get into trouble.

People have practiced communication skills for centuries, and yet, when it comes to the daily application of speech, sometimes we falter and do not use the words that God has given us in a healthy and productive manner.

If we are going to learn how to use the tongue healthily, the best example is that of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus had all the right words at the right time.  He knew how to speak compassion when it was needed most.  He knew how to speak conviction in truth without berating another.  And Jesus knew how to speak life.

In Isaiah 50:4, we see the prophesied Servant, whom we know to be the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ talking about the words He uses and the way He uses them to speak.  There He says, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak. . .” 

Never do we see Jesus in the Bible using words in a frivolous or lackadaisical manner.  Words and how they are used are powerful, and Jesus, just as His Father, knew the value of words and used them as such.  To Him, everything that came out of His mouth was to be treated carefully.

Jesus’ heart was always, and I do mean always, to do the will of the Father (John 6:38).  In everything, right down to going to the cross, God’s will was His number one priority (Luke 22:42).  With the will of God governing His whole life and ministry, even the words He spoke had to be what “The Lord GOD hath given me.” 

In Isaiah, that which was given is described as “the tongue of the learned;” as one who had been taught by God what to say and how to say it.  One can speak something that is true, but how the message is delivered can affect how another receives it.

In John 12:49-50, Jesus said, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”  Jesus, even in His speech, sought to bring glory and honor to the Father.

Through this, we see that Jesus was very strategic with the words He uses.  In this part, we have learned that Jesus is our best example in valuing words and in understanding the importance of using speech that is not only healthy but also God-honoring.  Jesus treated the words He spoke very carefully, and we should too.

In the days coming, we are going to explore this verse further in two more parts of this three-part mini-series.  May we learn what God wants us to say and how to say it, so that we, too,  may have “the tongue of the learned” relating to one another in speech even as Jesus did, so that we will know how to speak. 

This three-part mini-series is adapted from a Sunday School Lesson I previously published titled 4 Ways to Use Words Better.  You can click on that link if you are looking for a deeper study on this topic.

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“Who have you been glorifying?”

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Psalm 50:15, NKJV

Who gets your praise when you get a reprieve from the madness all around?  Who receives your honor when troubles dissipate and deliverance has been brought forth?

Have you attributed your successes to your own wisdom?  Has your ingenuity received the credit for plans coming to pass?  Have you praised yourself, thinking, “Look what I have done?”

Who have you been glorifying?  Don’t pat yourself on the back for a job well done when you know if it had not been for the Lord on your side, you would not have what you have, do what you do, and be in the position you are in.

God is not only our Heavenly Father, He is also our mighty defender and our deliverer.  He invites us to seek Him in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1), and He will be our present help.  When we come to Him, and call upon Him, and He delivers us, please do not give His glory to another, or take it for yourself.

Recognize what God has done in your life and honor Him alone.

“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say;

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:

Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:

Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:

Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.

Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:1-8

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Before Your Throne, I Come!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Before Your throne, O God, I come. With praise in my heart and supplications on my lips, I come.

  • “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” – Hebrews 13:15
  • “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” – Ephesians 6:18

I come and lay at Your feet every burden that is held in this heart.

  • “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” – Psalm 55:22
  • “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

I come and pray for my family (Click here for 8 Ways to Speak God’s Blessings Over Your Children)

  • “. . . as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15
  • “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style,” – Psalm 144:12, NKJV.
  • “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” – 3 John 1:4

I come and pray for my nation.

  • “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
  • “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Psalm 33:12
  • “He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.” – Job 12:23

I come and pray for the souls of this world.

  • “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” – 1 Timothy 2:1
  • “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
  • “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” – Acts 26:18

Father God, You hear the cries of our hearts. Our prayers are not far from Your ears. They are open and attentive to the needs and the pleas of Your children.

So, before the throne, I come, with a heart resting in the full assurance of who You are in my life and all of Your glory.

  • “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.” – Psalm 8:1
  • “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” Psalm 115:1
  • “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” – Revelation 4:11

I come, knowing the tears I shed and the words uttered are taken into account by You.

  • “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” – Psalm 18:6
  • “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” – Psalm 56:8
  • “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” – Psalm 139:17

I come, committing everything into Your faithful hands knowing that You are “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3:20.

  • “Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.” – Psalm 89:13
  • “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” – Isaiah 41:13
  • “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23

I come, thanking You, Father God, that You always hear me and I am believing in Your just grace and mercy to see me through another day.

Thank You, for working in my life. Thank You, for holding my hand every step of the way. Thank You, for hearing me when I call.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN!

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Who Shall Disannul it?

Isaiah 14:27 asks the question, “For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Furthermore, Psalms 33:11 states, “The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.”  When God has a set course marked out for your life, or for anything for that matter, it shall come to pass.  It would be futile for any to try to work or speak against His plans.

Our world is inundated with all kinds of ways to get rid of what we don’t like or agree with.  Hence, the infamous delete button.

Don’t like what you see?  Delete it.  Don’t like what you hear?  Delete it.  Don’t like whatever is before you?  Somewhere, somehow there is a way to delete or ignore what it is.

That’s the world we live in.  Sadly, the convenience of the delete button has skewered many people’s views about the world, God, and the way things truly are or work.

But let me let you in on a little secret God’s Word is bond.  It cannot be broken.  It cannot be altered.  And it cannot be annulled.

In the midst of “cancel culture,” this is a good thing.  This should be a great encouragement to us because it literally means that not only will every standard of God stand, but it also means every promise of God will also stand.  No matter what, it cannot and will not be erased, wiped out, abolished, or made void.  God, and His Word, will never be canceled!

While the thoughts of man are vain and futile (Psalm 94:11), God’s Word is a sure foundation to build your life on, to hope and believe for every good and perfect thing He says to you.  “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD’S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.” – Numbers 11:23

“For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.  Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.” – Psalm 119:89-90

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11

“Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.” – Jeremiah 1:12

“For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.” – Ezekiel 12:25

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” – Hebrews 10:23

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More than we could ever imagine…

“Behold, God is mine helper…” Psalm 54:4

Prayer does not have to be hard.  Previously, I published an article titled, “God, I need Help” and revisiting that article, I think, ain’t that the truth.  

The simplicity of our hearts crying out to our God, is really all it takes.  There is no reason to have some convoluted plan to try to “persuade” God (if that’s the way we want to think of it) into hearing and responding to our prayers.  As our Heavenly Father, not only does He hear, but He personally concerns Himself with every area of our lives.

Isn’t that a wonderful thought?  

But, He doesn’t stop there.  

God also gives us more help than we could ever imagine because we are more important to Him than we could ever imagine.  And I think this is where many allow their faith or lack thereof to be swayed like a pendulum, swinging between belief and unbelief of just how much God cares for each of us individually.

 Swing and sway no more, my friend.  Today, let us just focus on trusting God enough to simply ask and believe?  

That is really all it boils down to, a simple ask with a simple belief. 

David, in the above psalm, after praying, “Save me, O God, by thy name… Hear my prayer, O God” (Psalm 54:1-2), simply says, “God is mine helper.”  Do you see the confidence in that statement?  Do you see how personally he knew that God was for Him?  When others were after him and still others sold him out, David remained assured in his faith that God would see him through every trial and work out what he wasn’t able to.  David knew, through past experiences, just to believe God in the midst of whatever he may be facing.

“God is mine helper.”  Is that your declaration today?  If it’s not, it can be.  Don’t overcomplicate your needs, your prayers, and the ability of your God to help.  Simply ask.  Simply remain confident.  Simply believe.  And just hold on and let God work it out.  God knows what He’s doing. 

God is for us more than we could ever imagine.  “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).  “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6).   

Blessings~

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Always Pray and Not Faint | Words to Live By

One day Jesus is coming back. Until then, keep praying, and don’t give up! Your heavenly Father hears every cry uttered from your lips and spoken silently in your heart. You are loved, my friend. Let your faith rise in your Savior today and believe in His love and power at work in your life. Keep on keeping on. Always pray and not faint!

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” Luke 18:1

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God’s Omniscient View

In dealing with any adverse condition, circumstance, or trouble one thing’s for sure: God knows all about it and He has the final say! This was proven at the beginning of the book of Job when He limited what Satan could do (see Job 1:12 and Job 2:6) and at the end when God commanded a double blessing over Job’s life (see 42:10) and we see that “The LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning . . .” (Job 42:12a).

But what about the in-between?  That’s the hard thing about trying to hold on while going through the trials of this life isn’t it?  We don’t know the outcome as we are traveling through those difficult times. How awesome would it be to see the beginning from the end; yet, that would not allow our faith to be exercised and stretched, for the Bible says, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” (2 Corinthians 5:7) and “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

While we may not be able to see or even understand everything we are dealing with or going through; while we may not have an omniscient overview of our life, God does.  He is omniscient meaning He is all-knowing.  The Bible lets us know, “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5).  There are no limits to what He knows, sees, or understands.

Isaiah 46:10 also reassures us that God is, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”  In other words, to reiterate my previous statement: “God has the final say” and His purposes for our lives will stand because He is the only one who knows all about it!

Be encouraged today, my friend, knowing that God’s got this no matter how chaotic, difficult, hurtful, or wrong it seems right now.  He, in His divine sovereignty, sees it all and has it all under control.  His view of our life is so much better than our own.  Hold on and trust the God who is infinitely all-knowing.

Have a very blessed day!

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In the unsure moments of life . . .

In the unsure moments of life, we have a God we can depend on! “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah‬ ‭41:13‬

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