What Comes Out of My Mouth . . .

You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse His name  ~ Exodus 20:7 (NLT)

Of all the things I have struggled to change in my life, this has been the most difficult! Giving up smoking and losing weight were a breeze compared to changing my bad mouthed habits. It becomes so  habitual to exclaim words one shouldn’t be saying  whenever frustrated or angry, although I have never blasphemed. Over the years I have hurt people, my family especially by shouting some expletive at them. Even when I love the Lord and so want to change my ways, sometimes it is like fighting a losing battle.

Praise 1

There are many bible verses I have known for years that talk about what comes out of my mouth, but  trying, just in my own strength, to change what  I  say  has  been  almost  futile. 

In  the  gospel  of  Matthew   12:34-35, Jesus says that “…the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good…”

This week I want to focus on the third Commandment, which is, You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Matthew Henry says that we take the Lord’s Name in vain by ~

  1. Declaring Him as our Lord, but we do not depart from iniquity.
  2. Making promises to God, and then breaking them.
  3. Swearing and using God’s name as a by-word, to no good purpose at all.

The third Commandment basically, concerns insulting God with what comes out of my heart, because if I have confessed Him as my Lord and Saviour, then He lives in my heart and I should be making every effort to dispense with my fleshly desires and be  working toward having The Mind of Christ.

I change what is in my heart by ~

  1. Training my body to walk in the Spirit, by :
  2. Reading the Word regularly and allowing it to change me, therefore :
  3. Taking back the territory of my own mind and actively renewing it, so that God can train me to win.
  4. Worshipping God daily.

If there’s one thing I have learnt over the years, it’s that I cannot make these changes by myself, just trying, trying every day. I need to lean on the Lord, give it all to Him, and let Him change me. Knowing WHO I AM in Christ by observing the above four daily habits. 

Some Scriptures pertaining to this article ~ Psalm 19:14/Proverbs 23:15-16/Matthew 12:34-37/Romans 12:12/Ephesians 4:29/Ephesians 5:4/James 3:7-10

 

 

 

 

Finding My Purpose in Life . . .

DAY 1

I’ve always struggled with what my purpose in life is meant to be. Not that I thought much about it while I was raising my children, but in later years I certainly have wondered what on earth I am called to do for God.

In April 2005 I committed to reading a book that changed my whole perspective on quite a few things. “The Purpose Driven Life”, by Rick Warren, showed me these five important things :

I was Planned for God’s Pleasure ~

I was Formed for God’s Family ~

I was Created to Become Like Christ ~

I was Shaped for Serving God ~

I was Made for a Mission.

Now for a person who never was developed in the social aspects of life, and who is very crowd averse, some of these have been very challenging. I’ve always found it hard to meet people and build friendships. So, I have come to a few realizations about who I am and what, I believe, God wants of me.

The very first thing He wants is my WHOLE HEART ~ That’s His Pleasure.                     Then He can begin to show me what He wants for the duration of my life.

He also wants me to WORSHIP with other believers, and get to know them. A big challenge for some of us ~ That’s His Family.

He wants me to READ HIS WORD and learn to emulate His Son. I really enjoy reading my Bible ~ That’s Becoming Like Christ.

He wants me to use the ABILITIES He has given me to help others. This is my way of doing that, by encouraging those around me to look to God ~ by publishing articles about God’s Word on this website, by regularly committing to the Inspirational Calendar I produce each year, to mention a few ~ That’s Serving God.

He wants me to pursue my DESTINY ~ That’s finding my Mission.

So my mission is to ~

Surrender my will to God’s Will ~

Continue to Worship God in Spirit and in Truth ~

Keep reading His Word daily ~

Develop my talents and abilities to use for His Glory.

Jesus Daisies

DAY 2
Psalm 63:3-4 ~ “Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise You!
I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer.”

DAY 3
Psalm 149:4 ~ “For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the humble with victory.”

DAY 4
Romans 12:10-18 ~ “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other.
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them, pray that God will bless them.
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

DAY 5
Ephesians 3:14-19 ~ “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.
Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

WANT MORE? ~ Read all of chapter 1

DAY 6
Philippians 1:6 ~ “And I am certain that God, Who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

DAY 7
1 John 1:5 ~ “This is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another.”

 

Without Him ~ I Can Do Nothing . . .

Day 1

I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn’t come to know Jesus. I was lost at the time I discovered I was pregnant as a single mum. My life was going nowhere and I had no goals or direction. In fact, upon reflection, I would not be here, either from lung cancer or self harm. I heard God knocking at the door of my heart that day my son was born, and I responded. I’m so grateful.

As I reflect upon this week’s devotion I am reminded of the fact that as a mother, I would not have survived without knowing Jesus. There were many times I prayed for healing and protection over my children as they were sleeping and many times I let my praise music envelope me when things were nearing desperation.

There is one particular moment I remember, when my eldest son came home after having passed his driving test and having promised him my car to go and pick up a mate to celebrate with him, as I closed the front door after him, I prayed, “Lord, send your ministering angels to surround my son, keep him safe and help him drive responsibly. I leave him in your hands.”

In his book There Were Two Trees in the Garden, Rick Joyner says, “There is no formula given for Salvation, it is a person. Truth is not just a systematic theology, it is Jesus. He is the deepest desire of the human heart. Only in Him do we really begin to live.”

My FIRST LOVE should be for JESUS.

When I go full speed ahead with my own ideas without consulting God, they usually fail. But when I pray and seek God’s Will, my life is so much easier. Putting Him first in my life puts everything else into perspective and helps me to deal with life’s challenges without worry or panic.

Because of my commitment to Jesus, God has provided me with a wonderful husband and three more beautiful children. I am truly grateful for His help in raising my children, who are all serving God passionately, because I relied on Jesus to help and guide me in the process.

Without God on my side, my life would be very empty.

Psalm 3 3

Day 2

Psalm 3:3 ~ “But You, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory and the One who lifts my head.”

Psalm 5:11-12 ~ “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You.
For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favour as with a shield.”

Day 3

Psalm 42:1 ~ “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.”

Psalm 91:1-2 ~ “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!”

Day 4

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Day 5

Matthew 6:33 ~ “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Day 6

John 14:21 ~ “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose Myself to him.”

Day 7

John15:5 ~ “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

God is Love . . .

Day 1

Sitting in my hospital bed holding my new-born son, I counted his fingers and then I counted his toes, and suddenly I had a revelation of the One True God, and that only a loving and amazingly creative God could have given me in all my weakness and frailty such a beautiful thing. It was a defining moment in my life.

You see, I had been raised in a mainstream church and was taught about God, but never learned how to make Him real in my life. So I turned my back on church and even God. There was a few years then, that I did not acknowledge Him at all, even doubting whether He did exist.

That moment holding my first-born changed my life.

God’s love for us is so great that He gave us His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Imagine willingly giving your only son to a bunch of bitter hateful murderers to nail to a cross, and not only that, but willingly load him with every sin ever conceived and every disease ever suffered.

All for the sake of you and me and even those that crucified Him.

It’s inconceivable to us, what God did for us, and that Jesus was willing to do it. He went to that death willingly, not dragged, but walked right up to that cross and spread His arms out, for you and for me.

I have learnt that if I am searching for truth in my life God will reveal it to me. He has brought me a long way, but I still have a long way to go. I want to encourage you today, to not give up on God.

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He has worked wonders in my life since that day and I am so very thankful for the mercy and grace He has shown to me.

Even if you have been saved for decades, take time this week to sit with God and get a fresh revelation about the sacrifice Jesus made for you.

If you do not know Jesus yet as your personal Saviour, there is a link at the top of this page that will take you to the place where you may like to pray to receive Jesus into your heart.

Welcome to our walk together with God !

Day 2

John 3:16 ~ “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Day 3

Romans 5:8 ~ “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Day 4

Romans 8:35-39 ~ “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Day 5

Ephesians 2:4-7 ~ “But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love by which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,
in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Day 6

1 John 3:1,16 ~ “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.
“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

Day 7

1 John 4:7-9 ~ “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.”

God’s Not Dead! . . .

There are some who teach that there is no life after death . . . That we just go to sleep, unconsciously aware of anything anymore, and that God will raise from the dead whom He chooses at the final resurrection.

To live this life with all its sorrows and suffering,  and only end  up in the resurrection living here on earth forever ‘under much better conditions’, is definitely not enough as far as I’m concerned.

It is also, not what the Bible says.                                                           1 Timothy 1:4 says not to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather  than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.

The God who created the heavens and the earth, is such a glorious God. His heavenly realm is where He originally intended for mankind to live. Eternally with Him in glory. The thing is, that when Adam and Eve sinned, they brought death upon themselves and their descendants. Adam and Eve were never meant to die physically or in any other way. They had a very personal, intimate, loving, and glorious relationship with their Father (God)

That bond was broken by their sin. God cannot look upon sin.

It was then handed down through the bloodline, from generation to generation.
When Adam and Eve sinned, it was not because of their lack of appreciation for God’s kindness, but because they were deceived and tempted and believed the devil’s word over God’s. When God had told them that if they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would surely die, He was speaking not only of physical death but eternal spiritual death. Eternity separated from God. Because of their sin, the curse over Adam and Eve became one of pain, separation from God, tyranny and death. Because of their sin, they would now physically deteriorate and eventually die and return to the ground from where they had been taken. But because they were made, each as a spirit, who had a soul and all this lived in a body, when death came for the body, it would drop off and die, and spiritually they would live on.

Whether or not they repented and asked forgiveness would have determined their eternal destination. Eternal life or eternal death.

In Genesis 2:7 the Bible tells us that God formed mankind of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. The difference between mankind and all other creation is the fact that we have God’s life breathed into us.

Who’s breath of life do we have?

God’s.

He is an eternal God, always was, always is, always will be. Therefore we have the same life flowing through us. We will live eternally. We had that right from the very beginning, but sin stole it from us.

However, God began to put in place a plan, to redeem us from the eternal death we brought upon ourselves by disobeying, and not trusting God. The entire Bible is the account of that plan, and all it entailed, to bring about our redemption.

The Bible is a love letter to mankind.

prov 21 21 (1)

Those who receive into their hearts the promises of God’s Word, and believe in His Son, Jesus, will live forever. This amazing book that has survived centuries of persecution, stands strong today as the most read book of all time. It shows us unquestionably that God is a living God who created mankind to love and serve Him and live with Him.

The Bible is Oh so much more than just living, dying and hoping to be chosen as one of the resurrected few. Living ‘under much better conditions’ is nothing compared to the glory that is before us.

1 Corinthians 2:9  says, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

In other words, things which we have never seen or experienced, or heard of, or even imagined in our wildest imaginings; wonderful, glorious things ~
All THAT, God has prepared for us ~ for those who love Him.

In Ezekiel 18:4-9, we see that the sinner will die and the righteous will live. This refers to eternal life or death. The whole Bible is about the journey, and ultimately leads us to the doorway to eternal life.

In the gospel of Luke 8:40-56, we see Jesus heal two people. One, the lady who touched His cloak and the other, a young girl who had died. In verse 55, it says that after Jesus commanded her to arise, her spirit returned. It is not our immortal soul that gives us life, it is our immortal spirit, designed to live forever. The girl’s spirit had not ceased to exist, it had just left her body. So when her spirit returned, it returned  to her  body to give it  life. Plus, whatever had caused her death in her body was obviously fully healed.

In the case of Lazarus, John 11:11-44, when Jesus met Martha and she proclaimed that she believed her brother would rise in the resurrection on the last day, it was her FAITH that Jesus saw in her. And just because there is no account by Lazarus as to where he  was when he was dead, does not prove at all that he was only unconscious in his dead state. Jesus may have asked him not to speak of his death experience; after all Jesus had not yet been to the cross, and heaven was not readily available to those who had already died.

There was another Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, who was very poor, very sick and very hungry. There was also a very rich man who ignored Lazarus and did nothing to help him, but lived in his own splendour and fine living each and every day. When the rich man died, he went to hell. He was in such agony he called out to Lazarus (who had also died) across the chasm which separated them, for help. But it was too late. The place that Lazarus was in was where all who had already died (Abraham, Moses, all the prophets, etc) with faith in God and His promises, went, like a part of hell that separated them from the suffering,  until such time as Jesus went to the cross and redeemed mankind, and opened the gates of heaven for us. That doesn’t look to me as though they were unconscious.

Everything does not stop at point of death, our bodies might, but our spirit lives on.

Ecclesiastes 9:5, says that the living (the righteous) know they will die; but the dead (sinners) do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. If we look at verse 1 in this chapter, then the living referred to are the righteous, and their deeds are in the Hand of God. ‘Man’ here, is referring to those unrighteous, who are so not wise; have no wisdom, knowledge or understanding; that they know not what is in store for them, it could be anything. They are the dead, who have lost their reward, because they continually sin, deny God, live unholy lives, and therefore, will be remembered no more. It does not say they are unconscious and have no memory, it says that they won’t be remembered any more.

In Romans 6:23, it says that the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The entire Bible leads up  to Jesus’ death and resurrection and ultimately this following statement :

 

I am the way 2

Why did He die and rise again from the dead? (He rose again, He’s not dead anymore!)

So we could live!!!

So, if God is a God of the living ~ Luke 20:38 ~ then, why on earth would we be unconscious and unknowing, when we die. It is only our body that will die. If God is a God of the living, and we have His breath in us, then He intends for us to live forever with Him in Heaven.

I’m very excited about that!

God’s Heart . . .

The heart of God has always been for you and for me. From the very moment Adam and Eve sinned and lost eternal life, God planned our redemption.

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Imagine that you are an angel and live in a place called Heaven. It is so clean and pure and joyful and every soul there is perfect as well. You all love and worship your  creator, God. But one day there is a revolt against the One that is responsible for your existence. There is such a clear probability that if those causing trouble through their  jealousy and greed for power are not banished, then there would be irreversible damage done for eternity to this Holy and Glorious place. So that is just what God does. He kicks them out of Heaven and banishes them forever to a place He creates just for them. Hell.

The leader of these exiles is Satan. He is so angry at God that he decides to attack His ultimate creation. Mankind. He tempts Adam and Eve with the very thing that he epitomises. Pride and Greed. They turned their eyes off God and His loving provision and were deceived into thinking that they could be like Him. You see, God made us with a free will, to be able to make free choices. They lost their relationship with God, and therefore their eternal life. Heaven, as has been said, is too Holy and Pure to accept anyone that could mar that Beauty and Glorious Light. God cannot live within the remotest distance of sin.

God loved us so much even though we had chosen to go against Him, that He put into place a plan to redeem us from the loss of eternal life with Him.

He sent His Son from that most Glorious place to earth, to live a human existence, to take upon Himself the sin of the world for our freedom from the pit of Hell. What does this mean?

When Jesus cried out to His Father, God, when dying on the cross, “Why have You forsaken Me?” that was the moment God transferred OUR sin to His Son. For us.
Salvation includes healing, prosperity, our sanity and so much more. Jesus hung on that cross after having been betrayed, mocked, beaten to within an inch of His life, and tortured with all the sin and sickness of the history of the world also upon Him.

Let’s be blunt here. He took on the filth of murderers, thieves, haters, sexual abusers, rapists, paedophiles, torturers, liars, deviants and any other horrible sin, from the beginning of the world to the end of the world. He took on cancer, cystic fibrosis, malaria, aids, multiple sclerosis, herpes, STD’s, heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, kidney disease, schizophrenia, and any other sickness you can think of, and any we don’t even know about. That’s why it has been said that He was unrecognisable as He hung on that cross.

He went to hell. But He was without sin, because He was God, and hell cannot hold a sinless soul. So God His Father by the power of the Holy Spirit, raised Him up out of the grave victorious. Jesus had done for us what we could never do for ourselves. Jesus, Our Saviour, He’s God, and He subjected Himself to all that evil for us. Only a soul without sin could successfully do that for mankind.

That is why if we deny Jesus and all that He did for us, God the Father will deny us access to eternal life. The price He paid was way too high for us to ignore.

Jesus died for us with forgiveness in His heart. He forgave those who betrayed Him, tortured Him, sentenced Him, and crucified Him. We are told to do the same. The Lord’s Prayer tells us to do this very thing in Matthew 6:9-13. Then in the next verses Jesus says,
“For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

You see, God, through Jesus, did an amazing thing for us so that He could be reunited with His creation, created in His image. He never wanted any to be lost, but also needed us to come to Him by our own free will. And all He asks in return is for you and me to acknowledge the sacrifice He made (just as we would a friend who saved our life) and accept His Son Jesus into our hearts.

The whole Bible is about this sacrifice, and there are many, many, many scriptures that show us His Love.

Psalm 103:1-8 tells us how He forgives all our sins, and heals all our diseases. John 6:35 tells us that He (Jesus) is the bread of life, and in Him all our needs will be met. Isaiah 55:6 tells us to seek the Lord while He may be found. There is a time when the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth, and it will be a lot harder to find God.

Romans 10:9,10 says that if we confess with our mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in our hearts that He was raised from the dead, we will be saved. For with the heart we believe, and with the mouth we confess that belief, resulting in salvation.

And here’s a thought for those who love finding little gems in the scripture ~ what I see in Luke 22:44 where Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane ~ “He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” ~

Even at this stage Jesus was beginning to shed His blood for us.