Watch your mouth

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.
Ephesians 4:29

Many believe that this verse is only referring to foul language, such as curse words. Although a goal of this verse definitely is to convict us about our language, it is also speaking about words that tear down others. This verse explains that we should only speak things to people that encourage and build them up. It is not only speaking about foul language.

We have to be intentional about this. How often do we say things that do not benefit the people around us? We do it without thinking. I can recall plenty of instances in my own life where venting turned into gossiping, and instruction turned into judgment. Something that has innocent intent, turns into language that is corrupt and ultimately sin.

How many times do we get frustrated and paint situations in a more negative light than necessary? It is not limited to the people you are directly speaking to. Talking about others, or gossip is discouraging to those who are listening (even if they are not the one you are speaking about). To help with our unwholesome talk epidemic, we need to become more aware of the call that God has put on each one of our lives. He calls us to be living testimonies to His Kingdom.

With everything that we do and everything that we say, we are ambassadors for Him. We should walk around in the mindset that people are watching us all the time, because they are. They want to know how you respond to difficulty and how you treat others. Most of the time, the best way to reach the lost is not by preaching to them, but by showing Jesus through your words and actions.

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

James 21:22-24

It’s not just about just our faith, but how we apply and live out our faith. Our lives are what we have to show for. The words we speak are one of the biggest factors of our testimony. Are we glorifying Him with ALL the things we say?

Spring Up

“Spring up, O well!
    Yes, sing its praises!”

In Numbers 21, the Israelites had been traveling through the wilderness. They were thirsty. God sprung a well among them and they praised Him for it. Sometimes we are in the “wilderness” in our own lives. We feel lost and unfilled. We feel dry and disconnected from the move of God and unsure of His plans. All Christians go through these wilderness experiences.

He can spring up a well in your life, just as he did with the Israelites. If you truly feel like you are in that wilderness place, sing the song that the Israelites sang: “Spring up, oh well.” He gives us a promise in Isaiah 43:19:

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

If you read the verses in Numbers that proceed 17 and 18, you will see that the Israelites complained A LOT. Honestly, you can see throughout the majority of the Old Testament that the Israelites complained all the time. In your own life, how often are you complaining rather than praising.

God punished them for their complaining. In Numbers 4-6, they complained that He had brought them into the wilderness to die. They had forgotten the great miracle God had done for them when He saved them from their bondage in Egypt. They were extremely ungrateful. So, God disciplined them and sent poisonous snakes into their camp.

Even so, when they gathered for Him in praise, He provided water for them and they were able to leave the wilderness. Even in your disobedience, and even in your complaining, He can spring up a new love and a new fire in your life.

Look at the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. She was not perfect. She had made many mistakes in her life, but Jesus still sprung a well in her. John 4:13-14 says:

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

God wants you to long for a relationship with Him. That’s why He gave us free will. He doesn’t want to force anything. He wants to develop something that is personal and intimate. James 4:8 says:

Come near to God and he will come near to you.

Just press into Him and He will spring up a well in you.

Love is patient

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”‭‭ Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭
“If you love me, obey my commandments” John 14:15

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-7‬

We often associate 1 Corinthians 13 with weddings and romantic relationships. Although it is true, the verses are talking about love in general.

1 John 4:8 says that God is love. ‬‬

How can we truly apply “the love verses” to our relationships with others if we haven’t applied it to our relationship with God.

All these attributes of love are attributes of God. God is patient with us and He is out hope. He has a lot to deal with in our selfishness, yet He never gives up on us. As we try to love God as fully and consuming as we can, we need to act in these ways toward Him.

Although He has great things in store, they may not come right away. We need to be patient in the wait. This isn’t an instinct. It is not a natural reaction. Our patience will come through truly loving Him. It will come through a strong and seasoned relationship.

In order to recognize and apply love in the way it is intended, we need to learn to love God. We need to first understand and accept His sacrifice on the cross and then fervently jump into a relationship. We develop in a relationship by learning more about the person and working out an exchange in conversation and in action. Then, as a result, you will be able to adequately love one another. We live our lives in constant dissatisfaction.

It is positive thing to long for more in your relationship with Christ, but impatience is an attribute and an attitude of lack of trust and lack of love.

We are imperfect and the one who is Love has patience with us.

He is perfect, but we find ourselves constantly frustrated with the wait. Do you believe the God has the plan in place? Do you trust that He will work everything for your good? Do you love Him?

Love is patient.

Stop making excuses!

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.‭‭

Matthew‬ ‭6:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus was betrayed in the worst way possible by those who were closest to him. He was sold out and denied by the people whom He shared His message. Yet through these great disappointments, He was able to say “Father, forgive them.”

Though they spat on Him, beat Him, mocked Him and nailed Him to a cross, He died for them. Jesus was a man. He understands our tendencies and temptations. He lived on this hurtful earth for 33 years and can relate to your circumstances. Yet, in the midst of the worst betrayal, He forgave.

Can you do the same?

There’s no excuse. We can’t justify our inability to forgive in light of what was demonstrated for us. How can I have odd against the love one who hurt me, when Jesus forgave the very people who put Him to death?

Even now, we crucify Him daily with our words, actions, and lack of trust. He loves us so much that He died for us! How is it that some days we find ourselves too busy to even acknowledge Him? Guess what He continues to do? Forgive. Despite your worst.

What’s your excuse?


Quiet time- part 2

A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.  (Proverbs‬ ‭17:27-28‬)

Not only is it important to keep quiet in the presence of the Lord in order to hear his words and direction, but Proverbs 17 points out that quietness with those around you can be wise. 

In our lives, we come across arguments with people. Maybe it’s your best friend, or your parents, your spouse or your boyfriend. There may be a disconnect in understanding, or times when you just don’t see eye to eye. In our minds, we believe that if we could find the right words, everything could change. We automatically go to a place of conflict to solve our confusion. 

At moments, we find it our place to give instruction or guidance to an unwilling audience. At other times, the people in our lives decide that WE are the ones who need instruction and we know that the advice is unwarranted. 

Proverbs points out that “a wise person uses few words” and also has an even temper, meaning that you’re not easily angry. Sometimes the best thing you can do in conflict is stay silent. It’s not our job to change the personality in those around us. We won’t succeed. That’s a much bigger job for our God. He will work out His will and His plan and sometimes He needs us to be silent in order to do this. 

Sometimes we need to be quiet, not so we can sit there and do nothing, but so that He can give us the correct words spoken in wisdom and not anger. 

God wanted me to strengthen my time with Him and admittedly my time with my husband. He made it so evidently clear that even my voice was taken away. I took this as a clear confirmation that God was speaking. 

This “quiet” time has been so strong on my heart. As humans, we argue, we complain, and we are naturally needy. It’s such an overwhelming aspect of our personality that we can’t stop and stay quiet long enough to let God do what He needs to do in our lives and the lives around us. 

“Quiet” time- part 1

In the past few weeks, God has been stressing to me the imporance of being still and quiet to listen for the answers we are fervently searching for and the relationship we are desperately seeking. Two close friends of mine (in completely different instances) pointed out to me that it’s called “quiet time” for a reason. 

Of course! We know this, but how often do we sit down and rest in His presence? How often do we LISTEN? Who is doing most of the talking in your relationship with God? 

Personally, I had been longing for a connection with God that I had felt I had been missing for a while. In my head, I was expecting something huge and extravagant from God, but He had something different in mind. I started the Daniel Fast in order to find what I was looking for. (Side note: I learned that God definitely works through sacrifice, so if you need a breakthrough in your relationship with Christ, fasting is a fantastic way to get priorities straight.) 

I found myself becoming frustrated throughout the fast, because I wasn’t getting what I selfishly wanted out of it. Finally, I shut up. I sat back and I listened. God revealed to me that it did not have to be huge and extravagant. The breakthrough was found in the relationship. My relationship with Christ needed to be strengthened. We needed to spend time with each other. 

It was not the situations in my life that needed to change, it was the way I responded to them and the way I responded to my God. 

God definitely wants to hear what’s on your heart and he wants you to speak to Him, but the answers come, when you are quiet. 

Over a course of three days being in His presence, I felt closer to God than I had felt in a long time. It was not in the flashes of lightning and roaring thunder; it was in the simplicity of knowing Him.  

This word “quiet” has been an overwhelming revelation in my life that has affected more than just my relationship with God, but also my relationship with my spouse and the people around me. Check back for part 2!! 

Do what you’re called to do.

Many of us are searching for “the plan” or the specific way God is going to use us. A lot of us even push into a ministry because that’s what we want, or feel like we are capable of doing. We want to have the “big” calls on our life. The truth is, God only makes big calls, but that can be hard to understand or accept in the midst of frustration. 

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 

Romans 12:4-5

Just like you have different body parts that perform specific functions in order to make your body work, there are different functions that need to be fulfilled in the body of Christ to make it work properly. 

God purposed individualized qualities in us so that His grand plan would be made possible. Sometimes you can start to realize God’s plan by taking notice of the gifts and talents He’s given you and how they’ve already been used in your life. 

Maybe you want to be a pastor, but God is instead leading you to work with children. Be truly grateful! You are the one who is going to touch those lives and make the difference. You are the one appointed to it. It’s specific to you. It takes the heart that God intentionally molded for that mission. 

All of our roles are crucial. It’s about the big picture. It’s about the masterpiece in the making. It can’t be done if your trying to fill someone else’s role. 

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. 

Ephesians 2:10

“He planned for us long ago.” It was no accident. You’re not a random Christian that he’s looking for something to do with. Your assignment was created long ago. It was created for such a time as this. It was created for a day like today. 

The important aspect in pursuing our purpose is not to be the loudest Christian, but to be the one God trusts to carry out His will.