Proverbs 27:19 and 21 “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. 21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.” ~NLT
Some of us have a difficult time accepting compliments. Especially when it comes to Christians. If we are not bowing our heads indicating ‘we are not worthy’, we are usually giving glory to God. We say, “It’s God’s glory not mine.”
There is nothing wrong with giving God the glory. In fact this is what we must do. The problem comes when this statement becomes automatic and we say it without even thinking about God. In other words, we say it just to look good, appearing to pass the compliment on, but realistically keeping it within ourselves.
We must be sincere when we include God in our statements. In saying this, it is ok to tell someone, “Thank you.” Then in prayer and praise, thank God, “...for the blessing of allowing others to see You (Lord), in me!” Instead of keeping it, we must pass the blessing of the compliment, that we receive, on to God in praise. If we keep the compliment without passing praise to God, we risk infecting ourselves with pride and what we become is not what God created us to be.
Pass the praise on to God, and we will make room to receive humility. With this, others will see God in us. He will be pleased with the godly life we are living, when we pass the test of, "...being praised..." May God continue to bless and keep us in His awesome grace as we walk in Jesus’ name.
Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” ~CSB
When my wife and I were going through those hard times in our marriage, I said a lot of things I regret. Under the influence of my alcohol addiction, I said some things I cannot take back. It doesn’t matter if I didn’t mean them. It doesn’t matter if what was coming out of my mouth did not represent the true man I am; what I said could not be erased from memory.
My wife, being the receiver of those words, could not and cannot forget. But because she chose to lean on the Lord’s peace, He healed her from the damage of my words. So where does that leave me? First I had to ask for forgiveness from my wife. Then I had to ask for forgiveness from the Father.
Second, in obedience, I must make sure I do not make the same mistake twice. I must think before I speak. Because I know the Lord and all men and women are His children, I now live by the foundation of the spiritual rule of speaking…if I will not say it to God, I will not say it to His children.
And third, I must exercise, in meditation, God’s word daily so that I learn to keep Him first before anyone I encounter. That means from my wife and my children, to strangers I may meet on the street, ‘...the words of my mouth…’ will speak with results of positive and spiritual love and guidance. No matter what circumstance I’m in, I will allow God’s will to guide me, not my fleshly desire to disobey verbally.
At the end of our journey, here in this world, we all should want to be ‘...acceptable to God…’ So know that He is always around. He can see and hear us. If we put Him first, it is a lot easier to remember that and say the right things to those we encounter. Because when we cross paths with others, God is just waiting to bless them through us.
May God bless and keep you under His umbrella of love, guidance and protection in Jesus’ name.
Romans 12:1 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.” ~NLT
How do we walk in obedience? How do we live our lives righteously? Do we really want to do right but find ourselves falling short to the desires our bodies crave? These are all outstanding questions when it comes to the attempt at living righteous lives. Let’s see if we can pull some wisdom and strength in the memories we may have.
Remember when we wanted to lose some weight. We decided what we were going to eat and sacrificed foods we loved, and did not eat them. We also decided to dedicate a few hours in the day to exercise. We sacrificed our comforts and traded them in for sweat and tears. We literally disciplined our bodies for the greater good of ‘health and wellness’. And when we reached that goal, we were so proud and felt good about that success. 1 Corinthians 9:27 says, “Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” ~CSB
Bringing our bodies under ‘...strict control…’ is the answer. It is the beginning of a servant's commitment to God. If we could just keep our bodies under control, that would be the first step in ‘...giving our bodies to God…’ If we practiced cutting back on foods that keep us on medication. If we practiced putting down the cigarettes and cutting back on alcohol, all things that the body cannot process, if we can get control of that…the rest will be a lot easier to control and bring under ‘strict discipline’.
Just think about the possibilities of success in sacrifice. When we learn to keep the body under strict control, we will be able to handle confrontation in a godly way, when it comes in our direction. We will be able to contain our anger. We will be able to have a sound and clear mind when it comes to making righteous decisions in Jesus' name.
Starting with strict discipline of our bodies and what it craves will allow us to have a more focused journey on this path God intended for us to travel. We will be seen to others as a people that live as a, “...holy sacrifice–the kind He will find acceptable…” Start today, practice a little at a time telling the body, “NO! You cannot have that!” In time that discipline will become strict and strong enough to walk away from temptation. “This is truly the way to worship Him.”
May God continue to bless you with His wisdom, grace and protection as you walk in the name of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 3:18 “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into His glorious image.” ~NLT
The role of a school teacher, grade school, middle and high school, is a calling. Today’s students need a little bit more attention. The best teachers on the job today will tell you that no matter what kind of positive relationship they may have with a student, the day will come when that student will test your very being.
Teachers will tell you that they hold on to the fact that they are there to do a job. And no matter how a child may become verbally aggressive, the best teachers hold on to their assignments as role models, mentors, counselors and great detailed listeners. Today a lot of our children of God, are struggling with the world closing in on them and they face situations where they feel trapped. This is why a lot of them have the ‘fight’ in them.
But thank God for calling some of his children to ‘teach’. These teachers are walking in their calling. God has called them, and because He has, He will give them everything they need to perform their tasks successfully. He and He alone will give them the strength, wisdom and power to perform miracles in the children that cross their paths.
Because of His calling on them, these teachers do not allow themselves to be pulled into the chaos children bring to school on a daily basis. Instead, they allow themselves to listen and bless these children with peace they receive from God.
I think we can learn a few things from our teachers. We as believers have had our ‘veils’ lifted. This means we know God and His intentions for us. And since we know, we should strive to ‘do better’. For instance, if we feel we have reached a stopping point in what we are pursuing, we must ask ourselves, “Am I walking in God’s calling for me, or am I walking in a calling I called for myself? There is no power in ‘self-calling’.
But God’s calling comes with the equipment we need to endure, stand up, fight through and seed. With all of these gifts, God’s success will not only be in our lives, but also in other lives He allows to cross our paths.
As the text says, now that our veil has been removed, we know better. We must allow the Lord, “...who is the Spirit…” to make us, “...more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.” May God bless and keep you under His umbrella of protection in Jesus’ name.
2 Timothy 2:4 “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the Commanding Officer.” ~CSB
While in the Army, I took part in training and completing all tasks required in the famous ‘Air Assault’ course. This was a huge step for me because one of the requirements at the end of the training was for us to repel over 90 feet from a helicopter in mid flight. No wall to walk down or kick off from, just a straight drop from the helicopter to the ground.
Now the punch-line here is that I was afraid of heights. But the instructors and leaders of the course were Drill Sergeants. The Drill Sergeants are soldiers who are highly respected and well trained. They were the motivation that overcame my fear. They laid out our paths and rules of instruction. And no matter how difficult the task ahead, they motivated us to move forward regardless of the struggle. Hearing their voices through smoke, darkness and deafening noise, we were able to ignore everything around us that was trying to make us fail and we drove on. These men and women commanded us and those of us who listened, succeeded.
These soldiers saw something in me at that time. God created that 'something' in all of us. This ‘something’ will help us on our journey as servants here on earth. We are required to follow the orders of our callings and not, “...get entangled in the concerns…” of this world. Just like I did with the Drill Sergeants, we must listen for the voice of God as he guides us through the smoke, darkness and deafening noise of the enemy.
Our Commanding Officer has assigned us to a higher calling. We must stay focused on our spiritual desire to be obedient and live righteously. Continue to do what is right despite how we look in ‘man’s eyes’. Allow ourselves to be in position, in a place, where we may fear or feel uncomfortable, so that God can perform the miracle He predestined to do through us for others.
Just as a soldier, “...seeks to please his Commanding Officer…”, we should seek to please God in everything we do. Living, breathing and in our course of action, serving in the name of Christ Jesus. May God always comfort, heal and guide you as you journey in Jesus’ name.
Authors Billy & Yolanda
This is the place where we share our heart through God's Word in faith that will inspire and empower you to live in peace.