Sunday, October 31, 2010

Having The Right Perspective Will Change This World

Loving Things Versus Loving People

While a man was polishing his new car, his four-year-old son picked up a stone and scratched lines on the side of the car. In anger, the man took the child’s hand and hit it many times not realizing he was using a wrench.

At the hospital, the child lost all his fingers due to multiple fractures. When the child saw his father... with painful eyes he asked, “Dad when will my fingers grow back?”

The man was speechless.

He went back to his car and kicked it several times, devastated by his actions.

Sitting in front of that car he looked at the scratches; the child had written: “LOVE YOU DAD.”

The next day that man committed suicide.

Anger and Love have no limits;
choose the latter to have a beautiful, lovely life and remember this:

Things are to be used and people are to be loved.

The problem in today’s world is that people are used while things are loved.

Let’s try always to keep this thought in mind:

Things are to be used,
People are to be loved.

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

“The happiest people on this earth are not those who live on their own terms, but are those who change their terms for the ones they love.”

-- Pastor Ng Francis

Changing Our World

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35). When believers begin loving as Jesus loves, we will change our world. It may be one person at a time, or you may be sent to other nations to proclaim the gospel.

Whatever you do let it be done as a true representative of Jesus. Love is your identification badge!

Father, Your Spirit has anointed us to change our world! Help us to be imitators of You, and bring good news to the poor, and healing to the brokenhearted. 

Give us loving hearts so we will share Your love bringing freedom to those in bondage. We make it our goal to bring a refreshing to others, and we are refreshed! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

1THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,

2To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

3To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion--to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit--that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:1-3 [AMP]

The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity]
Luke 4:18 [AMP]

The liberal person shall be enriched, and he who waters shall himself be watered.
Proverbs 11:25 [AMP]

-- Judypie

Friday, October 29, 2010

Prayer Alert !!!

Presidential Prayer Team - Member Alert
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DEVELOPING NEWS: Military jets escorted a commercial pasenger jet into JFK Airport, having taken over from Canadian RAF. Authorities are methodically sweeping and clearing cargo flights that were held at U.S. airports in Newark and Philadelphia after foreign law enforcement agencies reported finding suspicious packages from Yemen in London and Dubai.

The found inbound to JFK contains a package from Yemen. The passenger flight was escorted by Canadian F-18s to the U.S. border and had been picked up by two American F-15s.  The flight landed safely. The FBI does not believe passengers were in danger.

In a news conference, President Obama declared that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen) is most probably responsible for the threats. The two suspicious packages examined so far, one in Dubai and one in England, did contain some explosives, wires, and potential detonating devices.  Officials believe the packages were part of a"dry-run" mail-bomb plot to get explosives into the United States. The two packages examined were destined for Jewish centers in Chicago.  All churches, mosques and synagogues have been alerted to be vigilant should they receive any unsolicited or unexpected packages, especially those originating from an overseas location.

Law enforcement agencies are still investigating whether packages found on UPS planes at Philadelphia International Airport, Newark Airport, East Midlands airport in central England, two UPS truck in New York City, and a FedEx facility in Dubai were part of a dry run mail bomb plot.

The FBI reported that two of the suspicious packages were addressed to religious institutions in Chicago.

Law enforcement officials also are investigating a suspicious packages in Portland, Maine. No word on whether that package has any links to UPS or Yemen.

As an additional safety measure, FedEx embargoed all shipments originating from Yemen," said Maury Lane, spokesman for FedEx.  (Sources: Fox News, Washington Times)

As the Lord leads, please pray:
  • Against all efforts of terrorists to ship explosives or bombs into the United States.
  • Thanking God for the safe landing of the pasenger jet.
  • That nothing has "slipped through" that will create danger to people and property.
  • For federal and local law enforcement agencies to be increasingly vigilant.
  • For additional security precautions regarding cargo that are to be set in place by Homeland Security.
Keep updated by visiting PRAYER WATCH - a new 24/7 prayer tool.
Your Prayer Team

Since 2001, The Presidential Prayer Team has been the source millions of Americans have turned to for encouragement and inspiration to pray for America, our President, our national leaders and our Armed Forces.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sword Fighting

“...Jesus answered...‘It is also written...’”
Matthew 4:7 [NIV] 

After the blessing comes the battle! And Jesus was no exception. Following His baptism, “...the Spirit sent Him out into the desert” (Mark 1:12 NIV). After fasting forty days He was hungry. That’s when satan showed up and said...

If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread
Matthew 4:3 [NIV] 

You can count on the enemy to show up at your most vulnerable moments. And when he does, you’d better know what the Word of God actually says - not just selected snippets and quotes you’ve heard second- or third-hand.

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching righteousness
2 Timothy 3:16 [NIV] 

We pick the parts of Scripture that fit our lifestyle and bolster our theology, but when the enemy manipulates God’s Word and uses it against you, you need to be able to say, “It is also written.”

You need to know what else God has to say. The Bible says satan “will speak against the Most High...oppress his saints and try to change...times and ...laws...” (Daniel 7:25 NIV).

We understand that satan knows that the Word of God is “...a double-edged sword...” (Hebrews 4:12 NCV).  However, he will still try to engage you in a sword fight!

But “Jesus answered... ‘It is also written: Do not put...God to the test.’” Jesus knew what His Father had actually said, and refused to allow satan to dictate His responses, including what He should eat.

Whose menu are you eating from today? Are you like the prodigal, settling for pig-swill while your Father has a feast prepared for you?

Tell satan, “...Get thee behind me...” (Matthew 16:23), and stop letting him bamboozle you with lies and half-truths!

Get into God’s Word and get God’s Word into you!

“...Take up the whole armor of God...”
Ephesians 6:13 [NKJV]

In spite of a great Christian Spiritual awakening in Samaria, Simon the Sorcerer was still in business.

The people “...heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time” (Acts 8:9-11 NKJV). So, how do the apostles handle this situation? Sidestep it? Coexist peacefully with evil?


They confronted him with the claims of Christ, saying: “Repent...[that] your heart may be forgiven...” (Acts 8:22 NKJV). And Simon did.

A good doctor identifies the problem then treats it.

The forces of evil around us are real, and we must know how to deal with them. Remember the tortured man living in the tombs of Gadara whom Christ healed? The spirits within him did two things worthy of note.

First, they introduced themselves as “...Legion...for we are many” (Mark 5:9 NIV). A legion was a well trained, fully equipped division of the Roman army that took orders from Caesar. Second, they “...begged Jesus...not to send them out of the area” (Mark 5:10 NIV).

That’s because they had established a stronghold there. Can you see a Spiritual parallel here? You can’t fight Spiritual battles with carnal weapons and hope to win.

Blaming Satan for all your problems is a cop-out, but failing to see him at work in your situation is foolishness. To fight and win you must know what you are up against.

You must be able to look beyond the obvious and see the actual! You are dealing with “...principalities... powers... the rulers of the darkness... spiritual hosts of wickedness... Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day...” (Ephesians 6:12-13 NKJV).

Expect the unexpected,
God is going to do amazing things!

-- Pastor Ng Francis

You can get more teaching on this subject by downloading the free Powerhouse Ministry CD The Art of Fighting Without Fighting.

That audio teaching, and other Spiritual Warfare resources, are freely accessible at Link 2 Power!  Log on today and be sure to bookmark it as a favorite!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Don’t Go To Hell

Don’t Go to Hell

We have discussed in the previous blog about people using their mouths in inappropriate ways. And one of the most common things that people say when they are angry or want to insult someone is “go to hell”.

A friend of mine uses expressions like “That was funny as hell.” As we will see in this week’s blog... there is nothing funny about hell. Jesus paid a terrible price to give us a free pass out of hell. Why would anyone turn down such a free gift?

What if There is a Hell?

By Richard (Dick) Innes, Acts International


Not a popular topic by any stretch of the imagination. And these days it isn’t a popular or politically correct topic to preach, write or talk about as if it were a reality. For many, hell is a place they hope doesn’t exist and if it does, they don’t expect to go there. For others, hell is a figment of the imagination from outdated folklore, or a place to curse people to whom you don’t like. Many believe that death ends all.

Think of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina that caused the city of New Orleans to be hopelessly flooded so that thousands were stranded and many lost their lives. How unthinkable it would have been had the city known about the impending disaster and not warned the people to evacuate the city. How tragic it was for those who could have left but failed to heed the repeated warning. How much greater the tragedy not to let people know about the warning that God’s Word has clearly given for all to flee from the wrath of hell to come.

C.S. Lewis wrote:

“There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than Hell … but it has the full support of Scripture and specifically of Jesus’ very own words.” In fact, Jesus talked more about hell than he did about heaven. He said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”1

The Bible describes hell as a place of utter darkness … also as a lake of fire that burns day and night forever.

Whether this is literal or figurative I do not know. What we do know is that Jesus described hell as a place of eternal torment. It is a place that was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels/demons—a place to where those who have never received forgiveness for their sins will be banned forever.

It’s not that God sends us to hell but that we send ourselves there when we don’t heed God’s warning and receive his forgiveness for all our sins and his gift of eternal life.

Eugene P. Harder shared how, In his book entitled To Hell and Back, Cardiologist Maurice Rawlings recounts the startling near-death experience of a patient taking a cardio stress test on a treadmill.

“The patient became breathless and began to sweat profusely. The monitor showed a dangerous rapid heartbeat. This was followed by a long pause in the beat and then by a flat line. Charlie’s heart had stopped, his eyes rolled up in his head and he fell.

“One of the nurses breathed ‘the kiss of life into Charlie’s lungs.’ Another nurse started the IV but the heart would not beat properly. A temporary pacemaker was needed. Whenever Dr. Rawlings stopped pushing Charlie’s chest to adjust the pacemaker, his heart would stop. Charlie’s eyes would roll up and he would turn blue.

“This time when Charlie’s heart re-started he was screaming the words, ‘I’m in hell! I’m in hell!’ Hallucinations, Dr. Rawlings thought. Most victims scream, ‘take your big hands off me, you’re breaking my ribs.’

“But Charlie was saying the opposite: ‘Don’t stop! Don’t stop. Every time you let go I’m back in hell!’

“When conscious, Charlie begged the Doctor to pray for him. Dr. Rawlings said, ‘I felt downright insulted. In fact, I told him to shut up. I said I was a doctor, not a minister and not a psychiatrist. The nurses looked at me as if to say, “Do something!’”

“So I composed this make-believe prayer to keep Charlie off my back. ‘Jesus Christ is the Son of God, keep me out of hell. If I live, I’m on the hook. I’m yours. Say it Charlie!’

“Charlie said the prayer and then a very strange thing happened that changed both the Doctor’s and Charlie’s lives. Dr. Rawlings said, ‘A religious conversion experience took place. I had never witnessed one before. Charlie was no longer the wild-eyed, screaming, combative lunatic who had been fighting me for his life. He was relaxed and calm and cooperative.”

“‘It frightened me. I was shaken by the events. Not only had that make-believe prayer saved Charlie McKaig, but it got me too. It was a conviction that to this day I cannot explain. Since then, Charlie has outlived three permanent pacemakers. It’s difficult to believe that my simple prayer opened the road to both Charlie’s and my own salvation.’

“Dr. Rawlings [not a crackpot by any means] was a specialist in cardiovascular diseases at the Diagnostic Center and area hospitals of Chattanooga. He served in both the Army and the Navy and became chief of cardiology at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. He was the personal physician at the Pentagon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which included Generals Marshall, Bradley, Patton, and Dwight Eisenhower. In civilian life Dr. Rawlings was appointed to the National Teaching Faculty of the American Heart Association, specializing in teaching methods for the retrieval of patients from sudden death.”2

A study of near-death cases by Dr. Rawlings was also reported in Omni magazine. “It is no longer unusual to hear about people who have almost died who speak of seeing a bright light, lush green meadows, rows of smiling relatives and experiencing a deep sense of peace. However, Dr. Rawlings obtained additional information from his patients by interviewing them immediately following resuscitation while they were very much in touch with their experience.

“Dr. Rawlings says that nearly fifty percent of the 300 people that he has interviewed have reported lakes of fire, devil-like figures and other sights reflecting the darkness of hell. Rawlings says that these people later change their story because they don’t want to admit where they’ve been, not even to their families. ‘Just listening to these patients has changed my whole life,' claims Dr. Rawlings. ’there is a life after death, and if I don’t know where I’m going, it’s not safe to die.’3

Of one thing we can be certain and that is that death happens to us all as nobody gets out of this place alive.

Life can be dreadfully uncertain. A friend’s husband was on his motorbike when a dog ran out at him. Trying to dodge the dog he fell from his bike and was killed. Last month another friend’s 49-year-old wife died of cancer. Last week a long-term friend of my wife’s died suddenly of a heart attack. Two months ago my oldest sister died. I wrote today to another friend whose husband died suddenly in his sleep. He was in his early to mid-40s.

How foolish it is to make all sorts of preparation for this life but none for the next. Time and again God has warned us in his word that there is a heaven for all who have accepted God’s forgiveness and a hell for all who haven’t. As Jesus said, “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”4 And, “If anyone’s name was not found written in [God’s] book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”5

As God warned ancient Israel, his word also applies to us today: “Prepare to meet your God.”6 God’s Word also reminds us that, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”7Also, God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”8

It’s not God’s will that anyone should go to hell—whatever and wherever it may be. We know that heaven is where God is so we can be certain that hell is where God—the author of all love and life—isn’t. He has given his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins so we can be freely forgiven and delivered from hell. So whatever you do don’t neglect God’s warning regarding the terrible doom of hell for all who have never accepted Jesus as their Savior, and God’s forgiveness and gift of eternal life.

Accepting Jesus as your Savior and God’s forgiveness is God’s “passport into heaven.” Whatever you do don’t leave earth without it. And don’t leave it until it is too late to “apply for it.” You can receive your “passport for heaven” today by accepting God’s invitation to come to him by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

For assistance to do this click here.

1. Matthew 10:28, (NIV). 2. Eugene P. Harder, "Positive Praying for People in Danger Pastor," Sermon, April 20, 1996. New Hope Community Church, 3. Aaron Burgess. “Winning the Lost," Sermon,, 4. Matthew 13:49-50, (NIV). 5. Revelation 20:15, (NIV). 6. Amos 4:12, (NIV). 7. Hebrews 9:27, (NKJV). 8. 2 Peter 3:9, (NKJV).

Dr. Maurice Rawlings “To Hell and Back”

This is a very compelling video by a medical doctor (not a minister or a theologian) that covers examples of medical crises in which individuals experienced hell and lived to tell about it.  It runs just under 1½ hours.  Enjoy it.

Powerhouse Podcasts

Below are two of our Seven Minutes of Wisdom podcasts on the subject of heaven and hell.  If you would like to give them a listen, use the audio controls below:

Listen to our Podcast “Heaven and Hell”:

Listen to our Podcast “Hell and Heaven”:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mouth Medicine from “Jesus Lover Judy”

In last week’s blog, we updated our study on how we often use our mouths to speak words that bring pain to others. That is not the way that we want to live.

We have asked God to give us some medicine from the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.  We received wisdom from Jesus Lover Judy (Judypie) that helps us to remember to watch what we say.

Check out these Meditations from Judypie.  We hope this medicine will help you during the upcoming week to use your mouth in ways that please and glorify God...

Word In Due Season... The Effect Of Your Words

Ecclesiastes 10:20 reads:

“Curse not the king, no, not even in your thoughts, and curse not the rich in your bedchamber, for a bird of the air will carry the voice, and a winged creature will tell the matter.”

This powerful scripture warns us of the danger of gossip, tale bearing and backbiting.

Speaking such things in private to even one person is still damaging. Not only have we slandered an individual to another, but WORDS have been spoken out into the atmosphere that have continuing affect in the spiritual realm.

Gossip is a big problem among God’s children, and it should not be so. Tale bearing, gossip, slander, and backbiting cause strife and division, which is the devil’s goal. Jesus’ words are spirit and life. Learning to say only what He would say, we would speak forth life - to the listener, to the person being discussed, and to ourselves.

Too often, we speak What the devil would say - death to everyone concerned. I believe that “unscriptural speaking” causes depression and sickness.

Remember words spoken into the atmosphere can cause trouble also - not just words spoken to someone. Order your conversation so that your words Minister life. Your reward will be more joy and better health.


Fruit of My Lips

Lord, by Your Holy Spirit perfect the fruit of my lips. Help me draw thanksgiving forth from my innermost resources; reach down into the most secret places of my heart that I may offer significant thanksgiving to You in the name of Jesus. Amen

Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.
Hebrews 13:15 [AMP]

Sing a New Song

Out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.

This water is for your healing and the healing of those within your realm of influence. This living water will wash away thoughts that would limit your spiritual and emotional growth and your possibilities.

What are you speaking; what are you singing? Are you singing songs of self-pity, gloom and doom or songs of joy, peace and love? The choice is yours. Speak out to others in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with your voice and making melody with all your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19).

You begin by loving the Lord your God. Choose to be joyful in him and be in high spirits.

If you are feeling down, if circumstances are holding you in depression, if you are in the midst of a trial... choose to sing a new song to the Lord, and your feelings will be lifted, and you can go on your way holding your head high because the joy of the Lord is your strength.

As Reverend M. Sylvia Ball shared in her Powerhouse blog entry, praise goes before victory!

Heavenly Father, today I am singing a new song.

Yesterday with its victories and failures has passed away, and behold on this day all things have become new.

I look forward to all things that You send my way -- a new sunrise, new friends, relationships, assignments, responsibilities, blessings, and new opportunities to be a blessing to someone today. I release the past, and will not judge by the former thought patterns and attitudes.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your goodness to me. The earth is full of God’s unfailing love. Amen

9Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.

10Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth! You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, the islands and coastal regions and the inhabitants of them [sing a song such as has never been heard in the heathen world]!
Isaiah 42:9-10 [AMP]

Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
   who are deaf, yet have ears!
9 All the nations gather together,
   and the peoples assemble.
Who among them can declare this,
   and show us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right,
   and let them hear and say, It is true.
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
   “and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
   and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
   nor shall there be any after me.”
Isaiah 43:18-10 [ESV]

He loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
Psalm 33:5 [ESV]

Good Medicine

Heavenly Father, because you have turned my captivity and have done great things for me, my mouth is filled with laughter and my tongue with singing.

Joy floods my being, and rejoicing covers my lips!

The dark clouds of oppression are replaced with your goodness and its beauty, Father.

The cheerfulness of my heart is as medicine to my spirit, soul and body.

It is well with me because I am yours and you are mine. Your banner over me is love.

In the name of Jesus, I rejoice. Amen.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter [Job] and your lips with joyful shouting.
Job 8:21 [AMP]

For how great is God's goodness and how great is His beauty! And how great [He will make Israel's] goodliness and [Israel's] beauty! Grain shall make the young men thrive and fresh wine the maidens.
Zechariah 9:17 [AMP]

A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 [AMP]

I am my beloved's [garden] and my beloved is mine! He feeds among the lilies [which grow there].
Song of Solomon 6:3 [AMP]

Growing up

Father, I affirm the Lordship of Jesus over my relationships.

When I was a child, I talked, thought and reasoned like a child. I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.

The blood of Christ, who offered himself without spot to You, Father, purges my conscience from dead works of selfishness, agitating passions and moral conflicts.

Holy Spirit, help me grow up in every way, speaking truly, dealing truly and living truly. Jesus is Lord over my spirit, soul and body. Amen

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.
1 Corinthians 13:11 [AMP]

And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
I Thessalonians 5:23 [AMP]

Renewing Thought Patterns

It is written “For My thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways My ways” declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

I no longer desire to conform to the pattern of this world but may I be transformed by the renewing of my mind.

Then my thoughts and my ways will be changed to Your thoughts and Your ways in the name of Jesus.


8For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.

9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

10For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

11So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:8-11 [AMP]

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
Romans 12:2 [AMP]

The Tongue of the Learned

Holy Spirit, help me remember that a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, my ear to listen like one being taught.

The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, I have not been rebellious; have not drawn back.


A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Proverbs 25:11 [AMP]

 4 The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
       to know the word that sustains the weary.
       He wakens me morning by morning,
       wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

 5 The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears,
       and I have not been rebellious;
       I have not drawn back.
Isaiah 50:4-5 [NIV]

Guide me in Your truth and faithfulness and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You do I wait all the day long.

Words of Wisdom

Father, in the name of Jesus I apply my heart to instruction and my ears to words of knowledge. All Your words are true; all Your righteous laws are eternal. The words of the Lord are flawless, silver refined in a furnace of clay, seven times. My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding. Amen

Apply your mind to instruction and correction and your ears to words of knowledge.
Proverbs 23:12 [AMP]

All your words are true;
       all your righteous laws are eternal.
Psalm 119:160 [NIV]

And the words of the LORD are flawless,
       like silver refined in a furnace of clay,
       purified seven times.
Psalm 12:6 [NIV]

My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
       the utterance from my heart will give understanding.

Psalm 49:3 [NIV]

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:2

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Oops... Did I Actually Say That?

Foot-in-Mouth Disease

Every now and again, I put my foot in my mouth.  On other occasions, I open my mouth and change feet.

The original version of this blog was precipitated by a statement made to a friend as a joke.  They got seriously offended.

Then, to quote Britney Spears... oops, I did it again.

Funny how that happens so easily.

I have seen people in a fight or an argument say things that they later regretted.  In some instances, a physical altercation followed with fists furiously flying.  Some times... bullets start flying.

Sad but true that we often send a proverbial knife into someone by just a few poorly chosen words. Words that may not even have come from any negative or hostile intent.

Well... there are days when I put my foot in my mouth, and then there are days when I open my mouth and put them both in.  Rather than to continue just changing feet in  mouth... Go spiritual counsel on how to better manage our words.

I SAID, I will take heed and guard my ways, that I may sin not with my tongue; I will muzzle my mouth as with a bridle while the wicked are before me.
Psalm 39:1 [AMP]

The Psalmist realized the state of the human heart... and how we can so easily take a turn towards the dark side via the words of our mouths.  In this instance, the Psalmist makes a pact with himself to put the proverbial zip upon his flapping lip.

Often, that may not be good enough.  Even with the best of intentions, we can slip up.  So... in Psalm 141, we see the request for God to do the job that we often fail at.

Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3 [AMP]

I remember years ago making somebody so mad that they pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot me for saying something out of line.  I escaped with my life... and then began to pray the above scriptures.  It helped... but it is an on-going task... as we will see in this study.

Using The Name in Vain

Another thing that I notice a lot lately is the use of the name of the Lord in vain. I don't just mean to use God's name as a curse or in connection with profanity. While those things are certainly horrible (from a Christian’s perspective) I'm talking about the use of the Lord's name as an adjective or an exclamation.

For example, when you watch a television program do you notice characters who exclaim, “Oh my god!” Or even, bypassing the more gentrifying exclamations such as gosh or golly and just saying His name?

Even more disturbing, those who throw the name of Jesus around in a vain or useless manner. And when they go so far as to use the name of Jesus in conjunction with a profanity… I just want to jump out of my chair and scream!

I would imagine that most Americans are familiar with the Ten Commandments. Whether or not you have seen the motion picture of that title starring Charlton Heston, wore the animated film “The Prince of Egypt,” most Americans have been exposed to those 10 precepts given by God to the children of Israel.

Well then, in that case you should recognize this:

You shall not use or repeat the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, lightly or frivolously, in false affirmations or profanely]; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Exodus 20:7 [AMP]

Unfortunately, while most people are aware of that scripture, they don’t seem to either belive or take it seriously.  And the frequency in which this abuse and misuse of His name occurs is increasing at an alarming rate. 

Not very long ago, I was watching a documentary in which so called atheists were mocking God’s commandment to have no other gods before Him. It is funny to think of people who claim that there is no God and at the same time question His word. Apparently God also finds this amusing.

1WHY DO the nations assemble with commotion [uproar and confusion of voices], and why do the people imagine (meditate upon and devise) an empty scheme?
2The kings of the earth take their places; the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and His Anointed One (the Messiah, the Christ). They say,
3Let us break Their bands [of restraint] asunder and cast Their cords [of control] from us.
4He Who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision [and in supreme contempt He mocks them].
Psalm 2:1-4 [AMP]

Yes, God Who created this entire universe and everything in it... the all wise, all powerful, all knowing God created man and yet His very creation is arrogant enough to think that he can rebel against his Creator?  Hmm... where did that idea originate?  Who was the first to come up with such a ridiculous plan.  Could it be...satan?

13And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north.
14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
15Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol (Hades), to the innermost recesses of the pit (the region of the dead).

Isaiah 14:13-15 [AMP]

Yes, those are the words that the angel formerly known as Lucifer spoke before his fall.  And, sadly... the thoughts of those who align themselves with satan and shake their fists toward heaven in bold defiance against the One who has all power in His hand.  And the greatest rebellion that man can perform is to break the commandment against using the Lord’s name in vain. Why?  Because words are containers for great power.  God created the heavens and the earth by speaking those great words:

Let there be...

And of all created things on this planet, man is the only one given the ability to choose and speak words.  Created in God’s image, our words have great power.  The power of death... and, the power of life.

20 A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil].
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
Proverbs 18:20-21 [AMP]

Get Ready for Judgement Day

We have been warned by the Master Jesus Himself, that on the day of judgment that we will be judged for what comes out of our mouths... because what comes out of the mouth is a barometer of what is in the heart.

Everyone will one day leave this life behind.  Death takes rich and poor... Republican and Democrat... saved and unsaved.  Death is probably the only sure thing about life.  And yet, after death comes another sure thing: judgment.

The atheist denies the existence of God to abolish in his or her thinking the idea of judgement or punishment.  But does denying a thing make that thing invalid?

The person who drives recklessly does so thinking that his or her driving is with impunity.  But that person’s fallacy will be challenged by the law enforcement officer with radar gun clocking the driver’s speed.

You ever watch those high-speed chase shows on television?  Eventually, they either get caught or involved in a spectacular crash.  Still, they fail to realize that you may run, but you can’t hide.  You must face the music.

People live their lives like a high-speed chase... and yet death will eventually catch you.  And then, after that... the judgement.  And all those times you threw the name of God or Jesus around in a vain or profane manner... YIKES!

And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment
Hebrews 9:27 [AMP]

Ready or not... here He comes.  He will judge the quick (living) and the dead.

36But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.
37For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.
Matthew 12:36-37 [AMP]

Every word that comes out of our mouths will be tested and tried.  The good news is that we can confess our sins and receive forgiveness (1 John 1:9).  The bad news is, some people will refuse to do so... or will not realize their need to do so until it is too late.

The upright (honorable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honorable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.
Luke 6:45 [AMP]

Therefore, it is imperative that each man or woman reading this REPENT and receive God's free gift of salvation (see John 3:16).  Once you get your sins forgiven, then you can follow the advice of the Apostle Paul in the book of Ephesians regarding how to properly govern your mouth:

29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).
Ephesians 4:29-30 [AMP]

An On-Going Commitment

Just like the overweight person who wants to lose weight, one needs to make a lifetime commitment to being change to their life.

And, as the person who successfully loses weight can slip up and put on a pound or two... we who seek to be Christ-like can slip up.

Watching our words is an ongoing thing.  It may be easier for some than for others... but the words that come out of our mouths will either bring life... or the opposite.

I want to choose life.

I know that I occasionally have friends tell me that I said something that hurt them, or embarrasssed them, or worse.  That not only hurts my friends, but it grieves the Holy Spirit of God.

That I definitely don’t want to do... so this week’s prayer focus will be on watching and correcting my mouth... and even words that I might text or message to others.  Easier said than done?  Fortunately, life is an open book test.  This week, I will be opening the book!