Set A Guard

broken-gate

Psalm 141:2-3 (NKJV) Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.

If only the Holy Spirit had a hand to carefully yet firmly put over my mouth day in and day out. To keep me from releasing commands into the atmosphere. Oh the idle words that never need to be spoken. Words hold power. Life and death is in the tongue. It is the most difficult to restrain. Caught in the crosshairs of our mind, will and emotions as our heart tries to edit each one spoken before it is released. Lord, set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door to my lips.

James 3:4-6 (NKJV) Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

Everyone has words that they wish they could take back. Tiny sparks released into a dry atmosphere if withheld would have stopped mass destruction. The tongue is such a small part of our body yet the hardest to control. It is important that our tongue remains under our strict control. Each world carefully weighed and contemplated compared to Christ. We must speak His Word. Say what He said. Otherwise, there is a real danger of destroying people or causing them to turn away rather than embrace the Love of God evident in His Word. His Word is sweeter than honey. It is desirable. It is good for you. Communication is for edification. Lord, set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door to my lips.

Proverbs 18:20-21 (NKJV) A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

The fruit of our mouth feeds our mind, will and emotions. The words that flow from our lips are evident of the abundance of our heart. Our heart must agree with our words and our words should be in alignment with the meditation of our heart. The things spoken in private should be our declaration in public. We must feed our heart and mind good things in order to produce good fruit. The Word of God nourishes our mind. It feeds our thoughts. It produces the kind of speech and communication that God desires of His People. The power of death and life are given to me as Christ lives in me. I bind heaven and earth with the words that I speak and if not carefully chosen they can have a dire effect. Therefore…Lord, set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door to my lips.

Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

It is my personal responsibility to filter the contents of my speech. It is my soulful duty to control my tongue. I will be held accountable for every single word released from my person. (Matthew 12:36) The words that come flowing out are for my good or can be to my detriment. The Word of God is clear. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth. Lord, forgive me for all the times that rotten fruit came flowing out. People are people. They are just as imperfect as I am. Father forgive them and please Lord forgive me for all my faults and failures. Make me conscious of the words that I speak right down to those I say to myself when no one else is listening. You are always listening. My words are for edification of others and to impart grace. My tongue is not a weapon of mass destruction. It should be used to build others up not tear them down. It should always give freely grace, love, mercy and kindness as a reflection of the same that I have received from you. Lord and on those days when I have nothing nice to say, let me take the advice of my elders who told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then say nothing at all.” Lord, set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door to my lips.

Isaiah 6:5-8 (NKJV) So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

God has a plan and purpose for our life. One written from the beginning that began with our birth. It is a good one with a future and hope. I wonder how many times it is hindered by unfiltered words and unworthy mandates released in our life fortified by pride or driven by bitterness. His Grace is enough even to cover all the idle, careless or harmful words released each day. It is up to me to apply grace to the words that I speak. Lord, I am undone. I am a woman with unclean lips. I have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts, and the King of Glory. Lord, I ask you to cleanse my lips today. Lord, forgive me for idle or angry words released carelessly around me. I long to fulfill your purpose for my life. It is not dependent on other people. It is solely according to living my life in alignment with you, Jesus. My mouth is for your praise and glory. Remind me of that today. Lord, set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door to my lips. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Psalm 71:8 (NKJV) Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your Glory all the day.

 

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Monday

Monday

Psalm 100 (NLT) Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

How does come so quickly? Five days seem to drag by yet two pass in a flash of light. The weekend is over and Monday is here. Ugh! Rocking in the chair on the front porch, I really needed to take a broom to the pollen and spider webs. Instead, I just rocked watching my husband plant the lovely hydrangeas that were my gift for Mother’s Day. As he worked, I thanked him for my coveted plants. He had been asking for weeks what I wanted, and finally I decided I wanted them. Are you sure? Yes, I am absolutely positive. As I sat there in the afternoon breeze, I knew that I had made the right choice. Their position in the bed was perfect. Morning sun and then partial shade. The soil remained moist which is their favorite. They would grow and fill the area just outside the dining room windows. I wondered what color the flowers might be. Hydrangeas don’t all bloom the same color but it is not because of the variety but rather the pH level of the soil. I wanted to just sit there in that chair and watch the flowers grow. But I knew in my heart all good things must come to an end because tomorrow would be Monday.

Sundays are my favorite days when we worship the Lord together. Fellowshipping with other believers. Finding new seeds of Truth to plant in our hearts growing into purpose as God designed. It goes by so fast and quickly I am thrust back into the rat race of this world. Work has been a challenge lately. Just the thought of the week ahead makes me want to avoid it at all costs. It also seems as though the last several weeks, the enemy has paid particularly close attention to my every move. As if in a game of Mario Kart, I am just tooling along in my little race car while all the other opponents throw everything but the kitchen sink in my way. To spin me out. Make me crash. Give up my joy. Relinquish my peace. I want to win the race that I am in. I want to claim the prize that Christ Jesus has called me to. So this morning, as usual, He meets me with mercy and provides more grace with a word for my life that will changes things – if I allow it in my heart and to rise up out of my mouth.

Shout with joy. Worship the Lord…with gladness. Come before Him…singing. Acknowledge that He is Almighty God. Creator of all things – caretaker of the same. Take full advantage of the access I have into His Presence – go to Him rather than waiting on Him to come to me. Give thanks. Praise Him. For the Lord is good…He is always good. His Unfailing Love and Grace never, ever run out so His Goodness is always available to me. Right here. Right now. It comes as peace and inexpressible joy to those who seek Him. In Christ alone I find that all the impending problems are disguised lies for God is with me and I will not fail.

Psalm 19:14 (NLT) May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

We must learn to make our mouth and heart agree. There are many times, our head says one thing while our heart strives to believe another. Such disagreement will never provide the peace everyone longs for. To be of one mind and one spirit. Isn’t that what our purpose is in life? To be one with Christ – to live and move in Him. To count everything else as “garbage” compared to just knowing Jesus. Yet, we allow stinking thinking to sometimes muck up our conversation and words of doubt and discontentment begin to form and fall out of our mouth. I was made to praise the Lord. My mouth was created for worship. It is to declare God’s Glory in good times and even on bad days. My confession should reflect a heart in covenant with Jesus Christ. As Ruth to Naomi, “Where you go, I will go.” Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you.

Psalm 27:4-5 (NLT) The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock.

The Presence of God is an absolute necessity in our life each day. When Jesus died on the Cross and released His Spirit, the very first thing that He did was rip the veil or curtain that separated mankind from the Living God from top to bottom. This was no small set of draperies. The Lord made it clear that His Intention was not to be a God who is far away or distant. He wants us to come to Him. Romans 12:1-2 talks about being a living sacrifice. To give up our bodies or natural life including desires and inclinations to be one with the Lord. Why? Because of all that He has done for you and me. The kind that He finds acceptable. Hmm… I have heard this verse explained many times in many different ways according to the doctrine of the preacher or teacher. But you know what I think this means…God loves us. He doesn’t need us. He desires us. There is nothing God requires me to do other than just repent or turnaround and find Him. My sin is under the Blood of Jesus Christ and I have full access to His Presence. It doesn’t mean I won’t sin and make bad choices. The worst thing I could ever do is claim or even try to convince others of my perfection.

The absence of honesty is insanity. It is very easy to assume the customs and behaviors of the world because of overall acceptance. It is easy to assume the identity of the church culture that one participates in but in the Presence of God there is clarity. He defines our life and how we live it if we enter His Presence. Not occasionally or when things get a little rough or even completely overwhelming, no when I make it the ONE THING that I seek the MOST is when I finally begin to see this life I live agree – body, mind and spirit. Such agreement with the Lord gives me the confident hope that produces heavenly communication. I can praise Him when things are good just like when everything falls apart. Worship is my life not a few songs laced with tears. He will clear the way of all obstacles when I stop holding on to them. I can enter His Presence no matter where I am or who I am with. Jesus gives us that kind of access. The kind of unlimited access that comes without penalty just purpose.

Psalm 50:15-16 (NLT) Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18) Thankfulness is the most fruitful part of communication. It is the remedy for discontentment that leads to doubt and discouragement. It turns our situation from hopeless to hope full. Gratitude will change our attitude. Rather than concentrating on what I am waiting for, if I can just begin to praise Him for all He has done. I will admit in a world driven by supply and demand with greedy temptation vying for our attention – it is hard to remain thankful. God’s Will for my life is found in thankfulness. Thanksgiving produces a change in my heart so significant that the Word of God says, He “will give me” His Glory. When I enter the Presence of God, my words are equally important as those cast around carelessly each day. Every word I speak bears fruit in my life good or bad. I must tend the gateway of my mouth and tame my rebellious tongue. My heart desires the Lord. My head knows His Way is best. I must make a careful and considerate commitment to continually monitor my conversation. Are my words filled with praise? Do they worship the Lord? Am I thankful? No more grumbling or complaining about God’s Care for me. That’s what we are saying by doing so that the God of all Creation is not a good caregiver but a careless Father. Which is simply not true!

Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT) Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The God of Sunday is still God on Monday. The Presence of God that gave you goosebumps in church is the same Holy Spirit that is in you right now. You are a Child of God. He is a good father. Have you forgotten some of the good things that He has done? Or maybe you just haven’t taken full advantage of them yet? Praise Him today. Worship Him. Love on Him. Enter His Presence. Thank the Lord for all the good things that He has done and promised to do for you and in you. This is the best way to start the week. It will end your Monday blues and fill your life with His Presence including His Love, Joy and Peace that is hidden there for you. He fills our life with good things. Always. Every day. More than we can even think or imagine. I must only make myself available – letting go of every complaint – and make my heart and mind agree so my mouth declares His Praise – He is good! He is good on Sunday. He is still awesome on Monday! We serve a good God! Let’s sound like it.

Those hydrangeas in the flower bed have some blue and purple blooms on them right now. I have the ability to change the color of the flowers by what I put in the soil. I can add pH or alkaline depending on what I would like them to look like. I also have the ability to decide what blooms in my life, too. It is about my conversation. It is how I communicate with the Lord and other people. The foundation of my life will be evident in the fruit of my life. Let it always represent that I am rooted and grounded in His Love.

Colossians 2:7 (NLT) Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Eat My Words

eat-my-words

Luke 6:44-45 (NLT) A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thorn bushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

One of the perks of the holidays in our office are the many gift baskets and plethora of food sent to us by our clients. Breakfast is catered. Gift baskets carrying many delicious delicacies. One sent a case of chocolate covered strawberries although I am not sure that we have been that good this year. Digging into the boxes, there were a variety of berries large and small covered in milk chocolate rolled in chocolate chips, white chocolate rolled in sprinkles and more chocolate drizzled in with red and green frosting. The presentation was perfect. Carefully packaged to maintain their appearance. Packed with ice packs to stay fresh and keep their form. Such temptation could not be avoided. Biting into the first one it was so sweet and rich the chocolate melting in your mouth followed by the ripe, sweet strawberry. It was heavenly. So much so that I had to try just one more. The covering just as yummy as the first one, but the berry inside was sour and disgusting. Soft and nasty – it was beginning to rot ruining the experience entirely. I had to get it out of my mouth.

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart. What is the production of my heart that is flowing from my mouth? What is the flavor of my lips? When speaking to others, is it life or death? Do I nourish their soul or condemn their life? Our words reflect the cultivation and production of God’s Word in our heart. Barren conversation filled with gossip and bitterness only signifies a lack of growth and prosperity. When I have a tough piece of meat like a London broil, I usually take a meat tenderizer that looks like a torture device and plunge it into the cut of meat over and over again. This separates the muscle from the meat. Those veins of marrow they cause tough gristle to form is torn and severed by the sharp points as they pierce it. Afterwards I take the manhandled piece of beef and I marinate it not only to infuse flavor but to soften the meat so it is edible and delicious. After a while, I cook it at the right temperature for the right amount of time and it becomes a delicious meal. Hear me men and women of God. Hear me woman of God. Our words require no less. Our heart must be tenderized and marinated to produce the words that God desires of us. To present the message of the Gospel it must be covered in love and presented with perfection. I wonder could I eat my words today. Would they be palatable?

Psalm 19:14 (NLT) May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

“I am a sinner. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Caught up in words, tangled in lies” (Brokenness Aside) I love this song. I can identify with it completely. I AM a sinner. Though I try and try I still sin every single day. I used to think being a Christian and growing in Christ meant rising above sin and living a better life. What it really means in drowning in His Grace every single day in humility at the realization that apart from being totally absorbed in the Lord – I am desperately lost every day. One sin would have nailed Jesus to the Cross just the same. I think this is forgotten by those who know their Savior more than one day. To rid one’s life of certain sins means nothing. You and I are still sinners just as much as the one who comes in to church reeking like the club and accidentally throws a free drink ticket into the offering plate rather than the dollar they were digging for. The only difference is that I believe the one who was out last night is more honest than the prideful one condemning them one row over.

After enduring a season where lies, rumors and hurtful words cut to the heart of one of my children, I should not have been surprised to hear the rumor mill begin to stir about another. One would only hope that in the aftermath of hurt, separation and bitterness – Christians, believers, leaders, teachers, members and congregations would learn that words are power. Words will infuse life in a church or tear it down person by person. Not the case, hurtful words about others who need the Lord and are in the constant prayers of others. Torn apart and judged only because in this particular instance you made a better choice. Shame on you. Shame on me. Shame on us. The cancer of the church is found in conversations filled with words like “bless their heart” and “I will pray for them” only trying to disguise gossip and insecure people who think Heaven is earned and grace is not enough.

Do the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart reflect the Love I have been given and the Grace that I have received? What makes you or I more deserving of God’s Grace, Love and Favor than anyone else walking on the planet? He loves us all exactly the same. The one who is working and striving to build the Kingdom must never think it is okay to tear a single person down or condemn one of their choices without refuting God’s Word that promises He will work every detail out for those who love Him. The more I know Jesus and spend time in His Word the more I realize that there is nothing that I can do to earn His Love or deserve His Grace. I am a sinner. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Caught up in words. Tangled in lies. Women by virtue of numbers, it is our distinction to speak about 10,000 words a day – some more and seldom less. What am I saying? Do my words build others up? Do they tear them down? It doesn’t matter WHO we tell them to – it is what we release in the atmosphere. Have you heard of acid rain? Water is drawn into the sky and forms rain. If the source is tainted, it becomes acid rain that moves in a cloud and kills whatever it is released upon. We get caught in our words. We get tangled in lies. Have you ever heard the expression “enough rope to hang yourself”? Well…the enemy convinces us that our words don’t matter. Or even that because we add something like “bless their heart” or “I need you to pray for” that it somehow changes gossip to gospel. It doesn’t. I promise you that what is spoken in darkness will make its way into the light.

Proverbs 26:22-26 (NLT) Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart. Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot. People may cover their hatred with pleasant words, but they’re deceiving you. They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them. Their hearts are full of many evils. While their hatred may be concealed by trickery, their wrongdoing will be exposed in public.

Have you ever wondered why your ministry is not growing? Why prayers for revival are not answered? Could it be that our words are not cultivating seeds of faith? Maybe it is our overflow of senseless and thoughtless words that is quenching the fire? Rumors kill churches if entertained. People are the Kingdom. Build up the people and churches will grow. Tear down sinners and there will be no one left. I wonder what might happen if we removed all the stages and platforms from church buildings. What if all church leaders and teachers were stripped of titles and there was no one left to cater to their office? What if the pastors in our congregations would be simple shepherds with a rod for instruction and a staff to guide with humility, gentleness, grace and love? Would the Holy Spirit do the rest? Could we trust God’s to take the Word and by His Spirit change hearts and lives?

Our pastors cannot lead churches and build the Kingdom because their schedule is full of appointments mediating members and settling issues with their leaders. Our congregations are caught up in words and tangled in lies. Rumors have sunk into hearts and killed those who came to be saved. Not able to live up to our standards, they thought that Jesus required the same. No love. No problem. I will just sleep in on Sunday. Oh, how I love sleep. Christianese covers the death sentences dealt behind doors and when we think no one else is listening. I do not want to be a glazed pot. Beautiful on the outside but worthless on the inside. I do not want my heart to deceive and my words to deal death. Lord, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit. I do not want to be part of the death and destruction of others but offer life in every conversation.

I John 3:1-2 (NLT) See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 

I have five beautiful children. I have some who live to please me and maintain a right relationship with me at all times. I have others who must test every boundary and find their own way. They argue among themselves that I have favorites. I let them think what they want. The truth of the matter is that I love them all the same. I would lay down my life in second for any one of them without a moment’s hesitation. They are my children not because they make good choices or do the right thing. They are my children. (Period) When will we realize as individuals that this is the Heart of God for His People? We cannot build a Kingdom until it is understood that there is absolutely no condemnation in Jesus Christ. It is by His Grace that we are saved by faith in Him alone. We are family. Equals. Brothers and sisters no matter what because it is His Will and His Plan.

Religion is man’s way of seeking after God. God wants us to establish a relationship with His Son, Jesus. Once this is accomplished, Jesus tells us to create the same connection with everyone else. How are we doing? Not very well…no revival means no relationship. Early believers did not have time to tear each other apart because of their relationship and unity revival broke with thousands coming to Christ at a time. It can happen. It will happen. Are you willing to take a long hard look at your heart? Do you think it might be possible to go to those you have condemned with words and ask for forgiveness? Is it even thinkable to exalt another before our pride today and overcome insecurity to establish a bond with others? If we can’t get it right in our families, friendships and congregations…why would He give us nations? Why would He send our community? Why spark revival that will quickly be drowned in worthless words? Where the Spirit of the Lord there is freedom. Don’t get caught up in words and tangled in lies. Speak life today. Speak love. Give them Jesus in every conversation. And for goodness sake, if you have nothing nice to say…say nothing at all.

Colossians 4:6 (NLT)  Let your conversation be gracious and attractive[a]so that you will have the right response for everyone.

But God…

But God

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world. We do. We don’t mean to, but we do. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. As believers, we must think about our faith in God, relationship to Jesus Christ, His Word and practical application of what we believe on a daily basis. Christianity is faithful and habitual. As we begin the transformation process of salvation, our participation is surrender. It is take bits and pieces of our existence and daily turn them over obediently to God. His Spirit reveals the areas of our life which are withheld and it is our job to turn them over in repentance. I may have lost some of you here, but that’s okay. You will want to be a living sacrifice by the end of this, I am convinced.

 

“But” be transformed is a pivotal statement in the key verse today. This world can empower your life or it can kill your purpose in a single statement. It happens all the time. I have seen it in Sunday school, church, board meetings, and Bible studies. In this social groups of believers who claim to have faith, a lack of faith is revealed in their conversation. “I am trusting the Lord, “but” the reality is…” “I know that healing is possible, “but” the doctor says…” “The Lord has laid it on my heart to do (blah) “but” the budget…” “I want to serve the Lord, “but”…”

 

“But” is a conjunction. The danger of this word comes with its explanation. The definition of “but” is on the contrary, yet, except that, unless, otherwise and other negating words. To use the word “but” after a statement of faith negates it. In other words, when you profess to believe in Jesus and add “but” to it, you have nullified the declaration entirely. The word after “but” holds all the power. Do not be offended by this but be aware of it instead. Offense is the enemy’s way of shutting us off and isolating us. It keeps us from using knowledge to our benefit and keeps us from understanding the Power that God has given us. I know, I know – “but” we live in a real world. Okay, I get that so do I. “but” – greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world.

 

Proverbs 18:20-21 (NIV)

From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

 

Luke 6:45 (NIV)

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

 

Our words hold power. We don’t have to try or even mean them for damage to be done. The tongue gives life or administers death each day. The word “but” is important. We must carefully listen to the order of our sentences to determine the condition of our heart and level of faith operated in. If God, Jesus or Lord come before the word “but” when used we have a problem.

 

Sitting in a Sunday school class, the attendees were sharing special prayer requests and the needs of others. As one might expect, there were many who asked for prayer for ailing family and friends. As we bowed our head to pray, the speaker said, “And God if it is Your Will to heal these folks…” I almost came out of my chair right there save my husband sitting right next to me. Of course, it is God’s Will to save, heal, deliver and restore us. Why would He have allowed His Son to be tortured and die for anything less? I opened my eyes and looked around the room and everyone was praying earnestly. Their intentions were good but they did not understand. We must know what we believe. We must examine the contents of our heart. We must allow Jesus to transform us day by day especially until our heart and mind agree. From the abundance of our heart, the mouth speaks. Healing is most certainly the Will of God – He says so in His Word. God holds all power and authority in our life. Jesus is Lord of our life when He comes after all “buts”.

 

Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 

Looking back in the Old Testament, there are many references to “but God” in the accounts of men like Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph just to name a few. When life was less than favorable, the passage generally ends “but” God or “but” the Lord was with them, or “but” they found favor with God. These men faced many challenges. In the end, it was the “but God” was with them that changed everything.

 

Mark 9:22-24 (NIV)

“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

 

All things are possible to those who believe. I know many believers who I consider to be strong Christians who still have unbelief. I still have unbelief in me at times. Everything is possible for one who believes. The more we believe the less impossible life becomes. “If you can…” Jesus didn’t like that statement very much. “If you can…” he responded to the man with a quick correction. The man said, “I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.” Even the smallest amount of disbelief is a faith ender, miracle spoiler, blessing robber, and dream killer. We must check our declaration to determine the driving force of our life. This may help us understand why Heaven has not made it to earth yet, healings aren’t happening and deliverance is dead. The impossible is only possible when we believe.

 

Romans 8:8-10 (NIV)

Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.

 

“But” if Christ is in you, then you have been made righteous. Many times but is our excuse for trying to help God our or establish some kind of work in our life. Righteousness is in Christ alone. Our connection to Him is established in desperation and never co-dependency. Nothing we can ever do for Christ will be worthy of what He has done for us and is now trying to do through us. The realm of flesh separates us from the realm of hope. God’s Spirit works inside us to cultivate more faith of the little that we have and produce spiritual fruit to satisfy our soul and promote generosity and sharing of that fruit with others. We do not produce increase in our life. We may plant or water but it is always God who gives us increase. (I Corinthians 3:6-7) God is trying to grow us today and move us from the barren unproductive state of God, we must change “but” to “but God” again.

 

I Corinthians 3:10-11 (NIV)

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

 

“For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.” (Hebrews 3:4) Humility can be crushing sometimes and I find that every time I enter a transformation phase in my life that the subject is addressed. Everything I am. Everything I can do. Every word I speak must be devoted to the supremacy of Christ in my life for faith to fill my life. When I take precedence or situations become priorities or my words are not petitions to God but complaints to man, I rob myself of the blessing of righteous obedience. Friend, the Lord can do it without you. You are not a martyr in your labor but simply took the burden from Christ. Our competence is completely from Christ alone. (2 Corinthians 3:5) Apart from Him, we can do nothing of worth or value for us or the Kingdom of God. (John 15:5) It is in Christ alone. It’s humbling to think that all my hard work is in vain when it is not attributed to Christ, wrapped in love, and surrendered to Him. I am nothing without Him.

 

I Corinthians 2:11-13 (NIV)

For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

 

The third relapse of cancer in our son was the worst of all. It had spread from his neck throughout his entire torso. His scan was an array of dots throughout his body. The doctors had declared us in the realm of hope now because to them the reality was that cancer was winning. After the third round of chemo, they were going to scan his body to see if the treatment was helping. It came with a warning. Do not be discouraged if the cancer is still there. The only thing we want to see is that it is no longer spreading. Something rose up in me, it had to be God. I was really struggling by now with the continued relapses in the natural but I asked anyway, “What if it’s gone?” Patting me on the shoulder and then putting her arm around me, the doctor tried to let me down gently and after some pressing, she said, “It’s impossible!” My heart began beating wildly in my chest, my spirit long dampened by bad reports and the Holy Ghost began stirring in me. Could it be? Was it true? Was something about to happen? When she called me three days, yes, three days later, it was to a doctor laughing hysterically. The scan was clear and the cancer gone.

 

The reality was that our son would relapse again and again. The Truth is that he is alive and well today in total remission to the Glory of God. God works in the impossible. When we dare challenge the lines of reality with God’s Word backed by just a little faith, impossible things happen. Revival will break out when continue to push the line of the impossibilities with conversations that are declarations of faith rather than empowering fear and doubt. We must work day by day to wrap our head around God’s Supremacy and Power allowing His Spirit to convince our heart until our mouth cannot give credit, power or authority to anyone or anything else without immediately realizing the mistake. God wants the impossible to be labeled possible and probable in our life. it begins with me. I must examine every single word that I speak, comparing it to the Word of God and making sure that God always comes after my “buts”. Titus 1:15-16 talks about those who claim to know God but remain impure and corrupted. I don’t want to be someone who has to tell others that I believe in God because my life does not display the Truth. I want them to know without asking. Your situation does not dictate one’s faith and circumstances hold no power over us. No matter if the bondage faced is real or perceived, the truth remains unchained and moving in our life. (2 Timothy 2:8-10) Isaiah realized that he was unclean. The angel touched his lips with a coal from the altar. He was cleansed and renewed immediately to do the work of God.

 

Titus 3:3-6 (NIV)

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior…”

 

Jesus said, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” I believe this includes powerless conversation when we allow something or someone else to have more power than God in our life. I trust God “but”… I believe in Jesus “but”. All those times when we profess faith “but” nullify it with fear and futility. We are all guilt of it. When we add all the reasons that make it impossible to trust the Lord, this should be lead to immediate conviction so that we can surrender our thoughts and mind back to Christ. Do our words relay foolishness, disobedience, deception, bondage, malice, envy, hatred or do we constantly express confidence, love, affirmation and allegiance to Christ which frees us of worldly expectation so we can love more, give more and serve more in the Kingdom of God.

 

If someone hurts me, then comes to issue an apology, it is all good until they use the word “but”. I’m sorry “but”…is a lie. For example, I’m sorry “but” I was having a bad day. I’m sorry “but” you made me whatever. Repentance does not come with an excuse. There is no need for “but” when it comes to our life of faith. The only time “but” is effective is when it is “but God.” We all need to be washed by His Blood on a daily basis. We all could use the coal on our lips each day. There is no shame in accepting His Mercy given to us. The greatest sin of all is to know His Great Love and refuse to receive it. We must strive in all things to be like Jesus. We are successful when we surrender everything to Jesus. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Listen to your words each day to see if faith is holding power or fear has taken over. Now do something about it. The words that are spoken after “but” nullify everything spoken before. The subject of our “but” is the one that holds power in our life. Who is that today?

 

Philippians 4:5-7 (NIV)

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Speechless

Speechless

Psalm 19:14 (NKJV)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your Sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

 

I lost my voice. No, it was not a bout with illness or straining my vocal chords. Nope. I handed it over. I was done with it, I guess. When met with opposition, I became silent. This is the revelation overtaking me in church yesterday during Sunday school. The lesson was on discerning our spiritual condition and the importance of exercising God’s Will for us. As I sat taking notes, it hit me. I am mute. Like the Little Mermaid, I surrendered my voice to the dark side where it has been hidden for years now.

 

Ariel desired a human prince rather than keeping to the sea of her birth. She wanted to be human just to be with him. When offered the chance, she gave the sea witch, Ursula, her voice. Ironically, this was what attracted the handsome prince to her in the first place. Left to her own girly devices she must woo her beloved in other ways. In the Disney classic, she does just that with a happily ever after ending. However, this is not the original story. The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson ends quite differently for our heroine. The mermaid does not get the prince. Her exchange with the sea witch gives her legs for her words that cause pain. She dances for her prince at his request in overwhelming agony. He chooses another. The only way to regain her voice and return to the sea is to kill him but she cannot. She dissolves into sea mist. The end. Not quite the glamorous ending one might hope for, but more realistic of life’s tragedies.

 

I gave my voice away. I became speechless. I see when it happened. I remember the day. The church built by people will always possess some imperfection of humanity. We can get hurt. Become bitter. Encounter opposition. Experience separation. Heartbreaking outcomes in a place of that should harbor the miraculous. It was traumatic. I shut me up. I have been so ever since. How about you? Are living in the consequence of brokenness? What have you surrendered in your hurt? What is keeping you from fully pursuing the Lord wholeheartedly? I asked. He answered. Now I must find a way to fix it…

 

Romans 10:8-11 (NKJV)

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

 

Confession is good for the soul. (Scottish proverb) It actually states that “Open confession is goof for the soul.” It reminds my soul what I believe and Who I believe in. We must confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, as well as, believing in our heart to be saved. Confession is not a suggestion but a requirement. It is not the only requirement on our life. It is just the beginning.

 

“The word of faith is what we preach…” See it is hidden in the midst of basic Christianity. The foundation of our life of faith is Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 3:11)  Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in human flesh. (John 1:14) In His Death, He released His Spirit to all mankind. (Matthew 27:50-53) Giving us the Word in the form of Living Water (John 7:38) inside of us to be fed cup by cup to the world in which we live. (Matthew 10:42) With our mouth, we must confess our salvation but the mandate on our life does not stop there. It is the preach the Gospel in season and out of season.

 

2 Timothy 4:1-2 (NKJV)

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

 

Day after day, week after week, month after month, I stood before others teaching the Word of God. Telling of His Great Name, about His Son, His Plan of salvation and the pursuit of holiness. The day it ended, I fell silent. I didn’t do it intentionally. In fact, I was completely unaware of it until yesterday. I stopped teaching others. I stopped standing before many to tell of His Great Name. My faith was intact. I still believed. I didn’t walk away from the Lord. However, now as I consider my trepidation and fear of speaking – I cannot help but wonder where it came from. I sit day after day in the Presence of God and type out what I believe He tells me. Others use it to teach and preach literally around the world including communist countries and even in the heart of Islam there are people reading it. I didn’t realize that this place of comfort and security had also become my prison.

 

God didn’t change. His mandate on my life remained exactly as previously prescribed. It was me who stepped back. It was me who allowed the enemy to render me speechless. Now as I try to reclaim my voice, it is much harder than I thought. For 2,615 days (including today), I have come to this place. I have listened and responded the same way but transcribing what the Lord is speaking to my heart. For the same number of days, I have not taught a single lesson. I have not preached the Word. I have simply shared it with those who asked or I came into contact with and even then somewhat reluctantly. We are all called to preach the Word of God in season and out of season. I have lasted well beyond any season of rest that may have been given and built a place of personal protection that has kept me from fulfilling His Call.

 

Psalm 40:3-5 (NKJV)

He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are Your Wonderful Works which You have done; and Your Thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

 

If I can assure you of anything today, let it be that God still speaks to His People. In all those days that I have spent in quiet time, Bible study and prayer – the conversation has never been lacking. I think that He opened my heart to this daily blog to fill me with His Word and prepare me for the moment that I might stand up to the enemy, give back the spirit of fear, and snatch my voice back from him again. I believe that day is coming. Who knows it may already be here? God has put a new song in my mouth.

 

Heaven and earth declare the Glory of God. (Psalm 19:1-4) The Word of God is worthy of my breath blowing it into speech and speaking it into the atmosphere. (Psalm 19:7-11) If I do not glorify God with my voice, the rocks will cry out in my place. (Luke 19:40) He has given me a message to offer others without anything else from me other than submission, surrender and obedience. Just giving my life to the Lord affords me enough goodness, grace and favor to tell others about. Yet, I say nothing. The Lord has purposed that I speak up. He has filled me with His Word. (Isaiah 51:16) It is not a distasteful word that is sour to the taste, but as sweet as honey straight from the comb. (Psalm 119:103-104) If I don’t speak up for Jesus, one of two things will occur. Someone else will take my place and/or I will use my words for someone else. There is only good and evil. I decide what the confession of my life is when I decide to allow the Lord to have complete control over my lips, tongue and voice. “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” (Proverbs 15:23)

 

Psalm 61:1-3 (NKJV)

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

 

2 Corinthians 4:5 (NKJV)

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.

 

The Spirit of God is upon me. He has given me the Holy Spirit. I have the resurrection power of the Living God inside me making all things possible just because I believe. Why do signs, wonders and miracles not prevalent in my life? They have been. When our son was sick, the third cancer diagnosis was by far the worst. Cancer was in his lymph nodes literally from his neck throughout his torso to his abdomen. The doctors declared our entrance to the realm of hope because modern medicine was failing. We were losing the fight. I acknowledge the realm of hope as the place where impossible things happened and called it openly, publicly and unashamedly God’s Presence and Christ’s Dwelling Place making all things possible. Now I really don’t know if that was a true confession or a constant reminder for my soul that giving up was not an option. When it was time to see if the treatment had slowed the cancer’s progression, I was warned that they did not expect to see improvement but just an overall lack of progression. I said, “But what if it were gone?” Patting me gently, like a disillusioned child, the doctor spoke slowly and deliberately to me that it was impossible. To hope for nothing more than a halt to its continued spreading but that the chemo had not yet had time to work given the gravity and depth of his disease. I inquired again, “But what if it has…” She finally gave in and said, “It would be a miracle.” When I answered the phone that night, it was the call I had been expecting with his scan results. What I did not expect was the laughter met with. She continued to chuckle as she said, “Lori, you are not going to believe this…” I immediately blurted out. “It’s gone isn’t it?” His cancer was completely gone.

 

I am anointed with the Spirit of the Living God just like any other believer. I have found in those moments that my faith is tested to the extreme and I have no other choice to trust and believe that the power in my words is significant. It is not me but the Christ that I have allowed to work in me as I believe AND confess. Confession is not only good for our soul but has the power to change our situation. Our message is but one thing – Jesus Christ and His Power. (2 Corinthians 4:5) His Spirit adds wisdom to His Word allowing us to effectively express it to others. We are mandated to do so because His Spirit is in us. God’s Word hidden in me is to be preached (by me) from the rooftops. (Matthew 10:27-28) The Gospel does not become salvation until given to another. (Matthew 11:4-6) The Lord invested it in us not just to sit there or fill our own life with goodness but that we would produce much fruit. We must plant it in others to experience a harvest. This will make our own soul prosper, too. The Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus must make it around the whole world so that Jesus can come back. (Matthew 24:13-14) The purpose of discipleship is to preach and spread the Word of God. Equipped and empowered there must be execution to be valid.  I can spend my whole life seeking the Lord, reading His Word, studying, meditating and serving but if I do not preach His Word effectively to the world – then what? It is in giving others the Precious Gift of God’s Grace, Mercy and Love that makes our pursuit successful. Each preacher has a platform. In the past, mine has been teaching. Taking the Word of God and breaking it down for everyday life. Making it a practical application for this life. That is until I became speechless. If we desire to see signs, wonders and miracles occur around us, we must release the Word of God and its wonder-working power with our mouth. (Mark 16:19-20)

 

Romans 10:14-15 (NKJV)

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

 

We have all the Power of God in our frail human being searching for a way into the atmosphere of our life. God’s Intention and Primary Motivation toward humanity has always been and will always be love. Nothing more or less. He loves us completely. Our response to that love would be acknowledgment only since we can do nothing to earn His Love or make it a reality on our own. To believe in His Love will produce a message in us worthy of the world. It will shine Light into the darkness surrounding us and illuminate the way for others or at least it should. The Lord called me and anointed me to teach others the Way of Christ. I know that but have not been obedient with my mouth for quite some time. I have been rendered speechless by fear, self-doubt, and an overall whooping (as we say in the south) at the enemy’s hands. He cannot take my message from me. It is my salvation. It is the Holy Spirit that lives in me. Until I am willing to give back the spirit of fear and take hold of the Holy Boldness that He offers for those who are free, I will never escape this self-built prison. I do not want rocks to cry out for me. I want to be a messenger of the beautiful love story written in my heart.

 

Ephesians 3:8-13 (NKJV)

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

 

Did I fail the test? When the trial came and I gave up, did I fail? Nothing is ever wasted in the Lord. For the last seven years, I have dug in the Word of God like never before. I have developed my mind, conditioned my heart, and survived the worst tribulation I could even imagine. While the enemy has gloated in my silence, the Lord has been secreted preparing me for more. I feel it stirring inside of me as shackles of fear, doubt and anxiety fall off. The Lord promises in His Word to make good on every detail of our life as believers. What does your prison look like today? Not everyone is called to teach, there are many other Gifts of the Spirit that the enemy will gladly steal from us when given the chance. Today I am taking back what the enemy stole from me, how about you? In Jesus Name, we ask you Lord to show us what has been taken and give us the faith to take it back!

 

Isaiah 6:5-8 (NKJV)

So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

 

 

The Fruit of My Mouth

The Fruit of My Mouth

Proverbs 18:20-21 (NIV)

From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

 

Communication. What are do we talk about? How do we use our words? I happen to use a lot of words in a single day just ask my husband. When I am not talking and expressing myself, it is then he becomes worried that something is wrong. In general, people know how I feel about something without soliciting a response. The Lord has done a tremendous work in my mouth. That’s right in my mouth. The Message that we have been given to share with the world seems obvious until given to people to carry out. We have this treasure in jars of clay. (2 Corinthians 4:7) The Great Commission would be more effective if we considered the condition of our “jar” rather than trying to flavor the Word given to us.

 

I was once told that the word “but” nullifies everything that comes before it. I’m sorry…but. Think about it. It’s true. We do it all the time. Excuses are born of buts. We have this wonderful message of God’s Great Love. It is news worth sharing with everyone we come in contact. Why do we insist on sharing other things? Meaningless things? Pointless things? Harmful words? Careless expressions? Forget about killing the messenger. The messenger has lost the Word given to deliver.

Christians are dissatisfied and hungry for fulfillment. What could a person in such a state have to offer or testify about their God to the watching, waiting and dying world? The chasm grows wider as the need to share one’s opinion or prove they are right overrides the love, kindness and compassion that is the love letter signed by Jesus’ Blood on the Cross and entrusted in our hearts to deliver. The tongue indeed holds the power of life and death. I was taught from a very young age that they can do infinitely more damage than a weapon and should not be used unintentionally. In other words, if you do not mean it do not say it. So how do we fix the problem?

Ephesians 4:29-32 (NIV)

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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Do not let ANY unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only hat is helpful for building others up according to THEIR needs, that it may been THOSE who listen. My goal for 2016 in a nutshell. I would love to say that every single world I speak is kind, loving and encouraging. I would be lying if I did. As my walk with Christ intensifies, and I long for a deeper relationship with my Savior and Lord I find that the refining fire is headed toward my mouth. God wants ALL my communication to be worthy of His Spirit that nothing I say will grieve His Spirit in me. It will be a full-time job. I am to get rid of ALL bitterness, rage, anger, brawling and slander. All of it. Even the smallest most miniscule amount must be severely and harshly dealt with. Every form of malice. I am to be kind and compassionate to every other human being I come in contact with. I must forgive anyone and everyone that I harbor ill feelings towards like Christ forgave me which means grace comes with it. Lord, how will I do this?

 

Matthew 15:10-11 (NIV)

Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth that is what defiles them.”

 

“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them” is referring to religiosity and customs. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. This freedom allows us to live and express our worship as we choose. However, it comes with this reminder. “What comes out of our mouth that is what defiles them.” Religion is not a sin unless it interferes with our relationship to Jesus Christ. The only thing in our life that is sinful is that which contradicts or interferes with our relationship to the Lord. Otherwise, go for it. The problem is that sometimes religion takes over righteousness which moves us from humility to personal exaltation which convinces us that somehow do not need grace anymore. In that state, we begin to judge others from a human point of view rather than a godly perspective. Case in point – homeless guy sitting on the side of the road with a sign that reads “Why lie I need a beer?” What do you do? Religion says I will not feed his addiction. Jesus says, “Let’s buy him a burger and bring it back.” The struggle to love others in spite of their sin is hard. I get that. It is difficult to give someone who isn’t working or doing their “fair share” your hard earned dollar BUT that is exactly what Jesus would do. What does that have to do with communication? How does it impact our message? Well, if we ever allow ourselves to get to the place where we feel more worthy of God’s Grace and Love than someone else, we have a heart problem that needs His Healing all over again.

Luke 6:45 (NIV)

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

 

From the abundance the heart our mouth speaks. Our mouth relays the condition of our heart unwillingly. As the words come tumbling out, it makes it clear to others what our motive is and intentions concerning them. What goes in is what comes out. It is simple science. If you feed worldly communication and only take in what the world has to offer, it is going to contaminate your jar so whatever is stored there is ruined. Jesus told the Pharisees, “Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” (Matthew 23:26) When we come to Christ, there is an immediate work in us that will often change how we communicate. We stop using certain words. We try to soften certain expressions. You know, we pick up new lingo. Just as we grow in our relationship with Christ, so should our vocabulary change and develop bearing fruit. “The mouth of the righteous should bear fruit of wisdom…” (Proverbs 10:31) Which means? “Bless your heart” is a real and not a statement to validate malice spoken previously. “I will pray for you” are real words of agreement not just a way to facilitate gossip. The enemy does not give up on us just because we surrender our life to Jesus. No, if anything this gets him all fired up and directs his attention on us. He will use every scheme he has to trick us into using our communication as a curse rather than the blessing it could be to us and others.

Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

 

It is important that our mouth and heart agree. If we declare with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart, it is salvation to our soul. Our heart believes. My mouth should profess my faith in every attitude and action on a daily basis. Cursing does not flow from a righteous mouth. The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life. (Proverbs 10:11) What I say about my life reflects the belief in my heart. Grumbling and complaining implies dissatisfaction with God who is my provider. Bickering and fighting exemplifies a lack of peace in my heart. Worrying and stressing over everything means that my heart is faithless and full of fear. Doubt is foretold in pessimism expresses a small lifeless god with no power. If we do not know how to effectively communicate love to others, it is an expression of a heart that has not yet encountered the limitless and unfailing Love of God. Our mouth is a prime indicator of our hearts condition. If the words we hear coming out of our mouth are not reflective of the work inside our heart  – we must change what we are saying to the Glory of God.

James 3:9-12 (NIV)

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

We are told early on that if we have nothing nice to say that we should say nothing at all. This is okay for children and spiritually immature. However, one encounter with Jesus Christ changes everything as we answer the call to “follow Him.” Acceptance of Jesus as our Savior and Lord fills our mouth with a message worth sharing. He overflows us with grace, mercy and love not just for our own satisfaction but to share with everyone who we come in contact with. Even in the privacy of our home in quiet conversation with hushed voices with our closest companion or maybe our spouse using words not of love and affirmation but malice and ill will can cause damage in the heavenly realm. We are given the authority of binding and loosing in the Name of Jesus. The fire started by my tongue is so that others will want to know the God I serve and His Son who saved me. The message is all about love. I am the messenger. Lord, make my heart and mouth agree. Cleanse me of anything not worthy to be communicated along with Your Great Love!

Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Wasted Words – A Devotion

Matthew 12:33-36 (Amplified)

Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy and good), or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad), and its fruit rotten (diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit. You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things. But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.

 

Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks and goes on and on. If you will lend an ear, you will get an ear full. People long to speak AND be heard. Jesus tells us that on Judgment Day we will be made to give an account for every idle word we speak. Now I used to believe this was just an inventory of conversation as we communicate in life on a daily basis, but today I have decided this to be very different. God will ask for an account of every idle or inoperative and nonworking word in my life. What’s the difference? Communication is part of all relationships. It is how we connect and interact with one another and is a part of God’s design for His People. However, as we are a “tree” planted by a stream of living water, then the fruit of our lips will reflect the contents of our heart. His Word should fill our heart making our conversation productive as His Kingdom works inside of us. The majority of words spoken reveal nothing more than empty conversation revealing a true and genuine lack of faith. Doubt and contradiction to God are evident in a lack of knowledge and real understanding of the person of God, who He is and His Purpose for His People. What is your mouth saying about you today? Your words do not reveal anything about another person because truthfully only God can see the human heart. No matter how diligently we try to disguise our distrust of the Lord it shows in the fruit of our mouth when we speak words that are not from an overflow or superabundance that is healthy and good but rather diseased and bad. The fruit of your lips today will most definitely effect what you harvest tomorrow.

 

Matthew 21:18-19 (Amplified)

In the early dawn the next morning, as He was coming back to the city, He was hungry. And as He saw one single leafy fig tree above the roadside, He went to it but He found nothing but leaves on it [seeing that in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. And He said to it, “Never again shall fruit grow on you! And the fig tree withered up at once.”

 

Jesus was hungry. When he saw the “leafy” fig tree, it should have meant that beneath the leaves there would be hidden figs. However, when Jesus went to eat from the tree, there were as no fruit at all but only leaves on it so Jesus cursed the tree and it died. God has filled us with breath in creation and by His Spirit. He has given each one a purpose and destiny. It is facilitated by sowing and reaping. If the words of our mouth do not line up with a “faith full” heart, we are being deceived. It would be better for the Lord to destroy and wither the leaves in our life than to allow us to be unproductive Christians. Affliction and opposition in life are those times that Jesus allows our leaves to wither in an effort to fill our heart with His Superabundance so our words will produce a harvest once again. There are too many “leafy” people walking around spouting all the religious banter and church phrases without a heart that is alignment with God and His Kingdom. If your heart is void of the Kingdom, then your words are unproductive. The breath of God that began your life must also experience the Breath of His Spirit to experience a harvest of His Goodness. The Holy Spirit cooperates with man’s spirit in order to change the contents of one’s heart. Jesus restored righteousness to mankind so that we could tap into the Kingdom and become productive. On Judgment Day, the Lord will ask about all the words and deeds that were fruitless, unproductive and inoperative. The only way to change the outcome of this day is to change the contents of our heart and mind to produce effective words that are healthy and good so our seed will be the same. Otherwise, it is better for the Lord to allow us continual hardship until our hearts and minds are purified, filled with faith that comes from Knowledge of God that is evidenced by bearing the fruit of His Spirit in our life beginning with the overflow that comes from our mouth in the form of words. To boast about spiritual things without a faithful heart is like advertising fresh figs but only providing leaves. To a world that is starving for salvation – it would seem that the Lord finds this cruel and unforgivable.

 

Genesis 3:1-5 (Amplified)

Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, “You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”But the serpent said to the woman, “You shall not surely die for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity.”

Cross references:

  1. Genesis 3:1 : Rev. 12:9-11.
  2. Genesis 3:4 : II Cor. 11:3.

 

Make no mistake while the devil is not omniscient and all-knowing as God is, he is not stupid. He is subtle and crafty which is a dangerous combination. The enemy is listening to every single word that you say and preparing to use it against you. If he can just plant a seed of doubt, the enemy knows that he can contaminate the entire crop of your mouth. The devil knows the Word of God better than you do. When we do not know the God’s Word, the enemy is crafty and stealth to use ignorance against the Body of Jesus Christ. Blind faith is useless. Although faith is the unseen reality of God, it is not blind. Compromised trust is always a possibility if we do not trust God fully. You will not trust what you do not know…seriously. To say that you trust God with nothing to back it up is not a wise choice. Eve fell to this very deception. When the serpent challenged God’s Character – Eve could not produce a response. What is your response when your faith is challenged? Sin was introduced to mankind by eating fruit that did not produce life but death instead. The Tree of Good and Evil was taken from in disobedience. Think about it. The Knowledge of Good and Evil was not the problem, however; it was disobedience in taking from it that caused death. Sin against God is always the culprit. It is the root of our problem that can only be cured by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Once we have accepted this gift of life, it is our responsibility to preserve it by constantly feeding on the Word of God and applying it to our life. It will begin to change us from the inside out and what we say and how we act that is if we indeed are investing seeds of the Kingdom in our heart to grow and develop into a faithful harvest in our life. You have to know the Word of God to live a successful, productive and fruitful Christian life. It is very important. What will you have to offer the Lord on Judgment Day is dependent on one’s ability to allow the Spirit of God to plant and prepare us today!

 

Isaiah 57:18-19 (Amplified)

I have seen his [willful] ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him also and will recompense him and restore comfort to him and to those who mourn for him. Peace, peace, to him who is far off [both Jew and Gentile] and to him who is near! says the Lord; I create the fruit of his lips, and I will heal him [make his lips blossom anew with speech in thankful praise].

 

The Lord is not condemning you today but inviting you to a productive life. He does not want to “curse” you or “destroy” you but rather is trying desperately to revive and restore you. You may still be far away from the Lord, but He wants to be closer and is making the way for faith to enter your life. He knows all your willful ways but promises to heal you and lead you into His Presence. His Purpose is to recompense (return what has been taken from you) and restore you from the inside out beginning with Peace and Purpose. Your heart, mind and soul must be in union with the Lord in order to cultivate faith. God is doing that right now. He is creating fruit for your lips in a heart that seeks to know Him more and will stop at nothing to obtain knowledge and understanding found in a productive relationship with Jesus. Relax God is changing the words of your lips by creating an atmosphere of peace, hope and love that promotes praise and thanksgiving to God which starts the cycle all over again. Now you will be speaking worthy and working words over your life rather than cursing the harvest of tomorrow – today!

 

Proverbs 18:20-21 (NKJV)

A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.

 

The words of our mouth should feed our soul and the souls of all we encounter each day. They should contain words of life produced from a harvest of faith in heart overwhelmed and superabundant grace that in turn produces more and more trust in the Lord. You cannot fake the truth when dealing with God. Others may be fooled…for awhile. You may even fool yourself until opposition arrives. But only those who sow and reap the Kingdom of God through His Word, Will and Way will survive Judgment Day. God has given you the power of life and death in your tongue. In many ways, it can control your destiny. Isn’t it time the fruit of our mouth was satisfying? Why lived a cursed lie rather than a blessed life? It begins and ends with the words of our mouth. Make it a point to stop wasting your words on worthless communication that is inoperative and nonworking in your life. It is not worth the pain now and price to be paid when they are judged. Purpose in your heart to produce working words from a faithful heart filled with Godly knowledge producing wisdom to live by!

 

Hebrews 13:15 (Amplified)

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.

 

Shut My Mouth – A Devotion

Shut My Mouth

Psalm 19:13-15 (NLT)

Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt
and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Picture if you will the Holy Spirit standing guard by your heart. In His Hand, He holds a net and in the other a coil of rope. Suddenly the heart begins to beat erratically, uh-oh, trouble is on the way. It churns around and grows puffed up. Get ready here it comes. Suddenly the door flies open and a steady stream of words come flying out that are clearly not godly or good. The Holy Spirit springs into action. He casts His Net over the angry, hurtful tirade and jumps on top of it. Taking the rope, the Spirit quickly and efficiently binds the wicked unnecessary rant and throws it into your stomach to be digested and discarded as the waste that it is. That was close, or was it? Most of the time, we do not position the Holy Spirit over our heart much less as a gatekeeper of our mouth. Really what’s the point, there is no treasure to guard. It is filled with the things of this world. Nothing of true relevance worth God’s Time and Effort to secure is inside many hearts because we have not taken the time to make an investment in righteousness, pride has taken over and it holds no value. There is a direct connection between the heart and mouth. It is significant. However, until we recognize the value and importance of filling our heart with His Word and placing the Holy Spirit as a guard over our heart and gatekeeper of our mouth, it is a futile effort to strive for righteousness.

 

Romans 10:8-10 (NLT)

In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

 

Our mouth confesses the contents of the heart. Now if believers could control their tongue, our secrets would be safe. There are many people who “say” that Jesus is Lord. However, the confession of one’s mouth is not confined to a single statement but the sum total of what is spoken in the course of a lifetime. Confession is defined as an acknowledgment. Interestingly enough, most often, it is used to describe an admission of guilt. To confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ is a confession of guilt by a believer. Never thought about it that way before, but it is a realization and confirmation that I have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. It is an admission that the ONLY way that I will be reunited with God is through Jesus Christ BECAUSE of my inability to pay the debt of my transgressions. By confessing with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, I plead guilty. Suddenly, my heart is obligated to the Lord IF I believe the words I have spoken. If we “say” that Jesus is Lord, but live and speak to the contrary, then it becomes clear that we do not believe the words we have spoken making it a lie. Therefore, if I truly make the confession that Jesus Christ is Lord, it will filter the words of my heart because now I am obligated to the Lord. I owe it to Jesus. No one pays a bill in error. In fact, we will fight with the company until they clear our account if we did not incur the charges. In this same way, our flesh will consistently refute our claim of salvation by expressing itself at every given opportunity until it reclaims control of our heart. However, if we know we owe a debt to a company, then we do not argue but will repay the money owed. What is your confession today? Are you a sinner saved by grace? If so, then you are obligated to Jesus Christ and your words will reflect a humble, submitted heart.

 

Ezekiel 33:30-31 (NLT)

“Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the Lord is saying!” So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money.”

 

Ouch! God sees AND hears it all. He sees your heart and connects it with your words and vice versa. There is no way to sever the two. God revealed to the prophet the truth as painful as it sounds. I wish I could say that this died in the Old Testament, but it would be a lie. There are many people who “say” that Jesus is Lord, but live to the contrary beginning with their words transcending into their actions. (Matthew 15:7-9) You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’”

There are believers who have no intention of doing what they say. If you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and you are guilty of sin, it will change your words and life. However, if it all is the same, there is insincerity lurking within the confines of that heart. Insincerity is a warning sign that something is not connecting in the heart and mouth of a believer. It is a dangerous place that needs immediate intervention. A true confession creates an obligation between your heart and mouth. It changes what you say and what you do, because you are responsible to God. Every word we speak is subject to the Word of God for those who feel helpless in repayment of their sins. If Jesus Christ is the Way you have chosen, there is a faith requirement based on trust that He is your only Hope. Do your words reflect a sincere heart today? Or could they easily be mistaken for any other worldly conversation? Do you honor God with your lips but your heart is far from Him? It will not be long until our words follow our wayward hearts.

 

Luke 6:44-45 (NLT)

A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thorn bushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

 

Believers must become fruit inspectors. To connect one’s heart and words, we must carefully inspect every single conversation and confession that is made. Does it reflect our responsibility to the Lord due to our confession and need for salvation? The words that we say are a direct reflection of the contents of our heart and must be inspected continuously. A heart surrendered to God will be guarded by His Spirit because it is His Treasure. You are the Lord’s Prize and very valuable to Him once you have humbly chosen to accept Jesus Christ and live by faith. However, when the mouth “says” one thing but the heart reveals another – there is a discrepancy. Voided faith and nullified trust are a direct result of untamed words and wayward hearts. The two must operate in unison. By exchanging the things of this world with the Word of God and restocking your heart with those things associated with His Righteousness will change the overflow of one’s mouth. You cannot change the harvest without changing the seed. The abundance of your heart is determined by what is sown. Are you sowing the fruit of the Spirit? (Galatians 5:22-23) But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Like the famous commercial that asks, “What’s in your wallet?”, the Lord is inquiring, “What’s in your heart?” It will flow through your words! He doesn’t really even have to ask because your words are telling.

 

Proverbs 15:28 (NLT)

The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.

 

Think carefully about your words today. Not only the ones you will use today, but the ones from yesterday. What do they reveal about the contents of your heart? Maybe you are thinking about your words but have no idea what to compare them to. Simple, my friend, every single word you use should be compared to the Word of God. If it cannot be reconciled with Christ, it should be immediately discarded. Those with sincere hearts who love God and choose to serve Him responsibly will be given the Holy Spirit as a guide. When you feel those ungodly words and contrary thoughts rising up, the Spirit of God will apprehend them and subject them to the Power of God for those fully submitted and yielded to the Lord. Lord, I ask you today to shut my mouth when it threatens to reveal an insufficiency in my heart and make me whole. May I consider each and every word I speak and reconcile it to Jesus Christ who I confess is Lord of my Life. Make me accountable today to your Word, Will and Way. You are my only hope! Make the connection today in the Name of Jesus!