Tag Archives: truth

Encouragement

Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV — Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I find encouragement in these words.

There is much about life and God’s Word I don’t know, but this I do understand.

This life is not all there is.

Jesus Christ has saved my soul from sin and death, and some blessed day, I’ll be with Him.

Thus, I can find great joy in these words which fuel my perspective to look up, look forward to the return of Christ or my release from this physical tent.

Do you have this same assurance?

Is your soul safe with the Lord?

If so:

Philippians 4:4 NKJV — Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

If not:

Acts 16:30-31 NKJV — And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

1 John 1:7-10 NKJV — But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Let us, this day, rejoice in the salvation of the Lord our God, sing praises to Him and bless His holy name!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You so much for salvation and the security of knowing my soul is safe with You. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word of truth which is a lamp to my feet and bread to my soul. Lord, thank You for Your unending love and incredible mercy. Lord Jesus, please help me to live unto You alone this day, not walking in fear, not being tripped up by the enemy, not speaking words of worthlessness, but wholly leaning upon Your Word, Your truth, and walking in Your ways. Lord Jesus, please continue to touch those who need You so desperately, bringing comfort, peace, salvation, and healing to our broken world. Thank You. Amen.

(Please feel free to contact me if you would like prayer, have questions, or are interested in other scriptures.)

Know the Master by…

…the messenger He sends.

Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Mark 1:6‭-‬8 NKJV

The man God chose to come directly before Him was a humble man.

He didn’t coerce people with flattering words nor did he promise grand schemes.

John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Mark 1:4 NKJV

He spoke truth.

Matthew 3:1-2 NKJV — In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

His words weren’t coated with “feel good” phrases, for his job was as the man who warns of impending destruction, quick and directly to the point.

Matthew 3:7-10NKJV — But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Because God was about to stand before these same people and if they wouldn’t listen to John, God’s prophet sent to prepare the way, they were going to miss the single most important person of all time.

No wonder John the Baptist had firery words for those who would, in future, be the very ones who condemn Jesus for being exactly who John said he was, the Lamb of God.

John 1:29 KJV — The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Through this messenger, John the Baptist, we see the importance God places on truth.

John wasn’t going to gain importance with his dress nor his status.

He didn’t gain people’s attention by entertainment or smooth words.

John, if anything, was poorly dressed, underfed, and could be considered abrasive in his speech.

Yet, his life had an enormous impact and people’s hearts were changed.

John the Baptist did exactly as he was sent to do.

He prepared the way for Jesus.

And through a look at God’s messenger, we can learn more about the Lord.

God’s messenger was a humble man.

God, Himself, came humbly to earth as a babe without even a proper cradle.

John the Baptist didn’t warn only those everyone classified as “sinner”, but spoke clearly to all of their needed to repent.

Jesus wasn’t seen teaching only the elite, but was criticized for His time with sinners.

Both were executed for their words.

The hard, foolish heart of Herod was responsible for the death of John.

The hard and foolish hearts of the religious leaders was responsible for the death of Jesus.

How sad that so many people missed both God’s messenger and God Himself.

The trappings we often place upon one another as to status, value, or cultural importance can hinder our ability to see clearly.

Therefore, let us look to the Word of God and learn truth, because if we humble ourselves, we can be taught.

Because God doesn’t follow mankind’s ideas of how things should be accomplished nor does He place importance upon the things we often think mean the most.

1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV — But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Lord, thank You for coming to earth, humble and reachable. Thank You for the truth of Your gospel and those You chose to use to share that truth. Lord Jesus, thank You for all we can learn from Your Word and from looking at those You chose to send. Lord, please help me to be humble and to share Your truth with integrity. Lord, please keep me from trying to flavor or dress-up the gospel, but instead that I would lovingly share the truth without compromise. Lord, help me to be obedient to You each day and leave the results up to You. For You alone know what is in each heart and You alone know what is best. Thank You for Your blessings and the abundance of wisdom we find in Your Word. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Because God knows…

…and we trust Him.

Our family has been in quarantine since last Thursday.

My husband started running a fever and went to the doctor.

Although we’ve not heard back as to the test’s results, per the doctor’s instructions, we are remaining home.

My husband’s condition was met with many kind offers of help from friends, family, and nieghbors.

And it wasn’t a one time thing.

We’ve been blessed to have people texting us with prayers, concerns, advice, and offers of help.

As my husband has improved I’ve been able to rejoice with all as I sent texts letting others know of his progress.

Throughout these days of illness, our family has been comforted, not just through the love of others, but also through the Lord.

Every step of this has been covered in prayer and carried by the peace which surpasses all understanding.

It’s not that we are unaware of the dangers, nor are we allowing fear to drive our reactions.

It’s actually a place we’ve found as we’ve traveled the road of health issues.

No matter what we are experiencing, no matter how severe the physical issues, our expectations, our family has learned to praise God and trust Him.

It’s not easy, nor is it something which comes naturally, rather it’s a choice and an opportunity.

For God knows what we are going through, and we can praise Him during it all, look to Him for guidance and wisdom, and lean upon His Word.

For He is trustworthy!

Psalm 4:5 KJV — Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 119:50 KJV — This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

2 Corinthians 1:3 KJV — Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your wisdom, direction, and provision. Lord, my heart hurts for those who are suffering, especially the helpless and the hopeless. Lord, please bring wholeness to their hearts and minds that they might find comfort and rest in Your salvation. Lord, please continue to save us from sin and to redeem the lost. Lord, for those who have yet to know You, please shine the light of Your gospel clearly into their hearts. Let them see the truth is only in You, salvation only through Your sacrifice. Lord, please heal the sick, restore the broken, return the prodigal, and bring back integrity and truth. Lord, thank You that You understand the ways of the foolish and You offer righteousness and truth. Please break people out of the captivity of sin and wickedness, bring them to Your light, Your truth, Your Word. For as the waters fill the sea, the Earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of You, Lord! I love You, Jesus. Amen.

January 13, 2022

The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; The world, and they that dwell therein. Psalms 24:1 NKJV

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:7‭-‬9 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth within. Lord, thank You that no matter the circumstances, You are in control and Your way is best. Lord, I lift up those who are sick and hurting, those who are helpless, the captive, the lost. Please touch each one. Please bring them comfort through the truth of Your salvation. Lord, please help all of us to realize that You alone are the truth, the way, and the light. Lord, humble our hearts before You, that we might not sin against You. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for salvation. May we rest in You and do just as You have instructed. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

It’s not just you…

but those who come after you.

And afterward when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORD for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner: let it rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father’s house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread. So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle. 2 Samuel 3:28‭-‬30 KJV

Joab’s action bore consequences which would be felt by his children and grandchildren.

This truth is seen elsewhere in scripture as well. (1 Samuel 3:11-14, Exodus 20:4-5)

The warning is clear, if we choose to sin, we are choosing pain and suffering for ourselves and our family.

Sin doesn’t sting only the person choosing it.

Thankfully, Jesus Christ broke the cycle of sin and the suffering which goes with it.

Through Christ we are cleansed!

But this doesn’t mean we can choose sin and then not feel the consequences, rather it means learning to stop choosing sin.

Romans 6:15 NKJV — What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

Ephesians 5:10-11 NKJV — finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

Romans 6:23 NKJV — For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus, through His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit wants to cleanse us completely.

He guides us with clear instruction, that we might understand what is righteous, honorable, and true. (Phil. 4:8, Gal. 5:22-23, Exodus 20:1-17)

He gives us warning of the ways of the enemy, that we might recognize evil and know how to respond.(1 Pet. 5:8-9, Eph. 6:11-13, Jas. 4:7)

He grants us the responsibility and privilege of bearing His name and His message, that others might know and choose life eternal.(1 Cor. 1:4, Gal. 2:20, Mat. 28:19)

How we live today really does matter.

For it is in today we make the choices which ripple into tomorrow.

Ephesians 5:15-17 NKJV — See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your salvation! Thank You for saving us from sin and death. Lord, please help each one of us to be wise, not foolish, not short-sighted. Please teach us how to live for You in today, redeeming the time. Lord, please remind us to seek Your face and to humble ourselves before You, for it is not on our own strength or in our own understanding where we should be walking, but in You for all things. Lord, please break through any lies the enemy has deceived us with. Please shine Your truth into our hearts and minds that we might see clearly and walk in obedience to You. Lord, thank You for Your patience and love, for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for breaking the cycle of sin and bringing us out of the ways of darkness. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

The blessings fear would have us miss

One of the enemy’s best weapons against our faith, fear.

It can spring out at the most unlikely places and lie to us so well that we actually avoid the blessings of the Lord.

But we must fight fear, for the very things fear would caution us to guard against are the ones God uses the most.

Proverbs 3:25-26 NKJV — Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.

For the child of God, fear is never to be our reason for action, but rather we are to trust in Him.

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 KJV

Because the wonderful thing about being a follower of Christ Jesus is often the trials and tribulations fear would caution against are really opportunities of blessing.

Matthew 5:11-12 NKJV — “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Scripture teaches us to rejoice when trials and tribulations come, for through them the Lord works.

James 1:2-4 NKJV — My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Trials and tribulations are not something we need to seek, but we should realize they are part of following Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 4:1-2NKJV — Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

God uses suffering.

Fear would say, “Look out for number one”.

In contrast, God’s Word says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10 KJV

Jesus put it best:

Mark 8:35 KJV — For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

Let us guard against fear and put our faith in the Lord Jesus, for He alone knows what is best and His truth is life.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for this wonderful truth, that we need not fear anything, but can place our trust completely in You. Lord, thank You that You use trials and tribulations to build our faith, to teach us, to hone our character. Thank You that our life here on earth is temporary and for those who have believed upon You, we have eternity to look forward to. Thank You, Lord, that whatever lies the enemy is trying to use against us, we have the truth in Your Word. Please let us hold tightly to it and walk in loving obedience this day. Amen.

A lesson about bitterness

Like the salty spray can wear away rock, so can bitterness erode love in the heart of a child of God.

Jonah was a prophet of the Most High. 2 Kings 14:25

The Lord gave him a specific prophecy.

Jonah 1:1-2 NKJV — Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.”

Unfortunately, Jonah choose disobedience.

Jonah 1:3 NKJV — But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

The Lord was merciful and sent a storm, then a fish. Jonah 1:4-17, 2

For the Lord corrects His children.

My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:11‭-‬12 NKJV

Then He speaks to Jonah again.

Jonah 3:1-2NKJV — Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”

This time Jonah obeys and his message is a difficult one.

Jonah 3:4 NKJV — And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

These pagan people turn and repent, including their king.

Jonah 3:7-9 NKJV — And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, “Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?”

God was merciful.

Jonah 3:10 NKJV — Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

Jonah not only experienced God’s mercy himself, he saw God extend mercy to an entire city which had previously been enemies of His people.

With such incredible works of God, one would expect His servant to rejoice.

But that’s not what happened.

Jonah 4:1-3 NKJV — But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. So he prayed to the LORD, and said, “Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”

Jonah couldn’t rejoice in the saving of the city, because he didn’t want it saved.

In Jonah, we see what happens to a child of God who allows bitterness to take root.

Bitterness, towards these enemies of his nation, had robbed him of his ability to love and trust God knew what was best.

In his heart he knew God’s character, but he wanted judgment not mercy.

The human heart is often at odds with the Word of God, for at the same time we want mercy and grace for ourselves and our loved ones, but we want judgment and punishment for those who have hurt us.

But that is not what God calls His people to.

James 3:9-10 NKJV — With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

Matthew 5:44-45 NKJV — “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Jonah is a warning for us, to not allow bitterness to override our love and devotion to God.

Rather, we need to be quick to forgive those who have wronged us, placing our trust in God, who sees all, even the depth of each heart.

For we can not truly love God if we are holding on to bitterness.

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Romans 12:19‭-‬21 NLT

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the story of Jonah. Lord, I am amazed at Your mercy and grace throughout. You use Jonah’s disobedience, You save an entire city of wicked people, You even teach Your stubborn hard hearted servant a lesson. Thank You! Lord, please help us to learn from these things. Help us to be quick to forgive, honest with ourselves and You when we are hurting. Lord, please teach us how to love our enemies. Please shine Your truth into this dark world and let those who have yet to know You come to a knowledge of You, Lord. Please work through Your children to bring the message of hope to this world. Thank You. Amen.

A story about mercy

Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. Jonah 1:1‭-‬2 KJV

The book of Jonah opens with God’s mercy.

Their wickedness has been seen and God’s response is to send His prophet to that place.

Jonah was an Israelite who lived in the days of the kings.

2 Kings 14:23,25 KJV —23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years. 25 He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher.

God is both righteous and merciful, thus He sent a warning to these people by His prophet.

But His prophet didn’t want the people of Nineveh to hear God’s warning.

He wanted them to experience the judgement and have no opportunity to receive mercy.

Jonah 1:3 KJV — But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

The character of God is so full of mercy that He didn’t allow Jonah to remain in his sinful choice of “fleeing”.

(Scripture makes it clear there is no place we can go to “get away” from God. Psalm 139:7‭-‬10 KJV)

Instead, God sent a set of circumstances which Jonah could not ignore.

Jonah 1:4 KJV — But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.

The sailors are terrified and begin to call on their gods, then they realize there’s this passenger whose sleeping in the ship, not crying out to his God.

Jonah 1:6 KJV — So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

These sailors sense this storm is nothing normal.

Jonah 1:7 KJV — And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

Jonah knew God was in this and he tells the men to throw him over board, but the sailors don’t want Jonah’s blood on their hands.

So, they try to save themselves by their own efforts.

Jonah 1:13 KJV — Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.

God uses Jonah’s rebellion to bring a ship load of men to knowledge of Him.

Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.
Jonah 1:14‭-‬16 KJV

God’s mercy on Jonah’s disobedience is used to spread mercy on a group of foreigner sailors.

But Jonah also feels the consequences of his sin.

Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 1:17 KJV

Most of chapter two of the book of Jonah is his prayer to the Lord.

Jonah 2:1-2KJV — Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, “I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.”

There’s a debate as to whether Jonah was alive or actually suffered death during his time in the great fish, but either way the stunning part of this is the mercy of God.

And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Jonah 2:10 KJV

God’s patience is apparent,in that He again speaks to Jonah.

And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
Jonah 3:1‭-‬4 KJV

The next part is incredible.

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
Jonah 3:5‭-‬9 KJV

These people are pagan and don’t even worship God, but they humble themselves and are saved.

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Jonah 3:10 KJV

Truly, God is a merciful and compassionate God.

Psalm 86:15 KJV — But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

As followers of Christ Jesus we need to understand the character of God and to reflect it in our own.

If God is both merciful and righteous, so we should be.

Proverbs 21:21 KJV — He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the story of Jonah. Lord, thank You that we see both justice and mercy in this story. Thank You that You used Jonah’s disobedience to reach a bunch of sailors. Lord, I don’t want to suffer the consequences of disobedience. I don’t want to sin against You in any way. Lord, please guide me and teach my wayward heart how to be quick to love, steady I’m compassion, wise, discerning, and merciful. Lord, thank You that You can use even my mistakes to teach me about mercy. Lord, let me never take it for granted, but always remember the high price You paid. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

December 27

As we round off the year, and count down the days, I find myself focusing on what’s important.

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

John 3:17 NKJV — “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Not only does this truth save me from my sins, it cleanses me from the stains of living in a sinful world.

I am renewed and reborn in my Lord Jesus Christ.

Which is a daily blessing, for the stains of sin continue to try to mar my soul while I reside on this earth.

Psalm 51:7 KJV — Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Jesus cleanses me, making me whiter than snow.

What a wonderful truth!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for all Your blessings, but especially for salvation. Lord, to be freed from the self-destruction of sin is the greatest gift. While I continue to learn to walk in obedience, to pickup my cross daily and follow You, please continue to cleanse me heart and soul. Lord, thank You for Your Word, which You instruction me from. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, which comforts and guides me. Thank You for the hope of the future, eternal life with You. Thank You for the reminder of what is truly valuable. I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

Speak truth

The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment. Proverbs 12:19 NKJV

There is a reason the Bible has so much instruction about our words.

Truth or lies from our lips is a testament to the condition of our hearts.

Matthew 12:34 KJV — O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Luke 6:45 KJV — A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Not only do our words reveal the state of our hearts, it is a sure sign of our relationship with God.

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
Proverbs 12:22 NKJV

Listen to the things which flow from your own lips and be diligent to mend those things which are dishonorable before Almighty God, for those who are followers of Christ should be people who speak with purpose and truth.

Colossians 4:6 KJV — Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

If our words are ugly, filthy, or false repentance and humility should be our response before Jesus, for the responsibility of those called by His name is weighty, our lives reflect directly upon our Lord.

He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.
Proverbs 13:3 NKJV

It is impossible to tame the tongue on our own.

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
James 3:2 NKJV

Only in Christ can we be made perfect.

It takes continually humbling and submitting ourselves before Jesus Christ, seeking the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will come through trouble.
Proverbs 12:13 NKJV

The Lord understands both the dangers and the difficulties of our unruly words.

He has given us instruction, that we might learn and grow, becoming more skilled with the training of our hearts and lips.

He has blessed us with His Holy Spirit to give us that which is required to follow these things.

He has granted us forgiveness from sins, that we might find hope while learning to live daily speaking truth.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:29‭-‬32 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for truth and the ability to learn restraint with our words. Lord, thank You for instruction in how to walk in Your ways and how to recognize danger and sin. Lord, please continue to teach us how to be more like You every day. Lord, please hone our hearts, that no evil thing might be allowed to reside there. Lord, cleanse us completely from all unrighteousness, that we might not sin against You. Lord, walking daily in this sinful world with our sin nature means we often do not even recognize truth from a lie, sin from righteousness. Lord, please help us to learn from Your Word in such a way that we can understand Your truth clearly, without twisting it to our own purpose or selfishly applying it to others rather than ourselves. Lord, please purify Your people, that we might not reflect badly upon Your name. Thank You for Your salvation! Thank You for Your truth! I love You, Jesus. Amen.