Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Putting My Hand Over My Mouth

I have a sign on my desk that reads, "Dear God, Please put your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth."  If you know me you know why.  If you don't know me then you need to know I have the gift of gab. It truly is a gift because I have no problem with making new friends and telling people about Jesus.  But sometimes this "gabber" gabs too much. 

The Bible tells us clearly that controlling our tongue is hard.  Just read James 3. The Bible also says that our words have the power of life and death. That is stated in Proverbs 18:21. Words are important.  Controlling our words is even more important.  But, I remember reading in the Bible that we can do all things through Christ. 

  • Do you have trouble controlling your words?
  • What words have you spoken to your family this week - words of life or death? Your friends? Your coworkers?

Lord, Please put your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth. In Jesus' Name - Amen.

For a deeper study look up the following verses and think about what God is saying to you in each verse:
  • Proverbs 15:4, 21:23, 15:1, 12:18, 10:19, 52:2, 18:21
  • Psalm 19:14
  • James 3:2-10

Monday, July 20, 2015

Training the Next Generation

Nate the Great heading off to VBS 2015. 

I was taught to say "yes sir" and "yes mam" rather than "yep", and I still do that today.  I was taught to always be respectful of those older than you, and I still do that today.  I was also taught to say "fixin' to" and of course I still say that today.  (Along with a thousand other Southern slang words that are not in the English dictionary.)  We are all a product of what we were taught when we were young whether that be good or whether that be bad.

I am reminded in Proverbs if we want our kids to grow up to be respectful adults, we have to teach them how to be respectful adults when they are young.  If we want our kids to say "yes sir" and "fixin' to" then we have to teach them with our words and our actions.  What we teach the next generation today will affect our country in the future.

I want my children to know about Jesus. I want them to understand His unconditional love for them, and to be confident in the good plans He has for them. This week my son is going to Vacation Bible School at our church.  It is the most important thing for him this week.  It is even more important than his chores at home, and even brushing his teeth. (Yes, I just said VBS was more important than him brushing his teeth, but we do promote good dental hygiene as well.)  I know that if my son has a personal, daily walk with Jesus and lives out his life in line with God's Will, he will be fine.....even if he doesn't have teeth!

  • What have you taught your children (or your nieces, or nephews, or grandchildren, or neighbor's kids) in the last week?
  • Do you intentionally look for opportunities to teach the next generation about Jesus?

Jesus - Thank you for loving all of us including the little children.  I want so much for our next generation to know all about You and walk in Your Will. It is simply the best plan for their lives. Thank you for the opportunity to parent and mentor others.  Help me never to lose sight of the importance of that opportunity, and forgive me when I have failed.  In the precious name of Jesus - Amen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Greatest Among You - The Servant!

Jesus called His people to serve others.  He actually said the greatest among our people would be those that served others.  Although we are not saved by our works, I believe we are saved for works. God's plan to reach the unsaved world was His people.  Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us to guide us so we could reach, teach and help others in the name of Jesus. The Church is The Plan, and there is no Plan B.  And, while I am confident we should be meeting together as Christians to encourage one another, it has also become quite apparent to me that just meeting together as Christians isn't the half of what we should be doing.  We've been SENT.  We've been sent into a world that needs to know about His Love.  We've been sent into a world that needs hope. We've been sent to free those held captive by addictions.  We've been sent to be His Hands and Feet. We haven't just been sent to church to become better church people.  Yes, we should become better people as we grow and mature - people less focused on our own personal needs and more focused on the needs of others.  I think we have room for improvement here.  Well, at least I know I do.

  • Have you done something recently to reach, teach or help people in the name of Jesus?
  • What can we do to spar each other on into becoming great servants in this world?

Jesus, thank you for grace and mercy.  Forgive me when I haven't served others that you've put in front of me.  I want to be your hands and feet.  Help me to keep my eyes open for the opportunities you put before me.  To You be all the Glory!  - Amen

For a deeper study:
Read Isaiah 58.  Make a list of what God indicates is important to Him in this passage.
Read Matthew 25: 31-46.  Make a list of what God indicates is important to Him in this passage.