Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Characteristics of Godly Men

What makes a man godly? What is he know for? First we must begin with the One who made him. The same God who created all men in His own image desired that they would also live in His image. Each man's gifts and callings are unique. By searching biblical history, we can see the attributes of God in men of faith.

Throughout the ages God has recorded various men with different callings to learn from. First, God has called men of family. Adam showed integrity in cleaving to his wife as one flesh. Enoch was a father who was commutative with God, walking with Him closely. Noah stood righteous in a world a wicked families. Jacob was a prevailing man. “And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed, (Genesis 32:28).” Isaac had a testimony of a patient peacemaker, digging multiple wells despite his self-centered neighbors. Job was a wealthy father who feared God as his first priority. Manoah was a respectful, teachable man when an angel appeared to inform him of Samson's birth. Boaz was generous, and the Lord rewarded him with a wife and son. Solomon was a wise man, who asked the Lord for wisdom to fulfill his responsibility as king righteously. Steadfast Naboth was murdered on his own soil while protecting the inheritance of his forefathers. Joseph was a responsible man and took Mary who was with child to be his wife as the Lord commanded. Lazarus was a hospitable man who invited Jesus into his home.

God also called men of war. Moses was a patriot, who remained faithful to his people after an Egyptian upbringing. Caleb proved to be a truthful spy in fearful circumstances. Joshua was a courageous man, and served God as an example to the people he lead. “...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, (Joshua 24:15).” Ehud a tactic man who killed the enemies' king single-handedly. Gideon, though the least of his family, was an instrument of God's leadership and delivered Israel in an outnumbered army. “And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you, (Judges 8:23).” Jephthah was noted as a valiant captain for his bravery. Mordecai was a man of discernment, prayerfully guiding his cousin who was queen during the captivity of Israel. David was a man after God's own heart, who expressed his love for God through musical praise. Jonathan the sacrificing friend of David who gave his inheritance that God's will for David might be fulfilled. Uriah was a committed husband and soldier, doing right regardless of the situation. Nehemiah was a determined man, who led in rebuilding the city of Jerusalem against overwhelming odds.

Men of prophecy and the Church were used of God. Samuel was sensitive to God's voice. Elijah was a man of justice, and destroyed all of the prophets of Baal. Elisha was a surrendered man who requested a double-potion of Elijah's spirit to fulfill Elijah's ministry. Though his news to the king was negative, the prophet Nathan was honest. Isaiah had a servant's heart and voiced his willingness. “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me, (Isaiah 6:8).” Jeremiah was a sober man, prophesying the tragic consequence of Israel’s sin. John the Baptist was a humble man, chosen to preach the coming of Jesus Christ. Aaron testified God's holiness as a priest in the temple. Ezra was also a priest, with a prepared heart to teach the law of God. John was a loving disciple. Peter was a bold preacher. Paul was a missionary who cared deeply for the churches. As an evangelist, Philip was taught God's word wherever God's placed him. Stephen was a spirit-filled disciple, and Barnabas was named for his encouragement to the church brethren. 

No matter what the age, God used these men. In Genesis we read of youth like Abel, who sincerely offered his best, and also of Joseph who was pure before God and prospered wherever life took him. Josiah, even at the age of eight, demonstrated wholeheartedness for God. "And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him, (II Kings 23:25)." God also gave vision to young Daniel who prayed to God and purposed to do that which was right. Older men such as Simeon and Jethro are mentioned for their devotion to God and consideration to give advice to the younger. God called each man to fulfill different duties, and gave him the ability to do it as it pleased Him. God even called His own Son, Jesus Christ to be a man on earth. Jesus was a man moved with compassion for all sinners. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do, (John 17:1-4).” A godly man is a man with God living abundantly within him, equipping him to fulfill the pleasure and glory of God --no matter how different each man's life is. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Tapestry Poem

“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.

~Corrie Ten Boom~

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trusting Americans

Uncertainty seems to be the definition of America today.  Many citizens are pressed with anxieties and questions of the future.  Nevertheless, we can be sure of this: as children of God we are delivered from the bond of corruption into glorious liberty. The liberty being described here is spiritual, but it is from this spiritual liberty that men and women choose what they will do physically. We are commanded to stand fast in this liberty in which Christ has made us free, and to do so we live trusting God in every thing.  

Take a penny from your change and hold it in your palm.

It has a rather insignificant value, but there is a message on it from patriots who prayed that it would be every American's source of freedom.  They needed us to remember that America's liberty is only through her trust in God. Is your dependence on God the source of your freedom or is it something which man has done?  There is a one man on the penny.  It is a memorial of a sinful citizen (like you and I), who had a forceful impact in America for his faithfulness in trusting in God. He had questions as you and I do now, but he was not bound by them; for he had liberty in trusting God.

"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go.  My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for that day." Abraham Lincoln 

The burden of all our uncertainties diminish in the light of a higher calling.  At the foot of the cross we find an answer in the sacrifice which Christ made for our debt of sin.  The cost which America paid for liberty from earthy powers was dependence in God, Who is of heavenly powers, and obedience to His Word. Christians denied themselves and gave their lives that their children might  live with the freedom of a choice to worship God.

Are you paying God with your trust? He will set up an authority for America of His own judgment. "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another, (Psalm 75:6;7)."  He will provide for those that depend on Him as children. "Trust in the LORD and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed, (Psalm 37:3)." When in this position of trust, we are in the position of greatest influence to our family, church, and any other individual for liberty in Christ.

 Trust God in any occasion to doubt, for He has promised to bless. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance, (Psalm 33:12)." We no longer wait in agony for the future, but peacefully commit our ways to God in this present day. 

"Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD, (Lamentations 3:40)."

"For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion  to the flesh, but by love serve one another, (Galatians 5:13)." 

"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ, (Philippians 4:19)."

"...That is Nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom." Abraham Lincoln 

God bless trusting Americans!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

High Maintenance Christian

"Keep thy  h e a r t  with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23

This is simple, common verse, yet many Christians' lives appear to be running by one cylinder. Unplanned situations arise proving us to a worried, frustrated, and discouraged people. Read by itself, this verse always gave me the thought that I needed to create more confidence and strength for myself. But I could never fulfill this duty....

The word issues is defined as outgoings in original script. All the outgoings of our lives can be backtracked to the state of our hearts. The uncontrolled words that were spilled, the compassion felt towards a needy person, and one's self-pitying thoughts are just a few symptoms that proceed from the heart. What is the heart, that is such a vital organ in our lives? The heart --the center of our being-- consists of feelings, will, and intellect. These are the parts that need high maintenance care and protection. Now we come to the question: how do we keep our heart?

Answer: Study the rest of the passage. =)

20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Our body as a whole comes into play. The ears, eyes, mouth, lips, brain, and finally the feet are essentials in this duty. These parts of our body branch from the heart, sensing the world around us. If we apply biblical authority (standards) to these parts, our heart will be able to function as it should. Likewise, if we turn our head to lust, the heart is left unguarded-- and many times wounded. 

Carefully consider each command for the different body parts. E s t a b l i s h all your ways. Be disciplined, and consecrate your eyes, ears, mouth, etc. to the Lord's use. While we might not always be able to control what comes in our path, if we are hourly pondering our path --God's path-- we will not want to r e a c h out for anything besides God's best. When each of our body parts are spiritually congruent, THEN our feelings, will, and mind are prepared for God's own use. 

Keep your heart in high maintenance care; for it determines who you will be.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Doubtless in This Place

Psalm 126
1When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
2Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.
3 The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

I thought back of all the cherished moments in my years --and thanked God for life and His working in it. I thought quizzically of the future. At the time, the past was not so beautiful, but the present changes my perception of it. The past is somehow sweeter, more tender... The surety of God's hand within changes my sight.

  Lord, fix my mind where my feet are. Waiting or working, this place is important towards me --even in uncertainty. Doubtless, God shalt bring forth purpose from purposelessness. Strength from weakness. Joy from joylessness. This place is precious. This place is for the pleasure and purpose of the Father's keeping of me here. I stand doubtless in this place, knowing that the Lord ensures virtue afterward. I shall rejoice for abundant life now!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Who Is Evil?

Who is evil?  It was not until this past summer that I actually settled that question in my mind. As a child I believed the evil people were the “bad guys” in the Bible like Cain, Pharaoh, Achan, and Jezebel. Murderers. Tyrants. Thieves. When my Sunday School teachers taught lessons on these evil characters, it never entered my mind that I might be evil. I certainly never committed any wicked deeds like they had –I was proud to be one of the “good guys”!

“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” Matthew 15:19

“And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 12:14

“All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Mark 7:23

These people gave in to wickedness because they had not prepared to stand against it. Cain would not have killed Able if he had known the consequences that followed. Pharaoh did not know the Lord; and therefore, no good could possibly come from him. Goodness never proceeds from evil; evil never precedes goodness.  The only good that comes from people is the Lord's work through them! Achan's evil did not begin when he stole forbidden plunder. There was a growing selfishness within himself to the point of disregarding God's orders. Jezebel was a foreign queen who married the Israelite king, Ahab. Although exposed to the merciful law of God, she chose to rebel greatly against God's nation. She lived by evil and she died by it too. We may never intend to do evil, but unless we devote our entire life to flee from it, evil will befall us. This is why standards are important. Where we draw lines is were the battle will be. Without lines defeat is nearer than we think.

“And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.” 1 Kings 11:6

David is known as the man after God's own heart. His son, Solomon, was the wisest man on earth, and yet his wisdom did not preserve him from evil. To be preserved from evil we must surrender our heart as David did. David failed at times, but each time he returned his heart to God.

“This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.... so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear. ” Jeremiah 13:10;11

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.” Deuteronomy 30:15

Notice the verb phrases in the first verse: refuse to hear, walk in imagination, walk after, serve, and worship.  All of us have a sin nature, but after Salvation, Christians have the choice to be good for something. God's own people were named evil due to the wicked heart being fed within themselves. One choice at a time, they made a sad procession away from God. Until Heaven, the sin nature is still there and evil flows rapidly from our heart if it is not fully fearing (seeking) God. The atmosphere in which we see, hear, and touch things is also vital. From our senses our (heart –>) mind, will, and emotions take over. We must in the world right now, but for safety we abide in God too.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” Psalm 91:1;9;10;15;16

Who is evil? As Christians, there are two powers within us --not only the flesh, but the spirit of God also. If we feed flesh, we will do evil. However, by the grace of God, if we feed the spirit, we are named righteous in the sight of God. We are no different than Cain, Achan, and Jezebel if we do not give all our heart as David did.  Do not ignore the flesh or the spirit. How we respond to them has eternal consequence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mail's Here!

In my hands I am holding the long-awaited-for mail. It was well packaged for the journey, and the return address signifies that it has come a long way. It's amazing to think of all the exotic countries it has traveled through --the miles of deep ocean it crossed-- places I've only seen in pictures! God's Word, like mail, travels. You and I may never be missionaries outside our native country, but God's Word can go very far through us. We should never be discouraged when God's Word seems slow-moving. What greater vision Christians would have if their first thought of the Bible was this:

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

Reading, studying, and praying God's Letter to us is so important. Without it, we will not be quick and powerful Christians through it. God's Word may only travel through you in simple actions today, but it will not be unnoticed by God. I t   s h a l l   b e   d e l i v e r e d.

"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." Ecclesiastes 11:1

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Waiting for the Mail?

I am expecting a package in the mail. I sent for this order some time ago, and must eagerly wait as the postal service ships it overseas to America. When it gets here I will no longer be lacking it-- I will put it to the use for which I bought it. Did you know that there are people eagerly waiting for the Gospel? Only, they are not waiting on the postal services; they are waiting for Christian service. Not everyone is searching for it, but more than we realize are searching for it. They are lacking something. And although they may not know that it is Christ, they are waiting it to be delivered.

"And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15

God has a message --and a gift-- to all who would receive. Jesus Christ paid for it. His precious atonement stamps the Letter eternally. God sealed the Letter and has commanded Christians to carry it forth. However, the message cannot come through us without God. His Holy Spirit indwells, convicts, and speaks through us.

"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." Acts 2:37-40

Take a few minutes to imagine your life without Christ. After considering this, I came to the conclusion that I cherish nothing so much as my relationship with Christ. Why wouldn't we want to share this priceless, exceedingly abundant News with all the lost or discouraged? Even more importantly, God commanded it. It may be that we need to read God's Letter to us more.... and pray for opportunities. Never has any man regretted obedience to God.
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 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, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" Romans 10:13-15

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Femininity vs. Sensuality

How many women do you know that are beautiful? What is it that makes them so? Many women diligently seek to attain what the world defines as “feminine sensuality.” By comparing the heart and meaning of femininity and sensuality, we will find that they have strikingly different qualities.

Femininity is (1) the characteristic of women or girls; feminine attire, (2) having quality or characteristics traditionally ascribed to women as sensitivity, delicacy, or prettiness, (3) womanliness. What characteristics are women “traditionally ascribed” to? The Bible begins by telling us in Genesis that God made woman for man to be his helpmeet, because he was alone and needed a companion. Originally woman was created to be quietly submissive, sensitive, and nourishing. Sensuality is defined as (1) arousing or preoccupied with gratification of the senses or appetites; carnal, (2) lacking moral restraints, (3) worldly; materialistic; irreligious. By definition, sensuality denotes a lack of character. True femininity demonstrates character. Being sensual is adorning the fallen nature of our character as a sinner, while being feminine is adorning the image of God in our character as a woman. 

There are many areas in which femininity can be applied, such as speech or attitudes, but one of the most common is dress. Does choosing revealing pants over modesty really uncover anything about our character? There must be a balance: looking appealing is not wrong, but if our low shirt or glamorous hairstyle is the first thing people notice, is Christ being glorified with our body? Although our dress does not decide our character, our character does decides our dress. Too many women today are desiring to attain the honor of femininity, but are relying on the physical and temporal. They eventually become disappointed and regretful. It is natural to be discontent apart from fulfilling God's design. (Note: in submission a woman as a wife should dress according to her husband's taste.)

Femininity and sensuality both involve female beauty, but only one of them is biblical besides in relation to a husband. Truly being feminine is developing a relationship with God and reflecting His holiness. It is an inner, incorruptible beauty. Femininity is irreplaceable; exposing external beauty with indecency will never make up for the lack of inner beauty. Are our lives “preoccupied” with vain attempts to uplift our own image? The woman of God is spirit controlled within and meek without.  Without God, a woman is tossed and turned as to who she should be. The sensual woman does not receive the satisfying promises as those who seek first the Kingdom of God (His will) and His righteousness. 

Knowing the beginning and end of being feminine or sensual, we are thus challenged to daily choose which will characterize us. Drawing the line between femininity and sensuality is not always easy, but if we inquire of God, we can be what He intends us to be as a woman. A woman's beauty is not meant to attract men for the selfish purpose of imposing their weakness by our own power. A woman's beauty is God's blessing for men seeking to honor God's authority over their own lives. Isn't it a joy to know that God created us to be a blessing? Being created in God's image is a human glory, and we should praise God, because through Christ we can be God's children –bearing His likeness. Cherish God's design of your femininity! 

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.” 
1 Peter 3:3-5

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beholding Peace

At the thought of peace our minds are filled with a fondness for its tranquility. Emptied of restlessness and anxiety, peace is the essence of satisfaction. Peace is a sense of rest in acknowledging security, and peace is easily recognized by the calmness and unity it promotes. Composed, a peaceful body is enabled to function discreetly, thus causing order in its surroundings. Peace is the state of harmony where the untroubled abide in fulfilling their purpose with one accord. Absolute peace is found only in the presence of God, Who gave His Son –the Prince of Peace– to save our vexed souls. Trusting, let us place all in the Father's hands, walk in the Gospel of peace, and reflect God's presence in our lives.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Brokenness of Bitterness

How do upright Christians become bitter? Although people may say that they are indifferent toward someone or a situation, a bitter person is really indifferent toward God. Bitterness is the negative response in having our expectations undesirably changed. Ignorant of God's perfect will, many Christians resist God, shackling themselves with bitterness. We must keep our eyes on the Lord, for His grace alone can protect us from our fallen nature. If we continually resist God, our bitterness with strengthen; if we humbly rely on God, His grace will abound. May we as God's children never hinder fellowship with Him by bitterness.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:14;15

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Perfect Work

Trials in the Christian life are a righteous process of shaping character. Although we would not choose trials, God uses them to test us as gold tried in fire that we might glorify Him more wholly. The flame of adversity detects weaknesses and impurities, and like dross they can be extracted for increased worth. Heat causes elements to become fluent; so do trials. When under the correct temperature, liquid gold is cast into a mold. Likewise, the understanding Christian is transformed for a more fruitful purpose under the burden of affliction. Are trials in life only revealing your character –or refining it too?

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:2-4;12

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In God's Ears

Writing this sentence is only one of the many ways to communicate. The most used form of communication is speech, and God commands that Christians take this seriously. Every word we say –and the time in which we do-- is answerable to God. “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed(1 Sam. 2:3).” “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few(Ecc. 5:2).” According to the Bible, we should well consider our words --He does. However, we will also find in the Bible that no man can control his tongue. Is this a worthless effort? No. God's WORD confirms us what ungodly speech reaps, what words are expected of us, and what victory He can give with our mouth.

James 3 acquaints us with the tongue: “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison(James 3:5;8)”. Even valiant men of the Bible are examples of an undisciplined speech. “Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth(Job 7:11;40:4).” Job experienced unspeakable regret for his unbridled tongue. Jephthah also found himself bound with the drastic consequences of his mouth. “And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back(Judges 11:35).” Such a well-meant promise brought much grief to this man and his family. It is important to acknowledge the chaos of a froward mouth and to pray for a holy hatred of it as in Proverbs 8:13.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved(Romans 10:9).” From the time of Salvation our conversation is ushered into a new calling of righteousness. We daily continue “putting off of the old man” by feeding the “new man” with God's truth. Our speech reveals our depth of faith. Believing God's words, we are inclined to act accordingly. As Christians our speech has the purpose of (1) praising the Lord throughout the whole day, (2) diligently teaching our family God's faithful judgments, (3) edifying -or at times lovingly confronting- brothers and sisters in Christ, (4) and witnessing the Gospel as the Spirit leads. “Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with Thy honour all the day( Ps. 71:8).” “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up(Deut. 6:6;7).” “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers(Eph. 4:29).”

Righteous speech is something learned. “And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do(Exod. 4:15).” Who could be a better Teacher than our infallible God, “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth”? Words flow naturally from the thoughts of the heart. Like water spilled on the ground, words are uneasy to recover. “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things(Prov. 15:28).” Set a watch before your mouth, be accountable in conversation, and resolve to glorify God in your thoughts and words. Prayerfully establish a standard you will not regret. Having a godly testimony of speech is not only obedience, but also an implement of ministry. “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand(Ps. 149:6).” In Psalm 119:88 we find that as we more acknowledge His lovingkindness, we are more quickened to speak as He wills.

Placing yourself far from corrupt words, distinguishing what is acceptable, and seeking to honor God with the voice He has given is part of Christian maturity. Closely regarding what God says is important is wisdom. God's Word is faithful and true, never failing. Beholding It can change our character to be more like Christ. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...(Proverbs 23:7).” “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ(Romans 15:6).” Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. “ Ps. 19:14

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Unfailing Relationships

Today there are many books, websites, and standards that people use for help on dating and finding the right partner. While not all these materials are bad, does God have an example in the Bible for Christians? Yes, being the wise Father that He is, God had given us many examples. In the book of Ruth we uncover a love story of hardships and devotion. By observing Ruth's relationships, we can see that God surely has a will in how we pursue a spouse.

First and foremost, she had a secure relationship with God. She set everything aside to do what she knew to be right, even if it appeared far from her own desires. She trusted God. She followed Him to a new home, sought out a lowly job, and worked with integrity. She was not idle with what God placed before her, whether great or small. When steadfast with the Lord, she would always have a path worth persevering.

Her self-denying relationships with others was also essential in this love story. First of all she was willing to leave those she grew up with because of their wickedness. Then she committed her unknown future to abide with her unpleasant mother-in-law. Despite her situation, she did not inquire after the field men working near her. She obeyed her mother's counsel without question, and bravely explained to the master of the fields, Boaz. Her relationships with others reflected her relationship with God –and Boaz saw this.

In the end, she had an unbreakable relationship with the right man. Because of her quiet submission to God, the Lord was able to give Boaz full knowledge of her godly testimony. She expressed her circumstances to him with all honesty. Boaz, encouraged by her faith, responded with much generosity. He also was honest, and promised her that he would settle the inheritance with whom it was due, depending on God for results.

Truly, Ruth's virtuous relationships were instrumental in God's purposes of a new companion. Losing her first husband, choosing to serve her mother-in-law, and long, uncertain months in the fields could not prevent God's will; but rather, they accomplished it. God not only helped her find the right man, but He also helped her in building a relationship with him all the way. God promises to do the same for you.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wholesome Benefits of Walking

Are you discouraged with costly exercise plans? While exercising equipment is usually expensive, walking requires only time and is accessible to almost everyone. Walking is a safe, simple, and stable way to pursue daily exercise. It has also been proved that taking a walk is the most healthy physical activity. The benefits of walking are make clear by improved health, mentality, and fitness.

Walking aids in protection from illness and in the mending of it. Those who build a habit of walking are less prone to cancer, heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Walking is also effective in conditions such as high blood pressure, unbalanced cholesterol, pregnancy, and arthritis. Certainly, there is a life-long advantage in the healthiness of walking.

Relieved stress also results from walking. Walking gives personal confidence and a sense of well being. The mind is given time to relax and collect; likewise, walking promotes better sleep. Walking stimulates the brain with stronger thinking skills and improved memory. On the whole, our mentality is of great importance because of its impact on our system.

Finally, walking establishes physical fitness. Burning calories, walking helps manage weight. Unlike running, walking is not hard on the joints while building muscles. Walking increases the energy level, enforcing motivation. Being a good steward of your body helps to develop not only physical fitness, but also life discipline.

Observing cultivated health, mentality, and fitness, we can conclude walking a profitable workout. Walking is a natural exercise worth undertaking. Although some find it difficult to begin, few regret the benefits of walking. Step out with a friend for a hearty walk today!