May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, LORD
my Rock and my Redeemer.
It is always exciting and fun to go on a vacation, some place you’ve never been before. We anticipate and prepare for the journey, with just the right clothes, and an agenda which will make our trip a wonderful experience. But what about the chapters in our life that we never really saw coming? What about the uncharted territory that life brings which we never really planned on? Life is full of surprises, some are pleasant and some are not so pleasant. Through it we learn and grow or we seem to stumble along aimlessly wondering what ever brought us to this place in our life, thus creating a vicious circle, where we are on a different path but the same journey.
The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3 (NLT)
Abram had to trust God to lead and guide him on the journey set before him. Although he could have chosen to stay with his family and friends in the land he had become accustomed to, he chose to obey God. Abram was seventy five years old when he left his homeland to step into a journey in which the only road map he had was instruction from God along the way. If you will notice, God said to Abram “go to the land I will show you.” Which leads me to believe that Abram did not know what was ahead of him on this new journey. He only knew that he had to listen for instruction along the way. There were times when Abram messed up, but God was always faithful. Even at the age of seventy five God still had an awesome plan for Abram’s life.
I have found myself in uncharted territory more times than I can count in this journey called life. At times it can be stressful and I begin to feel anxious and worry because I can’t see the road map clearly. Then God in His mercy and grace gently reminds me to not seek his hand (what he can do for me) but seek his face (who he is). And it is in that place I begin to trust him again with his plan for my life, knowing that for Him there is no uncharted territory only plans for a future and a hope.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
Abram was seventy five years old when he packed up to set out on a journey with God’s voice as the only map in front of him. You may be sixteen or you may be eighty but whatever your age if you’re breathing then God still has a plan and a purpose for your life although it may be in uncharted territory.Will you trust Him?
When everything in life seems to be going well, we see no need for change. But even if our life changes for the better, and we have no desire to go back to the way things were, we may find ourselves revisiting the familiar place, for lack of a better plan.
One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20 (NLT)
Three years later: The disciples had been fishing all night but had caught nothing. At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, He called out “Have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. When they got to shore they found breakfast waiting for them- fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead. After breakfast Jesus asked Peter, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the question: Peter, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord you know everything. You know that I love you.” John 21 (NLT)
I believe what Jesus was saying is, “Now that you know me, and have spent time with me, things can not be as they have always been. You can not go back to your old way of life. What you have been doing isn’t working anymore. If you are finished doing things your way, try doing them my way. Follow my direction. Follow my lead. Allow me to guide you. Listen to my word. I have a bigger plan and purpose for your life. I will supply your needs. But from this moment on, you will be fishing for the hearts of men. If you really love me, consecrate yourself to me, so that you can teach others what you have learned from me. If you love me change your way of thinking. I have something new for you and you must find it for yourself, before you can teach it to others. Listen to me, really listen. Allow me to show you a new way.” What Jesus wanted is for Peter to position his heart where Jesus was.
Many times we continue in the same way of life and in the same pattern of thinking because its comfortable. But after Jesus has touched your life, you will never be the same again. You will not want to go back to the way its always been. Your past is called the past because it is in the past. It brought you to where you are today, but you don’t live there anymore. Today is a gift and tomorrow is a mystery. Position your heart where Jesus is and see where He desires to take you.
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18&19 (NLT)
There are many things in life that we hold onto, our family, possessions, our hopes and dreams. But in many situations, we tend to hold on too tightly, protecting what we feel is rightfully ours. We often find that in a world of rushing about, with worries and cares too numerous to count, our hands are full, with no room to reach, grab, or hold anything new. Therefore sitting aside countless blessings which God has prepared for us.
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and His disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine." “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”, so they filled them to the brim. Then He told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-11 (NIV)
Jesus turning the water into wine, was actually His example of touching our life of flesh, so that His spirit may dwell in us. The water was contaminated and therefore not drinkable. What we have to offer God is also contaminated and unworthy. Yet He loves us anyway.
He saved the best for last means that what we once were, we shall no longer be. For some of us it may take a life time to get there. The purpose of the journey we have been on, was to bring us to this place. Therefore, let us praise Him in the journey!
Because He inhabits the praise of His people. Psalm 22:3
Once we are emptied of ourselves, (as the stone water jars represent) He is able to transform us into who He would have us to be.
The wedding feast represents His presence. Until we are emptied, we can not be filled.
Many times we have tried to put new wine into an old wine skin. We think we are bursting with God’s love and knowledge on the inside. But we can only bring out the purity of Him, once the stuff we are hanging onto so tightly is given to Him, in the quiet place of His love and grace. It is there where we are emptied of self, that He can fill us with His presence as He desires.
No one puts new wine into old wine skins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wine skins so that both are preserved. Matthew 9:17 (NLT)
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)
As Children bring their broken toys, with tears for us to mend
I brought my broken dreams to God, because He was my friend.
But then instead of leaving Him, in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help, with ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried, “How could you be so slow”
“My child,” He said, “What could I do? You never did let go.
As you give it up and let it go, your heavenly father can take control.
He’ll make it and mold it on the potters wheel, if you will only just be still. Kathleen VonSeggern
If anyone would have told me years ago that I would one day stand in front of people speaking, have a website or write a blog I would have said no way! I can relate to many of the people in the bible who felt inadequate and unqualified. I have learned through the years that God is most glorified when my dependence is on Him and not myself. Life is a journey, some good, some bad, but wherever that journey takes you the most important thing along the way is that you learn and grow through the process. For me life’s journey has been a lot like a roller coaster with my seat belt being securely fastened in my faith and trust in God. Life has not been easy. But through it all God has proven Himself faithful. He has never let me down. There have been many times I have doubted, became discouraged, felt like giving up and feeling very much alone in this world. But God has been my refuge, my constant help in trouble, and He remains true to this day. I am reminded of:
Saul/Paul who hunted down and murdered the Christians, yet he was chosen by God. Acts 9
Abraham who was too old to become the father of many nations. Genesis 17:4 (He was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born.) Genesis 21:5
Moses who murdered a man and couldn’t talk. (He beat the man to death and hid the body in the sand.) Exodus 2:11-12 (Moses said to the Lord “I have never been eloquent, I am slow of speech and tongue.”) Exodus 4:10
Rahab who was a prostitute yet from her linage Jesus came. Joshua 2, Matthew 1:5
Jeremiah who thought himself too young. (The Lord said to Jeremiah “Do not say you are too young, you must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.”) Jeremiah 1:7
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13
Life is not fair and people are not perfect. We each must walk out our own journey. Whoever you are or wherever you’ve been, God has a plan and a purpose for your life. The only one the Bible ever referred to as perfect was Jesus. For in Him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28
All you need is Jesus for the best is yet to come!! Step out of the boat and keep your focus on Him.
We have all heard the saying:
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me.
But the truth is words can be very harmful!
Sometimes our words can be as a Lion, just waiting to devour those around it.
But God shut the mouth of the Lion and he can do it again. Danial 6:22
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21
Cyberbullying or harassment has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers. This can include posting rumors about a person and harmful remarks which disclose personal information.
So what is gossip? Ask yourself: Am I part of the problem or the solution? Is what I am about to say building someone up or tearing them down?
Why is gossip so acceptable in the workplace, neighborhoods, families, social gatherings and among friends?
Gossip seems to be wherever we go, and it’s easy to get caught up in it.
The bible speaks very clear about gossip and the damage it can cause.
A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends. Proverbs 16:28
What about the 9th commandment?
You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16
Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. The Lord heard them and was very angry with them, and he departed. As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin white as snow from leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened to her he cried out to Moses, “Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed. So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Oh God, I beg you, please heal her!” Numbers 12:1-16
Why do we have the need to talk about things that have nothing to do with us and are none of our business?
Gossip is a common disease which attacks the young and old, male and female, married and unmarried, Christian and non-Christian.
Gossip is Irretrievable: Once it is out there you can’t take it back.
Gossip is Unloving: It only tears people down.
So why do we gossip?
Perhaps for a lack of healthy self-esteem, nothing more important to say, boredom, or habit.
Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Proverbs 12:19
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. If you are wise and understand God’s ways prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. James 3:7-16
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you oh Lord. Psalm19:14
But how much of our speech is acceptable to the Lord? If Christ were sitting visibly right next to us, how much would we really feel a need to say?
Words can tear you down or build you up.
God help me to open my mouth with wisdom and kindness. Proverbs 31:26
And even as I ask you to once again shut the mouth of the lion which would desire to devour me, please help me to forgive them Lord for they do not realize what they are doing.
Anyone can find the dirt in someone. Be the one that finds the gold.
"I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him."
2 Timothy 1:12
Abraham completely committed himself and his son Isaac to the Lord. He proved that when he acted on it. By laying the son he was promised, the son he had prayed and waited for all those years, on the alter. "Because God told him to and he was convinced that whatever he entrusted to God would be safe."
We all have things in our lives that we hold onto tightly. Things that may be very dear to us, our family, friends, ministry, past hurts, present desires, or future fears. God's desire is to inhabit every part of our heart as we give it to him. He loves us so much and his only desire is for us to love and serve him with our whole heart.
Are you convinced that God is able to guard that which you give to him? Perhaps the Isaacs in your life need to be laid upon the alter and given to the true giver of life. For only in dying to self can we truly take up our cross and follow him. Luke 9:23,24