Fresh Words

fresh words

“Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29 The Voice

What are rotten words? Words that come out of anger, rage, malice, slander, fear and are filthy. Wicked.  Lies. Evil. Deception.

What are fresh words? Words full of grace, encouragement, truth, love, compassion, gentleness, humility and meekness. Wholesome. Beneficial. Confident. Even bold.

I have heard lots of sayings that allude to the proportion of time that we should speak versus listen.  As in, “We have two ears and two eyes and one mouth for a reason.  Use them proportionately!” I used to find this amusing but now I just recognize it as truth.  Our words have the power of life and death in them.

Some of the things that are associated in scripture with fresh words: life, keep from trouble, sweet like honey, hope, wisdom, peace, love, instruction, healing, love life and to see good days. What we speak has the power to build someone up or tear them down.

Lord, do not let even one rotten word seep out of my mouth. I pray that my words will be Your words spoken in love.

Colossians 3:8, 4:6; Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 15:4, 18:21, 19:5, 21:23

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True

True2

“4 The weapons of the war we’re fighting are not of this world but are powered by God and effective at tearing down the strongholds erected against His truth. We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 The Voice

True. One true God. Historically, true was not a word that packed a lot of punch for me.  As it becomes more and more challenging to tell the difference between pop spiritualism and the gospel, I am beginning to understand that true is a very powerful word.

True: Adjective– conforming to reality or fact; not false. Real, genuine, authentic. Sincere, not deceitful. Loyal, faithful, steadfast. Reflecting the essential or genuine character of something. Conforming to a standard. Exact, precise, accurate, correct. Legitimate or rightful. Reliable, unfailing, sure. Exactly or accurately shaped, formed, fitted or placed. Honest, honorable, upright.

As I look at these descriptions, they hold great power.  For me, it offers a word of caution.  We should be wary of things that do not reflect this description; things that are not true.

So Father, put a thirst in my heart for all things true, for all things of You.  Help me come to understand You as the One True God.  Help me embrace all the ways that You are true.  Father, I pray that I will be true to You in all things and in all ways.  Thank you for Your true and perfect love and mercy and grace.  Thank you for giving me these gifts undeservedly.  Thank you for loving me so true and unconditionally.

Matthew 6:22, 24:35; Mark 3:35, John 1:9, 3:21, 15:1

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Faith In Action

faith in action

“So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).” James 2:17 AMP

Several years ago I really felt like God was calling me to write a piece on faith.  It was a relatively short piece that took me on an interesting journey.  What came out of a review of many scriptures was an outline that looked something like this:

  • Don’t look back
  • Eyes forward
  • Trust steadily in God
  • Hope unswervingly
  • Love extravagantly

Each area had a unique insight of its own in how it connected to the expression of faith.  There were several personal antidotes shared and many scriptures.

The scripture that really got hold of my heart was 1 Corinthians 13 in a new and different way.  It is historically referred to as the “Love Chapter.” However, what I began to see is that it also has all the components for a robust faith life.  My conclusion was this: without love we cannot walk in faith.  Love is the foundation for everything.  Just as faith requires a demonstration to be activated, love does as well.  We cannot operate in either one without interacting in community with others.

So my prayer is “Father help me to love like You believing that all things are possible, ALL THINGS are possible, with You.”

James 2:24, 26; Matthew 23:23, James 2:5, Philippians 4:6, 13

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Good Words

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“25 So put away your lies and speak the truth to one another because we are all part of one another. 29 Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:25, 29  The Voice

What are good words?  According to this scripture, they are words that build others up when they need it most.  They communicate grace.  We are warned of a time that some will abandon their faith and follow deceiving spirits and demonic teachings.  We are to be wise and not accept lies but speak the truth.  We are called to reinforce truth in faith and good teachings.  We are called to cling to God’s Word for our hope, our strength and salvation.  We are called to speak this truth in love and to bind ourselves together not splinter the body of Christ.

Father, I pray that I will be wary of words designed to maliciously tear the body of Christ apart.  Please help me be careful to honor You in my words and actions.  I pray that I will be a reflection of You, Your Word and Your Holy Son that died on the cross for me. Help me love like You. Help me see with Your eyes how precious each and every person is to You.

1 Timothy 4:1-2, Ephesians 4:15-16, Colossians 3:8-10, James 3:2-8

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A Lighthouse

The wise will pay attention to these words and will grow in learning, and the discerning will receive divine guidance,.” Proverbs 1:5 The Voice

 The initial building block for knowledge is wisdom.  Proverbs 1:1-7 is rich with instruction and a description of what wisdom looks like.  The more time I spend in God’s Word the more I am thankful for the wise way He deals with my heart.  I am also very thankful for the way He loves me, beautifully and elegantly.  It truly is my desire to be a reflection of His love and wisdom to others.  As I ponder what that reflection might look like, the image of a lighthouse comes to mind.

A lighthouse is light that is reflected.  It is a beacon in a storm.  It’s designed to stand firm and withstand intense conditions. It provides safe harbor. It lights the way to provide protection in rocky and dangerous places.  It is a beacon to save the lost and light the path to safety.

Lord, let me be a lighthouse that reflects You.

Proverbs 1:1-7

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How God Reigns

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“1 The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is robed, He has girded Himself with strength and power; the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up the roaring of their waves. The Lord on high is mightier and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea. Your testimonies are very sure; holiness [apparent in separation from sin, with simple trust and hearty obedience] is becoming to Your house, O Lord, forever.” Psalm 93 AMP

As I read this scripture today, I could imagine the Hallelujah chorus playing and bursting into the part that says “The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!” These words are so powerful!  I loved all the ways this passage describes how God reigns:  gloriously, powerfully, eternally, triumphantly and in truth and holiness.  It reminded me that if God is with us, who can come against us? His love endures forever!

Dearest Father, thank you for Your enduring love! Thank you for the infinite characteristics of Your omnipotent care.

Romans 8:31, Psalm 107:1, 118:1, 136

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