Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"What Did She say?"

      Have you ever been in a conversation and heard someone say something harsh or hurtful about another person? I would venture to say that all of us have. We have been either the recipient of the hurtful words or we have been the one who has said the hurtful words.  The bible has a lot to say on this subject ,so alot of what I will share is straight from scripture. Can I just say that we have all been guilty of not harnessing our mouth and speaking before we think. It is part of the sin nature within us that Satan likes to use to do the most harm within our homes, churches and relationships in general.  How can we control these harsh and hurtful words from leaving our tongues? The bible tells us that it is the most difficult part of our bodies to harness. " For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word he is a perfect man, also able to bridle the whole body." James 3:2.
The first thing we must realize is that we cannot do this on our own. " But no man can tame the tongue ,it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." James 3:8.  Isn't it amazing how in the same sentence we can be kind and then spout of  words that crush and  tear down those we love.  "Out of the same month proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so." James 3:10. So, where do we start? The first place I recommend is memorizing Gods word. "His words I have hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119 . God tells us right here that memorizing His word helps prevent us from sinning so I think this is a great start!  Hurtful words come from the heart. The more of Gods word we have hidden in our hearts the less room for harmful words. So if Gods word squeezes out evil words, lets get memorizing! Also the more we submit to the Holy Spirit the less we are in control of our words and actions, which we all know never turn out that well. We have to submit to His power daily, His power prevails over our fleshly desires, of envy and self seeking, that produce the harmful words towards others. It is the filling of His spirit that replaces our evil and fleshly spirit.  "Come Holy Spirit and fill us today. " are words to a powerful song we always sang in church when I was growing up. So thankful God is bringing them to mind as I share with you today.  He is always faithful and will continue  to mold and chisel away  at our hard hearts whether we want Him to or not. It is much easier though if we are willing to let Him. " Lord , I desire to become more and more like you ,so fill me with your spirit and words so I can speak words that encourage and build up others. May I be an earthy example of your love and kindness towards my brothers and sisters in Christ and a world that needs to know you."

Friday, March 6, 2015

Serving is a Lifestyle

    As we have begun a new year the Lord has impressed on my heart a more intentional call to serve. What does that look like and how can we more effectively serve those around us. First, let me say that to really serve as the Lord intended us too we must be in a place where we  fellowship with him daily, in His word and in prayer. This is how we begin to hear the Lord speak and prick our hearts to act on His behalf.
    I was at a women's retreat a few weekends ago and got to hear a sweet friend share how she and her family have weaved serving others into their daily lives.  This was such a confirmation of the Lords working in my heart in this area.  I have always had a heart for serving but through the years feel like it has been sparatic at times. I have quenched the spirits nudging often times due to "business" even church business. Can you imagine that we can  get so busy doing church work that we lose site of "His work".  Our desire to be active in the church  is wonderful and God honoring, but if we are not careful , it can be all consuming to the point of neglecting the call to serve and love the lost community outside of our church walls.
    The Lord will prompt your heart daily to the needs around you if you are in daily contact with Him. He speaks when we get still and listen. We cannot be thoroughly equipped for service without ongoing exposure to Scripture. This week as I asked the Lord to prick my heart to the needs of others and it was amazing to me how He spoke just because I asked. The blessings from serving are unmeasureable if we will just listen and act. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 "To this end we always pray for you, that God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power" I encourage you to pray for flexibility in your schedule and creativity as you serve others. It is an exciting command and calling on our lives as believers! This is my friend Rhonda's website if you would like to see some of her creativity in serving.  www.cultivatingahome.com    Happy Serving!