Wholesome Words

I wanted to share a great devotion by “Our Daily Bread” I read [text is below] on wholesome words.

Words are a big deal. The Bibles says they have the power of life or death. Wow, that is kind of scary to me. It makes me realize what a responsibility we have when we speak. Which also, makes me sad when I use them carelessly or hear others do the same.

While the article below focuses on crude and lewd words, we need to also be wary of what topics, stories, jokes, sayings, metaphors and even news we share as this is what fills our minds and in turn other’s minds when we speak. Thoughts are where what we say begins and so we need to have our focus on Jesus and godly things above like it says in Col 3:2 before we open our mouths.

Just because you read it, heard it or even worse saw it does not mean you need to share it. What we say and share can give credit, acceptability, and even honor to things so we need to think before we speak. Does what we say fit the Philippians 4:8 model. Is it true, lovely, pure, excellent, praiseworthy, etc? Not just one of these but all of these. As my mother-in-law says “just because you have diareha does not mean I need to hear about your mess.” It is so tempting for us to think and talk about messy stuff but is that really edifying? You can see how what people say and in turn, think has effected our society as what we watch on TV turns up in the news. Things that once appalled and offended us now don’t seem to even cause us to blink an eye now.

Holy words, holy things, good words, good things, wholesome words, wholesome things. This is where we need to walk regardless of our circumstances as it will change our circumstances as others are drawn away from the pull of the world by the sweet fragrance of Jesus.


Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. —Ephesians 4:29

A while back, an Emmy award-winning actress took a courageous stand and walked out in the middle of the Annual American Music Awards ceremony. Her reason? She grew increasingly upset and disappointed by what she described as “an onslaught of lewd jokes and off-color remarks” and raw and raunchy comments by presenters, performers, and hosts. She said the evening was an affront to anyone with a shred of dignity and self-respect.

Unwholesome speech was a problem even in the apostle Paul’s day. He reminded the Christians at Ephesus that they should put away vulgarity, lewdness, slander, and obscene talk from their lives (Eph. 5:4; Col. 3:8). These were expressions of their old lives (1 Cor. 6:9-11), and it was now out of place with their new identity in Christ. Instead, their lives were to be characterized by wholesome speech. Their good or wholesome words would give grace to the hearers (Eph. 4:29). The Holy Spirit would help guard their speech, convict of any filthy talk, and help them to use words to benefit others (John 16:7-13).

We are called to reflect God with all we are, and that includes our words. May our mouths be filled with thanksgiving and words that benefit others.

Holy Spirit, we need Your help. Guard our hearts and minds today. Help us control our thoughts and words so that we might lift others up and show them who You are and what You’ve done in us. Amen.

God Never Stops

You know one of my favorite thoughts is the fact that Jesus is constantly calling everyone to him and bringing more of heaven to earth each day. He is working moment by moment to save people and bring about good here on earth.

I love how Jesus affirms this when he says in John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” God mirrors this thought even in the Old Testament when He says in Jeremiah 32:40 “I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.”

To me it is summed up in Deuteronomy 12:7 with the culmination of God’s gracious goodness for our lives ” There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.”

What a great picture of satisfaction, contentment and safety! All because of God’s protection, redemption, constant care and great love for us. :)

Encourage Someone Today!

Encouragement is something EVERYONE needs and it is a gift we ALL have to give. It is FREE and makes a HUGE difference in peoples lives so nothing should keep us from generously showering others with godly, wholesome and kind encouragement!

It may be as simple as a smile or life changing as a fitly spoken word of blessing. Whatever type of encouragement you feel lead by the Lord to give you should do it often and even daily for as Hebrews 13:11 says “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today…”

As the verse says “today” is the day to start this holy and healthy habit and see what a change it will make in your life and the lives of those around you. I hope you are encouraged by the art and verse below and today will be a special day of blessing for you. :)

Believing the Best

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Believing the best is something that is hard for many of us. It often requires looking past, over or around what we perceive and choosing to think differently. However, it is essential to us as Believers if we are to live abundant overcoming lives. Even when we can’t see it we need to believe it. This is true hope in God, His character and of course His promises.

Take our father in the faith, Abraham who despite what he saw, felt, perceived and imagined became the father of nations and more.

Romans 4:18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” New International Version

Romans 4:18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping–believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” New Living Translation

I like how the NIV says Abraham in hope believed “against all hope” like he was refusing to give into the perception of the impossible. The NLT makes it even clearer that despite the fact there was no reason for hope, Abraham believed.

What a role model for us to follow in this determination of hope and believing the best despite what our senses, feelings and mind tells us. A devotion my wife shared with me recently puts it like this: Expect the Good “Can you get an attitude of faith that expects the best? Not waiting for the next bad thing to happen to you, but, with a child’s joyful trust, awaiting the next good thing in store for you?

That is our call as Christians and our key to finding joy and peace through the power of Hope in God. He is faithful and good so let’s not only hope the best but believe the best each day.

Sights and Signs of Life

With summer in full swing, the days are long and full of fun activities. God’s presence can be felt like the warm sunshine each day. Joyful noises of birds singing, people laughing and an occasional rain shower fill the air. However, if we are not looking for these beautiful sights and signs of life, we can miss the comforting and good gifts God gives us every moment of our lives.

That’s right God is constantly covering us with His tender care and lovingly carrying us through the journey of life until we are at home with Him forever in heaven. Some days seem long and there are even season’s when we don’t see or feel this truth of God’s love. However, not only is God there protecting, guiding and blessing but He and His promises are always faithful and true.

It is in times like these we often need some extra nudges to see God’s blessings and goodness all around us. We need to be reminded that God is so good and that He is pouring out His love on us in so many ways. The song “Count your blessing, name them one by one” is not only for children but everyone regardless of age.  It’s a sure way to brighten up a day and fill it with some “Sonshine” that will put bounce in your step and song in your heart.

In case you need some visual prompting to think and believe God’s best about the day, check out the attached pics below. :)

Pray, Pray, Pray to Brighten Your Day

You know, prayer is one of the most under utilized resources we as Christians have here on earth. It is not only the way we communicate and fellowship with God but it is how we engage Him in bringing more of Heaven to earth each day through our prayers of petition.

Prayer fills us with the peace, love and joy needed to make it through each day and our requests bring about miracles both small and large. God alone is the miracle maker who does more than we could ever hope and imagine on a daily basis and we get to often be a part of things through our prayers.

Prayer is an open line of communication to heaven and a direct pipeline bringing down heaven’s blessings to earth. It is a two way street though offering up praises and heartfelt words and listening to words of encouragement and guidance.  Prayer is the most powerful gift we have as Believers. Yet we often go days between conversations and replies to the nudging of the Holy Spirit.

When we do take time to prayer, we are more hopeful, more confident and even happier as we walk through our day holding the hand of our Savior, Jesus. It’ll not only brighten your day but light up the world around you, too. So if you need a lift today, pray. I know you will be glad you did. :)

 

Wholesome Thinking

I wanted to share a great devotion by ‘Seeds of the Kingdom” I read [text is below] on wholesome thinking.

I know all of us here agree that we need to be wholesome in our thoughts in order to honor God but what I find challenging is keeping my definition of what is wholesome centered in what God says in the Bible given the bombardment of things contrary to what God says is good from schools, businesses, theme parks, tv, the media, culture and society.

There are so many subtle and not so suble graphics, images, words, mascotts, characters, lifestyle choices and just plane yucky stuff sugar coated, dressed up and twisted to sound and look ok all under the umbrella of tolerence, entertainment, compromise, sensitivity, open mindedness and moderation that it is hard to know what’s what these days.

However, as Christians we are called to be separate and set a part and not mixed-up in all the yuck. In fact, we are called to be the salt of the earth protecting people, the culture and society from decaying just as salt protects meat from going rotten. The great news is that Jesus has given us all we need to stand for Him, evangelize the lost and bring our cultures in line with how God wants us to live and I believe is starts with prayer and is lived out through wholesome thinking as outlined by the devotion I came across below.


Scripture: “Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.”
2 Peter 3:1, NIV

“Recently I was praying with a group of friends and skimming through my Bible at the same time looking for inspiration. Suddenly my eyes lighted on our verse for today – a verse I had never noticed before, even though I must have read it many times!

In this verse Peter was telling his readers the somewhat unusual reason why he had written his letters, not to urge them forward to some great act of spiritual commitment, or to correct their sinful actions, or to teach them some important new truths – even though all of these are implicit in different parts of his letters – but to stimulate them to wholesome thinking.

Peter knew what he wanted to do – he was concerned above all that God’s people should understand a principle that would stand them in good stead for the rest of their days. Practical advice on a particular issue is often important and valuable – but if you can teach people a principle to live by you have given them advice that will hold true for hundreds of occasions.

Everything we do in life – whether it be good or bad – always begins with a thought. Then as we think about it, we decide to do it and finally we involve our body in the action that began as a thought. Now, if our thinking is always wholesome, then it’s obvious that the actions that follow will also be wholesome. But if in our minds we dwell on the ungodly, the unwholesome, the crude, the selfish and the greedy, to quote but a few possibilities, then our consequential actions will also be a reflection of what we’ve been thinking. What a contrast between the two sets of actions!

Peter’s advice holds good for us now. No wonder Paul encouraged us to take every thought captive, for if we control our thinking then our ways will truly be guided by the Lord into the ways of righteousness and the ways of blessing.”

Prayer: Help me Lord to always think about godly things and to stop myself thinking about the ungodly so that my actions will be in line with whatever is pure and holy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

5/6 UPDATE:

I saw the following prayer as the conclusion to another online devotion I read on the importance of wholesome activities and thought it was a fitting footnote to this post.

Lord, thank You for people who are around me who seem to flow with goodness.  (name them)  Help me to receive joy from wholesome activities.  Bring people around me who will encourage me to do good and wholesome things each day.  Amen.