Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Change my meditation


Psalm 104:34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.


You can learn how to follow God by meditating on his Word. This means spending time reading and thinking about what you have read. It means asking yourself how you should change so you will live as God wants. Knowing and thinking about God's Word are the first steps toward applying it to your everyday life. If you want to follow God more closely, you must know what he says.


There have been times when I have gone to see my Doctor and he tells me that he needs to change my medication. He will then make adjustments to my medicinal intake. In today's verse, I hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me, "You need to change your meditation. You need to make adjustments to your emotional intake. I need to change what I am dwelling on each day. I need to learn to trust in the Lord, and dwell on His goodness.

There's an old Greek proverb that says, "The bow that is always bent will soon break."

Deep-seated worry can be harmful to your emotional and physical health. Dr. Charles Mayo, the founder of the Mayo Clinic, wrote this about worry:
"Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the digestive system, and the entire nervous system. I've never known a person to die of overwork, but many who died from worry."

Our English word "worry" is derived from the old German word wurgen, meaning "to choke." The term has come to be used to denote "mental strangulation" to describe the harmful effects of worry.

I would like to share with you a few quotes that I have gathered that speaks about worry:

"Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you." -- Anonymous

"God never built a Christian strong enough to carry today's duties and tomorrow's anxieties piled on the top of them." -- Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom, cited in The Best of BITS & PIECES

"Worry is the interest we pay on tomorrow's troubles." -- E. Stanley Jones

"Let us not bankrupt our today's by paying interest on the regrets of yesterday and by borrowing in advance the troubles of tomorrow." -- Ralph W. Sockman (1889-1970), minister, B&P 8/22/03

The opposite of worry is TRUST. Whenever we approach a situation, we can grab it by the handle of trust or the handle of worry.

Trust and worry are mutually exclusive. You can experience one or the other but not both at the same time. God has promised to love us and to take care of us. He has promised that all things will work together for our good (Romans 8:28). He has invited us to cast our burdens upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

Whenever we worry we are suggesting that God cannot be trusted, that He can't fulfill His promise. Many evangelical Christians would never commit adultery, steal, or commit gross sins of the flesh, but at the same time, they are chronic worriers. You will not have victory over your worry until you admit that worry is a sin. Worry must become our ENEMY and not our FRIEND.

And He said to His disciples, "For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing." (Luke 12:22-23, NASB)

All the water in the world however hard it tried, could never, ever sink a ship unless it got inside. All the hardships of this world, Might wear you pretty thin, But they won't hurt you, one least bit ... Unless you let them in.

Are you a worrier? If you're like a lot of people, worry just might be one of the things that makes life miserable. It's not uncommon for people to lose sleep, drop weight, develop "nervous tics," suffer ulcers or other gastric disorders, or get pretty sick in other ways, all from worry. Worry just might be one of the elements that feeds a grand variety of mental and emotional disorders. And even though we don't usually diagnose things this way, worry is the cause of countless spiritual maladies as well.

Some people waste time worrying about things they really cannot change. Perhaps the point is this: if something is within your ability, do something about it.
If it's not, try changing yourself first, by developing new abilities, then attacking the problem. Remember one thing above all else - worry doesn't fix anything. In fact, worry will add an extra burden to any problem. It clouds the mind, wrecks the emotions, and kills the spirit. How does a befuddled, nervous, spiritually dead person accomplish anything worthwhile? You've got to get a handle on worry.

How can you get a handle on worry? By changing your MEDITATION. Change what you allow to dwell in your mind. As I have already mentioned, if you went to a doctor for a physical problem, he would probably give you some medicine. If after a few days the medicine didn't work, the doctor would CHANGE YOUR MEDICATION to something else. That is exactly what we as Christians need to do. What we have been meditating on leads to worry and anxiety so Jesus, the great Physician, wants us to CHANGE OUR MEDITATION.

What is meditation? In its simplest form, it is what you dwell on in your mind. If you are a worrier, then you are dwelling on, or meditating on, your problem. When you change your meditation, you change what you are dwelling on. Stop dwelling on your problem, and start dwelling on your problem solver, Jesus Christ!

Some people seem more prone to worry than others, but it's possible for anyone to reduce the extremes. Legitimate concern can serve as a powerful motivator. The fact that we care deeply about some issue is a positive. Worry, however, paralyzes us, and leaves us powerless. Try to figure out if you can do something or not. If so, do. If not, don't. Either way, worry isn't the answer, but trusting your faithful God is!

One day a man is walking through a park and stops to observe a dad who is tossing his child up in the air and catching him. He noticed the child seemed so calm, and had very little fear at all of falling to the ground. The man walks over to the dad and ask him why the child remains so relaxed although he is out of control. The father says "It's because we have a history. We've played this game before, and I've never dropped him."

My friend, remember the history that you have with God. He has never dropped you, and HE'S NOT GOING TO START TODAY!


"Lord, I am so thankful that I can trust You. So many times I wondered how we were going to make it through a situation, but You are always faithful and good. May I meditate on that today. I truly want my meditation to be pleasing to you today. If it isn't, then I will change my meditation. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Monday, August 30, 2010

“Un-drained Grudge”


Mark 6:19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to,


Palestine was divided into four territories, each with a different ruler. Herod Antipas, called Herod in the Gospels, was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip ruled over Traconitis and Iturea. Philip's wife was Herodias, but she had left him to marry Herod Antipas. When John confronted the two for committing adultery, Herodias formulated a plot to kill him. Instead of trying to get rid of her sin, Herodias tried to get rid of the one who brought it to public attention. This is also exactly what the religious leaders were trying to do to Jesus.


Relationships in this world are tough! I sometimes wonder IF we ever get it right in this crazy thing called life. Round and round people go in the crazy circle of blame and resentment. Round and round people go, hurting and wounding, protecting their self worth against that of another. Is it any wonder that the Bible speaks a lot about relationships and the importance of getting things right with God and with each other?

In his book, "Everyday with Jesus" author Selwyn Hughes relates this story…

"A man I knew became enraged over something another Christian had done to him. I advised him to forgive and forget. He replied: "But every time I see him, he burns me up." I said: "That's because you want to burn him up and all you succeed in doing is burning yourself up." I told him about the sadistic farmer who tied a small stick of dynamite to a hawk, lit the fuse and turned him loose, expecting it to blow itself up in mid-air. Instead, the hawk flew into his barn and the explosion wrecked, not only the barn, but part of his house also!" This man listened to my story but I could see the words had not gone in. He could think and talk of nothing else but getting even with his fellow Christian. His wife told me that his breath became foul, his appetite left him, his digestion became bad, he suffered loss of sleep and, after a few months, he dropped dead! In case someone says, "But there could have been other reasons for his death", I can tell you that I talked to his doctor, a close personal friend of mine, and he told me that the man had died of an "undrained grudge." Of course, you can't put that on a death certificate, but many doctors know that "undrained grudges" play a major role in creating physical disorders."

In our text, Herodias developed an "undrained grudge" against John the Baptist, and she "nursed" it, in other words, she FED IT by dwelling on it constantly.

The Bible says in the Old Testament book of Leviticus…

"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:18 NIV)

In the Old Testament book of Proverbs, the author Solomon, one of the wisest people to walk on this planet writes…

"Don't say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and He will deliver you." (Proverbs 20:22 NIV)

You know, the fact is in this thing called LIFE, we cannot hurt another person without hurting ourselves! We cannot hold a grudge or resentment against another person without that grudge or resentment eventually hurting us!

As the old Chinese proverb states…

"He who spits against the wind spits in his own face!"

When we are out of relationship with someone in our lives as we make our way down the path before us, one of the things that happens to us spiritually is we wind up loosing our spiritual freshness and vitality. The TRUTH is we cannot maintain spiritual freshness in our relationship with God and each other while we are holding on to a grudge or resentment.

I think John put it best in the New Testament letter that bears his name…

"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother or sister is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother or sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness, he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him." (1 John 2:9-11 NIV)

You know, the reality is simply this, relationships are tough, and they bring much joy and sometimes many pains. However, we must be willing to release the pain and restore the joy to the best of our ability. We need to do our best to walk in the light and release the grudges and resentment that we can sometimes covet in our efforts to protect and wound!


"Lord, I thank You for the challenge from Your Word today. Forgive me for the times I have 'nursed' a grudge. When I dwell on how I was wronged, and can't get past thoughts of pay back, it is a sure sign that I need to spend time in Your presence and in Your Word. Today, I let go of any offenses against me. Because when I don't let them go, I offend You. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Friday, August 27, 2010

Divide and Conquer


1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (AMP) But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.


Non-Christians cannot understand spiritual truths, and they cannot grasp the concept that God's Spirit lives in believers. Don't expect most people to approve of or understand your decision to follow Christ. It all seems so silly to them. Just as a tone-deaf person cannot appreciate fine music, the person who rejects Christ cannot understand truths from God's Spirit. With the lines of communication broken, he or she won't be able to hear what God is saying to him or her.

We must not remain silent, however, using others' difficulty in understanding as an excuse. We are still one of God's communication channels. We must be alert to opportunities. Another person's question may be evidence that God's Spirit is drawing him or her to the point of decision. How would you respond today if someone asked you about your faith?


The spiritual person has the mind of Christ (see Philippians 2:1-30). This means that the Spirit, through the Word, helps the believer think as Jesus thinks. It is an amazing thing to say that human beings possess the very mind of God! Down through the years, spiritual Christians have predicted things that the people of the world said could never happen, but these events came to pass. The spiritually minded saint understands more about the affairs of this world from his Bible than the leaders of the world understand from their human perspective.

Only the Holy Spirit can help us to understand the Word of God. A person may have studied the Word of God for years, have a good mind, attended the best Bible colleges and seminary, but none of these alone are enough. We need the Spirit of God and help us interpret and apply the Word of God.

The relationship between the Word of God and the Spirit of God is an important one. Some have a tendency to put more emphasis on one or the other and they get off balance and can quickly become ineffective. The moment we separate the Spirit and the Word we are in trouble.

Donald Gee put it this way, ""All Spirit and no Word, you blow up. All Word and no Spirit you dry up. Word and Spirit-you grow up!"

Without the Spirit, the Word is a dead letter; with the Spirit it is a living and powerful force. As Selwyn Hughes says in his "Every day with Jesus" devotion "the devil has policy of divide and conquer." If the devil can get us to divide the Word and the Spirit, he has us right where he wants us, for he can then conquer us!


"Lord, I am so thankful for your Word and your Spirit. I need them both. There have been times I allowed the devil to get my attention more on one than the other. It led to my defeat. Today, I refuse to allow the policy of divide and conquer. I acknowledge your Spirit as I read your Word. Holy Spirit, illuminate the Word of God to me today. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Influence of the Spirit


1 Corinthians 2:4-5 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.


A brilliant scholar, Paul could have overwhelmed his listeners with intellectual arguments. Instead, he shared the simple message of Jesus Christ by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide his words. In sharing the Good News with others, we should follow Paul's example and keep our message simple and basic. The Holy Spirit will give power to our words and use them to bring glory to Jesus. Way too often, men and women who have ascertained great knowledge becomes more concerned with showcasing their minds, knowledge and vocabulary then they are with sharing Jesus. When that happens, the years of study begins to work against the original call and passion that the individual had. This indeed is a trick of the enemy of our soul, and is the crux of religiosity. What Paul was saying is, "I could really impress you with my education, but that's not what I'm concerned with. I want the Spirit to be seen in and through me, because He's the one that brings change, not me or my education."

Paul's confidence was not in his keen intellect or speaking ability but in his knowledge that the Holy Spirit was helping and guiding him. Paul is not denying the importance of study and preparation for preaching; he had a thorough education in the Scriptures. Effective preaching results from studious preparation and reliance on the work of the Holy Spirit. Don't use Paul's statement as an excuse for not studying or preparing.


Selwyn Hughes says: "Much of modern-day Christianity is lacking power and conviction because it lacks a close encounter with this aspect of the Spirit's resources. If we are to experience the fullness of the Spirit in our lives, then we must open ourselves to everything He wants to give us. Too often our preaching is correct, our worship services are well-structured, our music is fine, our organization is superb, but it lacks one thing-the throbbing power of the Holy Spirit. Without the power of the Spirit in our midst, we are preaching unquickened truth-truth that doesn't fall upon the soul with convicting, sobering, awakening, converting power. Our Christianity is not bad-it is way too often dull. The Holy Spirit, when accepted and obeyed, turns insipidity into inspiration, dullness into dancing, and mediocrity into magnificence."

We need the person and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives today. When we learn to walk by the "nudge of the Spirit" we allow the Spirit to develop godly characteristics in our daily choices, words, and actions. The same is true in our church services.

The real proof of the power of the gospel is in changed lives. This "demonstration of the Spirit" was the thing that authenticated Paul's ministry. The gospel's most powerful argument is not in great sermons preached but in the changes it causes in lives.


"Lord, I am so thankful for Your Holy Spirit. Please forgive me for the times I have grieved, resisited, or quenched Him. I want to walk, live, talk, in the power of the Spirit today. Please give me a 'nudge' when I am going in a direction with my actions or words that are not pleasing to You. In Jesus name, amen!"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Allowing God’s Word to change us


Ezra 7:10 Ezra had committed himself to studying the Revelation of GOD, to living it, and to teaching Israel to live its truths and ways.


Ezra demonstrates how a gifted Bible teacher can move God's people forward. He was effective because he was a well-versed student of the law of the Lord and because he was determined to obey those laws. He taught through both his speaking and his example. Like Ezra, we should determine both to study and to obey God's Word.


Chuck Colson, in one of his books, was talking about the fact that so many of us have Bibles, and yet the Bible doesn't change us. 81% of the people surveyed in a recent poll said that they were evangelical; and yet only 42% of them knew that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount; and 48% of them could name the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Out of the 1382 people that were surveyed, less than 1% of them said that their lives were directed and truly changed by what the Word of God said. In other words, many of us read it; but it doesn't always change us. Many are not really reading it and meditating on it.

I read a story about an inner city preacher was reading his Bible and preaching out of it. It was a New Testament. There was a drug addict who noticed the nice, thin paper of the Bible, thought how good it would be to roll up marijuana cigarettes, and asked the preacher for the Bible, "I would like to use the paper to smoke marijuana with." The preacher told him, "I will let you have the Bible if you promise to read it before you smoke it." The addict agreed. Sometime later, the evangelist was preaching a meeting, after the meeting a man came up to him and said, "I am the man who you gave the bible to" The evangelist remembered. "How are you doing?" The Evangelist asked. The man said, "Well I took the Bible I read Matthew then I smoked it, I read Mark then I smoked it, I read Luke then I smoked it, I read John, and it smoked me" THE WORD OF GOD WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE, IF YOU TRULY READ IT and MEDIDATE upon it!

I was reading recently about a guest lecturer at a university. The only thing they asked him before he made the lecture was not to talk about the Word of God, the Bible. He noted how strange it was to speak at the university and be asked not to talk about the Bible. Especially when that evening, he went to do prison ministry and the first words from the warden were, "As you talk to the prisoners, could you talk to them about biblical principles?"

That seems to me like the cart's before the horse. We're not supposed to share God's Word at the universities; but when we speak to prisoners, who've already messed their lives all up, then we can talk about it. It seems to me like we're building the hospital down at the bottom of the cliff instead of putting fences at the top. Seems to me that we don't really understand what the Word of God will do and how it can change our life.

The Bible was written over a 1600-year span. It was written by 40 generations, by over 40 authors from every walk of life including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, and scholars. It was written in different places, including out in the wilderness, in dungeons, in palaces, inside prison walls, while traveling, on lonely islands, in the midst of war. It was written at different times, sometimes in peace, sometimes in battle. It was written during different moods, some writing from the heights of joy while others wrote from the very depths of sorrow. It was written in three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe. And it was written in three languages -- Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. It covered subject matters including hundreds of controversial subjects, yet with harmony and continuity from Genesis to Revelation, there is one unfolding story, and the story is the redemption of man through Jesus Christ.

Ezra tells us in our text today (Ezra 7:10), four ways to take God's Word and apply it: "For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it and to teach its statutes and ordinances to Israel."

1. Ezra prepared his heart to approach God's Word. Ezra literally prepared himself in the way that he approached God's Word. He wanted to make sure that he entered into the presence of God's Word in an appropriate manner.

2. Ezra prepared his heart to study God's Word. As Ezra read it, he allowed his heart to be tender and open to the voice of the Spirit.

3. Ezra prepared to practice what he learned. Ezra not only read it; but as soon as he read it, he practiced it. He began to apply it to his life.

4. Ezra prepared to share what he learned. Ezra not only learned it in his own life and practiced and applied it, but he took it immediately and he shared it with others, so they could apply it to their lives.

Five key phrases:

1. Learn It.

It can't change you until you know it. "Learn it, and that deals with your head." Memorize scripture, that's the thing.

2. Love It.

You've got to begin to embrace the Word and let it embrace you.

3. Meditate on it

Read yesterdays blog for more information on meditation: http://pastorrustysblog.blogspot.com/2010_08_01_archive.html

4. Speak it

The devil can't stand the Word of God, it puts him to flight. So, read the Word of God out loud. Pray it out loud. Speak it to whatever mountain you are facing.

5. Live It.

You've got to let the Word of God that comes into your heart go out through your hands, and you've got to apply it to others.


"Lord, once again I thank you for Your Word today. There is stirring within me an even greater passion for the truths in Your Scripture. Help me to meditate on what I have read today, then speak it, and live it. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Read it, Meditate on it, Speak it out loud!


Psalm 1:1-6 (MSG) How well God must like you-- you don't hang out at Sin Saloon, you don't slink along Dead-End Road, you don't go to Smart-Mouth College. (2) Instead you thrill to GOD's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. (3) You're a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom. (4) You're not at all like the wicked, who are mere windblown dust-- (5) Without defense in court, unfit company for innocent people. (6) GOD charts the road you take. The road they take is Skid Row.

Psalm 1:2 (NKJV) But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.


You can learn how to follow God by meditating on his Word. This means spending time reading and thinking about what you have read. It means asking yourself how you should change so you will live as God wants. Knowing and thinking about God's Word are the first steps toward applying it to your everyday life. If you want to follow God more closely, you must know what he says.

This "law" means all of Scripture: the first five books of Moses, the Prophets, and the other writings. The more we know of the whole scope of God's Word, the more resources we will have to guide us in our daily decisions.


It is some important to the child of God to read Scripture, meditate on it, then speak it out loud.

Meditation is something that Christians need to understand on a deeper level than what we do. The Hebrew word for "meditate" is hâgâh and it means to moan, growl, utter, plot, speak. Think about this for a moment. The Bible tells us in I Peter 5:8 that satan walks around like a roaring lion. He loves to "roar" threats at God's people. He "roars" fear into our lives. His roar could be "you have cancer", "you husband will never change", "your kids will never be saved", "your situation will never be better", "God doesn't still do miracles", "you might as well give up", "you are ruined financially and will never get any better", "you have no reason to live." And I could go and on. The devil is a liar and he speaks lies constantly. There is NO truth in him. So how do we fight him? With God's Word!

The Word of God tells us that in Revelation 5:5 that Jesus is the "lion of the tribe of Judah." The reason it is so important to read, and then meditate on God's Word is so we can use the Word of God to defeat the lies of the enemy. Remember that one of the meanings of meditate is to "growl" so in the middle of the night when the enemy is "roaring" lies, we can "roar" back the Word of God to defeat him. To be able to do this, you must hide God's Word in your heart, or memorize it. That takes effort. It takes more than just reading God's Word, but studying it, thinking about it all day. So when you read God's Word, the Holy Spirit will cause a verse to really jump off of the page at you, and that is the verse that He knows you need for today. So, write it down on an index card, text it to yourself, email it...whatever it takes for you to dwell on it all day. The Message says to "chew on Scripture day and night." Then, when the enemy speaks lies to you, you can speak the Word of God back to him. In other words, when the lying "lion" roars, then you can allow the Lion of the tribe of Judah to "roar" out of you the "devil defeating" Word of God.

So today, when it comes to God's Word: READ it, MEDITATE on it, then SPEAK it out loud!


"Lord, I am so thankful for Your Word. Help me today to READ it, MEDITATE on it, and then SPEAK it outloud. As I do this, I "roar" back when the devil roars against me. Thank you for this inspiration today, in Jesus' name, amen!"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Read it and Speak it!


Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.


The Word of God is not simply a collection of words from God, a vehicle for communicating ideas; it is living, life-changing, and dynamic as it works in us. With the incisiveness of a surgeon's knife, God's Word reveals who we are and what we are not. It penetrates the core of our moral and spiritual life. It discerns what is within us, both good and evil. The demands of God's Word require decisions. We must not only listen to the Word; we must also let it shape our lives.


The KJV says the Word is "quick and powerful." The word for quick is - zao – and it means "breathing and living." The word for powerful is energes meaning effective, powerful, active and effectual. That is the Greek word that we get our word energy from. The Word of God is effective. This supports the verse in Isaiah(Is 55:11) that says, "so is my word that goes out from my moth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." When God speaks His Word, His living, breathing, active, and effective Word, into our hearts, He sends it for a purpose that He will see is accomplished! It will not return empty or void. When God says it, it is done!

The part about the double edged sword is what I want to get to today. On one side this double edged sword is the logos or written Word of God. We need to READ and STUDY the Word daily. We then need to MEDITATE on the read Word.

But, then we need to use the other side of the Sword, and that is where we SPEAK the Word of God that we have just read. The enemy cowers when we SPEAK the word of God. He knows he cannot begin to battle that power.... It was the spoken Word of God that created the universe and the spoken Word of God that cast the enemy from the portals of heaven to where he is now. The spoken word of God is powerful when fighting the enemy. That is why it is so important to not only read and meditate on God's word but to speak it out loud. The enemy cannot read our minds. He shivers on what he hears out of our mouths the Word of God. (To study my statement, "The enemy cannot read our minds", please check out the following links)




As we use the "double edge" then God's Word penetrates to our soul and spirit and circumcises our heart, as the Bible says. That just means it helps us to crucify our flesh. When we meditate on God's Word, we are able to live and walk in the Spirit, rather than the flesh. We are cleansed and sanctified through His Word. When we live according to the Spirit of God rather than according to our flesh, we are again making the enemy powerLESS in our life. He can only operate with our permission. We give the enemy permission to work in our lives when we live lives contrary to God's spirit. (Ephesians 4:27)

So - when you read God's Word, put your name in there and speak it out loud. For instance if God dropped Isaiah 61 and in your heart. You can read verse 7: "instead of their shame my people - YOUR NAME- will receive a double portion and instead of disgrace YOUR NAME will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. For I, the lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them(YOU NAME) and make an everlasting covenant with them! Tell the devil out loud what God's word says. Shout it at him. Then meditate on it every day.

Throughout the Bible we are told to:

  • meditate on God's Word (think about and repeat over and over again to ourselves)
  • pray God's Word (the only way we can be sure to pray according to the will of God)
  • speak God's Word (like Jesus did when He was tempted to be discouraged - spoke it out loud to Satan)

If you are struggling with battles in your life, remember this: God sees time so much different than we do. He is infinite and we see time through our finite beings.

God sees the beginning as well as the ending, and all the points in between. He sees your good times and your rough times, but ultimately He sees your rejoicing in heaven for eternity. That is how He works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). That is why placing our trust in Him is so vital. -Trusting Him when we are tired and worn out. -Trusting Him when we feel all is going down the tubes. -Trusting Him when we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Simple trust. He has promised you victory - so tomorrow, if it brings worse news than yesterday, you can trust in Him.

So, I encourage each of you today to take up a warrior mentality. Be an enemy of Satan. Take up the Sword of the Spirit, clothe yourself in the armor God has provided (Ephesians 6) and battle the enemy of your soul through the power of the Holy Spirit. Read God's Word. Meditate on God's Word and Speak God's Word out loud.


"Lord I am so thankful for Your powerful, living, active Word. Help me today to read it, then speak it. When I read your Word and do not meditate on it, it is like me eating some good food and then spitting it out, refusing to swallow. That habit would eventually be fatal to me physically, and it is deadly to my Spirit man as well. Help me today to READ Your Word, then SPEAK it is Jesus name, amen!"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Five “I will’s” of David


Psalm 101:1-8 A Psalm of David. I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. (2) I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; (3) I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. (4) A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. (5) Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. (6) I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me. (7) No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes. (8) Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD.


David may have written this psalm early in his reign as king as he set down the standards he wanted to follow. David knew that to lead a blameless life he would need God's help (v. 2).

We can lead blameless lives if we avoid:

(1) looking at wickedness
("I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar," (v. 3),

(2) evil thoughts ("perverse heart," (v. 4)

(3) slander (v. 5), and

(4) pride (v. 5). While avoiding these wrongs, we must also let God's Word show us the standards by which to live.


I love author Bob Gass, and he had a devotion some time back where he discussed Psalm 101. I have used his thought, and some of his notes to write the following.

Notice the five "I wills" of David in our text today (Psalm 101)

(1) "I will sing of steadfast love and justice" (v.1). When dealing with others, some of us are all mercy and no justice; others are all justice and no mercy. God requires both. David says "I will" live a balanced life today.

(2) "I will ponder the way that is blamesless" (v.2). People are more impacted by our behaviour than by our beliefs. Our children may not always follow our advice, but count on it, they'll follow our footsteps. Those not persuaded by your theology can still be won by your love and lifestyle.

(3) "I will walk with integrity of heart within my house" (v.2.). Integrity begins at home. If your family thinks you're joyless and judgmental you'll never attract them to Christ. Christianity that doesn't work at home, isn't genuine Christianity. It is religion. Christianity isn't about religion, it is about relationship. David prayed, "How I need your help, especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should" (Psalm 101:2 TLB).

(4) "I will set no wicked (or worthless) thing before mine eyes" (v.3). Television is on seven hours a day in most homes. So ask yourself: "What am I exposing myself and my family to?" What you tolerate you've no right to complain about! You say you've no time to read God's Word and pray. No, the truth is, you don't have a strong enough desire to. God help us! Some who are reading this have developed an addictive habit of pornography. Be sure this cancer will slowly eat away at your relationship with God and your spouse. Please, make this I WILL a priority for your life even now.

(5) "I will early destroy all the wicked" (v.8.). The Living Bible states, "I will not tolerate anyone who secretly slanders his neighbours; I will not permit conceit and pride. I will make the godly of the land my heroes, and invite them to my home" (Psalm 101:5-6). David is saying, as soon as wicked men were discovered in any part of the land, he would cut them off, would take the first opportunity of punishing them as the law directs: or he would do it every morning, constantly and continually. What that says to me is that I need to pledge that I WILL attack every morning anything that attempts to detour me from walking in integrity before God and man.

Those are five "I wills" you and I should live by.


"Lord, today I want to be like David and deterimine that I WILL do these five things mentioned above. It is a conscious choice that I make today. It will take some effort, but it will very much be worth it. Thank you Holy Spirit for Your help today. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Today’s Blessings


Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.


"Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms" means that in Christ we have all the benefits of knowing God-being chosen for salvation, being adopted as his children, forgiveness, insight, the gifts of the Spirit, power to do God's will, the hope of living forever with Christ. Because we have an intimate relationship with Christ, we can enjoy these blessings now. The "heavenly realms" means that these blessings are eternal, not temporal. The blessings come from Christ's spiritual realm, not the earthly realm of the goddess Artemis. Other references to the heavenly realms in this letter include Eph 1:20; Eph 2:6; Eph 3:10. Such passages reveal Christ in his victorious, exalted role as ruler of all.


As Paul thinks about the Lord, and the spiritual blessings that He had bestowed upon him, he breaks out into praise. The verses that follow v. 3 expound upon these blessings. THIS DAY I want to be the same way.

When I woke up this morning, I awakened to new mercy, daily bread, provision for my TODAY needs, all of my family is up and well, they are all saved and living for Jesus. I could go on and on. But as I think about this list, it makes me think of one of my favorite songs that our choir at First Assembly sings. The words are:

When I think about the Lord How He saved me, How he raised me How He filled me with the Holy Ghost How He healed me to the utter-most. When I think about the Lord How He picked me up and turned me around How He set my feet on solid ground It makes me wanna shout,"Hallelujah, thank you Jesus, Lord you're worthy of all the glory, And all the honor, and all the praise!"

I need to take the time right now to declare praise to the Lord! You see yesterday may have been tough, but it's gone. Tomorrow I may face a battle, but it's not here yet. But when it does get here...it will be TODAY. And TODAY, "this is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." I can rejoice because
God promised to provide "daily bread" for me TODAY. Not tomorrow. I get burdened with cares and worries, when I try to find "daily bread" for tomorrow. God does not want me to live like that. I need to trust Him today. Because today He has truly blessed me with every spiritual blessing in Christ!

As Dale Carnegie said, "Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday."

I also read a quote sometime back that said, "Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have - so spend it wisely"

If I live in the regrets of yesterday, and the worry of tomorrow, then I take for granted the provision of today. I don't want to live like that today! In fact, I WILL NOT live like that today. I will shout and rejoice until the Lord. The one"who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ."


"Lord, please forgive me for taking so many of your blessings for granted. I have to admit that I have lived in the regrets of yesterday way too often. I have also spent way too much time in the worries of tomorrow. I choose this day to live in the provision of TODAY. The reason yesterday and tomorrow seem so heavy is that You never promised "daily bread" for tomorrow. Only for TODAY. So...this is THE DAY that you have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it as I think upon the blessings you have given me in the heavenly realms...every spiritual blessing in Christ! In Jesus' name, amen!"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Shrug my shoulders and keep my joy


Act 13:49-14:3 And this Message of salvation spread like wildfire all through the region. (50) Some of the Jews convinced the most respected women and leading men of the town that their precious way of life was about to be destroyed. Alarmed, they turned on Paul and Barnabas and forced them to leave. (51) Paul and Barnabas shrugged their shoulders and went on to the next town, Iconium, (52) brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit, two happy disciples. (14:1) When they got to Iconium they went, as they always did, to the meeting place of the Jews and gave their message. The Message convinced both Jews and non-Jews--and not just a few, either. (2) But the unbelieving Jews worked up a whispering campaign against Paul and Barnabas, sowing mistrust and suspicion in the minds of the people in the street. (3) The two apostles were there a long time, speaking freely, openly, and confidently as they presented the clear evidence of God's gifts, God corroborating their work with miracles and wonders.


In Chapter 13 we find ourselves again in the assembly at Antioch, and in the midst of the independent action of the Spirit of God. Certain prophets are there, Saul among them. They fasted and were occupied with the service of the Lord. The Holy Ghost commands them to separate unto Him Barnabas and Saul for the work to which He had called them Such was the source of the ministry of these two.

Assuredly it bore testimony to Him in whom they had believed, and whom Saul, at least, had seen, and it was under His authority they acted; but the positive and obvious source of their mission was the Holy Ghost. It was the Holy Ghost who called them to the work. They were sent forth (Acts 13:4) by Him - an all-important principle as to the Lord's ways upon earth. As they preach and teach the Word of God, people begin to stir up trouble and caused a large group of people to turn on Paul and Barnabas and forced them to leave. Paul and Barnabas dusted off the dust from their feet, or as the Message says, "shrugged their shoulders and went to the next town brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit, two happy disciples."


This truth speaks into my spirit man as I read over it again and again, and meditate upon it's truth. In spite of people turning on them (I'm certain that some of those that turned on them were some of their new found friends and converts), they were able to move on: without bitterness, without getting "mouthy", without feeling the need to retaliate, without trying to defend themselves, without becoming so offended that they stop working for God, without allowing their spirits to become poisoned, etc. I literally could go on and on.

It is so easy when someone is treating me in an unkind manner to respond in the same way to them. Afterwards, I can allow guilt, anger, bitterness, discouragement, and even depression to come over me. It is very easy to think that because someone points out the negative in my life, to allow their negative to become a negative determent to my heart and spirit.

My prayer today is that I will respond to attacks like Paul and Barnabas did. I want to be able to shrug my shoulders and continue on with what God has called and equipped me to do. I must refuse to allow anything or anyone to hinder me from "brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit". May I walk out of conflict the way Paul and Barnabas did...they went on their way, following God's Spirit, "two happy disciples."

As I go into the next chapter, I see that they faced conflict once again, as people sowed "distrust and suspicion in the minds of the people in the street." Isn't that just like the devil? He uses whomever will allow him to. And his plan is to hinder the gospel of Jesus Christ from being spread.

However, if I respond like Paul and Barnabas I can expect to see "God corroborating their work with miracles and wonders" in spite of the conflicts and opposition.


"Lord, my prayer today is that you help me to understand that NO ONE has the power within their actions or words to keep me from brimming over with the joy of the Holy Spirit. No one but me. I ask you to help me to shrug off the attacks on my faith today. I ask you to help me shrug off the discouraging things that are constantly bombarding my mind. I ask you to help me shrug off the doubts that tell me my prayers will never be answered. I ask you to help me shrug off the fears that permeate my mind when I am attempting something for your name and glory. I ask you to help me to shrug off the whispers in my ear in the middle of the night that tries to tell me that this situation is too big for even God. I could go on and on, Lord, with the things that I need to shrug off today. As I shrug these hindrances off, may I also go on about the work and business that you have for me today. And as I do it, help me to walk through today, brimming over with the power and person of the Holy Spirit, and at the end of the day, may I still be a "happy disciple" for you. I know in my heart that you will corroborate your work with miracles in wonders...in YOUR time. I love you Lord, and thank you for this day that you have made. I will continue to rejoice and be glad in it. In Jesus name, amen!"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stop complaining!


Philippians 2:14-15 (AMP) Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], (15) That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world,

Phillippians 2:14-15 (NIV) Do everything without complaining or arguing, (15) so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe


Why are complaining and arguing so harmful? If all that people know about a church is that its members constantly argue, complain, and gossip, they get a false impression of Christ and the Good News. Belief in Christ should unite those who trust him. If your church is always complaining and arguing, it lacks the unifying power of Jesus Christ. Stop arguing with other Christians or complaining about people and conditions within the church; instead, let the world see Christ.

Our lives should be characterized by moral purity, patience, and peacefulness, so that we will "shine brightly" in a dark and depraved world. A transformed life is an effective witness to the power of God's Word. Are you shining brightly, or are you clouded by complaining and arguing? Don't let dissensions snuff out your light. Shine out for God. Your role is to shine until Jesus returns and bathes the world in his radiant glory.


We don't realize that when we complain, we are saying that God isn't caring for us like He should. We rob Him of the praise and Thanksgiving that He so deserves.

  • We complain about the price of groceries instead of offering Him thanks that we can afford to buy food.
  • We complain about our spiritual struggles instead of offering Him thanks that Jesus died on the cross for my salvation.
  • We complain about the price of gasoline instead of offering Him thanks that we have a vehicle.
  • We complain about how messy our families are instead of offering Him thanks that we have a family.
  • We complain about how much our kids fight instead of offering Him thanks for our children.
  • We complain about our country instead of offering Him thanks that we live in the greatest nation in the world.
  • We complain about our spouse instead of offering Him thanks that we are married.
  • We complain that we don't feel very well instead of offering Him thanks that we are alive.
  • We complain that we don't make enough money instead of offering Him thanks that we have more wealth that a large percentage of the world
  • We complain about the traffic jam on the interstate instead of offering Him thanks that we are not causing the jam due to car problems or an accident.
  • We complain about the music of our church instead of offering Him thanks that we have the right and freedom to worship God in our church
  • We complain about the problems that have to be fixed in our house instead of offering Him thanks for our house.
  • We complain about how busy we are today instead of offering Him thanks for this day

I could go on and on. I (we) can very easily become a complainer. That is why my theme verse is Psalm 118:24, "This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." I have to remind myself often that I choose to be full of thanksgiving and not complaining… TODAY. I have to take one day at a time. I often teach on how we need to enjoy each season of our lives. Well, I actually believe that we need to enjoy each minute of each day, or each season of our lives. How do we do that? Develop an attitude of gratitude.

Listen to what Paul says in Philippians 4:11-12:

Philippians 4:11-12 Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. (12) I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.

He says, "I have learned to be content in every circumstance." Being content is something you have to learn. You learn it through your daily choices. You will never be content as long as you make the choice of complaining! However, when you strive to give thanks daily, you will slowly but surely become content, regardless what comes along in your life.

I love the CONTENTS of my life (Salvation, family, home, vehicles, etc), but I will never be CONTENT in my life until I daily choose to give God thanks before I bring my needs or complaints before Him. It is the absolute least that I can do for a God who has blessed me abundantly.


"Lord, help me to enjoy the CONTENTS of my life by learning to be CONTENT in my life. I become content by becoming a daily, habitual thanks giver! Please forgive me for the times I have argued and complained. I choose to make grateful decisions today. In Jesus name, amen"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Valley of WHY


Mark 15:33-34 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. (34) And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"


On the cross, Jesus quotes the first line of Psalm 22. The whole psalm is a prophecy expressing the deep agony of the Messiah's death for the world's sin. Jesus knew that he would be temporarily separated from God the moment he took upon himself the sins of the world. This separation was what he had dreaded as he prayed in Gethsemane. The physical agony was horrible, but the spiritual alienation from God was the ultimate torture.


I was listening to my music of choice (Southern Gospel), when a song came on entitled, "God is there for all of the days that end in Y" I got to thinking about that. That means He is there Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday! Each day of the week ends in "Y". He is with us and for us everyday of the week.

But as listened a little closer to the song, I realized that the message was deeper than that. The song was saying that He is also there for all of the days that end in why! Wow! And we have all had them haven't we? Days that end in "why". Anyway we look at it, we just can't figure out why.

Why did my daughter die so young? Why did my husband die at the prime of his life? Why did God not heal my dad of cancer? Why did my parents get a divorce? Why did my wife leave me? Why am I struggling financially when I pay tithes? Why is my life such a mess even though I'm a christian? Why did I lose my job? Why do I feel so alone? Why do I feel like my prayers aren't getting above the ceiling?

I could go on and on with different "why's". Did you know that Jesus dealt with "why's" as well?

Please read the following from Mark 15:33-34 once again:

Mar 15:33-34 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. (34) And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Jesus was in the darkest time of His earthly life, He had twice in His ministry heard a voice from heaven say, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Once when He was baptized, and the other when He was transfigured. Why no voice from heaven now? Where was God the Father? Where was the affirmation? The physical pain was so intense, but so now was the spiritual. Jesus hadn't heard from His Father. Had He forgotten Him? Was He now all alone?

The physical pain created spiritual pain which led to emotional pain. After hours of pain, Jesus cried out with a loud voice..."My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" There it is, Jesus' why. We know that Jesus dies, and after three days resurrects with victory over death, hell and the grave. It doesn't change the fact that Jesus suffered through the Why's of life.

There are some of you who are reading this blog today that are walking through the valley of why. You can't understand the pain, the loss, the frustration, the quietness from heaven. What is up God? Do you not care anymore? Do you not see me anymore? My God, WHY have you forsaken me?

My friend, please be reminded that just as God the Father had not forsaken Jesus, He has not forsaken you. His ways and thoughts are hard to fathom:

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

To help make this point, I would like to borrow a paragraph from Mark Batterson's "In a pit with a Lion on a snowy day":

Astronomers have spied galaxies 12.3 billion light-years from earth. To put that distance into perspective, consider the fact that light traveling 186,000 miles per second only takes eight minutes to travel the 93 million miles between the sun and planet earth. Sunlight is only eight minutes old. But light from the furthest galaxy takes 12.3 billion years to get here. That distance is virtually incomprehensible! And God says that that is about the distance between His thoughts and our thoughts. Your best thought about God on your best day falls 12.3 billion light years short of how great and how good God really is. We underestimate God's goodness and greatness by at least 12.3 billion light years.

Just remember, when you can't figure out what is going on in your life, when you don't understand the why's, that Jesus really is there for every day that ends in why.


"Lord, I am so thankful that you understand the valley of WHY. You went through it…THROUGH it…and came out victorious. Help me to be aware that You will bring me THROUGH this valley of why. Help me to keep my confidence and trust in You. Thank you for Your love, grace, and mercy. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

For better or for worse


Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,


Some Christians have thought that Paul was negative about marriage because of the counsel he gave in 1 Corinthians 7:32-38. These verses in Ephesians, however, show a high view of marriage. Her marriage is not a practical necessity or a cure for lust, but a picture of the relationship between Christ and his church! Why the apparent difference? Paul's counsel in 1 Corinthians was designed for a state of emergency during a time of persecution and crisis. Paul's counsel to the Ephesians is more the biblical ideal for marriage. Marriage, for Paul, is a holy union, a living symbol, a precious relationship that needs tender, self-sacrificing care.

Paul devotes twice as many words to telling husbands to love their wives as to telling wives to submit to their husbands. How should a man love his wife? (1) He should be willing to sacrifice everything for her, (2) make her well being of primary importance, and (3) care for her as he cares for his own body. No wife needs to fear submitting to a man who treats her in this way.

I am so thankful that Jesus loves us for better or for worse. I am also thankful that He challenges husbands to love their wives in that same way. Let me share a story that really ministered to me when I read it:


Only 10 months into their marriage, during an otherwise calm Sunday drive to church one July morning, a young Navy couple's car was broadsided by a streaking ambulance racing through an intersection. The driver of the car, R. L. Alford, sustained some minor injuries. But his wife, Hilda, was thrown from the vehicle, suffering a massive head injury that left her not only a quadriplegic, but also legally blind and unable to speak.

That was 50 years ago—50 years of communicating with his wife through little more than the nods of her head. Fifty years of pushing her wheelchair or (his preferred way) carrying her in his arms. Fifty years of emptying her urine pan and cleaning up her bowel movements. And in the last few years, even feeding her through a tracheal tube and learning how to insert her catheters.

Along the way, R. L.'s brand of marital loyalty has drawn some unexpected notice. ("Undeserved," to hear him say it.) When a longtime family friend spearheaded a drive in the mid-'80s to raise funds to build the Alfords a new home, help came from such high-ranking places as Florida governor Bob Martinez, who not only gave them a brand-new refrigerator but also spent a day working at the construction site. President Ronald Reagan sent a check for $500, followed by another for $1,000.

"When R. L. was asked to repeat the vow 'for better or worse,' " a neighbor said, "he heard it real loud. Medically, it's a miracle Hilda is still alive. But she's not alive because of all those doctors. She's alive because R. L. gave his life to her."

In September 2006, the Alfords celebrated their golden anniversary. Looking back, R. L. humbly remarked, "Sure, it's been rough in some ways. But it's been rewarding." Fifty years of being there. May all our promises to each other be that long lasting.


"Lord, I thank You for loving me unconditionally, sacrificially, unselfishly…in other words for better or for worse. In a day when ungodly judges are making decisions against marriage the way You intended marriages to me, may we have MEN who still love their WIFE'S for better or for worse. I thank you for the example that we just read. May we have that same kind of love for our spouses. In Jesus name, amen!"

Friday, August 6, 2010

“Slow Fade”


2 Samuel 12:7-9 (MSG) "You're the man!" said Nathan. "And here's what GOD, the God of Israel, has to say to you: I made you king over Israel. I freed you from the fist of Saul. (8) I gave you your master's daughter and other wives to have and to hold. I gave you both Israel and Judah. And if that hadn't been enough, I'd have gladly thrown in much more. (9) So why have you treated the word of GOD with brazen contempt, doing this great evil? You murdered Uriah the Hittite, then took his wife as your wife. Worse, you killed him with an Ammonite sword!

2 Samuel 12:9 (ESV) Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.


As a prophet, Nathan was required to confront sin, even the sin of a king. It took great courage, skill, and tact to speak to David in a way that would make him aware of his wrong actions. When you have to confront someone with unpleasant news, pray for courage, skill, and tact. If you want that person to respond constructively, think through what you are going to say. How you present your message may be as important as what you say. Season your words with wisdom.

It was a year later, and by then David had become so insensitive to his own sins that he didn't realize he was the villain in Nathan's story. The qualities we condemn in others are often our own character flaws. Which friends, associates, or family members do you find easy to criticize and hard to accept? Instead of trying to change them, ask God to help you understand their feelings and see your own flaws more clearly. You may discover that in condemning others, you have been condemning yourself.


I read this passage last night during our Wednesday night Prayer meeting at church. I was walking around the sanctuary enjoying the presence of God. I opened my Bible to this passage. And the Holy Spirit began to challenge me. Nathan, the prophet, came to the anointed man of God, the king...and said, "You are the man" who has sinned against God. Then the Lord reminds David of all of the things that He had blessed him with. And says, "if this hadn't been enough, I would have gladly given you more."

I have been blessed immeasurably by the Hand of God. I have a beautiful, godly wife who loves me very much. I have the best kids in the world who have never given me even a moment of trouble. Our family is blessed with good health, we live in the greatest country on the face of this earth. I pastor an awesome church with some of the greatest folk in the world. I could go on and on...but suffice it to say I am blessed. The Word of God says:

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

What great gifts He has blessed my life with! God had also blessed King David with such great blessings, but yet he failed God miserably and had given an "occasion for the enemies of God to blaspheme" the Lord. What happened to this dynamic, anointed man of God? The problem is found v. 9. David somehow had begun to despise the Word of God. Nathan asked him "why have you DESPISED the Word of the Lord?" "Why have you treated the Word of God with brazen contempt?"

The Hebrews word "despised" used here is ba?zah: A verb meaning to hold in contempt or to despise. The verb means to hold in disdain, to disrespect. It can mean to prefer something more than the thing despised, e.g., Esau's birthright (Gen_25:34), or not to treat something with proper respect.

David despised the Word of God by not respecting it like he should. He preferred the PLEASURE of his sin over PLEASING God. He decided to do what he wanted and not what God wanted. You can read many of the Psalms and see how much David loved God and His Word. But during this occasion he DESPISED God's Word and it cost him just about everything. This despising of God's Word didn't happen overnight. It was a "slow fade..." Please read slowly the words to the song by Casting Crowns, "It's a slow fade."

Be careful little eyes what you see, It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings, Be careful little feet where you go For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away. It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray. Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day. It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear. When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near. Be careful little lips what you say. For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away. It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray. Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid. When you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands. Is shorter than you're thinking. Be careful if you think you stand. You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away. It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray. Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid. When you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day. Daddies never crumble in a day. Families never crumble in a day

When you begin to DESPISE the Word of God, and you choose PLEASURE of sin over PLEASING God remember that didn't happen overnight. Somewhere, some how, you began to DESPISE the Word of God, and you didn't stop it when you could. Why don't you right now spend some time in God's presence and determine the stop the slow fade, and ask Him to forgive you for the slow fade that has been going on in your life for some time. You call out to Him...He will hear and respond! Go ahead...why don't you do it right now!


"Lord, like David, I have allowed a slow fade to take place in my life. There was a time in my life where I would be broken when I chose the PLEASURE of sin over PLEASING you. I'm not broken very often anymore. Please forgive me. I know that godly sorrow brings about true repentance. I choose today to stop DESPISING Your Word. I give Your Word top precedence in my life today. I choose to allow it to guide my paths and choices today. I love you Lord, and return to the Joy of Your salvation in my life. In Jesus' name, amen!"