Proverbs 4:20-27 gives us some very sound advice if we want to move ahead with God:
20 My son [that includes daughters], give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all diligence [that is careful effort, perseverance], for out of it spring the issues of life. 24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead and your eyelids look right before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil.
According to these verses, how we deal with the issues or challenges that face us in life come from our hearts.
In Matthew 15:18-19 Jesus gives us more information about the issues that come from the heart: 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Jesus is telling us that any time we are involved in fornication and adultery, and all the other things He listed in Matthew, they come out of the heart. That is why you have to protect your heart, in order to keep those things from getting in there. Luke 6:45 says: For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. It is up to us as Christians to keep all the ugly things out of our hearts and to protect our hearts with all diligence by right thinking and right action.
So many people bring the types of things listed in Matthew from the world right into their Christian life because they have never been told that they do not have to keep those things in their hearts and they don’t have to do them. Many Believers don’t really know how to take the Word and drive these things out of their hearts.
You might be wondering where the heart is. We know it is on the inside of us. There are many views about where the heart is. There are some who say the heart is where the spirit and the soul meet. This theory witnesses with my spirit. The Bible indicates that the spirit man is the heart of man. The heart and the soul go together. You can only separate them to talk about them, but they go together. When a person gets born again, he or she is supposed to take his or her born-again spirit–the new man–and renew the new man’s mind by the Word of God. The renewed mind is a part of his heart and is the soul and spirit combined. It now exercises control over the old man–the soul that used to control the heart.
These negative issues enter the heart through thoughts, ideas, and suggestions that are planted by Satan and also by the eye (what we see), the ear gates (what we hear), and by the mind (the things we experience and dwell on). Some of the other issues of the heart we also deal with, in addition to the ones Jesus talked about in Matthew are: sicknesses, bad relationships, rejection, promiscuity, hurts, depression, abuse, low self-esteem, loneliness, lying, jealousy, envy, gossip, bitterness, guilt, malice, lack of peace, lack of finances, worry, fear, overweight, racism, prejudices, and unforgiveness. The list goes on and on. We can’t cover every issue, but there is a principle that leads to victory over every one of them: you cannot get victory over your issues or live the Christian life victoriously without the Word of God. You can take this same principle and deal with whatever issues you may be facing.
There are still too many churches today that do not teach the uncompromising Word of God. Believers who attend these churches are usually up and down in their Christian walk. They may get emotionalized every week, but they are not taught to be overcomers. That is why they live in and out of sin, committing fornication and adultery, and doing all the other junk we covered earlier. Even when they are in church, they may be planning how they are going to meet their girlfriend or boyfriend and have sex that night. They may shout and fall out every Sunday morning in church, even after having a sexual affair that Saturday night before.
They are what we call carnal Christians, and basically they live that way because they don’t know they can do better. They do not have enough Word in them. They will never have peace in their lives because they can’t continue to live that kind of life and be prosperous or victorious in the kingdom of God. If you are caught in such a trap, the only way to escape and find peace is to find out what the Word says about your situation, and then do what it says. What does the Word say about fornication? What does it say about adultery? You are going to have to refuse to go down to the level of how you feel, and make up your mind that you are going to do what the Bible says to do.
This devotional was excerpted from Dr. Betty’s book entitled, “Wisdom From Above, Volume 1”. Please contact www.faithdome.org or call (800) 927-3436 for a complete list of her products.
1. Your body.
No matter how much time and effort you lavish in making it look good, it will leave you when you die.
2. Your possessions, status and wealth.
When you die, it will all go to others.
3. Your family and friends.
No matter how much they have been there for you, the furthest they can stay by you is up to the grave.
4. Your Soul.
Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and the pleasures of the world.
However, your Soul is the only thing that will follow you where ever you go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of you that will follow you to the throne of God and continue with you throughout Eternity.
Thought for the day: Remember, when the world pushes you to your knees, you’re in the perfect position to pray.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 14:6 (New King James Version)
1 John 1:10 (New Living Translation)
10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
Romans 3:23 (New Living Translation)
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
2. Repent – Ask for forgiveness of your sins. (Be willing to turn from sin)
Luke 13:5 (New Living Translation)
5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”
Acts 17:30 (New Living Translation)
30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him.
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead.
John 3:16 (New Living Translation)
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 10:9 (New Living Translation)
9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus into your life to become your personal Saviour.
Romans 10:10 (New Living Translation)
10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
Romans 10:13 (New Living Translation)
13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Once you have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour, as a Christian you should:
1. Read your Bible every day to get to know Christ better.
2 Timothy 2:15 (New Living Translation)
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
2. Be baptized, worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians in a church where Christ is preached and the Bible is the final authority.
Hebrews 10:25 (New Living Translation)
25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
2 Timothy 3:16 (New Living Translation)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
3. Talk to God in prayer every day.
Matthew 21:22 (New Living Translation)
22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
Philippians 4:6 (New Living Translation)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
4. Tell others about Christ.
Mark 16:15 (New Living Translation)
15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.
Romans 1:16 (New Living Translation)
16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.
The Bible basically tells us to keep our spouse pleased or else you leave the door open to temptation;
1 Corinthians 7:5 (NLT)
5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
All in all it’s almost a way of proving your love to your spouse because you are helping them with their salvation. If you keep that door closed you could possibly be keeping them from sinning but to open that door you cause them to lean on their own understanding and be caught up in their emotions and fall victim. If you truly love your spouse this shouldn’t happen because marriage should be a partnership, a team, you help and support one another.
Ephesians 5:23-27 (NLT)
23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[a] 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.
Romans 13:10 (NLT)
10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.
So again I ask: “Do you REALLY love your spouse?” Enough to want them saved!
Most of us are familiar with the quote taken from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but how many of us know the second verse: “And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou can not then be false to any man.” Simply put unless we can be true to ourselves first, we cannot be true to others.
Accepting truth about ourselves is difficult, especially to those who have been abused. But
truth can set you free if you will allow it to; it is a crucial part of healing.
How many of us have a hard time being true to ourselves? Those that have given their life to another at the cost of loosing who they are in the process will have a hard time being true to themselves. Allowing someone else to define who you are, you lose the ability to discover and grow inwardly. You no longer are able to discern a truth from a lie. For many, they have accepted lies for so long, that finding out what is true takes time. If you can lie to yourself, as in denial; of sin, of faults or weaknesses, or even strengths and virtues, you certainly cannot realize when others are also lying to you. When in doubt as to your motives of not being truthful with someone….look inside, are you being less than truthful to yourself?
Truth gives the freedom to be who you are, to come to terms with your weakness (without condemnation) and appreciate your strengths. Truth gives strength; Truth is open; it is honest even at the risk of being vulnerable again. Truth is light and brings forth life. When you walk in truth, you walk in light and when you walk in light you live a healthy life.
When you are connected by a deep faith and integrity, you will stay true to yourself. You’ll know because of how you respond to the world in any given situation, you feel good. The truth is the purity of ourselves; it resides in our souls where we navigate which direction we travel. When you are not true to yourself and you respond to things in ways that are ‘bent’ or aligned in a way to serve a purpose outside of yourself and God, you’ll feel it. You won’t feel satisfied you’ll feel conviction within. You cannot betray who you are spiritually, morally, politically or socially.
Truth is also love. The greatest act of love towards another is living a life that is truthful. For those who find it difficult to love themselves, will find it will come easier when they walk in truth about who they are. If you walk in truth, you walk in perfect love, and then you do not walk in fear because perfect love cast out fear and when you have been honest with yourself, you are able to love yourself with all of your imperfections, knowing that you are in “process” and therefore you don’t need to have others approval.
At the end of the day, you must be able to face yourself and live with whatever consequences you have caused, so you should do what you know in your heart is right regardless of how others may perceive it or try to influence you. Remember at the end of your life it is only your actions that matter. Think about when your mom used to say “if everyone else jumped off of a bridge would you do it too?”
Deuteronomy 30:19 (New Living Translation) 19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn’t hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 57 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories. He often came with me and almost every time he’d pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I’d always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on.
Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two. Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak.
Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit.. I watched as she picked up a large package of T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.
She saw me watching her and she smiled. ‘My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don’t know.’
I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes.
‘My husband passed away eight days ago,’ I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. ‘Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.’
She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away. I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.
I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen.. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine.
As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. ‘These are for you,’ she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. ‘When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for.’ She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again. I wanted to tell her what she’d done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn’t alone.
Oh, you haven’t forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.
Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are.
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.
That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: “He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver…”
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.
The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”
He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.”
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.
John 13:34-35 (NLT)
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
That is very wonderful but it made me think, “What about those people who don’t know how to love?” I ask this because in life you may have encountered people who don’t love themselves and one thing we know is if you don’t love yourself how can you love someone else. Maybe it’s low self-esteem or you were never shown love or just not shown a positive love. So in the case of people like that not only how do they love others but how are they able to love God?
Without love for God how do you seek to please Him?