Aug 152013
 
 August 15, 2013  No Responses »

Watch Your MouthIf we look closely, we can see whatever God said, it was done. Just in case you may have overlooked that verse, God said we are made in His image and are like Him. Another point, we have charge over all the earth. Therefore, if we are in His image and have dominion, then the words we speak will have that same power. So why do we spend so much time suffering with speaking words of belittling bondage? The bible says the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Yet on a regular basis we use this little member to murder others by way of character assassination. “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessings and cursing” (James 3:10a). The tongue can give us triumph or tragedy, serenity or suffering or make us a prince or a pauper.

The same tongue in the book of Numbers, spoke from the mouths of the twelve men that went to spy out the land. The same tongue came back with ten of the men giving a bad report only speaking from the perspective of what they could not do which led to a confused congregation. “And with their tongue, the congregation lifted up their voices and cried and wept that night, and that congregation murmured against Moses and Aaron” (Numbers 14:1,2).

Watch your mouth. Those words like cried, wept and murmured are all negative in this case and was the direct result of what they said, even what they thought. God said, by the mouth of Joshua and Caleb, if the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into the land, and give it us; a land that floweth with milk and honey, (Numbers 14:8). Joshua and Caleb allowed blessings to flow from their mouth concerning what they saw in the land, yet the ten other spies allowed cursing to flow from their mouths according to what they observed, what an amazing perspective in those words.

Blessings and cursings proceed out of our our mouth, those words can elevate us or eliminate us. In the story of David and Goliath, Goliath used words to make the men of Israel flee because they were sore afraid, (1 Samuel 17:23,24). Even King Saul, used negative language from his mouth to inform David that he had no chance against this Philistine man of war because  David was just a boy, (1 Samuel 17:33).

The same blessings can come from our mouth that flowed from David when he said, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and a spear, and with shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of host, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou has defied” (1Samuel 17:45). “This day will the Lord deliver you unto mind hand, and I will smite thee, and take thou head from thee…” (1 Samuel 17:46).

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Proverbs 18:21). Today in the new century how true this verse is in our daily lives. Hawk Nelson has a song called “Words”, a powerful song that gives the principle of death and life and how words can impact us. We spend so much of our time crying, complaining, comparing, criticizing and crippling ourselves and others with the words we speak. Instead, we should establish a common ground with the Lord as we challenge ourselves to confess our sins and let not our words bring harm to the hearers.

I have observed as a therapist, working with people who may be depressed or struggling with some addiction, spending their valuable time speaking words of self defeat and failure which can lead to deeper depression and increased need to numb those feelings with a seductive substance that sinks them deeper into their dilemma. Words have power and when spoken in the context of poor, pitiful, pessimistic phases, can only lead you to have sullen, sickening speech that separates you from the blessings of God. Your words and how you say them, can determine if you are a heavenly helper or a heartbroken heathen.

Out of the heart flows the issues of life and those issues flow through the mouth. We have seen in recent weeks how racial slurs have flowed from the mouth of popular people with some negative consequences. If the issues that flow from your mouth are of the self pity or victim mentality context, your sensitive ears hear them as they are guided to your spirit. If your spirit constantly receives these negative words they then will become a part of your behavior, which eventually will be reinforced by others in their feedback to you which validates your unworthiness. The cycle continues from the heart and the manifestation of low self worth, poor self image, unhappiness, hopelessness, sadness and sometimes suicide.

“For by thy words thou shall be justified, and by thy words thou shall be condemned” (Matt 12:37). We use words (watch your mouth) to tell the kids how stupid they are and when they score low academically we compare  them unfavorably with their sibling which can lead to a future negative sibling rivalry.

Let the words we speak to others be as it says in Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Watch your mouth and please remember, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Eph 4:29).

by Gerald Bower

Jun 012013
 
 June 1, 2013  1 Response »

despairIt is the pressure and pain that penetrates people with emptiness.  It makes you the victim of a venomous vacuum deep in the spirit.  It is loneliness: the restlessness within that reduces life into hopelessness. It subtracts happiness, multiplies pain, adds frustration and divides the mind into a state of constant worry.

            Loneliness can indicate internal indigestion of God’s word.  Like indigestion of food, there is pain associated with indigestion of God’s Word. It can lead to pain deep in the spirit, and the reaction can be grabbing a strong drink, belching out lies or seeking medication that alters the mind to escape the reality of disobedience.  When we fail to absorb, acknowledge or adhere to the Holy Spirit, we can be in the midst of thousands of people and still suffer from loneliness.

            We may even believe being around a crowd equates to togetherness, happiness and the end of hopelessness, but this is far from the truth.  Emptiness keeps a person unhappy no matter how many people surround them.  Emptiness implies the absence of contents. The emptiness we experience is a bottomless pit we attempt to fill with temporary, earthly things. Instead, we should seek to fill it and seal it with lasting spiritual things.

            Would you drive across the hot desert with an empty bottle of water or fly across the ocean with a fuel tank low on gasoline? The logical answer is no, yet we drive through life’s difficulties lacking the Word of God. We fly across the ocean of despair without the fuel of the Holy Spirit, resourced by the Word of God. Thus we wander and worry about the void deep in our spirit as we continue to do things our way, which means we’re leaving God out of our decision making and drifting aimlessly.

            Aimlessness is unclear intent or a misdirected purpose. This mentality comes from wanting something for nothing. The evil one gives us another worldly mentality called instant gratification by way of drugs, alcohol or making an excuse for irresponsibility. Drifting into hopelessness can leave you heartbroken and hapless, but God says “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

            peaceA piece of peace is: “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1). Another piece of peace is:  “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). The peace I speak of can be a companion in our loneliness and the fullness of love for our emptiness. If you really want peace, seek the Father through the Son by way of the Holy Spirit. Peace comes through obedience, forgiveness, and love for one another. The greatest peace comes from the comfort in knowing this:  “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

by Gerald Bower

May 202013
 
 May 20, 2013  No Responses »

daniel

We live in a society where too many of us only understand delivery as a hot pizza at our front door, as we prepare to watch a movie on a Friday night. I remember my understanding of delivery was a morning paper route. Some of us remember delivery as the milkman dropping off chocolate milk at our doorstep (I am revealing my age with this last example). What does deliverance mean to you?

THE PREFERRED

King Darius set 120 princes over his kingdom (Daniel 6:1 KJV). The king also needed three presidents to be in authority over the princes, and Daniel was preferred over the others. He was the king’s first choice (v. 2). Scripture says: “Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm” (v. 3).

Now let us observe how the Lord makes His selection. Daniel was preferred because the Lord looked at his inside and not the outside. We must realize the spirit within Daniel pleased the Lord, and the Lord touched the heart of the king to choose Daniel. If God looked inside you, would He find an excellent spirit?

THE PLOT

 Now observe how the men not appointed made plans to discredit Daniel. They tried to find some fault in him. Maybe Daniel did something to the little old lady down the street. Maybe Daniel was a slacker and did not complete his work at his job. Perhaps he ripped off the benefits of the employees with an investment scam. There had to be some fault in him (Dan. 6:4). The plot did not work in Daniel’s public affairs, so they tried to expose his private affairs. They sought to find something against Daniel concerning the law of his God (v. 5). Do not worry when men plot against you because God has lots for you.

THE PLAN

daniel2Now we can see how man will plot against you because you attained the position they felt belonged to them. You can also see how the intervention of God can smash any plot against one of His own. Check out the plan that followed the plot that failed. The evil work began with them trying to butter up and feed the ego of the king with the statement, “may you live forever” (Dan. 6:6 ). Like a lynch mob, they grew from presidents and princes to include governors, counselors, and the captains. These men wanted to create a paper, a law that said if anyone offered a prayer to God or man for the next 30 days, they would be cast into the lion’s den (v. 7). Look at the psychological pressure used in verse 8:  “Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.” Does your faithfulness to God cause others to draw up new rules they hope will cause you to fall?

THE PRAYER

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime” (Dan. 6:10).

THE PROBLEM

These same men came back to the king and reminded him he had signed a decree that anyone praying within 30 days shall be cast into the den of lions. The king agreed and asked who had violated his law, and they said that Daniel. The king was hurt and knew he had been tricked, but Daniel had to be cast into the den. It was the law (Dan. 6:11-17).

THE PLEASURE

The king was restless all night for his worry about Daniel. The king raced to the lion’s den the next morning and asked an interesting question:  “is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” (Dan. 6:18-20)

THE PRAISE

The king said, “I make a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God…” (Dan. 6:26). Depend on God and He will deliver you.

by Gerald Bower

May 152013
 
 May 15, 2013  No Responses »

(This article was published in the May/June edition of GospelRoads.com)

man in praise‘The thick clouds of darkness have been lifted and a new day is dawning. The shroud has been removed and we are no longer overshadowed by the new century’s lack of masculine leadership. The year 2012 will no longer tolerate restless zombies who walk aimlessly in a state oblivion to their role as God’s men.

Mastering Masculinity

Masculinity is not defined by being obnoxious to women, being oblivious to children, and blotting out God’s Word. The time has come to rebuke the male spirit that feeds off of these actions. ‘The Bible says, he (Satan) has to bind the strong man before he can overcome the home, and until now, Satan has successfully bound men using these ideas. It’s time we develop stronger men to stand in the gap to push the perilous evil one out of our homes. Truly masculine men manage and maintain their homes, are leaders to the Progeny; and live by the Word of God.

We men must also be aware that our prayers will not be answered if we mistreat our wives and neglect our children. Instead of the mistreatment and neglect being applauded as masculine, God’s Word calls us “worse than an infidel” -like someone completely outside of the family of God – when we fail to take care of our homes (see First Timothy 15:8). If the prayers we are trying to pray are like those of an infidel, it should be simple for us to understand the problems that can occur.

God’s Word being proclaimed through the Church sets the standard that men can observe. As men live by that standard, they will come to understand how to be a solution to the sins of society. When within themselves, men can honestly view the Church as an alternative to doing things their own way, their attitudes will then be open to change. Men will have mastered masculinity when he gives himself to care for his wife and children and holds the Word of God in a preeminent position in every decision of his life.

Mastering Maturation

The Church has the awesome responsibility of molding and developing men who will be magnifiers of God’s Word. The Church can also miss the mark and create men who can only bring shame to the church, hurt to their families, and sin against God. Therefore, it becomes very important for the Church to channel its efforts into winning men to Christ.
Once a man is a believer and he starts to work for the Lord, he will begin to get into the plan of the Father. However, the wall of a man’s willingness cannot be penetrated until an assessment of that mans attitude can be attained. A man can feel safe in approaching the church that shows itself trustworthy. Then that mature man can safely soften his approach and begin to submit himself to God. Only in this state can that man’s heart hear and follow the Word of God.

In their tremendously important role as mother, wife, or daughter, just think how our godly women will feel when we men get into the plan of the Father. Oh how beautiful it will be to have a godly father and a saintly husband in the home. This man is doing the work of the Lord by walking in the way of the Lord as he reads the word of the Lord daily. We will I have mastered maturation when we realize the home is made stronger by its leader submitting himself to the authority of Christ.

Mastering Matrimony

A man who follows God will come to see that God’s house will be a haven of help as it empowers marriages. God’s Word teaches a man that he must love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself or her (see Ephesians 5:25). Men can be taught by way of God’s Word to love his family and be responsible and protective of them. The Church can lead the way in presenting fathers as strong fortresses for their families.

The church can demonstrate to men God’s directives for the family God speaks through His Word. For example, to start his own family correctly; God’s Word tells men to “leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife” (Genesis 2:24). He must be independent of old family ties while he establishes a family of his own.

The pastor training his male congregants to master matrimony can lead by example and have an urgency to strengthen those men to challenge the crimes of the enemy. The Pastor can teach men to be responsible for their lives and their families. God’s Word will always show what God expects of His men as husbands and fathers. The Word of God explains that God gave man (Adam) a job first (go tend the garden), then He gave man responsibility (name the animals) before man could receive the reward of a wife (Eve). (See Genesis2:15:23).

Call it a dream, a hope, anticipation, wishful thinking, visions, or even revelation, but 2012 will be the year in which more men catch the vision and begin to obey God. Through the obedience of men, children will be changed, marriages healed, homes turned around, and lives saturated, situated, and secured in the sanctity of the Savior. God no longer has to be sad as He observes the gentlemen of His creation who have fallen away from masculine leadership. Instead, He can smile when He takes a glance from His eye of grace. Now God, can be glad that men around the globe are standing on His Word, doing His Will and like Gideon, winning against the enemy (Satan) in their homes as mighty men of valor.

Gerald Bowers’s goal in writing his daily devotional book, Something to Chew On: A Taste of the Bible, and his many Christian articles is to give God glory and be a blessing to his readers.

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by Gerald Bower

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