article-2215133-156B1AAE000005DC-615_634x422Proverbs 27:19 As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

When you see your reflection in a mirror or in water, what do you really see? You don’t see what’s on the inside – you don’t see your heart, correct? The Bible tells us that what’s in the heart is displayed on the outside of our bodies. It shows on our face, it shows in our words and in our actions.

Mat. 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

If your mirror could reveal what is in your heart this morning, what would you see? Would you see an ugly, sad, dark and empty reflection? Or, would you see a smile filled with Christ’s love?

lake_mountains_sky_evening_reflection_ripples_surface_of_the_water_colors_26829_3840x2160Sin creates a ripple in our heart’s reflection. What was clear and beautiful in the eyes of the beholder, now becomes distorted. This picture is a perfect example of what sin can do in our lives. You can hardly see the beautiful clouds in the water – it’s merely a mishmash. Sin distorts our testimony and changes it from Christ’s reflection in us to something that is not recognizable – no longer revealing His beauty. Sin’s effects are a slow process … at first there are no rippling effects and the picture appears perfect. However, as we continue in sin, the ripples (the repercussions of our sins) become greater and the reflection of Christ becomes more distorted. When ripples become waves from the storms of life, Christ is no longer evident.

Don’t deceive yourself, Christian. You may think that dabbling in sin doesn’t affect you, but it does. The devil deceives and is a father of lies. He will convince you that you’re OK and will keep you out of the will of God. This world sees you just as today’s Proverb describes.  They see what’s in your heart reflected on your face – your life – your character. Don’t shame the Lord but glorify Him in your life. They won’t be able to tell the difference between you and your Saviour! 🙂

A6W64R Reflections in the flooded salt desert Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Sunset

Prov. 15:28, “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”Prov. 16:23, “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.”

How much do you study God’s Word in the course of a month, a week, a day? Is studying God’s Word the last thing you do? Reading is wonderful, but studying will open your eyes to the sin in your life. Maybe that is why not too many dive into the Word like they do other areas of the daily Christian walk. Solomon’s wisdom is compared to no other man that has ever lived. He asked God for wisdom and he received it. If Solomon didn’t use this wisdom to continue in righteousness, how much less will we if we don’t study the Word?

We have three books dedicated to his writings inspired of God. God doesn’t command us to study just to have head knowledge. He wants us to study so that we don’t need to be ashamed when someone confronts us with day-to-day life trials. we have the Word to stand on for defense! Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15)

God wants to give us wisdom. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (Jam 1:5) He gave it to Solomon, why not to us? Solomon didn’t have the Bible like we do today. We have God’s Word to turn to any time we want yet we do not take the opportunity to study and seek wisdom. How sad is that?

When you encounter battles with those prickly people, do you have God’s Word to feed them with? Do you have verses committed to memory? Do you know where to turn in your Bible to defend your stand? Do you at least know the verse’s “address” so you can turn to it? The believer has everything we need at our fingertips to use in the battle of everyday life. The Marine would not go to battle without his rifle, would he? Why do we go to spiritual battle without our Sword?

Amuse me for just a moment as I make an analogy. The Marine has to memorize a creed about his rifle. Ask any Marine today to recite it and he’ll be able to do so without even batting an eye. I posted it here because there’s quite a lesson to be learned from it:

My Rifle (The Creed of a United States Marine)

This is my rifle.
There are many like it, but this one is MINE.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life.
I must master it as I must master my life.
My rifle without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless.
I must fire my rifle true.
I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me.
I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will…
My rifle and myself know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire,
the noise of our bursts, nor the smoke we make.
We know it is the hits that count. We will hit…
My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life.
Thus, I will learn it as a brother.
I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights, and its barrel.
I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage.
I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready.
We will become part of each other. We will…
Before God I swear this creed.
My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country.
We are the masters of our enemy.
We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until there is no enemy, but PEACE.
— Maj Gen WH Rupertus

Can you substitute the references to the Marine’s rifle with your own Bible? Ouch! Granted, the Bible is not useless on its own because it is the Word of God. However, if man does not pick it up and read it and use it, he cannot glean from it. Our Bible does not have any weaknesses but the rifles does as pointed out in this creed. However, everything else is quite compatible. I am not trying to ‘spiritualize’ the Marine’s creed for his rifle. What I am trying to do is to point out the zeal the Marine has for his rifle and learning everything about it to survive the battlefield. How much more should the believer have zeal for his Bible and learning everything about it to survive spiritual battles?

44-BLOG-Bibile-Sword-600-1The Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Ps. 119:105). It is our Sword (Heb. 4:12) and our Guide (Ps. 32:8).

Why not equip yourself, Christian? In so doing, you will not battle to find an answer when a situation arises. You won’t have to learn to control your tongue because you will have already built up your defenses to fight off the flesh!

Dear God…
You have fully equipped us for battle
None of us lacks a tool for this trade
The Word guides and directs us daily
Shining brightly and never will fade.

Prov. 10:31 “The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.”

We know that we all sin – none of us are righteous or just. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (Ecc 7:20) So who is the just man in Ecc. 7:20? Only Christ is righteous – our righteousness is as filthy rags (Is. 64:6) There is nothing good in us. Therefore, today’s Proverb must be speaking of the born again believer because Christ’s righteousness covers us at salvation! Thank You, Lord!

We have the words which will lead an unbeliever to Christ! Our Heavenly Father puts people in our path that only we can witness to. What are we doing with our assignment from the Lord? Do our words reflect wisdom received from the Word? Do our mouths speak knowledge from the Word? If not, why not? The unjust cannot bring forth wisdom … it would be like expecting your 10 year old to write a thesis. If we are not bringing forth wisdom in our words, it is only because we are not spending time in the Word. It’s amazing how some can recite the words to a song after hearing it a few times. Some can rattle off the names of those in the starting line up of a football game. Some can rattle off baseball statistics like nobody’s business. But can these same people rattle off verses which will lead another to Christ? It’s not because God has not made His Word available to us.

Our actions include the tongue according to Prov. 10:31. Here Solomon goes on to say that the froward tongue shall be cut out! Froward is one of those words that deserves studying because God says that this type of tongue will be cut out! That’s a serious statement and one that we should heed as believers. As you know, I love comparing the modern-day dictionary’s definitions with Noah Webster’s 1828 definitions because the meanings are so different. Today’s dictionaries liquify the meaning of a word and, therefore, giving you a dilluted meaning of this Bible verse. Froward is a perfect example as to why I no longer use today’s dictionaries to look up words in my Bible. Listed below are Merriam Webster’s definition of the word “froward” and Noah Webster’s 1828 definition:

Merriam Webster says: 1 : habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition 2 archaic : ADVERSE

Noah Webster says: Perverse, that is, turning from, with aversion or reluctance; not willing to yield or comply with what is required; unyielding; ungovernable; refractory; disobedient; peevish; as a froward child.

Do you see why I prefer Noah Webster’s definitions? This Proverb surely packs more punch when you understand why God says the froward tongue will be cut out, doesn’t it?

We are truly blessed of God to have the Word. Most of us have more than one Bible, but not many read it regularly – let alone study it. The believer’s words should be filled with hope and excitement. In these end times, the lost world needs hope more than ever before! Can you imagine yourself being lost right now listening to the news? What hope is there for the unsaved? Nothing but gloom and doom lurks around every corner for them. We are their only hope to hear the gospel. We are their only hope for them to see the gospel in action.

We should weigh our words carefully. Remember, we’ll have to give an account to the Lord for every word we speak. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Mat 12:36) That includes words spoken by the froward tongue. I would hate to be the person who has to stand before God having to account for a froward tongue. With God, there will be no excuses and He won’t listen to justification as to why these words were spewed forth.

Let our words be gracious ones filled with hope – not only for a lost world to hear but for the building up and encouragement of the brethren. We need each other in these last days. We need to encourage and uplift each other, not tear each other down with cruel and harsh words. We believers need to encourage one another in these end times because the times are evil. No wonder the Lord placed this verse in the Bible exactly the way it was worded! Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Heb 10:25) Rapture is upon us – any day now. Let’s make use of our last days here with words which fit a Christian who has been saved from much and is looking forward to our Lord’s return!

Dear God…
May I think before I speak
Seeking only to be a blessing
To share with a lost world
And lifting the weary brethren

~Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

If we started off each day with this prayer, we could certainly prevent most conflicts in our lives, couldn’t we?  When I am dwelling on a past hurt or current trial, my heart is not in a “state of readiness” for kind words.  In fact, my kindness would be forced, if you will.  It takes more effort to have words of kindness for someone when all I’ve been doing is dwelling on the negatives in my life!  It stands to reason – the Scriptures say that whatever lies within my heart will come out of my mouth:

~Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

Christians exercise their bodies for a healthy life style but what about a healthy spiritual life style?  Exercising our heart’s condition should be more of a priority than our bodies. God’s word exhorts us to live godly lives because it’s profitable for us for all areas in our lives!  What a promise!

~1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Psalm 19:14, however, exhorts us to please whom?  It is certainly not to please ourselves – it’s so that we please our Heavenly Father!  The child of God’s sin is covered by the precious blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ, therefore, we are acceptable in the sight of the Father! However, all of our actions may not reflect His godly nature.  The Psalmist ends the verse well by acknowledging where he gets his help – God is his strength and his redeemer.  When we turn to the Lord for our direction (through His word), meditate on it and allow it to change us, we are exercising our spiritual muscle.  The end result of good spiritual exercise is a heart that is conditioned and will speak godly volumes rather than unhealthy negative volumes.

Exercise your spiritual muscle by memorizing this verse and speaking it the moment your feet hit the ground running in the mornings.  When you start the day with this verse on your heart, it will lay the foundation for the rest of your day 🙂

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!