~2 Pet 1:4-9 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

There’s so much spiritual meat in these verses! We could spend days sitting on these and still walk away lacking  :fat:

Peter starts out these verses by telling us that we have great and precious promises. We have the ability, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to partake in Christ’s divine nature – meaning that we have that ability to say no to sin because we no longer have sin as our master, but Christ! \o/ Praise the Lord, amen?

Peter continues in verse 5 to tell us that if we give ALL diligence to the Spirit’s fruit in our lives, we will abound (verse 7) and be fruitful in the knowledge of Christ! Christian lady, can you imagine what benefit this would be to you as you raise your children? Can you imagine the hurdles you would avoid in your marriage? The Lord says that if the fruit of verses 5 through 7 abound in you (are at work), you will not be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ! That’s powerful stuff, ladies! I honestly believe that the Proverbs 31 wife abounded in these fruit, don’t you? How else could she be so “perfect”? I always felt as though I was lacking when I compared myself to her. But now I know why!  😐 I need to abound in these fruit!!!! \o/ Thank You, Lord.

Practice makes perfect 🙂 I’m thinking of writing these fruit on a Post-It Note at my desk, on my bathroom mirror, or anywhere that my eyes rest on. This will help me to be mindful of these fruit as I go about my day. If I see them, chances are I will be more aware of practicing them 🙂 Here’s what I made up for myself 🙂

 

~Psalm 33:1 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: [for] praise is comely for the upright.

Praise is comely for the upright … why do you think God put “…for the upright” in this verse? Have you ever heard an unbeliever singing praises when he is going through hard times? I never have!

Do you think this would minister to a lost and dying world if they saw you praising God’s Holy Name when you were dying of cancer? Do you think the world would take notice if you were praising the Lord after losing a child? It is through times like these that we can have the most impact in an unbeliever’s life! They see God’s peace in our lives and they can’t help but want some of that! 🙂

Praise is COMELY for the upright!!! It’s a testimony to the most high God when we rejoice in the Lord!!! 🙂

Any mother reading today’s devotional has had a toddler who absolutely did not want to be corrected, amen? That precious and sweet baby has become a little tyrant!  😯 It may seem “cute” to some but it is definitely not so cute for Mommy, right? But are we so different from this child when we refuse to allow the Lord to work in our lives? Does it surprise you that I use this example? Surely we can’t be compared to this rebelling toddler!  🙄

Picture yourself stomping your foot at God when He asks you to let Him take care of your overeating issues. Picture yourself stomping your foot when He is trying to help you with submission to your husband? It’s not a pretty picture, is it?  🙁

Instruction is one thing – we can all receive instructions and guidance. It’s the application that seems to be the difficult part. The Bible tells me to apply my heart to instruction and my ears to the Scriptures. We can listen to instructions by all kinds of authors on countless topics but none can “change” the inward parts like God’s Word. His words have lasting effects – they have righteous outcomes but we must first apply them to our lives.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

We know in our hearts when we have failed in this area. To deny it only serves to deceive ourselves. The Word of God is only as successful as how much of it we apply it to our lives.

~Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

What a wonderful and encouraging verse this is! It holds such precious “gold nuggets” (no pun intended)  😆

When you look at the picture above, the gold doesn’t look very attractive, does it? It’s rough – it has some likeness to gold but doesn’t have that polished look yet. When we become true born-again Christians, I believe our spiritual life appears like that gold above. As we grow in grace, through trials and tribulation, we are “refined.”

As you will see, the refining process makes a big difference in its appearance. The gold becomes yellower and it’s polished to a smooth and shiny finish. 🙂 So what’s the spiritual application here? Reread today’s verse. Do you see the blessing yet? I’m jumping out of my skin with excitement, LOL!

Who knows the way that you take? Who tries you? Of course, you see the answer is the Lord 🙂 The One who tries you knows the way that you take. He is NOT caught by surprise and, therefore, is extremely capable of leading you. That denotes intimacy and a personal relationship, doesn’t it? There’s not one person on this earth that can say that they know every step you make! Each step of the way is a step on the pathway of refining. It helps to understand that when the trials of life are overwhelming, God knows all about it because He already knows the way that you take! Amen?

Also notice that the Lord did not pick just any metal here. I think He picked gold because of the “fire” that is needed to refine it. You’ve heard the old saying, “Trial by fire,” haven’t you? Trials come in different intensities – some are “hotter” than others. 🙂 My husband’s ordeal with cancer was a hard one, as well as the trial of a wayward child.  😥 What was comforting through each of these trials was the fact that my Shepherd was right beside me! Each trial brought a renewed faith that was ever stronger! My metal (my faith – my walk) was being refined – the trial was building upon my spiritual foundation – each layer reflected a work that the Holy Spirit had done in my life. As I went through each one, I was being polished. Just like when you polish your gold jewelry, the first pass with your soft cloth takes away the dirt (the sin). The next sweep makes the gold shinier. Each pass  polishes that gold to a beautiful sheen and you can almost see yourself in it 🙂

Notice the end of the verse – “I shall come forth as gold.” No matter what trial you are experiencing, Christian, the end result is that you will come forth as gold! You gain joy, peace and comfort! It’s as if your Heavenly Father rewards you with these precious gifts – He loves you and knows you intimately – He knows your way and won’t allow more than you can handle!

Now look at how gold appears after the refining process – notice the beauty? This is how the Lord will view you (the outcome of your trials through the fire) when you enter Heaven’s gates! Glory!!! \o/ 🙂

~Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

Life’s pressures come in various forms. There are pressures that are beyond our control – there are pressures that we bring on ourselves – and there are pressures that other people like to force on us. No matter what the source of your pressures is, the fact of the matter is that they exist. Why does the Lord allow these pressures in our lives? I believe it is so that we can be pressed and molded into a beautiful diamond as we glorify the Lord through our actions.

One good example of pressure is when someone tries to get you to do something you do not want to do. How do you respond? Do you handle it immediately in an uncompromising manner? Or do you chew on it a while? Samson took the latter approach and look where it got him! This is one of those “pressures” that is brought on ourselves, amen?

~Judges 16:16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, [so] that his soul was vexed unto death;

Had he taken a stand from the git go, she would have given up because of his uncompromising manner. But she knew she “had him” because of her beauty. The lusts of this world can cause us to desire things that will later add to those pressures of life. That is why it is so important to be prayed up before we give in to our desires – we must make sure they are the will of God.

So what pressures are you experiencing today? Be honest with yourself. Write them down if you have to. Are they the result of disobedience? Then repent and confess it. Are they the result of outside sources where you have no control? Then lay them at the feet of the Lord and comfort yourself in His Word. Pressure reveals what you’re made of. How you react to it is a direct result of the amount of time you have spent in God’s Word. When we are confronted with life’s issues, the first thing that should pop to mind is a verse that we can pull encouragement or instruction from. Little time in the Word will leave you empty handed and empty minded  🙁

Every pressure, no matter what its source, is allowed in our lives by God so we can become that beautiful and perfect diamond. Knowing that there’s a positive end result for those pressures in life is encouraging, don’t you think? Granted, we won’t be perfect until we reach Heaven; we are simply a diamond in the rough until that glorious day! 🙂

~Job 28:18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom [is] above rubies.

 

~Matthew 13:45-50 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I heard a message recently where the preacher said that there were three things that were precious in this world: pearls, diamonds and gold. I thought it would be nice to cover these precious items over the next three days and see what we can learn from these precious items, but from a biblical perspective 🙂 We’ll start off with pearls.

The first time the word “pearl” is mentioned in the Scriptures is in Job 28:18. Job is trying to explain the worth of wisdom. There’s a reason why a pearl is mentioned here for everything in God’s Word is there for a reason and that is to teach us.

Do you know how a pearl is made? As an oyster grows, the shell must also grow. Within the oyster is an organ called the mantle. It’s this organ that produces the shell from the food which the oyster ingests. The mantle produces the material called nacre – this is what lines the inside of the shell. When a foreign substance enters between the mantle and the shell, it causes an irritation in the mantle. It’s like having a pebble in your shoe 🙂 When this irritation occurs, the oyster tries to cover up the irritant with more nacre. Eventually, a pearl is formed 🙂 What a beautiful result from an irritant!!!

So what can we learn from the pearl? Do you have irritants in your life? We all do, don’t we? Those irritants in life are able to help us form the pearls in our lives 🙂 Christ gave us our first “pearl,” known as the pearl of great price (our salvation).

The rest are created by us. Just as the oyster is responsible for covering his irritants with his nacre, so are we responsible for covering our irritants with our own nacre, God’s Word 🙂 After our salvation, our lives can/should produce more “pearls” as evidence of our walk with the Lord, amen? Each time we experience an irritation and apply that “nacre” (the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, peace, joy, patience, etc.) to overcome each irritant, we are working on building beautiful pearls 🙂 We need to gain wisdom from God’s Word (that precious nacre) and allow it to speak to us and to “cover” our irritants. Each time we put another layer over our irritant, we are able to handle that irritation better than the time before – great or small!

So how many pearls will you end up “producing” in your Christian walk? Learn from the oyster and its nacre – use your nacre, the Bible, to help you cover your irritations in life 🙂 Tomorrow we’ll take a look at diamonds and see what we can learn from them!

~1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Did you ever have one of those days when you wake up not feeling well but life must go on? I’m sure I’m not alone in this!  😳 When I don’t feel well, it seems that I see life with different eyes. Everything is a chore and the motivation is just not there.

But I’m so thankful for today’s text.  The Lord reminded me that despite what ails me, He is the faithful one! He is at work in my life today just as He is on the other days that I DO feel well. His faithfulness does not change because I do – He remains stable!!

So I rest in the fact that I can commit the keeping of my soul to Him because He is my faithful Creator!  Praise the Lord! \o/ 😀

~Philippians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

There is so much talk today about self esteem. The world says, “Don’t talk to little Jimmy about his C in Math or that will lower his self esteem!” But what does the Bible say about self esteem? After all, isn’t what God says more important than what the world says? Noah Webster defines esteem as:

ESTEE’M, v.t. [L. estimo; Gr. to honor or esteem.]
1. To set a value on, whether high or low; to estimate; to value.
Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation. Deu 32.
They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Sam 2.
2. To prize; to set a high value on; to regard with reverence, respect or friendship. When our minds are not biased, we always esteem the industrious, the generous, the brave, the virtuous, and the learned.
Will he esteem thy riches? Job 36.
3. To hold in opinion; to repute; to think.
One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Rom 14.

Do you see any reference to self in there? I did a word search in my Bible for every occurrence of the word esteem (and its variations). There were 20 occurrences in all – some referred to esteeming God, His Word, or others. But none mentioned esteeming ourselves. Does that surprise you?

Let’s stop to think about it for a moment. We are in the “me/I” generation. It’s all about me! I need to have it “my way.” It’s my way or the highway! It’s what I want! What’s in it for ME?! No wonder our country has so many entitlement programs – they even call their programs entitlement! You are “entitled” to have these things – it’s all about you, you, you!

These phrases are all by-products of the self-esteem ME generation. If everyone’s busy having it their way, where’s the lowliness of mind that Paul speaks of?

~Philippians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

There is no lowliness of mind (humbleness) when we are busy having it our way. Not at all! But when humbleness is our top priority (as Christ humbled Himself), we are placing the needs of others before our own. That is true love. Christ demonstrated such love when He left His royal home to come to earth to die for us (while we were yet sinners, I might add – Romans 5:8). If Jesus believed in self-esteem, He would not have commanded Peter to be a servant when He was washing Peter’s feet (John 13). There’s nothing more humbling than kneeling before someone and washing their feet. There’s nothing involving self-esteem there but everything involving esteeming the other 🙂

Esteeming others – esteeming God’s Word – those are quite contrary to the world’s way of thinking. If we were busy thinking of others and their needs, there would be no self-esteem issues. This is what the Lord would have us to do and, therefore, we are being obedient – esteeming others and Him!!!

~Proverbs 25:4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

I was going through my jewelry this morning trying to decide what to wear but kept coming up with tarnished silver pieces.  :-S How frustrating! So I settled for a gold bracelet that didn’t need polishing  🙂

Today’s verse came to mind as I thought about my frustrating situation. I could hear the Lord trying to speak to my heart through it all. What dross is there in my life that keeps me from being the vessel that He can use? If I had been proactive, all of my jewelry would have been shined and ready for the wearing. Instead, I let that task slide and set myself up for this frustrating morning  😳  I’m so thankful that God is proactive! He doesn’t let anything slide but is actively at work in my life – even through little lessons such as these.

Oh how I want to be a “vessel for the finer”! Remove from me any dross, Lord, so I can be ready for You to use!

~2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work.

On a side note, I found this really need blog that shows how to clean your silver and jewelry the natural way – and the results are instant!  🙂

http://popko.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-to-remove-tarnish-from-your-silver.html

 

~Luke 8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth [it] under a bed; but setteth [it] on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

I don’t think there’s a Christian alive today that hasn’t sung this children’s song 😆 But have we ever stopped to really meditate on the words? How’s your light shining today? Is your love for Christ hidden from the unsaved world and kept only for other Christians? Are you a Christian on Sundays only?

I remember being up in the Blue Ridge Mountains at night time. I was standing in front of the picture window inside our cabin with all the lights out. My husband, who was standing outside facing the picture window, could not see me at all – and we were a mere few inches apart. The only reason I saw him was because of the moon’s reflection behind him. As we lay in bed later that night, we were commenting on the oppressiveness of the darkness. He pressed a button on his watch for the indigo light to come on.  That tiny amount of light was enough to illuminate the entire room. 😆 What a lesson this was to me as a new Christian!

That is how we are to be with the unbelieving world. Our actions should be a light to others which points them right to Jesus Christ! Why would a Christian hide his love for Christ? Would you keep your love for the Lord Jesus hidden under your bed? Love is an action verb, just like run or walk. It does not stand still!

Is your light shining today? If so, how bright is your light? Do you shine only on Sundays? We should all be shining every day of the week 😆

~2 Samuel 22:31-34 [As for] God, his way [is] perfect; the word of the LORD [is] tried: he [is] a buckler to all them that trust in him. 32 For who [is] God, save the LORD? and who [is] a rock, save our God? 33 God [is] my strength [and] power: and he maketh my way perfect. 34 He maketh my feet like hinds’ [feet]: and setteth me upon my high places.

 

Have you ever made a promise and had to break it for some reason? Even if the circumstances were beyond your control, you could not keep the commitment you had made.  😳 You felt horrible, didn’t you? But you are not alone … there are broken promises every day in all walks of life. We are human and, therefore, over commit ourselves. That’s the root of most promises being broken.

But praise the Lord that God never breaks promises!  😀 He cannot over commit Himself 😀 His ways are perfect, according to today’s text! His word has been tried and proven – it has been found filled with promises that will all come true! As if that’s not enough, God is a solid rock – an immovable rock – He cannot be shaken. How appropriate to have the unshakeable One as our strength and power? His promises are not mere words but are tried and true!

What an example we have to follow! Although we have broken our promises to others, we can start over and make another attempt. But with God, there are no other attempts because His promises have never failed! We are promised eternal life with Him and what a glorious reward it is for the child of the King!!

~Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words [are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

How wonderful to have a friend who always knows what to say and when to say it! 😆 To lift up the weariest soul with encouraging words is a gift. This gift doesn’t come naturally – I have found that it must be learned. Genuine words are effective and they touch the very depths of a hurting heart. However, fake and insincere words are heard but for a moment. Today’s text teaches us that pleasant words bring health – they bring healing to the mourning soul – They bring healing to the wayward soul – They bring healing to the soul with chronic pain. These words have healing as their “end result,” not momentary pleasantries and flattery.

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

 

~Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

You ask any unsaved person about today’s picture and they will tell you that this phrase is in the Bible. However, it cannot be found in the Scriptures. It’s a great quote though  😆 Especially when we stop and think about the cleanliness of our hearts and minds.

Does it amaze you that when you’re right with God, everything else seems to go right in our life? Then why is our time with the Lord the first thing to suffer when we need some time to spare? It’s like biting my hand off – why would I want to do that when I know that I won’t be able to feed myself? The last thing I should allow to suffer from my life is my relationship with the Lord. He is the One who can solve any of my problems!

Keeping my heart clean before the Lord produces a right spirit within me. When my walk with Him is right, even my hardships will be manageable.

~Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

 

 

~Psalm 51:13 [Then] will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Not everyone is a good teacher. Students are quite aware of the methods and practices used by teachers, whether they are genuine or ‘forced.’ Students can tell whether or not their teacher is well prepared. In fact, the amount of time the teacher puts into preparing prior to the class will directly affect the outcome of the class. I’ve heard that a teacher isn’t really a teacher until a student has actually been taught.  💡

As I apply today’s text to my Christian testimony, I ask myself if I am a good teacher to those around me ❓  Do I contradict my words by my actions, which in turn reflects hypocrisy? Do I “practice what I preach”? Do I put the cart before the horse in my words instead of getting to the point of what is important: the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?

Do I teach sinners about their sin? Pointing the unsaved to the Law allows them to see the Ten Commandments as their schoolmaster, just as we did. One cannot know he’s going to go to Hell until he realizes he has broken the Law and is lost, correct? The Law reveals the sin in the heart of man. But the good news follows in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

What are God’s ways? God’s the master teacher, amen? He gave us the Law to see our sin – then He gave us His Son to pay the penalty for that sin. It’s ALL provided by God and nothing man can do will add anything to what has already been done  😀

~Psalm 111:2 The works of the LORD [are] great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.

I have had days where it was so difficult for me to be grateful for anything  😳 Haven’t you had days like that? On days like that, it’s difficult to even open my Bible to read so I can encourage myself!

I’m so thankful that the Father loves me so much that He has provided His beautiful creation all around me as a reminder of His grace! It is at those times that I can behold His beauty and wonder and turn that ungrateful heart into a grateful one! It’s not long after that I am reminded of my many blessings and I am able to count each one!

~Ephesians 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:

 

~Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

As I read Philippians this morning, I was reminded of the day that Christ became real to me. I never knew true peace in my life up until that day. I realized that my religion did not and could not bring peace because the salvation taught was one that was dependent on me and my actions, my works if you will. But salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) from God, which would not be a gift at all if I had to work for it. In fact, Jesus died once for all my sins (Hebrews 10:10) and sanctified me! He set me apart  🙂

By His grace, I am made new (2 Corinthians 5:17) and can now live with a peace that cannot be understood with my finite mind!  🙄 It’s too great for me to understand but I’m so thankful that I now have peace – I no longer have to think about where I will spend eternity because through Christ I have been saved!  😀 I don’t understand it but I believe it by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7)!

It’s wonderful to be able to have this peace – it’s wonderful to have the burden of sin and shame removed from my shoulders and to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4) knowing where I will spend eternity. Not one minute more needs to be spent thinking about it – now that’s what I call peace!!

 

~Psalm 141:3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

Picture, if you will, that the Lord Jesus Christ is personally standing guard in front of you, each minute of every day.  What things would you change in your walk? I dare say that I would find myself under conviction quite often!  😳 The Psalmist’s prayer is one that should begin each and every one of my days, along with Psalm 19:14.

God sees everything (Psalm 139:8-12) and is everywhere, amen?  Therefore, there is nothing that escapes His attention! Every word that I speak will need to be accounted for when I see Him (Matthew 12:36) so it is wise of me to place a “watch or a guard” over my lips. I love the latter part of today’s text: “keep the door of my lips.” A door cannot open of its own doing.  It needs someone to do the task. What an appropriate analogy! My mouth does not need to open unless I “will” it to open. Oh that I would allow it to open only to be a blessing to someone!

~Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in pictures of silver.

 

~Psalm 39:4 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it [is; that] I may know how frail I [am].

What a poignant verse this morning! Whew! 🙄 Most people do not want to think about when they are going to die. Just think of the good that can come from meditating on this!

Several things can come out of this kind of meditation. First, and most important, is where I would spend eternity. I am so thankful that Christ provided a way to Heaven (John 14:6)!! I’m thankful that I have a new life in Him and will spend eternity with Him! (2 Cor. 5:17)

Another benefit to meditating on my “end” is the mere recognition that my days are few and I should make the most of each and every one of them (Psalm 90:12)! With this kind of focus, I will be quick to keep relationships healed; I will be quick to tell others about their need for Christ’s peace and saving grace!

What are you doing with your days, friend? Are you doing your best for Christ? Are you making the most out of every minute or are you squandering them away with fruitlessness? Today’s text really does put things into perspective  🙂

~Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

😯 Am I obedient to today’s text all the time? Paul points out why we shouldn’t murmur or argue: that we may be blameless and harmless, in the midst of a crooked and perverse world, so we can be a beacon of light!

My murmurings have an effect on everyone who is around me, whether saved or not saved. What kind of example am I setting? Will I be rebuked by someone who hears my murmurings? If an unbeliever hears my complaints, will he be so quick to believe in my God?

My actions and words will most certainly speak for the power and effectiveness of God’s word in my life. Whatever my spiritual weaknesses are, it is my personal choice  to exercise the corresponding virtue. I hope that makes sense  🙂 In other words, if mumbling is a habit, I need to exercise allowing graceful words to come out of my mouth. I don’t ever want whatever I say to be a hindrance to anyone – whether it is to lead someone to the Lord or to cause a brother to stumble!   😥

~Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and [toward] men.

~1 Timothy 4:7-8 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself [rather] unto godliness. 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.

Yes, it takes exercise on my part – I need to work at it.  My mouth needs to be healthy and it can only be as healthy as my heart! I remember as a child when my mother washed my mouth out with soap for saying a nasty word!  😮 The Bible says that what is in my heart will come out of my mouth (Matthew 15:18).  I need to cleanse my heart daily by reading the word of God and applying it to my heart!

~Psalm 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed [thereto] according to thy word.

God’s words light my way. (Psalm 119:105) It is my teacher – it breathes newness each day. The rest is up to me – I need to take what I have read and apply it to my life. This is the exercise unto godliness, as Paul explained above!  🙂

~Psalm 73:28 But [it is] good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

It is good for us to seek after God and His salvation through Jesus Christ. It is good for me to put my trust in Jesus because of HIS faith (Galatians 3:22). Praise the Lord that because of Jesus Christ’s work on the cross, we are cleansed and made holy before God!

~Ephesians 2:13-16 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Jesus Christ, our Saviour, fulfilled all that was necessary for us to become a child of the King! Christ removed all the barriers between us and God; and He paid all the debts for us! Imagine that!!! He paid the price of our deserved punishment! Because of Christ’s work, I am saved … there’s not one bit of work I can do to add to my salvation or take away from it! Praise the Lord!