“Are your words blessing or cursing?” November 22

 

finger pointing wordsBlessing or cursing: Are your words wholesome and edifying or critical and destructive? If someone had to describe what comes out of your mouth in one word, would your words be described as blessing or cursing?

 

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 35 & 36
Psalm 131.1-3
Proverbs 29.2-3
James 3.1-18

 

Are your words blessing or cursing?

 

:

The Tongue

 

arguing yelling

Oh, the tongue … how much damage we can do with that little member! Especially damaging is someone who claims to be a believer, and yet makes no effort to control his or her tongue.

“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh” (vv. 10-13).

If someone had to describe what comes out of your mouth in one word, would it be blessing or cursing? Bitter or fresh?

Ephesians 4.29 says:

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from our mouths, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (NASB)

Unwholesome words are more than just vulgarity or using the Lord’s name in vain. According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word means “rotten, useless, corrupt or depraved.”

Merriam-Webster defines rotten as “decayed, bad, unpleasant or unhealthy.” Useless as “ineffectual or inept.” Unpleasant means “displeasing.” Corrupt means “tainted or morally impure” and depraved means “perverted.”

So certainly we need to put off any kind of speech that could be described by any of those adjectives, but it’s not enough to just quit saying things that fit those descriptions. We also need to put on speech that is, as Paul said in Ephesians 4.29, edifying and grace giving.  Continue reading

A Wise or Foolish Woman: The Tongue & Ears

 

Are you a wise woman or a foolish one? Pa<a class=rt 2: The Tongue & Ears" width="400" height="400" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/wise-2-tongue.jpg?w=400 400w, https://i2.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/wise-2-tongue.jpg?resize=150%2C150 150w, https://i2.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/wise-2-tongue.jpg?resize=300%2C300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" data-jpibfi-post-excerpt="" data-jpibfi-post-url="http://donnareidland.com/wise-or-foolish-the-tongue-part-2/" data-jpibfi-post-title="A Wise or Foolish Woman: The Tongue & Ears" >The Bible has a great deal to say about wisdom and its flip side, foolishness. In this series we’re looking at what it means to be wise and, by comparison, what it means to be foolish and how to recognize the difference.

 

Are you a wise woman or a foolish one? Part 2

The Tongue & Ears

 

woman of God

As I said in the first post (read it here), while I’m specifically addressing this to us as women, these truths are for everyone: young and old, men, women, and children.

 

wise woman

Our foundational Scripture is Proverbs 14.1  which says:

The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

 

wisdom

Our working definition of wisdom is, “wisdom is the right application of truth.” It’s not only knowing the truth, but applying it to the everyday situations of our lives!

Today we’ll begin looking at some of the specific things God has to say about wisdom, beginning with “the tongue” and the ears, how well we listen.  Continue reading

“Sin’s Bizarre End” April 27

 

Sin's Bizarre End: The consequences of rejecting God are not pretty. As one sin leads to another, the results are sad, costly, and sometimes downright bizarre. The book of Judges ends with several examples, including how to get your relatives attention and how to get a wife.

Sin’s Bizarre End: The consequences of rejecting God are not pretty. As one sin leads to another, the results are sad, costly, and sometimes downright bizarre. The book of Judges ends with several examples, including how to get your relatives attention and how to get a wife.

 

Today’s Readings:
Judges 20 & 21
Psalm 51.12-19
Proverbs 15.1-3
Luke 19.1-27

 

& :

Sin’s bizarre end

Today we wind up one of the saddest periods is Israel’s history—to quote John MacArthur, “Judges 17-21 vividly demonstrates how bizarre and deep sin can become when people throw off the authority of God …”

Grab your partner … do-si-do

Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Can you imagine telling some cousins, we’re sorry you don’t have any women to marry, but some of our other cousins are having a party and the girls will be out back dancing. So just grab some of them and we’ll look the other way!? Or how about offering your virgin daughter to a bunch of rapists or shaking up your complacent relatives by sending a part of your murdered wife’s body to each family. It makes you wonder why the human race has even survived this long … only because of the grace of God!

Our own bizarre consequences

But before we criticize our spiritual ancestors too harshly, we need to look at our nation today. Where has sin and the rejection of God led usContinue reading

December 13 “Are we the lukewarm church?”

lukewarm churchWhere are you on God’s thermometer of faith? Does the letter to the lukewarm church at Laodicea have application and warnings for you and me and for the church in America as a whole?

 

Today’s Readings:
Amos 1-3
Psalm 141.1-4
Proverbs 29.25
Revelation 3.1-22

 

 

Amos 1-3:

God who reveals Himself

Chapter 3.7, “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”

Even though God is God, and His thoughts and plans are so above ours that they can never be fully understood (Is.55.8-9), He chooses to reveal Himself to us through the gift of language, in particular, the Scriptures. That is why it is so important to read, study, meditate on, and memorize His Word.

 

even a foolPsalm 141.1-4:

Keep watch over my lips

Verse 3, “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Apart from God the tongue is an evil no one can control (Jas. 3.8). We must constantly submit our tongues to the control of the Holy Spirit.

 

Proverbs 29.25:

The fear of man

“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”

If the “fear of man” is a snare or a trap, it’s important that we understand, exactly, what it is. The fear of man is  Continue reading

July 24 “Biblical grounds for divorce”

The Bible says we are not to be unequally yoked, so is it ok to divorce an unbelieving spouse? Are there ever biblical grounds for divorce?

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Today’s Readings:
Ezra 9 & 10
Psalm 88.6-10
Proverbs 21.23-24
Acts 24.1-27

Ezra 9 & 10:

Marriage and divorce when unequally yoked

59 years had passed since the completion of the temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel. In these passages, the second group of former captives have returned under the leadership of Ezra. He has learned that the Jews who were already there, including many of the leaders, have taken pagan wives. This was strictly forbidden by the Law, had repeatedly led the people into idolatry, and had caused the nation to be taken into captivity. Yet, they had gone back to the same practices!

John MacArthur points out in his Daily Bible notes that even though there was a decision made that these wives as a whole were to be “put away”—that is divorced—each marriage was examined individually, probably to learn whether the wives had become believers. He also notes that other gentile women like Ruth and Rahab who had embraced faith in God were accepted and even included in the lineage of Christ.

So what about today? Can we divorce an unbelieving spouse? Matthew Henry in his commentary says, “As to being unequally yoked with unbelievers, such marriages, it is certain, are sinful, and ought not to be made; but now they are not null, as they were before the gospel did away the separation between Jews and Gentiles.” Continue reading

June 7 “Cure for the curse over your city & mine”

Yes, my city and yours are under a curse. But what is the cure?

Telluride Coloradone 7 “Cure for the curse over your city & mine”" >

Today’s Readings:
2 Kings 1 & 2
Psalm 71.9-16
Proverbs 18.6-8
John 16.1-33

2 Kings 1 & 2:

Send me!

Don’t you love Elisha’s boldness in asking for “a double portion” of the Lord’s Spirit in his life! I wonder how much more we could do for the Lord, if we just ASKED Him to do something through us! It made me think of Isaiah when He really saw God for Who He was:

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.'” Do we, maybe out of a false sense of humility, neglect to say “Send me!” or “Use me, Lord!” Continue reading

April 27 “Sin & its bizarre results” & LINK-UP

The consequences of rejecting God are not pretty. As one sin leads to another, the results are sad, costly, and sometimes downright bizarre.

sin

Today’s Readings:
Judges 20 & 21
Psalm 51.12-19
Proverbs 15.1-3
Luke 19.1-27

Judges 20 & 21:

Sin’s bizarre end

Today we wind up one of the saddest periods is Israel’s history—to quote MacArthur, “Judges 17-21 vividly demonstrates how bizarre and deep sin can become when people throw off the authority of God …”

Grab your partner … do-si-do

Can you imagine telling some cousins, we’re sorry you don’t have any women to marry you, but some of our other cousins are having a party and some of the girls will be out back dancing. So just grab some of them and we’ll look the other way!? Or how about offering your virgin daughter to a bunch of rapists or shaking up your complacent relatives by sending a part of your murdered wife’s body to each family. It makes you wonder why the human race has even survived this long … only because of the grace of God!

Our own bizarre consequences

But before we criticize our spiritual ancestors too harshly, we need to look at our nation today. Where has sin and the rejection of God led us?

… to men who bomb, kill, and maim innocent people to further some cause.
… to increasing numbers of people who commit murder-suicide, even of their own children, because of some grievance.
… to aborting our babies when pregnancy is inconvenient.
… to acceptance of homosexuality as just another lifestyle choice.
… to parents who defend their rebellious children instead of allowing them to suffer the consequences of their rebellion.
… to rampant divorce, adultery, abuse, fornication, self-harm, and the list could go on and on.

While laws and vigilance may help, the only real hope is for revival, starting in our own hearts. Then we must prepare ourselves to “be witnesses to [Him] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1.8b).

And when we’re tempted to feel like it’s hopeless, we need to remember that a handful of men and women going out in the power of the Holy Spirit to share the love and truth of God, without TV, radio, computers, planes, or any modern conveniences … turned the known world upside down (Acts 17.6)! Continue reading