Our Words

wordsAnother truth clearly demonstrated to me through my L.A. missions trip experience was the importance of the words we speak.

Think for a moment of everything we see around us today – sky, grass, flowers, trees, animals – how did it all get here? God created it by speaking. He commanded, and light appeared. With His words, He separated the day from the night. He called forth all of the plants and animals, and they came into being. We were made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). As His words contain creative power, so do ours.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue . . .” (Proverbs 18:21, NASB). “With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips” (Proverbs 18:20, NASB). During the long wait for an extra spot on the L.A. trip to open, my goal was to speak words of life towards the situation rather than words of death. I knew the harvest I wanted, and aimed to keep my words in line with that harvest. In the end, I saw the results of what I’d been speaking.

Our words work together with our faith to frame our world (Hebrews 11:3). Our mouths speak out of the abundance of what’s in our heart (Matthew 12:34). In Mark 11:23 (NASB), Jesus tells us that ” . . . whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.” What we truly believe is what we will generally end up speaking. When we join what we believe to what we say, amazing things happen!

This is why it is important that we fill ourselves with God’s Word, putting our trust in what He says. When we speak His Word from a heart of faith, we will see what He says come to pass in our lives. When we plant the seed of God’s promises, we will reap a harvest of the tangible fruit of our words. Through doing so, we will see what He has spoken manifest in our lives.

What do you believe? What words come out of your mouth on a consistent basis? What do you want to see in your life? What do you want to see come to pass in your life?

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

The Author of Faith

FaithMy L.A. missions trip experience taught me many things. It demonstrated truths from God’s Word to me in a tangible way. The process of standing on what God wanted for me and seeing it come to pass gave me a clearer picture of faith, how it works, and the amazing things that can happen when we put our trust in Him.

Hebrews 11:1 gives us a clear definition of what faith is.  It is ” . . . the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (NASB). Through faith, we can be confident in our expectation of the things God promised. We can be assured that those things are ours, even if we don’t see them yet. Faith enables us to stand strong on God’s promises, no matter how circumstances may appear. It is simply trusting that God’s Word is true. It is saying “This is what God says about the situation, and I believe it.”

Faith is powerful. Jesus tells us in Matthew 17:20 that with just a mustard seed amount of faith, we can movemountains. In Matthew 19:22, Jesus tells the woman who bled for 12 years that her faith had made her well. Imagine what would happen if we would simply take God at His word, and put our faith in what He says!

Having faith doesn’t have to be hard. According to Hebrews 12:2 (NASB), we are to fix our eyes on Jesus, ” . . . the author and perfecter of faith . . .”  Our victory is in Him, for God ” . . . always leads us in triumph in Christ . . . ” (2 Corinthians 2:14, NASB).  As we look to Jesus, and what He accomplished at the cross, faith will arise in our hearts. It’s all about what He’s already done for us. Let’s turn our eyes upon Him!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

L.A. Bound – Part Three

L.A. Bound Part 3Though time was rapidly waning, I was still to join the party headed for LA if a slot somehow became available. Despite the fact that nothing had yet changed, I purchased the necessary supplies for the venture. The day of our departure dawned, and I went about packing. The hours passed. There was still no news of an extra spot. Would one ever open?

A of couple hours before the church van was to pull out of the parking lot, the phone rang.  I picked it up.  I was informed that an extra slot had become available. I was indeed L.A. bound!

The long wait was over. I was overjoyed! What God had spoken to me had come to pass. In addition to obtaining an opening, a great deal of money from trip-related fundraisers transferred to me. God had taken care of the expenses as well!

As the church van lumbered slowly along that evening, I sat there in a state of excitement. I was off on the adventure I had so long awaited, and quite an adventure it proved to be. I saw and experienced many things with which I was unfamiliar. Most amazing of all were the events that took place once we reached our destination.

I saw God work in my life in numerous, numerous ways. He enabled me to do things I hadn’t done before. He gave me the strength and the ability to complete each task put before me. He revealed to me gifts and passions I didn’t know I had. A number of people in the area we served spoke Spanish, which led me to learn all I could of the language while there. One of my friends on the trip knew American Sign Language, which she offered to begin teaching me one night. The next day I encountered a deaf person who knew some sign. What I’d learned the night before enabled us to communicate to some level. This introduction to ASL birthed in me an eager desire to learn more of it. I have continued on with both sign language and Spanish for use wherever God might lead me. Over the course of the trip, God guided me to those He wanted me to speak with, and gave me the words to say when I needed them. I was even able to share my story of how God had provided for me to join the L.A. missions team with someone we ministered to.

The L.A. trip was an amazing experience, which demonstrated to me in a tangible way just what can happen when we stand on what God is speaking to us. He made a way when it seemed impossible. He encouraged me when I became discouraged. He helped me to continue trusting in what He had for me. This trip showed me, in a greater way than ever before, how amazing our God truly is!

L.A. Bound – Part Two

L.A. Bound Part TwoI was put on the waiting list, just in case a spot would open up on the trip. I was second in line to receive such a slot. Prospects didn’t look too promising.

At times I’d wonder if I’d heard God correctly. Did He did really want me to go on this trip? Every time I raised those questions, the Lord would reconfirm to me what He’d already spoken to my heart. Those moments of communication with Him further strengthened my belief that this trip really was part of His plan for me.  I became so firmly convinced of this that I actually began to talk as if I were going to L.A. before a spot had even opened up for me. I tried not to let myself speak words of doubt and unbelief, but rather to keep my words in line with what God had said about the situation. (Proverbs 18:20-21)

Time wore on – day after day, week after week. In the meantime, I prepared for the trip. A spot opened up for the person ahead of me on the list. I was next in line. Yet as things progressed, a second slot failed to open up. To save me from the seemingly inevitable disappointment of my plans, I was cautioned not to get my hopes up too high. In the midst of it all, God’s Word provided the needed encouragement for me to continue trusting in what I knew God wanted for me.

The day of departure drew near. I still didn’t have a spot. If I were to end up going, it would surely be last-minute. . . .

L.A. Bound – Part One

L.A. Bound Part 1I stood there in the church parking lot, prepared for a journey. All was ready. The hour of departure had arrived. Crammed into the church van, we traveled mile after mile. Each moment took me farther and farther from home, catapulting me forth into the great unknown. In the midst of it all, I was brimming with excitement. How could I not be, after I’d just seen God work in such a marvelous way

He’d spoken. I’d believed. It had happened!

What wonder had I just encountered? It had all started the fall before, when the youth group announced that they would be going on a summer missions trip to Los Angeles, California. In spite of expressing some interest at the time, I hadn’t signed up right off the bat. For one thing, I had other plans that took place during the same time as the trip. Later on, however, those plans fell through. I began to consider going after all, if there was any way to do so. I prayed about it, and realized that God did indeed want me to join the L.A. bound group.

The problem? By this time it was only about a month before the trip was to take place! The van we were going in was already filled up. There was no spot left for me. Additionally, I’d need a good-sized amount of money to cover the various costs involved. In spite of all of this, I knew that God wanted me to go. What was I to do?

Receive God’s Promises for You

receiveGod’s Word contains many promises for us. Every good and perfect gift comes from our Heavenly Father (James 1:17). He wants us, His children, to accept and enjoy the many blessings He’s made available to us in Christ.

When someone offers you a present, do you have to work to earn it? Must you be perfect before you accept it? Do you refuse the gift because you don’t think you’re worthy to receive it? No! You reach out and take it, thanking the giver.

In the same way, it’s not up to us to merit God’s good gifts through our actions. We don’t need to have it all together before we can receive His promises. We have been justified by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9). At the cross He took our sin upon Himself, that we might receive His righteousness and right standing before God (2 Corinthians 5:21).  We are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is our new identity. We needn’t worry about whether or not we’re good enough to accept His gifts. We have been made worthy in God’s eyes through His Son, Jesus.

Don’t let fear or a sense of guilty rob you of all that God has for you. Trust in His promises. Receive them in your life. Reach out and take them, giving thanks to God. They are yours in Christ.

God’s Promises for You

bibleIn Psalm 18:30 (NLT), we are told that “. . . All the Lord’s promises prove true . . .”

Here are some of His promises for you:

  • “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”             Psalm 26:3, NKJV
  • “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28, NASB
  • ” . . .  those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:10, NIV
  • “Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12, NIV
  • ” . . . by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5, NKJV
  • “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12, NKJV
  • ” . . . The wealth of the nations will come to you.” Isaiah 60:5, NASB
  • ” . . . people of wealth will seek your favor.” Psalm 45:12, NIV
  • “If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”           Psalm 91:9-12, NIV
  • “The Lord will protect you from all evil . . .” Psalm 121:7, NASB

These are some of God’s promises for you – all good gifts from a Heavenly Father who wants you to live an abundant life (John 10:10).

What is your favorite promise in God’s Word? Leave a comment to share (if you are on the home page, click on the speech bubble at the top of the post to reply).

His Word Stands Forever

flower“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 (NASB)

Things in this world are subject to change. There are many beginnings and endings. The grass, which grows so green all summer, turns dead and brown with the coming of winter. Leaves change to brilliant colors and fall from the trees each autumn, then decay and become part of the soil. Snow falls down from above, then melts away under the warmth of the sun. Flowers are here today and gone tomorrow. Amidst the variance of things around us, we have been given something to hold onto which is enduring.

Unlike our surroundings, God’s Word stands forever. It never changes, for God will not alter what His lips have uttered (Psalm 89:34, NIV). Furthermore, His Word produces results. It will not return to Him empty, but will achieve the purpose for which He           sent it (Isaiah 55:11, NIV).

Don’t be afraid to believe in God’s Word and what it says about you. “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” When He speaks, He acts. When He promises, He fulfills (Numbers 23:19, NIV 1984).  Stand on His promises, which are yes and amen in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20, NKJV). Declare them over your life. Expect results – you are trusting in the word of our God, which stands forever!

Praise Him

sunrise“From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is  to be praised.” Psalm 113:3, NASB

“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1, NIV

God is so good! He works in our lives in so many ways – both big and   small – on a daily basis. What can you praise God for today?