The Words We Say

The Words We Say

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that in the power of our tongue is both death and life. How can that be true? Do the words we say really make that big of a difference?

Our words can affect people more deeply than we sometimes think. They can cause great pain and harm, or they can bring healing and encouragement, all depending on what we choose to say. Ephesians 4:29 says to speak words that will build others up, not tear them down. How often do the words we speak follow those guidelines?

In a similar way, the words we choose to listen to and believe about ourselves have a great impact on our lives as well.  How often do we let the negative things that others say about and to us affect how we see ourselves – words that go directly against what God says about us, such as “You’re not good enough,”  “You’ll never measure up,” or “You don’t matter?” The devil loves it when we believe these lies. They tear us down, and make it difficult for us to experience the amazing, abundant life God has for us. Instead of listening to the negative words of others, begin to focus your attention on what God has to say about you – that you’re His cherished, treasured child, whom He loves dearly. Allow Him to build you up with words of His love and grace!

The words that we speak over ourselves impact our lives as well. God created this world with His words, and we are made in His image (Gen 1:27), so in a similar way, the words that we speak change and affect our own little world. In Mark 11:23, Jesus goes so far as to say that if anyone tells a mountain to be removed and cast into the sea, they will have what they say if they believe and do not doubt in their heart. God wants us to use this principle of believing, speaking, and seeing what we spoke come to pass to see His promises manifest in our lives. However, if we are constantly believing in and speaking a bunch of negative things, what do you think we are going to see come to pass in our lives instead?

Death and life truly are in the power of the tongue! Our words really do matter – what we say to others, whose words we choose to listen to, and what we speak over ourselves. Begin to listen to what God says about you, speak that over your life, and use your words to encourage others!

Receive Your Miracle

receive your miracle

Do you ever feel like you’re facing whatever it is you’re going through all alone? Does it ever seem like the situation you’re dealing with is too big even for God to handle? Do you ever wonder if He even sees what you’re struggling with, or if He does, if He is actually willing to do anything about it?

No matter what your situation, know that it definitely is NOT beyond God’s ability to take care of! How can you know this for sure? Because His Word says that NOTHING is impossible with Him (Luke 1:37), and that in fact ALL THINGS are possible with Him (Matthew 19:26)! He is more than able to handle anything that we could ever face. Your situation is not hopeless! With God, you can see any miracle which you might be in need of take place!

God is also very willing to accomplish great things on your behalf. If you’re facing a difficult situation, you are not alone. He is right there with you, ready and waiting to come to your rescue when you turn to Him. It is His desire to see you living the awesome, terrific, incredibly blessed life that His Son came to give you (John 10:10), and He wants to free you from anything that might be getting in the way of that. He is for you, not against you!

God is both willing and able to do amazing miracles in any and every area of your life, but if you want Him to do so, you need to ask Him in faith! Matthew 17:20 says that through faith, nothing will be impossible for you, and Matthew 7:8 says that if you ask, you will receive. Dare to present your requests to God, both the big and the small, with full confidence that you will see what you are asking for come to pass in your life!

Whatever you’re going through, know that you aren’t facing it on your own. God is there beside you. He will never leave you, and He both can deliver you, and desires to do so. Place your trust in Him, and receive your miracle today!

5 Movies That Will Encourage You in Your Faith

This summer, check out these 5 must-see films that will encourage you in your faith!

GNDAvatarGod’s Not Dead – College freshman Josh Wheaton refuses to sign a paper stating that God is dead, as instructed by his professor. As a result, he is given the task of proving that God indeed is not dead. God’s Not Dead is all about taking a bold stand for your faith, even in the face of adversity! (Extra note – God’s Not Dead 2 will be released next spring!)

GU_Avatar1Grace Unplugged – Grace Trey struggles with wanting to live life her way, pursuing her own dreams. When an opportunity presents itself, she leaves her old life behind her, and faces the excitement, pressures, and temptations of budding stardom. In spite of it all, she is left feeling empty, and discovers that only her Heavenly Father’s love can truly fulfill her.

DYB-DoYouBelieveInTheCrossDo You Believe? – Do You Believe? (which it looks like will be coming out on dvd in August!) follows the lives of a dozen different people from very diverse backgrounds as they grapple with the most important question any of us will ever face – “Do you believe in the cross of Christ, and if so, what are you going to do about it?”

FTG_desktop5_800Facing the Giants –When the head coach for Shiloah Christian Academy is faced with near defeat in various areas of his life, a new coaching philosophy and outlook on things completely changes both his life, and the lives of football team he coaches. This movie was made a few years back, but it still has a great message for us today! It demonstrates how God blesses those who seek Him, and how He proves Himself faithful, even in the worst of circumstances!

fireproof_desktop3_800Fireproof – Catherine and Caleb’s marriage is going up in flames, when Caleb’s dad convinces him to take the 40-day Love Dare challenge. Can their marriage be saved? The movie shows how marriage isn’t just fun and games, but is about making a real commitment to someone to love them, and keeping that commitment, even when it isn’t easy. It will change the way you look not only at marriage someday down the road, but also how you view dating, which is all about finding the person that God has for you to marry.

Does Your Faith Affect Your Use of Social Media?

social media

As Christians, our faith in Christ should affect every part of our lives. Did you ever consider how it should affect your social media interaction? Next time you’re using a social media app or site, such Facebook or Twitter, as yourself these questions –

How do the books, movies, bands, and celebrities I’ve liked or followed reflect upon me as a believer? What you spend time watching and listening to, and who you support, has a lot to say about what you value. What do the pages you’ve liked or followed say about you, and who you are as a Christian?

What am I really posting? What are the songs you’re sharing really saying? Is the language you are using honoring to God? Are you posting jokes with questionable humor? Make sure your statuses line up with the kind of thing Philippians 4:8 says we should be thinking about!

Do I show God’s love when I interact with others on social media sites? Is what you’re posting going to hurt someone else, or make them feel left out? Ask God to help you to show His love to others, even on social media!

How will what I’m posting influence others who may look up to me? Chances are you have someone in your life who looks up to you. What kind of an example are you setting for them online?

Here are a few ways you can social media in an encouraging manner –

  • Post a favorite Bible verse you come across.
  • Loved a worship song at church this weekend? Share it!
  • Share something you are thankful for.

What Is God’s Will When We’re Going Through Difficult Circumstances?

God's Will

Have you ever heard that God sometimes sends us trials to teach us something? That He allows us to go through difficult seasons so that we will draw closer to Him? Guess what?!? It’s a myth!

God is good. He loves you far more than you could possibly imagine. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17) and He promises to give good things to those who ask (Mtt 7:11). He is not the source of life’s tragedies. He is the One who will bring about healing, wholeness and abundance in every area of your life if you will receive it. It is His desire to see you enjoy every blessing that He has for you. It is His goodness, not Him sending trials, that leads people to repentance (Rom 2:4), turning them towards Him.

God isn’t causing bad things to happen to you, or sitting back and simply allowing them to take place. Quite the opposite, in fact. He sent His Son to pay the price for you to get to know Him, and have the right as His child to receive your healing, freedom, peace, joy, restoration, and whatever it is you’re in need of. As your Heavenly Father, He’s on your side. He stands ready and waiting to rescue you!

Know this once and for all – it’s ALWAYS God’s will to save and deliver you, regardless of the situation you may be in, or how you got there. In many cases, the reason people pray and don’t see a breakthrough is because they don’t really believe this. They question what it’s really God’s will to do in the situation, or they think He won’t work in their lives because they don’t deserve it. Matthew 21:22 says that you will receive what you ask for if you BELIEVE! Don’t doubt God’s willingness or ability to work in your situation. Trust in Him, and see your miracle come to pass!

How Do You See Your World?

How

So often, it can be difficult for us to look beyond the way things are, and see what God wants us to see. Most of the time, when we look at our lives, all we can see is the pain we’re dealing with, the problems we’re going through, or the challenges we’re facing. Instead of seeing ourselves and our lives in a way that lines up with God’s Word, we focus on what’s right in front of us. We’re walking by sight, not by faith.

When we begin to believe what God’s Word says about us, however – when we begin to walk by faith instead of by sight – we will begin to see everything differently! When we look at our lives, instead of seeing sickness, depression, anxiety, addiction, shame, guilt, pain, or heartbreak, we will see ourselves as healed, delivered, set free, forgiven, loved, restored, and whole. Instead of seeing problems that conquer us, we will see challenges that God has conquered for us, and given us victory over. As we begin to see our world through the lens of faith, what we see through the eyes of faith will begin to come to pass in our lives!

God has many promises for us in His Word, but they can only be received through faith. If all we can see is what’s right before our eyes, we’ll never be able to experience all that He desires to give us. In order to enjoy the manifestation of God’s promises in our lives, we must learn to see our world in a different light. We must open our eyes to what God wants us to see – what His Word has to say about us and our lives. Only then will our lives really begin to change for the better!

How the Holy Spirit Convicts

How the Holy Spirit Convicts
One of the things that the Holy Spirit does is to convict. What do you think He convicts us of? All the things we are doing that are wrong? All the mistakes that we make?

John 16:8 tells us what the Holy Spirit convicts of. It says that He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. John 16:9-11 explains further just what this means. These verses paint a very different picture of the Holy Spirit’s role of convicting than we sometimes imagine!

John 16:9 says that He convicts the world of sin because they don’t believe in Jesus. The Holy Spirit convicting of sin doesn’t mean that He points out to us every sin we ever commit. Rather, it means that He convicts those who haven’t accepted Christ of the one sin that will keep them from spending eternity with Him – the sin of not believing in Him.

John 16:10 says that Holy Spirit convicts of righteousness, because Jesus was going to the Father, and therefore we would no longer see Him. Under the new covenant of God’s grace that Christ came to establish, how do we become righteous? Not by always doing the right thing and never messing up, but rather through faith in Jesus (Rom 3:22)! When Jesus returned to the Father, the Holy Spirit was sent to be our Helper (Jn 14:16). Today, Christ is at the Father’s right hand, representing us, and our Helper, the Holy Spirit, convicts of the fact that in Him, we have been made righteous (2 Cor 5:21)!

John 16:11 says that the Holy Spirit convicts of judgment, because the ruler of the world has been judged. Our Savior has disarmed principalities and powers. He triumphed over them at the cross (Col 2:15). In other words, the devil is a defeated foe, and the Holy Spirit reminds us of that!

This is how the Holy Spirit convicts! He points people towards faith in Christ, He helps us to understand that we have been made righteous, and He reminds us that the enemy has been defeated! How wonderful God is to have sent us such a Helper!

The Gifts of the Spirit

The Gifts of the Spirit
Once we’ve received baptism in the Holy Spirit, there are certain gifts God has for us that He wants us to operate in. These gifts of the Spirit enable us to know and do things we couldn’t have on our own. They can both benefit us personally, and help us to minister to others in a greater way.

The gifts of the Spirit are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.

  1.  Message of wisdom
  2. Message of knowledge
  3. Faith
  4. Gifts of healing
  5. Working of miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discerning of spirits
  8. Speaking in different kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues

Message of wisdom, message of knowledge, and prophecy all have to do with God speaking to you, and/or revealing things to you that you wouldn’t know otherwise. Gifts of healing and working of miracles have to do with God flowing through you in a special way to perform miracles and instances of healing. Speaking in different kinds of tongues is different than just praying in tongues. Usually, it’s a specific message God gives you in tongues, which He will then give either you or someone else the explanation of. This explanation of what is spoken in tongues being given to you is interpretation of tongues.

These gifts are for us today, and God wants us to operate in them! Do as 1 Corinthians 14:1 says, and eagerly desire these gifts. Make yourself available to God to be used by Him, and you will begin to experience these gifts at work in your life as you are in need of them!

Is It Ok for Christians to Prosper Financially?

prosper

Has anyone ever made it sound like Christians shouldn’t experience abundance in the realm of finance? Have you ever wondered if it’s ok to be successful financially as a Christian, or how much God’s ok with you having? Have you ever wondered where we, as followers of Christ, should draw the line?

Some say that money is the root of all evil – that it is the cause of tons of problems, such as greed and self-centeredness – and because of this, Christians should be careful of ever having too much – almost as if poverty is better than wealth.

The truth of the matter? Money is not the root of all evil. By itself, it isn’t good or bad, and therefore the amount of money you have isn’t what makes you a good or bad person. It only reveals who you really are. If a person is already generous, give them more money, and it will give them a greater opportunity to benefit others as well as themselves. If a person is selfish and stingy and you give them more money, their stinginess and selfishness will become more apparent as they hoard or spend it all on themselves. The money didn’t make them selfish and stingy or kind and generous. It just made their real character more visible.

What the Bible says actually is the root of all evil is the LOVE of money (1 Tim 6:10)! This is what causes problems, not the money itself. In other words, do you control your money, or do you let it control you? This is what God cares about!

The truth is, God WANTS to bless His children, and this includes financially. According to Psalm 35:27, He takes pleasure in the prosperity of His people! God wants to give His children not only all that they need, but above and beyond so that they, in turn, can bless others (2 Cor 9:11). The more you grow in your relationship with Christ, and the more you become like Him, the more you will use your money in a wise manner, and to advance His kingdom. Trust God with your finances from an early age, and watch what He can do in and through them!

Believe God for Miracles!

DYB_540x300banner

Recently, the movie Do You Believe? came out in theaters, featuring the Newsboy’s hit song “We Believe.” One of my favorite scenes was where Joe is in the hospital and flatlines, only to come back to life, totally healed and restored, just a short time later. This miracle really impacts his nurse, prompting her to devote her life more fully to God. It gives her confidence that God really can do anything – even work in the situation of an unfair law suit her husband is facing. It also deeply impacts Lily’s mother, who had been with Joe both when he died, and when he came back to life.

That whole situation in the movie really caused me to think about what would happen if we would dare to ask God for the things that seem impossible to us, believing that He would grant our requests. God desires for miracles coming to pass to be more than just an inspiring scene in a movie. He wants to do that kind of thing in real life, but He needs someone to be willing to step out and ask Him in faith.

In the Bible, Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead, and so much more. People flocked to Jesus because of the miracles He performed. Guess what?!? God never changes! It is still His desire to do these kinds of things today, THROUGH YOU! Jesus says in John 14:12 that the same works He did, you also shall do also. Imagine how many people would be impacted for God if they saw His miracle-working power operating in your life, and flowing through you to touch others!

Mark 11:24 says that if we believe, we will receive WHATEVER we ask for in prayer! Mark 19:26 says that with God, ALL things are possible. Know that there is no situation to big for God to handle. No matter how desperate things may seem, He is willing and able to help. Don’t be afraid to trust Him for big things. Make your request in confidence, knowing that you will see what you’ve asked for come to pass, because of God’s love for you!