“I Do It Myself!”

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“I Do It Myself”

When my daughter was a toddler, we would often try to help her with things, and hear the words, “I do it myself!” Can you relate?

In our Christian walk, we sometimes take on that same attitude of “I do it myself!” We may struggle in an area, and we don’t want anyone to know. It can be the shame of our sin, but most often, it is our own pride, which stops us from opening up to anyone.

However, there are times when we really need to reach out to a trusted friend who will agree with us in prayer. Sometimes our friend, who isn’t caught in the middle of the issue, can have valuable, wise insights to help us.

James 4:6 tells us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to those who are humble. James 5:16 tells us to confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed.

Sometimes, by simply being willing to step out and admit openly that you are struggling with something, the power of that secret sin begins to lessen. It can be much like someone who was sexually abused. Once they speak out, exposing the abuse, the power their abuser once had over them, diminishes. Many former victims admit that by speaking out, they finally felt like they had the power. The abuser lost his power over them.

It is often the same when Satan has lied to us about our own sin. I remember learning years ago that Satan’s greatest weapon against us is a lie. Don’t let his lies hold you back any longer. If you need help, pray for the Lord to lead you to a trusted friend who can help you get out of his web of deceit.

Don’t be like a toddler, who adamantly declares, “I do it myself!” Let Jesus help you! He is waiting and willing to set you free!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

 

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Winnie the Pooh and False Doctrine

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My friend, Kathy, sent me this insightful information.

She was listening to the history of how Walt Disney put Winnie the Pooh together. Pooh was a popular story in England but not the US.  He introduced it with short, 30-minute features. After we got used to it, and fell in love with Pooh,  we were ready for a full feature film.  It was a smashing hit.

That got her to thinking… That was a very smart tactic and it worked. Give people small doses of something and it’s not a shock to the system.  The church had been giving its people small doses of false teaching for so long, it’s no wonder they can’t see error.  They enjoy the new full length feature now.  And looking at the mega churches, it’s a smashing hit.

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Machine Gun Mouth

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Machine Gun Mouth

I have to thank Dan, who leads the Sunday school class I attend. He used this phrase to describe himself in earlier years. I loved the phrase because it gives us such a good word picture for how our words can be! So thank you, Dan, for the inspiration behind this devotion!

Sometimes we are on the receiving end of a ‘machine gun mouth.’ David felt the oppression from this scenario in Psalm 64. He described it as his enemies sharpening their tongue and bending their bows to shoot those bitter words like arrows into his soul. However, David found his refuge and hope in the Lord. He chose to glory in the Lord, and doing so changed his outlook when others were wounding him with their words.

Isaiah 32:6-7 gives a good example of a ‘machine gun mouth’ by mentioning those who speak foolishly, making evil plans, and speaking falsely about the Lord.

In dealing with others who may have a ‘machine gun mouth, we find that we shouldn’t cast our pearls before the swine.  (Matthew 7:6)  Proverbs 26:5 tells us not to answer a fool according to his folly or we will be just like him.  Clearly, there are times when we need to keep our pearls to ourselves and not share them.  We must use wisdom and discretion when dealing with others who ‘run at the mouth.’

When speaking of the last days, Timothy warned us in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that we will see many in the church who are boasters and blasphemers. They will have a form of godliness, but deny its power. He gives a strict warning for us to stay away from such people.

Regarding our own tendencies to be a ‘machine gun mouth,’ we are warned that our foolish talk and godless chatter can destroy relationships.  (Proverbs 11:9)  1 Timothy 6:20-21
admonishes us to avoid foolish discussions with others who have so-called knowledge. People who engage in that have even wandered from the faith.  2 Timothy 2:16 advises us to avoid worthless foolish talk because it only leads to more ungodly behavior.

Colossians 3:8 warns us to put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy language.  I like how it words this, like these characteristics become a part of our clothing.  Have you ever met someone who just reeks of anger?  When you encounter someone like that, you likely want to run the other way!  I also found it interesting that every word listed here has to do with what comes out of our mouths. Obviously, our words hold a lot of power.

Proverbs 10:19 tells us that when our words are many, sin is not absent.  When you think of having an argument with someone, have you noticed that the longer, and more-heated the argument gets, the easier it is to start sinning with your mouth?

Another scenario where words can be many, thus leading to sin is in a group setting with several women.  If one begins to speak ill of her husband, the others tend to join in.  Next, each lady tries to outdo the others with her comments.  Before you know it, the room is filled with negativity and sin.

I have to admit, I have had many times in my life when I spoke with a ‘machine gun mouth.’ I have struggled with a bad temper for many years. If I don’t keep myself well-grounded in the Word, it is so easy to slip back into that nasty habit of letting my words be like a machine gun, wounding others, killing relationships, and putting chinks in my spiritual armor.

I noticed something else about our words when researching this topic. Proverbs 31:26 tells us when she speaks. This implies that we don’t always need to be talking! We don’t always need to share our opinions on every topic. We don’t need to vent every frustration we faced throughout the day. We don’t need to voice every burden we are carrying to everyone we meet.

Scripture shows us some beautiful ways to use our words and the results that come when we choose to allow the Lord to have control over our tongue.

·         We become wise and our tongue can bring healing to others. (Proverbs 12:18)
·         When we speak at good word at the right time, our words are like apples of gold in settings of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)
·         When we speak edifying words, it can impart grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
·         Our words can feed many. (Proverbs 10:21)
·         God can give us an instructed tongue so we will know how to speak a word to those who are weary. (Isaiah 50:4)

Matthew 12:34 tells us that out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth will speak. This implies that our words hold a lot of power, as well as revealing what is truly in our heart — good or bad. I want my words to be the kind which will impart healing, refreshment, encouragement, grace, and wisdom to others! How about you?

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Proverbs 19:16

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As I was reading the Word this morning, I came across this scripture, which made me pause and think.
…He who despises the word will die.  Proverbs 19:16 RSV
When I despise something or someone, I try my best to avoid them/it.  If I neglect to read, study, and meditate on the Word of God, by my neglect, are my actions showing that, in reality, I despise His Word?

 

Ammo

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Ammo
There is a lot of ‘hoopla’ online right now with prepping. People are trying to prepare for the end of the world, stocking up on food and ammo. Now there’s nothing wrong with this because in Matthew 24, when talking about the end of the world, Jesus refers to the wise and faithful servant who will have food to give in due season. He is referring to Joseph, and He is encouraging us to prepare for what is coming.

However, many people start to go down the wrong path in this endeavor when they forget about preparing spiritually. The first thing we must realize is that we cannot put our confidence in ourselves. “Don’t be so naïve and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.” (1 Corinthians 10:12, MSG)

We need to armor-up! We need to do as Ephesians 6 says and put on the full armor of God. Along with this, we also need to be hiding God’s Word in our hearts so that we won’t sin against Him. (Psalm 119:11)

Peter mentions the end of all things being near in 1 Peter 4:7-8. He admonishes us to be sober and watchful in prayer. However, his next instruction seems a bit out of place when thinking about the end of all things. He tells us above all, to love one another fervently. Yet, when you go back to what Jesus tells us about the end times in Matthew 24, He warns us that people will hate us and betray us. It will be hard for us to be forgiving when we are betrayed if we don’t do as Peter says and learn to love one another fervently.

So as we journey through these end times, we must stock up on spiritual ammunition:
1.       Keep the Lord first and let Him be our confidence.
2.       Hide the Word in our hearts.
3.       Pray for the Lord to help us love fervently.

I don’t know about you, but I think I need to get on my knees and seek some more spiritual ammo.
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Jesus Culture and the Romantic Love Songs

It really is true!   There is nothing new under the sun.  (Ecc. 1:9)

Over the last several years, I have noticed that my spirit gets very irritated by a lot of the ‘worship songs’ that are popular.   It’s because we aren’t supposed to be singing love songs to Jesus that are much like singing to a physical lover.  We should be singing songs of worship which line up with what is in the Word of God!

Sparkling With His Fragrance

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Sparkling with His Fragrance
 
I have always loved sparkly things. My mother told me when I was around a year old they took us to look at the Christmas lights. I could barely talk, but managed to exclaim, “Pree lights!” (Translation: pretty lights)
 
Even though I’m now in my fifties, if I see a top with lots of sparkles, or jewelry with a lot of bling to it, chances are high that it is going to wind up in my closet. I recently bought a black top with beautiful, gold sparkles all over it. I had no idea how many of those sparkles would fall off the shirt each time I wore it! My coworkers could always see the evidence of my presence, even if I was gone for the day.
 
Habakkuk 3:4 tells us that God’s radiance is like the sunlight and He has rays which flash from His hand. As I read that scripture, I can’t help but think, “God must like sparkly things too!” His glory radiates in His creation, including through His people. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that we are being changed from glory to glory. As we reflect the glory of our God, we begin to exude the fragrance of Christ in our countenance, our words, and our actions. So just like I leave the physical evidence of the sparkles from my top, we also leave the spiritual evidence of our Jesus wherever we go.
 
When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, our countenance begins to sparkle with His glory and they will be drawn to us by the genuine fragrance of His love.
 
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

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