Seasoned Words

Related image

Seasoned Words

A male coworker stopped by my office one day and repeatedly dropped the f-bomb. It was very uncomfortable for me. One of my other coworkers was there that day, and could easily see that I did not like what I was hearing. Once I had clocked out for the day, she told the him that I didn’t like hearing it. He was clueless as to how uncomfortable it was for me.

I also wasn’t too pleased that my coworker spoke up and said something to him because I had a feeling it was done in a way that made me come across as having a “holier than thou” attitude. I decided to pray about it, trusting the Lord to open the door for me to address it with him in a way that let him know the true reason I was upset by hearing that language. I wanted my words to be as Colossians 4:6 says – gracious, seasoned with salt, so that I would know how I should respond to him. I didn’t want to offend him. He doesn’t know the Lord, and the last thing I wanted was for him to be thinking, “Oh, so she is one of those people who thinks she’s better than everyone else.”

He stopped by my office a few days later, and the subject of language came up. It opened the door for me to address the situation. I casually mentioned that I knew my coworker told him I did not like hearing that word. I added, “It’s not because I think I’m better or holier than thou. It’s because I used to speak that language, and I don’t want to be that person again!”  I could tell he appreciated my honesty and now when he stops by, the conversations tend to go in a more positive direction.

I wonder what would happen if we would pray daily for the Lord to grace our words, seasoning them with salt, so that we will have the wisdom to know how to respond to those around us. I have a feeling we might just be amazed!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Advertisements

The Last Miracles of Jesus

Image result for bible study

The Last Miracles of Jesus

It is important to notice the ‘firsts’ in the bible. They have important insights for us. For example, the first time the word ‘love’ is used in scripture is in Genesis 22:2 when God told Abraham to take his only son, whom he loved, and sacrifice him to the Lord. This story is a picture of Jesus being God’s only Son, whom He loved, thus why it is important to note that it is the very first time that word is used in scripture.

 

Another example is in Exodus 20:3 with the Ten Commandments. The very first one is that we have no other gods before the Lord. If we get this one mastered, the others will follow suit, and not be as likely to cause us to fall.

 

In Galatians 5:22-23, we find the fruit of the spirit. The first one is love. Why? Because if we have love, then it only makes sense that we will have joy, peace, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. True love will emanate these others qualities in our lives.

 

I believe it is also important for us to look at the ‘lasts’ in scripture. My friend, Kathy, saw a very interesting insight that really peaked my interest on this topic.

 

The last healings Jesus did in Matthew and Mark was blind Bartimaeus. In the book of Luke, it was the healing of the ear of the high priest’s servant, which Peter cut off. Notice that these final miracles had to do with sight and hearing.

 

As we look at the warnings Jesus gave us in Matthew 24 regarding the end times, we see many of them had to do with these two things! He warned us what to watch for, as well as what things to which we should not be listening.

 

Verse 5: We are to watch out for (look, see) those who come in His Name, deceiving many. Keep in mind, this does not just mean people are going to be saying, “Hey! I am Jesus!” Rather, it is referring to those who claim to represent Him, but what they preach and teach will be a false gospel.

 

Verse 6-7: We will hear about wars, rumors of wars, nations rising against nation. We will see famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.

Verse 9-10: We will see Christians murdered and hated by all nations. During that time, we will see people betray one another, as well as hate one another.

Verse 12: Because of how lawlessness will abound, we can watch for the love of many to grow cold.

Verse 15: When you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place”… –Notice that He says when “you” see. He is speaking to believers here. If believers will not be here to see this, why is He mentioning it?

Verse 23-26: Jesus tells us look out for false Christs and if we hear anyone tell us where to find him, not to believe them. He tells us to watch for great signs and wonders to appear, deceiving many, even the elect.

Verse 27: Jesus tells us that His coming will be as lightning flashing across the sky. In other words, He is saying that all will see it. It is not a secret coming, where we just suddenly disappear, and no one knows where we went.

Verse 28-31: Notice He says “immediately after the tribulation.” He is telling us what to watch for, what to listen for, and the order in which these events will happen. We will see the sun darkened, the moon won’t give its light, and stars will fall from heaven. Next, He will appear and all tribes of the earth will see Him coming. He tells us to watch for angels to come and to listen for the sound of the trumpet. This is the rapture of the church!

 

I hope this study has peaked your interests in looking at the deeper meaning of things in scripture, like when you see a list of things mentioned. Study it and search why something is mentioned first. What is the significance? I believe you will see the Word become more alive in your life, as well becoming much more interesting to study!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

 

True Prosperity

Image result for genesis 15:1

True Prosperity

There has been a lot of false teaching over the years about how God wants us to be rich and prosper. I do believe God wants us to prosper, but prospering doesn’t always mean financially. After all, if a concept is in the bible, it should fit all people of the world.

I recently heard about a man who preached a prosperity message to men in prison. Seriously? The love of money is what likely landed those men in prison! What about those in a third world country? Do you really think that kind of message is applicable to those people? This proves to me that this prosperity gospel is a false gospel. It is what Paul would call a ‘different’ gospel, and those who preach it should be cursed. (Galatians 1:8)

Over the last several months, I have made a concentrated effort to be in the Word. I have done so with no other motive than this: I want God! He is my one desire in this! I want to know Him, I want to learn from Him, I want to be guided by Him, and Him alone! It has been an exciting journey, as well as very precious. There is nothing that compares to digging deep into His Word, allowing Him to teach you.

However, something has happened during this time of intensive study in His Word. In February, I was given a promotion at work, which came with a significant raise. In May, I got my annual raise. One day in June, I came into work to find that I had been nominated for a Hero Award, which is a huge honor, just to be nominated. (At this time, I am still waiting to see if I actually win that award.) That same day, I discovered those in my department were all receiving a market adjustment to our hourly pay. This was completely unexpected.

Now this means I got three raises in less than four months! That is unheard of!!! And to get the nomination for that award during this time is incredible.

That doesn’t even count the joy and peace I have gained through my time in the Word because of how the Lord is increasing my faith. It doesn’t count the unbelievably sweet fellowship I have gained with our Father, nor the excitement I have every day as I search His Word for what treasures He wants to show me. All of these things are priceless!

Needless to say, after the announcement of the third raise, my heart was overflowing with God’s goodness toward me. While I was pondering on all the Lord has done in my life recently, 3 John 2 came to mind. It speaks of prospering in all things, even as our soul prospers. It occurred to me – this was exactly what was happening in my life! I made the choice to choose God’s Word and to be faithful, and I didn’t do it because I was looking to gain awards or more money. I did it only for Him, because He is already my exceedingly great reward. (Genesis 15:1) But look what the Lord did! He gave me so much more!
I share this to encourage you to get into His Word. Do it to gain Him, and nothing else. I have a feeling if you do so, you will find the blessing of the Lord abounding in your life!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Texting

Image result for texting

Texting
Texting seems to be all the rage these days. So much so, that there is now a thumb disorder recognized as being caused by excessive texting. There are even concerns that excessive texting could be a sign of mental illness. I have seen many who appear to be compulsive texters. I have seen videos of people walking and texting, then falling into a pond, walking into a wall, etc.

I have to admit – I just don’t get it. However, that might be because I didn’t even get a cell phone until I was 54 years old. Yes, I really was that old before I got one, and the only reason I did at that point was because I got a promotion which required me to be on call after hours. I’ve just never desired to have a cell. Perhaps it is because I am switchboard operator, answering phones for 8-12 hours a day!

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people will grab their cells when they hear that familiar ‘ding,’ notifying them that someone just texted them.

However, there is a much better text to read than our cells! It is God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that His Word is living and powerful. It’s sharper than a two-edged sword, having the power to pierce our soul and spirit. It can even discern our thoughts and the intents of our hearts.

While I have had some nice sentiments sent to me through texts, none of them are alive like God’s Word. None of them have the power to change my life! Now that is a powerful text!

Some of you may think, “I don’t want to read something which pierces my soul and spirit.” I want to be happy! Having allowed God’s Word to pierce me many times, I can testify that I have never regretted those moments. While they may have hurt at the time, they were for my betterment. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God doesn’t want to harm us, but to give us a hope and a future. He truly does have our best interest at heart.

Perhaps you are thinking, “I don’t want God searching the thought and intents of my heart!” Several weeks ago, I bought a new bible and started the process of transferring notes from the old bible to the new one. One evening as I sat down to work on that project, I wasn’t very far into it when the conviction of the Lord came upon me for something I was watching on television. My first thought was, “Ah man! I really like that show!” However, I knew I needed to give it up, and I can honestly say I do not regret having obeyed the Lord in this area. The fellowship has grown sweeter, my spirit has grown softer toward the things of the Lord, and I cannot wait to read His Word every day, just waiting to see what He wants to show me. There are such treasures in the Word. It never ceases to amaze me how I can find new insights when I make the time to read His Word.

So I challenge you to get into life-giving text: Your Bible! I promise – you won’t regret it!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Ready on Your Lips

Image result for proverbs 22:17-18

Ready on Your Lips

I love the wisdom I gain when I take the time to study, meditate upon, and apply the Word! It brings such joy to my heart, and joy is hard for many to find in these tumultuous times.

Proverbs has been one of my favorite books in the bible for many years. I can read it over and over and find new insights in it. I saw something in Proverbs 22:17-18 that really stood out to me.

“Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
and apply your mind to my knowledge;
for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.” (RSV)

As I was pondering on this verse, I thought, “How can we have God’s Word ‘ready on our lips’ if we aren’t reading it, studying it, and meditating upon it?”

 

It is imperative for us to be in the Word of God in these times! Not only for ourselves, but for others! People are going to be asking some hard questions with the multitude of world events that are happening. We need to be gaining wisdom, insight, and direction from God’s Word so that we have answers.

 

I challenge you to start picking up your trusty sword and start studying it! You will never regret spending time in the Word of God! It is living and active, and God has so many treasures to reveal to you in His Word!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

Such Details!

Image result for 2 timothy 3:16

Such Details!

You may have noticed a theme in my devotions the last few months.  Many focus on the importance of getting into the Word of God, reading, studying, and meditating upon it.

We are told in 2 Timothy 3:16 that all scripture profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.  I am currently reading Exodus, where God gave very detailed, precise instructions for building the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle.  Before I started reading, I prayed for the Lord to speak to me through His Word.  However, I have to admit, as I read this portion, I was thinking, “What am I supposed to learn from this?”  Stick with me!  You are about to find out!

In Exodus 25-28, the Lord gave detailed instructions from the tabernacle to the courtyard, including the table, lampstand, framework, altar, and even the clothing for the priests! I couldn’t help but think, “Lord, now that is some high maintenance!”

He went into such great detail for the priest’s robe, stating how many rows of gemstones there were to be, which gemstones would go where, adding to put them in settings of gold, and what each gemstone stood for.

He then specified instructions for hem of the robe: There were to be pomegranates of not one, but three specific colors, with bells alternating between them.

This got me to thinking about when God gave Noah instructions for building the ark. In Genesis 6, the Lord told Noah how long, wide, and high the ark was to be, where to place a window and the door. He told him to cover the ark in pitch, what to take on the ark and how many. He even told Noah how many days it would rain.

Psalm 11:4 tells us the still rules from heaven, closely watching everything which happens on earth. God is still into details! We see this again in Psalm 139 where it tells us that He knows when we sit, stand, sleep, or awaken. He knows our thoughts before we speak. He even knew us before we were formed, having already written the number of our days in His book.

God went into such detail for the ark and the tabernacle – things which weren’t meant to last forever.  How much more do you think He cares about every detail of your life?  After all, you were made in His image.  Not only that, but He sent His only Son to die for you.  You can rest assured that, indeed, He really does care about every…. detail….of…. your….life.

I share all of this with you to show you that God does speak through His Word — even through those seemingly mundane, boring portions.  When we fail to read His Word, we not only miss out for ourselves, but we are missing out on what God may want to speak to us so that we can, in turn, speak to others, encouraging them! We can show them that God cares about every detail of their lives as well!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Are You Resting?

If you feel overwhelmed with the burdens of life, this message is for you!

Previous Older Entries