High Priorities (8)

How would God deal with whatever you face.  That is godliness demonstrated.  Imitate it.

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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(faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity [agape])

If you want to inject a potential conversation-stopping word into the room, try “godliness.”  Even if it doesn’t completely stop the conversation, it will surely slow it down, likely silence some voices, and certainly create some tension for the discussion.  While this should not be the case, sadly it still is.  The word “godliness” means piety and holiness (possibly two more conversation-shakers).  It has its origin in two words that have come to its present form in one.  The two words to which I refer are “God” and “likeness.”  It does not mean that a human being is God, nor should it.  Rather it DOES mean that a human being is like God in his example of pious living and holiness, especially in the scheme of living according to the Gospel, or the Word. 

Living according to the Word is a choice one must make.  It doesn’t just happen because you become a Christian, but if you’re not a Christian, it is an impossible choice.  However, if, as a Christian, you make such a determined choice, prepare yourself for criticism, persecution, and spiritual attacks of almost every kind.  Living such a life is, without a doubt, a powerful example to observers of Whom you serve, Whom you place first in your life, and Whom you trust in every situation of life.  It is a life of faith demonstrated in every step of your life.  Godliness is not a life, however, of being beat up and suffering.  It is, rather, a life of living in victory, demonstrating faith in God at every interval of life, and regardless of circumstances, coming out “without the smell of smoke” on you. 

Once again, you WILL be criticized, you WILL be persecuted, you WILL be attacked in so many ways, but you WILL ALSO BE victorious.  You see, to live a life of godliness, you live a life modeled after love, and love NEVER fails.  A life of godliness is a life modeled after Jesus.  It is a life of imitation, as the Scriptures command, “Be ye followers (imitators) of God as dear children.”  When you imitate God through faith, you will also achieve the same results that Father would achieve were He facing precisely the same issue(s) that you face.  For me, dear friend, that is one of the most comforting truths that help me keep my heart and mind settled on Jesus, regardless of circumstances.  And in this present hour, that comfort is probably more needed than at any time in our lives.  Our world is in turmoil.  There will come a time when it will get worse.  But, regardless of that, godliness is a safe haven into which I can turn daily in this present world.  Turn in with me, and let’s fellowship.

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; 1 Timothy 6:1-19

High Priorities (7)

In Father’s eyes, perfection IS attainable.  See it as He does, and pursue it with all your might.

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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(faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity [agape])

Patience” is from the Greek word that means “cheerful endurance; constancy; persistent consistency.”  It is this characteristic in Jehovah God, our Heavenly Father Who calls Himself LOVE, that keeps Him in His unchanging state towards us, even when we fall short of His glory.  Even though He will chasten His children at times, He loves us in the process.  In short, all that God does toward His children in love manifest.  It would greatly benefit every believer to realize that “patience” is the power-twin of “faith.”  It is “faith” that receives from Father that which is the object of petition, and it is “patience” that holds fast the profession of faith without wavering until the object of petition is fully manifest.  As it states in Romans 5, “Tribulation (the trying of your faith) works patience, and patience experience, and experience hope.”  They are all tied inextricably together, and in that connection, produce truly supernatural results in the life of a believer.

The same power, the Word of God, that feeds, builds, and empowers “faith” also works in the production, development, and growth of “patience.”  When “faith” is strong, it produces such a concrete evidence in the realm of the Spirit that “patience” is supernaturally empowered to hold to what “faith” has received, and that without wavering.  And when “faith” and “patience” stand together, unshakable and unwavering, the believer will find himself “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  And that, my good friend, is a great way to live; pleasing Father, fully supplied, and living with every need and desire met.

Do not allow yourself to think for one moment that such is not a high priority with Father.  He has provided all these things to us, “all things that pertain to life and godliness,” so we can live with “all grace abounding to us, so that we, always having all sufficiency in all things man abound to every good work.”  My friends, these are not the words of a wishful thinker or a blurry-eyed daydreamer.  These are the words of Jehovah God, the Word of the living God, immutable, unchangeable, unalterable, and unwavering that shall never pass away.  These words are the will of God for all His people, NOT just some of them.  So, I urge you today.  Feed your faith on the abundant life of God’s Word, and “let patience have her perfect work” in your life, so you can live “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” 

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:4; James 3:1-12; Hebrews 12:6; Romans 5:1-5; Hebrews 11:6; 2 Corinthians 9:8

High Priorities (6)

The best steel is well-tempered steel.  Do you sharpen others?

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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(faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity [agape])

In the 18th century, the word “temperance” was used almost synonymously with the word “abstinence.”  What the word actually means is moderation, or self-control.  And since the word is much older than the 18th century, it would stand to reason that with the word we are examining actually arising from a Greek word having to do with mastery of a thing, and that includes personal appetite, should be considered in the more ancient of its forms that could date back as far as the times of Jesus.

One of the finest examples of the use of the word “temperance” is its use in the making of steel, and that would especially apply to the use of steel in the making of fine swords, or cutlery.  The steel that is used in fine cutlery, and especially in swords used in warfare, are tempered in a very special way.  My writing today is not to discuss the various means of tempering, such as that which may have been used by the Japanese in the making of fine katanas, but I will speak of the artistry and utilitarian function of well-tempered swords as it relates to the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and its connection to the temperance that should be produced as part of the fruit of the spirit in the life of a believer.  The fruit of temperance is directly connected to how a believer can walk in the arena of the Spirit, being always sharpened for the task at hand, and hardened or softened by a master sword maker so as not to be too flexible (easily bent or misshapen), nor to be too brittle and so easily broken by things that may oppose it.

When steel is made for a fine sword, there MUST be the proper blend of iron ore, carbon, fire, temperature, the forging of the hammer, the application of water (and in some cases, certain oils) for cooling, and timing for the proper curvature of the blade and its ability to hold an extremely sharp edge.  For the believer, that means a Holy Spirit-master blend of the Word of God, binding and tempering agents, the timely and properly applied fire of Holy Spirit, the use of the Master’s hand with the forging hammer in shaping, the application of the Word and Spirit together for the proper shaping and cooling of a life, and the leadership of Holy Ghost so that the elements of making a master-blade are done in proper order, placement, and blending.  This can only happen as an obedient vessel of God is truly yielded to the work, way, and wisdom of Holy Ghost.  Be that sword, my friend, tempered by the Master.

Manna for Today –  1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; Proverbs 27:17; Ephesians 6:10-18;             Galatians 5:22-25

High Priorities (5)

When the Word of God sets forth a prescribed order, it behooves us to follow it.

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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Based upon the prescribed order of the Lord set forth in 2 Peter 1, we see that “virtue” follows “faith.”  But then, what follows “virtue?”  The answer is clearly given.  Following “virtue” is “knowledge.”  In the Greek language, the word for “knowledge” is “gnōsis,” meaning knowledge, being aware, being sure, to perceive, being able to speak in a knowing manner. 

I find it intriguing that so many Christians seem to think that any knowledge they have will simply flow from the Lord.  Such thinking, however, is erroneous.  I am fully aware that certain elements of knowledge, especially what we call revelation, must truly flow from Father, and comes to us by Holy Spirit.  But in our present study, the 2 Peter 1 passage clearly indicates that there are certain things Father expects us to pursue for ourselves.  These things are not automatically given to us.  They must be sought after by the believer, and it is clearly our own responsibility to go after them, study them, develop them, and maintain them.  Each of these is clearly a priority in God’s eyes.  I urge you to take the time to read 2 Peter 1:3-15, see it for yourself, settle it in your heart, and if you have not already done so, begin the work of pursuing these immediately: faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (agape).

Today’s emphasis is on “knowledge.”  Yes, there are elements of God’s knowledge He desires us to possess that can only come from Him alone.  But there is a vast volume of God’s knowledge that He commands and expects us to pursue on our own through reading, study, meditation, and obedience.  These will NOT simply be given to you.  They must be mined from the Word of God.  And then there is knowledge that one gains from life experiences that are bourn out as we expose our natural learning to the authority of God’s Word.  Such would be elements of true science, of learning the basics of communication in speaking and writing.  We may not all be professionally trained speakers or writers, but we should all be able to clearly communicate the things we know to be truth, and that is especially relevant of our knowledge of God’s Word.  My friend, the ability to talk, and even the desire to do so, does not mean one has the ability to speak clearly and well about their subjects of discussion.  That comes through the knowledge on gains through sound education, proper application of learning disciplines, and exposure to quality models of such in our lives.  Such knowledge requires commitment and dedication on our part.  Just as we study to show ourselves approved unto God, let us seek to represent our God at the highest possible level of excellence through the knowledge we demonstrate in day-to-day living.

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15

High Priorities (4)

It would do us good to study the etymology of many words, often truly unknown to us.

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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In Mark 5, we read the story of the woman with the issue of blood who was healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’s garment.  The Scriptures tell us that when she touched Him, He perceived that “virtue” had flowed from His body.  In that case the Greek word for “virtue” is “dunamis.”  We often speak of “dunamis” power being “force, miraculous power, mighty work” of Holy Ghost.  It is the same power of which Jesus spoke when He said you would receive power when Holy Ghost was come upon you. 

However, the “virtue” of which I write today is a different word.  It is found in 2 Peter 1:3-15, and is mentioned twice in that passage in verses 3 and 5.  In that passage, the word “virtue” comes from the Greek word “aretē.”  That word means “manliness, valor, excellence, praise.”  And while it should be fully expected  that it does indeed require “dunamis” to produce “aretē,” they are two completely different terms defining two distinctly different things.  In the case of 2 Peter, we are speaking of “manliness, valor, excellence, praise.”  While there should be no doubt of how highly Father prioritizes Holy Ghost baptism and the subsequent boldness, the priorities about which we are presently writing are those that we should be producing from our own spirit as the result of the presence of Holy Ghost, and “virtue,” or “aretē,” is certainly one of those priorities.  I would urge you to take the time to look closely at the 2 Peter 1:3-15 passage, and allow the order of unfolding priorities the Lord has set before us.

In this hour of church history, the question I ask here must be set to the church.  By and large, something is missing in the 21st century church, and “virtue,” or “aretē,” is one of those missing elements.  When I write of “manliness,” I am not referring to the masculine sense of the human male, but of the upright, strong, bold aspect of the church as we examine ourselves as members of the body of Christ, Who is male in His authority.  Where is the “virtue” of the body of Christ in manifestation today?  Sadly, in most cases, it is missing.  Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked flee when to man pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”  It is that boldness of the male lion to defend its pride (family) and its territory of which I write today.  COVID 19, government, social unrest, and politicians have all but silenced the roar of the church.  All these distractions and false lions roar while the church seems silent.  It’s time for the true lions to roar.  Roar, Church, roar!

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; Mark 5:30; Philippians 4:8; Acts 1:8

High Priorities (3)

If God says you MUST have it, then you MUST have it.  It’s that simple.

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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I can’t think of a better place to begin than the beginning.  And as it regards FAITH as one of God’s highest priorities, there is no better place to begin than to realize where Father sets His regard for faith.  These are strong words that must not be set aside.  “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (God).”  Dear friend, these words should be burned into our consciousness in such a way as to never be removed from our thinking.  I have a strong passion in my heart to please my heavenly Father.  If you are a child of God, I believe you do, too. 

To fulfill that intense passion, I MUST have a living and vital faith in my life to do so.  To do that, it is required of me to do whatever is necessary to have, maintain, and continually grow my faith in Him.  The Scriptures clearly define faith.  According to Father’s Word, faith is the NOW, and faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.  We know, too, that faith calls things that are not as though they were.  Faith is the parent creator force of all that exists.  Father used it to create the entire world, including the dust from which He formed us.  The just SHALL LIVE by faith, or they are NOT the just. 

We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  Every believer received “the measure of faith” at the point of the new birth, and that measure of faith is increased as we hear, receive, and believe the Word of God.  Faith should be an ever-increasing force of the Spirit in our hearts and lives.  We know that through faith we can receive from Father whatever we desire in our hearts, if we believe, and do not doubt in our hearts.  When we live in that manner, our lives are pleasing to Father.  His established will is performed in the earth through faith.  We receive whatever we need and desire through faith.  Mountains are moved through faith.  Fruitless elements in our lives can become fruitful or removed by faith.  Is it by the application of faith in Father’s Word, whether applied to life, healing, provision, abundance, deliverance, freedom, and honoring Father, that the evidence of faith becomes manifest reality, experience become testimony, and knowing that produces hope in our lives.  Living by faith is, without a doubt, one of God’s highest priorities for His children.  Embrace it, my friend, honor Father, and walk in blessings ONLY Father can provide.

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; Mark 11:22-24; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Romans 4:17;   Romans 10:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 12:3; Galatians 5:6

High Priorities (2)

It was Paul who wrote the words, “But the greatest of these is love.”

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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Allow me to state some well-known truths.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  Faith works by love.  Love never fails.  Perfect love casts out all fear.  The victory that overcomes the world is faith.  Each of these statements are absolutely Biblical, accurate according to the Word of God, and are fully true.  Each of these statements are generally well-known in the body of Christ, especially among those who have had any real time of study and reading in the Word of God.  The “high priority” we encounter today is LOVE – the love of God.

What is the love of God?  Let us define it accurately according to the Word of God.  The Scriptures declare, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.”  That is the Bible’s own clear definition of the love of God.  There is nothing there about feelings or emotions.  What we DO SEE is that the love of God is a choice – a very clear choice.  The LOVE of God IS KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS.  It’s that simple.  Put aside emotions.  It has NOTHING to do with emotions.  Put aside feelings.  It has NOTHING to do with feelings.  Once again, it is a clear choice, and at that, a very clear PERSONAL choice. 

We read the very words of Jesus Himself saying, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  Do you see that?  The love of God is a clear personal choice, and it requires action as a part of that choice.  The love of God is not demonstrated is word, but in action – your action – your PERSONAL CHOICE TO ACT.  And that action is to keep, to obey, to carry out, to be doers of the Word of God. 

Consider this.  GOD IS LOVE!  It does not say that God speaks love, though He does.  It does not say that God feels love, though I’m sure He does.  It does not say that God does love, though I am absolutely sure He does.  It DOES say, “GOD IS LOVE!”  It is Who He is.  And because it is Who He is, we know that God speaks, feels, and does love.  Who are you?  Are you a Christian?  If you are, you’re a child of God.  If you are a child of God, do you properly identify with your Father?  In the natural, I’m a Moorefield.  My children are Moorefield’s.  God is love.  Then you, too, are love.  Live it, speak it, feel it, do it, model it, and be it.  It is, indeed, among the highest of priorities.

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 1 Corinthians 13; John 14:15-17; 1 John 5:3; John 3:16-17;               1 John 4:7-21; Galatians 5:6; 2 Peter 1:3-9

High Priorities (1)

Obedience can be a difficult choice, but not nearly as difficult as the results of disobedience.

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 

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I have often heard people make the statement that obeying the Lord is never difficult.  People who make statements of that kind reveal a very shallow understanding of life, especially in the arena of leadership.  I can tell you unequivocally that while obedience is certainly better than sacrifice, there are times when obedience can be a difficult decision.  Jesus certainly acknowledged such through His life in His earthly ministry.  Consider the following moments in His ministry.

When Jesus encountered the man with the withered hand, He was angry with the religious minded folks when He healed on the Sabbath.

When Jesus took His stand to speak truth, regardless of how people reacted, His own mother and family walked away from Him.  It’s tough when you own parents turn away from your ministry.

When Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane before His arrest, the pressure in His obedient action was so great His sweat became like drops of blood.

Yet in times like these just cited, Jesus walked in obedience to Father.  He declared He always did those things that please the Father.  He was a son of covenant.  When a Jewish boy turns 13 years old, he celebrates the rite of bar mitzvah.  The word “bar” means “son of.”  For instance, King David was called “David ben (another way of saying “bar”) Jesse,” meaning the son of Jesse.  Solomon would have been Solomon ben (barDavid.  Jesus, as recognized by those among whom He grew up would have been known as Jesus bar Joseph.  But when used in the term bar mitzvah, it is not a matter of being a son through birth, but a son through growth and qualification, for the word “mitzvah” means “commandment.”  Hence, the term bar mitzvah means that one has grown up and passed the test to be known as a “son of commandment.”

Such a term was not only a ceremony, but a point of taking on a new identity that spoke to the highest levels of righteousness, obedience, and holiness before the Lord.  Jesus did not simply experience the rite, or ceremony, of bar mitzvah, He became Jesus, bar Mitzvah, or JesusSon of Commandment.  Far more than implication, He pledged Himself in that ceremony, and by accepted that title, to be completely obedient and compliant with Father’s will and commands.  My dear friend, when you made Jesus you Lord and Savior, being born again by Holy Ghost, and being washed in the blood of the Lamb, you became bar Mitzvah.  I became Beechard bar Mitzvah.  That is more than a title, dear one; it is a lifestyle to be deliberately lived by faith.

Manna for Today –  1 Peter 1:3-25; 1 Samuel 15:22-23; John 14:15-17; 1 John 5:3; Mark 10:29-30;     Mark 3:1-6; Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 22:39-46; John 8:29

For His Children

Some of God’s blessings are for every living person; some are only for His children.

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Luke 11:13 – If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

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The topic of my writing today as been a point of debate, likely throughout church history, but certainly so in the 20th , and so far, in the 21st centuries.  I do not write today to stir more debate, but to simply point at the truth of the Scriptures.  We MUST allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves, and not attempt to add to them or distract from them.  As I stated in my opening statement, there are blessings from God that can easily generally be accessed by any living person whenever they choose.  For instance, the air we breathe, the normal abilities available to any normally healthy person; all these are blessings made available by Jehovah God.  But there are certain blessings that are accessible ONLY to that person who is child of God, or to say it more distinctly, to one who has been born again.  The one about which I write today is the baptism in Holy Spirit, or the infilling by Holy Spirit.  Let’s consider accurately what the Scrip-tures declare.

Look at our Text for Today. This verse is clearly speaking to the issue of receiving Holy Ghost as a gift from Jehovah God.  Look closely at what it says.

  • “If ye then” – “ye” is “you.”
  • “being evil” – this means being human, or of earthly origin
  • “know how to give good gifts unto your children” – this speaks to the love of a parent for his child.  Do you have a child?  Do you love your child?  If your child asks something of you that is good for the child, and that you can legitimately provide to the child, would you provide it?  Of course, you would.  That is the point of this statement.  And the element of connection that creates such a giving attitude is a very specific relationship – parent to child.
  • “how much more shall your heavenly Father” – if a natural parent’s love for his child would create such a giving heart, then it would stand to reason that Jehovah God, Who is perfect, would have an even higher love-response to His children.  Surely God is greater in His capacity to His children than natural man is to his.  And again, we see a distinct father to child relationship.
  • “how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” – this element of our Text for Today should make it absolutely clear.  In order to receive the gift of Holy Spirit, there must exist a Father to child relationship between the one who asks and the One Who gives. 

If Jehovah God is your Father through the new birth, Holy Spirit is available to you for the asking.  All you must do is believe, ask, and receive.  Don’t pass up such a blessing.

Manna for Today – John 14:15-17; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:9-10

The Basics (6)

Proverbs 15:4 – “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”

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2 Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

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In our discussion over recent days, we have examined three powerful basics needed to serve the body of Christ and our Christian walk at the highest level.  Though not exhaustive in our study, we have taken a look at EARS to hear what Holy Spirit is saying, EYES to clearly see what Father in doing so we can accurately recognize signs, and HEARTS/MINDS of clear understanding that will enable us to build upon a long-lasting foundation.  Today I want us to look at one more element of these all-important basics, and that is having a MOUTH/TONGUE with the boldness to righteously speak, “Thus saith the Lord.”

We live in a day of a myriad of voices all about us, all seemingly seeking for our attention.  Some of them are intent upon speaking truth that carries the potential to free us and enable us to follow hard after the Lord.  But sadly, I believe the majority of those voices lead us to deception, either ignorantly or deliberately.  We must be aware that good intentions alone are not sufficient to guide us at this hour.  We MUST know and have the truth.  I am convinced there are many good people with right intentions who are deceived.  I am also convinced that there are many evil people who deliberately speak lies, flatteries, sweetened words intent upon deceiving the people of God and ultimately overthrowing the church and righteous living.  They need to be clearly recognized, identified, and challenged by those who know truth, boldly proclaim truth, and do so with such accuracy that the words from their mouths could be highlighted with “Thus saith the Lord.”

In times like these in which we find ourselves, multitudes of people are hurting, troubled, fearful, and deeply deceived.  In such conditions, it becomes easy for one to lean towards SWEET words that appear to comfort, and avoid the SALTY words that can often sting, especially in the wounds created by all the turmoil about us.  Still, the Scriptures do NOT declare that we are the SUGAR of the earth, but the SALT.  But because sweetness is so much more generally sought that saltiness, many voices give themselves to the sweet.  Because of that, many vocal platforms, including many pulpits, have replaced the true salt of God’s fiery breath that purifies and preserves with breath mints of social popularity kept in darkened pockets in religious wrappers.  Pray, my friend, that from the church will arise salted voices that heal, preserve, and retain the water of the Word in this world.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-12; Philippians 4:9; Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Proverbs 15:4; Psalm 12:3; Proverbs 7:12; Proverbs 26:28; Ezekiel 12:24; 1 Thessalonians 2