I have always tried to be a reliable person, but I’ve failed like everyone does from time to time. We cannot always do what we desire to do in life. The Bible says for our yes to be yes, for our no to be no. This makes things very black and white. This is something that helps us to be a person of integrity. People see our consistency. People trust our reliability. We are a better witness to Christ Jesus when we let our yes be yes, and our no be no. Our word is trusted.
The Bible tells us that when we are given much, much is then required. We have a responsibility. It is not always an easy responsibility, but we can rest in these black and white boundaries. If we are a people who do our best to have our yes mean yes and our no mean no, we are not setting ourselves up for failure. We will be seen as someone with reliability. Our words and deeds will be more likely be trusted. We will glorify the Father more by the consistency in our lives.
Don’t grieve over your past failures. I have said “yes” many times and something came up that shook things up. Take time to respond with wisdom and truth when asked to serve in a new ministry. Will you have the time? Is this where God is leading you? With the responsibility you have been given, understand you will have to say yes to some things, and no to others. There is no allowance for a yes man in ministry. When you zero in and say yes to the things God is leading you to do, you will find that serving is a joy, and there will be fruit from the reliability of your word. Remember it is not the yes or the no that matters. It all comes down to giving God the glory He alone deserves. It all comes down to pointing to Him.
“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” – Luke 12:48 [NLT]
When you are at home somewhere, you are comfortable. You are safe. Home is considered a special place, your special place. It’s where you reside. It’s where you rest. It’s where you remain for a great deal of time.
Paul said for the word of Christ, the words spoken by Jesus, to have its home be in your heart and mind. This means the words of Christ would remain inside you, would be written on your heart, would dwell within you. This means these words would take up residence within you, and they would teach you and remind you and comfort you. They would linger about and be a part of you. As they are a part of you, these words that are inside would overflow and multiply in your life.
How can you let the words of Christ have a home in you? You have to read what He said. Many times what He said is written in red in the Bible. Read God’s Word. Read what He said. There are even books about what Jesus said. Steven Scott wrote a book called “The Greatest Words Every Spoken.” This book breaks down everything Jesus said by topic. Continue to read what He said and you will find these words soon at home in your heart. This allows for the Holy Spirit to remind you of His words. Watch what happens as you write these words on your heart.
“Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.” – Colossians 3:16 [AMP]
I have a very bad memory. I write everything down and I use technology to remind me of everything short of breathing. Many days I will find myself noticing my hands are dry. It is then I remember that I did not put lotion on my hands. I have lotion—lots of lotion. But it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is for me to neglect to put it on my hands.
I have a shelf full of Bibles, each a different type or a different translation. But they will not do anything for me unless I actually take one off the shelf and read it. Nor will it help much if I neglect to pray and seek the Lord’s will. It is so easy to neglect what Jesus gave us as a Comforter, as a Helper. It is so easy to neglect His Truth.
Today is a great day to start making a habit of connecting with your Lord and Savior. Did you know experts say it takes about ten days to make something a habit? As you continue to spend time with God, in His Word and in prayer, you will be more aware and responsive to His presence. Before you know it, you will spend more time acknowledging His presence and you will have a great relationship with your Father. I’m going to go put on some more lotion, as I am realizing I forgot once again. Then let us open up His Word and seek His face.
“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” – Psalm 105:4 [NLT]
Elijah came on the scene with no introduction and announced the Word of God. He told the people there would be no rain, upholding what was said in Deuteronomy 28:24 for those in disobedience. Ravens brought him food and when the brook dried up, he went to the widow of Zarephath and God provided.
Elijah then had a showdown with the prophets of Baal. As Elijah watched, the prophets could not get Baal to produce fire. Elijah poured 12 jars of water in a trench and God produced fire that drank up all of the water and burned the surrounding stones. It was an amazing display of God’s power, but then Elijah ran in fear and hid himself in a cave.
God approached Elijah and asked him – What are you doing here? There was incredible wind, an earthquake and fire but God was not in any of them. Then came a gentle whisper. Elijah was reminded of God’s greatness. There are moments when we need to be reminded of God’s greatness – when fear and doubt creep in and try to discourage us. Today, ask yourself how great is our God? How great is our God! Step out of the cave.
“When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” – 1 Kings 19:13 [NIV]
As I was driving home from work, the sky looked scary. A storm was nearby and the sky was gray up ahead and promised a nasty storm. There was a rain shower that quickly passed. I drove toward the gray area after a long day at work. Third Day’s song “Lift Up Your Face” was playing on the radio. I was in pain and only wanted to get home and put my feet up.
I turned the corner and listened closely to the song lyrics: “Lift up your face / Salvation is calling.” I looked up and before me was this beautiful rainbow. I considered what the rainbow symbolized and remembered His promises. I thought of a day He promised where I would feel no pain—when things would be different. I considered His love- His salvation- His mercy – His forgiveness. I started to feel a lot better.
Today lift up your face. Focus on God. Remind yourself of His promises to you—His Word—His mercy—His love. Remind yourself that He makes all things new. Remind yourself that things will not always be like this—He has promised us restoration.
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” – Proverbs 4:25 [ESV]
My daughter is always mixing drinks. She often takes different juices and mixes them together. One morning she asked me if orange juice would taste good with orange soda and I advised her to not try that mixture. I’ve had orange juice with Sprite, but the thought of this possible mixture did not sound like a good idea.
She didn’t give up on the idea. Not so long later I noticed a large container filled with her new creation. The problem was that she could not stand the new mixture. It tasted disgusting and so it was all a waste. We ended up pouring the contents of the large container down the drain. What a waste of some good orange juice!
God has given us His Spirit and His Word. Sometimes we have a tendency to try to mix it with other things. We think we need more—like it’s not enough. Or we try to add to the Word. There are also moments when we waste what God has given us by not even reading the Bible, praying, or seeking this gift of the Spirit that we’ve received. The problem is this isn’t just some orange juice.
“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” – Proverbs 30:5-6 [ESV]
Recently when I was teaching, a student chimed up saying that her Bible didn’t say the same thing that the reader shared with the group. I explained to her that there are different translations of the Bible so that anyone can find a Bible that they can understand. The Bible has been translated in numerous languages as well as in numerous translations like the New International Version, the New Living Translation, the King James Version, the New King James Version, the Message, the Revised Standard Version… I could continue, but I think you get the point.
I know that there are some areas where it is hard to access a Bible, where people risk their lives to deliver Bibles to people. But things aren’t like that here and yet some people neglect the Word of God. There are homes you enter where various Bibles are sitting throughout the house, but none are touched. Bookstores have shelves of Bibles. The Salvation Army and other organizations hand out free Bibles. Bibles are given as gifts for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, etc. Yet some people neglect the Word of God. It just sits and collects dust.
Today I pray that you’ll be encouraged to seek the Lord diligently and devote yourself to daily Bible reading. I pray that a Bible won’t be part of the décor of your home or some gift you really wish you could exchange. To think there are people across the globe who would die for a Bible. It really puts things in perspective. The Word is bread. We need bread to live. Let us eat!
“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” – Matthew 4:4 [NIV]