Happy 2016 everyone!!!
Surprise!!! We’re trying something a little different with audio this year! So below, you’ll see a link where you can listen and yes, you can still read as well! Enjoy and PLEASE let me know what we can do differently and how you like it! Thanks and God bless you this year and ALWAYS!
You all know how it is at the end of one year and going into the next one, there are lists compiled about all types of subject matter, and here at BlenCouragesU we are NO exception! 🙂 What I’d like to share with you are five (5) BIG lessons the Lord taught me in 2015. I’m trusting that these will bless you as well. I’ll get into the detail, but the topics are as follows:
- Promises, promises
- Appearances can be deceiving
- Happy Holidays?
- Think outside the circle
- Say what?
Let’s get started!
Many of us have a habit of saying, “Let me know what you need”, “I’ll help you however I can,” “I owe you a favor”, or “I’ll be there for you”. Did you follow through on what you said without being asked? Did the person “call you” on the favor? What was your attitude about following through on your favor? Did you do it with joy? Grumble? Was it inconvenient?
Awhile back, I tried to “redeem” a favor an individual promised me and was met with an very angry tirade. *insert puzzled look*. Granted, I could have given the person more notice–I was just in a spot and needed immediate help.
While the incident is all water under the bridge, there are a couple of takeaways here. The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us not to be rash with our mouths, and our hearts are not to utter anything before God in Heaven and we are on Earth–to let your words be few. Solomon also goes on to say that when you do vow, make sure you pay it–it’s better to NOT to vow than to vow and not pay (5:2-5). It is that serious.With God’s help, when we say it, we should mean it and be prepared to follow through with it. And if something does come up, we communicate it as soon as possible and be sure to take care of the promise. What if God reneged on His promises to us because he was too busy or did not feel like it? Right. We’ll get better on this with God’s grace. Lord, who shall abide in your tabernacle, who shall dwell on your holy hill? …He that swears to his own hurt and does not change (Psalms 15:1 & 4b). In other words, it may be hurting you to get this done, but you are not backing down from your word.
The other situation is the angry outburst. Yes, yes, anger is an emotion God gave us–that does not absolve us from being angry responsibly. The Word reminds us to be angry, but not to sin (Ephesians 4:26). Usually the words and feelings get involved and things are said that are regretted later. Sticks and stones will break bones, but words heard do irreparable harm to someone’s heart, mind and spirit before the Lord heals them. Apologies are good and needful–they don’t always mend what could have been prevented if we had applied godly wisdom to our responses. Remember, the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:20). Think–no pray before you speak.
Appearances are deceiving:
I Samuel 16:7 about men looking at the outside, but God looks on the heart is used to justify many things God clearly speaks against. The context I’m thinking of is more along the lines of spiritual discernment vs what you see in the flesh.
I recall a group of young people I saw regularly at church with their parents and such. Y’all know that some, (not all) young people only come to church because they HAVE to and it shows on their faces! Yikes!! (We were not allowed to look any other way but pleasant, otherwise it would be a long evening after church). Anyway, this child looked like they could eat you alive without any regret! For some reason, I spoke with a family member where the young person came up in conversation–turns out the child had some very serious personal situations they were sorting though at the time. So that face was a mask for hurt and brokenness.
My aha moment? We cannot allow gestures, attitudes and facial expressions to hinder us from witnessing and ministering to others. In fact, God told Jeremiah not to be afraid of their faces for God was with him (1:8). The enemy works like that so folks can stay bound and we remain neutralized. That is NOT how any of this works. We who are Holy-Spirit filled have the power of Jesus down on the inside who gives US power over the enemy to get past that fear. Moreover, we do not allow our perception of what is wrong with that person stop us from reaching out to them–our job is to ask the Lord what is wrong, pray for them and encourage/minister to them as we are led by the Spirit. The love we show sets us apart from others. Luke 10:30-37 tells how two prominent people [priest and Levite] passed by a hurting, half-dead man and how one “regular” person [Samaritan] stopped to help. Which person are we?
I’m going to stop here for now…this way you’ll come back! Stay tuned for part 2 of our series.
God bless you and thanks for stopping by!