Driven Towards Christ

I have always considered myself a goal-oriented person. When asked to describe myself during interviews for jobs I would often use words like passionate, driven, hard-working, and loyal. There are many times in my life that I intensely kept my “eye on the prize,” ran hard after what I wanted, and achieved my goals. Tragically, this tenacity of running after my goals would result in me becoming distracted from the most important prize, Jesus Christ. The Spirit would convict me, and I would ask the Lord to help me rightly prioritize my time and focus. It’s a beautiful thing to be driven and hard-working, but it is all in vain if your first passion is not your drive towards growing in your relationship with Christ. The stronger you develop your nearness to the Lord, the more you will become like Him. We must remember that the most important race run in this life is for the Kingdom of God, for the glory of Christ’s name, not ours. We must remain motivated by the glory of God.  

What motivates your drive toward Christ?

For the Apostle Paul, it was the prize of the upward call of God:

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

(Philippians 3:12-14, ESV)

Intersecting Faith and Life:

What excites you and drives your passion? Being made in the image of God means that we all have passion. The important question we must ask ourselves is: is my passion directed inward or does it fuel me to pursue Christ and His purposes? Our drive and passion for the Lord and His Kingdom are related to our devotion to Him and reveal our purpose of knowing Christ and serving Christ. Most of all, reading and studying the scriptures should fuel our passion because it sets our eyes upon the Lord and helps us take our eyes off of ourselves.

We can remind our hearts that if we are born again, Christ purchased our life for a purpose and has made us His own. He did this so that we would bear fruit for His glory. Christ reached down and rescued me, so I should always be reaching for Christ. We press on to make knowing Christ relationally and serving Him faithfully, and we must press on even more when we feel weak. We can look to Christ and ask for strength to keep going, and He will be faithful to give us His abundant grace. We shouldn’t be entangled by our past sins, sorrows, or even successes, as those things will distract us and hold us back from pressing on in our race to pursue Christ and His purpose. May the Lord give us zeal and an increased pace, and an increased engagement in Kingdom pursuits as we press toward the prize. Ultimately, Christlikeness is our prize. Let us seek the Lord and ask Him to increase our passion to become more like Him!

Further Reading:

  • 1 Timothy 6:11-12
  • 2 Peter 1:5-8
  • Matthew 6:33
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Yielding to God’s Sanctification

I have always been a list maker and fueled by accomplishment for as long as I can remember. At some point, being successful and driven became the meaning behind every breath I took; I found purpose in my performance and productivity. I loved the high from “the hustle” and having my schedule full to the brim. I spent years upon year upon years crowding the margins of my existence seeking after this feeling of accomplishment.

This vicious cycle of constant hustle was all I knew for well over 20 years of my life. I still wrestle with the temptation to find my worth in my productivity and seeking my happiness when everything is “perfect.” I am what you may call a recovering “Type A” person. That is an exhausting way to live and if you are not careful, this mentality will creep into your spiritual life and soon you will be trying to work to earn God’s favor and love. Have you ever experienced these thoughts when it comes to your walk with God?

I didn’t pray enough today. I haven’t read my Bible in over a week! Man, why can’t I get over this sin?! I am such a failure! Am I even saved?

But as Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, we know that we cannot earn our salvation because it is a gift from God:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

And just as God is sovereign in salvation, He is also sovereign in our sanctification as we learn to partner with Him in our growth in Christ. He is the one who is in charge of seeing us mature on our walk with Him. The same grace that saved us is the very same grace that keeps us and molds us into the image of Christ, each new day. From the moment of your conversion, you became God’s work-in-progress, and the greatest news of all is that He doesn’t grow weary, stressed or exhausted with you. He will complete the work He began in us!

That is why I love this encouragement from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1: 

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

(Philippians 1:6, ESV)

Our salvation has been gifted to you for the sake of Christ, for His glory, not ours. The gift to have faith in Jesus? God began that work! And if God starts it, God finishes it. We simply need to lean on His strength and grace and ask for wisdom to walk in obedience. The Holy Spirit is our Helper and He will help you walk in God’s will. You don’t have to muster up your faith muscles to see that happen. You simply need to trust that God’s plan with your life will be accomplished, not because there is anything good in you, but because of His goodness and faithfulness! If you struggle with trying to earn God’s love and forgiveness, then let us run to the throne of grace and ask the Lord to remind your heart of His steadfastness and faithfulness in your life. You are safe in His hand and promises to not only never lose any of His own, but to sanctify His children until our final day.

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to earth to live the perfect life for me; to fulfill the law completely for me. I trust that His death on the cross paid for my punishment of the curse of the law that I will never be able to uphold. I come boldly to the throne of grace today and receive new mercies that Christ died for me to have. Help me lean upon Your strength and grace today and see the work that You started in me continue until Your glorious return or when I meet You face to face. I trust that You are working in my heart and life and conforming me into the image of Christ day by day. Help me yield to it to Your sanctification. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Fixing Our Gaze Upon Christ

At the beginning of a new year, so many of us often set lofty goals that we want to pursue. Some common ones are: lose weight, exercise more, read a certain number of books, get out of debt, eat healthier, travel more, learn a new skill or hobby, or drink more water. 

All those goals or resolutions are quite admirable, and many can be achieved and maintained if one sets their mind to work hard and stay committed and focused to keep chasing after the lifestyle shift and goal ahead of them. Unfortunately, after the excitement of the fresh new year wains, many people get discouraged and distracted and soon enough, they quickly throw in the towel and stop running towards their goal. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 46% of people who made New Year’s resolutions actually stayed committed to the endeavor of pursuing to completion their resolution or change of lifestyle.That means over half of the people who set a goal for the new year will fail! The study also involved people who did not make a New Year’s resolution but set out to achieve a simple goal- only 4% of those people were successful at achieving their goals. The question that needs to be raised is: what got in the way of the pursuit? 

Considering our Christian journey is far more important than mere earthly plans, I cannot help but apply this situation to spiritual pursuits, our spiritual race. How often do we set our hearts at running the race set before us-towards pursuing more of Christ and the knowledge of Him- and become distracted, discouraged, and entangled in worldly temptations that pull us away from Him? I know for me, the distractions around me sometimes feel inescapable and overwhelming. But we have inspiration…we have a model to look to- Christ!

In chapter 12 of the book of Hebrews we see an encouragement regarding our Christian race that we need to fix our gaze upon Christ because He is our example:

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” .

(Hebrews 12:1-2, NKJV)

Jesus is not only our example on this Christian pilgrimage, but He is also the One who endows us with the power and grace to keep running our race and to finish well. We are able to keep pressing forward, casting off distractions, discouragements, and disappointment because He is the One who is faithful to complete the work that He began in us. This doesn’t mean that we are free of responsibility on our race. We often determine the pace in which we are running. What has slowed you down on your Christian journey? Are you looking backwards? Have you been caught in the trap of sin that has stolen your zeal for Jesus? These are all questions we need to ask ourselves. Hebrews 12:1-2 commands us to lay aside every weight and snare and to fix our eyes on Jesus, knowing that He loved us so much that He endured the cross to purchase our freedom from sin. That should be enough motivation for us to keep running after Him and glorify Him with our life. Worldly temptations, distractions, and discouragements will inevitably come, but we do not have to be ensnared by them and give up on pursuing God. Let us make a commitment this new year to lay it all aside to run after the Lord and the things of His Kingdom like never before. 

Father God, 

I have such a desire to pursue You and grow in the knowledge of You, but I feel surrounded by so many distractions and temptations that keep me from being faithful on my Christian journey. I repent for allowing myself to be ensnared by sin that does not satisfy. You are the only One who can truly satisfy my soul. Help me to cast off all things that would entangle me and keep me from running the race set before me with fervor. Please give me wisdom on how I can limit my distractions and set boundaries in my life so that I can prioritize spiritual things. I find my hope in You and trust Your joy will keep my heart from growing discouraged. I fix my gaze upon You, Jesus. Thank You for Your faithfulness, for Your nearness, and for Your Holy Spirit that empowers me to say no to distraction and stay focused on Kingdom matters. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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Clinging to Contentment

As Americans, our culture seems to have a desire for more, more, more, especially when it comes to material things. Even if we don’t need it, if it is on sale, oftentimes, we feel drawn to purchase the item. We are becoming consumed with consumerism. Perhaps it is time to ask ourselves, if we are always seeking and reaching for more, are we truly satisfied in Christ alone? Are we looking to material things, people, or great circumstances to find peace or joy? Are we content with what God has already provided for us? 

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he begins to share with the church at Philippi encouragement about learning how to rejoice no matter what is going on in life and gives the people direction in what they need to focus on. 

In Philippians 4:8, he exhorts:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

If the Philippians would put this into practice, they would experience the peace of God.

As Paul nears the end of his letter to the church at Philippi, he reflects on God’s perfect provision:

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”

(Philippians 4:11-12, ESV)

He ends that thought with the famous verse, proclaiming that he can do all things through Christ that gives him strength. What is most encouraging about this verse is its context: contentment. The secret to finding contentment regardless of circumstance, having plenty or being hungry, that Paul is talking about is Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the One who gives us the strength and ability to remain content no matter what we are experiencing. True contentment is knowing that Jesus alone can satisfy our souls. True contentment is satisfaction of having our emotional well-being detached from our circumstances and bound to God and His wonderful grace. The world, the flesh, and the devil will perpetuate dis-satisfaction in your soul. Dis-satisfaction happens when you fixate on the source of the problem, and you begin believing your deserve more than what you have. When we search for fulfillment in things, people, or even our circumstances, we will always come up short. All of these things we try to fill our lives with aren’t necessarily bad things, but when they become the end goals, and the reason for our being, they become idols in our life. We end up being discontented because those things were never meant to fulfill us. Jesus is the only One who can bring true contentment into our life. We must learn how to disconnect our hearts from the allurements and attractions of this world and cling to Christ instead. We must remain humble and grateful no matter our circumstances. Let us ask the Lord to help us to seek contentment and hold onto it regardless of what we may be experiencing. 

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord,

I am struggling with discontentment. Help me to guard my heart from discouragement and complaining. Teach me how to find ways to praise You when my expectations are not met or I become uncomfortable in my current circumstances. I know I need to trust in Your sovereignty and lean upon Your ways over my own. Your grace is sufficient for me, and I thank You for always guiding me into truth and convicting my heart when I fall into the sin grumbling and complaining, thinking that I know better than You. My lips long to praise Your great name. I know that at the point of great need, You pour out Your grace. Help me to remain humble and grateful. Thank You for Your love for me and for changing my heart to reflect Yours. I pray You would use all things to transform me and strengthen my faith in You. May I find contentment in You alone and cling to it each day of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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By What Standard? | My teaching on the Canon of Scripture and The Whole Counsel of God

In August, I was approached by the director of our women’s ministry at my local church and informed that the women’s ministry was looking to expand it’s teaching team.

“Your name came up several times among the elders. We would love to have you teach the ladies this year!” she said.

Of course, I was absolutely honored by that statement and invitation to teach the ladies of our church for this ministry year- the theme coincides with the very same theme for the whole church: “People of the Book.”

Instead of going through a book of the Bible like we have over the last couple of years, each meeting will have a specific topic that unpacks different aspects about the Bible and how to study God’s Word. The ladies of our church gather once a month on a Friday night for a time of fellowship, food, worship, and teaching and table discussions; My teaching was scheduled for October, which focused on the canon of scripture.

I have spent the last couple of months deep in research and reading as many articles and books as I could get my hands on regarding the topic of the canon of scripture and its attributes. I also spent over 12 hours writing and compiling my message and slideshow. The whole experience was a beautiful labor of love for me- love for the Lord and His Word and love for my sisters in Christ.

Last night was truly such a special moment for me as I had the joy and privilege of bringing finally bringing my teaching entitled By What Standard? The Canon of Scripture and the Whole Counsel of God to a room full of sweet sisters in Christ. I just wanted to stop and thank the Lord for His faithfulness to me. 

I have stood in the role of teacher in a context similar to this one before, but it was many years ago when I was walking in deception and sadly, I had an extremely poor understanding of sound theology, church history, and Biblical hermeneutics. 

By God’s grace, last night was the very first time I stood before sisters in Christ and taught from a solid foundation that was built upon years of being a diligent Berean and student of God’s word after being freed from deception and unBiblical theology and practices. 

It was truly overwhelming and humbling in the best way! I am so grateful that the Lord has given me these abilities and opportunities to serve the Body of Christ like this, and I pray I always approach it with reverence, thankfulness, and humility. 

I also pray that the sheep were edified and the King was glorified in every word spoken! 🙏🏻

Soli Deo Gloria 🙌🏼

Perfect gift from my sisters in Christ from the women’s ministry at The Grove!

*If you would like a copy of my sermon notes and/or slideshow, don’t hesitate to send me an email!*

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Delighting in the Lord

When I am pulled into the temptation of complaining about my circumstances, I must ask myself some questions to gain perspective and do a serious heart assessment: if I am always seeking for an escape from the discomfort or trial, am I truly satisfied in Christ alone? Am I looking to material things, people, or enjoyable experiences to find peace or joy? I am truly content with what God has already provided for me in Christ? We know as believers we can always find answers and direction in the scriptures.

Psalm 37:4 tells us to:
“Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” 

(Psalm 37:4, NKJV)

The Hebrew word translated “delight” literally means to be delicate or feminine. It carries the idea of being pliable or sensitive.  In this specific context in Psalm 37, it means to be dependent upon God and to derive one’s pleasure from Him.

When we read this verse, we usually picture the word delight to mean to enjoy God, which in a way it does. But as I went deeper researching the Hebrew meaning of the word, I realized the verse seems to be a command to us. God is commanding us to find our pleasure and contentment in Him alone.

Here, also in this verse, the Lord is telling us that He will give us the desires of our heart once we fully depend on Him and His ways. When we have a full understanding of who God is and what His ways are like, we can take genuine pleasure in Him. Not because of what He can do for us, but just because of who He is. 

What begins to happen the more we take delight in the Lord, He begins to change our heart and change our desires to reflect His desires. Instead of thinking more about ourselves and what we want, we begin to think more highly of others and become less self-focused and selfish. Suddenly, one of our greatest desires then becomes to please God and tell others about Him, using our life to give God all the glory He deserves. 

Intersecting Faith and Life:

Jesus is the One who gives us the strength and ability to remain content no matter what we are experiencing. True contentment is knowing that Jesus alone can satisfy our souls. When we search for fulfillment in things, people, or even our circumstances, we will always come up short. All of these things we try to fill our lives with aren’t necessarily bad things, but when they become the end goals, and the reason for our being, they become idols in our life. We end up being discontented because those things were never meant to fulfill us. Jesus is the only One who can bring true contentment into our life. May we learn to delight in Him, and over time, we will begin to see how He changes our desires to look more like Him. Take some time to reflect and journal and express your gratitude to the Lord. If you are feeling discontented, ask the Lord to help you find satisfaction and peace in Him alone.

Further Reading:

  • Philippians 4:13
  • 1 Timothy 6:6-11

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Serving Like Christ

“Ministry” is from the Greek word diakoneo, meaning “to serve.” At my church, our pastors believe that every member of God’s Church is a minister, so obviously that would mean that every believer is called to serve- serve Jesus and serve His Body. Jesus was the servant of all. In fact, He was the Servant King. Christ shares in the gospel of John of the importance of serving and following Him as He serves others.

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him”

(John 12:26, ESV).

Jesus asks us as Christians to lay our lives down continually, denying our wants and desires, or as the Apostle Paul said to do, “die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).

Do we know how to do that?

It is human nature to seek after what our hearts and flesh crave, but we do not have to give into that kind of nature for we have a new nature in Christ Jesus (Colossians 3:10/ 2 Corinthians 5:17/ Ephesians 4:24).

Some people have wrong thoughts about God and service, perhaps believing their service doesn’t matter because others have it taken care of. Or perhaps they see pastors as the ones who are qualified for service and ministry, so they don’t need to join in. But we are all priests to our God (1 Peter 2:9)! When we put our hands to the plow, so to speak, in ministry, we are worshiping God. Those who are saved by Christ will eagerly and joyfully serve Christ and His people. We have been clothed in Christ’s righteousness to match Him and follow Him. What clothes are you wearing- the world’s or Christ’s? 

No matter the excuse or wrong thinking regarding ministry and service, we can ask God to help us see the importance of serving the Lord and others. The Holy Spirit empowers us to set aside our selfishness and learn how to be selfless like Jesus, preferring others above ourselves. That kind of lifestyle starts in the mind, in the way we think, as we learn to think of ourselves less and look for ways to put others first. The Lord promises that the Father will honor the one who serves Christ by serving His people. As we learn to prefer others above ourselves, the Lord fills us with His love to the overflow to reach more people for His Kingdom. Let us ask God to help us value the call to serve so we can look more like Him. 

Heavenly Father, 

You are selfless, humble, gracious, and merciful and You ask us as Your children to follow Your example. I cannot do that in my own strength. Thank You for empowering me with Your Holy Spirit and with Your grace to be able to deny my own desires and selfish ambitions. When I mess up or find myself walking pride, thank You for convicting my heart of my self-seeking nature. I need Your help to prefer others above myself. Your Word transforms my mind so that I can learn how to think less of myself and seek to serve You and Your people. I trust that You will help me see what that looks like specifically in my own life. My heart longs to be the servant You have called me to be. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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Yoked with Christ

For most of my life, I was what many would call a “control freak.” The burden of trying to control all aspects of my life, including unexpected life events that wrecked my meticulous and detailed plans or even ending my day with an unfinished task list, became too overwhelming for me that I lived in a constant state of worry and panic. For me, it was just a matter of time before that lifestyle became such a heavy burden upon my shoulders that I could no longer carry; We are not designed to control everything, friends- that’s God’s job. 

One day, Jesus’ words in Matthew 11 beckoned me to come to Him and give Him all of the heaviness I was trying to carry on my own.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, ESV).

I must admit, when I first read His words to “take up [His] yoke” to find rest, I was hesitant. How would taking upon a yoke around my neck bring me rest? I pictured an ox plowing a field with a wooden yoke around its head, and the image didn’t bring about thoughts of peace and rest, but more exhaustion. I saw a yoke as bondage. But that is the beauty of Jesus’ words and the beauty of the Kingdom of God that operates differently than the world’s system. Where I initially saw bondage by surrendering my control, God was revealing to me that His yoke is actually a tool He uses to help us move forward in the destiny that He has for our lives. 

Intersecting Faith and Life: 

When we yoke ourselves together with Jesus, He carries the load upon His shoulders and His peace and rest comes into our lives. His grace carries us while we walk along side of Him, connected to Him, trusting His ways over our own. 

Over time, God has taught me to run to Him first and trust Him with every single detail of my life- true rest is found in Christ. The Word of God is so powerful and the more we study and meditate upon it, our foundation will be strong in Christ, and we will continually know how to look to Him any time stress and anxiety tries to overtake us. Let us always be quick to ask the Lord for His sustaining grace and help in our time of need, looking to Him always because He cares for us. When the cares of this life try to overwhelm you and bring stress and anxiety, instead of taking matters into your own hands, we must remember to come to Him every day for rest and peace. Thankfully, His peace surpasses all understanding and is unlike anything else this world can offer us. 

Further Reading:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Psalm 121:1-2

John 15

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Teach Us to Number Our Days| Using Our Time Wisely

A couple weeks ago, a dear sister from my church reached out to me and asked me if I knew of someone who could disciple her or if I happened to have time to walk alongside of her. Since I recognized the rarity of such a request, I wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to walk with my sister as we grew closer to Christ together through His Word. We decided to focus on a study of the attributes of God. Each week will be a new attribute. Week one was on the aseity of God, which simply means the self-existence and eternality of God. God had no beginning, and He has no end; He is eternal and all source of life comes from Him. 

Conversely, we as humans know nothing of life without time from the moment we are born. Eternity is so incredibly foreign to us as we experience the constraints and consequences of time here on earth. Although God exists outside of time, He is the creator and cause of it and has a purpose for it. The Lord won’t keep eternity from us forever but longs for us to have it too in Christ. One day we will get to taste unending days that ever-increase with beauty and joy with Him, but until then, we must see time as a gift from God and learn how to use it wisely all for His glory. 

I am reminded of a verse in Psalm 90, which is a prayer written by Moses. Moses asks the Lord:

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom”

(Psalm 90:12, ESV)

Understanding that God is sovereign over all things, including your life, means that you realize that you cannot exceed your lifespan by a single moment. Wisdom is knowing that time here on earth is fleeting, and we do not know what tomorrow brings, so we should not take a single breath for granted. Wise Christ followers are mindful that wasting time limits our fruitfulness and effectiveness for God’s Kingdom. Distracted disciples don’t further the Kingdom of God, so we must learn how to prioritize our time rightly for God’s glory. The Lord has given us work to do and that is to see the gospel spread to the nations and raise up more disciples. Ultimately, numbering our days should be a thrill and a joy. We should wake up everyday longing to not only spend time with the Lord, but to move forward with His mission to give Him glory through all that we say and do.

What has become a distraction for you recently that may be getting in your way of being productive for Christ? Are you giving more of your time to worldly, temporal pursuits? Do you find yourself making excuses and giving into laziness when it comes to prioritizing your time to put God first in your life? Often where we spend most of our time is a big indicator of what/who has your heart and devotion. Let us ask the Lord to help us be cognizant of how we are spending our time and how we can wisely prioritize the gift of time. One day we will be free from the bounds of time where we will get to spend forever with the Lord, but until that day, let us give God our best with the time we have here on this earth. 

Let’s pray:

Father God,

Help me to see time, not as a thief, but as a gift from You. Although You exist outside of time, You have caused time to exist and have a purpose for me to fulfill while I am here on this earth. I ask that You would help me overcome the temptation to waste my time or give into laziness. Like Moses prayed, teach me to number my days that I may use them wisely and for Your glory. I want to make every moment full of God-honoring choices that point those around me to You that they may come into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to untangle from worldly pursuits that are not fruitful and give my all to your Kingdom work and purposes. My life is in Your hands, and I am grateful for every breath that comes from You as it is another opportunity to praise You. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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Guarding Your Mouth

As Christ followers, our speech should reflect Him and His ways and be seasoned with grace, humility, and love. If we confess our faith in Christ, there should be evidence of our changed speech as well as our changed life and behavior. When people meet us, they should hear and see something different than the rest of the world who does not follow the Lord. 

I admit, I struggle with taming my tongue, especially if I am caught up in my emotions and/or sleep deprived or hungry. My flesh wants to rule, and one way that happens in my life is how I am wielding my words. 

If there was one verse from the Bible that I should have tattooed under my eyelids, it would be from Psalm 141:

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3, NKJV).

This has become a constant prayer for me, especially as I am seeing how my speech is influencing my children. Children are little sponges, and they pick up on everything we say and do. My oldest is becoming a master of sarcasm thanks to me. I see my sinful speech tendencies in my children, and I don’t want these habits to form into consistent behavior. Out of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34), so our words are a reflection of what is going on in our heart. We should take pause when we see ungodly speech become consistent in our life, repent, and ask God to help us guard our mouth and choose our words wisely or know when to be silent. 

Even in disagreements, we should continue to speak with a heart of love for others and not use profanity or offensive remarks that would hurt or cause pain. We should also be careful to not grumble or complain or speak ungraciously about someone, but to use our tongue to proclaim our thankfulness unto the Lord as well as speak good and edifying things of others. Taming the tongue is something we must grow in each day as the Lord sanctifies us. The good news is that we are never left on our own to walk in that type of self-control regarding our words. It is not something we can do apart from the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. The temptation to use our tongue for our own benefit and reputation is strong but let us be quick to ask the Lord for His help daily as we continue to grow in the likeness of Him, especially in our speech.

Dear Lord,

I repent for using my tongue to puff myself up above others, complain about my circumstances, or hurt others with painful words that cut deep to the heart. I need Your help to control my tongue in times of strife or disagreement with others. I want my words to glorify You and share Your truth and gospel. I pray that my actions would also reflect my speech. I long for my walk with You to match my profession of faith. Help me to guard my mouth and to choose my words wisely or know when it’s best not to say anything at all. When my flesh wants to rule, I trust that You provide a way out every time I am tempted to use my words in a foolish way. Thank You for continually working in me and through me, so that I may look more and more like Jesus in word and deed. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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