Fail not your Lord God,
At any place your trod.
Be in your heart wise and brave,
And from sinning yourself save.
Fail not Christ Jesus at all,
Keep away from doubt whether big or small.
Be in always pure and humble,
Against the Saviour do not grumble.
Fail not the Holy Spirit so dear,
Against evil you do not fear.
Reject the vile ways of the flesh,
And by God’s Word your soul refresh.
Avoid having a vacant mind,
Lest from heavens path you get left behind.
Blank not your mind even mildly,
Lest your life goes on wildly.
Avoid being away from God’s Word in thought disengaged,
Lest by the dark insidious world you get upstaged.
Never ever hollow your soul,
Lest you miss your heavenly goal.
Avoid blankly using your head,
Lest you don’t discern instead.
Avoid not thinking at all,
Lest you don’t do good either big or small.
This is something that I had read sometime back but I feel is still relevant to these days too.
There were once 2 pastors preparing for a Sunday Sermon. One said to himself. I love my congregation, I want them to grow and mature, to learn to be obedient to the Lord and receive His blessing. I will teach them about tithes and offerings.
The other pastor said to himself, “another mortgage payment is coming up, there are still many unpaid bills for the church, and I will need to pay the staff salaries soon. I teach about tithes and offerings.
Now they both prepared an identical sermon, and preached it. So what was the difference?
One sermon was preached by the voice of a shepherd, and the other was preached by the voice of an accountant. And though both sermons were scriptural and true, the latter left a bad taste in the mouth of the congregation, because they watched an accountant pretending to be a shepherd.
Get the accountant out of the Pulpit!
(Source: Robert Brownell)
When in depression or anxiety don’t get impulsive and make a wrong decision. This can further aggravate your situation. Instead wait upon the Lord God. First pray to God and be calm in his presence. Then be patient to receive his wisdom from above. For the Lord can answer from the Holy Scriptures if you read it prayerfully. Or the Holy Spirit can cause people inspired by him with the answer. Sometimes you might just get a thought from above. All you need to do next is to check if it’s consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and accordingly act on it.
All praise to the Lord Jesus the Word of God who is all wise and humble and gracious to those who seek him in spirit and in truth. Glory to the Lord God the giver of all that is eternally good and eternally enduring. Thanks be to God for sending the Holy Spirit to lead us in all truth.
As the world which is away from the truth by the Lord God above you will notice its impurity in what it speaks. The movies keep getting more and more obscene and words in them likewise. What was unacceptable about 40 years ago in the movies is passed of contemporary language these days. More worse is, when they make the children use hideous profanity on-screen. And the worldly literature or what passes off as literature, has many books and articles which contain most shallow and foul-mouthed words. And depending on the reader groups the writer’s cater to, the vile words they use can be outright rude or willfully subtle. What a fallen world indeed!
O people of the Lord God, who call yourself by the name of the Lord do not fall into the world’s slime lest you become a part of it. Stay pure for the sake of the Lord. Practice wisdom in your thoughts, words and actions, so that all people who see you give glory to the Lord, and not find an occasion to slander Jesus Christ the Son of God, on account of your bad behaviour!
Today I write about speaking words that are pleasant. This is going to be simple but effective if you put it into practice. I break it down into three things; thoughts, words and timing.
Thoughts when speaking
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure. (Proverbs 15:26)
What use is it to speak kind words to another when you have deceit in your heart? Have clear and pure thoughts that are presentable to the Lord God when you speak to anyone. For the Lord knows the heart of man. Many vile murderers and fraudsters have all the wrong thoughts though they may use pleasant words when luring their victims to death and loss. Be not like them all. Hate, pride, malice, jealousy, greed, deceit and the like are not the type of thoughts you should expect to be acceptable to the Lord God. And just imagine a seller, trying to be most polite to a prospective buyer, when trying to convince him to buy his house, but inwardly thinks the buyer is too dumb to buy the house. And then either by slip of tongue or by a gossiping servant of the seller the prospective buyer know the true mind of the seller. Then wouldn’t that buyer call off the deal before the sale is made? The seller may suffer losses financially and reputationally but what’s more dangerous is at the end of his or her life he is answerable to God.
So even before you speak pleasant words to others don’t have foolish motives but genuine respect and wisdom when doing so.
The words spoken
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24)
When you have the right intentions why not speak the right words as well? Have the words that are truly acceptable in the presence of the Lord God. I can suggest a few such combinations as the following but do take due diligence and time to find more such words; thank you, please can I, that’s very kind of you, have a great day/weekend, good effort etc. There are people who have the right thoughts but fumble at speaking the right kinds of words that are actually pleasant. A word of advice to such people, God knows your heart when you speak so don’t give up on your good thoughts but please by all means do surely try to improve on the pleasant words you speak. In all humility, even if you are an adult take time to go through books or articles which suggest more gracious words. Be gracious as Jesus Christ when speaking to the poor, widows and orphans etc, for Jesus, never mocked the afflicted but spoke words kind and fully consistent with his Divine calling from the Lord’ so that people received their healing in mind, body and spirit.
So even as you speak use words that are actually pleasant and consistent with the wisdom of the Word of God.
The timing of the pleasant words
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear. (Proverbs 25:11-12)
Doesn’t it makes sense to have the right thoughts and words when its the right time to do so, rather than the wrong time? At funerals people cry out for their deceased loves ones in deep sorrow. Indeed what grief is there especially at the death of a parent or a young baby! It’s important to express your emotions at this stage. However coming to the point, I’ve seen people speak so well of their parents, when for most part of their life, they would neglect their parents or even speak rudely to them. Such is the tragedy of life, that these very people are filled with remorse now want to talk good but the person who they are talking about is longer with them. If only such people could make that time to wish their parent’s all things pleasant while they were still alive. It’s important to speak pleasantly to your loved one’s all the time for you don’t generally know the time of life and death. And when talking to people who are not relatives be it co-workers, government staff etc be sensible and alert enough to speak pleasant words at the right time. Because people can find a person who is pleasant for the sake of it at the wrong time, very repulsive! It’s very risky to thank your manager for helping you avoid the mandatory overtime (due to your illness), in the middle of a meeting with a delegation of clients who take pleasure in dumping loads of work over to all. You can instead thank him or her when such demanding clients are totally away from you both, if you get what I mean.
So always speak kindly to your relatives and loved one’s and speak in due time to the rest, so that you are truly wise steward of the time your Lord God has given you.
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:43-45)
Every person can identified as to what they really stand for by observing their words and actions too. Inward thoughts of a person eventually show up in the way they behave sooner or later. A person who fakes his love for classical music can try to hide his intentions. But when someone asks him about Mozart or Beethoven being the latest new entrants to rap music, he might not know what to do. He might actually say yes he even heard a few of the rap concerts. That’s exactly when he can be told that these men were of the past centuries and actually had more to do with classical music than anything else. A person genuinely interested in classical music will not need to be told much. He will by himself research classical music, try to sing or play the notes on his musical instruments etc.
My point is; genuine actions follow the genuine intentions of the heart and false actions follow the false intentions of the heart. The Lord God is the greatest expert in knowing who is right and who is almost right and who is entirely wrong. He has established wisdom and counsel from of old and knows how to render to each one as per their works.
5 The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them. (Proverbs 12:5-6)
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. (Proverbs 12:22)
The Holy Scriptures should be our standard by which we examine ourselves first and even others later on. Anyone willing to be humble enough to read, pray and accept the Word of God, should not find its standards too difficult to follow. We simply observe our actions and thoughts and correct them if wrong. And we continue with them if they are acceptable to the Lord. While for others and their thoughts and actions, we can be on guard from being influenced by them or correct them.
All praise and adoration unto the Lord God and to Christ Jesus his only begotten Son. Keep us O Lord from all wrong thoughts and intentions in everything that we do. Lead by the Holy Spirit into all truth. Amen.
12 Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-13)
One must take care that one’s motivations are always pure before the Lord. All vanity and pride must cast away from your way of thinking. Be pure in thought, words and deeds always.
Wrongful thoughts of the heart lead to wrongful actions.
14 And Jesus called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy,slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:14-23)
Good works must be accompanied by good intentions.
It could be that you and another person are doing the same thing and yet only one stands justified before God. You see a blind child trying to cross the road and you help him out of pity. Then, we have the other person, who too sees a blind child also trying to cross the road but helps him only to gain the admiration of fellow street walkers. The average person on the street would like that you both help the blind kids out there. However, the Lord God knows the human heart and its secret intentions. The person who had no pity but only wanted fame out of this good act had done in essence what’s called as dead work, spiritual dead work in the eyes of God.
You’d be rewarded for your act of kindnesses towards the blind kid but the person who desired selfish fame won’t be rewarded by God. As to when you’ll receive your reward, it could be any time as per God’s will. Even if you might remember a past good deed that you did with good intentions which is not yet rewarded, do not feel low as God will surely reward you for that on the Day of Judgement.
8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:8-15)
Every person on earth has thoughts. Thoughts are of various flavors. They could be of joy, nostalgia, thrills, beauty, creativity etc. They could also be dark thoughts such as fear, greed, death etc. Some thoughts make you feel free while others put you in a box.
You will continue to have thoughts all through your life. What you make of them is what really matters.
The choice of what you think is totally up to you. You can think great things for the glory of God or you think like the rest of the world who do not focus on Christ. Make the better choice, always.
Now there could a few things that you think of but don’t understand. You might face thoughts of fear. You may have thoughts anxiety about the unknown future. Let me tell you that not just the past and the present even the future belongs to the Lord Jesus. Jesus is Lord of time because he holds the times and seasons in his hands.
When you are getting any thought that’s tempting you to sin bring it to the feet of Jesus. Say to Jesus that you surrender all thoughts of sin that you are facing unto him. Do it in faith.
Don’t entertain thoughts of anxiety. Repel all thoughts of suicide and be very brave Don’t keep worrying. Surrender such thoughts to Jesus who gives life and peace. Remember what the Holy Scriptures say.
1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
What about good thoughts? Don’t just think good thoughts. Surrender them to Jesus as well. The Lord loves to hear when his children tell him their good thoughts. Make your prayers and petitions known to him. The Lord will lead you in all wisdom and truth who makes all things beautiful in his time.