To say that I grew up in a day when life was more simple would be an astounding understatement. When I picture the contrast of life in 1979 (I was 15) and 2017 it is almost as if I am picturing two different planets.
A typical day in my 15-year-old life would have included waking up, eating breakfast with my family, going to school where the highlight of the day was walking around the hall during breaks and eyeing the cute boys (yep, I married one of them.) After school there was band practice on Tuesday and Thursday nights and a football game on Friday nights. Sometimes I had a date for Saturday night. I worked at the local pharmacy on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons. Sunday morning and Sunday evening found me in church where the majority of my friends could also be found.
Talking on the telephone meant having a conversation via a phone that was * gasp * attached to the wall by a very long cord that we stretched farther than it should have been so that we could talk in private in our bedroom. We also communicated with our friends via handwritten notes that got passed during class. Awkward!
I read a lot of books and kept a handwritten diary. I did not lay eyes on a computer until my first year of pharmacy school (1984). A mobile phone was not even on the landscape of my mind until 1991, and I had certainly never heard of texting, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat.
Life was incredibly simple for me. Today it is less so for the majority of people I know, and I believe that is one reason why most of us have a hard time developing an intimate relationship with Jesus. We simply have too much pulling at us.
Kids in every sport under the sun
Activities, activities, activities.
No time to slow down and simply be with Jesus.
I do not think it takes a degreed theologian to see that Satan has found an effective way to keep us from having an intimate relationship with Christ by keeping us busy…focused on things that have little or no eternal value.
Which means that if you and I really want an intimate relationship with Jesus we must be the ones to throw up a STOP sign and say, “Enough”.
Is your relationship with Jesus important enough to prompt you to set aside a couple of days to COME AWAY with Him? You see, you will have to be intentional in the pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus. You must decide that there is nothing more important to you than that relationship, and you will have to carve out time to meet with Him and allow Him to speak into your heart.
Last week in THIS POST I shared a teeny bit of information about the upcoming Come Away retreat on which the Lord and I are working. You were prompted to consider whether you desire a more intimate relationship with Christ. I told you this retreat would be a time of worship, Bible study, prayer, and time alone with Jesus. I asked you to pray about attending Come Away. I was blessed by the response from many women. Come Away 2017 will offer 7 ladies the opportunity to do just that. May I share with you a few more details about the retreat?
September 15th-17th will find 7 ladies joining me to spend the weekend together in a beautiful, rustic log cabin on Lake Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge, Georgia. There will be three sessions of worship and Scripture teaching during the weekend, as well as ample time and space, both inside the cabin and outside around the lake, for private reflection and prayer. As we cook and share meals together, we will pray for and encourage one another to pursue Jesus like never before.
At Come Away we will seek to lay aside mobile devices, social media and other distractions in order to fix our gaze on Jesus, Our Beloved. My prayer is that each woman will leave the retreat knowing that she is perfectly safe, deeply loved, and completely accepted by Jesus.
The retreat price will include your accommodations, food, materials, and all sessions. You will only need to bring your Bible, writing instruments, personal items, and a heart that longs to meet Jesus.
bunk style accommodation ~ $300
one private room accommodation ~ $350
There are six bunk-style (twin on top, full on bottom) beds on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the cabin and one private queen room on the 2nd floor.
You may pay the entire fee at one time, or in two installments of 50% each, but all fees must be paid by September 1st. In case you need to cancel your attendance at the retreat, fees are refundable until August 15th, with the exception of $75.
Because I am seeking women who are serious about an intimate relationship with Jesus, registration requirements will be a bit unique.
Beginning now, be willing to commit to pray over your time at Come Away, asking the Lord to give you a prepared heart for what He desires to do that weekend.
In a letter or email, tell me your story (where you have been and where you are now spiritually) and why you desire to attend Come Away. I will need to have this piece of the registration in my hands before you pay your fee. Do not send money with your letter. I will prompt you to register and pay your fee once I receive your letter. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is PO Box 113, Blairsville, GA 30514.
Registration will be first come, first served.
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! Go HERE for more information.
I am praying for you and I hope you will join me in September. For retreat schedule and more information, please see THIS POST.
What does your prayer list/journal look like? If it is anything like mine, it is filled with a whole passel of painful things as well as random praises sprinkled throughout. Let me give you a sampling of the things over which I am currently praying:
A marriage that has had the tarnation beat out of it….but the couple has decided to try one more time and work it out
An inoperable brain tumor in a loved one
An overwhelmed single mom of a handful of kids
A family with several members who need Jesus
An alcoholic who has no interest in Jesus or in life
New community Bible study groups beginning at our church (Yay!)
A beautiful 20-something who is battling an eating disorder
My new church (How blessed we are to have it!)
A family whose 50-something dad is battling an aggressive form of dementia
A precious elderly saint who is going blind while dealing with a husband with dementia
A friend in the battle of their life with alcohol
And SO MUCH MORE!!!
Even with the good things sprinkled in, there are some days I can hardly open my journal without crying. There is so much hurt in our world, so much pain, so much mess. How can I make a difference? How do I even process it all? Some days all I can do is put my head down on the table and cry out, “Jesus, please help.”
Into all of it comes Romans 12:12:
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
I have to remind myself that because of Jesus, there is hope for every situation. It is always too soon to give up on Jesus and the work that He longs to do in the lives of other people, and in my life. I have a flip calendar in my downstairs bathroom and one of the pages says, “I have hope and I’m not afraid to use it.” I love that. People, we must hold onto the hope of new life and healing and strength and provision that Jesus can offer. We must.
We also must be patient in trials and tribulation. Oh yeah, I want life to be easy, but the reality is that it usually is NOT. I want hurt and pain and trials to pass quickly….like a day off work…zoom, and it is over. Problem is sometimes God needs some time to work some junk out of us and trials are the only way it will happen. I know you are glad you stopped in and read this post today! We must be patient as we go through trials, remembering that God has allowed that trial for some reason. We must trust that He will make it pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.
Finally, we must be constant in prayer. It is so important to stay in relationship and communication with God. In the good times and the bad, we need to have that ongoing dialogue with Him. He wants to hear from us. We need to hear from Him. So, friends, let us
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
My sister and I spent a lot of time with our paternal grandparents when we were children. Many Saturday nights found us spending the night at their home while our parents went out to dinner with friends. It was a Saturday night ritual that gave me wonderful memories of love and laughter.
Because of the time I spent with my grandparents, I had a window into their lives and faith. My Grandma, especially, had a deep and abiding faith in Jesus. It was not a faith that was easy-come, easy-go. No, she had seen some heartache and trouble in her life and had found Jesus to be faithfully present through it. As I circled around her life, I got the sense that Jesus was her best friend and that she really, really trusted Him. She spoke of Him in an easy, familiar way that caused me to wonder how exactly one would go about having Jesus as a best friend and confidante’. It would be a few decades before I would understand how to have with a full-on, intimate relationship with Jesus like that of my Grandma.
What about you?
Is Jesus your best friend?
Do you trust Him completely with your life…with the life of your family…with your money…with your health?
Do you tell Him everything?
Are you willing to fling open your arms and say “here I am….I am yours…do with me as you will, even if it hurts”?
Once you have asked Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins, then you will be able to journey with me into this post. But, if you have not yet done that, you will never have an intimate relationship with Him. If you want to know more about why I believe in Jesus and made Him my best friend, please see THIS POST.
Today in our time together I am seeking to take you to a deeper place of intimacy that comes after you have established that saving relationship with Christ. A place of complete trust in Him….more trust than you have ever placed in any human. A place of obedient surrender to His desires for your life.
You see, I’m convinced that an astounding number of Christians do not have that intimate, best-friend-in-the-entire-world relationship with Jesus. They have a saving relationship with Him, but that is where it stops, and that is precisely where I was about 20 years ago. I had asked Jesus to come into my heart, forgive me of my sins, and one day when I died, take me to live with Him in heaven. But, I did not have an intimate friendship with Him and I wanted one. I wanted that deep, abiding trust in Christ that my Grandma had.
And I finally figured out how to get it.
Please do not misunderstand me. I do not have it all figured out when it comes to the Christian life. God teaches me something new almost every day. He points out things in my life that need to go and be replaced with His things. There are still many days that I am painfully aware of my lack of success at this Jesus-walk.
The results of my recent survey told me that women are struggling, y’all. Probably men, too, but my heart is women. We are struggling in our marriages, our jobs, our parenting, our choices, and in our view of who we are in Jesus. I believe that I have learned some things that Jesus would like for me to share with a few somebodies who are desperate to know Him better. A few women who want like crazy to experience Jesus as their very-best friend.
About six months ago the Lord began tugging on my heart-strings with the idea of an intimate retreat for women where the focus is spending time with Jesus in worship, prayer, Bible study, and quiet time. At first I resisted thinking I had little to offer, but God would not give up. As I prayed into the idea, He confirmed what I sensing in my heart. He began giving me plans for the retreat….a name for it, a location, the dates, and the Scriptures that would be taught.
And so today, I am sharing a few details with you. Not everything. Not yet.
I am calling the retreat “Come Away……2017”. The name is taken from Mark 6:31 where Jesus invites His disciples to come away with him and find rest. My prayer and my hope is that a handful of women will so desire a deeper relationship with Jesus that they will say ‘yes’ to His invitation to “Come Away” September 15-17.In the coming weeks I will share more about the retreat, but in the meantime, if you desire a more tender and intimate relationship with Christ, would you begin to pray about attending ‘Come Away….2017’?
Jesus longs to meet you there.
TA-DA! Since you are reading this post a week or so after it went live, I have now posted more details about the retreat. Go HERE to find out the retreat schedule, location, registration and all that jazz.
I’ve kinda, sorta wanted a tattoo for a few years. In fact, I had planned to get one for my 50th birthday, but then just did not do it. I guess I chicken-ed out. So, when the opportunity came along to try out the cute Armed With Truth temporary tattoos, well I immediately jumped at it. In exchange for this review I received one of their Verse Packs and one of their Designer Packs for my own personal use.
Here’s what I thought about this product.
The first one I tried went on super easy. Their are instructions on each tattoo, as well as the pack itself. With only a few steps and a wet cloth, I had my first Scripture tattoo on the inside of my arm. The only mistake I made was positioning it a bit too far down toward my wrist. Why was it a mistake? My watch slid up onto it throughout the day and rubbed it off.
My next application was just as easy, but was applied a bit higher on the inside of my arm. Armed With Truth says that these tattoos will last 3-5 days. I did not find that to be the case….but maybe I just have old skin. As long as their was no friction/rubbing on the area, the tattoo was really good for 1 day, maybe 2. By the third day, there were areas that had definitely rubbed off.
My third application went equally well and lasted about the same as the second. Overall, the wearability of these tattoos is less than expected for me.
Armed With Truth has a ton of options from which to choose for Verse Packs. I chose the Transformed Mind pack because it included a Romans 12:2 tattoo which is one of my life verses. I shared several of the verse tattoos in my pack with some women whose skin does not have quite the age on it that mine has and I will be interested to know if they achieved longer wear times.
Each verse pack costs $10.99 and includes 10 different Scripture tattoos, so they basically cost a bit over a dollar a tattoo.
The Designer pack that I chose was the In Christ Alone pack. It costs $4.99 and comes with two tattoos of the same design.
Armed With Truth Tattoos can be purchased online from their website or in stores where they are carried. They also have a reward program where each purchase from the AWT site earns you rewards to use toward future purchases.
I want to offer you a 20% off coupon code that you can use for purchasing your own temporary Scripture tattoos. It is such a great way to carry Scripture with you for memorization. Please use the code ‘leahadams’ to get 20% off your purchase from Armed With Truth.
Y’all, there is also a giveaway of some of the tattoos that runs until May 5th, so click the link below to hop over and enter the giveaway of 1 FREE SCRIPTURE PACK and 1 FREE DESIGNER PACK.
This was a fun product to review. I’d love to hear if you have or want a tattoo.
I am not a lazy woman. Most days I have a list of tasks that need accomplished and I revel in checking off that list throughout the day. As I have shared here and here before, rest is not something that comes easily to me. I have to be very intentional about carving out times of rest and relaxation. I definitely do not want to have to re-travel the road of God having to put me on my back in order to convince me to rest.
So, why is it that for someone who is so driven in daily tasks, it is sometimes easy to slide into laziness in my Christian walk? Oh, you too?
That brings me to Romans 12:11, the verse that we are studying in our Authentic Christianity series this week.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (ESV)
Let’s take a look at the verse in the NIV.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (NIV)
As we have already studied in this series there are certain behaviors and attitudes that mark a Christ-follower.
There are also other actions that mark a believer:
Sharing Christ with others
Making life and character choices that are godly
I am diligent about some of these things, but not so much with some others. I do very well with staying in Bible study, but sometimes grow lazy in my prayer life and in sharing Jesus with other people. Whether consciously or unconsciously, I fall into Satan’s trap of thinking that my prayer life is not as important as staying in the Word. Now, that makes about as much sense as me deciding that I will read all about my husband, Greg, but it really is not important for me to talk with him. Our relationship would never grow and deepen if we did not talk to each other. Same thing with my relationship with the Lord. If I only read about Him in the Word, but never have conversations with Him, my faith will stagnate.
Then, there is the issue of talking about Jesus and what He has done in my life with other people. Sometimes I am timid about it. Sometimes I am fearful of what others will think of me. But, according to Scripture, believers in Jesus have everything we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3), and that means we are equipped to share Him with others. Could it be that I am not remembering the sacrifice Jesus made for me? Perhaps I have grown lazy in my remembering the cross and the empty tomb?
Y’all, I do not want to be lacking in enthusiasm and passion for serving my Jesus. I want to always remember the sacrifice that He made for me. So, how do we keep our spiritual fervor?
Well, I think that it has to start with remembering…remembering what Jesus has done for us…remembering what He has saved us FROM, as well as TO. It also includes staying diligent in studying His Word and in prayer. I am convinced it also requires me to stay in fellowship with other believers. Christian community is where we are encouraged and, yes, even corrected when we stray.
The better you and I know Jesus, the more we love Him. A vibrant Christian walk does not just happen, friend. It requires diligence and work. It requires sacrifice and persistence. But, it is so worth it.
So, let’s not be Eeyore Christians….walking around all gloomy and negative. Let’s show the world that walking with Jesus is exciting and fulfilling by maintaining our spiritual vibrancy!
Are there other ways you maintain your passion for Christ? I’d love for you to share them in the comments.
Then there are the references to 1260 days or 3 ½ years or 42 months or a time, times, and half a time. What in the world do those mean? Unlike Eeyore, the gloomy friend of Winnie the Pooh, who said, “Days, weeks, months. Who knows?”, we can know exactly what is being referenced if we take the time to study. If you calculate them out, they are all referring to the same amount of time. Today in our study of Revelation 11, we will be all about numbers, so let’s get started.
Prepare for a whirlwind tour of Scripture, y’all, because I want us to look at each passage where these number references are used and see what we can learn. It will make for a long post, but I am going to give you each Scripture, rather than sending you off to look each one up. Each of these verses are an entire teaching by themselves, so I do invite and encourage you to go to the passage and read the surrounding verses to gain context. We will start in the Old Testament.
He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
This verse does not specifically use the above references, but rather a general reference to the same amount of time
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is pour out on the desolator.
And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished.
…but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.
…and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.
There is an agreement among biblical scholars that the time period being referred to by each of these descriptors falls into what we would call the ‘tribulation’ period. In addition, most scholars agree that the people being referred to in these passages (saints of the Most High, the many, the woman, the holy people) are the Jewish people.
Let me elaborate for a moment on one verse in this grouping that I believe will help you with a better understanding. In Daniel 9:27 we hear the prophet proclaim this:
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is pour out on the desolator.
If you look at this verse in context (remember, context is king) you discover that it falls within a larger discussion of the 70th week of Daniel. For more on the 70th week, please see THIS POST from earlier in our study.
In a nutshell, Daniel’s 70th week refers to the seven years of tribulation just before the return of Christ. The passage tells us that at the beginning of the seven years, antichrist will enter into a covenant with Israel…a covenant that favors Israel, restoring sacrifices and offering for them (which means there must be a temple in which to offer sacrifices at that time). But, and this is a HUGE but, in the middle of the seven-year covenant, antichrist will break the covenant with Israel and turn on them. There will be unprecedented persecution of Israel in that day. This time of persecution is what is being referred to in most of the verses we examined today.
What we do not know for certain is whether the testimony of the two witnesses in Revelation 11 runs simultaneously with this persecution. It could, but it also could span a different portion of the seven years. That is something we will likely have to wait until it happens to find out.
After a decent amount of study, I believe (you may believe differently, and that is okay) that the 42 months/1260 days/time, times, and half a time/3 ½ years of intense persecution of Israel begins with the sounding of the 7th trumpet. I also believe that this time of persecution, what Matthew 24:21, Revelation 2:22 and Revelation 7:14 calls ‘the great tribulation”, takes place in the last half of what we call the tribulation period. Then, there is this little matter of the rapture which we will discuss in much more detail beginning May 8th.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what we have studied today. Share in the comments.
Have you ever watched a sea gull? When in flight he powerfully lifts himself higher and higher with every flap of his wings until he is higher than any other gull. Then, he gracefully circles down to the earth. The gull seems to be all about performing and excelling.
What happens, though, when Mr. Gull gets into a flock of gulls? It is not a pretty sight. There are territorial fights over food that cause feathers to fly everywhere. The word ‘share’ is not in the gull’s vocabulary. Philip Yancey said that ‘they are so fiercely competitive and jealous that if you tie a red ribbon around the leg of one gull, making him stand out, you sentence him to execution. The others in his flock will furiously attack him with claws and beaks, hammering through feathers and flesh to draw blood. They’ll continue until he lies flattened in a bloody heap.”
By contrast, consider a flock of geese. You’ve seen them flying in a V-formation, honking all the way to wherever they are going. Scientists know that geese fly faster in that V-formation. The lead goose is the one doing all the work, flying against the wind. It is because of this that there is a regular swapping of positions among the geese in the V which allows the flock to fly long distances without stopping to rest. Everyone shares in the tough job.
The geese with the easiest jobs are those in the back…the last one on each end of the V. It has been observed that the stronger geese allow the weaker and older of the flock to stay in these lighter-work positions. All that honking may even be a way for the geese to encourage one another to keep flying.
If a goose becomes too sick or weak to fly, she is not abandoned. A healthy goose will stay on the ground with the sick or weak one until she is ready to fly again. While gulls are individualistic and territorial, geese are concerned about the flock as a whole, as well as their individual goose-friends.
Into this story we insert today’s verse in our Authentic Christianity study. Check out Romans 12:10.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
The kind of love that is being spoken of in this verse is the love of a friend or a family member, rather than romantic love. As Christians we are to be tenderly affectionate toward other Christians. We are to seek the good of our Christian brothers and sisters, rather than maligning them and dishonoring them. The apostle Paul echoed this admonition in Philippians 2:3 when he told the believers in Philippi to consider others better than themselves.
I will just tell you that the last part of Romans 12:10 is hugely convicting to me. HUGELY! I fail miserably at showing honor to other people. Oh sure, I honor my parents and those who are older than me. But, I sometimes get a big old ‘F’ when it comes to honoring those who seem to be making poor life choices or are different than me. This should remind us of Romans 12:3 where we are told to ‘not think more highly of ourselves than we ought’. If we take this verse seriously, we will show real appreciation, respect, and care for others. We will put their welfare before our own, and we will be Jesus-with-skin-on to them.
Sometimes when I sit to write these lessons I am so overwhelmed by the enormity of what I said ‘yes’ to that I just have to drop my head and remind myself that the Lord will teach it through me. Y’all this is hard stuff to communicate.
I completely forgot to give you the Revelation 11 drawing by Lisa to download and print a couple of weeks ago, so here it is. And by the way, there are two pages rather than our usual one pager.
Today we are going to camp on one verse in Revelation 11, but it is a verse that is pregnant with material to ponder. Let’s take a look at verse 3.
And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth.
I think the immediate question should be this: Who are the two witnesses? Is it possible to even know their identity?
Great question. So glad you asked, although I will disclose that scholars are divided on the answers, as is the case in so much of The Revelation.
From what I can read, there are about seven generally discussed ideas for the identity of the two witnesses. I am going to list them, along with any other pertinent biblical references, and give you my thumbs up or thumbs down on each. Not that my thumbs mean much of anything!
The Church who has a responsibility to witness to the world.
The Church of Jesus Christ does have a responsibility to witness to the world, however there is no mention of the church since Revelation 3. The church’s job is not to be destructive, but redemptive. In addition, physical descriptions such as what they do and their clothing are given for these witnesses which leads me to give a THUMBS DOWN to this identity.
An historical figure or group.
This, too, would be a hard sell, so THUMBS DOWN.
The Old and New Testaments, or perhaps the Law and the Prophets
Again, there is a definite physical description of these witnesses and we are told that the witnesses are eventually martyred, so THUMBS DOWN.
Zerubbabel, a civic leader, and Joshua, the high priest from Zechariah 4
This is loosely based on the similarities between the descriptions in Zechariah 4 and Revelation 11 of the witnesses. They are described as two olive trees and two lampstands in Revelation, but two olive trees and a seven-branched lampstand in Zechariah. No other similarities seem to exist to me, so THUMBS DOWN.
Enoch and Elijah – Genesis 5:24 and 2 Kings 2:11
These two men did not experience death the way the rest of us do. Enoch walked with God and was no more, while Elijah was taken in a whirlwind. These two witnesses will be martyred and experience a death and a resurrection. This sets them up as loose possibilities, in my mind, for being the two witnesses, but again, I give this a THUMBS DOWN.
Moses and Elijah
This identification is the most popular one and makes really good sense to me. Allow me to give you some commentary from The New American Commentary – Revelation for your pondering pleasure. (See link to order this commentary below.)
The rationale for such identification is that Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets, one of the major ways by which the Hebrew canon was divided. The Law and the Prophets witnessed to Christ, and hence Moses and Elijah would be representative of those who have borne witness to Christ across the ages. Additionally, the transfiguration narrative (Matthew 17) provides a previous appearance of the two witnessing that Christ is the fulfillment of both the Law and the Prophets and conceivably even indicating the two different kinds of circumstances that exist for the transfer of the saints to glory: Moses prefigures those who die in the Lord, and Elijah represents those who are taken immediately into heaven at the return of Christ. However, the most convincing argument resides in the nature of the work of the witnesses. Like Elijah, they shut up the sky so that it does not rain; like Moses, they turn the waters into blood and strike the earth with other kinds of plagues as often as they wish. (emphasis, mine)
I’m giving this one a THUMBS UP, but also remembering that God doesn’t have to work in ways that make sense to humans. Therefore,
It is impossible and unnecessary to identify the witnesses, leaving us to focus on their tasks rather than their identity.
Important side note: The word ‘witness’ comes from the Greek word martus, from which we glean our word ‘martyr’.
Okay, it is your turn. Which of these identities for the two witnesses makes the most sense to you?
We will visit with these two dudes again next week.
NOTE: If you are reading this post via email, you will need go to my website in order to see the video and access the GIFT I have for you. Click HERE to go to my website. When you arrive there, please look for the Friday, April 14th post.
Today I wanted to offer a video post because I hope to be able to convey how important I believe this week’s posts have been. Surely, I am not the only one out there who is desperately in need of a word make-over! Surely, I am not the only one in need of grace for her tongue. Surely, I am not the only one who needs accountability in her life?
I hope you will take the time to watch the video. I also hope you will be sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit in your own heart. Here are links to my Monday and Wednesday posts that I reference in the video.
I would love to hear from you if you decide to take a journey similar to mine. You can use these principles for more than just changing words. They can be used to break free of all kinds of strongholds…lying, anger, alcoholism, adultery, pornography, overeating and so much more. Scripture memorization, prayer, and accountability. Three tools that have the blessing of God for you, His child.
May this gift will be a blessing to you, my readers. I hope it will help you in your journey toward words of grace. Please click the blue button below and follow the prompts to download and print your Grace-Full Scripture Cards.
On Monday I shared with you the beginning of my journey toward speaking words of grace rather than negative words. If you did not catch that post, you really, really need to go HERE and read it because today’s post will not make sense without the the Monday post. So, head on over and read it and I’ll be waiting right here.
This has not been an easy journey because I have come to realize how often negative, critical, grumbling words fill my mouth. As a woman in ministry, I am embarrassed to have to tell you that I have failed in this area time and time again. This is basic Christianity 101, yet here I am in the Holy Spirit’s remedial class. BUT, I’m thankful that He is patient and loving with me, and that He is giving me opportunities to change.
So, on Monday I shared about how prayer and Scripture memorization were key to my journey. Today, I want to share with you how I utilized the process of accountability in my efforts.
Remember my two friends who were the unfortunate recipients of my negative words at lunch that day? Well, the Holy Spirit instructed me to ask them if they would be willing to be my accountability partners in my journey. Here is the email that I sent to my precious friends.
The Holy Spirit has troubled my spirit deeply over my actions and words yesterday. I have asked for forgiveness from Him and you, and I know that I have received it. Yet, I feel there is an action that He is prompting me to take and I am coming to you for help.
I have a question for you. And please know, up front, that it is perfectly okay if you need to say no – I promise! I’m looking for some accountability *just* for the month of March in regard to making ’the words of my mouth acceptable to God’ (Psalm 19:14).
Consistently over the course of my 52 years my mouth has gotten me in trouble….not speaking the truth IN LOVE, speaking when I should not, saying things that are not kind, etc. Yesterday was evidence that I am in great need of a work of the Holy Spirit in this area. My plan is to be diligent in prayer about this and really seek God’s help in controlling my tongue every day. I recognize that my words are a choice and I must choose to not let my tongue be out of control.
I believe that if I can be focused in prayer and effort for the month of March, then controlling my words will become a habit that I can more easily continue. This is where I am asking for your help, if the Lord leads you. Would you maybe be willing to receive a very short email or text from me each morning for the month of March where I can tell you if I was successful the previous day? And if I wasn’t, I can tell you why I don’t think I was. A few sentences, max…I promise not to waste your time in this. Again, if you do not feel led or feel like you can do this, I completely understand. Thank you for considering it.
Both of my friends said “YES”. And so beginning on March 2nd , I ‘reported in’ every morning with my success, or lack thereof, in my efforts to eliminate negative-speak from my life. It is incredible what accountability will do for an effort like this. I knew that I had to report in, and I hated like everything to have to report failure, so I was much more aware of my words throughout the day. Oh, there were a few days where the report was less than stellar, but there were also many wonderfully successful days. In fact, the successful days outnumbered the failure days by a lot.
I learned that in life there are times when negative words must be spoken simply because of circumstances, but they can be spoken without anger and hurt as their fuel. (You must be thinking, what a moron!! She didn’t know that?) I also became much more aware of my thoughts and where negativity was creeping in BEFORE those thoughts became words.
I am happy to report that speaking grace-filled words, or just keeping my mouth shut completely, happens far more often than speaking negative words these days. I still have moments when I slip and speak a negative word, but the Holy Spirit convicts me immediately and I confess my sin. I will likely be a work in progress for a while on this issue, but I’m so thankful that God took me down this path.
Once again today I want to ask you about your words….to your husband or wife….about your husband or wife? About your children…your co-workers…those with whom you attend church….the homeless person on the street….anyone and everyone.
What kind of words do you speak?
Are they anger- or hurt-driven words, or are they words of grace and care?
On Friday I will be back here with a gift for you and some insight from my recent character issues survey. I will also have a challenge for you, so I hope you will join me here. Please go HERE to watch the Friday video post and download your GIFT.
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