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Surely Surely

I saw this riddle one day.  It said, “I am something that follows you wherever you go. I normally come in pairs. I get messed up by water, wind, and rain. What am I?”  I will give you the answer a little later in this message, but I want to use this to get you to think about things of God that follow those of us who faithfully live for Him.

We can see the answer to this riddle in the book of Joshua.  God tells Joshua, “No man shall be able to stand before him all the days of his life.  As God was with Moses, so He will be with Joshua.  He will not leave Joshua nor forsake him.”  This is an astonishing promise that God makes to Joshua.  In a time when it seemed man was an enemy to every other man, God tells Joshua don’t worry; no man will be able to harm you, not in all the days of your life.  Then He says to Joshua, “Just as I walked with Moses from the time I brought him out of Egypt until his death, I will be there with you.”  He reassures Joshua that He will never leave nor forsake him.  Amazingly, God is not going to find something better to love than Joshua.  By the way, God will not find anything better to love than you, either.

But Joshua was asked to do one thing.  Joshua was to depend on the Lord rather than on himself.  Seems like a small ask, but it is the one thing that God asks of us that we almost always fall short of in some way.  We like to think that we must fight our own battles.  We like to think that we have to take care of our own enemies. We like to think that we must make sure people who bother us must pay the full extent of what is possible.   We like to think that people who bring hurt and harm into our lives should be removed.  And we like to think that if anything good is going to happen in our lives, we must make it happen.  But the way we like to think is the way satan likes for us to think.  It is not the way God’s wants us to think.

Psalms 23:6 tells us, “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.  And I will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.”  God wants us to know goodness and mercy are things He gives to us.  They are not to be sought after by our own efforts.  Rather, they are the product of lives that follow after Him, lives that are dependent on Him for all things.  When you follow God, goodness and mercy will follow you.  When you love God, Love will follow after you.  When you honor God, honor will follow after you.  When you are faithful toward the Lord, faithfulness will follow after you.  When you favor the Lord, Favor will follow you.

God says, surely these things will follow you when you follow Him.  When you allow Him to be your shepherd, goodness and mercy will follow you.  When you allow Him to lead you, goodness and mercy will follow you.  When you allow Him to set your path, goodness and mercy will follow you.  When the Lord is your shepherd, you must be the sheep.  When the Lord is your shepherd, your life is His responsibility; your posterity is His responsibility; your safety is His responsibility.  Surely then, goodness and mercy shall follow after you wherever you go because He is leading you.

And that brings us to the answer to the riddle.  Footprints.  Footprints come in pairs and are easily disturbed by rain and the wind and water.  But here’s the best part.  When Jesus is leading you, the set of footprints that are always following you will be His.  He will lead you to step where He has stepped.  So what you see before you are the His footprints leading you to places where His goodness and mercy can be found in your life.  What you see behind you is goodness and mercy following after you.  You can never capture what follows you unless you pursue after the thing that is leading what you seek.  Pursue the Lord and you will have goodness and mercy following hard after your life, just like footprints.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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True Persons

Today’s message may be a little difficult for some of us to understand right away.  It was difficult for me to study and hear what God said to me about being a true person.  I didn’t even know what a true person was.  My mother used to tell me often, “That is not who you are,” especially when I was about to do something she knew I shouldn’t do.  My mom knew something about me that I didn’t know.  How could that be? I have always wanted to be the best person that I could be.  Don’t all people want that for themselves?  My mom never really said this is who you are; she simply pointed out who I was not.  So, one day, I asked God, not expecting an answer, why wasn’t I the person I was supposed to be?  Then it came to me.  I wasn’t who I was supposed to be because I kept trying to be who I was not.  Now that sounded like my mom.

Then one day I was studying Chapter 23 of the book of Proverbs.  It is a chapter that warns us about hanging out with the wrong people because they do not have our good at heart.  Perhaps verse 7 of this chapter is the most widely known.  Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”  Many of us paraphrase this scripture to say as a man thinks so is he.  That is partially true but not all the truth that God meant.  Paraphrasing is ok, it’s just not exact.  I always tell you this is what a scripture means to me.  I do that because I want you to know there are times when I am paraphrasing something that you should read for yourself.  With this verse, there is more said than what we typically say.

But is a man really the product of his thinking?  Does the life of a man follow his thinking?  I believe the answer to both these questions is yes.  But Proverbs 23:7 is meant to be taken in the context of the verses before it and after it.  When you read the verse in context, you will see that the reference to “for as he thinks in his heart” is not talking about you or me but about other people.  Now don’t be excited too fast.  For you and me are the other people when someone else is considering this verse; they are looking at us.  So how does this help us know our true persons?  Because in verse 6 it tells us we should not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies.  Now a miser is just a reference to a person we might associate with.  Then there is more to verse 7.  It goes on to say that the miser tells you to eat and to drink, but his heart is not with you.  He does not have your best interest at heart.   Verse 8 says the morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up.  I see this saying what the miser offers to us will come back out of us.  Our true persons lie at the heart of the motives we have in our hearts.  We must know the heart of ourselves if we are to know the heart of others.

Proverbs 23:7 is powerful.  We must be careful of how we think because thinking leads to actions.   Life follows our thinking.  If we want to know our true selves, we must learn to recognize the true persons of others.  To recognize the true persons of others, we must get past what they do and get to the heart of who they are and why they do what they do.  A miser is one who hoards things of value and gives away as little as possible or nothing at all.  But this also means this person has already hoarded the good things of the heart before we see it in their actions.  The miser’s heart is not with you; it is after something it wants from you.  Oh now, there is our warning.

So, in a way we should be careful never to hang around someone whose heart is to hoard what is good and to give sparingly.  Why?  Because it will cost us something.  They give so they can get more.  They love so they can get more love.  They friend so they can be thought of more as friends.  They care so they can be cared about more.  They forgive so you must forgive more.  Whatever you give the person whose heart is not with you, it will cost you something of your heart.

A person whose heart is with you will have you at the heart of their lives.  They will give you all they have.  Their every motivation will be for your best interest.  And finally, they will let you see their heart and their true motives because they want you to know the true person they want to be for the true person in you.

So, we ought to let the true persons in us shine through to the eyes and hearts of others.  They will see our actions for sure, but they will also know the true persons of the heart we are.  We must learn to be who we are at the heart of our motives.  That’s where the true person lives.  That is where you will find the person you are supposed to be.  That’s who you are.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Giving Thanks 2021

This week we will observe a national holiday we call Thanksgiving.  Now to some people, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday and to others it is firmly rooted in a special relationship we have with a living God.  I am a believer in the latter.  Thanksgiving is a special time of the year when we take a moment to say, “Thank you, Lord.”  It is a time of year when we look at our blessings and we pause to thank God for the wonders of His great love for us and for the riches that He pours onto us daily.

Psalm 100 is a short book in the bible of only five verses.  It is a Psalm of Thanksgiving.  We are urged make a joyful shout to the Lord (verse 1), then to serve the Lord with gladness (verse 2).  We are reminded that God made us—we didn’t make ourselves, and we are his people and the sheep of His pasture (verse 3).  Then we are urged to enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise (verses 4 and 5).  Be thankful to Him and to bless His holy name.

So, I will look at Thanksgiving the way God asks us to see Him—to give thanks with a grateful heart,  giving what is due to Whom it is due.  I imagine the early settlers in America had some hard times those first years, so they created this day to give thanks for all the things that God did that they couldn’t do.  He gave them rain when it was needed; safety when it was needed; healing when the doctor wasn’t there; a harvest when it was needed; shelter when it was needed; help when it was needed; seed when it was needed; protection when it was needed; friends when they were needed; clean water when it was needed; bread when it was needed; clothes when they were needed; Love because it is always needed; and Jesus because He is all that is needed.

Thanksgiving is more than a turkey dinner with all the trimmings that you get to share with family and friends who share your life throughout the year.  Thanksgiving is a spirit of life that says I will give to God all that I should, and I’m going to give Him the one thing too that is all I need to give Him.  Because like Jesus is all that we need, giving God your life and your grateful thanks is all that you can give Him that He hasn’t already given you.

So, marry gratefulness with thankfulness and go to Him to give Him thanks because of all that He has done for us.  Be grateful for it all because He didn’t have to do anything for us.  Thank You Lord; I am grateful to be one of your people to dwell as a sheep in your pasture.  You didn’t have to do it for me, but You did.  I thank You for that and I am grateful for what it all means to me.

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When Payday Comes

Once while Jesus was teaching, someone in the crowd said, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” (Luke 12:13)   Jesus responded by saying He wasn’t there to be a judge over our desires between one another.  Then Jesus said to others around that they should all be aware of having a spirit of covetousness, of wanting more things.  Life does not consist of the abundance of what we have, Jesus said.  How many of us need this advice?  So many of us live as if our lives depend on getting every penny we are due from others, even if it’s the last penny they have.  Afterall, it’s rightfully ours, and it belongs in our own abundance.  We demand it.  But should we?

Scripture says that Jesus will ultimately judge our lives and not our abundance.  Roman’s 2:5-6 says, “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart, you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of righteous judgment of God, who will give to each one according to his deeds.”  We must understand that the hard work we do to get what is rightfully ours is at the same time self-centered work that God pays us very little for.  If we want what is rightfully due to us from man, God will be obliged to give us what is rightfully His to give us for the work of selflessness we do for Him.

Look at the work you do with your life as it relates to others.  If you want to know the extent of the wages you will be due from God, answer these questions:

  • Do I do what man’s law permits me to do, or do I do what the goodness of God will reward?  You will add or withdraw from your account with God by the way you respond.
  • Do I do what is right for me to do, or do I do what is good in sight of God?  You will add or withdraw from your account with God by the way you respond.
  • Do I forgive others, or do I punish others for needing my forgiveness?  Yes, you will add or withdraw from your account with God by the way you respond.
  • Do I treasure what I have, or do I give what God will treasure?  Once again you are adding or withdrawing from your account with God by the way you respond.
  • Do others make me to have a soft heart towards them, or do they make me harden my heart because of them?  You account with God is going to be smaller or larger by the way you respond.

Let me encourage you to live your life in such a way that your earthly account is rich with the things that are of value to the Lord.  It is then that both your account here on earth and your eternal account with God will be at their fullest.  When you lay your eyes on yourself, you are taking your eyes off the work that matters most to God.  Learn to forgive people the things they owe you, learn to pour into people the things they need from you, and learn to store up things that are of value to man and to God.  In these ways you will be certain that when payday comes, you will receive better good for the little good you do, you will receive greater forgiveness for the little forgiveness you give, you will receive more patience for the little patience you gave, and you will receive perfect Love for the little love that you loved.  If you want to get all that you are due, make certain you are sowing things that that God will give back to you.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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More Than Enough

There is a scripture in the book of Jeremiah that speaks to a bird called a partridge.  A partridge will lay its eggs in a small hole in the sand and then sit on them.  However, partridges are very skittish, fearful birds.  If they are startled by the least little thing, they will flee and abandon their eggs to save their own lives.  A partridge may steal the eggs of other birds and attempt to hatch them, but fear will drive them away from those eggs also.  Fear is a dreadful thing.  Whether real or unfounded, fear can drive us away from where we should be.  Fear is a real thing that is an unreal thing.  We are fearful when we replace what is real with something unreal, something that is in some ways more comfortable to us.  Fear happens most when we feel like we do not have what we want and when we do not understand what we have.

Believers must remember that we always have more than enough of any real thing that we may want or need.  That is because we have the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Psalms 16:5 says, “Or Lord, you are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.”  This passage is a little difficult to comprehend, but here is what I understand.  The Lord provides all that we need for life.  He controls our destinies and how all things will unfold for us.  But this is only if we believe and do not try to take control of our lives ourselves.  He is indeed more than enough for us, more than enough of anything we might need to live a good life here with Him.

We must remain faithful to believe and to trust in Him for our all.  If we turn from the Lord to seek after our own things our own ways, then in some ways we are saying we do not have enough.  But as believers we always have more than enough.  We simply need to believe and to remember that:

  • God will keep us when we put our trust in Him.  We should not trust our ways, for our ways are not His ways. (Psalm 16:1)
  • We can have nothing good that is apart from the Lord.  If He doesn’t provide the good in our life, then what we think is good is no good at all.  (Psalm 16:2)
  • The crooked places of our lives, the high places of our lives, the low places of our lives, the curves in our lives, and all things that would challenge us will be straightened by Him because He provides a good inheritance for us here. (Psalm 16:6)
  • Jesus has the Words of life that give us life.  Though life may sometime seem tough to live, we must stay with Him and not turn away for He is more than enough for us to get through all that is before us.  (John 6:67-68)

Remember that you are never enough to achieve enough for yourself.  Set yourself behind the Lord, and He will go before you, making the way straight for you.  He is at your right hand if you will not remove yourself from His presence.  He will never leave you so alone that you are alone.  He will always show you the Way for your life so that you do not follow a path of your own thinking.  When we come to know that we have more than enough in Him, we will know that in His presence we are full of joy and have all that we need.  We will have no fear for anything at anything.  At His right hand are good pleasures forevermore for all believers.  Have no fear for He is indeed more than enough for us.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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New Every Day

I generally observe three types of people around us.  Those who spend a new day trying to do more of what they did yesterday.  Those who spend a new day trying to have more of what they had yesterday.  And those who spend a new day trying to be more than they were yesterday.  I have been each of these people.  I didn’t want my old self or my old ways to become old. I loved who I was more than I could see how I should love who I could be tomorrow.  I imagine there are lots more like I was.  Yes, I say who I was. We can spend our lifetimes trying to make new days just like the old days because we won’t change our old selves or our old ways.  That is not who I am today.  I have learned that a new day is a new day.  I tell people now that if they are the same person today that they were yesterday, they should go back to sleep and wait for a new person to wake up.

We should have this mindset about us.  We should all want to be better today than we were yesterday and better tomorrow than we are going to be today.  We are not blessed just so that we can stay the same as we are.  God’s blessings are designed to make us want to be more unlike who we are and more like who He wants us to be.  But we find this hard to understand so it is even harder to do.  We want His blessings, but we do not want to change who we are.  Then the world tells us we can come to Jesus just as we are and that is true.  But we should stay with Him, dwell with Him, and live with Him just as He wants us to be.  But we make it so hard to do.  I was one who wanted all that it meant to live with Him, but that really did not mean I was ready to do all that it meant to have that. 

Scripture encourages us in the Lamentations 3:21-23.  It says “My soul still remembers and sinks within me.  This I recall to my mind; Therefore I have hope.  Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”  Through the Lord’s mercies we could be and perhaps we should be, but we are not consumed.  Through His mercies we make it through each new day.  It doesn’t matter if your day was good or bad, it is through His mercy that you made it through.  Be grateful.  Remind yourself that you couldn’t have gotten through today to your tomorrow save for the wonders of His mercies today.

Now, when I find myself trying to live today the way I did yesterday, I am reminded in my soul that His mercies are new every day, and they are new because He wants me to be new every day.  So, I say to myself, don’t let the old me have a say in the new day that is meant for a new me.  When I find myself trying to live today to have more of what I had yesterday, I am reminded in my soul that His mercies are poured out to give me something new today that I didn’t have yesterday.  He doesn’t just brush off the old stuff and present it as new stuff to us.  He gives new stuff because His mercies are new each day.  And now when I find myself living today trying to be more of who I was yesterday, I am reminded in my soul that His mercies are poured into me today to make me be someone better than I wasn’t yesterday.  A new day; a new me; and a new way!

His compassions indeed never fail, nor does He ever run short of His mercies.  Knowing this should help us learn to run short of trying to have what we had yesterday, to run short of trying to do what we did yesterday, and to run short of trying to be who we were yesterday.  If we would give up all the old stuff about us, He would bless us with New Days full of New Stuff and New Ways that He has reserved for the New Lives in us that He loves daily.  Will the New Day see a New You?  I pray that it will.  Life Delivered.  Love you.

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Lord, What Now?

Today’s message will be a powerful message of revelation for some of you.  It is a message that answers a question we never ask.  Why do we find it so difficult to change our ways when we know continuing in the way we are heading is not good for us?  How many of you have ever stopped to ask yourself, “Why won’t I change?”  Sometimes, when we listen to the Lord continually, He gives us answers to questions we never thought to ask, or that we are afraid to ask.  Today will be one of those days for many of you.  You will not change your ways because the longing of your soul for the things you desire is stronger than the longing of the desires your spirit has for you.  Your longing will go unsatisfied until you allow your spirit to rule your soul.  You must learn to change easily.

Here is why I say that.  Our souls are our humanity.  The soul is the place from where all our wants and desires come.  It is the place of our emotions and our needs.  Our soul responds to the things of the world.  If you live more like you are of the world, your soul will rule.  The way you look at life and the way you approach satisfying the desires of your heart will determined by your soul.  Our souls are the place where we look at ourselves and take care of ourselves.  If we need a job, we may pray that the Lord will bless us with a job.  But often we ask this because our practical and emotional needs for work dominate the moment in which we live.

Our spirits are the place in our lives that are focused on God.  Our spirits try to teach our souls to be converted from focusing on ourselves to focusing on God.  But this is hard for many of us to hear and even harder to understand.  Our souls will say to our spirits, “I am focused on the Lord, which is why I prayed and asked Him for help.”  But our spirits respond to us by helping us see that when our lives are really focused on God and not on ourselves, we would pray, “Lord, what now?”  When we tell the Lord we need work, or we need a friend, or we need a favor, we are speaking from our souls for our souls.  But when we ask the Lord what now, we are coming at Him from our spirits, asking Him to direct our minds, thoughts, and emotions so He can direct our ways.

Why do you think so many of us are unwilling to change our ways?  Why do we pray for people, but those people never seem to change?  It is because they do not want to change their emotions because it would change who they are.  So, they do not have fulfillment because they do not change so that they can have fulfillment.  Much of what you desire would change for you if you learned to change from an emotional human desiring to satisfy your soul to a spiritual person desiring to feed you spiritual growth and development.  We don’t recognize when our souls fight against our spirits. Our souls focus on us.  Our spirits are the things in us that are of God.  Our spirits are always trying to point us toward God.  So, we have a fight.  The soul points us towards ourselves while our spirits tell us to look to God and ask, “What now, God?”

Scripture captures all this in Psalms 107:8-9.  It says, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  For He satisfies the longing soul, and He fills the hungry soul with goodness.”  The Lord knows we are in a battle between our souls and our spirits.  But He is telling us that He is the only One who can satisfy the longing of our souls.  We cannot do it ourselves.  A new job will not do it.  A new friendship will not do it.  A promotion will not do it.  The only thing that can satisfy what we want in our souls is the Lord who transforms us from looking at ourselves for our needs, to looking at Him for our direction.  With one question, you can starve your souls.  You become one who changes quickly and easily when you learn to go to the Lord with this one simple question you’ve probably never asked: “Lord, what now?”  Ask Him that today and ask Him that all the days of your life.  He will give you the desires of your heart.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you. 

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Ask for Mercy

We all know that there is nothing impossible for God.  He made the earth from nothing.  He made man from the dust of the earth.  He made the stars and the heavens.  He made the moon and the sun.  He parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River.  I could go on, but you get the point.  Nothing is impossible with Him.  He is able to…  Well, you can finish the sentence with your own words, and it will be a true statement.

Still, sometimes we find it difficult to find comfort in simply knowing that He is able to do anything while believing He will do an impossible thing for us.  This is a problem we have with our faith.  When our faith is based on what we believe He will do, we limit the effectiveness of our faith.  Scripture tells us that two blind men followed Jesus, crying out to Him saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us.”  It is interesting that the two men did not specifically ask Jesus to restore their sight.  Instead, they asked Him to have mercy on them.  I believe faith told them Jesus could see that they could not see.  Faith also told them Jesus knew that because they were blind, they also had many other issues besides their lack of sight.  So, they begged Jesus to have mercy on them.

In Matthew 9:28-30 scripture says Jesus responded to the men saying, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  The men responded, yes Lord.  Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”  Instead of asking what they wanted Him to do, Jesus asked whether they had faith enough to believe that He was able to do whatever was needed to show them mercy.

Then, Jesus said to them, “According to your faith let it be done unto you.”  According to what you have been able to believe, that is what Jesus will give to you.  The men believed Jesus was able to grant them the mercy of restoring their sight, and so it was done for them.  It is important that we understand faith works best when it first seeks the grace and mercy of God to act on our behalf simply because we know He will always be merciful and full of grace and Love towards us.

It is always okay for us to go to God in prayer and make our requests known to Him.  If you need healing, you should go to Him and ask for healing.  If someone you know needs healing, you should go to Him and ask healing for that person.  If you need work, you should go to Him in and ask Him for work.  But you should go to Him in a state of faith and belief that first asks that He be merciful on you and your situation.  When you do this, your faith will be stronger because God will always give you grace and mercy and Love even if He chooses not to fix your problem.

The blind men knew what they were doing.  They knew Jesus was able to do anything, that He could even restore their sight, but they asked for something more.  They asked for Jesus’s mercy.  They wanted their sight to be restored as an act of mercy bestowed upon them.  Because of their faith, they got all that they wanted.  So, learn to see your situation not as just problems or needs.  Instead, learn to see your situation as opportunities to strengthen your faith by simply asking God to have mercy on you.  When you approach Him in this way, He will touch your life, and according to your faith it will be to you.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Learn to Live by Discretion

I have often wondered why some people feel compelled to say everything that comes into their mind.  Why is that?  Then why is it that some people seemingly say very little compared to what they could say?  Why does it seem like some people cannot keep silent while others are careful to speak as little as possible?  And why is it that some people never stop talking about what’s wrong with others while others are hesitant to share their opinion about what is wrong with anyone but themselves?  Why is it that many people tend to respond to everything that they hear but they miss most of what is being said?

The answer is discretion.  But what is discretion?  Scripture tells us in Proverbs 19:11, “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.”  Discretion is the ability of a person to pause for a moment to consider the implications of saying something before saying anything at all.  It is the ability to keep yourself from saying everything that comes to your mind.  It is the ability to keep yourself from telling yourself that others need to hear everything that you have to say.

The devil makes many people believe speaking your mind is a strength and a strong character trait; however, speaking your mind without discretion is a powerful weakness we all must learn to deal with.  When you speak your mind on all things, people will tune you out on most things.  If you want to be heard, learn to speak less, and speak to fewer people.  If you want others to hear you learn, to wait for others to ask for your views.

Scripture tells us in James 1:19 that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.  This scripture is trying to tell us that people who listen will be smarter than those who have to say something about everything.  People who are slow to speak will be heard more than people who cannot keep silent except for rare occasions when they are asleep.  And people who are slow to anger will be praised for their discipline while those who talk all the time will be seen as angry people who create more anger with anger.  So why can’t many of us hear this message?  Well, its because we do not learn to live by discretion.

Discretion makes you care more about how others will feel about what you have to say.  Discretion makes you ask yourself why you cannot keep silent on some things to allow some things to be spoken in ways other than through you.  Discretion makes you understand and consider for a moment if what you have to say is necessary to be said at all.  Discretion makes you understand that some things that come to your mind are meant for your understanding and for your development more than for you to express to others.

If you want to keep speaking and not being heard, keep speaking all that comes to your mind without discretion.  If you want lots of people to hear what you say but value little of what you say, keep speaking without discretion.  If you want to be seen as an angry mouth more than anything, keep speaking without discretion.  There are lots of people who are glad to be this way.

I am hopeful this message will be a message of discretion for you, and by it you will learn how to allow discretion to live in you.  Discretion will teach you that you have options in life to control what you say to yourself and to others.  It will tell you that you have options to overlook things that happen to you and with you and around you.  It will tell you that you can look for the calm in the storm of anything if you are willing.  Discretion has made many to be wise who otherwise would have shown how foolish a smart person can be when they cannot be silent.  When you learn to live with discretion as the guide to your heart, others will see you and they will glorify how you humbly overlook many things and control your responses to much so that the seeds of life can have a chance to break through in the dark of transgressions.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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The Praise of Broken People

Recently, I listened to the worship song “Broken People by Israel Houghton.  This song tells how the Lord loves the praise of people who are broken.  It made me wonder what it means to be “broken.”  It also made me wonder how we can bless the Lord.  Since He is the author of all blessings and all good things, how can we ever give Him anything that could be considered a blessing to Him?   Can we really bless God with our brokenness?  

Scripture is full of references about how we should praise and bless the Lord.  For example, Psalms 34:1 encourages us in this way, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  But scripture also talks about brokenness.  In Psalms 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and He saves those such as have a contrite spirit.”  I don’t believe this scripture speaks of broken in the way we might think.  He is speaking of people who are broken for Him, not broken because of a personal loss.  He speaks of having both a broken heart and a contrite spirit for the things that are God’s more than for things we might want or for things we must endure for ourselves.  Of course, He cares when we are broken because of personal loss, but He is drawn closer to us when we are broken because He does not get the honor and the glory that He is due from us or from people around us.

When we are crushed in spirit for the things that are of Him, He is moved to come to us so He can restore our hearts and spirits to stand strong in Him.  So, David says in Psalms 34:1 that he will always bless the Lord. David knew that all praise belongs to the Lord, so those praises will continually be spoken by his mouth.  When we ask the Lord for His blessings, we are asking Him to bring His good to our lives or to the lives of others.  What, then, can we give Him that would be good enough to be a blessing to Him?  There are several things we can offer Him Who needs nothing, and these things would bless His heart to have from us.  But before we offer anything to bless Him, we must first have a heart that is broken for Him and a spirit that is crushed because we know He does not get from us the things that He loves.  When we do this, we actually bless and praise Him.

If you want to bless Him and if you want to praise Him with something that will glorify Him, learn to come to Him and to give Him all the things that you desire.  When you give Him your desires, He is happy because He loves satisfying the desires of His children with His love.  Give Him all your heart.  When you give Him your heart, He is happy because mending broken hearts is one of His favorite things to do.  Give Him your love.  When you give Him your love, He is happy because perfecting His love in the way we love is how He lives boldly among so many who do not know Him.  And then give Him your life.  When you give Him your life, He is happy because He loves to come into a new life and find a place to live.

If we do these things from a heart broken for Him and from a spirit that is crushed for Him, then we will find it easy to bless Him with the things of our lives that will make Him happy.  Loving a broken people is a blessing to Him.  It is the praise that belongs to Him.  Indeed, He loves people who are broken for Him.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.