As we embrace 2017, we have a new blank page upon which to write. How will our page look at the end of this year? What changes do we need to make in the way we have always done things, to enjoy better/different outcomes this year? What long held dreams have we laid down that need to be resurrected this year?
I feel in this letter to offer a ‘life lesson’ under the heading of ‘Things I Wish I Knew’ that might be helpful to you too. Up front I unashamedly say, my deep love for God’s Word comes out of testing and applying His timeless principles over and over again. His Word continues to change and transform each one of us from the inside out if we will only surrender to and trust in Him. 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT) says, ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us truth, corrects us when we’re wrong and teaches us right’. God uses His Word to prepare and equip us. I have found this to be unequivocally true!
As a young woman, I could sometimes be fiery and feisty. I tended to react rather than respond. This landed me in ‘hot water’ at times when I would ‘shoot off at the mouth’ when faced with what I perceived as injustice to myself or anyone else. Sometimes the words I spoke were neither edifying nor uplifting.
I came across a Scripture that changed my life forever in Proverbs 18:21 says, ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue (our spoken words), and they who eat of it, (indulge in it) there will be consequences, for death or life’. Genuine uplifting edifying words can change another person’s outlook, give them strength, hope and courage to carry on. Negative, cutting, slanderous words destroy and will come back upon us. I recently read something that is worth repeating –
‘ANYONE CAN FIND THE DIRT IN SOMEONE. BE THE ONE WHO FINDS THE GOLD’
Maybe you’re like me and would determine in your heart to change the way you speak to and about others. With God’s help and by His great grace, my prayer would be Colossians 3:6, ‘Lord let our speech/conversation be seasoned with salt, (wise, gracious, useful, beneficial) words. Words that life giving and inspire the hearer to ‘believe they can’.
You might be reading this and have been deeply hurt by the words or actions of another person and think you could never forgive! Words spoken have felt like poisonous darts deeply lodged in your heart. My precious friend, I, too have experienced this. I found release comes as I CHOOSE to think about the good qualities of that person, my perspective changes and my heart softens. (Sometimes it’s difficult to do this at first), sometimes God Himself shows us why they behaved the way they did. As we consciously determine to bless them (speak and think kindly of them by a deliberate act of our will), forgiveness comes. God Himself intervenes and brings better solutions than we could ever imagine. This God kind of forgiveness is impossible in our own limited ability. It releases our hearts from negative soul destroying physical, mental and emotional bondages. Peace floods in and heal the damaged areas as the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord removes those poisonous darts and pours in His healing balm.
Finally I feel to share this beautiful Scripture, that when meditated upon, chewed over and appropriated, is so liberating! Ephesians 4:32 (Amplified version), Become useful and helpful, kind to one another, tenderhearted, (compassionate, understanding, loving), forgiving one another freely as God in Christ Jesus has forgiven you’. Maybe we could ponder on how this would look in a personal situation we are experiencing right now and purpose to apply it.
As you read this letter and the enclosed booklet “Word for Today”, I pray God will minister to you, encourage you, and from it’s pages will leap just the right sentence for you in any given situation.
God’s Word says that you are unique and wonderfully made and that He has a GOOD PLAN FOR YOU. A PLAN TO PROSPER YOU AND GIVE YOU HOPE. There is an answer to every perplexing question. Would you take time to sit quietly before Him today and ask Him to help? Some situations are just too big for us!
Each one of these 600 little booklets that go out to people right across our Nation is prayed over. Many go to families in very isolated regions. My prayer is that you might personally come to know the magnitude of God’s love for you. May you tangibly experience His Presence and His peace as you read this letter and booklet. May His goodness and grace abound to you no matter how isolated you may feel at times, GOD LOVES YOU, CARES ABOUT YOU AND HAS A GOOD PLAN FOR YOU.
Why not prayerfully seek that plan and bask in His love.