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YOUR TIME AS A CATERPILLAR HAS EXPIRED  YOUR WINGS ARE  READY! 

Words
(Alesha Foshee)


While reading, we can find numerous quotes about words themselves, what they do or do not do, how we should use more of them or less of them, and the list continues. The scriptures are filled with warnings about words, beautiful words in poetry, and violent language describing events that took place in Bible times. John 1:1 tells us that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (KJV). God was the Word, as were the other members of the Trinity. Already, we know that words are immensely important to God, and therefore, should be to us. Whatever the words are, we can depend on a few constants. They are always changing, they are powerful, and the Bible guides us regarding their usage. 

As a culture changes, so does its language, and ours is changing rapidly. Some terms that had one meaning now have a different one. For example, we do not refer to people with certain disabilities using the same terms as those used in biblical times. It was common long ago to refer to a person with some type of paralysis as "lame". Most people no longer use such language as it is considered insulting. However, a new generation of people are using this term again in order to mock others.

It is not uncommon to hear a child or teenager refer to something he or she thinks is stupid as "lame". The speaker might be describing a friend's actions or something a person has said. "Lame" can also describe inanimate objects and places, such as a school textbook, homework, or the school itself. I would like to address this entire trend later, more specifically, so I will end with that one example. However, though it seemed to start with younger people, I now hear it from those older than I am--on social media, from family, friends, and even my pastor! Nice. Matthew 12:33 says that "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (NKJV).  Let us be kind with our words, and not hurt others or ourselves by misusing them. 

Though the term "lame" and other biblical terms seem to be more familiar to Christians at least, there are words that we are all getting to know better, as our changing culture has embraced various lifestyles that we learn more about almost daily. Issues important to people who identify as transgender are in the news and in our language in new ways more than ever. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "trans" is a prefix that means "on the other side of". It is then attached to the word "gender". I have been using the proper terminology regarding the various terms, as I believe in "loving my neighbor". Speaking in this way may allow me to witness to someone who would otherwise not listen at all. I am not saying that I agree with something, so I do not believe it is a compromise of my faith to use the correct terminology rather than vulgar, slang words. Recently, however, this has not been enough for some in the LGBTQ community. For example, many of us used the term "homosexual" instead of the slang words to refer to a gay person. The next step? Heterosexuals should say "partner" when referring to their boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, or wives. Similarly, I used the term "transgender". Now, those of us who identify as the same gender with which we were born should refer to ourselves as "cisgender" (literally "on this side", attached to "gender", according to the Oxford English Dictionary). These words are dangerous, because they begin to pull us into participation. This is a slippery slope that incorporates a language of involvement, heading toward speech of acceptance. We must think extremely carefully regarding our words about any issue, and this one is no different. Proverbs 13:3 warns us that "Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin" (KJV). 

Lastly, the newest word trend incorporates a destructive sin that destroys the people who struggle with it, their families, friends, churches, and lives. It should never be taken lightly, nor thought of as a substitute for something that it is not. Chances are, you know one person who has at least viewed, but more than likely, become addicted to pornography. No person is immune: men, women, children, pastors, teachers, and "soccer moms" have all fallen into its trap. Though difficult to define, pornography perverts something that God created to be a good thing; something for married men and women. I was shocked to see phrases such as "word porn", "food porn", and any word followed by "porn" to describe something that people enjoy. If someone likes poetry, jokes, or words themselves fascinate her, she can look up "word porn" on the social media site Pinterest. There, she might follow any of the numerous "boards" (a section for certain things grouped together) for "word porn". Do you think exercise is important, and engaging in it is enjoyable to you? Your friends are involved as well, and you all like to shop for new fitness technology and clothes? Well, you all can have conversations about your fitness porn! This is a total disregard for what pornography actually is and what horrible things result from its usage. The flippant use of this word as a description of one's likes or hobbies is a slap in the face to those whose lives have been forever changed or destroyed by the sin of pornography. We learn from Ephesians 4:29: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (NIV). Let us remember this, and not confuse good and evil. 

Though language changes over time as the culture changes, let us never let it change for us in negative, hurtful, or confusing ways, or in any style that alters our spiritual lives. Resisting the urge to speak in the same manner as the world is another approach to separate ourselves and draw closer to God. Philippians 4:8 tells us, "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (KJV). Thinking about these subjects should help us decide about what to speak as well. 

~ Alesha ~




FACING IMPOSSIBILITIES by DEBORAH BAIRD
May 22,2016 

Luke 1:35-1:37

FACING IMPOSSIBILITIES

Impossible--- A word most of us greatly dislike to hear concerning our lives. A word that to the average person carries with it a sign of resignation. When we are faced with impossibility; words begin forming in our minds such as give up, fear, loss, abandon, hopeless, no direction but down. sounds so familiar doesn’t it? Webster’s defines the word impossible--incapable of being or occurring; felt to be incapable of being done, attained or being fulfilled; hopeless. From the word impose comes the word impossible. The word impose means to establish or apply as compulsory. The world today trys to IMPOSE upon us some of these words as compulsory.

To accept your lot in life and just make the best of it is what the world teaches. So the word impossible brings frightening thoughts and fear of defeat into our lives. But let us look into the Word of God and pull out certain principles God has laid down that we can follow in facing impossibility. First let us read Gods’ Word concerning the impossible. St. Luke 1:37 tells us, For with God nothing shall be impossible.St. Luke 18:27 The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. From these two scriptures then, we find that with men or the carnal, the flesh, the worldly, impossibility is a reality. But with God there is no such word in his vocabulary.

So the conclusion would be then is that the direction concerning the seemingly impossible to deal with circumstances in your life must be coming from man and not God. AMEN!!! I want to stir your being with the Word of God and try to alter our reasoning concerning the difficult occurrences in each of our lives. St. Matthew 17 tells us of an impossibility arising in some mens lives. The disciples had tried to cast a devil spirit out of a young man but found no success. They worked, they played, they lived, they died, they had happy mountain-top experiences. They found themselves often in predicaments seemingly impossible to live through.

They traveled across the country; across deserts; some were born into royalty, while others were not so lucky it seemed. They lived as fishermen or sheepherders or maybe as tentmakers. People-just ordinary people facing impossibility. In the book of Daniel we read of a young man that truly loved the Lord. But then we read that his life suddenly takes a turn (as so often does) to the unexpected. He and his friends are taken captive and sent to a place called Babylon. You know, life doesn’t always go like we want it to. What tomorrow’s daybreak brings with it only time will tell. But follow Daniel as he and his friends find themselves in a situation of servitude to a heathen king named Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel and his friends were put into training for three years (verse 5) to learn the tongue of the Chaldeans and learn their wisdom so that they could then stand before the king.

The first thing to come up was that the king wanted these selected young men to eat of the kings table. But verse 8 of Chapter 1 states that Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel had been brought up worshipping God and knew as a Jew he should not eat of that meat which been sacrificed to the kings’ idols. He believed in God and knew that his God could and would sustain him if he would only believe and hold fast to his faith. To believe is an action word for your vocabulary. If we believe in God we should act like it. Stand on it if you will and show it by our actions. Jesus asks Peter on one occasion 3 times if he loved him. Peter answered him to the positive each time. Jesus still asks us that same question today. But he wants more than just oral assent; he wants our actions to speak also. In other words, what Jesus wants is, tell me that you love me; But show me first. Daniel knew he was facing impossibility in Babylon. But Daniel also knew the word impossibility did not exist for God. He did what he’d been taught in Sunday School as a young person back in Jerusalem.

He did what he had learned from all that prayer time with God. He believed God to nourish him so he stepped out in faith believing God to be all-powerful in every situation; even at the dinner table. Now we know the story and how it went. God did deliver. Daniel could have received that 10 day meal plan and went on and maybe everything else would have fallen into place as time went. I don’t know about you , but my life doesn’t seem to pattern out that way. A constant high, breezing through, cloud nine all the way; I don’t think so. So knowing this, Daniel started giving God the glory for delivering him. He knew God would deliver; but he also knew that tomorrow’s daybreak was a new day to be reckoned with. So in believing, Daniel showed obedience to God and stood to give God the glory.

But we all know and it has been proven over and over again that when we take a stand for God the world becomes a battleground against us. Daniel stood and this got him in trouble with the world again. You see; the two don’t mix. Action with God always gets a reaction from the world. In the fifth and sixth chapters of Daniel we see jealousy at work. The princes that were over portions of the kingdom out of jealousy tried to find fault with Daniel; but could not. The only thing they could find in Daniel was that he proved to love God above all things. So they decided to use this against him and went to Dairus and set up decree that anyone that made petition to any god or of any man other than to Dairus for next thirty days would be thrown into a den of lions (ch.6:7-9). Let me stop here for a moment and look at the situation Daniel faces. How often do we find ourselves in similar places?

God wants a people that will stand for him, so that he might show himself strong (read 2 Chron. 16:9). Today you may be facing a situation that calls for a commitment from you. It might be peer pressure or maybe a compromise of some sort in your walk with God. As soon as Daniel heard that the decree had been signed; he went into his house and his window being open toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prays, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (verse 10). Notice the scripture states that his window was already opened toward Jerusalem. Can I say to you that are facing impossibility in your life today; don’t wait until you need 911 in your life to get acquainted with God. God wants consistency from you in your praise. Daniel had already been praying and praising God beforehand. He did it not because he needed help (even though we always do ), he truly loved the Lord and worshipped him at all times.

Daniel was walking in faith. It would have been so easy for Daniel to have compromised in his circumstances. "Well God, you know I should try to get along here in this decree. After all It’s only for thirty days. I am sure you understand. You know it is really no big deal; after all the king is the king and he did make the decree. To compromise looked like the easiest and best road to take in this situation. Here I am in Babylon among a heathen people that just don’t understand. Daniel could have looked at the circumstances and talked himself out of deliverance. But faith walks by the evidence not seen Amen!!! You see, Daniel believed God more than man (Acts 4:19). He knew God was not only a only a can do God but a will do God. He knew God was a very present help in trouble ( Ps. 46:1).

It is one thing to say we believe in God; but there comes a time when we must prove ourselves before God and man by our actions. There are two types of faith. There is sense knowledge faith and there is revelation faith. Sense knowledge faith is based on physical evidence. If Daniel had based his decision on circumstances; then the natural answer would have been to give in and to compromise. The carnal will always seek the obvious answer. The carnal will always show you the practical thing to do. I am sure you have met people who will say, " I’ll believe it when I see it."

Remember the scriptures concerning Thomas and the Lord? The other disciples told Thomas that they had seen the resurrected Lord. But Thomas did not believe them because he had not seen him with his own eyes. Daniel may not have known exactly how God would deliver, but believe me, he knew God was as good as his Word. This is called revelation faith. Hebrews 11: 1 gives us true biblical faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. You see, if we could see it would we really need faith as the bible teaches? Biblical faith is giving over to the spiritual part of man and not looking to our senses of sight, feelings or hearing.

When we trust in reasoning instead the Word of God; it means to trust in man instead of God. Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, that maketh flesh his arm Jer. 17:5. Simple confidence in the Word can and will lift you out of the realm of carnality and into the spiritual. I know it is not always easy. But each time we can stand in the face of compromise and say, "No". Then the battles are ours. Today make a decision to live every day for God. No, it is not easy but tomorrow you can look back and say thank you Lord. And you know what? It sure is fun when victory is tasted and not defeat. Let us purpose together and pray together and together we are the victors.

IN JESUS NAME
DEBORAH J.BAIRD
COPYRIGHTED 2006 FAITH MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL