Letting go of if onlys and regrets
Our lives are filled with if only and regret events. We are living in the results of the decisions we made in the past. While most of them are good for us, there are some which cause great harm and loads of regrets. We tell ourselves, “If only I had not done …..” or “If only I had done ….” The pain resulting in some of our past decisions lingers for a lifetime.
Choices are a free-will gift from God. He created us with the right of choice. We can choose to do good or evil. We can choose to do a lot or a little in life. Each choice has consequences, good or bad. Even little children have regrets and if only situations. A little hand reaching out to touch a hot stove, even though Mommy has told them not to touch it, soon brings regrets when little hands are burned and filled with pain. The biggest issue is not the fact we have regrets and if only moments. It is that we have to live with the consequences and learn from the mistakes we made in our choices.
As I get older, there are a lot of “I wish I had not done that” and “I wish I had done that” events in my life. I wish I had been more adventurous in my younger years instead of being so reserved and afraid of making mistakes. I also wish I had made wiser decisions over lots of past events. The point is, I didn’t do either in some events from my past. I am sure many of you can say the same. It is the past and cannot be changed. I can make some new choices now on how to deal with those past regrets and if only moments. I can choose to wallow in self-pity, punish myself for stupid mistakes, try to hide the past and never admit to anyone what I did, tell everyone all the time all the dumb things I did causing them to want to tell me, “GET OVER IT” Or I can choose to bring all that stuff to the Lord Jesus and let Him help me deal with it.
WHAT DOORS WILL WE CHOOSE TO OPEN?
The Bible has something to say about our past and how to deal with and how to pray about it.
Psalm 25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
Psalm 79:8 Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, For we have been brought very low.
Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 TLB Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour, remembering that there will also be many dark days And that most of what comes your way is smoke.
Psalm 119:89-95 TLB 89 Forever, O Lord, your Word stands firm in heaven. 90-91 Your faithfulness extends to every generation, like the earth you created; it endures by your decree, for everything serves your plans. 92 I would have despaired and perished unless your laws had been my deepest delight. 93 I will never lay aside your laws, for you have used them to restore my joy and health. 94 I am yours! Save me! For I have tried to live according to your desires. 95 Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me, I will quietly keep my mind upon your promises.
LET US LOOK TO THE lORD for answers
Philippians 3:4-14 TLB 4 Yet if anyone ever had reason to hope that he could save himself, it would be I. If others could be saved by what they are, certainly I could! 5 For I went through the Jewish initiation ceremony when I was eight days old, having been born into a pure-blooded Jewish home that was a branch of the old original Benjamin family. So I was a real Jew if there ever was one! What’s more, I was a member of the Pharisees who demand the strictest obedience to every Jewish law and custom. 6 And sincere? Yes, so much so that I greatly persecuted the Church; and I tried to obey every Jewish rule and regulation right down to the very last point. 7 But all these things that I once thought very worthwhile—now I’ve thrown them all away so that I can put my trust and hope in Christ alone. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have put aside all else, counting it worth less than nothing, in order that I can have Christ, 9 and become one with him, no longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God’s laws, but by trusting Christ to save me; for God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith—counting on Christ alone. 10 Now I have given up everything else—I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him. 11 So whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead. 12 I don’t mean to say I am perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. 13 No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.
No More Looking Back!
As we can see in these Scriptures, mistakes are a part of the human condition. We all make foolish, selfish and ignorant mistakes in our lives. Some are fairly easy to live through and go on with life, others have long lasting results. But we can become like Paul, the Apostle, and put it all behind us. We can choose to ask God to forgive us, and also the persons we wronged if need be. We can learn from those past events and we can also forgive the person we were at the time. It is so easy to judge from a more mature place in life. We can see more clearly what should or should not have been done. Yet, when we made those decisions a lot of things surrounding us were involved. We may have panicked at a huge bill and charged everything instead of finding a way to earn more money for a season. We may have been angry at our friend, husband, wife, child….and let loose the frustration on them, causing great pain. The person we were at that time, made the decisions. We can’t judge ourselves from today’s life experience. We can only ask for forgiveness and forgive.
We may need to forgive someone who hurt us years ago and we still hold them in anger. The only person who is hurting is usually us. The person or persons may even be deceased, yet we still are in bitterness and regrets. Painful past memories can be healed by the Lord Jesus. We can release the past to where it belongs…in the past! We cannot change it, we can only learn to live with it and go on. So many people are crippled in their present lives because they cannot seem to forgive and forget the past.
Let us be like Paul the Apostle and choose to forget the past and press toward the future the Lord has personally designed for us. Though some things we will never be able to accomplish, there are so many we can do! We can have an exciting life following after the Lord. What will you choose to do with your if onlys and regrets? I pray you will be able to allow the Lord Jesus to heal them, forgive them and then forgive yourself and get ready for an exciting new life in Him.
ALLOW YOURSELF TO WALK FREE OF REGRETS
settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter).
“the firm aims to resolve problems within 30 days”
synonyms: settle, sort out, solve, find a solution to, fix, straighten out, deal with, put right, put to rights, rectify; More
decide firmly on a course of action.
“she resolved to call Dana as soon as she got home”
synonyms: determine, decide, make up one’s mind, make a decision
“Bob resolved not to wait any longer”
firm determination to do something.
“she received information that strengthened her resolve”
synonyms: decision, resolution, commitment
“he made a resolve not to go there again”
When we choose to take actions towards a goal or take actions against problems, it takes a measure of resolve to do it. Instead of making “resolutions” which is a “firm decision to do or not to do something”, we need to make a resolve to find solutions to the issues at hand. For the most part, resolutions last about a month or so. Then life steps in and we return back to the way we were doing things.
Resolving things on the other hand involves a seeking for answers, investigation to the roots of problems and a hope to find the solutions. It can be just one person or a group of people determined to find a better end result to life’s issues.
Here are some Scriptural resolves:
Exodus 23:2 You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice.
Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
2 Timothy 2:2-7; 14-19 (NKJV)
2 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.
14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Philippians 4 :1,4-9 (NKJV)
1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Meditate on These Things
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Let us resolve to follow after the Lord
We are the deciding factor for failure or success in life. Our life choices bring us through hard times or allow total failure. We want sometimes to blame others for our misery and while they certainly can add to our problems, they are not the end of the problems. In Christ Jesus, we have hope and help in all kinds of life issues.
Let us choose to seek Him first, allow the Holy Spirit to direct our thoughts and lead us to the answers we need to live a godly and joy filled life! One of my favorite verses in the Scriptures is:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Yes, Amen! My prayer for all of you is a blessed, Jesus-filled year in 2019.
Thankfulness of heart
Thankfulness is a choice. We can accept things given to us as though we deserve them. We can choose to ignore the generosity of the giver and never respond at all. But a thankful person will always try to respond with a heart of gratitude. The giver actually chose us to be the recipient of their generosity. Wow! It fills our hearts with joy and if the gift is something valuable to us, we will really respond with thanksgiving.
The greatest Giver of all time is The Lord God, Jehovah. He gave us life. He offered us forgiveness and a hope for the future. The greatest gift He gave us was the salvation of our souls through the offering of His son, Jesus at the cross of Calvary. John 3:16-18 reveals the heart of the Father God more than any other for me.
John 3:16-18 The Passion Translation
“16 For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it! 18 So now there is no longer any condemnation for those who believe in him, but the unbeliever already lives under condemnation because they do not believe in the name of God’s beloved Son.”
What a picture of a true giver! One of our goals in life should be to imitate the graciousness of the Father God. He is always looking for ways to bless mankind. If we want to please Him and show Him our thanksgiving, we must be like Him.
Matthew 5:43-46 The Passion Translation
43 “Your ancestors have also been taught ‘Love your neighbors and hate the one who hates you.’ 44 However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. 45 For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil. 46 What reward do you deserve if you only love the loveable? Don’t even the tax collectors do that? 47 How are you any different from others if you limit your kindness only to your friends? Don’t even the ungodly do that? 48 Since you are children of a perfect Father in heaven, you are to be perfect like him.”
Thankfulness of Heart
So much anger is in the world today. We have become so touchy and fretful, like small children who are never content. We retaliate with harsh words over the least offense, yet preach a “no bullying” lifestyle for our children. When we as adults can learn to drop the touchy, quick to respond anger, we may see more of the kindness towards each other that leads to a thankful life. May God heal our hearts today and show us how to be like Him, filled with kindness in the face of hatred and able to forgive others when they don’t deserve it.
I think today is a good day to share our church vision. It is printed on the front of our church bulletin and on this website:
We are here to be a community of caring, worshiping believers who connect with one another and with those who are not believers for the purpose of sharing God’s love with them through acts of kindness, prayer, and the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are, “Connecting people to the living Lord Jesus Christ”.
I love our vision statement and since attending this church have found that the congregation truly lives up to it. I am also aware that it is going to take more than living up to that vision statement to make it to the Kingdom of Heaven. It takes living in the Word.
A few weeks ago when my husband Craig turned 67, we really began to wonder about the rest of our lives (no matter how you look at it, the wick in our candle is getting shorter). We asked God help us with what we should be doing for His Kingdom. It didn’t very long before God smacked us right across the head. We were both shown that we were not living in the actual word. We were studying it. We were reading it here and there. We would double check it when listening to others to make certain they were correct. But, we were not actually reading it for ourselves. We were not in the quiet, listening to what God has to say, interpreting it with the Holy Spirit that dwells inside of us.
It was time to pull away from watching all of the things that might be taking place in these “end times”. Time to forget about the potential disasters and government take downs. Time to shut off the TV and YouTube evangelist. It is time go into deep prayer and bible study in search of the entire story. Not just a line here or a chapter there. So we changed our habits and we are changing our lives.
A couple of weeks ago Pastor presented a sermon about the presence of God. He reminded us that Jesus IS with us wherever we go. That was confirmed to us when reading 1st Corinthians chapter 1-6. It was there that it really hit us; how we are joined as one with our Lord Jesus Christ.
In second Corinthians 13:5, the apostle Paul asks the Corinthian believers a question: “Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” . In saying, “Jesus Christ is in you,” Paul wasn’t speaking poetically or symbolically. He truly meant that Jesus Christ is literally and practically dwelling within His believers. Many other verses in the Word of God confirm the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ actually dwells in His believers. We too, like the Corinthians, need to realize this fact about ourselves. Christ is not merely outside of us, a Helper in our time of need, walking with us when we are lonely; stretching His hand out when we need help. He dwells in us, living in and with us all the time.
Think about it. God is IN us. He sees and knows all. We are one with Him. Since we are one with Him, that means He experiences what we experience. This is where it can get messy:
- If we get drunk or high; He is there.
- If we are cussing out that person who cut us off in traffic; He is there.
- If we even think about not loving our neighbors or enemies; He is there.
- He is there when we are gambling, being greedy, committing adultery, anytime we sin, you name it; He is there.
We have a friend in Jesus. Yet, he is not one of those friends that are an enabler to our transgressions. He is our disabler; the disabler of our sin.
We invited Him into our hearts. We woke up His Holy Spirit, that He placed within us. It is so wrong to keep on living in our earthly ways right in the mist of His eternal love. That is why it is so important to repent and to live in the Word.
We all know Jesus is the Word. When we read the Bible, we fill ourselves with God’s wisdom. It is the weapon He has given us; words to use against Satan’s deceit. Words that show us what to do, words of comfort.
We must do exactly what we read. When we do we are wielding the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We totally expose Satan’s lies and deceit and overcome all the sinful tendencies in our flesh. Living according to His word makes us invincible.
Knowing, Jesus is IN me; I don’t want to take Him down some swarmy highway of sin and grieve the Holy Spirit do you?
As disciples who follow Jesus, we should want to deny ourselves and take up our cross; daily. It is very pricey to do so. It costs something. It costs our will. It costs our life. Sometimes, it costs our family and our friends. We can read about it in Luke 9:23 and Luke 14:26.
We must pray and cry out and our lusts have to feel the pain of being denied. On the “daily cross” they will suffer and die. Then we can cease from sin. This is the way our Holy Master went. If we follow Him, we will end up where He is! As the book tells us in Revelation 3:21; “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
Got the summer blues?
Psalm 43:5 The Message (MSG)
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God.
Summer can be a real downer to some people. They have to work while others are going to exotic or fun places. They are out of school and their friends have gone to grandma’s house or summer camp and there is “nothing to do” now. The heat and either muggy or really dry weather gets a lot of people down. It can effect their health and their emotions.
We can become like our little friend in the photo…down and feeling blah! What can we do about it? Is there a cure for the summer blues? Do we have to spend all summer grumpy and miserable and making those around us feel the same way?
Yes! There is a cure. If we can realize what is going on inside us we can control our reactions to the situations that try to make us blue.
- We have to work and can’t take a vacation like our family or friends. Instead of feeling jealous, we can be glad for them and be all the more determined we will save some money for next year so we can go on vacation too.
- Our friends or family live in a really cold place-like the north pole-while we swelter in the summer heat. We can be glad we don’t have to shovel snow in the winter! It is all in the perspective. If we can realize most of the world is hot in summer and we are all suffering through…it makes it easier to laugh about, take a cooling shower and go on with life. Also we can thank God for air conditioners.
- Our health may be effected by the heat. Make sure you are drinking enough water, stay in cooler places when possible, keep a close watch on any symptoms of heat stroke (Throbbing headache. Dizziness and lightheadedness. Lack of sweating despite the heat. Red, hot, and dry skin. Muscle weakness or cramps. Nausea and vomiting. Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak. Rapid, shallow breathing.) Using preventative measures can prevent a major health issue. If you live in a home with no air conditioning, consider going to the mall, out to eat, or other air conditioned places to cool off.
- We are out of school for the summer and our friends are at grandma’s, summer camp, or summer school and we are alone with “nothing to do” syndrome. We can do some redesigning of our bedrooms. Think of new ways to place the furniture or with parents’ permission maybe even paint the room. Give your personal space a real organization make over. Sort through your stuff and see what you don’t need anymore. As you grow up your tastes change and your hobbies do too. You could try on all your clothes and get rid of anything that no longer fits or works for your present lifestyle. Donate the usable items to a favorite thrift store. You could volunteer somewhere like nursing homes or other places that your parents would allow you to do so. Read good books, watch those movies you wanted to watch but never had the time to, help your family out with a project that would help you all to have a better life.
- We can all spend more time in prayer for our friends and family and those we see around us in need. We can do Bible studies or learn some new praise songs. Spending time with the Lord will quickly send the blues packing.
We are the ones in control of our emotions. We can choose to look at all the bad stuff happening to us, or look for solutions and find a way to overcome them. When we add prayer to our actions, the Lord will show us all sorts of ways to enjoy life, even with all the things that seem so big and lonely to us.
Let’s turn our blues into rejoicing and see what happens this summer. Maybe we will end the summer with wonderful memories and a smile in our hearts.
What’s On Your Agenda?
We all have our own thoughts about our lives. We have plans, purposes and even some pursuits we would like to follow. We have likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams and some of us have great big visions of what we want to accomplish in our lives before we die.
Some people just live out their lives with a “what will be, will be” attitude. They are also the ones who usually end up disappointed with what life brings as life is not an upward positive flow, but rather a downward flow until death. We have to be somewhere in the middle of pushing all the time and doing nothing all the time in life.
The root of all our lives is our hidden agenda; who are we in the secret place of our hearts? Are we set on a path that we are pushing to fulfill at all cost? Are we floating through life letting what passes us by be our choices, grabbing little pieces that are easy to reach? Maybe we are somewhere in the middle, allowing life to help us make choices sometimes, and grabbing with great zeal some ideas that we pursue. Who we are inside, will determine our future.
Others are involved
One thing we sometimes forget is that all our decisions are affected by those around us. Other people keep interfering with our dreams. They won’t let us become beach bums and still have money to eat. A man with small children can’t buy that two-seater sports car. A woman with ambition is looked upon as a brassy fishwife. While I realize these are sarcastic statements about life, you get the picture that life is not a one-person show. We are intimately involved with all the people in our lives. They may be encouragers or they may rain on our lovely dream. It is the inside person that will either fight for the future or give up on life. Sometimes we must live with compromise, which is not always a bad thing, just different from what we thought it would be.
Don’t forget Jesus!
As a Christian, we really need to add one other person in our agenda visions, the Lord Jesus Christ. We have surrendered our lives to Him. We have entrusted our eternity to His keeping, yet we tend to want to keep our agenda to ourselves. We still want to do things according to our will and desires. This one issue is a battle of wills. Will we surrender all? Will we chose to trust Jesus to lead us forward? Will we be content allowing Him to choose some adventures ahead for us? Mmmm, well, it takes a lot of courage and fearlessness to take that leap of faith and jump into the future not being in charge of all our own lives. Yes, the daily decisions are still ours; we have to daily choose to include Him in our life choices. Have you ever had the courage to ask Him what is on His agenda? Are you willing to adjust your own plans to fit into His? What an adventure it can be to rest and trust in God’s great love for us. He sees the world from a different point of view. His dreams are so much bigger than ours could ever be! Let’s choose to follow after what He sees ahead and change our agenda to fit His.
The Bible has some great things to say about this:
When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
Many seek the ruler’s favor; but every man’s judgment cometh from the Lord.
12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.
13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Putting away the ways of our flesh is a choice.
The Lord instructs us to “put away” certain habits from our lives. The very fact that He makes it an instruction means we have control over these actions. It is our choice to keep or put away these habits.
The list of items in the above Scriptures have consequences that the Lord knows will cause us grief and He wants us to get them out of our lives. (Merriam-Webster definitions)
Froward mouth: Moving or facing away from something or someone. Also, difficult to deal with, perverse.
Perverse Lips: Turn away from what is right or good, corrupt, improper, incorrect. Also, obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable or accepted, wrongheaded.
Childish Things: Marked by or suggestive of immaturity and lack of poise. Lacking complexity, simple. Deteriorated with age especially in mind, senile.
Lying: Marked by or containing untrue statements, dishonest, mendacious.
Bitterness: Marked by intensity or severity, accompanied by severe pain or suffering. Being relentlessly determined, exhibiting intense animosity. Harshly reproachful, marked by cynicism and rancor, intensely unpleasant. Caused by or expressive of severe pain, grief or regret.
Wrath: Strong vengeful anger or indignation. Retributory punishment for an offense of a crime: divine chastisement.
Anger: A strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism, rage.
Clamour: [clamor]: Noisy shouting, a loud continuous noise, insistent public expression, protesting.
When we look at the definitions for these “put away” life habits, it is clear to see they are not a positive influence for our lives. This is why the Lord wants us to choose to put them away from us. It almost looks like a forceful action. We need to hate these types of actions in our lives. A picture of bees clamoring around us comes to mind. We would flee as quickly as possible from them.
Let us choose to look for any of these actions in our lives and choose to put them away. The Lord has much better life choices for us to enjoy.
Good or Bad…what is flowing from our well?
What kind of words are coming out of our mouths? Are we being kind or filled with sour bitterness? These verses from the Bible in James, are so clear. We choose what we say. We can pour out all of our inner anguish or choose to bless others. We can scream bitter angry words or forgive and ask the Lord to heal our hearts. We can put others down to make ourselves feel better or we can lift up others without needing praise from others.
Choices all given to us from the Lord God, our creator, who gives us the ability to choose our thoughts, words and deeds. There are consequences from each choice we make, both good and bad. One sign of a mature person is the ability to accept others without judgment. Not an easy task, but each time we choose to bless rather than curse, heal rather than harm, we are growing in the Lord’s grace. The rewards are a peaceful heart that has no condemnation and a growing group of people we love and are loved by.
2 We all make many mistakes. A person who never said anything wrong would be perfect. Someone like that would be able to control their whole body too. 3 We put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us. With these bits we can control their whole body. 4 It is the same with ships. A ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship. And the one who controls the rudder decides where the ship will go. It goes where he wants it to go. 5 It is the same with our tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it can boast about doing great things.
A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. 6 The tongue is like a fire. It is a world of evil among the parts of our body. It spreads its evil through our whole body and starts a fire that influences all of life. It gets this fire from hell.
7 Humans have control over every kind of wild animal, bird, reptile, and fish, and they have controlled all these things. 8 But no one can control the tongue. It is wild and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people who were created in God’s likeness. 10 These praises and curses come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. 11 Do good water and bad water flow from the same spring? Of course not.12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree make olives? Or can a grapevine make figs? No, and a well full of salty water cannot give good water.
Our words and thoughts are revealed to the Lord
Psalm 19:14 (ERV)
14 May my words and thoughts please you.
Lord, you are my Rock—the one who rescues me.
Psalm 139:1-7 (ERV)
1 Lord, you have tested me,
so you know all about me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts from far away.
3 You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know everything I do.
4 Lord, you know what I want to say,
even before the words leave my mouth.
5 You are all around me—in front of me and behind me.
I feel your hand on my shoulder.
6 I am amazed at what you know;
it is too much for me to understand.
7 Your Spirit is everywhere I go.
I cannot escape your presence.
The day when Christ Jesus of Nazareth, went to the Cross of Calvary. He willingly gave His life for all of us. Today, we remember that horrific day in honor of that great sacrifice. We celebrate His death not in jubilation, but rather in thanksgiving to only One who could buy us back from the loss in the Garden of Eden. To us it is a Good Friday-a day of rejoicing in our Great Messiah!
6 Christ died for us when we were unable to help ourselves. We were living against God, but at just the right time Christ died for us. 7 Very few people will die to save the life of someone else, even if it is for a good person. Someone might be willing to die for an especially good person. 8 But Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed how much he loves us. 9 We have been made right with God by the blood sacrifice of Christ. So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger. 10 I mean that while we were God’s enemies, he made friends with us through his Son’s death. And the fact that we are now God’s friends makes it even more certain that he will save us through his Son’s life. 11 And not only will we be saved, but we also rejoice right now in what God has done for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of Jesus that we are now God’s friends.