The Message in Your Mouth

by Rick
The Message in Your Mouth

 

  • The Message that’s in Your Mouth!
  • Clear Fountain vs. Stagnant Swamp
  • Choose Your Words Wisely
  • Sticks and Stones
  • Watch Your Mouth
  • What kind of book is your Tongue Writing
  • Lining up your Word with your Belief
  • You can Change your life by Changing Your Words!
  • Don’t Allow what you See to change what you Say!
  • Speaking Faith Only
  • Speaking to Storms
  • Speaking to Circumstances
  • Believing what you Say
  • Taking God Public
  • Building Up, not Tearing Down
  • Do you want to make God sad
  • Would your words Amaze Jesus
  • The Incapacitating force of Fear
  • Learning to Hear
  • Overcoming Discouraging Words
  • Speaking with Conviction
  • Speaking the Solution – By Faith
  • Learning to speak like a Giant Killer
  • The Power to Name/Label
  • Does God have to shut your Mouth
  • Believing the Impossible
  • The Power of a Point of Reference
  • Agreeing with God’s Word
  • Even when you don’t Understand It
  • Surrounding yourself with the Right People
  • The Language of Faith
  • Your Spiritual Sponge
  • What kind of fruit do you Produce?
  • The Poison of Haters can’t stop the Purpose of God
  • What’s in your Heart
  • Idle Words
  • You will be Judged by Your Words
  • Speaking the Solution, not the Problem
  • Faith Speaks
  • God can Give Life to Dead Situations with His Words
  • The Total Package
  • O Mighty Warrior!
  • Watch Your Complaining
  • Don’t disqualify yourself if God has already Qualified You!
  • Change your Words – Change your Life!
  • Break to Discuss Resurrection Sunday
  • The True Meaning of Easter (Resurrection Sunday)
  • A Substitutionary Life
  • Our Blood Covenant
  • We Serve a Living Savior!
  • The Story
  • Back to the Series
  • Sweatless Victory!
  • God worked with Gideon
  • You Can Do It!
  • Can Your Faith handle an Impossible Situation?
  • Putting God in your Speech
  • Mastering Your Mouth
  • A Froward Mouth
  • Mingled Seed
  • Confessing and Believing – a Powerful Combination!

The Message that’s in Your Mouth! (top of page)

(James 1:26 NIV)  If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Yesterday we closed out our series on “Unlocking the Power of Personal Vision” and I pray that blessed you greatly.  This morning we start a new series that I am truly excited about.  A few years ago I did a series entitled, “Mastering Your Mouth.”  This series will line up with that one.  The title of this series is, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  The premise is that the words that you speak are not simply an exercise of your vocal chords, but they literally have spiritual importance.  There is a message that is being released every time you open your mouth.  In this series we will see that the Bible is full of truth concerning the power of your words.

This morning’s message will simply serve as an introduction to the power-packed series.  We start our journey in the book of James.  In the first chapter James teaches about the necessity to be a “doer” and not just a “hearer” of the Word of God.  James’ point is that we must put action in our Christian walk.  We must not hear the Word of God continually without having the desire and the determination to perform the Word that we hear.  However, after putting this emphasis on doing and action, the Holy Spirit through James teaches us that the true litmus test of our Christian walk is not in our outward actions, but rather in our ability to control our tongue.  Outwards works have their place, but a person can perform outwards works without being spiritually mature.  The test of spiritual maturity is not in outwards actions, but rather in inward control.  The fight of inward control is won or lost with a two inch piece of flesh – our tongue.

James says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”  This is harsh language.  James does not leave a great deal of leeway in his verbiage.  As we grow in Christ we must seek to develop a tight reign on our tongue.  We must seek to Master our Mouth.  We must seek to ensure that the message that comes out of our mouth is a message that promotes and does not tear down God’s Kingdom agenda in our lives.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that the power of death and life are in your tongue.  When you really think about it you realize that you literally have what you say.  In this series you will learn the importance of your words and you will learn to train your tongue.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I thank you for revealing unto me the miracle that’s in my mouth, for teaching me to understand the power of my words.  I rule my own spirit, I rule my own life, and I do it by ruling my mouth.  I learn to train my tongue to line up with Your Word and Your promises.  I will not speak blessings and curses out of my mouth.  I declare that no corrupt communication will proceed from out of my mouth and that every word will minister grace unto the hearers.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Clear Fountain vs. Stagnant Swamp (top of page)

(Prov 10:31 MSG)  A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom; a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp.

We just started our new series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  I am truly excited about this series and I know it will bless you greatly.  Many fail to realize the role their tongue, speech, and words have on their lives.

Solomon, considered the wisest man in the Bible, shares great God-inspired wisdom in the book of proverbs.  In this morning’s proverb he says, “A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom; a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp.”  What the point?  The point is that what comes out of your mouth is a clear indication of what kind of person you are internally.  What is in you abundantly will come out of you eventually.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you audio must match your video.  You can portray the right outward appearance (your video), but if your words (your audio) do no align with you image then there is something wrong.  Being a person of integrity literally means that you area fully integrated.  I will teach this further later.  But suffice is to say that if you consider yourself a good and Godly person then your words MUST testify to the same.  You can’t project good, but then speak bad all day long and think that you will be effective in the Kingdom of God.  a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp and it is an indication that a stagnant swamp lives inside of the person speaking the foul words.  However, a good mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom!  Praise God!  Which on are you?

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  A clear fountain of wisdom is inside of me, because You are inside of me.  I now declare, by faith, that my words will spring forth good things and they serve as an outwards testimony of my inward condition!  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Choose Your Words Wisely (top of page)

(Prov 6:1,2 GW)  My son, if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor or pledge yourself for a stranger with a handshake, you are trapped by the words of your own mouth, caught by your own promise.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  We will cover this topic from many different angles.  It is my norm to teach from both precept and example.  We will cover both as we seek to understand the power of our own words.  For this morning we will hunker-down in the book of proverbs.  God imparted supernatural wisdom to Solomon and the Holy Spirit through Solomon imparts supernatural wisdom to us in the form of many proverbs.

In chapter 13 Solomon said, “If you reject God’s teaching, you will pay the price; if you obey his commands, you will be rewarded” (Prov 13:13).  This is a simple yet powerful truth.  It teaches us that: God desires to reward and bless his people, that the reward or blessing will come through obedience to His teachings, and that those who receive but choose to reject His teachings will also be rewarded (negatively).  That being said, God has taught us many things in His Word about the words of our mouth.  As we learn them we must do so with the aim of taking heed to the instruction.  We always have the choice to receive or reject His instruction; either way we will be rewarded.

Early in chapter 13 Solomon said, “From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence.  He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin” (vv.2,3).  This teaches us that our lips literally carry a message; a message that will bring about manifestation in our lives.  Those that speak good things will enjoy good things, but those that speak negatively will eventually experience the same.  That is why Solomon said that those who guard their lips are literally guarding their lives.  Do you pay attention to what you say?  If you were to record yourself for a week and then play it back, what kind of speech would you hear?  The more you understand the power of your words, the more careful you will be while using them.

In chapter six Solomon says, “My son, if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor or pledge yourself for a stranger with a handshake, you are trapped by the words of your own mouth, caught by your own promise” (vv.1,2).  What’s the point here?  The point is that your word is your bond.  In God’s eyes you are literally obligated by every word that comes out of your mouth.  Failure to complete what your words have obligated you to becomes a violation of your integrity.  Think about that for a moment.  Your words are not simple variations of sounds, but rather obligating forces that emerge from your spirit and your soul.  Be careful not to allow your words to obligate you to something you really did not want to do.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that your words can either entrap you or protect you.  Either way, the choice is yours.  You can choose your words wisely and reap the benefits of protecting the message that comes out of your mouth or you can speak loosely and foolishly and allow the words of your mouth to entrap you into areas you would rather avoid.  Once you know better you ought to do better.  Choose your words wisely!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I receive and respond to Your teaching.  I will not ignore Your instruction.  I understand that I will be satisfied by speaking good things.  I speak life and not death, blessing and not cursing, good and not evil.  I guard my life by guarding my lips.  I choose to be protected and not entrapped by my words!  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Making Your Words Count (top of page)

(Eph 5:1 AMP)  Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  Yesterday we dealt with the truth (from God) that we must choose our words wisely.  This morning I felt led to continue to flow in that same vein.  In the last message my base text was the first two verses of Proverbs chapter six, where Solomon said, “My son, if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor or pledge yourself for a stranger with a handshake, you are trapped by the words of your own mouth, caught by your own promise.”  The point was that if you commit yourself to something with your words, then your words have literally obligated your entire person.  Any failure to perform what your words have obligated you to would be a violation of your integrity.  Let me explain.  The word integrity comes from the word “integrated” or “integrate.”  You, like God, are a tri-partite being; meaning that there are three parts of you.  You are a spirit, you possess a soul, and you live in a body.  If your spirit wants to do one thing, but your soul would like to do another, and your body is pulling you in yet another direction, then you are not fully integrated.  This inward struggle will eventually lead to a conflict and hence, a violation of your integrity.  If you can learn to control your tongue then you will literally learn to control your life, because what comes out of your tongue is an outward representation of what is going on inside of you.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:1 to be imitators of God.  Paul teaches us to literally copy God and to follow His example.  Well, what example has God laid out for us?  In God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) we see a true example of integrity.  There are no conflicts or contradictions between God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit.  Another great truth is that everything the God does lines up with His Word!  Why?  Because He chose His words wisely.  He said what He meant and He meant what He said.  He knew that if He spoke a promise in the Word of God that He would be OBLIGATED to perform that promise in our lives.

In Numbers 23 there is an interesting story of a prophet (Balaam) sharing a Word from God with a man named Balak.  Balak did not like what God said and he was looking for another word.  Balaam went back to God and came back with another word.  This is what God said the second time, “God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction [for what He has promised].  Has He said and shall He not do it?  Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?” (Num 23:19 AMP).  What was the point of this second word?  It was to drive home the point that God is not going to violate His Word or change His mind.  If God said something then He is obligated to perform it.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  God is a God of His Word.  We can find great comfort in knowing that God has pledged Himself with every promise He has given us in His Word.  If He spoke it, He literally obligated Himself to make it good.

2.  We are to be imitators of God.  Our goal is to do, in earth, what we see God doing in heaven.  That’s how we will ensure that His will is done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Mat 6:10).

3.  Our words mean something.  If you ever run into a person that says something, only to be ignored by others, it is a good indication that that person may not be a person of integrity.  Their words have lost their value.  It ought not be so with a child of God.  Say what you mean and mean what you say!  Your words must count if you are to represent God in the earth!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  My words count.  I say what I mean and I mean what I say.  I choose my words wisely.  I am a person of integrity because I am fully integrated.  My spirit, soul, and body are all aligned.  I imitate God by backing my words with action.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Sticks and Stones (top of page)

(Prov 15:4 MSG) Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  We have all heard the childhood cliché, “Sticks and stones may break by bones, but words will never hurt me.”  It may have worked on the playground, but it does not work in real life.  Words not only hurt, but they have the power to literally derail us, if we allow them to.  Jeremiah said, “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for” (29:11 GNB).  David thought about God’s plans for his life and said, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!  How great is the sum of them!” (Ps 139:17).  Jeremiah and David help us understand the greatness of God’s plans and thoughts for us and towards us.  Many of us can remember our childhood plans and dreams.  Many children dream of becoming a lawyer, doctor, business owner, successful athlete, minister or etc.  However, countless dreams and aspirations have been destroyed by the cutting words of parents or others.

I grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in our country (East New York, Brooklyn).  I was surrounded by violence, drugs, and death on a regular if not daily basis.  My friends and I would sit on the stoops (front steps) of abandoned buildings and dream about getting out of the ghetto and becoming “successful” in life.  It is sad to say, but I am the only one of our childhood group that ever did leave.  Many of them are dead, have been in jail, addicted to drugs, or etc.  What was the difference?  Part of the difference was the power of words.  My little Sister and I had a praying mother who told us that we could do anything.  She constantly reminded us that there were people – most of our family for that matter – that had it worse than us.  She told us that we were in the land of hope.  That America would be the place where we would be able to help our family back in the Dominican Republic.  So when I heard words (messages) on the street about Brooklyn being the ghetto, about the drug and violence situation, about the statistics that almost resigned us to living in the ghetto forever, and about the fact that I was nothing but another immigrant trying to make it, I had another set of words (messages) that I could refer to.  My mother gave my sister and me words of hope! Her words trumped the other words and because of it we have been relatively successful today.  My sister is 26yrs. old, a college graduate, and she and her husband own two supermarkets in NYC.  My board meets this week for my consideration for promotion to Chief Warrant Officer Four in the US Army and I am Godly confident that I will get promoted.  Of course, the hand of God is the reason for our success, but I cannot negate the role that my mother’s words played.

So what does this mean to you today? Two things:

1.  Think about you:  Maybe you experienced words that wounded and maimed.  Maybe you have allowed your dreams and aspirations to die.  Maybe you have allowed your surroundings to seemingly disqualify you from your destiny.  If that is you this morning, the good news is that you are still alive.  The fact that you are still breathing and blood is still flowing in your veins is evidence that God is not through with you.  Jeremiah and David teach us this morning of God’s plans and thoughts towards us.  Agree with God’s plans.  Confess God’s Word.  Receive God’s opinion of you and you will see hopeless situations turn around in your life.

2.  Think about others:  I pray you have learned from our text never to use cutting words that wound and maim with your spouse, children, friends, or anyone for that matter.  Words are powerful.  You have power in your tongue.  How will you use that power today?

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  The power of death and life are in my tongue.  You have given me the power to heal and help or wound and maim.  I choose to use my tongue to help and to be a blessing.  I build up and never tear down.  I agree with Your plans and Your thoughts for my life.  Your words trump ever negative word spoken over me.  I am redeemed from every negative word!  Forward ever, backward never.  Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Watch Your Mouth (top of page)

(Prov 21:23 MSG) Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  In our base text for this morning the Lord through Solomon teaches us to watch our mouth.  He says, “Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.”  I like to teach by both precept and example, so let’s look at some examples of this.

The first example we will look at is of a person talking too much.  You may have heard of him, his name is Job.  Job got to a point in his life where he questioned God.  He spoke out against God and his words got him in trouble.  First his friend Elihu corrected him.  Elihu was the youngest of his friends, but he was also the wisest.  He spoke Godly correction for four straight chapters (34-37).  Once Elihu was done God Himself took over.  God started this correction of Job with this question: “Why do you talk so much when you know so little?” (38:2).  Wow!  How would you feel if God asked you that?  God’s correction also went on for four straight chapters.  When it was finally over Job said, “You asked why I talk so much when I know so little.  I have talked about things that are far beyond my understanding” (42:3).  What was Job saying?  Job was admitting to speaking beyond his level of expertise; to speaking words without knowledge.  Job was admitting the fact that he allowed his words to get him in trouble.  He was hung by his tongue.  He put his foot in his mouth.

Now, let’s look at another example.  This time this will be an example of the opposite.  I was in a meeting yesterday where the main topic was something that I am not very familiar with.  The discussion went on for a little over an hour and I only made one comment the entire time.  This is not normally the case, because my position is that of a Subject Matter Expert (SME).  I serve as a technical advisor to my boss.  In many technical meetings I have a key role.  However, this meeting was not technical and it did not involve any area of my expertise.  I was there for situational awareness, nothing more.  At the end of the meeting my boss said, “Rick, you have been mighty quiet.  Don’t you have anything to say?”  I replied, “Sir, I was just listening.”  Why?  Because I learned a long time ago to watch my mouth.  My words have become valuable.  People seek out what I have to say.  I thank God that I am considered wise beyond my years in both the military and ministry arenas.  But if I begin to speak about things I don’t understand; thereby misrepresenting my knowledge of a particular subject, it will eventually catch up to me.  If I make that a pattern then there will come a time where my words would be considered insignificant.  So I have learned to keep my mouth closed until I have something to say.

Solomon said, “If you have done foolishly in exalting yourself, or if you have thought evil, lay your hand upon your mouth” (Prov 30:32 AMP).  What is his point?  His point is that it is better to put your hand over your mouth than to speak foolishly and to misrepresent yourself.

So what does this mean to you today? Two things:

1.  Only speak when you have something to say.  Speaking too much will give you ample opportunities to be hung by your tongue.

2.  Keep a proper opinion of yourself.  Paul teaches us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Rom 12:3), but conversely we should also not think too lowly of ourselves.  Keep a proper opinion of yourself and represent yourself in accordance with your God-given abilities.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I watch my mouth.  I am careful to speak at the right times with the right information and revelation.  I protect my words and I do not allow them to lose their value.  My words are valuable and they come forth to make a difference.  I know who I am in You.  I have a proper opinion of myself and I represent myself accordingly.  Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

What kind of book is your Tongue Writing? (top of page)

(Ps 45:1 CEV)  (A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader. To the tune “Lilies.” A love song.) My thoughts are filled with beautiful words for the king, and I will use my voice as a writer would use pen and ink.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  This morning we take a look at the 45th psalm.  The introduction of the psalm says that it is a special psalm for the people of Korah and their music leader, but most scholars believe this psalm is about the Messiah – Jesus, the Christ.  This psalm describes Christ’s Kingdom and His glory.  I like the way the psalm opens up.  Right up front the writer says, “My thoughts are filled with beautiful words for the king.”  He lets us know that inwardly he was overflowing with beautiful thoughts of the King he pictured.  Inwardly his thoughts were an overflowing river.  Inwardly he was bubbling over with beauty.  The obvious question would then be, how could he get all that beauty out?  How could this person express outwardly what was bubbling over inwardly?  The answer is found in his next words.  The writer says, “I will use my voice as a writer would use pen and ink.”  The King James Version says, “My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”

I have entitled this series, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  The point of the title is to get you to realize that your words are literally relaying and projecting a message every time you open your mouth.  Whether you know it or not, your words count and you will be held accountable for them one day.  The writer of the 45th psalm paints a picture for us that gives us to know that our tongue is the tool through which we can relay outwardly what is inwardly overflowing in our lives.

In Luke 6 Jesus was teaching and He said, “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.  You can tell what a tree is like by the fruit it produces.  You cannot pick figs or grapes from thornbushes.  Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts.  Bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts.  Your words show what is in your heart” (Luke 6:43-45 CEV).  I will deal with this passage in more detail later, but for this morning I simply want you to know that what is in you abundantly will come out of you eventually.

Let’s say you are a Born-Again believer and you get up at 3am to use the bathroom.  While you are half asleep and stumbling along you stump you toe on the wall and you all-of-a-sudden say something you would rather not say.  The word surprises you and you think to yourself, “Where did that come from?”  Well, let me give you the answer, it came from YOU!  It came from down inside of you and it is an indication that you need to change what you listen to.  Your output is an indication of your input; garbage in, garbage out.

So what does this mean to you today? Two things:

1.  Your tongue is the pen of a ready writer.  Every time you use your tongue you are relaying a message.  Make sure they are messages of righteousness.  If your tongue is writing the book of your life, then what kind of book will it be?  Are you speaking yourself into defeat, failure, sickness, and etc?  Are you speaking those things over others?  Remember, your words count.  Use them wisely.  If I am writing a book, then the book is going to be good.  In the book I write, I win and so do those around me!  Amen!

2.  Your words are an indication of the deposit of your heart.  If you don’t like your output, then its time to change your input.  Check what you allow in your eye gates and ear gates.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.  I write success and victory for my family and also for those around me.  I am careful not to speak failure and defeat over others and I will definitely not speak it over my own life.  I speak life and not death.  I check my input.  The deposits of my heart are filled with good things.  Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Lining up your Word with your Belief (top of page)

(Gen 11:6 NIV)  The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  Our journey towards learning and untapping the power of the tongue takes us to Genesis chapter 11 this morning.  In this chapter we find the building of the infamous Tower of Babel.  The Bible says, “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.  As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.  They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.”  They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.  Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (verses 1-4).  We can see that their motivation was not to bring glory to God.  They were doing this for selfish reasons – pride, fame, etc. – and we will see that God intervened.  The Bible goes on to say, “But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building.  The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”  So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city” (verses 5-8).

The point I want to focus in on this morning is that fact that God said that nothing would be impossible for them, because they were speaking the same language and the people were one.  There was a level of consistency among them.  They believed the same thing, they spoke the same thing, and they never contradicted each other; because of it God said nothing was impossible for them.  There is tremendous power that is available to us in the Body of Christ.  Jesus said that we would do even greater works than what He did (John 14:12).  The reason most people don’t experience the power of God manifested in their lives is because of contradictions.  They say one thing in the morning in prayer, but then speak against it all day long.  For example: some pray to God in the morning for physical healing and health, but they then go throughout the day saying things like, “My feet are killing me,” or “My back is killing me,” or “I am dying to eat some cake,” or etc.  Now, most people will tell me, “Rick, I don’t really believe my feet are going to kill me.”  But then what words do you believe?  You can’t think that your words of prayer are going to be powerful if you don’t believe most of the words you speak all day.  There must be a level of consistency in your speech.

In Genesis 12 God promised Abram that he would have many children and that he would be the father of many nations.  By the 17th chapter nothing had happened yet.  Abram and Sarah still did not have any children.  In the fifth verse of the 17th chapter God said, “Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, meaning that ‘I’m making you the father of many nations” (Gen 17:5).  What was God doing?  He was making Abraham line up his words with his belief.  He now had to go around introducing himself as Abraham (the father of many nations), even though he did not have any children yet.  Why?  So his speech could be consistent with his belief.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that there is a power that is untapped when your speech is consistent with your belief.  You must back up your words of prayer with words of faith.  You can’t pray one thing and then speak another.  Contradictory speech will keep you from God’s best, but consistent speech will express your faith to God!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I speak what I believe and I believe what I speak.  I untap the power of the tongue in my life and I declare that nothing shall be impossible for me.  My consistency in belief and in speech is an outward representation of my faith.  I am consistent.  I never allow my words to contradict Your plan for my life.  Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

You can Change your life by Changing Your Words! (top of page)

(Luke 6:43-45 CEV)  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.  You can tell what a tree is like by the fruit it produces.  You cannot pick figs or grapes from thornbushes.  Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts.  Bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts.  Your words show what is in your heart.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  I have focused most of my attention thus far on Old Testament proverbs concerning the power of the tongue and the importance of our words.  I will now broaden my approach and show you Biblical evidence to support this truth from all over the Bible.  One of the best places to start any topic is with the teachings of Jesus.  Jesus taught several things – by precept and example – about the importance of our words.

In Luke 6 Jesus was teaching on lots of topics when He got to this one.  I like the way He illustrated the relationship between us and our words.  He likened us to trees and our words to fruit.  Trees produce their own fruit and likewise, we literally produce our own words.  The nature of the fruit comes from the characteristics of the tree.  The same is true for our words.  Jesus explained that a good tree was not capable of producing bad fruit, nor was a bad tree capable of producing good fruit.  Why?  Because the fruit is a direct representation of the makeup of the tree.  This is how it is with our words.  Jesus said, “Your words show what is in your heart.”  In the King James Version this portion is translated, “…for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”  So the point is that the quality and type of your words are a direct indication of the quality and condition of your heart.  Your heart is your reservoir.  Your heart is your deposit.  What is IN you abundantly will come OUT of you eventually.

We can see then why our words are so important.  Our words are an expression of our true selves.  People know you by the words that you speak.  That’s how we know God; we know Him by His Word.  Similarly, most of you (that receive Today’s Word) don’t know me personally, but you know me by my words.  By knowing my words you know me.  My words are just as much me as I am myself.  My words are birthed out of the reservoir of my soul.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  The words you speak are a litmus test for the condition of your heart (deposit).

2.  You are your words and your words are you.

3.  Daily, your words are telling everyone who you are.

4.  If you don’t like the message your words are portraying about you, then it is time to change.

5.  To change your words you must change your heart (deposit).

6.  To change your heart (deposit) you must change your input: what you see and hear.

7.  If you can change your input you can change the condition of your heart; if you can change the condition of your heart you will change the quality of your words; if you can change your words you can change your life!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  My words come out of the abundance of my heart.  My heart is filled with what I see and listen to.  I check my input and I ensure that I fill my heart with good things.  As I fill my heart with things that are pleasing to You, my words will indicate the condition of my heart.  My words will be words of blessing and not cursing, good and not evil.  Once my input is pure, my heart is right, and my words are righteous, then I cannot help but be blessed.  I change my life by changing my words.  Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Don’t Allow what you See to change what you Say! (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  Our journey takes us to Daniel 3 this morning.  There is a lot to cover in this chapter so I will attempt to summarize it.  King Nebuchadnezzar ordered a 90ft. high (and wide) gold statue to be built near Babylon.  He commanded everyone in his kingdom to come to the dedication of the statue.  An official announced that music would soon start playing and that when the music played everyone was to bow down and worship the statue.  Anyone who refused would be thrown into a flaming furnace.  So the music played and almost all the people bowed down.  Some Babylonians, who were jealous of the favor the Lord had given some Jewish boys, took this opportunity to point out that three Jews (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), who were appointed to high positions by king, refused to bow down and worship the statue.  King Nebuchadnezzar was furious!  He sent for the three young men and said, “I hear that you refuse to worship my gods and the gold statue I have set up.  Now I am going to give you one more chance.  If you bow down and worship the statue when you hear the music, everything will be all right.  But if you don’t, you will at once be thrown into a flaming furnace.  No god can save you from me.”  See, the devil will always give you more chances to do wrong.  The enemy wants to see if you are going to change your mind just because there is some pressure.  God is also watching and He wants to know if your faith is strong enough to endure the attacks of the enemy.

King Nebuchadnezzar sent them a message with his words.  He said, “No god can save you from me.”  It was now their turn to send a message back with their words.  What do you think they said?  Do you think they buckled under the pressure or did they remain strong in faith?  They did the latter and replied, “Your Majesty, we don’t need to defend ourselves.  The God we worship can save us from you and your flaming furnace.  But even if he doesn’t, we still won’t worship your gods and the gold statue you have set up.”  This battle was not waged with swords, machine guns, or artillery; it was waged with words; words of fear vs. words of faith.  Guess what?  The words of faith will always win.  But the story is not over.  The devil was still not finished.  He wanted to give them one more chance to buckle to the pressure.  The king was so mad by now that he ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. Next, he commanded some of his strongest soldiers to tie up the three boys and to throw them into the furnace.  The strong soldiers tied up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego proceeded to throw them into the fiery furnace (that was seven times hotter than normal).  What’s the point?  The enemy will always turn up the heat to get you to change your confession.  He will turn up the heat to attempt to get you to change your mind.  He will turn up the heat to get you to doubt God.

The fire was so strong that the flames leaped out and killed the strong soldiers that were taking them to it.  Now imagine that for a moment?  These guys are tied up, close to the fire, and looking down at the remains of the soldiers that were supposed to take them in the fire.  They could have turned around and bowed down to the king right there; but if they had, they would have allowed fear to win in their lives.  They remained in faith, they went into the fire, and God blessed them to come out of the fire without even smelling like smoke! Glory to God!  Why!  Because they refused to change their confession.  They refused to doubt their God.  They refused to give up on their faith when the heat was turned up in their lives.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that your words can either release faith or fear and the enemy will turn up the heat on you every time you speak faith.  His hope is that the heat will make you buckle under the pressure.  Your God is bigger than the heat!  Don’t allow what you see to change what you say!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I speak words of faith and not fear.  I overcome doubt and unbelief.  I will not allow what I see to change what I say.  I will not allow a little pressure from the enemy to make me change my words.  I will not allow the heat to make me accept defeat.  I remain in faith and I overcome every attack by faith.  Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Speaking Faith Only (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  Our journey takes us to Mark 5 this morning.  We catch up with Jesus in the middle of a long and busy day.  He started out in Mark 4 teaching parables, He went on to calm a storm (with His words), He cast a legion of demons out a man (with His words), and we pick Him up as He is getting off of a boat at the cost of Galilee.  A great crowd waited for Jesus as He got off of the boat.  Suddenly a man seemed to emerge from the crowd.  You could tell that this was a man of prominence and stature in the community.  We come to find out that his name is Jairus; he is a ruler of the synagogue (the local Jewish meeting place).  But Jairus was not coming as a Jewish emissary, because those that Jairus associated with did not like Jesus at all.  He was not coming with a welcome; he had something that was troubling him.  Before he said anything he fell at Jesus’ feet.  And then right there, in front of the crowd – no doubt there were people there that knew him – he went on to share with Jesus what was troubling his heart.  He swallowed his pride and said, “My daughter is about to die!  Please come and touch her, so she will get well and live.”  Now, notice what he did.  Jairus identified his problem, but he then went on to speak his desired outcome – by faith.  He did not just say, “Oh Jesus!  My daughter is dying!  I don’t know what to do!  Do something, do something!”  No, Jairus was specific in his request.  He declared what he was believing God to happen and he did it by faith.  This faith spurned Jesus to action.  See, fear moves satan, faith moves God.  His faith moved Jesus to want to bring to pass his words.  So Jesus went with him to his house and the disciples and the crowd followed.

While Jesus, Jairus, the disciples, and the crowd were all walking to Jairus’ house there was a woman that had a 12yr. old bleeding problem that also operated in faith and tapped into the healing virtue of Jesus.  Jesus stopped to deal with this woman and she went on to give her testimony to Jesus.  While Jesus was wrapping up his conversation with the woman some men came from Jairus’ house and said to him, “Your daughter has died!  Why bother the teacher anymore?”  Wow!  Remember, I shared with you yesterday that the devil will always attempt to turn up the heat to get you to change your confession.  Jairus had spoken faith, Jesus was already enroute to his house, things were looking good, but the circumstances changed in the space between the confession and the completion.  So what do you do when the circumstances get worse before they get better?  What do you do when the devil stirs up confusion in the space between your confession and the completion of it?  What do you do when the heat is turned up?  Answer: You remain in faith and you don’t change your confession!  You don’t allow what you see to change what you say!

Jesus overheard what was said to Jairus.  Jesus knew that fear had creeped in.  Note: words from God will always promote faith, words from the enemy will always promote fear.  Jesus also knew that if Jairus spoke words of fear, doubt, and unbelief that he would cancel out his words of faith.  Jesus knew that if Jairus accepted the bad news and told him not to go to the house that He would not go.  Jesus would not force Himself on Jairus.  Jairus’ words caused Jesus to start going and Jairus’ words could cause Jesus to stop.  So Jesus stepped in before Jairus said anything wrong and said, “Be not afraid, only believe.”  Or, in other words, “Remain in faith and not fear.”  Jairus kept his mouth closed and when they got to the house Jesus did all the talking; and guess what?  The little girl was raised back to life!  Praise God!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that your words matter; it means that faith cancels out fear, just like fear cancels out faith; and it means that you should keep your mouth shut if you are not in a condition to speak faith!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I speak words of faith and not fear.  If I am ever in a position to where I am in fear and I cannot speak faith, I will simply keep my mouth shut.  I refuse to allow words of fear to cancel out my words of faith!  I believe, I trust, I operate in faith, and my words show it!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Speaking to Storms (top of page)

(Mark 4:39 KJV)  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth!”  In yesterday’s message I mentioned how busy Jesus was and how his day included Him speaking to a storm.  Let’s take a closer look at that this morning.

Jesus had already experienced a busy day ministering to the sick and teaching parables to those who followed Him.  He also still had a long day ahead of Him and where He would perform many more miracles.  Evening was drawing near.  He took a pause from teaching and He told His disciples that they would go over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (v.35).  Once Jesus spoke something it was as good as done.  Jesus and the disciples entered a boat and Jesus went to the stern of the ship and went to sleep on a pillow.  Yes, Jesus was all God, but He was also all man, and He was tired.  While He was taking a nap a storm began to rage.  Remember, the devil will always turn up the heat to get you to change your words.  The storm was fierce and it caused huge waves.  The waves broke over the boat, the boat began to take on water, and it seemed like they might go down.  The whole while, Jesus was sleeping through the storm.  Jesus had already spoken – in faith – that they would arrive at the other side.  There was no need for Him to worry.  He was solidified in His belief and in His words.  The disciples, however, were not at the same level.  Although they were there when He turned water into wine, healed a leper, the Centurion’s servant, and Peter’s mother-in-law; they were still afraid.  The disciples woke up the sleeping Jesus and asked Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  It is obvious that they had not yet learned the lesson of the power of their words.  They constantly spoke out of fear, doubt, and unbelief.  Jesus’ words and their words were quite different.  Jesus got up, rebuked the wind (the root of the problem) and said to the waves, “Peace, be still!”  The conditions submitted to His words and the soon there was a great calm.  Now, listen to what he told the disciples next.  Jesus asked, “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”  Jesus either meant that they should have believed what He said when He told them that they would make it to the other side or He meant that they could have done what He did and handled the storm while He was sleeping.  Either way, Jesus expected them to operate in faith and not fear.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  If you release your faith over something, then you must have the confidence that God will bring it to pass, no matter how hot the heat gets.  Your confidence will enable you to sleep through storms, knowing that your faith is working, even when you cannot “see” it working.

2.  Fear moves satan, faith moves God.  Jesus was resting in faith and the disciples were stirred up in fear.  The enemy will always attempt to cripple our faith by attacking us to the point of fear.  You cannot operate in fear and faith at the same time.

3.  Jesus always deals with the root of the issue.  The text says that He rebuked the wind first and then spoke to the waves.  The waves were only reacting to the wind.  So whenever storms rage in your life (marriage, workplace, children, etc.), seek to find the root of the issue first, and deal with that.  Speak to it.  The power of death and life are in your tongue.  Jesus was our example and He spoke to things.  If we are to imitate Jesus we must get past the initial uneasiness of speaking to things and we must release our faith with our words.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I thank Your for teaching me through Your Word to walk in faith in every area and aspect of my faith.  I am a person of faith.  I live by faith, walk by faith, pray by faith, fight the good fight of faith, and overcome the world through faith.  I enter into rest, because of the confidence I have in the faith I release over my life through my words that line up with Your Word.  I am able to sleep through any storm and know that You will bring me through, in accordance with my faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Speaking to Circumstances (top of page)

(Luke 4:38,39 MSG) He left the meeting place and went to Simon’s house. Simon’s mother-in-law was running a high fever and they asked him to do something for her. He stood over her, told the fever to leave – and it left. Before they knew it, she was up getting dinner for them.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth! ” In our last message we saw how Jesus spoke to a storm. He literally looked at the a raging storm and used words to bring peace and calm. He did not come against the storm with physical might or worldly force, because those things would be useless against nature, but He rather used spiritual power. Everything in the earth was created with spiritual power and is subject to God. I know that the insinuation is that Jesus could do that because He was God and that there is no way that we could or should go around speaking to things that come up against us. We will see in this series that the same Jesus that spoke to things instructed us to do the same.

One day Jesus was ministering. After he finished preaching to the crowd He was ready to get away and to be refreshed. Peter decided to take Jesus to his mother-in-law’s house. The hope was that his mother-in-law could minister to them so they could get some rest. However, they got there only to find out that Peter’s mother-in-law was not feeling well. She was running a high fever. The disciples asked Jesus to do something or her. Why? Because they had not built up their faith to the point where they could do something for her. There would come a time where Jesus would be gone and they would have to use their own faith. But in this case they were still learning and their hope was in Jesus’ faith. The text says that Jesus stood over Peter’s mother-in-law. He was ready to do something. What do you think He did? He spoke words of faith! He spoke to the fever as an object and He told the fever to leave. Guess what? It left. Before they knew it, she was up and getting dinner ready for them.

Believe me; I know that most people (even believers) think that this kind of activity is strange. They know that Jesus did things like this, but they don’t ever see themselves operating like Jesus did. Jesus Himself said that we would do what He did, and even greater works than what He did (John 14:12). But for us to operate this way we must believe that God has given us power through His Holy Spirit and we must believe the power of our words. You can’t go around all day long saying things like, “My feet are killing me,” and then think you will be able to pray out a fever; because it is obvious that you don’t believe your words will come to pass. Jesus believed His words would come to pass and He expected us to operate the same way. For example, when Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray He said, “When you pray, don’t talk on and on as people do who don’t know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers. Don’t be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask” (Mat 6:7,8). After this He went on to give them (and us) the model prayer. But the point I want to focus in on is that Jesus said that the Father knows what we have need of before we ask. If He knows what we need, why doesn’t He just give it to us? Because He expects us to communicate our need to Him with our words. Jesus did not just think the fever out, He spoke it out. We cannot just think our prayers, we must speak them. You will be hard pressed to find a silent prayer in the Bible.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that God desires for us to activate His power in the earth realm and He expects us to do it through our words. Jesus used words to come up against anything that was stopping Him for doing what the Father expected Him to do in the earth. Our mandate it to be like Jesus and to operate like He operated. Don’t be silent any longer. Open your mouth and release the power of God over your circumstances.

Confession for this day: Lord God, I open my mouth against everything that is standing in my way this morning. I speak words of faith and I believe the words I speak, in faith, will come to pass; not by my might, but by Your power. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Believing what you Say (top of page)

(2 Cor 4:13 MSG)  We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life.  Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” with a personal testimony.  I like to teach by both precept and example, so today I will share part of an example.  This weekend I traveled to Texas to take my wife to a course that she will be enrolled in for the next four months.  My prayer and my confession was that we would have a great time traveling there and that Joshua (my seven month old son) would enjoy himself during the road trip.  We planned the trip where we could visit family along the way and all went well.  We had a blessed trip there and the Lord gave us supernatural favor with many people along the way and when we arrived.  I was able to set my wife up nicely and I feel at peace about where she will stay for the next four months.  Everything we prayed about and expected came to pass.  To God be the glory.

Yesterday morning was the time for Joshua and I to travel back to Georgia.  Because of the location of the airports I had to take three flights to make it back to Augusta.  Almost every person I talked to – before and during the trip – that found out that I had to take three flights with a seven month old baby, basically said, with their lips, that I was in for a hard time.  However, I never confessed that.  I had prayed and I backed my words of prayer with words of faith.  I replied to every negative word by saying, “No, we will be blessed.”  Now, this is more than just positive thinking or positive speech.  You can get that from a motivational speaker.  What I am talking about and teaching in this series is that power of speaking words with a believing heart (Mark 11:23).  Like Paul said in 2nd Corinthians 4:13, I say what I believe; and I go on to say that I believe what I say.

My prayer and my confession was that we would have a great time traveling.  Well, to God be the glory, we did.  The first flight was three hours long.  Joshua played with me for about 45 minutes.  He then went to sleep for about an hour and a half and by the time he got up it was almost time to go down and he enjoyed the ride.  No crying, no fussing.  The first flight was out of the way.  The second flight was one hour and 15 minutes long.  Joshua slept from the time we got into the plane until the time we landed.  I had to wake him up to get him off of the plane.  The last flight was only 39 minutes long and he played with me the entire time.  Now, this may not seem like a big thing to some, but to me it is a testimony of my faith; and I share it as such.

I am now faced with taking care of a seven month old baby by myself for the next four months.  Once again, most people I run into tell me I am going to have a hard time.  But you know me, I reply with words of faith.  Now, this is not to say that I am not realistic.  I know it will be challenging, but I also know that I can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13).  My point is that I will not allow the words of my own mouth to snare me into a negative situation.  I will continue to speak life and to believe God for an easy transition.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that the power of death and life are in your tongue (Prov 18:21); it means that God backs what you say when you speak words of faith with a believing heart; and it means that you can choose to speak life and not death, blessing and not cursing, victory and not failure.  No one looks at you strange when you speak words of defeat.  You might get a few strange looks for not speaking negatively, but your life will be the better for it.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” I say what I believe.  I believe Jesus died so that I could live.  I believe the life Jesus came to give me is not only eternal, but also abundant.  I believe it is Your will that I make it to heaven, but I also believe that it is Your will that I enjoy the ride.  I believe You want me to be successful in everything that I do.  I believe all these things and my words line up with my belief.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Taking God Public (top of page)

(Mat 10:32,33 NIV)  “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” with a visit to Matthew chapter 10.  In this chapter Jesus prepared His disciples for ministry.  The instructions He gave them are still pertinent to us today.  We are merely continuing what they started.

Jesus started out by giving the disciples authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness(v.1).  The disciples needed to know right up front that the power available to Jesus was being made available to them.  Jesus was not the only one designated to operate in supernatural power.  The disciples were to do what they saw Him do and the same applies to us today.  Jesus went on to say, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.  Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues.  On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.  But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it.  At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (16-20).  Think about that for a moment.  Jesus warned them about the impending danger for taking God public, but He then reassured them that the same God they would be in danger for would turn right around and protect them.  One way that God would protect them would be with their words.  God would give them what to say and when to say it.  The right words can get you out of many tight situations.  God can grace us with the wisdom to speak the right words at the right time.

Jesus went on to explain another key point.  Jesus said, “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.  If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!” (24,25).  What was Jesus saying?  He was explaining that there is a cost associated with being a Christian.  Just like people came up against Jesus, people will come up against us.  However, this will never happen if we are too afraid to take God public.  Jesus was not intimidated by others and neither should we.  He spoke out, He spoke up, and He did it as He was led.  We must do the same thing.  As Born-Again believers we have the privilege of being led of the Holy Spirit.  When He leads us to say something we must never allow fear to keep us from saying it.  The same God that is leading us to speak will protect us after we release His words.  We should never be afraid of taking God public.  As we continue on in the passage we see why this is so important.  Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (32,33).  This is very clear and it should serve as an eye-opener for many.  If you refuse to acknowledge God in front of others, then Jesus will refuse to acknowledge you before the Father.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that there is no space in the Body of Christ for undercover Christians.  God has given you His Spirit and His Spirit lives inside of you to lead you and to guide you.  He will tell you what to say and when to say it; but if you refuse to take God public before others Jesus will refuse to take you public before the Father.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am not ashamed of You, nor am I ashamed of what You have done in my life.  As you tell me what to say, I will say it.  I will take you public as I am led.  I will not allow fear to keep me from acknowledging You and I will not give you any reason to ever fail to acknowledge me.  I take You public, Lord, with my words.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Building Up, not Tearing Down (top of page)

(Eph 4:29 AMP)  Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  Last night my Pastor taught on building up and not tearing down.  The Holy Spirit used him mightily and he dealt with many great truths from scripture.  His base text was Ephesians 4:29.

In Ephesians chapter four Paul starts the chapter by teaching on unity in the Body of Christ and he ends the chapter by teaching us how different our lives are supposed to be now that we are believers.  Paul tells us to no longer live as those that live without God.  He explains that those without God are darkened in their understanding and live as those who have hardened hearts.  These are people who give themselves over to sensuality and who indulge in impurity.  Paul goes on to teach us that we must put off our old selves and our former way of life.  We must have a new attitude and a new mind.  Our new self must be pursuant of God in true righteousness and holiness.  This is good teaching and Paul is laying it out clearly.  There should be a difference between a believer and a sinner; there should be a distinction between those of us who have been covered by the blood of Jesus and those that have not.  It is a sad commentary for there to be no identifiable difference between a Christian and a non-Christian.

Paul then gets into practical differences.  He teaches us to stop lying and to speak the truth to one another.  He teaches us that if we do get angry, that we should still not sin and that we should never go to sleep angry because it can give the devil a foothold.  Paul says, “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”  And then, in the middle of all the teaching on the differences between believers and non-believers, between sinners and saints, Paul gets to the difference that should be obvious in our speech.  Our speech, just like everything else Paul lists in this chapter, must be renewed and made to align with the newness of our lives in Christ.  If you have been talking negative for 30 years and you give your life to Christ, it is obvious that you will not change your speech over night, but over the process of time it should change.  Paul teaches us to never all foul or polluting language to come out of our mouths.  Now, when most people hear that statement they immediately think of cussing.  But the reality is that when we really understand what Paul is teaching in this text we see that it goes far beyond cussing.  Paul teaches us to only speak good and edifying things to others; things that will build them up and never tear them down.  You can tear someone down pretty hard without ever using a cuss word.  The point is that our speech should be used as a tool in the hands of God to share goodness and grace with others.  Our words should be a blessing to those that hear them.  People should walk away from an encounter with us knowing that they have been built up and edified; not torn down and destroyed.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that our mind must be renewed concerning the words of our mouths.  It’s not OK to go around putting people down on a regular basis.  It’s not OK to break someone down without ever building them back up.  It’s not OK to focus on abstaining from what people call “major sins,” but neglecting to ever focus on the words of our mouths.  Your words can either help or hurt; they can build up or tear down; how do you think God wants you to use your words today?

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I submit myself entirely unto You.  I am a believer and I will live like one.  My mind is renewed from my former life and I no longer live like the world.  I am new in my thoughts, deeds, and also in my words.  I will use my words to build up and never tear down.  My words are a blessing and not a burden to others.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Do you want to make God sad? (top of page)

(Eph 4:30 MSG)  Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by picking up where we left off in yesterday’s message.  Yesterday we focused in on the fourth chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, but our main focus was with the 29th verse.  We learned that God does not want us to allow any foul or polluting language to proceed from out of our mouths.  His desire is that we use our language to build up and not tear down.  Our words should be used for the spiritual progress of others.  This morning we take it one step further and we read the very next verse.  Paul follows his instructions on using the proper words with a warning not to grieve God.  The word grieve means, “To feel grief or sorrow.”  The word grief means, “To suffer disappointment.”  As we keep reading Paul instructs us not to break God’s heart.  The CEV says, “Don’t make God’s Spirit sad.”  The YLT says, “Make not sorrowful the Holy Spirit of God.”

Early in the letter Paul explains that we were sealed with God’s Holy Spirit when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (1:13).  Jesus Himself called this being “Born-Again” (John 3:3).  So when we are Born-Again, or born of the Spirit of God, we literally have God’s Holy Spirit living in us.  That means that we take Him everywhere we go.  He is with us when we do everything we do.  This is a far-stretching reality, but I will confine my comments to the words of your mouth, because that is the emphasis of this series.  So, we know that the Holy Spirit is with us when we speak every word that we speak.  Understanding this, we can better understand Paul’s instruction.  He teaches us not to speak foul or negative words that will tear people down and he comes right behind it and teaches us not to grieve God’s Holy Spirit.  The insinuation is that when we do speak the wrong words we are grieving the Holy Spirit of God.  We literally make Him sad.  We literally break His heart.  We disappoint Him, because He expects better of us.

A few messages ago I taught on the account of Jesus sending out His disciples.  He told them, “… at that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Mat 10:19,20).  Jesus also said, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).  We can clearly see that part of the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to lead us, guide us, and tell us what to say.  So when we speak the wrong words – words that hurt instead of help and words that tear down instead of building up – it makes the Holy Spirit sad; it literally grieves Him.  Why?  Because we are not allowing Him to perform His proper role in our lives.  He is there, He is available, and He is willing, but we have to do our part and submit to Him.  He will not force Himself upon us.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that God Himself lives inside of you and He is saddened every time you speak the wrong words.  This reality should help you make a stronger effort at controlling your tongue and submitting your speech to God.  Do you really want to make God sad or do you want to please Him by speaking the right words at the right time to the right people?

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I declare, by faith, that I will make every effort to please You in every area of my life.  I will not grieve Your precious Holy Spirit by speaking the wrong words.  I love You and I know You love me.  I submit my thoughts, my deeds, and my words to You, Your Lordship, and Your leadership.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Would your words Amaze Jesus? (top of page)

(Mat 8:10 CEV)  When Jesus heard this, he was so surprised that he turned and said to the crowd following him, “I tell you that in all of Israel I’ve never found anyone with this much faith!

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by catching up with Jesus in Matthew chapter eight.  Jesus ended His now famous “Sermon on the mount” in chapter seven.  Coming down off the mountainside Jesus encountered a leper.  This leper was looking for a breakthrough and he got it.  Jesus healed the supposed “incurable” disease.  Afterwards Jesus entered what would be the home base of His ministry, Capernaum.  A centurion (a Roman officer comparable to our US Company Commander) came seeking help for his servant.  The Centurion told Jesus that his servant was lying at home paralyzed and in terrible pain.  Jesus was used to these types of messages; He was accustomed to these types of pleas.  So what did Jesus do?  He said, “I will go and heal him.”  This seemed like standard practice at this point in Jesus’ ministry, but the Centurion was no average man.  The Centurion was not done talking.  He told Jesus about his servant’s condition, but the next words to leave his mouth would clearly express to Jesus the condition of his heart.  This man was a man of faith.

The underlying force of the Roman soldier’s faith was his understanding of authority.  He understood that the people he had authority over had to submit to him.  If he said, “go,” people went.  If he said, “do,” people did.  He was not Jew, so he probably did not know the scriptures, but he did understand authority.  He understood that anyone who has authority over something can simply speak; and whatever he has authority over has to submit to the command.  The Centurion must have perceived that Jesus had authority over sickness.  No doubt he heard of Jesus healing the incurable leper.  It was with this perception that the centurion replied to Jesus by saying, “Oh, no Sir, you don’t need to go to my house, I don’t want bother you that long.  Just give the order and my servant will be healed” (Pina version).  The King James Version says, “Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.”  This series is about the fact that our words count; they matter.  We literally release a message every time we open our mouths and we must be cognizant of what messages we are releasing.  How do you think Jesus responded to the message coming out of the Centurion’s mouth?  He literally marveled at it; He was amazed! Our text says that He was so surprised that He turned around and told the crowd that He had never encountered anyone with that much faith.  Jesus told the Centurion, “You may go home now.  Your faith has made it happen.”  Right then his servant was healed.

Your words are an indicator of the condition of your heart.  When you speak words of faith, they become what you receive.  Not because the words alone are doing anything, but because the words are coupled with the condition of your heart.  Jesus said, “Your words show what’s in your heart” (Luke 6:45).  Conversely, when you speak words of fear, doubt, and unbelief, they become what you receive; for the same reasons.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that your words count; it means that your words are an outward indication of your inward condition; and it means that your words can either move God or satan.  Fear moves satan, faith moves God.  Which one will you move today with your words?  Jesus was amazed at the words of the Centurion. If Jesus followed you around all day would He be amazed at your words of faith or disappointed with your words of fear?

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I thank You for helping me to build up my faith through Your Word.  I am internally built up and my words are an outward indication of my inward condition.  Like the Centurion, I am available to be used to be a blessing to someone else today.  Use me for Your glory.  I offer myself to You.  I speak words of faith and not fear, victory and not defeat, life and not death.  Forward ever, backward never!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Incapacitating force of Fear (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  Our journey takes us back to the Old Testament, to 1st Samuel chapter 17, to the story of David and Goliath.  No doubt you have heard about this story of overcoming insurmountable odds, but what you may not know is the role that David’s words played in his victory of the giant.

The chapter opens with the Philistines having gathered their forces to war against Israel.  The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with a valley between them.  This was a standoff of major proportions.  The Philistines had a champion in their camp named Goliath.  This man was a beast.  He was over nine feet tall, he wore 125 lbs. of bronze armor, a bronze helmet, bronze greaves around his legs, and he carried a bronze javelin on his back.  I am sure he looked like something out of the modern movies.  The head of the spear itself weighed 15 lbs.  His shield was so big that he had a shield bearer to carry it for him.  This monster stood tall and intimidated the army of Israel with his words.  He shouted, “Why do you come out and line up for battle?  Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul?  Choose a man and have him come down to me.  If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.  This day I defy the ranks of Israel!  Give me a man and let us fight each other.”  By his own admission Goliath was defying the ranks of Israel and he was doing it with his words.  His words struck fear in King Saul and in all the soldiers.  The Israelites were terrified by this man, his stature, and his words.  Goliath went out and shouted his intimidating words for 40 straight days.  See, this is how the enemy operates.  He wants us intimidate us to fear.  Once we are in fear we are no longer in faith and more importantly, once we are in fear we are hopeless because fear has an incapacitating force.  Fear will cripple us from moving forward and will bring our desires, our dreams, and our destiny to a stand still.  This one man brought an entire army and an entire nation to a stand still for 40 days by simply speaking negative words.

In comes David.  He was the youngest of eight boys and his three oldest brothers were in Saul’s army.  David was tending sheep while his brothers were being intimidated.  David’s father Jesse prepared food for his three oldest sons and asked David to take the food to them and to check on them.  David loaded up and set out early in the morning.  He reached the camp as the army was going out to their battle positions.   David left his things with the supply sergeant and ran to the battle lines to greet his brothers.  As he was talking with them, Goliath stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual insolence, but this time David heard it.  David had just been anointed by the prophet Samuel (chapter 16), so he heard with different ears.  He was able to hear what the giant was saying with a spiritual connotation.  David looked around and saw grown men, men that were supposed to be soldiers, running from the giant and his words.  We will pick this story up from here tomorrow.

So what does this mean to you today? It means we have a real enemy and he is bigger than any physical earthly giant.  Our enemy, like the giant he used in this chapter, is constantly seeking to strike fear in our hearts.  One of his greatest tools is negative words.  Our job, as Born-Again believers, is to filter the words that we hear through God’s Spirit living on the inside of us.  The Holy Spirit will confirm with us what words we should receive and repeat; and what words we should reject and come against.  Words of fear can incapacitate, words of faith can empower.  Which words will you receive today?

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I know that You have not given me the spirit of fear and I therefore choose not to operate in it.  I operate in love, power, and a sound mind.  I do not allow the comments of others to derail me from my destiny; nor to stifle my progress.  I filter every word I hear through You precious Holy Spirit.  I discern which words to receive and to repeat and which words to reject and to come up against.  No evil shall befall me and I am able to conquer every giant that rises up in my life.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Learning to Hear (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by picking up where we left off with the story of David and Goliath.  In yesterday’s message I laid the foundation for this story and I dealt with the incapacitating force of fear.  Towards the end of the message I highlighted the fact that when Goliath shouted his usual insults the Bible says that “David heard it.”  David had just been anointed by the prophet Samuel in the previous chapter and I believe that the Spirit of God enabled David to hear Goliath with spiritual ears.  Let’s take a closer look.

When David heard Goliath he had a very different reaction those around him.  David was just a young boy, probably around 17 yrs. old, and those around him were army of soldiers; grown men.  The grown men took off running in fear and this young boy was ready to fight and to do something about Goliath.  Why?  Well, part of it was in what they heard.  The men heard intimidating words against their army, but David heard insulting words against his nation and his God.  When the prophet Samuel anointed David in the previous chapter the Spirit of God came upon David and empowered him to be able to operate in another realm – the realm of the Spirit.  David was a good young man before the encounter with God, but afterwards he was different.  He was no longer just a good young man; he was now a God-young-man!  There is a difference!

When the Israelite soldiers heard Goliath they said, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel.  The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him.  He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father’s family from taxes in Israel.”  Their emphasis was on money and benefits.  Even though none of them had the courage to do something about Goliath, their words indicated where their heart was – on money.  They were not focused on doing anything about Goliath for the right reasons.  They just wanted to take advantage of the reward the king was offering for his death.  I was able to come to this conclusion through their words.  Remember, Jesus said, “Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts.  Bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts.  Your words show what is in your heart” (Luke 6:44,45).  Their words exhibited what was in their hearts.  So what was in David’s heart?  Was he any different?  To find out, let’s look at his words.  When David heard the same thing he said, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”  See the difference?  David immediately identified that Goliath as uncircumcised; meaning that he was not in covenant with God.  David then pointed out the fact that Goliath was defying not just Israel, but the armies of the living God!  This was an insult to God and he was going to do something about it.

So what does this mean to you today? A couple of things:

1.  What you receive is oftentimes what you repeat:  When you hear something you can either receive it or reject it.  If you receive it, then it will get down in your heart and you will find yourself eventually repeating it.  That’s why you must be careful what you listen to.

2.  We must learn how to listen:  Goliath spoke one thing but David heard something different than the others did.  When Jesus was teaching parables he wanted the people to hear with the right ears so He said, “Pay close attention to what you hear.  The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given – and you will receive even more” (Mark 4:24).   David heard with the right ears.  If we learn to listen with spiritual ears then we will be better equipped to put the right things in our heart, to say the right things with our lips, and to do the right things with our hands.  Garbage in, garbage out.  God in, God out!

Confession for this day:  Lord God, David was anointed by the prophet Samuel.  My encounter came directly through Jesus Christ.  When I received Jesus Christ as my Lord, I was sealed with and by Your Spirit.  Your Holy Spirit lives in me and I learn to hear through spiritual ears.  The better I learn to hear, the more I am able to filter what goes in my heart.  I learn what to receive and what to reject.  When I get the right things in my heart, I will speak the right things with my lips, and I will do the right things with my hands.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Overcoming Discouraging Words (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by picking up where we left off with the story of David and Goliath.  David was talking to a few soldiers about the situation when his oldest brother Eliab overheard him.  Now, you must understand that David was ostracized in his own family.  When the prophet Samuel came to David’s house and asked Jesse to line up all his sons because the Lord was going to anoint one of them, Jesse never even thought about David.  Jesse lined up his seven oldest sons and David was left out in the field tending to sheep.  To make matter’s worse, not one of the seven boys spoke up either.  I would have thought that David had at least one friend in his own house.  One of the boys should have spoken up and said, “Dad, we are leaving out David.  Do you mind if I go and get him?”  Even if they assumed he was not going to get picked, I would have thought someone would have made sure he was at least in the lineup.  But as fate would have it, the prophet went down the line – through all seven boys – only to have the Lord reject them all.  Samuel was then confused.  Something had to be wrong.  Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more children and Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, but he is tending the sheep.”  Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives” (1 Sam 16:11).  We know what happened next, God selected David above his seven older brothers and he was anointed to be the next king.

I regressed a bit from the current story (chapter 17) to share a little about David’s selection because it takes me back to Eliab overhearing David’s conversation with the soldiers.  Eliab was the oldest son.  Eliab, his father, and Samuel thought for sure that God would pick him.  It was only right.  Jewish tradition meant that the greatest blessing went to the eldest son, but God looked past the seven oldest to get a blessing to a young man that was being faithful over sheep when no one else was looking! Glory to God!  Even though David was overlooked by his father, omitted from the lineup, and oppressed by his entire family; he was still destined.  He was being faithful in the fields and the Lord blessed him for it.

So Eliab got very upset with David.  He even called David “conceited,” and told him to go back to home to tend to sheep.  What do you think David would do with those words?  Would he allow the negative words of his brother stop him?  Of course not.  David ignored his brother and kept inquiring about Goliath.  After talking to a few people David had the audacity to go to the King himself.  He stood before King Saul and said, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”  So you see the message that was in his mouth?  Can you hear the confidence in his speech?  This was a 17yr. old kid coming up against a 9ft. tall warrior, but David was not scared at all.  He knew that he + God = victory!  Every time!  Guess what Saul did?  He tried to discourage David as well.  Saul said, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”  Saul just came flat out and told David that he could not do it, but we will see tomorrow that David ignored that discouragement as well.  David knew that God was on his side that he aligned his words with God’s opinion of him.  David never repeated the negative words spoken to him and David never spoke fear, doubt, or unbelief.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that with God all things are possible; it means that you are only limited by your capacity to believe God; it means that your words must align with God’s opinion of you; and it means that you must learn to overlook and ignore discouragement if you are going to be the person God desires for you to be!

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I believe that all things are possible for me.  I look at every situation through the lens of faith.  My speech is seasoned with the language of faith.  My determination comes from the inward confidence I have in you.  I am able to overlook and ignore words of discouragement and I am able to focus in on and be fueled by Your Word.  I am who You say that I am.  I can do what You say that I can do.  I can go where You say that I can go and if you be for me, no one can stop me!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Speaking with Conviction (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by continuing with the story of David and Goliath.  After ignoring king Saul’s negative comments David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father.  Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb.  If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it.  Lion or bear, it made no difference – I killed it.  And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive” (1 Sam 34-36 MSG).  David said a mouthful with those words.  He looked back to look forward.  He remembered what God had done for him in the past and he used his past experiences as motivation for his present obstacle.  He was bold; he was confident; he was convinced; and he spoke as one with conviction.

David went on to say, “God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”  To get a better understanding of what David said we must take a look at what he did not say.  David did not say, “Well, if it be God’s will then he might help me deal with Goliath;” or “I am going to give it my best effort and we will pray that things come out OK;” or “All we can do is hope.”  No!  David did not say any of these things, but unfortunately these comments (and the like) are common in the Body of Christ today.  I am convinced that people do not realize how negative or wishy-washy their words are.  Many believers go around speaking negative comments about their life, their relationship with God, their future, and etc.  While others, who have overcome the negative stage, get stuck in the wishy-washy stage.  In this stage their statements are full of doubt and unbelief.  They use words like “maybe” and “hopefully” a lot because they are not convinced about what God wants to do in their lives.  Once you are convinced then you can speak with the conviction that David did.  David did not mince words.  He said – with his own lips – that God would deliver him from Goliath and he said this by faith. He spoke faith-filled words; not words of fear, doubt, or unbelief.  What do you think Saul’s reaction was to this?  All Saul could do was say, “Go.  And God help you!

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  Your relationship with God is your base:  David did not have a Bible to carry around or study, but David knew he had a relationship with God.  His relationship with God enabled him to speak with confidence, clarity, and conviction.  You have a relationship with God.  Does your relationship enable you to speak with conviction or do you waffle when the pressure is on?

2.  Establish some altars in your life:  These are reminders of what God has done for you in the past.  David reminded himself of how God used him to kill a lion and a bear with his bare hands and that was the encouragement he needed.  What has God already done for you?

3.  Don’t allow your past victories to keep you from future successes:  Although David was reminded of his past, he did not limit himself to past methods.  He killed the lion and the bear with his hands, but used a sling shot and a stone for the giant.  Thank God for your past victories, but always be open to new strategies from God!

4.  Expect favor:  If David lost the fight then the armies of Israel would have had to submit to their enemy.  There was a lot riding on this fight and king Saul allowed the fate of his entire nation to ride on the shoulders of a 17yr. old.  Why?  Because the favor of the Lord was upon him.  Expect that same type of favor to be on you when you step out in faith for God.  Favor is God raising up people who use their power, their ability, and their influence to help you.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, my relationship with You is my base for life; it enables me to walk by faith and not by sight.  I look at life through the lens of faith and I am led of Your Holy Spirit in all things.  I rejoice in my past victories and thank You in advance for future successes.  My heart is open to new techniques and I receive them by faith.  I can do all things through Christ and I expect Your favor to go before me as I seek to do all things for Your glory.  I speak with confidence, clarity, and conviction.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Speaking the Solution – By Faith (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by continuing with the story of David and Goliath.  After Saul gave David the green light to face Goliath he attempted to dress David in his own tunic, coat of armor, and bronze helmet.  David put on all the gear and could barely move.  He told Saul, “I cannot go in these, because I am not used to them.”  He took them all off.  He decided to go with what he knew.  Even at a young age David knew that you must enter into battle with weapons that you are comfortable with.  If you have no confidence in your weapons, then you will not have confidence in the fight.  Let me pause here long enough to say that many believers don’t have any confidence against satan because they are not comfortable with their weapons (the Word of God an the Holy Spirit).  If you are not comfortable with your understanding of the Word of God and your relationship with the Holy Spirit then you will never be confident when attacks come your way.  The good news is that you can change it by spending more time in the Word and with the Holy Spirit in prayer and study.

Getting back to the story, David walked over to a nearby stream and picked up five smooth stones.  He took the stones, his shepherd’s staff, and a sling and he was ready for the battle.  He had weapons he was comfortable with and a God he had confidence in.  Goliath was angry when he saw David and realized that he was just a boy.  He said, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?”  Goliath went on to attempt to curse David by his gods, but he did not know that David was anointed by the only one true God.  No curse, hex, vex, or spell can work against the Holy Spirit.  Goliath said, “Come here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”  This is where David started talking.  Pay close attention to what he said and how confident he said it. David declared, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.  Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.  All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands”(1 Kings 17:45-47).

I will stop there for today and highlight a few things David said, BEFORE he did anything:

1.  David stated his purpose:  He was there because Goliath had defied the God of Israel.

2.  David stated the Lord’s part:  He said that the Lord would have Goliath over to him.

3.  David stated his part:  He said that he would strike him down and then cut off his head.  God has a part and we have a part.  Faith requires action.  What David said is interesting, because David did not have a sword.  We will see tomorrow how he did it.

4.  David stated his expected end:  David wanted the whole world to know that there is a God in Israel and that the battles that God’s people face are the Lord’s battles.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that we serve a God that declares what is going to happen before it happens and we have many examples in scripture of God’s people doing the same.  Do you go around speaking the problem or do you have the faith to declare the solution, before it happens?  When you go around speaking like David did, you cross what I call the “faith-line.”  You know you have to rely on God to bring it to pass.  Speaking the problem is not going to change anything.  Speak the solution – by faith!

Confession for this day:  Lord God, the eyes of my understanding are being enlightened concerning the words of my mouth.  I see how important it is to speak life and not death.  I see in Your Word that You spoke the solution and not the problem; and I see that Your people did the same.  I will follow that pattern, I will cross the faith-line, and I will speak what I desire to happen, not just what I see.  My confidence is in You.  The battle is Yours.  I do my part and I know You will do Yours.  I am not shaken when I face my giants.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Learning to speak like a Giant Killer (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by continuing with the story of David and Goliath.  My method is to teach by both precept and example.  I have shared many precepts about the power of your words in this series and I have also shared a few examples (stories, testimonies).  This story is a clear example of the connection between what you say and what you receive; and it also gives us a glimpse of how God’s people should speak.  We should not go around as cowards speaking words or fear, nor should we go around as unsure believers speaking words of doubt and unbelief.  Our relationship with God should birth an inner boldness that enables us to operate in fearless confidence, but we will never rise up on the outside until we rise up on the inside.  Our words are an indication of our inner condition (our heart).  I can tell you where you are inwardly by the words that I hear you speak outwardly.  David was inwardly settled when he told Goliath, in front of the entire Israelite and Philistine armies, that he was going to strike him down, cut off his head, and ensure that the bodies of the Philistine army soldiers would be given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.  That doesn’t sound like someone who was doubtful in any way, nor does it sound like the average 17yr. old.  But this was no average teenager, he was anointed by God and he was destined with a purpose.  Guess what?  So are you!  Let’s see what happened after David spoke these words.

Goliath started towards David and David ran towards him.  David put a rock in his sling, swung the sling around, and projected the rock towards Goliath.  The rock flew out and hit Goliath on the forehead.  It cracked his skull, and he fell facedown on the ground.  Just like that.  One shot one kill.  David defeated Goliath with a sling shot and a stone.  Now, remember that David said he was going to cut off his head, but David did not have a sword.  David ran over, pulled out Goliath’s sword, and used Goliath’s own sword to cut off his head.  When the Philistines saw what happened to their hero they all started running away.  The soldiers of Israel and Judah let out a battle cry and went after them.  The bodies of the Philistines were scattered all along the land.  Guess what?  That is exactly what David said would happen.  After King Saul had watched David go out to fight Goliath, Saul turned to the commander of his army and said, “Abner, who is that young man?”  Abner answered, “Your Majesty, I swear by your life that I don’t know.”  “Then find out!” Saul told him (see 1st Sam 17:48-56).

God used an unknown, unpopular, and unimpressive looking teenager to win and lead one of the greatest battles ever fought for Israel.  If God did that with David, what do you think He can do through you?  The challenge is that if you want to do what David did you have to learn what David learned and that is that the power of death and life is in your tongue.  Your words matter.  Your words, when spoken with a believing heart, will come to pass!

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  There is a connection between what you say and what you receive.

2.  Your relationship with God should enable you to speak words of faith and not fear.

3.  Your relationship with God should enable you to speak words in confidence and not doubt and unbelief.

4.  When you come to God you must submit yourself to a renewal process; changing the way you speak is part of it.

5.  Words alone are not going to make things happen.

6.  Faith without works is dead.  Your words must give birth to corresponding action if you are going to see a change in your life.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am in Christ and am therefore a new creation.  I submit myself to the renewal process.  My mind is renewed by the Word of God.  As my mind is renewed my words are also renewed.  I no longer speak words of fear, doubt, or unbelief.  My words are now words of faith, confidence, and trust.  I have a holy boldness to look at the giants that rise up against me and to declare to them how I will conquer them for Your glory!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Power to Name/Label (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  I pause from my normal format this morning because I am led to share about something I saw on a documentary last night.  I was flipping through the channels and I came across a documentary on gang violence in Los Angeles.  I only watched for a few minutes but I kept thinking about some of the things I heard.  I could tell that the documentary was filmed a few years ago when the violence between the Crips and the Bloods (two popular gangs) was still very high.

The director focused in on one individual who was formerly a high ranking member of the Crips.  This man was clearly in his 30s and he was adamant about stopping the perpetual cycle of violence.  What is interesting and what I focused in on was some of the ways that he suggested we could stop the cycle.  He said, “If we don’t do anything else, we must stop labeling our kids after us.  Don’t call them ‘Little Bone’ or ‘Little Ice’ or ‘Little Killer.’  If we name them after us then we label them and we put them in a box.  It is as if we are forcing them to grow up and do what we did.  No!  This must stop.  Call them by their given first and last names.  That is the first step in stopping the cycle.”   I thought this was very insightful because the power to name or the power to label is the power to define.  This is part of the message that comes out of our mouths towards our children.  When God wanted to change Abram’s life the first thing He did was to get him away from his family and his old environment.  God knew that the pressure to back to his old self would be too strong if he stayed in his old environment.  After God got Abram in a new environment and established a relationship with him, God changed his name from Abram to Abraham.  The name Abraham means, “Father of many nations” and that is what God desired for Abram to become, so He named him that.  Isaac had a son named Jacob.  The name Jacob means, “Conniver.”  And guess what?  Jacob lived up to his name.  He was a conniving and mischievous character.  God wanted to use him to give birth to the 12 tribes that would lay the foundation for his people so God changed his name from Jacob to Israel, which means, “the prince that prevails with God.”  Guess what?  He became what God named him.  And there are other biblical examples of name changes and the significance of names.

The ex-gang banger in the documentary also said that the way that they dealt with killing people was to not look at them as people.  If a Crip wanted to kill a Blood they would say, “I am going to get me a Slug.”  If a Blood wanted to kill a Crip they would say, “I am going to get me a Crab.”  This way they looked at each other as objects and not as people.  The ex-gang banger said, “I could not look at them as a human, because I would then know that it would be murder.”  Do you realize how insightful that is?  He was basically saying that we approach things/people by the way that we perceive them.  Our perception of things/people is greatly impacted by the way that we call (or name) them.  I know this is not one of my normal messages, but I really felt led to share about this because I believe it shows the connection between our words and our actions.  Especially in the area of labeling or naming people/things.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that we must be careful what we call our children and spouses.  My 13yr. old son bears my name.  Everyone tells him that he is just like his Daddy.  Well, guess what?  He says that he wants to work in computers and he also wants to be a preacher.  This is not accidental.  He is called, “Little Ricardo” and he acts just like what he is called.  This can be a positive or a negative thing.  Let’s use our words and the power to name/label for the good of our children and all those we come in contact with.  There is a message in your mouth.  Use it to build up and not tear down!

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I use my words for Your glory.  I realize the power my words have in my life and in the lives of my family members.  I will not call them something I do not want them to become.  I will speak life and not death and I expect to eventually see what I say.  I build up my family with the message that’s in mouth.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Does God have to shut your Mouth? (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  Over the next few messages we will look at two stories that clearly show us the power of our words and the connection between our words and a believing heart.  The two stories are interconnected.  They are about the foretelling of the birth of two cousins: John the Baptist and Jesus the Christ.  In these two miracles we will see the difference between responding to God in unbelief and in coming to God with a believing heart and words of faith.  Luke chronicles both events in the very first chapter of the Gospel that bears his name.

Luke introduces us to a priest named Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth.  They were both good people and they pleased God by obeying His commands and by living a holy life.  Although they had prayed for children, they did not have any.  The Bible says that Elizabeth was barren.  Their desire for children seemed hopeless.  To compound matters, Zechariah and Elizabeth were already old and well past the child bearing age.  One day Zechariah’s group of priests were on duty, and he was serving God as a priest.  According to the custom of the priests, he had been chosen to go into the Lord’s temple that day and to burn incense, while the people stood outside praying.  While Zechariah was in the temple an angel appeared to him.  Zechariah was confused and afraid when he saw the angel, but the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah!  God has heard your prayers.  Your wife Elizabeth will have a son, and you must name him John.  His birth will make you very happy, and many people will be glad.  Your son will be a great servant of the Lord.  He must never drink wine or fermented drink, and the power of the Holy Spirit will be with him from the time he is born.  John will lead many people in Israel to turn back to the Lord their God.  He will go ahead of the Lord with the spirit that Elijah.  Because of John, parents will be more thoughtful of their children and people who now disobey God will begin to think as they ought to.  That is how John will get people ready for the Lord.”  Wow!  Talk about a surprise!

Zechariah was taken aback.  He had been praying, but he really did not believe it was going to happen.  He said, “How will I know this is going to happen?  My wife and I are both very old.”  He was not really ready and his words were an indication of it.  This now posed a problem.  God wanted to use Zechariah and Elizabeth to bring forth John, but if Zechariah was in doubt and unbelief, then his words could stifle the move of God in the space between the promise and the performance; in the space between the angel speaking and Elizabeth giving birth.  So what did the angel do?  God shut Zechariah’s mouth.  The angel (Gabriel), said, “You have not believed what I have said.  So you will not be able to say a thing until all this happens” (Luke 1:20).  Think about that for a moment.  God had an angel shut the mouth of Zechariah for nine months; just because He knew that Zechariah’s words would not be words of faith.  By doing so, God protected Zechariah, Elizabeth, and baby John.  I know this sounds a bit drastic, but God is serious about the words you say!

So what does this mean to you today? Two things:

1.  Plan for success:  Most people plan for failure.  They have a plan for a “rainy day” and the like, but they don’t have a plan for sunshine.  What will you do when your prayers are answered?  Are you ready for it?  Are you ready for a blessing?  Zechariah wasn’t and it cost him.

2.  Believe:  God is looking for our words to be words of faith, spoken from a believing heart.  Our words and our capacity to believe will affect our lives and our legacy.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am a believer and not a doubter.  I believe You, Your Word, Your promises, and the revelation and insight You give me.  I pray and I expect my prayers to be heard and answered.  I plan for success and victory.  I am ready for it.  I am ready for You to manifest Your glory to me in ways that are beyond my imagination.  I declare, by faith, that I will believe what You tell me and I will accept what You want to do in my life.  I will not stifle Your plan with words of fear, doubt, or unbelief.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Believing the Impossible (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  In our last message we dealt with the miraculous birth of John.  God sent the angel Gabriel to tell Zechariah that he and his wife Elizabeth were going to have a child in their old age.  Zechariah’s belief system was not at the level where his words would have aligned with God’s words, so God shut his mouth for the entire duration of the pregnancy.  Zechariah went home, closed mouth and all, and his wife was pregnant shortly thereafter.  Elizabeth did not leave the house for five months.  She was extremely happy and she said to herself, “What the Lord has done for me will keep people from looking down on me.”  Women that were not able to bear children in her day were looked down upon and talked about.  This was a matter of redemption for Elizabeth.

A moth later the same angel (Gabriel) made a visit to Elizabeth’s cousin, Mary.  If Elizabeth was at the old age end of the child bearing spectrum, then Mary was at the other.  She was a young girl and she was committed to marry a young man named Joseph.  Joseph was from the lineage of King David.  Gabriel came to Mary and said, “You are truly blessed!  The Lord is with you.”  The mere fact that the Lord is with someone is an indication that His favor and blessing will operate in their lives.  However, Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant.  Gabriel went on to say, “Don’t be afraid!  God is pleased with you, and you will have a son.  His name will be Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High.  The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was.  He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”  Talk about information overload.  This was a lot for young Mary to digest.  What the angel said was both awesome and baffling at the same time.  Mary did not understand how the angel could make such statement.  After all, she was still a virgin.  She was not married and she had never been with a man.

Although the promise of this “blessed” child sounded great, Mary was still unsure.  Mary asked Gabriel, “But how?  I’ve never slept with a man.”  Gabriel explained, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you.  So your child will be called the holy Son of God.”  Think about that for a moment.  God sent and angel to tell a young girl that she was going to get pregnant without ever being with a man and that her son would be the Son of God.  I did an entire series on expanding your capacity to believe God and if ever there was a person that needed expanded belief it was Mary.  She was more than likely just a teenager at this point and God promised her something that had never happened before and has never happened since.  This was a human impossibility, but it would become her reality if she could believe it, receive it, and align her words with it (see Luke 1:26-35).

So what does this mean to you today? It means that there are simply no impossibilities in God.  Seemingly impossible promises from God can become a reality in your life if you:

1.  Believe them:  Jesus said, “As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes” (Mark 9:23).  You are only limited by your capacity to believe.  If you can believe it, then “it” becomes possible for you.

2.  Receive them in your heart:  Believing that something is possible opens you up to saying that it “can” happen; receiving it in your heart, by faith, means that you take it when step further and say that it “will” happen.  Belief says it can, faith says it will.

3.  Align your words with them:  This is what this series is all about – realizing the power of your words.  You cannot pray one thing in the morning, but then speak against your prayer all day long and think you will experience results.  Your words must align with your faith.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am a believer.  I believe You, Your Word, and Your promises.  I believe Your promises are available to me, no matter how impossible they may seem.  My belief in Your ability makes the impossible possible for me.  I then go from belief to faith and I receive Your promises in my heart and I align my words to support Your desire for my life and living.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Power of a Point of Reference (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  In our last message we dealt with the seemingly impossible promise that God gave young Mary through the mouth of an angel (Gabriel).  Six months earlier God had used this same angel to deliver a promise to Zechariah, the husband of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth.  The promise to Zechariah and Elizabeth also seemed impossible, but it had already come to pass.  It was now Mary’s turn to hear and receive from God.  The Holy Spirit told Mary that she would give birth to the Holy Son of God; without ever being with a man.  Mary initially found this a bit too hard to believe.  This posed a challenge, because you will not normally receive what you are not able to first believe.  If you don’t believe something your words will reflect your doubt and unbelief.  Words of doubt and unbelief will oftentimes keep you from receiving the promises of God.  Zechariah knew this first-hand.  His mouth was shut by God the entire time of his wife’s pregnancy, because of his unbelief.

So how could this young woman believe that she was going to get pregnant by God?  What was her motivation to believe such a thing?  Gabriel helped her believe by giving her a point of reference.  Gabriel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was six months pregnant.  This is important because Mary knew Elizabeth.  Mary knew that Elizabeth, like Sarah, had tried all her life to have children, but to no avail.  Elizabeth and Zechariah were now old and past the child bearing age.  Their dream of being parents had dissipated.  But this news that she was now pregnant meant thatGod had worked a miracle.  The point was that if God worked a miracle for Elizabeth, He could do it for Mary.  To fully understand the context we must understand the setting.  There were 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testaments.  400 years without prophecy or supernatural moves of God.  400 years without miracles or anything of the sort.  The angel Gabriel broke the silence when he appeared and spoke to Zechariah.  By promising that Zechariah and his barren wife would be pregnant with a destined son, the realm of the supernatural was reactivated and hope for the impossible was alive again.  The news of a supernatural move of God with her cousin gave Mary hope that the same was possible for her.

It is worth pointing out that Mary could relate to Elizabeth.  This was no distant miracle, it was something close to home.  Mary knew that Elizabeth was barren and she knew that her “modern medicine” considered Elizabeth’s chances impossible.  When Gabriel told her that Elizabeth was six months pregnant, it changed her outlook and her hope.  Gabriel went on to say, “Nothing is impossible for God!” (Luke 1:37).  Talk about a setup!  Mary now had a point of reference she could relate to and a statement from an angel sent from God she could hold on to – Nothing is impossible for God! With that Mary was ready to change her words.  No longer would she speak words of doubt and unbelief.  Mary was ready to speak words of faith and confidence.  Mary said, “Yes, I see it all now: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.  Let it be with me just as you say” (Luke 1:38 MSG).  With that Gabriel’s job was complete and he left.

So what does this mean to you today? Tomorrow we will focus in on what Mary said, but for this morning I want to highlight how she got to the point of saying it – through a point of reference.  Our belief system is developed through experiences and through references.  This is good news because the Bible is a book of 66 books full of points of reference.  If God did it for them, He can do it for you!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I think about what You did for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Gideon, Naaman, Elizabeth, Mary, and others.  I also think about what You have done for the people that I know personally.  All those accounts become points of reference to help build and shape my belief system.  They help me expand my capacity to believe!  I enter into this day as a BELIEVER and I have great expectations.  My words express my belief.  I speak words of faith and confidence, not words of fear, doubt, and unbelief.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Agreeing with God’s Word (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  In our last message saw how God used the angel Gabriel to give Mary the point of reference that she needed to expand her capacity to believe.  Mary originally told Gabriel that what he said could not come to pass in her life because she had not been with a man.  Unfortunately, believers use excuses as a common response to God’s promises.  We routinely reason our way out of God’s blessings.  The promises of God must be believed, not rationalized.  When God tells us something, no matter how irrational it may seem, the mere fact that we are receiving the promise is and indication that God will enable us to perform it.  God will never expect you to do what He has not equipped you to do.  The problem is that we like to look at our equipping through natural eyes.  This oftentimes results in believers putting a “NO,” where God already put a “YES!”  David had never been a giant-killer, until the day that God used him to kill a giant.  Moses had never been an emancipator, until the day that God used him to lead a nation out of slavery.  Mary had never been a mother, until the day that God told her she would be the mother of Jesus.  What is it that you have never done that God is ready to use you to do? Whatever it is, don’t allow unbelief to cancel the dream before you ever get started.

Fortunately Mary was able to expand her capacity to believe.  Once Gabriel told her that her cousin Elizabeth, an older lady that Mary knew was barren, had become pregnant by God’s help, it helped her believe for her own situation.  To make matters even better, Gabriel went on to say, “Nothing is impossible for God!”  All of a sudden Mary started talking differently.  Her words were now words of faith and not words of doubt.  Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant.”  She no longer saw herself the same way.  The revelation that she was selected to be used of God helped her elevate her self-image.  We must do the same when we realize we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor 5:21).  What Mary said next sealed the deal.  She said, “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).  This is what God desires of us.  He desires that our words agree with His Word, His plan, and His purpose for our lives.  I believe Mary became pregnant the moment she made this declaration of faith; this was the moment the Word from the Lord became alive in her.  Are your words doing the same for you?  Are the words you speak words of faith that agree with God’s promises and free God to bless you or are they words doubt that hinder God from moving in your life?

So what does this mean to you today? Several things:

1.  Reference:  If you can find a biblical reference that relates to our situation then you can expand your capacity to believe God.  That’s why it is important to read and study your Bible.

2.  Belief:  There are no impossibilities in God.  Is there anything God cannot do?  If he could enable a virgin to have a baby then surely He can meet your situation.  If you are able to believe it, then it becomes possible for you.

3.  Agreement:  You can only operate in faith in the Word of God that you accept and agree with.  If you receive a Word from God or you come across a portion of scripture that you do not accept or agree with, then that Word will never bring forth fruit in your life.  Mary simply agreed with what God wanted to do in her life.  You must do the same.

4.  Confession:  When you confess the Word of God you do what Mary did; you allow your words to line up with God’s Word; literally believing and declaring what God said.  This frees God to do His will in your life.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I, like Mary, am a believer and not a doubter.  I am able to connect with and relate to the points of reference You have given me in Your Word and the points of reference I have around me, with my friends, family, etc.  My belief system is built up by the many testimonies I read and I hear and they help me receive Your Word in my personal life.  I agree with and I accept Your Word.  I agree with Your opinion of me and I openly declare what You have said.  I am healed, healthy, blessed, and prosperous in every area of my life.  Lord, may it be to me as You have said.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Even when you don’t Understand It (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  In our last message we saw how Mary was able to build up her belief level when we received a point of reference that she could relate to.  This is important to mention.  Mary could connect with Elizabeth because they were cousins.  Mary knew Elizabeth and Zechariah and she knew that they wanted children badly.  However, Mary also knew that Elizabeth was barren.  Her human hope had dissipated.  Humanly speaking, their child bearing days had come and gone.  When she heard that Elizabeth was pregnant by a supernatural move of God it gave her what she needed to believe God for herself and what God was promising her.  I bring out the fact that she could relate to Elizabeth, because it is part of my teaching style.  I go to great lengths to bridge the gap between biblical and modern times.  It is my desire to make the Word of God something you can relate to.  If you cannot relate to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob you will not be able to connect with them, nor the principles or the promises from their lives that apply to yours.  As a preacher it is my focus and my ministry to help you understand how the world of Nehemiah, Obadiah, and Zechariah can apply to you when you are dealing with Chuck, Suzy, and Ray-Ray.  My job is the seek God for ways to bring the truths of His Word to you in ways that you can relate to and your job is to attempt to connect with the Word, apply it to your life, and be transformed by it; for the glory of God.

The emphasis of this series is our words.  With that in mind is important to reiterate the fact that Mary’s words changed the moment she was able to connect with the promise of God.  Once she made the connection she no longer said that it was not possible.  She received it by faith, even though she did not understand it.  I am positive that she did not understand fully how she was going to get pregnant by the God’s Spirit, but we received it anyway.  This reminds me of a parable that Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God.  Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it.  The seed sprouts and grows – he has no idea how it happens.  The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain.  When the grain is fully formed, he reaps – harvest time!” (Mark 4:26-29 MSG).  I want to key in on the words, “he has no idea how it happens.”  Jesus likened His kingdom operation to a farmer that sows seed into the ground.  The farmer can go to sleep and while he is sleeping, the seed is growing.  The farmer does not need to know how the seed grows and how it will turn into a harvest.  All the farmer needs to do is to sow the seed and to expect the harvest.  He may not know how it is going to happen, but he sure expects it to.  He knows that soon the harvest time will come.

This is what happened to Mary.  She said, “Be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).  What was Mary saying?  She was saying, “Lord, I don’t know how this is going to happen, but since you said it, I believe it.  May Your Word come to pass in my life” (Pina version).  Mary lined up her words with God Word, and she did it by faith.  She did not do it because it was reasonable or rational, because this was neither.  She did not do it because she humanly understood how it was going to happen.  She simply aligned her words with God’s Word by faith.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that God expects you to live by faith.  God does not expect you to live by reason alone, because His Word is not always reasonable.  God does not expect you to live by intellect alone, because you won’t be able to figure out how He does things.  God’s part is to provide us the Word, our part is to receive His Word as if it is already done and to align our thoughts, words, and actions with His it!

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am a believer and I live by my belief.  My belief enables me to live by faith.  I thank you for reason, but I will not reason myself out of your will.  I thank You for intellect, but I will not think myself out of Your will.  I am a person of faith.  I receive Your Word by faith and I align my thoughts, words, and actions with it.  Because I live by faith, You honor me by responding to my faith and manifesting Your glory in my life.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Surrounding yourself with the Right People (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by continuing with the story of the birth of two cousins: John and Jesus.  After Mary believed, received, and confirmed what the angel said to her with her own lips, Gabriel left.  The very next thing the Bible says is that Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea where Elizabeth lived.  Let’s think about this for a moment and seek to realize how important this was.  Mary was engaged to marry Joseph.  In those times this was a binding agreement, but reality was that they were not married yet and they were not supposed to have sexual contact.  So Mary had a dilemma with the local community once they found out she was pregnant, not to mention that she had no way of explaining this to Joseph.  What was she going to say to him?  How would he believe her?  To make matters worse she was just a young girl, probably a teenager.  There was a lot going through her mind.  God had just blessed her and she seemingly had to deal with the ramifications of the blessing.  However, Mary would soon learn that wherever God guides He provides; wherever He leads He feeds.  This was God’s will so the issues were also God’s bill.  God would work it all out for her.

In the meantime Mary did one of the greatest things she could do.  She visited her cousin Elizabeth.  There is great wisdom in this and we should learn from it.  Mary had just experienced a supernatural encounter with God that left her pregnant.  Well, guess what?  So did her cousin Elizabeth.  She knew that Elizabeth had just experienced (six months earlier) something similar.  By going to Elizabeth’s house she could surround herself with people of like precious faith (2 Pet 1:1).  This is very important between Mary was in the space between the promise and the performance.  She was promised to give birth to Jesus, but it would take nine months for Jesus to come forth.  The space between the promise and the performance, or the space between the confession and the completion is a very critical time.  It is easy to start out believing God when you receive a Word, but unfortunately many fall into doubt and unbelief in the space between the promise and the performance.  We must remain consistent in belief and faith for us to see the manifestation of the promise.  Mary did one of the greatest things you can do by going to Elizabeth’s house.  When you surround yourself with people that are also believing God, with people that are also “in faith,” then your chances for remaining in faith are greatly increased.  Why?  Because their words bear witness with your words.  Their spirit will bear witness with your spirit. But you if surround yourself with unbelievers and you tell them what you are believing God for, then there is a great chance that they will attempt to talk you out of it.  What Mary was experiencing was a human impossibility.  Most people would not believe her if she told them.  She had to go to the one person she knew would believe her and when she got their Elizabeth helped confirm what God was doing in her life.  A confirming word goes a long way in building your confidence when you are believing God for something big.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  If it’s God’s will, its God’s bill!

2.  You must be careful who you share your dreams with.

3.  If you surround yourself with people of like precious faith then you will more than likely hear confirming words that will help build up your faith and solidify your confidence.

4.  If you surround yourself with people that do not have the capacity to believe God then you will hear words of doubt and unbelief and those words might shake your faith.

5.  Show me who you surround yourself with and I will show you where you are going in life.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am a believer and I believe You for great things.  I do not waiver in my belief or faith.  I surround myself with people of like precious faith.  I only share my dreams and aspirations with those that can set their faith in agreement with me.  I remain strong in the space between the promise and the performance and I am convinced that I will see Your glory manifested in my life – continually!  Lord, be it unto me according to Your Word and my faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Language of Faith (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by continuing with the story of the birth of two cousins: John and Jesus.  In our last message we mentioned Mary going to Elizabeth’s house to surround herself with people of like precious faith.  When Mary stepped in to Elizabeth’s house Elizabeth greeted her by saying, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!  But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”  As I mentioned in the last message, a confirming word goes a long way helping solidify our belief.  Elizabeth’s words confirmed what God was doing in Mary’s life.  If you look at Elizabeth’s greeting you will see that God used Elizabeth to confirm that:

1.  The child that she was carrying was a blessed child.

2.  That she was the mother of her Lord.

3.  That her mere presence made Elizabeth’s baby (John the Baptist) leap in her belly.

4.  That she was blessed because she believed what the Lord said He would do in her life.

That is awesome and it goes a long way in showing us what we can receive when we surround ourselves with people of faith.  Their words can become a confirming witness in our lives; enabling us to go further, deeper, and stronger in God.

So how do you think Mary reacted to these words of faith?  Well, her faith was already built up and Elizabeth’s words help fuel her spiritual fire.  Mary said, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name.”  Think about this for a minute.  This is a young girl – probably a teenager – who just days earlier had an encounter with God.  After getting past her initial doubt she became a woman of faith.  Her words testified of the status of her inner belief.  She was solid, steadfast, unmovable, and unshakable.  She spoke in the past tense.  She said that all generations would call her blessed because of what the Lord had already done for her.  Just in case you had not picked up on it yet, let me point out that she had no sense realm evidence when she said this.  She was not showing, like her six-month pregnant cousin Elizabeth.  She had no Early Pregnancy Test (EPT) and not Wal-Mart to purchase it in.  She had no physical evidence that she was pregnant, but she was already talking like the Mother or Jesus.  Why?  Because she had faith.  Faith is an assurance, a confidence, a confirmation of things that we cannot see.  Faith perceives to be real those things that we cannot verify with our senses.  Faith believes God without any sense realm evidence.  Faith is what Mary had.  Faith is what Mary spoke.  Faith is what Mary learned to live by.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  Words of faith from others can serve as a confirming witness in your life.  That is why it is important to surround yourself with people of faith.

2.  Faith perceives God’s promises to be real, without any sense realm evidence.

3.  Speaking faith is risky.  People will not always receive you well, even those that call themselves believers.  Some today would call Mary arrogant, but she was operating in confidence.  Many believers today like to “play it safe” and wait until they see it before they say it, but faith speaks without any sense realm evidence and faith believes that your words will help ensure that you see it, because you have said it.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am a believer.  I believe You, Your Word, and Your promises.  My words line up with Your Word.  I speak the language of faith.  I keep my lips from speaking fear, doubt, or unbelief.  I build up my faith internally and my lips testify of the inward condition of my heart.  I speak confidently of those things You will do in my life.  I talk like they are already done, even before I see them.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Your Spiritual Sponge (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  I trust that the messages on birth John the Baptist and Jesus (two cousins) and how their mothers (Mary and Elizabeth) spoke blessed you.  Everything is not in the Bible.  Every story is not recorded.  But whatever is there is there for a purpose.  We can learn from every Word God put in His Word and it is my prayer that you learned from Mary how to receive a seemingly impossible promise from God and how to seal the deal with your words.

Some may think to themselves, “How could Mary do it?  How could she believe such an unbelievable thing and then talk with such confidence about it?”  Well, I believe it is because she received it in her heart and she meditated on it.  I oftentimes say that whatever is in you abundantly will come out of you eventually.  It is like a sponge.  If you use a dry sponge to soak up red Kool-Aid, you see the sponge physically expand.  The sponge soaks up the Kool-Aid and traps it inside.  When you put pressure on the sponge the Kool-Aid comes out.  If you use the same sponge to soak up orange juice and then put pressure on the sponge, orange juice will come out.  The point is that when the pressure is on, whatever is in the sponge will come out.  Mary had received a promise from God.  She did not just receive it in her mind, but she received it in her heart.  She then meditated on the awesome reality of what God had told her.  Because of it, she became like a sponge filled with the promise of God.  When the pressure was on to talk to her cousin, the first human being she had a chance to talk to about it, words of faith came out.  Likewise, if you are a person that doubts God and meditates on all the ways and the reasons why something will not happen in your life, then you will fill up your heart (sponge) with fear, doubt, and unbelief.  When the pressure is on your heart (sponge) will release whatever is in it – fear, doubt, and unbelief.

What I am teaching here about your heart or your spiritual sponge was clearly explained by Jesus in Matthew chapter 12.  Jesus said, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:33-37).  For the next few messages we will focus on this passage in Matthew chapter 12.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  You become what you behold:  Be careful what you allow in your ear gate and your eye gate.  Whatever you allow in will be what your sponge soaks up.  When the pressure is on your sponge will release whatever you have allowed in.  Garbage in, garbage out!  Righteousness in, righteousness out!  What is in your abundantly will come out of you eventually.

2.  Operate with a believing heart:  We are called believers for a reason – we are supposed to believe God.  The more you can believe, the more God is able to do in your life.  It is never a matter of whether or not God can, it is always a matter of whether or not you can believe.

3.  Speak with believing lips:  If you protect your eye and ear gates, and you believe God with your heart, then it will be easy for you to speak words of faith with believing lips.  Mary did it and so can you.  Will your words justify you or condemn you?

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am a believer and I protect what I believe by protect what I allow into my life.  I protect my eye gate and my ear gate.  By doing so I am protecting what gets into my heart.  When I fill my heart with good things, then good things will flow out of me when the pressure is on.  I fill my heart with your promises and I receive Your promises with a believing heart.  My belief enables me to speak the language of faith!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

What kind of fruit do you Produce? (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  In our last message I quoted Jesus in Matthew chapter 12 where He said, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:33-37).  For the next few messages we will focus on this passage.

Jesus’ first words were, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.”  To understand this statement you must first understand the context.  People had just brought Jesus a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute.  Jesus did as He always did what He always did when presented with these cases; He exhibited the power of the Kingdom over the power of darkness.  John told us that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1st John 3:8).  The condition of the man was obviously not the will of God, so Jesus delivered the man from the demon and healed him to where he could both talk and see.  Glory to God!  When the Pharisees heard about this, instead of praising God, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”  In other words they were attributing the works of Jesus to satan.  How foolish did the Pharisees have to be to attempt to attribute the works of Jesus to satan?  Jesus responded to their foolishness by saying, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.  If satan drives out satan, he is divided against himself.  How then can his kingdom stand?

Now that you see the context you can better understand what Jesus meant when He said what He said about a tree and its fruit.  This was Jesus’ way of clearly explaining the obvious inconsistency of their accusation.  The point here is that the quality of character or the fruit is an indication of the quality of character of the tree.  No man will say a tree is good if its fruit is bad.  Likewise, no man will say a tree is bad if its fruit is good.  Why?  Because those are obvious contradictions.  Good trees produce good fruit and bad trees produce bad fruit.  The case Jesus makes is easy and obvious to common sense.  Jesus casting out devils and healing people is obviously a good thing, so then how could you attribute that to satan?  In essence Jesus was saying, “Either say I am a good man that does good works or say I am an evil man that does evil works, but don’t try to say that I am both good and evil.”  A tree is known by its fruit.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that just like the quality and character of the tree is judged by the quality and character of the fruit that it produces, your quality and character is judged by the fruit that you produce.  Your fruit are the works that you do and the words that you speak.  If someone followed you around for a week and wrote down all the things you did and all the words you said, what kind of fruit would they document?  If they took the list to an attorney what kind of case could they make for you?  Would the attorney have enough evidence to make a good case or would he be struggling to prove your quality and character?  Putting “Christian” on your ID Tags or putting a scripture at the end of your email signature block does not make you a Christian.  There needs to be some evidence.  What kind of fruit do you produce?

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am a Christian and I produce good fruit daily.  My thoughts, words, and actions line up with Your Word.  You have equipped me with Your Spirit and Your purpose.  You have enabled me with Your Word and Your instruction.  You have empowered me to operate as a citizen in Your Kingdom.  You have employed me to make a difference in my environment.  I go forth today to produce good fruit!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Poison of Haters can’t stop the Purpose of God (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” where we have been dealing with a passage in Matthew chapter 12 where Jesus said, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:33-37).

This morning we pick up where Jesus said, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?”  This flows in line with yesterday’s message and Jesus’ previous statement about a tree and its fruit.  The language, however, is more harsh and to the point.  By calling the Pharisees a generation of vipers he was speaking directly to the character.  A viper is a snake, often only about three feet long and one inch thick, but spits a deadly poison.  Jesus used this strong language to illustrate how deadly the language the Pharisees used was.  To attribute the works of Jesus to satan is as demonic a statement as they come.  Jesus wanted to make it clear that their words identified who they really were.  The words that came out of their mouths were a representation of the malice and wickedness in their hearts.

Jesus went on to say, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”  This was a very powerful statement and one that directly ties in to this series.  The Pharisees were only speaking out what was abundantly in their hearts.  They had followed Jesus, His work, and His words.  They knew He was doing good, but His works were impacting their lifestyle.  They were supposed to be the “religious” leadership.  They were supposed to be the ones people came to.  In their eyes Jesus was messing with their ministry and their standard of living.  They wanted to do anything they could to defame or disqualify Him.  They obviously meditated on ways to “get” Jesus.  Their heart was full of hatred toward the Savior of the world.  Once their heart overflowed with negativity, negative words simply flowed out.  The good news is that the opposite is also true.  If you fill your heart with compassion, love, mercy, and goodness; those are the words that will easily flow from your lips.  We will talk more about this tomorrow.

So what does this mean to you today? A couple of things:

1.  There will always be haters:  The people that hated Jesus did not do so because he was doing bad, they hated him because He was doing good.  Jealousy is the green-eyed monster that literally controls people in the kingdom of darkness.  If you seek to do right you will find that people will hate you without you doing anything to them.  For example, God has tremendously blessed me in the military.  There are some that celebrate my success, but there are many that seek to talk about me and attempt to defame me.  Most of these people have never met me and don’t know me.  How should we deal with it?  Just pray for them and move forward.  Their poison can’t stop God’s purpose.

2.  The content of your heart will dictate the nature of your words:  If you fill your heart with the wrong things you will speak the wrong words.  If you fill your heart with the right things you will speak the right words.  What you receive with your heart will determine how you respond with your lips.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am a Born-Again believer and I walk in love, because You are love.  I know that people will come against me, because they came against Jesus.  I know that people that don’t even know me will become jealous of the blessing on my life, but their poison can’t stop Your purpose in my life.  I fill my heart with good things, enabling me to speak life and not death, blessing and not cursing, love and not hatred.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

What’s in your Heart? (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  We have been dealing with a passage in Matthew chapter 12 where Jesus said, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:33-37).

Let’s go back to, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”  I teach by both precept and example.  This morning I feel led to give you a personal example.  My wife and I held off on having chlidren for a years because we did not believe the timing was right.  When the timing was right we began to attempt to have a child.  Month after month nothing happened.  Finally, the Lord led me to call in my Pastors to pray with us.  While they prayed for us the Lord spoke to me and told me that I would have a son and that His name was Joshua.  At that point, being a man of faith, I began beleiving and saying that I had a son and that his name was Joshua.  Several weeks into the pregnancy my job required me to travel to Tampa, Florida.  To say that I was excited about the trip is an understatement because I had never been to Tampa and Tampa is the place that the Lord told me years ago that I would start a church (Living Faith Christian Life Center) and Pastor when I retire from the military.  I went down to Tampa with every intention on praying over the city I believe the Lord has given me for ministry.  It was a truly exciting time.  However, as soon as I got to Tampa and went to my meeting I received a call from my wife.  There is a lot to this story, but to make a long story short, my wife had a miscarriage.

There is a great testimony in all of this, but for the sake of this series and the passage in Matthew 12 that we are focusing in on, let me focus in on my words.  I went back to my hotel room and cried out before the Lord.  After crying out I started declaring the promises of God.  Scripture after scripture started to flow from my lips.  The devil had struck a blow to the Piña household, but I was not going to take it lying down.  When the devil came up against Jesus, He answered the devil with the Word of God (see Matthew 4).  So there I was, in the city I am to someday Pastor in, expecting to be focused on my impending pastoral assignemnt, and I was hit with a personal attack.  I am not sure if there were any people in the rooms next to me, but if there were they heard some good preaching.  I began preaching to myself.  The Word flowed and I got to the point where I could calm down and hear from God.  I finally sat down, allowed God to show me what He wanted me to know from His Word, and He gave me the revelation that I needed to move forward.  I shared with my wife what God told me and less than a month later she was pregant again.  This is the very, very short version.  The point of today’s message is that scriptures that I needed to help me overcome that attack came out of the abundance of my heart.  I became the man Jesus spoke of that brought forth good things out of the good treasure of his heart.  I could have never done that if the Word of God was not already down in me.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that when the pressure is on you will only be able to get out of you what you have already put down in you.  What is in the treasure of your heart?  If its full of MTV, raunchy material, foul language, and negative thinking; then that is what will come out.  But if your heart is full of the Word of God, good material, and positive thinking, you will be able to speak life and overcome any challenge you may face.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I fill my heart with good things.  I meditate on Your Word and I get Your promises down in the treasure of my heart.  When the pressure is on in my life I know that good things will flow from my lips and my words will enable me to be in the position where I can hear from You and overcome every challenge.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Idle Words (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  We have been dealing with a passage in Matthew chapter 12 where Jesus said, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:33-37).

We are at the portion in the passage where Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things…”  The word “treasure” in this passage can be looked at as a deposit or storage.  Whatever you deposit or store up in your heart is going to be what comes out.  Now, before I go any further I know many of you may be thinking that this is redundant.  Several of the messages in this series are very similar, but believe me when I tell you that they may be similar and even redundant in some cases, but they are still valuable.  Paul said, “It doesn’t bother me to write the same things to you that I have written before.  In fact, it is for your own good” (Phil 3:1).  Paul knew that we need to hear (or read) something more than once.  I cannot count the times that my mother stopped me before leaving out the door in Brooklyn to tell me the same thing.  She said, “Son, show me who you hang with and I will tell you who you are” – but she said it in Spanish.  The point is that she knew the dangers and the negative peer pressures that were awaiting me outside and it did not bother her to repeat the same thing over and over, because it was for my own good.  Likewise, when I get into a series like this the Lord leads me to drive home the message over and over again.  It really doesn’t bother me to teach this way, but it is for your (and my) own good.

Jesus’ message was simple.  Whatever is in the treasure (or deposit) of our heart is what we are going to bring forth.  The only way to change what is in the deposit of our heart is to change our input.  If we carefully manage what we watch, hear, and read, we will be able to determine what we fill our deposit with.  This is very important because Jesus went on to say, “I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”  The Greek word translated “idle” in this text is a word that literally means: non-productive, non-working, free from labor, at leisure, lazy.  Remember that this is Jesus speaking.  Jesus said (and is saying to us) that there will come a time where we will have to give account for every word that we spoke that was non-productive or free from labor; every word without a purpose; every word without a goal.  This gives us to know that we should put thought into the words we speak.  Speaking for the sake of hearing yourself is not a good idea.  That’s why this series is entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  It’s a reminder that our words should project a message; our speech should be on purpose.

So what does this mean to you today? A few quick things:

1.  Once again, your input will determine your output.  Check what you allow into the deposit of your heart (through your ear gate and eye gate).

2.  God is keeping track of every word that you speak and you will have to give account for every non-productive and purpose-free word.

3.  Your words can bring about a change in your life if they are spoken on purpose.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I fill the deposit of my heart with good things and because of it I am able to release good words daily.  I put thought behind what I am going to say and because of it I am able to speak words on purpose.  My words go forth to do something; they have an assignment; they are released on purpose and they accomplish what they are released to do.  I stop speaking idle, non-productive, and non-working words.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

You will be Judged by Your Words (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  We have been dealing with a passage in Matthew chapter 12 where Jesus said, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:33-37).

As we continue with this passage we see that Jesus said that on the Day of Judgment we will have to give account for the words that we have spoken.  This is no laughing matter.  Our words give testimony of our life.  Idle or non-productive words testify against us because they show our disregard for or our lack of discipline in pursuing our purpose.  Believers that are purpose-driven or vision-focused are believers that know where they are going and are doing everything possible to get there.  These believers fill their hearts with good things and therefore speak words that line up with the Word of God.  Believers that have no focus in life lack discipline.  Although they are believers, they fail to fill their hearts with the right things; therefore speaking either words of fear and doubt, or idle words that don’t mean anything.  After telling us that we will give an account for our words, Jesus said, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”  This should serve as a wake-up-cal for any believer who is slack concerning discipline and focus in their lives.  Our words will either testify for us or against us.

On the Day of Judgment a sentence of justification or condemnation will be pronounced.  Part of the testimony presented will be the testimony of our words.  Since we have already learned that our words are in indication of the condition of our heart, it makes sense.  The tree of our life will be judged by our fruit.  Part of the fruit we produce is the fruit of our lips.  Words of blessing will prove that our heart is pure; words of cursing will prove that our heart is corrupt.  Many people, even believers, don’t give a second thought to the words that they speak and I know it is because they don’t know how important they are.  There is a lot riding on our words.

Now, before you get the wrong idea, let me bring up something that Paul told the church at Corinth.  He wrote words to them that corrected their activity.  They were doing some things that were not going to work out for their good in the long run.  Paul knew that the believers in Corinth would rather hear nice messages about how good they were doing, but Paul had to remind them that correction is needed.  He said, “I do not write this to shame you, but to warn and counsel you as my beloved children” (1st Corinthians 4:14).  Like Paul, I do not write messages like this to shame anyone because of their words or to scare anyone because of an impending judgment.  I simply write this as a message to warn those that have taken their words too loosely.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that if God is concerned with your words then you should be as well.  Your mouth produces more than just mere sounds.  When you open your mouth you are literally releasing a message; a message that can produce life or death, blessing or cursing, victory or defeat, in your life.  Choose your words wisely.  Jesus said that they matter and that you will (some day) give account for them.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, You pay attention to my words and so will I.  I know that my words count, they matter, and I will ensure that they produce in my life  I will not speak idle, non-working, or non-productive words.  I declare, by faith, that I will speak words that bring forth life and not death, blessing and not cursing, victory and not defeat, success and not failure.  I live a purpose driven and a vision focused life.  I ensure that my words testify for me and not against me.  I look forward to a blessed, prosperous, and stress-free day.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Speaking the Solution, not the Problem (top of page)

(Gen 1:3 KJV)  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  This morning we go back to the beginning, to the book of Genesis, to the creation.  The Bible opens with these words: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen 1:1,2 KJV).  This does not paint a pretty picture.  To get an even better understanding of the state of the earth at this point let’s look at the second verse in a couple of other translations.  The Contemporary English Version translates it, “The earth was barren, with no form of life; it was under a roaring ocean covered with darkness. But the Spirit of God was moving over the water.”  The Message Bible translates it, “Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness.  God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.”  Some scholars believe that the earth had undergone a cataclysmic change as the result of divine judgment.  Now, whether you ascribe to this or not, we should all agree that the state of the earth in verse two was not God’s best.  It was barren, dark, and void of life.

Notice that the Spirit of God was present.  This is a very important point to bring out because it teaches us that God’s presence will not assure His manifestation.  Meaning that He is everywhere at the same time (Omni-present), but just because He is present, it does not mean that He will spring into action to move on our behalf.  That is why our words are so important.  We activate God’s action in our lives with our words.  God did the same thing in Genesis 1.  The Holy Spirit was present, He was moving over the earth, but nothing happened until God said something.  Now, the question is, what would God say?  If He was like many believers today He would have said, “Man, it sure is dark out there,” or “Wow, the earth is a mess,” or “This doesn’t look good.”  The point is that many believers today look at a situation and they speak the problem.  They go around talking about how bad their situation is.  They use their words to simply describe the problem without ever using their words to declare the answer.  Our goal is to be like God, right?  We are supposed to imitate Him, right?  If so, then let’s see what God did.  In the third verse we find that God said, “Let there be light: and there was light.”

God did not spend His time talking about how bad the situation was.  God did not waste words describing the problem.  God was focused and He used His words to implement a solution.  God spoke what He wanted, not what He saw.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  Faith speaks its desired end.

2.  Don’t waste your time describing the problem, articulate the solution; especially in prayer.

3.  Don’t waste your time speaking everything you see.  Speaking what you see is not going to change anything.  Speak what you desire to happen.

4.  Continue to speak words of faith until they come to pass.  It may not happen as fast as it did for God in Genesis 1, but if you remain in faith, it will happen.  The point is to never allow what you see – especially if it gets worse before it gets better – to change what you say!

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I learn to pray and to speak the solution, not the problem.  It does no good for me to walk around talking about the negative things that I see.  Instead of speaking what I see, I will speak what I desire.  I will pray the solution, speak the solution, and believe You for the solution to come to pass in my life.  I will then remain in faith no matter how long it takes.  I will not allow what I see to change what I say.  I speak faith and not doubt, life and not death.  As I learn to do this I am becoming more and more like You!  Hallelujah!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Faith Speaks (top of page)

(Rom 4:17 KJV)  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  In our last message we went back to the beginning (Genesis) so see how God used words.  God did not waste His words describing the problem, but rather speaking the solution.  God literally created the world through words.  Everything in creation was created through God speaking words.  Words should not be taken lightly.  Let’s look at another example of how God used words to bring about change.  There are many examples of pick from in the life of Abraham.  First God met him and used words to promise that He would be a father of many nations and that he would be blessed to be a blessing.  Abraham accepted and instituted the blessing in his life and in the lives of his descendants.  To this day we receive a blessing and we disperse a blessing through simply speaking words.  Before we get too deep into this subject let’s learn more about Abraham and what God did for him.

What we know of Abraham’s story begins at the tender age of 75.  His name was Abram and he was living in Haran without any children.  The people of Haran were known for being idol worshippers and praying to many gods.  God selected a 75 yr. old barren man in a spiritually and morally corrupt environment to start a legacy that still lives on today.  How did it all start?  It started by God speaking words, a promise, to bless him, to make his name great, and to make of him a great nation.  A series of events then transpired where God, over the process of many years, spoke promises to Abraham and all the things that He spoke came to pass.  The key is that God spoke them before they happened.  Like I mentioned yesterday, God looked at darkness and spoke light.  God looked at chaos and spoke order.  God looked nothing and spoke everything into existence.  God looked at a 75 yr. old barren “nobody” and spoke a famous and blessed father of many nations.  This is how God operates.  Our base text says that God calls those things which be not as though they were.  We will deal with this further tomorrow.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  Faith speaks:  God changed the barren earth with His words.  God changed Abraham’s life with His words.  God changed my life with His words.  And we are called Christians for a reason.  We are to be imitators of God.  We are to learn from Him and operate like Him in the earth.  Just like we love because He loves, we forgive because He forgives, we give because He gives, we must also speak because He speaks.  Jesus taught His disciples that the Father knows what we have need of before we ask (Mat 6:8), and He then turned around and taught them how to pray.  What is the point?  God knows what we need, but He is waiting on us to SAY SOMETHING!  Our words release our faith and His hand to move in our lives.

2.  Faith speaks before it happens:  When you declare something before it happens, with a believing heart, believing that God will bring it to pass, with total confidence in Him and His ability, then that is called faith.  When you speak something after it has already happened, then that is not faith; that is simply commentary about current events.

3.  Faith is confident that it will come to pass:  If there is no confidence behind your words, then they are not faith-filled words.  Faith-filled words are an expression of the confidence that we have in God, His ability, and His word.  Faith-filled words are spoken from a believing heart and they are released with an expectation that they will come to pass.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I learn to imitate You.  I start praying for Your Kingdom to come, on earth, as it is in heaven.  I see no sickness in heaven, so I pray against sickness in the earth.  I see no lack in heaven, so I pray against lack in the earth.  I allow my words to line up with Your Word so that they can bring about a change in my life.  I speak faith-filled words from a believing heart and I am confident that You will bring them to pass.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

God can Give Life to Dead Situations with His Words (top of page)

(Rom 4:17 KJV)  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  In our last message we took a look at Abraham and how God promised to move in his life.  God promised a 75 yr. old barren “nobody” that he would become a famous and blessed father of many nations.   Abram was the father of the faithful, but he had his stumbles along the way.  By the time he was 86 yrs. old the promise of children had still not come.  His wife recommended a “Plan B,” and Abram wound up having a child with one of his servants.  This was not a good idea, because it was not what God had promised.  However, Abram and his wife recovered from this mishap, they moved forward, and they believed God.  “Abram was ninety-nine years old when the Lord appeared to him again and said, “I am God All-Powerful. If you obey me and always do right, I will keep my solemn promise to you and give you more descendants than can be counted… I promise that you will be the father of many nations.  That’s why I now change your name from Abram to Abraham.  I will give you a lot of descendants, and in the future they will become great nations.  Some of them will even be kings.” (Gen 17:1-6 CEV).

Abram was 99 yrs. old when God changed his name from Abram to Abraham.  That meant that by the time he had the baby he would be about 100 yrs. old and his wife would be 90 yrs. old.  They were well beyond the child bearing stage.  Not only that, Abraham’s wife (Sarah) had been barren all her life.  She could not have kids at 20, much less at 90.  But the key is that God did not speak the problem, He spoke the solution.  God did not take the time to detail all the issues with what He was saying, He simply spoke by faith.  Abraham then had to receive the following:

1.  The name change:  This was risky, because it meant that he had to go around introducing himself as Abraham (a father of many nations), without having any kids.  He had to agree with God and speak this name change, with his own lips, well before he saw the manifestation of it.  This is what God requires of us.  We must be so convinced that God will do what He said He would do in our lives that we speak like it, well before we see it.

2.  The promise:  It had been 24 years since God gave Abraham the original promise, but he had to believe that God would still be faithful to perform it.  The biggest key here is that Abraham had to keep from factoring in what God had already factored out.  God already knew the physical condition of Abraham and Sarah’s bodies.  Paul said (Rom 4:19) that Abraham had to basically ignore (refuse to consider) the deadness of his body and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.  Abraham believed in a God that would perform His word.  Our base text (Rom 4:17) says that Abraham believed in a God “who quickeneth the dead;” that means that God can bring dead things to life.  Paul went on to tell us that God, “calleth those things which be not as though they were.”  God doesn’t wait to see it before He says it.  God says it and knows that He will see it because He said it.  In Genesis God said, and God said, and God said, and God said; and then God saw everything that He said.

So what does this mean to you today? A few quick things:

1.  Never, ever factor in what God has already factored out.  If you do you will wind up putting a NO where God already put a YES.

2.  Align your words with God’s promises; no matter how outrageous they may seem.

3.  If God could do this for Abraham and Sarah, what is it that He cannot or will not do for you?

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I receive Your promises by faith.  I declare that I will align my words with Your Word, no matter how outrageous or seemingly impossible they may seem.  I believe in You Lord, a God who can bring life to dead situations.  So I thank You God for resurrecting dead dreams, desires, hopes, and plans.  I have faith that what You promised, You will also bring to pass in my life.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Total Package (top of page)

This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth,” with a different twist.  I get questions all the time and I do my best to answer them all.  I have never shared a question with the entire list, but I will today.  The question I received was, “How can your readers avoid the dangerous doctrinal error of thinking God will answer whatever they are asking for, without it being part of his plan for them, the “name it and claim it” teaching as it is sometimes called.  How do you assist in teaching them the difference in God’s plan vs. their desires?”  This is a very good question and I felt led to share my answer.

If you have been receiving Today’s Word for an extended amount of time you know that I cover several topics and I seek to do so in an in-depth fashion.  Because of the nature of my ministry it is possible to misconstrue an isolated message here or there, but if you take an entire series or a group of messages you will get a bigger and better picture.  For example, in the series we are currently in, I can see how someone can read an isolated message and think that you can simply say whatever you want, put an “In Jesus Name” behind it and then think that it will somehow magically come to pass.  But when you read the series you see that I am teaching believers to change their words to line up with God’s Word.  Many question what God’s will is.  Well, God’s Word is God’s will.  God’s Word is God’s will explained (documented).  When you ask for something that lines up with God’s Word, then you are asking for something that lines up with God’s will.  John said, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1st Jn 5:14,15).  The more you know God’s Word, the easier it will be for you to know God’s will.

I have also taught that you can know that you are asking for something that lines up with God’s Word and God’s will and then still not receive it because of things that I call blessing blockers.  I can’t address them all in this message, but sin (Ps 66:18), doubt (Mar 11:23), unbelief (Mat 13:58), fear (Mat 14:26), unforgiveness (Mar 11:25), and etc. are hindrances to receiving from God.  I teach believers to overcome blessing blockers, to line up their words with God’s Word, to expand their capacity to believe (we our only limited by our capacity to believe God), to learn to pray and declare the blessings of God with a believing heart, to live by faith and to expect God to honor His Word in their lives.

I can understand how some people can call this kind of teaching “Name it and Claim it,” or “Blab it and Grab it;” but there is much more to it than just getting up in the morning and saying a few empty words.  This is not about empty words; it is about living the lifestyle of the faithful; living a life of faith.  The Bible teaches us to walk by faith (2 Cor 5:7), live by faith (Ro 1:17), fight by faith (1 Tim 6:12), pray by faith (James 5:15), and overcome the world by faith (1st Jn 5:4).  We are to do everything we do by faith, in faith, and through faith!  I teach that faith is an expression of confidence in God and His Word.  For you to operate in faith you must know what God’s Word says so that you can express your confidence in it.  Remember, God has no obligation to perform your word, but He has promised to perform His.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you should not think that you can manipulate God to fulfill your selfish desires, just because you spoke something and you called it faith.  If your heart is right, your motives are pure, and your words line up with His Word, then you can pray by faith expect that it will come to pass.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I seek to live the total package in You.  I seek You with pure motives and a believing heart.  I sincerely desire for You to get the glory out of my life and living.  My desire is to please You.  I rid myself of blessing blockers, I pray in accordance with Your will, and I expect that You will show up in my life and when You do I will direct all the glory back to You!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

O Mighty Warrior! (top of page)

For the past two months I have been teaching our current series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  This morning we begin to draw this series to a close.  I will introduce you to one more Biblical character that we will draw from in this series.  His name is Gideon.  We find him in Judges chapter 6.  The book of Judges chronicles a turbulent time for the nation of Israel.  They experienced a roller coaster of righteous and unrighteous leaders and the state of the nation reflected the spiritual state of the leaders.

Judges 6 opens with the Israelites disobeying the Lord.  Their disobedience caused the Lord to remove His protection from them and the nation of Midian controlled them for seven years.  This was a terrible time for Israel.  The Midianites were so cruel that many Israelites ran to the mountains and hid in caves.  Every time the Israelites planted crops the Midianites swarmed in, set up tents, and allowed their livestock eat the crops to the ground.  The Midianites also stole food, sheep, cattle, and donkeys.  There were so many Midianites that the Bible likens them to a “swarm of locusts.”  After the Midianites took almost everything that belonged to the Israelites, the Israelites finally repented and asked the Lord for help.  The Lord sent a prophet to them with this message: “I am the Lord God of Israel, so listen to what I say.  You were slaves in Egypt, but I set you free and led you out of Egypt into this land.  And when nations here made life miserable for you, I rescued you and helped you get rid of them and take their land.  I am your God, and I told you not to worship Amorite gods, even though you are living in the land of the Amorites.  But you refused to listen.”  Even after this harsh prophecy, the Lord accepted their plea for help and sent an angel to a man He selected to lead the Israelites out of their oppression.  Who do you think the Lord chose?  Did he find the strongest, meanest, and most skilled warrior?  Of course not.  The Lord sent the angel to Gideon.  When the angel met him Gideon was in a shallow pit, under a tree, threshing grain.  This was an unusual place to thresh grain; this was normally performed on a wood floor or a hard surface, causing it to be a noisy process.  Gideon did it under a tree because he was hiding from the Midianites.  So the Lord picked an unknown farmer who was hiding under a tree to lead a revolution.  What’s the first thing the Lord needed to deal with?  No question, it was Gideon’s mentality.  Gideon needed to see himself as God saw him.  The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!”  We will stop here for today.  We will see tomorrow that Gideon’s words did not initially line up with God’s words.

So what does this mean to you today? Let’s glean a few golden nuggets:

1.  God still judges sin:  Sin will cause you to live without the protection and favor of the Lord.  In a time where the focus is on prosperity, blessing, favor, and etc., it is still necessary to preach about sin.  Sin will separate us from God’s best.

2.  God still accepts repentance:  If you earnestly repent before God, He will restore you.  To repent is to admit your wrong doing and to head in the opposite direction.  If you know you have done wrong this morning and you, like the Israelites were in the text, are experiencing the terrible consequences of sin, then the good news for you is that God will accept your repentance.

3.  God declares the end from the beginning:  The angel did not speak to Gideon’s present condition.  He did not say, “Gideon, you coward!” Or, “Gideon, you big chicken!”  No, God looked at a scared farmer and spoke a fearless General into manifestation.  God looked at a weakling and spoke a Warrior!  God does God see in you?

4.  We must believe God’s opinion of us:  We will see in this story that Gideon’s opinion of himself was transformed as he learned to believe God.  If you can believe it you can receive it.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I believe Your opinion of me.  I am who You say that I am.  I can do what You say that I can do.  I can be what You say that I can be.  You can turn weaklings into warriors and cowards into leaders.  I believe You can elevate me into becoming the person that You desire for me to be.  I accept, by faith, whatever You speak into my life and though my beginning may be small, I know that I will greatly increase.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Watch Your Complaining (top of page)

(Judges 6:14 NIV)  The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.  Am I not sending you?”

This morning we continue our wind down of the series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  We will pick up where we left off with the story of Gideon.  The Lord sent an angel to Gideon, a farmer who was hiding under a tree and the angel said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!”  Gideon’s mentality was not ready for that statement.  He could not get his head, nor his heart around the fact that he was (or could be) a mighty warrior.  If he was to become what God said, then he would certainly have to expand his capacity to believe and change his opinion of himself.  Like many of us, Gideon’s first reaction was to complain about his circumstances.  Gideon said, “But sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?  Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’  But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”  I am sure we can relate to Gideon.  The natural tendency of many is to blame everything – good or bad – on God.  However, as I stated yesterday, their plight was a result of their sin.  God did not cause them to be in their situation, God simply removed His protection, because of their sin.  This should serve as a warning and a reminder to us all.  A great deal of what happens in our lives is a result of our action.  As we continue in Judges Chapter six we see something interesting.  Gideon was talking to the angel the Lord sent, but the 14th verse says that the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.  Am I not sending you?” I am not sure if God spoke this through the angel or not, but either way, what God said is important.  Let’s take a closer look at two nuggets we can draw from His statement:

1.  Your Ability:  God said, “Go in the strength you have…”  These words stopped me in my tracks the first time I read this story.  It is a reminder that God knows everything about us.  He knows our strengths and our weaknesses.  Every hair on our head is numbered (Mat 10:30).  He knows what we can do before He gives us the assignment.  He is qualified to make statements like, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper” (Is 54:17), because he understands the weapon and He understands us.  He takes both into consideration before He makes such declarations.  This helps us understand His statement to Gideon.  We cannot clearly see why God selected Gideon.  When we look at Gideon all we see is a scared farmer, but God saw a mighty warrior.  Why?  Because God had already placed the mighty warrior down inside of Gideon.  God knew what was in him and what it would take to get it out of him.  Guess what?  God also knows what He has placed down on the inside of you.

2.  God’s Ability:  God asked, “Am I not sending you?”  This is a powerful question because it was a reminder to Gideon (and to us) that God knows what He is doing.  If He knows the end from the beginning – and He does – then we can trust Him to be accurate with every assignment.  God was basically telling Gideon that He would be with him.  The guarantee of His presence also connoted a guarantee of His power; His ability.  The same holds true for us.  Once we know that we are doing something that God desires for us to do, then we can do it with confidence and boldness.  Where He leads He feeds; where He guides He provides!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you must be very careful to watch our words.  Gideon’s complaining almost put a “No” where God was putting a “Yes!”  God will lead you to do great things, He will extend you beyond your comfort zone, and He will lead you into the realm of seemingly impossible.  Your part is to believe it and to align your words with His promises, not to complain and to talk yourself out of the blessing God wants to give you.

Confession for this day:  Father God, I believe Your opinion of me and I will watch my mouth to ensure I don’t speak against it.  You have blessed me with abilities that I have yet to use.  I declare, by faith, that I will maximize the abilities You have placed in me and I go forward today with the confidence and boldness!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Don’t disqualify yourself if God has already Qualified You! (top of page)

(Judges 6:15 MSG)  Gideon said to him, “Me, my master?  How and with what could I ever save Israel?  Look at me.  My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”

This morning we continue our wind down of the series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  We will pick up where we left off with the story of Gideon.  The Lord saw something in Gideon, told him to go in the strength that he had, and then promised to go with him.  This was a Godly setup.  With God on his side he could not lose.  Think about that for a moment.  Place yourself in his shoes.  Imagine yourself as part of a nation that was birthed out of the promises of God.  Your nation had a rich heritage of Godly blessings.  However, because of sin, God removed His hedge of protection and your nation had been under siege for seven years.  One day the Lord sends an angel to you, while you are somewhat hiding, to tell you that you have been chosen to lead a revolution.  You are told by God that you are mighty warrior, that you are to go with the power you already have, and God Himself promises to be with you.  What would you do?  Would you jump up and say, “Let’s go Lord.  I am ready to take them all”?  Would you be up to the task?  Do you have the capacity to believe God to that level?  Could you force your words to agree with God’s words?  If you could, then you would do exactly what God said you could do.  Gideon was not ready and unfortunately many in the Body of Christ are in the same boat.  Many believers go to church Sunday after Sunday, but they do not really believe that they can do the exploits promised to us in the Word of God, through the power of God, for the glory of God.  They go out of ritual, but God wants more – much more – for them.

Gideon’s reply was sad, but it is common.  He said, “Me, my master?  How and with what could I ever save Israel?  Look at me.  My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”  Gideon was basically saying, “I am the weakest man from the weakest clan.”  This was his attempt to disqualify himself from the assignment that God had already qualified him for.  Gideon words were an attempt to put a “No” where God had already put a “Yes!”

God expressed His opinion of Gideon.  Gideon’s reply shows that He was still operating under “some other” opinion of himself.  What opinion do you operate under?  It is a sad commentary for a Christian to have a low self-esteem.  God has already expressed His opinion of us in His Word.  We are ambassadors for His Kingdom (2 Cor 5:20); we are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor 5:21); we are a royal priesthood and a holy nation (1 Pet 2:9); we are the people of God (1 Pet 2:10); we are joint-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17); we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37); and I could go on and on and on.  The Bible is chock-full of promises and declarations of who we are.  Do you agree with God’s opinion of you?  More importantly, do your words testify that you agree or do your words tell a different story?  Do you regularly speak words of fear, doubt, and unbelief?  Or do you regularly speak words of faith and confidence from a believing heart?  Your words are important.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you must believe God’s opinion of you if you are to maximize your purpose in life before you die.  God is in the business of doing extraordinary things with ordinary people.  God knew who Gideon was before He assigned him; flaws, failures, and all.  God took all that into consideration before He qualified him for the assignment.  Don’t be like Gideon and attempt to disqualify yourself with your own words.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I expand my capacity to believe You.  I believe Your opinion of me.  I activate Your presence, power, and peace in my life.  I make myself available for Your use.  You are bigger than anything that will come my way.  You enable me to accomplish every task in excellence and victory.  There is nothing too big for me, because You are in me and with me.  You chose me when I would not choose myself.  You selected me for service and equipped me for greatness.  I am not a weakling, I am a mighty warrior!  I can do all that You believe I can do and I will do it all for Your glory!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Change your Words – Change your Life! (top of page)

(Judges 6:15 MSG)  Gideon said to him, “Me, my master?  How and with what could I ever save Israel?  Look at me.  My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”

This morning we continue our wind down of the series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  In our last message I dealt with this text and I said how Gideon was basically saying to God that the he was the weakest man from the weakest clan.  Gideon’s words were directly opposed to God’s words and it is easy to beat up Gideon for being so negative, but honestly, I can identify with him.  I am a first generation American, born to immigrant parents, and raised in East New York, Brooklyn.  For those of you that do not know, East New York in the 1970s and 1980s was one of the worst neighborhoods in the United States.  In school we were often quoted demoralizing statistics and reminded how difficult it was, as minorities in the ghetto, to overcome the odds.  Most of my friends believed the statistics and soon became them.  We grew up around alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, crack-cocaine, PCP, heroin, murder, and etc.  This was no joke.  I remember as early as elementary school age seeing people in my neighborhood – people that I knew – either taking drugs, selling drugs, robbing others, being robbed, etc.  I was seven years old when one morning I went outside to play and one of my friends from across the street went to take the trash out and he found a dead body in one of the trash cans.  When the cops came they would up finding three dead bodies in three trash cans.  I was around ten years old when I saw a person shot and killed in front of me.  I have told my story several times, but God continues to lead me to tell it over and over because it is relevant.  Gideon was around terrible circumstances and so was I.

As children we attempted to live our lives as normal as normal could be.  We played “tag” and “hide and go seek,” like other kids.  The difference was that we played in abandoned buildings and empty lots full of broken bottles and broken dreams.  I remember sitting on a stoop (front stairs) of an abandoned building and dreaming of still being alive when I turned 18.  If I was still alive, I dreamed of getting out of the ghetto and doing something “great” with my life.  Whenever I shared my dreams with my friends they laughed.  They were blinded by the harsh realities of our environment.  They spoke the words that our environment told them to speak; I spoke the words that something inside of me told me to speak.  My words were different than their words; because of it, my actions were different than their actions.  Although the opportunities to do wrong were plenteous and the motivation to do right was scarce, for the most part, I did the right things.  My words help me be different.  I thank God that to this day I have never even taken a puff of a cigarette in my life; much less tried drugs.  Why?  Because God placed something down in me that caused me to be different.  So, in many ways I can relate to Gideon.  I know it is hard to dream big dreams and to speak life and not death when you are surrounded by failure.  But the good news is that you can.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that if you can change your words you can change your life.  To change your words you are going to have to change your heart (your deposit).  Remember, you words are an indication of what is in your heart.  To change your words you will have to change what you believe.  Once you do that, once you start believing God, then you are on the road to change and success.  In the next few messages we will see how Gideon changed his belief system, he changed his words, and he changed his life.  Guess what?  You can do the same!

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I thank You for placing greatness down inside of me like You did with Gideon.  Like Gideon, I will change my words and by changing my words I will change my life.  No matter how much failure, fear, doubt, and unbelief I am surrounded with, I know that I can overcome my environment and the negative influences in my life.  I will not speak like everyone else.  I refuse to speak like a failure.  I speak like a winner because I am one.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  Praise God!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The True Meaning of Easter (Resurrection Sunday) (top of page)

(Gen 3:21 KJV)  Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

I felt led to take a break this week from our current series to deal a topic that unfortunately many don’t understand.  This upcoming Sunday children all over the United States will go on extensive searches through fields of grass, with their best clothes on, looking for colored eggs.  They will call this “Easter.”  I call this upcoming Sunday morning Resurrection Sunday.  It has nothing to do with Peter Cotton tail, or bunnies, or eggs.  Resurrection Sunday has everything do with celebrating the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.  The songwriter said, “What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus!”  Let’s talk about the blood this morning.

Christianity is a religion riddled with blood.  Were it not for the blood of Jesus, I would not be writing this morning, nor would you be reading.  Were it not for the blood of bullocks, goats, turtle doves, and lambs, the journey of the Old Testament would have never reached the shores of the New.  Our faith is as bloody as any war, but the blood I speak of was shed with a purpose.  This week we will deal with words like substitution, atonement, and redemption; and we will learn how they are tied to the blood and how it applies to our daily lives.

Let’s begin our journey in the beginning.  Genesis 3 opens with the despicable serpent and his conniving acts.  He tricks the woman into eating from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; disobeying the command of God.  She then gives to her husband and he eats as well.  As soon as he ate the eyes of both of them were opened, they realized they were naked, and they covered themselves with fig leaves.  They were previously naked and not ashamed (2:25), because they operated completely in the Spirit.  After their act of disobedience, however, the Lord removed His Spirit from their bodies and they were condemned to a life without the Spirit of God.  We were, consequently, born the same way, because we were born with the inheritance of Adam.  We will learn later that Jesus came that we might be Born-Again, that the Spirit of God might enter into us, and that we might be restored to the original condition of man in the garden.

We go back to the garden and we find a man and a woman who have sinned against God and have died spiritually as a result.  This act of disobedience introduced a dynamic-duo – Sin and Death – that would trouble mankind until the coming of Christ; who delivered us from both.  After pronouncing judgment upon the serpent, the woman, and the man; God did something in our text that would be the pattern of deliverance for the rest of the Old Testament.  He killed an innocent animal for the act of a man.  The blood of the animal became the price for the works of the man.  The skin of the animal became the covering for the shame of the man.  This unnamed animal paid the price that was reserved for the man (Gen 2:17) and the man lived his life then, under the covering (clothes) of the animal.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that the Old Testament is but a foreshadow of the New.  We will learn that Jesus came as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.  He would be the Lamb that would die for the man, so that the man could live for the Lamb.  He put down His righteousness and clothes Himself in our sin, so that we could put down our sin and clothe ourselves in His Righteousness!  We can enter into this day knowing that we have been redeemed from sin and bought with a price.  What was that price – the Blood of Jesus!

Confession for this day: Lord God. There is power in the Blood of Jesus. Your Son died that I might live. You Son paid a price that I could not pay myself. I now live for Him and Him alone. I am redeemed from both Sin and Death and I walk in the newness of life. I can face this day with confidence and boldness. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I do not allow sin to control me. I have been bought with a price and walk as a redeemed soldier in Your Army. I am covered by Your blood and anointed by Your Spirit! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

A Substitutionary Life (top of page)

(Gen 22:13 CEV)  Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in the bushes. So he took the ram and sacrificed it in place of his son.

This morning I will continue in this mini-series that I will call “The Power of the Cross.”  Genesis 22 opens with the Lord instructing Abraham to take his “only” son Isaac and to sacrifice him in the land of Moriah.  To understand that magnitude of the request we must understand that this boy was a child of promise.  Abraham waited on this promised son of Sarah for many years, although not always operating in patience.  Abraham wound up having another son (Ishmael) with his servant Gomar.  This really made Isaac his second son, but God referred to him as the “only” son, because he was the son of promise.  Abraham incredibly looked beyond his years of frustration while waiting for the boy and beyond the awesomeness of the request and set out the next morning to kill the son that he loved for the God that he served.  He got up early in the morning and took off with his donkey, the materials for the sacrifice, his servants, and his son.  After a three day journey Abraham finally saw the place that Lord led him to in the distance.  He told his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there.  We will worship and then we will come back to you.”  Notice that he said, “…we will come back to you.”  He had faith in God that somehow they would both be back together.  Abraham built the altar and arranged the wood.  He then bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar.  Here you have an old man that waited many years for a child of promise; taking the same child and raising a knife to kill him for the God of the promise.  When Abraham lifted up his knife to shed the blood of his promised son the angel of the Lord stopped him and brought his attention a ram that was caught in a nearby thicket.  The Lord honored his faith and provided the ram for the sacrifice in the stead of the boy.  This is chock-full of application about faith, promises, and provision; but our focus this morning is a seldom talked about subject –substitution.  Let’s take a closer look::

1.  Isaac was the second son, but he was the child of promise.

2.  God instructed the ‘Father of Faith’ to sacrifice this second and promised son.

3.  At the point of sacrifice, the Lord stopped it and provided a ram to die in the stead of the man.  God tested Abraham’s faith, but stopped him before human sacrifice.  God would reserve the shedding of human blood to that of His only begotten Son and the Old Testament would continue to riddled with the blood of animals for the actions of man.  The ram in the text and all other animals sacrificed after it had nothing to do with the circumstances surrounding the sacrifice, but they died so that humanity could live.  This is called substitution.

So what does this mean to you today? Remember that the Old Testament is but a foreshadow of the New.  Let’s take a look at the New Testament revelation of this text:

1.  Like Isaac, Jesus was the second (Adam was the first) and promised Son of God.

2.  God instructed Jesus to offer Himself as a sacrifice, thereby shedding human blood and ending the requirement for the shedding of animal blood.

3.  Jesus was the only human to never commit sin and therefore not required to pay the penalty for it; but He substituted His righteousness for our sin.  He became the innocent Lamb that paid the price for the guilty man.  He took on our guilt and gave us His innocence so that we could take on His innocence and give Him our guilt.  This is substitution.

4.   We can now face this day with the peace and assurance that we have been redeemed.  Jesus died a substitutionary death so that we could live a substitutionary life.  He died for you so that you could live for Him.  What are you going to do today that will honor His sacrifice?

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  With my whole heart I seek You and declare that I will not fail to give you praise for dying that I might live.  You substituted Your Son for my sin and I now substitute my life for His.  I will be Your legs to walk and Your mouth to talk this day.  Use me as an instrument of Your anointing.  I honor You Lord with my life and service.  I live my life in the name of the one who died so that I could live.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Our Blood Covenant (top of page)

This morning we continue in this mini-series on “The Power of the Cross.”  Most people are familiar with the “Ten Commandments” of Exodus 20.  The Lord, however, continued to give commandments (laws) to Moses for the next three chapters.  In Exodus 24 the Lord ‘sealed the deal’ with a covenant of blood.  Moses told the people all the Lord’s words and laws; and they responded with one voice saying, “Everything God said, we will do.”  Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.  He got up early the next morning, built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  He then sent young men to offer bullocks as peace offerings to God.  Moses took half of the blood of the animals and put it in bowls and sprinkled the other half on the altar.  Afterwards Moses took the Book of the Covenant (which he had written the night before) and read it as the people listened.  Once again, they said, “Everything God said, we will do.  Yes, we will obey.”  This is where it really gets good to me.  Moses took the rest of the blood and threw it out over the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has made with you out of all these words I have spoken” (v.8).  By now I trust you see that the Old Testament is a foreshadow of the New.

Let’s take a closer look at this passage.  The Lord gave Moses four chapters of clear instructions to give the people.  He then told the people what God said and they said, with their own mouths, that they would obey it.  Moses then took it a step further and wrote down what God said, had an altar built, the blood of bullocks applied to it, and then shared the commands of God again with the people.  Once again, they declared that they would be obedient to the Words of God.  Only after this declaration of obedience would the other half of the blood be applied to the people.  So there was blood on the altar and blood on the people, showing that both were mutually bound by this blood covenant (the strongest form of covenant).  God was bound to protect, shield, and bless His people and they were bound to honor, love, and serve their God.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that we are also in a Blood Covenant with God.  Our covenant, however, was ratified with the most precious blood ever shed – the Blood of Jesus.  All the gold in Fort Knox could not purchase one drop of Jesus’ blood.  Jesus died as the ultimate sacrifice (animals no longer required).  His blood was shed on Calvary’s cross for the remission of sin and the redemption of humanity.  This cleansing blood is offered to all people – the entire world – but like the people in the text, we must first make a declaration of obedience and acceptance before the blood is applied to our lives.  Once we openly declare – with our own lips – that Jesus is Lord, that He died and was risen from the dead, then He becomes our Lord and Savior, His blood is applied to our lives, and the blood covenant is sealed! Once the blood of Jesus is applied to our lives and we are in eternal and everlasting covenant with the King of Glory!  We are bound to honor, love, and serve Him and He is bound to protect, shield, and bless us!

That’s what this upcoming Sunday is about and that’s why I am so against entertaining bunny rabbits and colored eggs; they become a mockery of the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday.  Sunday we should celebrate the fact that Jesus conquered hell, sin, and the grave so that we could do the same.

Confession for this day:  Father God, I acknowledge afresh that Jesus the Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life in the earth, was persecuted, crucified, died, and was buried.  You rose Him from the dead on the third day with all power in His hand.  He ascended up to heaven and is seated at Your right hand.  He is coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His Kingdom will have no end.  I acknowledge this with my lips and with my heart and I thank You for applying the blood of Jesus to my life.  I am in Blood Covenant with You Lord and this covenant cannot and will not ever be broken.  You are the God that I serve and I put no other gods before You.  The blood of Jesus is applied to my life and I am healed, healthy, blessed, and prosperous because of it!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

We Serve a Living Savior! (top of page)

(Mark 16:1-6 NIV)  When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Solome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb…  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.  “Don’t be alarmed,” he said.  “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.”

This morning we continue in this mini-series on “The Power of the Cross.”  Jesus died a brutal death on the cross for all humanity, but remember that no one took His life, He freely gave it for our sin.  Nevertheless, they took the body down from the cross, wrapped it in linen cloth, together with spices, and placed it in a borrowed tomb that had never been used.  Joseph of Arimathea (the owner of the tomb) and Nicodemus prepared the body, placed it in the tomb, and left.  This is where we pick up our text.

The women went looking for Jesus’ body, but they did not find it.  The body was not there because Jesus had been risen from the dead!  This is what we will truly celebrate on Sunday morning.  Resurrection Sunday is about the empty tomb that became the Good News of the gospel for all eternity.  That empty tomb gives Christians all over the world the spring in our step.  That empty tomb is the fuel in our fire, the air in our lungs, and the wind beneath our wings! Without the empty tomb there is no Christianity.  Without the empty tomb we have no hope.  Without the empty tomb our message is just a story.  Paul said it this way, “And if Christ wasn’t raised to life, our message is worthless, and so is your faith” (I Cor 15:14 CEV).

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the single most important event in the history of history.  The resurrection of Jesus is what separates our religion from every other religion in the world.  We don’t serve an idol.  We don’t serve a man.  We don’t serve a dead God.  We serve a Living Savior – Jesus is His name! Over the nearly 2,000 years since many have tried to discredit and discount the validity of Jesus’ Resurrection.  As Dr. Charlie Parmer puts it, “The most telling affirmation of the validity of His literal Resurrection was and is the dramatic change that it produced in the lives of those followers.  From the weak, wavering, faltering, denying group of fishermen, tax collectors, etc.; the twelve plus the others became the most zealous, faithful, dynamic group who ever lived.  They literally became burning evangels for the cause of Christ; and they totally turned the world up-side down for Him over the next 71 plus years.  They were condemned, threatened, imprisoned, beaten, and commanded to be silent; but they just got right back out on the streets and just started preaching Jesus again – alive by Promise, dead by Purpose, Resurrected by (God’s) Power, and reigning for our good Measure and Pleasure!”

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  It means that Jesus’ victory over death liberates us to reign over death as well.  Jesus took the sting out of death (1st Cor 15:55).

2.  It means that Christianity is the only religion with a living Savior.  Mohammed, Buddha, Ghandi, etc. all died and remained dead.

3.  It means that to be a Christian you must have a personal encounter with our Living Savior.  You can be a Muslim without ever meeting Mohammed, you can be a Buddhist without ever meeting Buddha, but if you are going to be a Christian you have to meet Christ for yourself!

Confession for this day:  Father God, I thank You for sending Jesus to die so that I could live.  I live for Him, in Him, with Him, and through Him.  It is in You God that I live, and move, and have my being.  Jesus’ victory over death means that death has no victory over me.  I am dead to self, alive to Christ, and I know that I will live forever in You and with You.  I love you with all my heart and I live for You all my days.  Help me to share Your love, Your light, and Your resurrecting power with others today!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and Prosper!

The Story (top of page)

This morning we close out our mini-series on “The Power of the Cross.”  God gave me a poem this morning that tells the story of the Resurrection.  I called simply titled it, “The Story.”

God released His best to Adam in the garden,

Kingdom Dominion, power, blessing, and the more,

But shortly thereafter humanity was seeking a pardon,

Adam sinned and the recovery from this sin… a chore.

God re-established His blessing with a man named Abraham,

To bless the whole world was his charter, his mandate, his command,

I am not really sure if Abraham could truly understand,

The awesomeness of the task the Lord had just placed in His hands.

But sin and death still ruled, because of Adam’s transgression,

An answer to this dynamic duo of destruction was needed in the land,

Two types of lambs were chosen as an annual concession,

The blood of these animals were to be shed by the hands of man.

The PASSOVER lamb served as a covering for death,

The Atonement lamb as a covering for sin,

But the blood of these animals was a temporary solution,

God sent Jesus to fight the ultimate battle – and win!

Jesus was the PASSOVER lamb,

Death had been conquered once and for all,

Jesus was also the Atonement lamb,

On Calvary’s cross sin took its ultimate fall.

So behold the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world,

The ultimate sacrifice paid on Golgotha’s hill,

They hung Him high, they stretched Him wide, He hung His head, for me He died,

And for three hours the light of the sun was stilled.

But the true victory came later, after three nights and three days,

When Jesus rose with all power in His hand,

The resurrection is the Gospel, told in so many ways,

And we must keep preaching it all throughout the land!

Jesus died to pay the penalty for sin,

Jesus rose so that we could do the same,

Jesus’ victory is transferred to us, so we now win,

Back to dominion, blessing, and power in life’s game.

So this upcoming Resurrection Sunday please remember what it’s all about,

It’s more than rabbits and eggs and colorful attire,

It’s about redemption from sin and death, which should make you want to shout!

Jesus died!  Jesus rose!  So we could live Higher!

That’s the story that we tell, that’s the story that we sing,

That’s the story that we preach all over the globe,

But it’s more than just a story; it’s a life changing thing,

It’s the Gospel, preached for the whole world to know!

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and Prosper!

Sweatless Victory (top of page)

(Judges 6:16 GNB)  The Lord answered, “You can do it because I will help you.  You will crush the Midianites as easily as if they were only one man.”

I trust that our mini-series on “The Power of the Cross” blessed you last week.  This morning we get back to winding down our series on, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  In our last message in this series I focused in on how we can change our lives by changing our words.  Gideon’s mind and his mouth had to change if he was to lead a God-led revolution against the Midianites.  After Gideon questioned his selection and his ability with negative words, God replied with reassuring words; words to help Gideon make the transition.  God gave Gideon a promise of presence, provision, and power.  What can we learn from God’s response?

1.  God is our source:  God said, “You can do it because I will help you.”  God was helping Gideon internalize the reality that the same God that parted the Red Sea, destroyed the Egyptians, and caused the walls of Jericho to come tumbling down for his ancestors was going to literally be with him and help him.  The issue of God’s help is very important in our Christian walk, because God never gives us assignments that we can carry out without Him.  God’s assignments are always too big for us and always cause us to be dependent on His power.  Gideon knew that he could not defeat the Midianites, but he also knew that God could.  When God promised Gideon that he would be with him it helped Gideon calm his fears and it was the first step in expanding his capacity to believe.  If Gideon could believe the promise, then he would change his words.  God has made a similar promise to every Born-Again believer; He promised never to leave us, nor forsake us (Heb 13:5).  The internalization of the reality of His presence is a critical step in overcoming fear, expanding our capacity to believe, and transforming our words.

2.  Sweatless Victory:  God went on to say, “You will crush the Midianites as easily as if they were only one man.”  If Gideon attempted to assemble an army on his own and start a revolution the results would be catastrophic.  The fact that God was involved, however, meant that the victory would come swift and it would come easy.  Gideon did not have much confidence, but he did have enough to believe he could defeat one man.  God met him where he was and painted a picture of an easy victory that would elevate his thinking and his confession.  This notion of a sweatless victory reminds me of a story in Luke 5 where Jesus told Peter to launch his boat into the deep waters and to put his nets down for a catch.  Peter answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”  Peter’s words initially focused on the negative (worked hard), but thank God that he shifted to the positive (because you say so).  The Greek words translated “worked hard” in Peter’s response is a word that literally means “to sweat.”  Peter was an expert fisherman and he put all his human efforts into a full night’s work with nothing to show for it.  However, after receiving a Word from Jesus, he simply did what Jesus said and he wound up receiving a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fish.  So much that he had to call for his partners to help with the load.  What’s the point?  The point is that your human efforts can only take you but so far and they will cause you to sweat and work hard, but when God is involved He can give you a “sweatless victory.”

So what does this mean to you today? Very simply it means that God is with you and His presence can bring you sweatless victories that far surpass anything you could have done on your own.  Human ability is limited, God’s ability is infinite.  Your obedience to His Word and your willingness to believe He can do great things in your life will open you up to possibilities you previously thought impossible.  Your part is to change the way you think, believe, and speak.  Line your words up with His Word and your life will be transformed.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I expand my capacity to believe You.  I verbalize my confidence in You and in Your Word.  I visualize myself doing great things for Your Kingdom and for Your glory.  I internalize a sweatless victory and I receive it by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

God worked with Gideon (top of page)

(Judges 6:39 CEV)  But Gideon prayed to God again. ” Don’t be angry at me,” Gideon said. “Let me try this just one more time, so I’ll really be sure you’ll help me. Only this time, let the wool be dry and the stone floor be wet with dew.”

This morning we continue our series on, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  The story of Gideon is awesome because in it we see the transformation of a man from a weakling to a warrior.  However, this transformation did not happen overnight.  The Lord instructed Gideon to destroy an altar in his town that was setup to worship Baal (a false God).  This is important because God will always require us to deal with the issues of sin, before He uses us for His glory.  Gideon knew that he would have to deal with the wrath of the town-members, but he trusted God and did it.  Sure enough, the people in the town wanted Gideon killed, but Gideon’s father told them to let Baal (the false god they worshipped) fight his own battles.  If Baal was truly a god he could deal with Gideon.  This is important for us as well, because it gives us to know that if God is for us, we have nothing to be afraid of.  God was with Gideon and Baal could not touch him.

Then came the true test.  The Midianites, Amalekites, and other eastern nations got together, crossed the Jordan River, invaded the land of Israel, and set up camp in Jezreel Valley.  This was the last straw.  The Lord’s Spirit came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet to tell the men in the Abiezer clan to follow him.  It is worth noting that Gideon did not attempt to move for God until the Spirit of the Lord led him to.  Gideon also sent messengers to the tribes of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, asking for the men to join his army.  Gideon was getting there, but before he went any further he needed God to work with him a little more.  He was making progress, but he needed more confidence if he was to lead a revolution.

Gideon prayed to God, “I know that you promised to help me rescue Israel, but I need proof.  Tonight I’ll put some wool on the stone floor of that threshing-place over there.  If you really will help me rescue Israel, then tomorrow morning let there be dew on the wool, but let the stone floor be dry.”  That’s exactly what happened.  Gideon got up early the next morning and checked the wool.  The floor was dry and the wool was so wet that he squeezed enough water out of it to fill a bowl.  Gideon was building his confidence, but he was still not where he needed to be.  Gideon prayed again to God again, “Don’t be angry with me, let me try this just one more time, so I’ll really be sure you’ll help me.  Only this time, let the wool be dry and the stone floor be wet with dew.”  That night God made the stone floor wet with dew, but he kept the wool dry.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that God will work you.  God worked with Abraham to get him to operate as the “Father of many nations,” God worked with Gideon to transform him from a coward to a champion, and God will work with you! I don’t advocate putting God through tests of wool and water, but I do advocate taking the time to recognize the ways that God has painstakingly overlooked your insecurities in an attempt to help you develop confidence in Him.  By this point Gideon was already speaking and acting differently.  His thoughts, words, and actions were different.  He was calling for soldiers and preparing for war.  Why?  Because God was working with him to enable his transformation.  Guess what?  God is also working with you.  In this series we have focused in on how your words must be aligned with God’s Word and God’s opinion of you.  If you are not there yet, then rest assured that God will work with you to help you transform your words, your thoughts, and your life!

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I thank You for your grace and your patience with me.  You have answered my questions and calmed my concerns.  I look back and recognize all that You have done in my life.  My experiences build up my confidence in You.  I am fully persuaded that what You have promised, You will also perform in my life.  My words testify of my confidence.  I walk into this day with confidence, boldness, and belief!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

You Can Do It! (top of page)

(Judges 7:8a CEV)  Then Gideon gave these orders, “You three hundred men stay here. The rest of you may go home, but leave your food and trumpets with us.”

This morning we continue our series on, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by continuing on with the story of Gideon and this morning we get to see a different man.  In our last message we saw how Gideon put God through a few tests as he was building up his capacity to believe.  Well, after God worked with Gideon and helped him solidify his confidence, we see Gideon operating with a new found confidence and speaking a whole new language – the language of faith.  This new Gideon is no longer a coward, he is a military Commander.

Chapter 7 opens with Gideon getting up in the morning ready to lead his assembled army against the Midianites.  He had not realized it, but 32,000 men responded to the call to war.  So now the guy that was hiding under a tree a few days earlier was a de-facto Commanding General.  What’s the first thing God did with his new General?  He exposed the reason why he helped Gideon build his belief system.  This would be no ordinary fight.  God told Gideon that he had too many men, He said, “Gideon, your army is too big.  I can’t let you win with this many soldiers. The Israelites would think that they had won the battle all by themselves and that I didn’t have anything to do with it.  So call your troops together and tell them that anyone who is really afraid can leave Mount Gilead and go home.”  Gideon did as God said and 22,000 left immediately.  Would God be comfortable with 10,000?  No way!  God said, “Gideon, you still have too many soldiers.  Take them down to the spring and I’ll test them.  I’ll tell you which ones can go along with you and which ones must go back home.”  Gideon led his army down to the spring.  The Lord told him, “Watch how each man gets a drink of water and then divide them into two groups – those who lap the water like a dog and those who kneel down to drink.”  300 men scooped up water in their hands and lapped it, and 9,700 knelt to get a drink.  Then the Lord said, “Gideon, your army will be made up of everyone who lapped the water from their hands.  Send the others home.  I’m going to rescue Israel by helping you and your army of 300 defeat the Midianites.”  This time Gideon did not doubt out all.  He was ready to speak like a man of faith.  As soon as God told him what to do Gideon gave orders like an experienced Commander.  He said, “You three hundred men stay here.  The rest of you may go home…”

Isn’t that awesome?  The same guy that was a scared farmer a few days prior was acting like a confident General and it was all because he received a Word from God and he expanded his capacity to believe.  In Gideon we see a true transformation.  The man that was previously operating in fear and doubt was now operating in faith and confidence. His words were completely different.  Gideon sent 99% of the people home and he was not concerned at all.  Why?  Because he had already experienced God in his life to the point where he was no longer a doubter; he was a believer!  Believers believe!  Believers think like believers.  Believers speak like believers.  Believers live like believers.  Are you a believer?  If so, then your thoughts, words, and actions should reflect your belief.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you can do it.  I have taught a lot on the power of a point-of-reference.  Once you have a point-of-reference you can identify with, then you can use that reference to build up your own faith.  In this case you might be able to identify with a man that was in a difficult situation, with a poor opinion of his abilities, and with a tendency to speak negative.  This man was transformed and so can you.  Are you ready for a change?  Change the way you believe and you will change the way you speak.  Change the way you speak and you will change your life!

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I thank You for helping me to become a believer and not a doubter.  I can do it!  My experiences help me solidify my belief system.  I refuse to doubt any longer.  I am a believer and nothing shall be impossible to me!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Can Your Faith handle an Impossible Situation? (top of page)

(Judges 7:8a CEV)  Then Gideon gave these orders, “You three hundred men stay here. The rest of you may go home, but leave your food and trumpets with us.”

This morning we continue our series on, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” by continuing on with the story of Gideon.  I felt led to revisit yesterday’s verse because we need to further discuss the situation.  Earlier in this series I shared with you how the Israelites were under the control of the Midianites and I talked about how terrible the Midianites were.  The Midianites were so cruel that they drove a great number of Israelites into the mountains to hide in caves.  Every time the Israelites planted crops the Midianites swarmed in, set up tents, and allowed their livestock eat the crops to the ground.  The Midianites also stole food, sheep, cattle, and donkeys.  There were so many Midianites that the Bible likens them to a “swarm of locusts.”  This reminds me of the recent Capital One commercials were the medieval warriors swarm in on innocent families.  Going up against the Midianites was no small task.  When the Lord finally got someone to build up the confidence and the courage to lead a revolution against the Midianites He instructed that person (Gideon) to send home 31,700 of 32,000 men; that is over 99%.  God was basically telling Gideon that he would fight – and win – against the Midianites with only 1% of the available men.  Humanly speaking, this was an impossible situation, but Gideon accepted it by faith and spoke like a man of faith.  He spoke words from a believing heart and God honored Him because of it.

This reminds me of Abraham and Sarah.  When God started to work in their lives Abraham was 75 yrs. old and Sarah was about 65.  Sarah had been barren all her life, but God promised them children anyway.  God factored out the negative circumstances surrounding their situation and Abraham and Sarah had to learn to do the same.  The kicker is that God waited another 25 years before their promised child was born.  Abraham was about 100 yrs. old and Sarah about 90.  If their situation was bad at 75 and 65, it was nearly impossible at 100 and 90.  God waited until their situation was humanly impossible before He honored the promise.  This required Abraham and Sarah to operate in faith, to speak faith, and to live by faith.

I am also reminded of a family in the New Testament that had a close and intimate relationship with Jesus.  The family consisted of two sisters (Mary and Martha) and a brother (Lazarus).  Jesus stayed at their home in Bethany whenever He visited Jerusalem.  Jesus loved them and they loved him.  One day Lazarus fell sick and the sickness was pretty bad.  The sisters sent word for Jesus, but Jesus intentionally waited until Lazarus was dead and then waited until he had been dead for four days before He arrived on the scene.  Bringing Lazarus back from the dead was clearly a human impossibility, but Jesus had the faith for it.  He came in faith, spoke in faith, acted in faith, and Lazarus came back to life.  This same Jesus once said, “As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes” (Mark 9:23).

So what does this mean to you today? It means that that God-kind of faith we see in scripture can overcome any human impossibility.  The question for you is: do you have it?  Do you really operate in faith or do you just go to church?  Gideon had to learn (very quickly) to speak and live by faith and his faith enabled him to overcome impossible odds.  Abraham and Sarah had to learn to speak and live by faith and their faith enabled them to overcome impossible physical limitations.  Jesus also learned to speak and live by faith and His faith enabled Him to overcome many human impossibilities.  The key is that Jesus said that this was possible for us.  Nothing is impossible to him that believes.  Do you believe?  Do you words testify of belief or doubt?

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I declare, right now, by faith, that my faith can handle an impossible situation.  When circumstances arise I will not look at the circumstances based upon my ability, but rather Yours.  I will not speak based on what I can do, but rather what You can do.  Nothing is impossible for me, because nothing is impossible for You!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Putting God in your Speech (top of page)

(Gen 17:4,5 CEV)  I promise that you will be the father of many nations.  That’s why I now change your name from Abram to Abraham.

This morning we continue our series on, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  In our last message I mentioned Abraham and how he had the promised child from God at the tender age of 100 yrs. old.  To get the essence of the message for this morning we must back up about a year in the life of Abraham.  At this point he is 99 yrs. old, his wife is 90, and he is still referred to as Abram.  He has had a child, but not the child of promise.  His wife has never had a child in her life.  She could not have babies at 20, much less at 90.  The Lord appears to Abram says, “I am God All-Powerful.  If you obey me and always do right, I will keep my solemn promise to you and give you more descendants than can be counted.”  God had been talking to Abram about his descendants for years, but the promise had not been fulfilled.  Abram was supposed to have a child through his wife and they were still waiting.  God’s words were reassuring, but Abram was looking for a change – a real manifestation of the promise.  Before God finally gave Abram the baby He did something well worth noting in this series.  God said, “I promise that you will be the father of many nations.  That’s why I now change your name from Abram to Abraham.”

In biblical times your name was very important.  Names were representative of your character, attributes, and nature.  Abram meant “exalted father.”  At this point Abram technically fit that name.  He was a father and he was blessed.  God added one Hebrew letter to Abram’s name and changed it to Abraham.  This name is more specific and it means, “Father of many nations.”  The letter God added to Abram’s name to make it Abraham is very important.  The Jews have given God many names, one of which is the most sacred.  It is the name that we use in English as Yehovah (or Jehovah) and it is also referred to as the Tetragrammaton (word of four letters).  In Hebrew Yehovah (YeHoVaH) is spelled without the vowels; hence having only four letters.  It was one of these letters that God added to Abram’s name.  What was God doing?  A few things:

1.  God was requiring Abram to change his speech and his reference of himself.

2.  God was adding His identity to Abram’s identity through Abram’s own words.  This meant that every time Abraham introduced himself He had God on his mind and God in his mouth.

3.  God was requiring faith.  Now Abram had to go around introducing himself as Abraham, the father of many nations, without really being that yet.  Faith calls those things that be not as though they already are.  Faith speaks without any sense realm evidence and it speaks like it is already done.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that God expects the same of us.  The name change came just one year prior to Abraham having the promised baby.  When you really get serious about living pleasing to God and receiving all that God desires for you to receive in this earth, then you will have to change the way you talk and more importantly, change the way you refer to yourself.

Keep God in your mind and in your mouth.  Speak like the things that God has promised You will surely come to pass.  In some cases you will be prompted to speak like that have already come to pass; if so, then do so.  When you put God in your speech you are learning to speak the language of faith.  Speak what you believe, not what you see.  And then remain consistent – never let what you see (negatively) change what you say!

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I thank You for giving me Your Word.  I add You to my daily conversation.  I keep You in my mind and in my mouth.  I speak the language of faith daily.  I don’t just speak what I see, I speak what I believe and I refuse to allow what I see (negatively) to change what I say.  I am moving forward and not backward, up and not down, towards victory and never defeat.  God is on me, in me, with me, and for me!  Thank You God for being more than the entire world against me.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Mastering Your Mouth (top of page)

(Joshua 1:8 KJV)  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

This morning we continue our series on, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  Before we bring this series to a close I had to highlight this verse.  In Joshua 1:8 the Lord gave Joshua specific instructions at a critical time in his life.  Moses had recently died and Joshua was the new leader of the nation of Israel.  This was the most demanding endeavor of Joshua’s life.  Joshua had been in the support role for years, but Moses’ death catapulted him into taking the lead at the time the nation was ready to “take” possession of the Promised Land (Canaan).  I have taught many lessons from this verse.  It is the only verse in the King James Version of the Bible that has the word success in it.  God helped Joshua understand that he could literally “make” his own way prosperous if he did three things: spoke the Word (mastering your mouth), thought the Word (mastering your mind), and performed the Word (mastering your methods).  In this series we are obviously focused in on the first – mastering your mouth – but the others are equally as important.  Mastering your mind is important, because you will never speak what you don’t first think about.  Mastering your methods is important, because none of this matters until you turn the corner from information to application; from learning to living.

The first key God told Joshua in this verse was to keep the Word of God in his mouth.  In other words, Joshua was to speak the Word constantly.  His success was tied to his speech and the same applies to us today.  I add a confession to the end of every message, because I believe you should confess (openly declare) the Word of God over your life.  A confession is a sort of prayer and you will be hard pressed to find a “silent prayer” in the Bible.  So speak the Word of God openly, with your lips, because what you say is of the utmost importance in your life.  If you declare defeat, you receive defeat.  If you declare victory, you receive victory.  Remember, Solomon said, “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth… Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Prov 18:20,21).

One of the key reasons that it is important to align our speech with God’s Word is because God is not obligated to perform our Word, but He obligates Himself to perform His.  Jeremiah had a conversation with God and God said, “I am watching to make sure that my words come true” (Jer 1:12 GW).  Think about that for a moment.  What do you think God does all day?  Well, part of it is watching to ensure that His words come true.  In other words, God is in the business of backing His Word.  I can say, “I will be there at 3 o’clock” and then show up at 3:30 or “Call me and I will come right over” and then never show up.  Why?  Because I am a man and humans can make mistakes.  But God is not a man, He does not make mistakes, and He does not lie.  If God speaks something, He makes it good (Num 23:19); that’s why we should keep His Word in our mouth concerning our circumstances.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that knowing God’s Word concerning your situation and speaking His Word over your situation with your own lips is a surefire way to get God involved in your circumstances.  Like Joshua, your success is tied to your speech.  Speak life and your will receive life.  Speak death and you will receive death.  The choice is yours!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  The power of death and life are in my tongue.  I know that I reap what I sow.  I sow Your Word and reap a renewed mind.  My renewed mind brings renewed thoughts.  My renewed thoughts bring renewed actions.  My renewed actions bring renewed results.  I enjoy a good harvest this day and everyday, because I sow good seed; the seed of Your Word.  I keep Your Word in my mouth and You watch over Your Word to perform it in my life.  I change my life by changing my words.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

A Froward Mouth (top of page)

(Prov 4:24 KJV)  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

This morning we continue our series on, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth.”  Every time I attempt to close out this series I get led to another verse.  I will simply continue on until the Lord tells me to stop.  We have been dealing with this topic for over two months now and the Bible obviously has a lot to say about the words that we speak.  This is something that God spent a lot of time on and we should do the same.

Solomon did many great things for God and because he operated in the Lord’s wisdom.  The book of Proverbs, mostly written by Solomon, is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest amongst wisdom literature.  Of course, as believers, we know that Solomon was merely the tool, but the Holy Spirit was really the author.  Nevertheless, in our text for this morning the Holy Spirit through Solomon teaches us to put ourselves away from a “forward mouth.”  Now, I know that forward is not the type of word that is commonly used today, so we need to get a better understanding of it.  The word forward means contrary; reluctant; not willing to yield or comply with what is required; ungovernable.  A forward mouth is a mouth that is not easily controlled.  It speaks whatever it wants, whenever it wants.  This is obviously not the picture that God paints of His mature children.  Immature children may have forwards mouths, but children who have grown to a level of maturity (sonship) are children that are expected to speak in accordance with their convictions; not just speaking mindless words that chase every whim.

The issue of maturity drives home the essence of this series.  Most of what I teach is aimed at getting believers from “baby Christians” to “Mature Citizens” in the Kingdom of God.  A baby Christian has a hard time believing that they can control their tongue, be established in their belief system, grow in faith, and be used of God mightily in the earth.  Most baby Christians are simply focused on getting to heaven.  However, once you start to mature in God you realize that you know you are going to heaven and you then start to focus on impacting the lives of others.  Even then, you will never be used of God in great ways if you constantly speak contrary to the Word of God.  If you have an ungovernable tongue you will constantly speak words of fear, doubt, and unbelief.  By doing so you inadvertently place yourself in a position to reap what you sow.  When you grow in Christ you realize the importance of your words and the connection between what you say and what you receive.  I believe that is part of the reason why David prayed, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).  We should learn from this prayer.  Words that are acceptable are words that are not forward; they are words that line up with God’s Word.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  The first step in growing in this area is realizing that growth is possible.  You must first believe that you can take control of your words.  Once you settle the possibility in your heart you are ready to move forward.

2.  After you believe that taking control of your words is possible you should then pray and invoke the power of God to be released in your life in this area.  Believe me, you will need God’s help.

3.  At this point you are ready to move forward (grow), and you do so by catching yourself when you speak negatively and forcing yourself to change you manner of speaking.  Once you start doing this you are on your road to maturity in Christ.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I believe what You are saying to me.  I believe Your Word.  I believe that I can change my words and control my mouth.  By doing so I free You to bless me to greater levels.  I ask You now to help me in this endeavor.  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight Lord.  I want to be used by You.  By changing my words I now that I will be used.  Use me for Your glory!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Mingled Seed (top of page)

(Lev 19:19 NIV)  “Keep my decrees.  Don’t mate two different kinds of animals.  Don’t plant your fields with two kinds of seed.  Don’t wear clothes woven of two kinds of material.”

This morning we continue our series on, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” with a very interesting verse.  I consider what Leviticus 19:19 says to be interesting both because of where it is located and what it says.  In the book of Leviticus the Lord gave the Jews an elaborate and very detailed Law.  This book is fills with do’s and don’ts.  This Law was so detailed that no one – absolutely no one – could live their lives without breaking it.  That being the case, this law literally condemned all those that attempted to live their lives in accordance with it.  Thank God that we have been redeemed from attempting to live our lives out by this Law.  Paul taught us that Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law (Gal 3:13).

My point for highlighting this verse this morning is to focus in on a principle.  The Law instructed the Jews not to plant their field with two different kinds of seed.  The point being that mingled seed will cause a mingled harvest.  There are several passages that teach us that we will reap what we sow.  Jesus Himself taught that the entire Kingdom of God is like a man that sows seed into the ground.  The man can walk away from the ground and while he is sleeping the seed is working.  The man does not have to understand how the seed does what it does, but one day whatever he sowed into the ground will come up as a harvest (see Mark 4-26-29).  This is how are to live in the Kingdom; sowing and reaping.  Sow love, reap love.  Sow mercy, reap mercy.  So peace, reap peace.  Sow compassion, reap compassion.  Do you want to have friends?  First show yourself friendly (Prov 18:24).  Without a doubt, we will reap what we sow.

This leads me back to our text.  If we are going to reap what we sow (and we are), then we must be careful what word seeds we release out of our mouths.  When we speak words we are literally releasing seed that will cause us to reap a harvest – either good or bad, righteous or unrighteous.  James said, “My dear friends, with our tongues we speak both praises and curses.  We praise our Lord and Father, and we curse people who were created to be like God, and this isn’t right.  Can clean water and dirty water both flow from the same spring?” (3:8-11).  Through the mouths of Jesus, James, and many others in the Bible we are taught to speak words that are pleasing to God and to abstain from words that are not.  The point is that we should not mingle our seed.  We should not speak faith one minute and then fear the next; or confidence in the morning and doubt in the afternoon.  If we do so we are mingling our seed and we will reap a mingled harvest.  A mingled harvest is not God’s best.  He wants to bless us and He wants us to walk in the blessing, but when we sow negative seeds we cause ourselves to reap negative harvests.  At that point it is not God’s fault, it is ours.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you are to make every effort to speak faith and faith alone.  Now, I am not teaching you to pretend that negative things are not happening in your life.  Don’t pretend when you encounter sickness, or when there is more month than money, or when your marriage is facing challenges.  I never want anyone to pretend.  Faith is not pretending, faith is believing.  Faith attacks and it does so through the Word of God.  Faith begins where the will of God is known.  So if you have a challenge in your body, or your finances, or your marriage, then find out what the Word of God says about it, believe the Word, declare the Word, and hold fast to the Word.  By doing so you will be sowing the right seed and over the process of time you will reap the right harvest.

Confession for this day:  Lord God, I am a believer as a believer I refuse to sow mingled seed.  I force my words to agree with Your Word.  I shape and fashion my opinions around Your opinion, which is found in Your Word.  I declare Your Word over my family, our physical bodies, our relationships, our finances, our lives, and I know that over the process of time I will reap what I sow.  Your Word will come alive in my life because it’s in my mouth.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Confessing and Believing – a Powerful Combination! (top of page)

(Rom 10:9,10 KJV)  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

This morning we once again approach our series entitled, “The Message that’s in Your Mouth” with what I believe may be the last word; the final message in this series.  I wanted to close this series out a couple of weeks ago, but I thank God that He did not allow me to because what He gave me over the last few messages blessed me greatly and I trust it blessed you as well.

This scripture text is very appropriate as a final message.  It is a passage of scripture that most believers use for salvation.  This is what most churches refer to when leading someone to Christ.  The Holy Spirit through Paul teaches us that if we confess Jesus as Lord with a believing heart we will be saved.  Think about that for a moment.  We use our mouths (words) to make a confession unto salvation.  To get a better understanding of this we need to look at the original language.  The word translated “confess” in v.9 and “confession” in v.10 is the same word.  It is the Greek word “homologeo.”  This is a compound word.  It comes from “homo,” meaning the same as; and “logeo,” where we get “logos,” meaning the written Word.  In this case, it is a reference to the written Word of God.  So, in context, to confess with your mouth is to literally say the SAME AS the Word of God concerning… whatever you are confessing.  In the case of salvation it is saying the SAME AS the Word of God about who Jesus is and who He is in your life.  Once you confess Him as Lord, with a believing heart, He becomes your savior and you are translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of God.  You are saved by speaking words with a believing heart.

If words spoken from a believing heart can change your eternal destination, then doesn’t it stand to reason that the same would apply to other areas of your life?  Let me say it this way:  if speaking words that agree with God’s Word, coupled with believing the words that are spoken, delivered you from hell, then don’t you think that doing the same in other areas also applies?

If speaking believing words that agree with God’s Word kept me from going to hell, then I have to believe (and I do) that speaking believing words that agree with God’s Word will keep peace in my marriage, warmth in my home, obedience in my children, health in my body, success in my career, and etc. God has given us His opinion, His desire, and His plan for every area of our lives in His Word.  When you openly confess, with your own lips, what God’s Word says about your life, and you couple it with a believing heart, you release God to move in your life in those areas.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that your matter and they matter a great deal in your own life.  If you want to experience God’s best then you must realize the importance of making your words align and agree with God’s Word.  But not just to speak them in a “canned” fashion.  Just like with salvation, your words must agree with God’s Word and they must be spoken with a believing heart.  Confessing and believing (together) is what kept your life from hell and this same combination will keep hell out of your life.

Confession for this day:  Father, in the Name of Jesus, I thank you that I am a new creation in Christ Jesus, and because I am a new creature, all the words of my mouth are in righteousness; and there is nothing perverse in them.  My lips shall preserve me.  I have a wholesome tongue and it is a tree of life.  Pleasant words are always in my mouth.  Death and life are in the power of my tongue, and I choose life.  I will not let any corrupt communication proceed out of my mouth.  I think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report.  I have been transformed by the renewing of my mind with the Word of God because I have the mind of Christ and the wisdom of God.  I am an imitator of Jesus and I receive Your best in my life.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!