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Seasons of Grace

img_3614[1]I gaze out window watching remnant leaves from the fall season gracefully skate across the surface of my ice-glazed deck.

They spin around and then smoothly skim the surface of the ice with occasional moments of being air bound before gracefully, flawlessly descending back to the icy surface.

And then, without notice, the edge of the remnant leave becomes caught in a crack. It fights to free itself to no avail. Suddenly a gust of wind dislodges it and it once again is free to glide across the surface of my ice-glazed deck.

We are all leaves fallen from grace trying to weather the seasons of life. There are winter season when we navigate across ice-glazed surfaces to keep our balance; avoiding cracks and thin ice.

Spring brings the emergence of new growth. We labor to recover from any losses in the wintry season of our life. The arrival of summer’s glorious, bountiful sunshine is welcomed. It’s a time of renewal, joy and reprieve. Our dreams for the future blossom, we bear fruit and flourish in preparation for fall.

Fall descends and the colorful sprays of leaves will soon fade and turn brown. A reminder of how we have all fallen from grace. It’s nature’s call for us to reconcile with the Creator of all things because winter is coming.

“In [fellowship with] Christ we have redemption [i.e., we have been bought back from Satan] through His blood, and have forgiveness of sins according to the abundance of God’s unearned favor,”
Ephesians 1:7

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Heavenly Father, no matter the season I face in my life, I ask for your guidance, encouragement and the knowledge that you go before me in all things. You have eternal purpose for each and every one of us whether we choose to accept it or not.

Open my eyes to see my life through your eyes. A life that is redeemed, rescued and full of plans directed and orchestrated by you.  In my bleak and barren seasons lead me, in those seasons of rejoicing may my feet dance in praise for your enduring mercies and endless kindness.

In all things, I give you thanks always.

Amen

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Runaway Mouths

our wordsThe mouths of mankind are like a runaway train that manages to operate even though it is no longer navigated by the tracks that served to guide it to a destination of purpose.

“Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
(Psalm 141:3)

Some of the most obvious runaway mouths are found in the political arena; but, there are less obvious runaway mouths to consider whose tongues yield no return when the words they speak are applied to people.

What does that mean?

It means that fruitless, idle and unproductive words spoken about others are considered unguarded with the power to injure passengers on that runaway mouth train. Your first reaction may be who cares; they are my words and I will use them as I wish. Really now, let’s see what God has to say about that.

“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment.” (Matthew 12:36)

That one scripture alone should change our attitude and view about runaway mouths, but it’s not the only verse in the Bible that gives reference to the importance of the words we speak. There are plenty more that indicate we will be held accountable for every word we utter that yields no profitable return.

“May the words from my mouth and the thoughts from my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my defender.” Psalms 19:14

But I didn’t say it out loud…

I just typed my words on Facebook, texted or sent my words via Messenger. It was a private message. People, there are no private messages, conversations, comments or remarks where accountability to God is concerned and one day, we will be judged and held accountable.

Consider this: our thoughts are just as accountable to God as the words we speak. You say, “I don’t have any control over my thoughts!” Well, according to scripture you do. Our thoughts are formed by the things on which we focus our attention.

“Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8)

What are you reading or watching? What activities engage your mind? The real question is what are you allowing to capture your thought process? I remember the catchphrase from my college days when the DOS operating system was the craze, “Garbage in, garbage out.” It’s still true today.

Have you exalted yourself as jury and judge of others?

Motive is the key here. You judge someone wrongly when you criticize them out of jealousy, bitterness, selfish ambition, or some other sin, rather than seeking to build him in Christ.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  (Matthew 7: 1-2)

Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, navigate my runaway mouth and keep it in check. Remind me that one day my words and thoughts will be replayed on judgment day and I will be accountable for anything that was unacceptable in your sight. I ask forgiveness for all the careless words and displeasing thoughts I can’t retrieve or salvage. Starting today, let the words I speak and the thoughts I think bring glory to you.