“But For The Grace Of God…”

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“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 NIV

We’re all guilty of being critical of other’s. It’s so easy for us to judge others because they are different then us. We often see other people as sinners and ourselves as saints. When, in reality, we are just as big of a mess as they are. We forget our sin without any difficulty while pointing fingers at other’s sins. We judge on appearances, we judge based on attitudes and temperaments on education or employment, and on social status. The truth is none of us are saints. We are sinners saved by grace! God will hold us all accountable for being judgmental.

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5 NIV

Self-respect is the key to self-esteem. We should follow Jesus’ example, He extended love and grace to everyone. He looked past the sins of others; He looked beyond the rough edges of fishermen, tax collectors, and adulterers and reached into their hearts. He interceded for those who hung on the cross beside Him, asking, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they do.” He interceded for everyone despite all the sin they were mired in. He never once judged or criticized.

“Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 ESV

Jesus set an example for us to follow. We cannot hope to feel good about ourselves unless we are living a life of respect that values others above yourself. God did not give us knowledge/discernment for self-righteous elevation. Our godly character should give us a greater capacity to love. When you hear yourself putting someone down, stop and lift them up in prayer instead. Let us always thank God for His grace and extend His magnificent love to others. Never forgetting the simple phrase, “But for the grace of God go I.”

Lord, I ask you to keep me humble. Help me to keep my eyes focused on my own behavior and to show your love through my actions. I ask this in Your name, Amen

Sweet Blessings

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Light My Fire

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

We, as women, have such powerful ability within our lives to inspire or expire the hope in those around us. We can light a fire of rejoicing or just as quickly extinguish it. Life, with its problems and pain can easily steal your joy. When you spend too much time dwelling on these problems the negativity will begin to flow out to everyone you touch. It’s like a virus that instead of providing encouragement and inspiration leaves only a trail of desolation. When we profess to be Godly women, we are representing Him daily. People watch how we live, what we say, how we react.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

As Christians, we hear a lot about ‘Godly behavior’, but often wonder what that actually means. We are called to live to a higher standard, because we are representatives of God on Earth. So striving to live a God-centered life is important, because when we exhibit Godly behavior we are providing a good witness to those around us. By being a shining example of goodness, honesty, kindness and love, we show what a relationship with God is like. What a great responsibility and honor we have as Godly women. Our Father planted within His daughters such a power to bring hope to others. Especially during times of great despair. He instructs us to pray together, to hold each other up with positive attitudes, joyful hearts and spiritual courage.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastics 4:12

Heavenly Father, please give Godly women of today a heart to always display good behavior. So that we will bring honor and glory to you. Help our lights to shine far ahead of us and our speech to always be edifying to others. We thank you for loving us. In Your precious name. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Did I Just Say That?

‘DEAR LORD, PLEASE KEEP YOUR ARM AROUND MY SHOULDER AND YOUR HAND OVER MY MOUTH!’ AMEN

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

I can think of so many times when I should have kept silent, but I just had to speak. On more than one occasion I have said something, and the moment it left my lips, I thought, “Why did I just say that?” And I have found myself instantly wishing I could have those words back. Learning how to be a good steward of our words is a tall order for many of us. Especially, if we tend to speak first and then to think. By the time we are adults we’ve already created habits of speech but it’s never too late to check ourselves on what and how we choose our words that we so freely share with others.

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23

While the tongue may be one of the smallest parts of the human anatomy, It can be very dangerous. Words matter. Words have power. They can build up or tear down. They can encourage or discourage. They can pour forth love or spew forth hate. God calls us to cultivate a habit of speaking life-giving words. Sometimes we need to apply filter to our conversations. We need to ask ourselves…Will these words build this person up or tear them them down?” What a difference there would be in the content of our words if we can learn to give thought to what we are about to say.

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” psalms 141:3

I’ve come to the conclusion that speaking with grace and kindness is not just a matter of learning to say the right words; it’s an attitude of the heart and mind. The Bible tells us that “what comes out of our mouth only reflects what’s going on inside our heart.” We can all say we have been guilty of letting a comment slip here and there, and then regretting it later. Chances are you will never know that something you said hurt someone deeply. But God knows and He will hold us accountable when we stand before Him in Heaven. I encourage you to be thoughtful with your words. That way you will never have to readdress them when they come back to you. If you feel checked in your spirit about something you are about to say…Maybe you should not say it! Challenge yourself to think before you speak and you will be gifted with a lifetime of peace in your soul.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalms 19:14

Lord, my heart echoes the words of David when he said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight…” I pray that we will always be good stewards of our words and that we may glorify you in everything we say. Give us the grace to never knowingly hurt someone with the words that we speak. In your precious name. Amen

Sweet Blessings

Grumbling, Part II

by Sis. Kim McDougal

This is a part II devotional God inspired me to write this morning. The part I came from “Moment in the Word Devotional” which I love to visit everyday. His post got me thinking about how we use our mouths. We can choose to complain, we can choose to uplift and encourage, we can choose to lie and backbite, we can choose to laugh or cry with someone, but all those goes back to the scripture in Proverbs 18:21.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” – Proverbs 18:21

What does this scripture really mean? It’s simple. There’s power in the words that you and I speak. And, it goes both ways whether it’s an encouraging word or slanderous word. Is there a particular phrase that’s stuck with you all your life? Mine would be my spiritual Godmother telling me, “I believe in giving people flowers WHEN they can smell them!” Powerful because she was saying life is short and you may never get another opportunity to compliment or love on a person.

Just as she spoke enlightening words, I also remember words spoken to me as a child, “You’ll never amount to anything, you easily get brainwashed by other people, you can’t stand up for yourself!” See how these words to a child can adversely affect them? These stayed with me through my teen years and it would not be until I gave my life to Jesus that He would heal me of this and now I know those words aren’t true.

You and I have people all around us daily that we can affect. We can either affirm them or denounce them with our words. It’s important to choose to uplift. If you find it hard to talk to a person in a positive way, then ask God to help you speak and let Him give your mouth the right words. Remember, what you speak can be with that person for the rest of their lives. What do you want them to remember about your words of influence, life or death?