Proverbs 18:7 ” A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.”

The local school district had just completed remodeling classrooms, when someone broke in and totally destroyed them. The rooms were being setup for special needs children, and all the supplies, toys, and equipment were ruined…even to the walls and carpet devastated by paint, fire extinguisher foam and glass shards from the fluorescent lights. The police had no immediate leads, but the school offered a $500 reward, and they didn’t have to wait long before young people were being named. Vandalizing wasn’t thrill enough…they had to video their destruction and post it online.

II Corinthians 4:7 ” But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not us.”

This mere mortal shell of ours is housing something miraculous…something beyond measure and human scope…it’s the power of the Almighty God within. His divine,and glorious authority dwelling there. Daily working… changing us from the inside out.

Psalm 86: 6-7 ” Hear my prayer, O Lord; In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.”

Psalm 86 holds a very precious place in my heart…for during one of the very lowest points in my life, I would recite the entire Psalm out loud every morning. Partly as a supplication to God, and partly as a reminder to me that the Lord not only heard my prayers and cries for help, but that He would deliver me…and He did.

Isaiah 7:9 ” If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

How firm is your foundation in the Lord? That trust you have in Him is built brick by brick – life event by life event. Every new brick representing a step of faith you took…an answer to prayer you never expected… an experience of peace in the mist of turmoil. Slowly that base is established, and soon with unshakable faith, nothing will be able to collapse your foundation in Christ.

Matthew 13:3 ” Then He told them many things in parables.”

Jesus taught in parables…stories illustrating a moral or spiritual truth. It’s much akin to an allegory, where the characters and events symbolize a deeper underlying meaning. His Disciples asked Jesus why He taught in this manner, and His reply shed light on the human nature. To those who had already rejected Jesus, they were just stories. But to the Souls who had opened their hearts and minds to Him, the parables were light and truth. For in John 14:6, Jesus states, ” I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.”

Psalm 55:22 ” Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”

The gist of this verse is repeated in I Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” Dropping all our problems at the foot of the Cross is easy so we think…but we never seem to leave well enough alone, and time after time, we’ll snatch them back up. The casting is simple…it’s the leaving them there that’s difficult.

I Peter 1:7 “These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

It’s been there growing all Summer. Hiding under the swing, growing between the pavers – a very tenacious and hardy Petunia. Mind you, I didn’t plant it there in that tiny sliver between the cement blocks…it came up entirely on its own. And all Summer it has fought for water, sun, and room to grow. So today as I admire this healthy plant full of pristine white flowers I can’t help but think of its perseverance in this hostile environment.
Despite all, it has not only grown strong, but bloomed with dazzling snow-white flowers. Thank you Lord, for your life lesson embodied in this determined petunia! May I be just as resolute in my faith for You.

Acts 1: 4 ” On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: ‘ Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised…’ “

Jesus said to wait for the promise…but how long must we tarry in hopeful anticipation? A week, a month, a year or more? That’s where our timing and God’s differ, for God’s timing is perfect, and learning to wait is part of His process…His purpose is the process of waiting for what He has promised.

Psalm 42:11 ” Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

There are times when we have to be our own cheer-leading squad. It may be only us that can give ourselves a pep talk…because we alone know the feelings we’re harboring deep inside…feelings of sadness, discouragement, and unhappiness. It’s at those times when worry and distress are disturbing our inner calm that we need to inspire ourselves…turning discouragement into encouragement and pessimism into praise.

Mark 7:8 ” You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

Jesus was criticizing the Pharisees and Jewish Teachers for maintaining the teachings of the Jewish elders concerning ceremonial hand washing…which was never part of God’s commandments to His people. We humans are so good at taking the Lord’s commandments and embellishing them… until we’re more focused on the peripheral and superficial, than the original Law that was given in the first place.

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