Now Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him there, saying, “Why do you prophesy as you do? You say, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it.'” Jeremiah 32:3
Jeremiah had been prophesying that God would destroy Judah and Jerusalem placing the people into captivity in Babylon. This went against the beliefs of the Israelites, because they were the chosen nation and God would not do something like that. The king of Judah had Jeremiah put in prison because of his words. He also asked him why he would say things like that. Jeremiah was just speaking what God had told him to say.
People love to talk about a lot of things. There are some people who can speak for a long time and not really say anything. Others speak just a few words and seem to speak whole volumes of information very quickly.
Words can build up or they can tear down. It all depends on what words are being said and how they are being said.
Most people when they speak, they are just speaking what they think or feel in the moment. It is common for a person to blurt out something in the heat of the moment that he regrets only seconds later. A few people will actually take time to think about what they are about to say to ensure it is spoken well and is correct and helpful.
As a believer you are responsible for what you say or don’t say. You are also responsible for how you say things. One of your first responsibilities is to speak the gospel message to everyone you can.
The reason you have this responsibility to speak like that is that Jesus gave His life for you and told you to do it. You are to speak all the words of God. Sometimes those words are words of love and comfort, showing how Jesus cares for a person. Other times those words will be harsh words warning of destruction and death coming.
You must keep your focus on what God is saying to the people you meet with. What does He want you to say? That is the only thing you should be saying. It gives you the reason why you speak what you do, whether peaceful or harsh.
I pray today that you will know the words of God; that you will only speak what God wants you to say; that your purpose for speaking is to point people to God; and that many will know Jesus because of your words.
My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:6-7
Jeremiah was given a vision of two baskets of figs, one of which were very good, and the other was very bad. God said that the good figs were like His people who were good and followed His commands. He would watch over them, even while it captivity and bring them back to their land. God planned to build them up again, because the followed Him with all their heart.
In themselves, no person is good. Every person is filled with sin and cannot cleanse himself. Their condition changes when they accept Jesus. He cleanses them from all sin, when they turn to Him with all of their heart.
A lot of people feel that God is only out to get them and harm them. Nothing good seems to come their way. Many will not even attempt to serve God because of the bad things that have occurred in their lives. Believers often struggle with this same challenge.
When you turn to God with all of your heart and trust Jesus for cleansing of your sin, God is more than willing to cleanse you. He will then watch over you to build you up, not tear you down. God will use the hardships of this life to make you into the person He wants you to be.
As you turn to God with all of your heart, God will turn towards you. He will work at changing your heart so that you may know Him more and more. You get to know God so that you can live the way He plans for you. God has the best plans for your life and you need to trust His plans.
Do you want to stay down in the dumps, because things are not going as you planned (in exile)?
Or do you want to trust God in the dumps to build you back up in His way and in His time?
God is watching you to build you up, not tear you down.
I pray today that you will turn to God with all of your heart; that you will obey all God’s commands; that you will trust God with all of your life; and that you will know God is there for you.
The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. Isaiah 19:22
Egypt was one of the many nations that God had planned to strike and break down. They had refused to follow Him, so He chose to strike them. During the process of being struck down, the Egyptians would turn to God and cry out to Him. God would hear their cries and stop the time of destruction and heal them. He would pour out blessings on Egypt in the end.
Punishment comes in many forms all around the world. It occurs with individuals, all the way up to entire nations. Most nations are very quick to punish someone for doing something wrong. The purpose of the punishment is to make the person pay for the wrong that they did.
Once the punishment is over, however, very few nations or people, strive to rebuild the person or nation back up again. Once a person is punished, most will leave that person there in the position, saying that is the price that is paid for doing wrong. The individual has to fight for himself to build himself back up.
God works in a different way. His purpose of punishment is to get the person to focus back on Him. Once the purpose is accomplished, God will build that person back up.
God listens to the cries of every person in this world. As that person cries out repentance and seeks forgiveness, God is ready to forgive and build that person back up correctly.
In your own life you must realize God may be allowing you to go through a touch time right now to get your focus back on Him. Turn to Him and allow Him to build you up.
Along with getting repaired yourself, work to build others up who have harmed you. There will be people who have done you wrong. As they seek forgiveness, give it to them. And then work to build them back up.
Those who have made bad choices in their life give you an opportunity to love and build up in Jesus. Don’t force the person to stay down. Show God’s love and mercy to them and lift them up from the mud. Allow God to use you to rebuild their lives for Him.
I pray today that you will see God’s hand to rebuild lives; that you will learn from God’s corrections in your life; that God will use you to build others up; and that you will cry out to God for your own life and the lives of others.
Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3
Most people love to talk, some more than others. With a lot of talking, things can be said that should not be said. Often it is words said in the heat of the moment that people regret or hurt others with. Other times it is planned words that are spoken that can do a lot of damage.
Words of condemnation, hatred, jealousy, and ridicule come out of many mouths. They lash out in order to hurt or damage someone’s reputation. At times they are true statements, while other times they are exaggerated or false. It is often seen in the news of a person who has been falsely accused of some crime, only to learn later that he was innocent. Once the accusation has been started, there is no turning back. His reputation and credibility is destroyed.
Children often grow up with extreme pain in their hearts and minds from words said by parents in anger. It is difficult for people to get past the spoken word.
The mouth is one of the most powerful parts of a person. With the mouth a person can be raised up, and with the mouth a person can be destroyed.
David knew the power of his mouth and words. He also knew that, alone, he could not control his mouth. He needed God’s strength and guard to keep his words right.
Think about the words that have been spoken to or about you that have hurt. Now think about the times you have made statements to someone or about someone that you regretted afterwards.
Allow God to place a guard over your mouth to keep you from saying the wrong things. Fill your heart and life with the things of God. Keep praise and worship in your heart and on your lips at all times. Out of the overflow of your heart, your mouth will speak. This will keep the wrong things from coming out of your mouth.
What words are building up in your heart?
What will you allow your mouth to say?
I pray today that you will allow God to guard your mouth; that your heart will be filled with God; that your words will be the words of God; and that you will use your words to build others up and bring them to God, rather than destroy them.
But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring relief. Job 16:5
Job’s friends were continually pointing out how wrong he must be to be going through the harsh suffering he was dealing with. They had no words of encouragement for him. Job states that he could speak in the same way if the roles were reversed, but that he would not. He would speak words of encouragement and comfort striving to ease their suffering.
The world loves to kick a person when he is down. When a person has fallen a little in some area of his life, the world will point out more wrongs and keep him down. Others will just love to point out where he went wrong to bring him in to the suffering that is happening.
People of the world will treat others this way, because that is what the devil wants to do. He sets out to kill and destroy anyone he can. He wants to destroy any hope or belief that a person has. Destruction of progress in a person’s life is important to the devil.
It is easy to do things as the world does. It is easy to point out faults and wrongs in a person, and cut them down while they are down. However, that is not what you as a believer should be doing.
Jesus said that He was sent to proclaim good news. That good news is that God loves the people and wants to save them. Jesus did not come to condemn the people or sit and just point out all of their faults. He built them up with love and compassion.
Every believer should be seeking to build up another person. Building another person is done by encouraging the person, rather than pointing out his faults.
As a believer, you are supposed to be doing things just like Jesus would do them. You are to be His disciple, one who is learning to live just like He lived.
What kind of words are you speaking today?
Are they words like the friends of Job, cutting down, condemning, and destroying?
Or are they words like Jesus, loving, caring, full of compassion and building up?
I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will show compassion for others; that God will strengthen you to encourage others; and that you will show God’s comfort to others.