Proverbs 14:23 Work Versus Talk

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

It can be easily seen that hard work will usually bring about a profit for a person. Being dedicated to the job and getting the job done in the best way possible, will allow a person to get promoted to a better position with better pay.

Those who do not work or do not work hard, fall into poverty. This will include people who do work, but do the absolute minimum work possible. They try to cut the corners to get out of working hard. Doing this will keep the employer from giving any pay raises or promotions and will keep them in poverty. They only talk the talk.

Looking at hard work and the rate of pay is the most common way to look at this verse. However there is the spiritual realm of a person’s life to be looked at.

In the same way that people refuse to work hard at their job, there are many people who refuse to work hard on their spiritual growth. Becoming a Christian believer in Jesus is very easy to do. Growing and maturing in Jesus is another thing. It is something that takes hard work and dedication.

Paul said in Philippians 2:12, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. He told Timothy to fight the good fight and to take captive every thought. You are also told to put on the full armor of God so that you can fight the battle.

Each of these verses show that you must work hard. It is a battle to control your thoughts. It is hard work to fight against the schemes of the devil in this world. It takes dedicated focus to flee all sin.

If you are faithful in working hard at growing and maturing in Jesus, God will ensure you success and profit in the spiritual realm. You will hear the voice of God and God will do great things in and through you.

If you slack on it and do the minimum, you will be in spiritual poverty. You will not hear God’s voice and He will be unable to do great things in and through you.

Do not just talk about being a Christian, work at it and be one.

How hard are you working today?

Are you giving it your all?

Or are you doing just the minimum?

I pray today that God will show you areas to work harder at in your life; that you will dedicate your life to being like Jesus; that you will make every effort to grow in God; and that God will give you great spiritual success in this life.

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2 Thessalonians 1:12 Is Jesus Glorified In You?

“We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:12

Paul had just finished telling the people that he was praying that God would make them worthy of His calling. This is being worthy of being called a Christian or a believer in Jesus. The purpose of this was not for self-gratification or to be looked at as someone important or great. It was so that the name of Jesus may be glorified in their lives and that He may glorify them.

Jesus was given a name that is above all other names. It is this way because there is no other name by which people can be saved from their sins. Only through belief in Jesus and what He has done can bring salvation and eternal life for a person.

In the workplace, the boss is honored when his workers are doing an excellent job, or going above and beyond the basic job description. When a worker does an outstanding job, the business looks good. It reflects on the principles the business wants as a whole.

In this same way, your life reflects the principles of Jesus. The way you seek to love others and treat them right, reflects the love of Jesus. The way you witness to others about Jesus, reflects how Jesus wants to reach every person. The way you turn away from sinful acts, reflects on how Jesus turns from sin.

Jesus has given you His grace and mercy. Are you living in that grace and mercy? Are you passing that grace and mercy on to others?

Not every person who claims to believe in Jesus is bringing glory to Jesus. They are living their life as the world does.

Would Jesus be proud of the way you are talking or acting?

This is what His being glorified in you means. He is lifted up, honored. This is not to look good for yourself, but to honor what Jesus has done for you.

I pray today that God will make you worthy of the calling He has given you; that Jesus will be glorified in everything you do; that you will live your life for Jesus; and that you will be glorified in Jesus.

Ephesians 4:29 Speaking Correctly

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

Paul had just finished talking about renewing the mind to be like Jesus, speaking truth, not being angry, and not stealing. Now he brings up how to speak.

In high schools and colleges there are speech classes to teach people how to do public speaking. They will teach how to speak clearly to get the point across to the listeners. What they do not teach is how to speak to build other people up and how to keep that speech wholesome.

It is easy to see the politicians and famous people in the spotlight when they speak, especially during election time. The speeches are often filled with slamming the other person. They like to show how the other person is bad or has failed.

Most people reading this will not be in one of those positions, yet, the speaking is pretty much the same. Everywhere a person goes it can be heard condemning remarks about a politician or the president. People are very quick to make jokes against the president or some other person.

In the workplace people will cut down their boss or other workers. They complain about their pay or working conditions. In the neighborhood, people will cut down their neighbor or state that they are lazy people because they do not mow their lawn. People often call children stupid for actions they do or the way they look. And these things are not even talking about cursing.

These are not wholesome ways to talk to or about people. Jesus said that you are to serve your neighbor–who is everyone you see or know. Serving is doing what is best for them. Helping build them up.

Clean talk is one that will not complain, curse, or cut down. This will build the person you are talking to or about up and also build those up who are hearing it.

Who have you cut down with your words in the last few days?

Who have you built up with your words in the last few days?

Seek God on how to speak in order to build others up. You are to draw people to Jesus, not condemn them to hell.

I pray today that God will show you how you speak; that God will fill you with His love for others; that your words will build others up and draw them to Jesus; and that God will use you to build others up.

1 Corinthians 13:11 Growing Up

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

This is an interesting statement that Paul makes near the end of a chapter talking all about love. At first look one may wonder why it is there. Look back at the previous verses and see what love is.

Watch how children act. Take note as to how they are. Younger ones are famous for saying that an object is mine and refusing to share it. Others, all the way through high school, are good about wanting what others have. Many will cut others down in seriousness or in joking. They will boast about what they have or did. Many are angry about many situations in their life. They want to just play and have fun and have the world revolve around themselves. This is not to say all children are like this, or that all children have all of these negative characteristics, but all have some of these characteristics that are not love.

Even as adults, many have some of these characteristics in their lives. Many have chosen, like Peter Pan, to not grow up and be a child in their actions and their thoughts.

As a believer you are just like a human in that you start out young and have to grow up. You have to become more mature in Jesus. Starting off you do not know what love really is or how to show true love. As you read the Scriptures and follow Jesus, you learn what true love is, especially when you read 1 Corinthians 13.

When you learn a new aspect of love, you must apply it to your life. Are you patient? Are you kind? Do you envy? Do you boast? Are you proud? Are you self-seeking? Do you get angry easily? Do you keep a record of wrongs?

Where are you with true love?

You, just like children growing up, are to grow up and become mature in Jesus. You are to put aside childish ways, thoughts, and reasoning.

Are you growing up? Have you put away childish ways?

I pray today that God will reveal His love to you; that God will guide you into maturing in Jesus; that you will put aside childish, worldly ways; and that you will know and show true love in your life;

1 Corinthians 4:20 More Than Talk

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20

Paul had just finished talking about how the apostles had to go through a lot of garbage and suffering to bring the gospel message to the people. Some of the people were talking about Paul as though he were not all that great, that his letters were powerful, but he, himself, was weak. Paul was ready to meet with them and challenge them. He knew that there needs to be more than just talk, but there has to be power behind the words.

It is very easy to talk about doing or being something, but it is much more difficult to put that talk into action. In the workplace, many times a worker will complain to another worker about the boss. They will state that they are going to go against the boss and fight him. Yet, when the boss comes around, the person suddenly becomes very quiet. All his words are, are just words. There is no power behind them.

Many believers talk about God being in control and is able to do mighty works through people, yet, most do not show that power in their own lives. They do not show changes in their lives. They do not show any action in their lives of following Jesus.

Many can quote many scriptures and are always in church. Yet, their life is dead. They do not tell others about Jesus. They walk on the edge of sin in their lives. When they do talk about God it is very simple and nothing deep with power.

Jesus stated that He was sending everyone out in power to change the world. An old statement of walk the walk and talk the talk comes into play here.

Are you just going through the motions of following Jesus? Or is there power in your life?

Are you putting into action what Jesus stated and God shows you to do? Or are you just talking?

Talk is cheap. You can talk about being a Christian, but are you living it?

I pray today that God will strengthen you to follow Him fully; that you will go out in power with His words; that you will do more than just talk about serving God; that you will demonstrate God’s love and power to others; and that God will build His kingdom through you.

John 18:34 Who Is Jesus To You

“Is that your own idea, Jesus asked, or did others talk to you about me?” John 18:34

Jesus had been arrested and was brought before Pilate for trial. Pilate did not really want anything to do with Jesus. One of the first things Pilate asks Jesus is if He really is the king of the Jews. Jesus asks him if that was his own idea or from someone else.

Jesus was very popular at this time. People everywhere knew about Him. Many knew Him, or of Him, because of the miracles He had been doing. Many also saw Him as the new king of the Jews.

They remembered the prophecies of the prophets that God would send one to be king and rule over them. While many loved Jesus, there were also many that did not like Him. He was changing their ways of living. Either way a person thought of Jesus, there was lots of talk about it. It was not stated in complete secrecy.

Even today, many people may talk about Jesus. Children are sometimes raised in a Christian home, being told to believe in Jesus. When children get older, often they leave the church, because church was something their parents did, and it was not for them. Believing in Jesus is something the parents believed. The children do not have that belief in their heart. They have not experienced the personal relationship with Jesus.

Who is Jesus to you today? Is He just the One you worship and talk about on Sundays? Is He just the One your friends or spouse believes in? Or is He your personal Savior, and Lord, ruler of your life?

Too many people have all of their belief in Jesus just based off of what others say. You need to have a direct relationship with Him. You need direct realization for yourself as to who He really is in your life.

Are your beliefs in Jesus your own? Or are they just what others have told you? Have you seen the miracles of Jesus in your own life? Or just in the lives of others? Is Jesus your personal Savior today?

I pray today that you will see Jesus for who He really is; that you will have a personal relationship with Jesus; that you allow Jesus to be your Lord and Savior; and that you will tell others of what you know of Jesus.

Hebrews 13:15 Sacrifice of Praise

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” Hebrews 13:15

Now everyone is urged to offer God a sacrifice of praise through Jesus. This sacrifice is the fruit that comes from openly professing the name of Jesus. Each day one must be willing to talk about Jesus. How is this called a sacrifice? Think about what you talk about throughout the day each day. Often people talk about work, the family, the weather, sports, news, and other things in their lives. While none of these things are necessarily bad in and of themselves, the question must be asked as to where Jesus is in it all.

If Jesus is in the center of your life, He should also be in the center of your talk. What is Jesus doing in your life today? What is He saying about the situation currently happening in your life? How is He providing for your needs? What comfort or strength is He bringing to you? What is He teaching you? These and many more things should be in the center of your talk.

It is not easy to talk this way, because we are human and often look only to our own selves, rather than to God. In this way talking like this becomes a sacrifice. You have to put down your own self to lift up Jesus. Words talking about how Jesus is working in your life brings God glory and praise. Remember that all things were created by Him and for His glory, thus everything happening is ultimately for His glory.

Today let Him be the focus in all that you say and do. Talk about how God has blessed you with your job; how God has provided the money to purchase that new item you bought today; how Jesus had brought about a good meeting with a friend today; and how He is working in your life today in all other areas. Do not allow your praise to be just on Sundays or when around other believers. Let your praise continually be on your mouth that the whole world will see God in you.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to His work in your life; that God will help you speak of Him daily in all your conversation; that all of your talk will bring praise to God; that your talk will filled with God; and that God will help you to not be ashamed of speaking of Him daily.