Daily Discovering the Blessing

Archive for January, 2013

The Place of Honor

I am in the process of reading a very powerful book written by John Bevere entitled Honor’s Reward.  It is one of those heart-enlightening, life re-directing books, and I highly recommend that you add it to your home library!   Bevere says of honor that it is “the essential key to receiving from God and for this very reason the enemy of our souls has all but eliminated honor”.

When we establish, through our actions and in our hearts, patterns which allow negative feelings and words towards others, including those in authority over us, we are setting up life choices that will eventually be to our detriment.  We are practicing disobedience and that severely curtails the blessings of God in our lives.  In John 8:37, Jesus says of such actions, “My Word has no entrance (makes no progress, does not find any place) in you.”

Over and over in the Word the Lord calls for us to love and honor others, with no exception.  And very specifically, He speaks of honoring those in authority (Romans 13:1-2).   Bevere speaks of ministers of the Gospel who have, through their ministry, seen many miracles happen during gatherings in Africa, and yet they can do no mighty works here (same message, same anointing).  They are treated with high esteem and great respect and honor in Africa, but not here!

Through his writing a light shone for me into my emotional and often negative reaction to the American political process.  How can I, at one and the same time, pray for our civic leaders in obedience to the Word (1 Timothy 2:1-4; 1 Peter 2:11-15) and mock and deride them because their viewpoints differ from mine?  Politics in America has always unleashed negative reactions from those holding opposing views.  This may also be true for much of the rest of the world, but it seems that American individualism has raised it to an “artform”!  We have a right, don’t we, as free people to make determinations and pronouncements against those with whom we disagree?

Yet Heaven’s standards and purposes are so different.  First and foremost, our Father says, honor authority.  Pray for them.  Our heart’s priority should be with their relationship with their Creator – their eternal placement.  Bevere shares so many powerful examples and testimonies, from both life and Scripture, of the rewards of honoring others.  Whether a parent, a boss, a pastor, or Senators and Presidents – our hearts, our words and our actions must be guided by honor towards them.  God will see to the rest – as John Bevere so clearly demonstrates throughout this book.  It’s another paradigm shifter!

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The Greatest Conversation

I have often heard that the purposeful reading of classical literature can be referred to as taking part in “The Great Conversation”.   Ideas and philosophies expressed through the written word over the centuries evolve and blend; food for thought and deep pondering are offered to us by authors reflecting the issues and societal thinking of their own period of history.  Those who thoughtfully and purposefully enter into this “Great Conversation” recognize that expressed wisdom through the written word is not only relegated to today’s writers.

That being the case, it would also be true that Christian writers who have penned works throughout the centuries are taking part in “The Greatest Conversation”!  We have so many writers today who bless and inform our faith walk as they obediently write, led by the teaching of the Holy Spirit: John and Lisa Bevere, Gloria and Kenneth Copeland, Lynne Hammond, Joyce Meyers, Rick Renner, to name but a few.   (See Recommended Reading List) But the light of God’s wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit to write is evident throughout the Church Age.  Those who have come before, those who have, in obedience, written down the counsel of the Lord have much to teach us if we will willingly enter in to this greatest of all conversations – C.S. Lewis, William Wilberforce, Lillian Yeomans, Hannah Whitall Smith, F.F. Bosworth and so many others have obeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit to bless the Body of Christ with their writings.  I have discovered such wealth here.  Whether a single sentence or an extended treatise, they offer food for my spirit – words that grow me in my faith.

William Wilberforce in Real Christianity writes powerfully of lukewarm faith, Rev. Will Harney encourages the Body of Christ toward unshakeable faith and how to achieve it in  Praying Clear Through, and in Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis offers a clear and concise proof for the Christian faith.  Lewis wrote in the 1940’s, Harney in 1915 and Wilberforce in 1797.  Hannah Whitall Smith  encourages us to walk daily in the joy of the Lord in The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life published in 1875.  Lillian Yeoman’s and F.F. Bosworth , both now home with the Lord, give testimony and speak so powerfully of the Gospel concerning healing.

Each of these writers “sought acceptable words, even to write down rightly words of truth or correct sentiment” (Ecclesiastes 12:10).  Their works were ” written to admonish us and fit us for right action by good instruction” (1 Corinthians 10:11).  These are our brothers and sisters in Christ whose words still instruct us.  And time is of no relevance as they hold conversation with us if we will seek out their works and honor them with our attention.

The Words We Speak

Words can build up or tear down.  They can pour out kindness, encouragement and edifying thoughts, or they can diminish, cripple and wound.  Your words clearly define your heart condition.  They are tools for good or weapons for evil.  In your own life they can defeat you or bring about success.  They are powerful little packages that carry within their use a strong indicator of their origin, their birthplace.  Do they emanate from a deep well of compassion and love or from a brackish pool of self-indulgence and evil intent?  Words are like seeds whose potential harvest in a life can be deadly or life-giving.  Given their extraordinary influence, we need to give careful attention to the manner in which we affect our lives and the lives around us with the words we choose to speak.

Matthew 12:36-37 – But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, non-working) word they speak.  For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.

Submitted to God, immersed in His Word, obedient to the counsel and the leading of the Holy Spirit, and walking out in the authority that our Father says is ours (Hebrews 2:8) through faith in Jesus, we are to take and exert dominion in our lives through our spoken word.  Jesus is our example in this:

Whatever I speak I’m saying exactly what My Father has told Me to say.  (John 12:50)

Speaking God’s Word into any situation – holding out to the world the Word of Life (Philippians 2:16) is to bring the dead to life! (John 5:24) This is not overstatement or outragious hyperbole – it is God’s righteous analysis of the situation and the need.  Our divinely appointed work, our ministry of reconciliation, is to speak the life-giving, alive and active (Hebrews 4:12), Word of God into the lives of those He sends across our path.

Hebrews 1:4 speaks of the difference between Abel’s acceptable and Cain’s unacceptable sacrifice.  Of Abel’s actions we read:

And though he died, yet [through the incident] he is still speaking.

Long after an encounter, our words spoken in love will still be speaking into a life! We are co-creators with our Father in this. At the very beginning of this new year, let’s recognize the power of our words and bless the world with the law of kindness (Proverbs 31:26) and the life changing power of God’s Word.