Would you routinely be “up close and personal” with someone who is constantly sneezing and coughing and has a runny nose, and is complaining of a sore throat???
You would be afraid of catching what they have!
In the same way, we must be very careful of how “up close and personal” we are with people who give off fear, worry, anxiety, and negativity! If we are not careful, we will start to exude these character traits without realizing it.
The Lord, in His lovingkindness had to remind be of this recently. It is so easy to become entrapped with these feelings, especially if you are in these environments on a daily basis. Most of us have worked in toxic environments where we may have reported to an unhappy manager or worked alongside a disgruntled colleague. How do we guard ourselves in these situations?
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 4 to pay attention to our heavenly father’s instruction. It uses the analogy of an earthly father giving his son instruction; however, it is a very important lesson God is teaching us. Our heavenly father gives us instruction through His word. In addition to gaining instruction thru God’s word, this passage instructs us to get wisdom and with this wisdom get an understanding above all. It promises that wisdom and understanding will exalt us and we will be honored by it. It admonishes us to stay out of the company of wickedness, violence, and evil! It further promises that instruction, along with wisdom and understanding will bring life and health to our entire body! Finally, the word instructs us to guard our hearts with ALL diligence for out of it spring the issues of life!
Be very careful who you constantly let speak their negative words over you on a daily basis. Keep your distance from such people! If not, you will find yourself beginning to act and feel in negative ways! Follow the instruction of your heavenly father and you will be on the path of righteousness.
GUARD YOURSELF AGAINST PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE SPIRITUAL FLU!!!
I try to find inspiration in everything. The Crepe Myrtles in my backyard are progressing nicely. In due season, the beauty of these trees breaks forth! The ingredients in developing these beautiful trees are found both internally and externally. They use the external rain and soil to help bring out the internal ingredients to produce this beauty. What we take from our external surroundings, be it good food, positive vibes, spiritual enrichment, or affirming support, helps to activate the internal ingredients of resilience, motivation, determination, and confidence to be all that God destined us to be.
The Bible declares in Romans 1:16-17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
God’s purpose and design for us is that we use the internal ingredient of faith to live and conduct our daily lives. As we fill our hearts and minds with the external word of God, it takes root in our hearts and causes our faith to rise. This glorious gospel produces a spiritual reaction that brings forth salvation to those around us who believe in it. May we be encouraged to activate the faith in our lives that produces a change in our external surroundings as well as internally. Remember, for best results, Add All Ingredients!
There have been many times in my life where I felt off-balanced and not centered. During these times, I have made it a practice to take some time for myself, away from the daily responsibilities of life to just think and talk to God.
As a Christian, it is important to stay connected to the vine. The Bible says in John 15:1-5:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
As we see, it is crucial that we stay connected to the vine. It is in this connection that we continue to be nourished. We continue to be stable and centered, if you will, only as we continue our relationship to the source. Once we remove ourselves from that source, our nourishment ceases.
Just like in our natural bodies, we can only go without eating for so long before we require food and nourishment.
Stay connected to the vine to continue to bear good fruit!
Every so often, my husband will mute the volume on a show we are watching to see if we can figure out the story line based solely on the actions of the actors. It’s interesting when we do this because it causes us to pay more attention to what is being done rather than rely on what the people are saying. The Bible has many passages concerning our conduct as Christians and what type of behavior should be a part of our daily Christian life.
The Bible says in Matthew 7: 16-20: “16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
You see, more than what we say, God looks at the “fruit” we bear. The earlier passage states that a healthy tree CANNOT bear bad fruit. A tree that is healthy can only bear healthy fruit! Likewise, it is important for us to make sure that what we say out of our mouths, coincides with our actions.
The Bible says in Luke 6:45: A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Make sure that what you say about your Christian walk, is the same as how you act out your walk on a daily basis.
As Christians, faith is not something we pull out of our hats when things are not going well. Faith should be the very thing that keeps our resolve in the good times and bad.
FAITH IS NOT AN OPTION, IT’S A REQUIREMENT!
The Bible declares the just shall live by faith. Get comfortable living with the substance of things we hope for and the evidence of things not yet manifested in our natural realm.
God says in Jeremiah 29:11-13, “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me.”
You see, our faith unleashes the plans that God has for us. He has already told us that His plans for us are filled with hope for our future! We can rest assured that whatever we are experiencing right now, have faith that God’s got our back and it will ALL WORK TOGETHER FOR OUR GOOD, to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing, hearing and hearing . . . . . the word of God!