The Power of Our Words

My husband and I were getting ready for the day today and we were discussing how the words we speak are so powerful in shaping our destiny. Immediately the Holy Spirit flooded my heart with today’s blog post.

I began to think of Bible scriptures that discuss the power behind God’s words and the power He has given us with the words we speak.

In Genesis, we read how God SPOKE the world into existence. God said it and it was so.

In Matthew 17:19-20, there was a demonic spirit that needed to be cast out of a person. The disciples said, “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So, Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will SAY to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

Proverbs 18:20-21 states, “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his MOUTH; From the produce of his lips, he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

In Isaiah 55:8-11 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

James 3:8-13 “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.”

Our tongues have the power to heal or to kill! They have the power to restore or destroy. In the same way, we attract things to us based on our words. If we are always articulating defeat, lack, and a losing attitude, more than likely we will have the same type of people in our inner circle and we will see these things manifested in our lives

Likewise, if we confess victory, abundance, and a winning attitude, it will display in our lives and more that likely in the people we consider our inner circle of family and friends.

Beloved, my prayer is that we become more aware of the words we allow to come across our lips. What we say is the direct result of our thoughts. Our words produce our actions!

WORDS CARRY POWER! CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It!

The Problem With the Foundation

Throughout history, man has built feats of marvel and wonder! Man has mastered the art of homebuilding as well. In building a home or any structure, it is important to first make sure that a proper and solid foundation is laid.

The Bible says in Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The interesting thing is, even when a natural house if built on firm foundation, over time, the house begins to settle. The natural occurrences of the shifting of the earth, wind, erosion, and other elements will also cause slight shifting in the house. Cracks in the walls and floor may soon appear. Generally, if the foundation is secured on solid footing, the cracks can easily be repaired without further damage.

Likewise, what happens when a house is NOT built on firm foundation. We see in Matthew 7 Jesus using a natural illustration to explain a spiritual principle. Anything that is not built upon the solid rock of faith in Jesus Christ, will soon crumble.

The longer we live, challenges are certain to occur in our lives. Our faith will be tested. Our health may be tested. Marriages are certain to be tested. People will disappoint us. Our finances will be tested.

We are so busy trying to fix the cracks we see in the wall. We keep putting spackle and plaster over the cracks. It appears to be working for a short while, but then the cracks start to reappear. What we fail to realize is that the cracks are but a mere result of a much bigger problem!! The problem is that the FOUNDATION is not secure! The wall was placed on foundation that was not built on secure ground!!!

In Luke 6:47-49 the Bible states Matthew 7: 24-27 again, “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

It is so important for us to build our lives, our decisions, and our faith on the solid rock which is Jesus Christ.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It!

New Wine in Old Wineskins

The Bible has stories etched thru it in the form of parables. Jesus used concepts and customs of that day to drive home spiritual truths. One of those stories is the story of old and new wineskins. The Bible states in Matthew 9: 16-17,

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved”

During the time Jesus walked on Earth, people carried liquid in animal skins. Fermented liquids, such as wine, would expand during the fermenting process. If you attached a new patch of animal skin to an already expanded ‘old’ animal skin, the new patch would expand as the fermenting wine expanded, thus causing the old skin to detach from the new patch.

At the time Jesus spoke this parable, John the Baptist was in prison for declaring that Jesus was the Lamb of God and for baptizing Him in the River Jordan. While in prison, John sent his disciples to see Jesus’ activities.

They returned to report that Jesus was gathering and eating with sinners. John may have been disturbed by this news because he was a keeper of the law, observing fasting rituals and abstaining from strong drinks and particular foods.

What Jesus was trying to illustrate in the parable is that He came to introduce something new that neither John the Baptist nor the people of that day had ever experienced before.

Isaiah 43:19 is a foretelling of the coming Messiah and the redemption of man back to God. It states, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

You cannot put a “new thing” into an old way of thinking. What Jesus was saying is, in order to contain the “new wine” He was offering, you have to remove your old way of thinking and accept His message in a new mind.

II Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It!

Unproven Weapons

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In the Bible, we read an account in I Samuel 17:38-51.

38 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So, David took them off.

40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. 41 So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword, and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.

David could not use the equipment Saul gave him to fight Goliath. They were unfamiliar to him and if he would have used them, I believe he would not have been successful in defeating Goliath.

David had to use the tools he was comfortable with. He was very familiar with using a sling shot and stones, for he had used it many times before in protecting his sheep from harm. David also knew his God and he said to Goliath, “But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

The Bible also says in II Corinthians 10:3-5

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

We cannot use natural weapons to fight spiritual battles. The Bible says our weapons are mighty through God.

Just as David recognized he could not use unproven weapons, so too, we must recognize as Christians, our only proven weapons to fight the enemy is the name of Jesus and the word of God.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It!

Relationship and Connection

We live in a world where cell phones have become a part of our everyday lives. We can surf the internet, watch movies, type papers, text and talk on the phone with these hand-held devices. We have become so accustomed to these little “miracle” devices, that we hardly remember life before them.

One thing I have come to observe is our dependency on having a strong connection to the wi-fi on these devices. Some people become quite frustrated with the lack of a strong connection when trying to surf the internet, talk on the phone, or watch a movie.

Just as these devices depend on a strong connection, in the same way, God desires a strong relationship and connection with us in order to communicate with us clearly and accurately.

The Bible says in St. John 15:1-8, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be My disciples.”

As long as our relationship and connection remain strong to the vine, God says that we can bear much fruit. If we ever lose this, we are moving in our own strength and apart from God.

Relationship and connection to others is important also. When I was younger, we used to sing a song in school, and some of the words were,

“No man is an island; no man stands alone. Each man’s joy is joy to me, each man’s grief is my own. We need one another, so I will defend. Each man as my brother, each man as my friend.”

God created us for relationship and connections with Him and also with others. We NEED one another! May God continue to strengthen our relationship and connection to Him and others.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It!

What Are Your Motives?

The dictionary defines a Motive as, “a reason for doing something, especially something that is hidden or not obvious.” As humans, we all have motives for doing things. Some of our motives are clearly recognizable to ourselves while others may seem honorable on the surface but have an underlying tinge of deceit. They can be for evil, or they can be for good.

The Bible has much to say about our hearts, thoughts, and motives. In Proverbs 16:2-3 it says, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.”

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Because we are visual by nature, we tend to look at actions as the sum total of both the act and the motive. Yet, the Bible clearly lets us know that God looks at the motive behind all of our actions. He looks directly to the intentions of our heart.

In Proverbs, it states our ways always appear to be honorable and authentic to us, however, the Lord always weighs our actions with our spirits.

Again, in Hebrews 4:12 we see the word of God further explained in “The Message” version, “God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.”

Let us make sure that our interactions and actions towards others are coming from a motive that is pure and honors God. We can never escape His word concerning these matters.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It!

It’s All In The Genes

Recently, I have been intrigued and curious as to the role of our genes and DNA in the development of our personalities and character traits. I’m sure we have all heard the comments, “You act just like your mother,” or “You act just like your father.”

According to opentestbc.ca,

  • “Personality is not determined by any single gene, but rather by the actions of many genes working together.”
  • “Overall, genetics has more influence than parents do on shaping our personality.”

It appears that my genes, that I inherit from both of my parents has more of an influence on shaping my personality. I began to think about this in spiritual terms.

The Bible says in Romans 5:12-19

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way, death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

In spiritual terms, we were born into sin. Sin was a part of our spiritual make-up. Sin, for the most part, determined our personality. It was in the genes. Just as the sin-nature entered into the world thru the disobedience of one man, Adam, God sent His son, Jesus to be the appeasement for our sin.

Because God made a way for us to escape the penalty of sin by being born again, we now have a new nature, a righteous nature thru the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have a new way of being and a new way of behaving. We can now boldly declare we act just like our Father!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It!

I Can See Clearly Now!

Numbers are important in the Bible. There are several scriptures throughout the Bible that speak of various numbers. The number seven (7) was taught that it was the number of completions. God created the heavens and the earth in six (6) days and on the seventh day, He rested.

Throughout the book of Revelations, there are countless references to specific numbers of such things as angels, cities, tribes, and kings.

One number that I think no one reading this blog will ever forget is 2020. The year 2020 was momentous, not only to me, but to the entire world. 2020 was a year that caused the whole world to pause, take a deep breath, reexamine, reflect, pivot, and redefine what it meant to have a sense of normality.

Suddenly, life as we knew it was changing. Now, it was no longer safe to shake hands hug, or congregate. In America, churches, restaurants, schools, gyms, and everything we held dear, and in some cases, took for granted, had suddenly become dangerous places to interact with people. Masks became a part of our daily existence. Places of employment found themselves meeting online. School lessons were now done through the internet.

Families were forced to hibernate from their extended family and loved ones for fear of inflicting this new sickness on them that could end their lives. Because nothing takes God by surprise, I began to think about why God allowed this to happen.

Was this something God was allowing to get the world’s attention. What was He trying to say to us? As I began to ponder the meaning behind these events, a scripture that continued to come to mind is found in II Chronicles 7:14. It reads,

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

As the world slowly thaws from what has become a life-changing event, may we as the church tune our ears to what God is continually speaking to His called-out people, “The Church!”

God wants us to clearly see and precisely hear what his is saying to His people. 2020 was definitely a year to get our attention. Are we listening??

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks. Think About It!

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Merriam-Webster defines Forgiveness as to cease to feel resentment against (an offender): Pardon; to give up resentment of or claim to requital.

Reconciliation is defined as to restore friendly relations between; to cause to coexist in harmony; make or show to be compatible; to bring into agreement or harmony; to reconsecrate

In her blog, “Forgiveness Does Not Equal Reconciliation”, Anna Smith writes,

“Forgiveness for past wrongs does not guarantee a future relationship set up exactly like the past relationship. Forgiveness does not equal total reconciliation. When we are dealing with people who have sinned against us, we should long for true reconciliation. But we also need to realize that sometimes, in this world of sin and woe, reconciliation is not always possible, or it might be possible later but not now. Reconciliation might not be possible because you can cancel the debt against someone (forgive them) but YOU CANNOT FORCE THEM TO RECONCILE WITH YOU. True, actual reconciliation requires that both parties are actively working for the good of the other person and the good of the relationship. You can forgive people, but you cannot force them to make that effort. And if they won’t, you don’t have to go on pretending that this is a good, healthy, reconciled relationship.”

There are countless scriptures in the Bible that discuss forgiveness. I John 1:9 states,

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Also, Mark 11:25 it states, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

God forgives our sins and also, He wants to be in a “relationship” with us. As we saw from the earlier writing by Ann Smith, true reconciliation requires BOTH parties to actively work for the good of the relationship. Now that God has forgiven our sins, He wants us to have a relationship with him.

Forgiveness is not the end of the road!

II Corinthians 5:17-19 says,

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

God has forgiven us and reconciled us to Himself. Likewise, He has committed us to the world to reconcile it back to Him! We are on Assignment! Take your assignment seriously!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

Introduction, Appetite, and Abuse

Recently, I was reflecting on my weight-loss journey to better understand the process of how people come to lose focus, thus losing control of handling vices. For many, this is a touchy subject, but one that I believe is necessary in order to see victory in other areas of their lives.

Whenever it comes to overcoming vices such as drugs, alcohol or other types of addictions, we need to gain a biblical perspective.

The Bible says in James 1: 12-15,

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

I John 2: 15-17 states,

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Fatheris not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

I Corinthians 6: 12-13 states,

12 I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren’t good for me. Even if I am allowed to do them, I’ll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can’t easily stop when I want to. 13 For instance, take the matter of eating. God has given us an appetite for food and stomachs to digest it. But that doesn’t mean we should eat more than we need. Don’t think of eating as important because someday God will do away with both stomachs and food.

But sexual sin is never right: our bodies were not made for that but for the Lord, and the Lord wants to fill our bodies with himself.”

What the enemy does is first, introduce us to something that brings pleasure to us. It could be food, drugs, alcohol, sex, or any other vice. Next, we acquire an appetite for that thing. For me, food was something I enjoyed very much. Like most of us, we have those favorite dishes that we or others make. The issue occurs when we use food or anything else as a coping mechanism. This is where abuse occurs. ANYTHING that is not being used in its proper context is ABUSE.

As we saw earlier in James Chapter 1, each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

This is why Paul declares in I Corinthians 9:27,

“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

It is important for us to recognize any triggers in our lives that cause us to resort to food or vices. Commit those things to God and allow Him to bring about the necessary disciplines to overcome them, or in the case of food, allow Him to help us not continue to be a slave to our appetites.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think about It.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

A number of years ago a very popular saying started showing up on tee shirts, coffee mugs, social media, and in conversations. “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” quickly became the new “buzz” phrase.

However, what does this ACTUALLY mean? The Bible says in Philippians 4: 6-8,

 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Also, in Matthew 6: 25-34 it states,

25 Therefore I say unto you, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? 26 Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto [a]the measure of his life? 28 And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

As a Christian, not sweating the small stuff means that I need to look at life thru a completely different lens. It means that I have an advocate when life’s challenges come. Not only does God NOT want me to not sweat the small stuff, but God also doesn’t want us to sweat ANY stuff!

God tells me to cast the WHOLE of my care on Him, because He cares for me! I Peter 5:7 Allow God to take all of your burdens. He is very capable of handling it all!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think about It.

Forgetting the Weightier Matters!

This morning I awoke with the words in my title on my mind. I immediately went to the scriptures to get the complete context of this phrase. Matthews 23:1-36 states,

 “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ 8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore, you will receive greater condemnation.

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of [h]hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that [i]sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who [j]swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who [k]dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint, anise, and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and [l]self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and [m]adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’

31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood[n] of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Let us make sure we are not doing outward acts and forgetting the weightier matters of the law LIKE justice, mercy, and faith!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

Eat The ENTIRE Meal!

I like green salads. I like the varieties of ingredients that go into making a salad. Most green salads contain loads of healthy ingredients that are good for the body. The great thing about salads is that you can be as creative with them as you want.

I remember watching videos of babies tasting various types of vegetables from salads and the faces they would make because the taste of those vegetables was not necessarily what they expected, or they didn’t like it!

I’ve also seen where babies were given an ingredient in a salad, like a slice of apple, and their little faces would light up with excitement as they motioned with their little hands that they wanted more!

Using this analogy of green salads, how many of us want to pick and choose the aspects of God’s word that suits our fancy but discard the parts that cause us growing pains.

Growing pains are very real and they don’t “feel” good.

King David wrote in Psalms 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”

Also, in Romans 5:1-5, it says, Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Finally, in Acts 20:27, Paul in his farewell to the Ephesians states, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”

It is important that we desire and seek to know ALL of God’s counsel and not be just satisfied with the parts that feel good or speak of only the parts we want to hear. We must equally be willing to endure the not-so-enjoyable parts that stretch us and cause us discomfort. It is in that stretching process where God is working on our spiritual muscles and positioning us to be victorious in every situation.

“Wisdom is the principal thing; THEREFORE, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

Nice vs Good

I am sure we have heard it a thousand times that someone is “nice,” or that they do “nice things.” My husband and I were having a conversation centered around the word and in all my reading of the Bible, I don’t ever recall the adjective “nice” being used to describe Jesus.

This made me curious about the definition of this word. Merriam-Webster defines nice as “polite, kind; pleasing, agreeable; appropriate, fitting; socially acceptable, well-bred; virtuous, respectable.”

Some of the words we do see in the Bible to describe the Godhead is found in scriptures such as:

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Hebrews 12:6-11 For whom the Lord loves He chastens and scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

Just because someone is “nice” to you doesn’t mean they “love” you or it is goodness on display. There could be underlying resentment or anger in their hearts toward you. You see, being nice is only an outward display but love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance are the fruit or evidence of the spirit. Galatians 5:22-23

By the same token, there is no disputing that God loves me. However, His Lovingkindness and goodness does not always feel “nice.” We see earlier that those whom the Lord loves he corrects and chastens. Does this mean He isn’t “good” to us? No, on the contrary, God is being good to us even in times of correction. Good parents are not always “nice” to their children, but what they teach them is for their good!

I encourage us to allow God to develop His character traits in us so that when people say we are “nice,” our hearts truly line up with our actions!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

Testing Comes After The Instruction

Throughout the New Testament, we see many parables. The parables were simple stories Jesus used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson in the Gospels. Their purpose is for us to focus on God and his kingdom. These stories reveal the character of God: what He is like, how He works, and what He expects from his followers. (Zavada, 2020)

In addition to the parables, there are so many other lessons God teaches us in His word. The Bible states in 2 Timothy 3:16-17,

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

God’s ultimate goal is to grow us up in Him. This growth process includes lessons as well as testing. Much like students in a classroom, a teacher will first teach a lesson and then test us on that lesson to see if we were truly paying attention and learning what we were being taught. If the majority of the class passes the test, but a few students fail the test, with all other things being equal, the teacher can only deduce that the student was not paying attention when the lesson or principle was being taught. In the same way, God also allows us to experience challenges or testing to see if we have allowed His word to become real to us in order to mature us and strengthen our spiritual muscles.

We don’t get to forgo the test just because we may choose not to listen to the lesson when it is being taught.

As we saw in the scripture earlier, all scripture is the inspiration of God and is profitable for instruction in righteousness.

Beloved, I encourage you to focus your eyes, tune your ears, and open your hearts to really pay attention to the lessons God is teaching us. You will surely have a testing period and if you have been learning the lessons, you will begin to see success when testing time comes!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

Zavada, Jack, (2020, August 28)  

(What Is a Parable? https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-a-parable-700744)

       

Wisdom Cries From The Streets!

This week I found myself immersed in sermons and devotions that talked about the importance of Godly wisdom. I began to search the scriptures to gain a better understanding of what it truly means to have Godly wisdom.

I listened to a sermon by my former pastor, where he spoke of the relationship between knowledge, wisdom and understanding. He stated that knowledge is the gaining of information, while wisdom is the application of that information. Understanding is the incites or principles that one gains as a result of the knowledge and wisdom.

The Bible has countless examples of wisdom. Proverbs 1:20-33 states,

Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. 21She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: 22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. 23 Turn at my rebuke; Surely, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, 30 They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. 31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way And be filled to the full with their own fancies. 32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.”

In this passage of scripture, we see that wisdom is being likened to a person who is crying from the streets to allow her to enter their hearts. She promises that those who heed her will dwell safely and be secure from fear of evil.

Proverbs 19:20 also says, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”

God promises in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

God wants nothing more than for us to walk in wisdom and understanding of Him and His word. Ask Him for wisdom in ALL things and you will reap the benefits!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

When God Asks The Questions!

Recently, my husband and I were sharing with each other what God had been speaking to us. He shared with me that he was listening to a devotional and the minister referenced the scripture in Genesis 3: 4-13

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful, and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So, she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So, they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So, they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” 11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

In Genesis, chapters 1 and 2 we read of God’s creation, including the creation of man. God placed man in the Garden of Eden and planted trees in the garden.  God brought all the animals, fish, and birds to man and gave man the authority to name ALL of them.

God warned man that he could freely eat of EVERY tree in the garden, EXCEPT the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for in the moment he ate of it, he would surely die. As a side note, God gave that warning to MAN, BEFORE He created woman!!

Before Genesis 3 and before woman ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, we read of God giving commands and warnings to the man. It is AFTER the eating of the forbidden fruit that God asks the man two question, “WHERE”, signifying POSITION and “WHO”, signifying whose VOICE are you listening to.

To the woman he asked “WHAT”, signifying ACTION.

When God warned the man that he would surely die if he ate of that forbidden fruit, He was not referring to physical death, He was referring to spiritual death! God was referring to the man being eternally separated from his direct connection and relationship with God!

Why would God ask the man those questions? God knew full well where the man was in the garden. After all, He was God! He also knew who was speaking to man, and He also knew what the woman had done!

I believe God asked the man and woman these questions because He wanted them to understand the implications of their actions! They immediately made excuses as to their actions. Therefore, God had to banish them from the garden and man was thus separated from that direction connection to God.

Also notice that once they ate of the forbidden fruit, they immediately recognized their nakedness or their lack of covering (spiritual implications here) and they sowed fig leaves together to cover their shame!

There is so much more I could say about this event, but the point I want to make is this; God will ask us questions when He wants to challenge us to remember the commandments, He gave to us in His word.

The worse thing we can do is make excuses for our actions! Our only response should be, “Lord, I hear you and I receive the instructions and direction you want me to follow!”

HOW ARE YOU ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS GOD IS ASKING YOU TODAY?

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

The Death Process

For most people when they hear the word “Death,” they immediately think about physical death. The Bible, however, speaks of three additional types of death, namely, Eternal death (Revelation 20:12-15), Death IN sin (Romans 5:12), and finally, Death TO sin (Romans 6:4 and 6:11).

I would like to offer the Bible’s perspective on Death TO sin.

The Bible says in Romans 6: 1-13

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.

As Christians, the death process is something we experience on a daily basis. It is “dying” to our way of thinking, acting, and speaking and allowing this “new” life of Christ to completely transform us to Christ thinking, Christ acting, and Christ speaking!

Jesus said in John 14:9, “if you have seen Him, you have seen the Father God. In other words, Jesus was so in tune with His father, every thought, action, and word He spoke, was as if the Father God had been present.

Allowing ourselves to experience this daily death process will cause us to speak what Jesus spoke when He walked the earth; “If you have seen me, you have seen the father.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

Voluntary Blindness

Voluntary Blindness March 14, 2021

There are those who are born unable to see from birth. There are others who fall victim to blindness later in life. Thirdly, there are those who voluntarily give up their “sight.” The Bible contains many passages of scripture concerning “seeing.”

The Bible states in Matthew 13:13-17,

13Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

“Hearing you will hear and shall not understand And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.”16But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Jesus understood that there were those who had physical ears and eyes but were unable to see and hear the spiritual lessons He was teaching during his time on earth.

How many people are living today with the same refusal to see with their spiritual eyes. Jesus mentioned in the above scripture that some people make the choice to close their ears and eyes to the truth of the scripture. Jesus said if they made the decision to heed the scripture and look inward, He would be able to heal them in their broken places. In essence, we deny God the opportunity to heal us when we shut Him out of the equation.

Voluntary blindness is curable when we make the decision to come clean with ourselves and God!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It

The Plans of God For You

Many of us make plans for our lives. It is a common practice and one that is seen as favorable. A lot of us go to college and major in a particular field because we expect to pursue careers in that field. It is quite normal for our employers to gauge our motivation in a position by leveraging our 5-year plan of advancing our careers.

The Bible says in Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”

The Bible also says in Proverbs 19:21, “There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.”

As Christians, when making our plans, it is important for us to realize that God will cause His plans to be accomplished in our lives as we submit those lives to His will.

For most of us, the plans that we have originally established for ourselves have sometimes been interrupted by life events or other circumstances. I challenge you to consider the possibility that nothing takes God by surprise.

The Bible declares in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

God is working ALL things together for our good. Even in those moments when we perceive circumstances as challenging, we have to trust God that it is working together for our good

Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Entrust your plans to God and even when they don’t work out as WE had planned, know that God only wants the best for us in the end.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

Is Your Foundation Strong

My husband and I had the opportunity to see the process of our home being built. One of the first things that happens is, a surveyor tests out the soil to see if it is strong enough to withstand all the pressure of the housing materials that will be used to build the house. Once this has been determined, the foundation can be laid.

In order to lay a proper foundation, the builders have to first dig down in the earth to make sure there is a solid, firm, and leveled foundation laid. The material they use is usually concrete or another equally hard substance.

When a tree is first planted in the ground, the roots of that tree have to go down deep in the earth in order to secure itself in a firm and solid foundation. This helps the tree get the rich nutrients it needs to grow strong and stand against harsh weather.

In Matthew 7:24-27 we read a parable of the Wise and Foolish builders:

24 Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Beloved, as Christians make sure that your foundation is firmly built upon the “rock,” Jesus Christ.

The Bible states in Psalms 18:2, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

It also states in Isaiah 28:16, “Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.”

When we build our faith on a firm foundation, the challenges in life won’t shake it, disappoints won’t shake it, unexpected events won’t shake it. Jesus is the solid rock. He is our firm foundation. Allow Him to steady you as you weather any storm.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

Own Your Stuff

The Bible says that the word of God is truth. (John 17:17)

The devil does everything he can to keep us from truth. Truth is liberty. Truth is freedom. God tells us in His word that when we look into the perfect law of liberty, not only being a forgetful hearer of the word, but also a doer, that man shall be blessed in his deeds. James 1:25

The devil doesn’t want us to know or acknowledge the truth about ourselves. He wants us to twist the truth in our own heads to justify our actions. The reality is, when we can face the tendency toward the sin nature in our lives, acknowledge it, and ask God to forgive it, we will begin to see His abundant manifestation of blessings in our lives.

I have been reflecting on recent sermons by a Pastor concerning the topic of strongholds. II Corinthians 10:4-5 states:

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

God wants us to walk into the fullness of who He created us to be. He tells us in this passage of scripture that we need to completely destroy every argument or pretense that directly or indirectly goes against the word and knowledge of God. We need to bring it into captivity and bring it under subjection to the obedience of Christ.

In essence, we need to acknowledge and own those values and belief systems in us that are hindering our walk with God. Once these are acknowledged, we next need to totally eradicate them by seizing their further domination in our lives. This is a process for sure! As we search the scriptures, we can now replace these spaces with the truth found in God’s word.

Beloved, I encourage you to take this walk with me as we discover and acknowledge those areas in our lives that are holding us back from experiencing ALL that God intended us to be. I encourage you to look into that perfect law of liberty, living out the fullness of God’s word in our day to day lives. God promised that when we do this, we will be abundantly blessed in everything we put our hands to.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

Surviving vs Thriving: The Delicate Balance

The dictionary defines surviving as, “still living after another or others have died or died out.” “remaining after another or others have ceased existence, operation, or use.” I would like to add another thought. Surviving is much like existing with no purpose. Likewise, the dictionary defines thriving as, “characterized by success or prosperity.”

Many of us are well versed in how to survive. Some of us have grown up poor and experienced many struggles in our day to day lives. During those times, perhaps your primary goal was to remain alive to see another day.

We see a wonderful balance of surviving and thriving in the word of God. Paul speaks of this balance in the following passage:

Philippians 4:11-13

11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

It is important that we understand this biblical principle. So many times, people think that times of scarcity mean that God has forsaken us. I challenge us to think differently. Paul stated that he learned the secret of being content. His contentment was not only found when he had plenty, but he was equally content when he found himself in want. Paul learned the lesson here, was to live in a perpetual state of contentment.

The Bible states in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.                        

The Bible also states in III John 2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

Dear friends, I encourage you to begin to see God in EVERY phase of your life. Times of plenty as well as times of lack weave in us the delicate balance of living a life of contentment in every situation.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.