Monday, February 28, 2011

"The Devil's Avenue"

The devil and sin are crafty! The devil is no novice. He is cunning, deceitful and very tactful in how he goes about getting people tied to sin. The devil doesn't walk up with your eyes open and say, "I've come to bring you into ruin!" If you notice, when the lives of people are in shambles or homes have been wrecked, the devil was active and alive, working the whole time to the lack of insight by those he deceived and ruined! The devil gets people to embrace sin by taking their heart and mind another direction. It always starts small and ends up big. What's even more amazing, people willingly submit! By the time people recogninze what is going on, they are in emotional distress wondering how they got to this point.
Paul was concerned for the church at Corinth that the serpent of old was leading their minds astray from simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ (II Cor. 11:3). He did it so easily to Eve. Go back and read the Genesis account of how he did it. He threw reasoning's out in front of her to get her to think about. Her mind moved from holding and listening to the word of the Lord to reasoning through and seeing what was being presented as an alternative way of thinking. She looked and reasoned and it seem very logical to her so she ate. The rest is history!
The devil hasn't changed his approach one bit. I watch homes of people that I dearly love come into ruin simply because they choose to let go of the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ and follow an alternate course. I watch marriages deteriorate and final consume themselves with sin and sinful attitudes. The devil is alive and well! Couples who once loved one another, made a covenant relationship and love the Lord in that relationship are quickly becoming enemies of one another. Why? Because the devil found an easy access somewhere along the road and started devouring each of them. Young people are being encouraged in homes to love the world by their parents. They are taught by their parents to embrace the world, sacrifice for the world and throw Jesus under the bus! Jesus doesn't really matter. What matters is having friends in the world, being a success in the eyes of the world and having a family of the world. But watch the road and the heartache that come with the journey. That's the devil's plan. He has the world sitting in his lap (I John 5:19) and the last ones to take down are those who belong to God. What's worse...IT'S ALL OUR CHOICE! People choose to embrace the devil and what he offers in the world over God. That's a sobering thought!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"The Conscience"

It is hard for some to accept the life work and forgiveness of Jesus. Their conscience is blaring at them telling them how worthless and wrong they are. They punish themselves and when the opportunity arises, they punish themselves in the eyes of another. "I'm a no good, worthless person." That's what their own conscience has concluded about themselves. That's the way a God given conscience is suppose to work (Rom. 2:14-15).
The way a conscience works and is suppose to work is off of a basis of an understanding of God. Without grasping and listening to the voice of the Lord, a person will continually beat themselves up for their past failures. They just don't reach out and take hold of the gift offered by God through Jesus. Instead, they stand at a distance, weighed down in heart and their conscience screaming, "You're no good!" You see, people know when they have violated a standard but they don't know enough about God or trust God to return back to a solid state of being before Him. To many, the dying of Jesus is just words, not a reality!
Another word for all this is called 'self-pity'. We allow our sins and failures to dominate us and wallow in those sins and failures. There is something missing because God knows each of our failures and has offered as His free gift His Son as our substitute no matter how bad or deep we have traveled into sin. God knows about all our sinning even better than we and calls us to Himself through Jesus. God will make certain the blood of Christ stands in our place so our conscience can be cleared (Heb. 9:14).
No matter how loudly your conscience screams, pause and take a close look at the offering of God. He's willing, wanting and desiring us. In fact, it thrills God to forgive when we take hold of Jesus. IT THRILLS GOD! Isn't that what Jesus was teaching in the prodigal son (Luke 15)? We can't be done with a nagging conscience until we are willing to be done with sin and accept the free gift of God for what we have done. It's called peace of mind and can only be found in Christ!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Personal Thoughts"

We get down once it a while. Well, let me speak for myself. I get down once in a while. People my not know it or my family may not know it but I do. But my down-trodden time isn't over life or life's obstacles as such. It's the lack of response that is seen among God's people. You teach and try to encourage people in their faith, to let the Lord lead and not get caught up in all the thinking and business of the world around only to see people do that very thing. What's even more troubling at times to my heart is young couples with small children. You try to show them and teach them while they continue their same daily paths, unaware of how they are training their children or their involvements in life and they don't want to know. One day it is going to hit: that sickness or accident and it devastates them. They go to pieces many times with little faith not thinking it would ever happen to them. It shatters their lives.
Sometimes it seems all my preaching/teaching goes for very little. Then I have to wake up and realize this is not about me! It's about doing what God wants done and the return and purpose is all His, not mine. I think of Isaiah when he offered himself to go and preach to God's people and then asks God how long is he going to have to do this? God responds with a resounding the people aren't going to listen, they are insensitive in their heart so there are going to be difficulties coming upon them (Isa. 6). I don't know what I would do if I was told ahead of time that all my teaching/preaching would be in vain and there would be little to no response to the will and call of the Lord.
I guess today is one of my reflecting days. I'm not down, just reflecting and wondering how much good is really being done. Certain ones I think about and see their attitudes and what they are involved in hurt my heart because there is nothing I can do for them. They are going to have to have something happen to try to get their attention before it is too late. For me, I need to just keep preaching and teaching and let the Lord figure out all the other things...but sometimes it's mighty lonely!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Where Do You Walk?"

Heartbreaking. That's the only word to describe it. People, who once were alive in Christ have fallen in love with the world again. They love those who are lost more than they do the Lord and those saved. Jesus pointed that out to His disciples in John 15:19: "If you were of the world, the would would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you." Jesus knows there will be a line drawn between the lost and saved!
We love our friends and family that are in the world. However, we love them to save them, not follow them into their sin and darkness. We have been called to Jesus and His doctrine is a doctrine that conforms to godliness (I Tim. 6:3). Jesus taught His disciples were to be a light among those in the world that they can see God! Paul prayed for the brethren in Thessalonica that God Himself would sanctify them (and us) that we would be found without blame at the coming of the Lord (I Thes. 5:23). Peter in reminding the brethren about the return of the Lord encouraged them to be found by Jesus in peace (with God), spotless (sins forgiven) and blameless (above reproach). Blameless is not perfect but a life that is lived with the Lord. A blameless person is one when they sin, they repent! They have a heart walking with the Lord in every respect. They are blameless!
Today, many who once belonged to Christ have returned to loving the world the way they use to. There was a time in my life that I did the same. What a shame! To have a devoted love of those outside, still trapped in their sins and doomed eternally, and walk in their shoes with their thoughts and lives and give up the ways of Jesus. If we truly love someone, we would want them to be saved from the impending doom but instead, many walk in the same doom because sin was more enticing than Jesus.
The world loves its own while turning from those who love the Lord! The Lord and His brethren love God because of His great mercy and love. That's why they assemble together because they are the children of God and want to be found blameless, spotless and in peace with God. Where does that put you?

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Fleshly vs. Spiritual"

A quick lesson to help us better understand the difference between spiritual and fleshly. Fleshliness is our natural nature. Fleshliness is centered on us and takes us into ourselves. When God looked at Cain and Abel in Genesis 4, with Cain's attitude it made him angry that God would reject his offering. How dare God do such!! That's what fleshliness does. It consumes our attitudes and thought process. But then God asks a great question: "Why are you angry?" (Gen. 4:6) Cain needs to answer that but he didn't. From this point, God gives Cain the choice, change your attitude and do what is right or sin is going to take you down. We know what Cain chose. After the verdict was pronounced, Cain was all about Cain and his fleshliness took completely over. "Am I my brother's keeper?" "My punishment is to great to bear!" "Whoever finds me will kill me." These were the statements made by Cain. That's the way the flesh operates. The flesh avoids God and makes things about themselves.
Things haven't changed since then. Today, people are fleshly and I am speaking about those in the church. How does one recognize fleshliness? Here's one way: "because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so." (Rom. 8:7) Have you ever had someone spiritual call your hand? If your mind was set on the flesh what flares instantly? You try to turn the table and become hostile and you don't want to deal with what is right. The issues become about you and the one doing right must be taken down. Fleshly people try to destroy and speak evil and anyone that is being spiritual! That's the fact. There is no relationship between the flesh and Spirit. That's why we are warned that those who continue to follow their self-flesh desires, they aren't going to make it to heaven because God is not where their heart is set (Gal. 5:21). Sounds like the devil doesn't it?

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Over the years I have been in some strange situations and time has made it hard to remember some of them unless another situation arises and it reminds me of something in the past. I have also been in some life threatening situations and looking back you could see the hand of God. I have dealt with Satan worshipers, people who claimed to have made human sacrifices, witches, people with multiple personalites, people putting curses on me and my family, a knife thrown at me (on a couple of occasions), drunks out of control and just plain weird things.
A few years back I was walking down the hall of a hospital. I had been visiting a friend. I came by a room which I saw a man in a body cast and you could tell he was hurting so I went in. In visiting with him, I asked him what happened. He told me that he had been two stories up on scaffolding painting. He was a very religious minded man. Then he said at the end of the scaffold Jesus appeared to him and told him to come near. He put down his brush walked to the end of the scaffold and off he fell breaking numerous bones in his body. The man teared up and had no more words to say for a moment then he asked, "Why would Jesus do that to me?" I had to share with him that wasn't Jesus and it opened up an opportunity to study once he was revived and out of the hospital.
In another instance I was invited to study with a husband and wife in their home. She was interested, he wasn't so much. As she grew in her faith and responded, it upset him. I continued to go out and study each week in which the man would sit across from me at the kitchen table and glare at me. One night during our study, he got up, went over to where he had a gun, brought the gun to the table, put bullets into the chambers, pulled back the hammer and laid it down facing directly at me and told me to continue. Talk about nervous! He just smiled.
As I write these, more situations start popping into my mind. Some I had forgotten now alarm me to how threatening they were. Life is an incredible journey with many twists and turns. In all this it makes me thankful for the Lord. Where would we be and how could we deal with situations without His instruction and guidance? The Lord knows the hearts of all and He needs someone to be ready at the right time. Oh, the fellow who put the gun on the table, he was lead to Christ!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"A Word on the Cross"

When we look in Scriptures about the cross, it was a cruel and horrid death. There wasn't time spent on making these execution pieces beautiful and smooth. Look at the symbol of the cross as it is used today. Beautiful ornaments, worn on jewelry and covered in silver and gold. Sometimes they are edged and shine with a brilliance that cannot be missed. The symbol of the cross is found almost anywhere you look. Sometime back we had a fellow walking through our city with a big cross. However, that cross was made out of a light material that looked like wood, smoothly sanded, rich in luster and had two wheels on the bottom, with padding across the beams for comfort to pull along.
The sacrifice of Jesus was anything but beautiful. When we look at the horrors, that was a message sent to us from heaven: THIS IS YOU! It was my penalty, my sins, my lusts and selfish desires that caused such pain. Yet God was willing, in order to save us, to put His Son to death so we might live.
Where has all this taken us? The popular religious beliefs of today more often focus on joy, happiness, peace, health and prosperity rather than atonement, obedience, responsibility, faithfulness, self-denial and commitment. People seem to want to cuddle and hug this beautiful jewelry never thinking that so many went to prison, suffered countless beatings, whippings and dangers for the cause of Christ and a heart commitment to His cause. Look how little evangelism there is anymore. People daily are headed to eternity thinking that all is well because God loves everyone so much no one will lose their soul who is a kind and gentle person!!! The gold of the cross shines brightly!
I guess in all this, the final thrust of things is to put a happy face on the cross and bask in our safety, comfort, and approval from others while ultimately loosing our souls.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"The Depth of the Sea"

"Even God Himself couldn't sink her!" Such was a claim and confidence of the Titanic's Irish builders and English owners. We all know on her maiden voyage, the morning of April 15, 1912 the grandest of all ships with the grandest of claims met her end. 1500 people did not survive and the world trembled and mourned. The "unsinkable" lies 13,000 feet down!
Back in the 1960's it was discovered that the deepest part of the ocean was 35,795 feet deep. That means if the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, were submerged in this ocean at this depth, it's peak would still be more than one mile beneath the surface!
Centuries before our Lord Jesus Christ came into our world, one of God's prophets portrayed the grace of Jehovah with this thought: "Who is a God like You, who pardons our iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:18-19)
What a thought spoke by His prophet for His people. "Into the DEPTHS of the sea!" Not behind the house, not buried in the ground, not in a ditch or a river. When the precious blood of the sinless Savior cleanses us, ALL our iniquities are hurled into the depths of the sea. Do you remember the day you were baptized into Christ Jesus? Do you realize what that day was about and is still about? God is faithful in His compassion and when we were united with Jesus in baptism, our sins were buried into the deepest part of the sea! When we stumble and confess, leaning on the sacrifice of Jesus and His cleansing blood, those sins too are cast into the depths of the sea. That means the charges will NEVER, EVER be raised to accuse you any longer (Rom. 8:31-34). That means we are free, delivered, forgiven and saved! By the grace of God in Christ Jesus which is: "Deeper than the ocean and wider than the sea!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Being A Father"

Children are full of questions! The problem is when they get in their teens and twenties, they have all the answers and need no further guidance. I can remember a time in my life when I knew everything but somehow I have lost the majority of it!
I remember many years ago, when one of my boys was a small little lad. He asked me the question, "What is it like to be a daddy?" I never have forgotten that question because I was really caught off guard. How can I explain to a little guy the blessings of being a father? Would they understand that in my providing for them there is this deep seated love? How could I get him to understand a father's heartache when they do wrong and the joy when they are truly repentant? How can I convey those answers?
As I look back on that question I have learned so much more than I really knew back then. While I thought providing their needs was my main concern (and it was a big part) the real concern of being a "daddy" was fostering their spiritual growth. Their mind was wrapped around playing and that was as far as their perspective was. But my mind has since shifted to thinking, "if my boys wanted to know as a child the insight of fatherhood, how does God explain anything to us?"
Reading carefully from God's word you see a heavenly Father show Himself in His Son. You see the Father/Son relationship. The things Jesus did was what His Father was doing. In all that Jesus did, in all that He spoke there was one prominent thing on His heart: the spiritual well being of His creation! That's a Father. Providing for the daily needs for mankind, that is easy but to provide their spiritual welfare is much more difficult because that will be up to the children of creation to accept or reject. Yet being a Father still pushes everything to being spiritually well for the family.
I can still hear those words asked by my son and I can tell him today that I have been where he is but he has never been where I am. I am still a father, his father and now, more than ever, my children and grandchildren need solid spiritual guidance as that will affect them in this life and the life to come. That takes a commitment as a father and mother!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Words, Words"

Words, words and more words. Millions and zillions of words come at us. Some are smothering while others are uplifting and cheerful. Some words are angry and depressing. Some entice us while others warn us. We are simply over-powered with words. That's why new "buzz" words show up from time to time and catchy phrases attract so many.
In all this babel of words they can cause great confusion. The words of our Lord are so different than any other words you might hear. Jesus shared with His own disciples, "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." (John 6:63) The words that came from Jesus were spiritual in nature and brings life to those who heed. His words creates something within the soul of man that no one else can do.
To many are becoming spiritually delinquent and doctrinally confused! When we drift from the Scriptures by man-made thoughts or direction, we will slowly drift into speculations opening the door to all sorts of philosophies and thoughts. The apostle Paul understood the seriousness of heeding the word of the Lord and gave a word of warning to the young preacher Timothy: "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the death, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke and exhort, with great patience and instruction." (II Tim. 4:1-2) Charged in the presence of God and Jesus! WOW! There is something serious here.
We have a life-giving message in our hands. What are so many doing with it? It depends on the leaders of a congregation. If the word isn't upheld as "life and spirit" from Jesus, the result will speak for itself. You want to change your life for real without all the different words floating around about doing this or that? Heed Scripture! Preach/teach the word!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Why do so many, especially in the church, have difficulty with grace? It seems it scares so many to speak about being saved by grace and grace alone because we don't understand what it means. We understand the Lord's Supper and baptism but grace is not so accommodative. We define the word as "unmerited favor" but that's about as far as it goes.
Do you realize that at the end of every one of Paul's God inspired letters, he ends with "grace be with you"? The New Testament is filled with the word grace. While it is true that we cannot earn grace and we do not deserve it but that's only a part of it. Paul spoke "But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace toward me did not prove in vain..." (I Cor. 15:10) The power of saving grace produced in Paul all his efforts and works! "...but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me." (I Cor. 15:10)
Maybe the reason the church is so weak while we lead so few to Christ is because we have been trying to do the work of God with our own strength and works? The absence of grace in our preaching/teaching and in our daily living has led us to a human effort and law system. That human effort and law system beats people over the head, condemns if things aren't done in an exact fashion and if your not winning souls, you're lost!!! Grace is so wonderful it leads people to wanting their families saved, their friends reached and their neighbors to hear a the word of the cross in which grace is expressed. Grace is what produces freedom! "You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:4)
It seems as I travel more and more that few really grasp the grace/faith concept. I'm trying to learn myself. In all this, that is why there are so many wide ranges in the church. It seems we swing from one extreme to another while understanding the grace of God would keep our feet planted firmly and lives wrapped around the love of Christ. We firmly teach against the concept of "faith alone" which is unbiblical. There have been debates held on this yet when it comes to the biblical approach of grace, we run to the other extreme and make sure we can't earn it but it must be a salvation of works throwing James 2 in the mix with little insight to what James 2 is speaking! That is just as destructive. As we renounce "once saved always saved" concept we have pushed lives into believing "once saved barely saved or might be saved or you can't really know you're saved" at best!
When will we hear the teachings of Paul that rang in the ears of the Ephesians: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Eph. 2:8-9)? Baptism is where the grace of God does His work (Col. 2:12). Baptism is nothing but faith responding to the call of the gospel of Jesus Christ to us, the lost sinful soul. The conclusion: it is all by grace and grace alone!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Things get in our way to see the awesome power and greatness of God. Sometimes it is the way we have allowed our thinking to program us. Sometimes we have allowed another to invade our thoughts and formed our approaches. Maybe it was the way we were raised that has made us slanted to the way we see things. There can be many possibilities. However, when we came to Christ, have we ever thought about allowing Christ and His words to reshape our thinking? Jesus came to show us God!
Here is one of those amazing things about God. In reading the book of Daniel, it is simply amazing how God already knows everything for the future. In Daniel 2, written around 605 BC, Daniel is given insight to King Nebuchadnezzar's dream. God spells out there would be four kingdoms that ruled the earth. (5 if you count the kingdom of the Lord.) In these four kingdoms, Babylon was the first. In Daniel 5 God reveals the Medes/Persians would be the second. In Daniel 8 it is revealed Greece will be the third. They weren't in power except Babylon at the writing. The final kingdom was Rome. What I want us to think about is how God knows every detail of our history, even before it happens. God called these world-wide powers and they came to exist exactly as the Lord of heaven said they would. Finally, God brought in His kingdom with the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ the righteous judge to rule over all other kingdoms on the earth. It was all in the hands of God and His infinite wisdom.
God knows the future. God hasn't simply always existed, HE IS! There is no past with God or future. God simply IS! All our history has a past and what is yet to come is our future but to God, He knows and is aware of every detail of how things work according to His will. Just to take it one more step: God has recorded in His book all those who will be saved and He knew it from the foundation of His creating this world (Rev. 13:8). And people won't listen and allow our Creator to make us new and bring affect in proper thinking? Too many are listening to the creation rather than the Almighty Creator!

Monday, February 7, 2011


"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (Gal. 5:1) The Law of Moses enslaved. The legal approach to God by works to be saved enslaves! Too many are conforming to a legal system of salvation that enslaves. The result: many are told what think, what to feel and what to do. You must do this or that if you are going to be saved and most of the time, it is the Bible verses misused or abused. Control, people want to control. Elders want control. Teachers want control. That's what the Law did. While many promise freedom it is really bondage that results.
While the legal system works it's relationship to the Lord, it can't afford to talk about the real things that need to be taught to encourage one another and build true faith. It was Paul that spoke plainly to the Corinthian brethren: "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died." (II Cor. 5:14) Too many are afraid of the love of Christ to control! We talk about issues of the past, prove points of teaching to put down those who disagree while making us look better and the souls sitting drown in all the empty talk. The teachers sometimes are so far removed, they don't understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions (I Tim. 1:7). Legalism kills and puts a yoke of slavery around the neck of God's people.
That's what happened to the Jew's. They had such difficulty in exchanging the Law of Moses, being told what to think, where to go, how to go about life for Christ. They had been under the "Law-works" principles for so long it was difficult for them to accept salvation by grace of God through faith. The legal systems banner reads: "DO THIS AND THOU SHALT LIVE!" It is alive and well in many congregations of our Lord. The freedom of salvation in Christ Jesus banner reads: "LIVE AND YOU WILL DO THIS!" Paul wanted to know from the Galatian brethren if they were so foolish thinking they had begun by the Spirit and now keeping a law system by the flesh was going to take them to maturity (Gal. 3:3)? In other words, are we saved by the grace of God and kept by our human works? How foolish is that? Only a fool would attempt to do God's work of grace and love with human power and law keeping! "Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited." (Heb. 13:9)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Law and Grace"

There is a major difference between those who try to earn their salvation and those who enjoy the gift of salvation through Jesus. Salvation by works is nothing but legalism with a guilt-ridden heart. Salvation by faith in the working of God (Col. 2:12) is a joy of service knowing we were created new in Jesus as God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10). The danger of an earned salvation becomes this cold and legal approach to God. Here are some questions the guilt-ridden worker approaches the Lord in their relationship:
How often do you pray? How much do you give? How many souls have you led to Christ? Do you attend every service? How do you show you love the brethren? The answer to the above in the mind of the legalist trying to earn their standing with God? That's not enough. If you pray 3 times a day, you should be praying more! If you have never led one soul to the Lord, how can you be saved? If you miss one service you are forsaking! This is the mind of judgment and condemnation and will never be enough. You are condemned as 'lukewarm' and are bound for hell! They come to the worship assembly just wanting another good whipping by the preacher to feel motivated for the next week to work, work, work for their salvation!! It's all motivated by guilt. I know, I was there! "Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due." (Rom. 4:4)
"But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness." (Rom. 4:5) "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace." (Rom. 11:6)
To those who are moved by the love of Christ that He would die for all your failures and sinfulness, came trusting in His blood by being immersed into Jesus through baptism, looking to God for His promises and raising you up. It has nothing to do with your works but all by His grace. The same questions asked to those who have been forgiven and walk in that salvation respond like this:
They pray and want to grow. God says wonderful. They give from a heart of love and God says great and He helps! They assemble with the saints from a heart of love and the Lord responds with a strengthening! They love their brothers and sisters and are diligent to grow deeper into the love of Christ for others. The Lord helps that love grow.
The guilt-ridden worker is always striving for something that cannot be attained. No joy in service, no love to draw from and no growth. They are quick to argue and defend but it is cold and lifeless. The one saved by the blood of Christ loves to serve and draws from that love into the joy of simply being saved. It creates within a desire to reach the lost as opportunity presents itself. No pressure, no joy stealing, just pure and simply forgiven which leads to service.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Good Intentions Are Not The Issue"

People come trusting and believing you. Some are a little more reserved but they still believe what you tell them. When we speak to others and tell them what we will do and won't do, do you ever think about the commitment you are making to them? When you give your word about a situation or help what are you revealing about yourself?
They were a family in need and had become close to another family. During their time of need the other family had told them they would be more than happy to help them during this time. Days go by and no response. The need grew greater but the words of these people loomed big in their hearts. They would help! Finally the hour of desperation hit and nothing came through. It ended up with words spoken on empty promises and destroyed their relationships and ultimately their relationship with the Lord. Good intentions can never cover up broken words.
Jesus spoke saying that intentions are not what we need but keepers of our words both to God and man. "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; and anything beyond these is of evil." (Matt. 5:37) There doesn't need to be promises or swearing you will do something. Your simple statement of yes and no is what reveals your character and seriousness before the Lord. Yes and no are binding in the eyes of the Lord. Too many speak so freely with good intentions but never carry out those words. It can do great harm in the heart of another who trusts your words and brings you into a guilt before God by not taking your words seriously.
Our words are binding before the Lord and our words reveal our true character. Have you ever said you will do something and not carry that out? What was your statement? People depend on you and the Lord holds us accountable in our words. Too many have good intentions but have difficulty placing importance on their words that bind. People depend on you meaning what you say and the Lord holds you accountable to your words.