The Fire Of Gossip

There are two verses in Proverbs 26 that deal with the words of a gossip:

Without wood a fire goes out;
without gossip a quarrel dies down. (Proverbs 26:20, NIV)

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to a man’s inmost parts. (Proverbs 26:22, NIV)

We, as followers of Christ, cannot be given over to gossip.  Romans 1:28-29 describes the wickedness and evil of humanity.  Included in this list of vices is gossip.  Gossip leads to quarrels.  It leads to pain and suffering.  It leads to division.  God is a God of reconciliation, not division.  If we gossip about one another, we risk quarrels and division in the church and in our families and relationships.  I believe that nothing good comes of gossip.  The Hebrew word for gossip literally means to murmur or complain about someone behind their back.  If you have a problem with someone, you need to take it to that person.  Don’t complain about them behind their back.  Take it to them.  You will destroy the relationship, hurt feelings and divide.  God cannot be pleased with gossip.  The second verse (Proverbs 26:22) has implications for the one who listens to Gossip.  Don’t do it!  Rather than listening for the latest scoop, rebuke the gossiper.  Tell them to go to the person about whom they are spreading gossip.  Rather than listening to someone’s complaints, nip the gossip in the bud and tell them to take it to that person.  This is the Biblical model for dealing with issues between brothers and sisters in Christ.
PRAYER: God, I repent of my gossip.  I admit and confess that there have been times in my life when I have gossiped about others or listened to gossip.  I ask for Your forgiveness for the gossip I have spread.  Help me to do better when it comes to quenching the fire of gossip.  Amen.

Blessed To Use Our Time

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.


Seeking God’s Guidance

2 Kings 1 (NIV)

After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel. Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.”

But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’ Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’” So Elijah went.

When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, “Why have you come back?”

“A man came to meet us,” they replied. “And he said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, “This is what the Lord says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!”’”

The king asked them, “What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?”

They replied, “He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.”

The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”

Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men. The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!’”

10 Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.

11 At this the king sent to Elijah another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, “Man of God, this is what the king says, ‘Come down at once!’”

12 “If I am a man of God,” Elijah replied, “may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.

13 So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. “Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! 14 See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!”

15 The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.

16 He told the king, “This is what the Lord says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!” 17 So he died, according to the word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken.



Are you looking for answers in all of the wrong places?  In 2 Kings 1, we read of Ahaziah who had become king after his father, Ahab’s, death.  1 Kings 22:53 (NIV) says of Ahaziah, “He served and worshiped Baal and aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, just as his father had done.”  Ahaziah had somehow injured himself and wanted to know if he was going to recover from his injury.  Instead of seeking the Lord and praying to God, Ahaziah decided to consult a false god (Baal-Zebub, god of Ekron).  This greatly displeased the Lord and He sent Elijah to prophesy against Ahaziah, who later died because of his sin.

Ahaziah should have been asking the one true God for answers.  Instead, he chose to try and find answers in a false god.  Some people are looking for answers in all of the wrong places.  We want answers about the meaning and purpose of life, so some turn to philosophy to try and figure life out.  We want answers about our relationships, so some turn Dr. Phil or self-help books.  We want answers about our futures, so many turn to their horoscopes or they consult mediums and fortune tellers.  It is as if people don’t want to seek God and His wisdom.  No, we’d rather seek another way.

God gave you your life and He has a plan for it.  Turn to the Lord for wisdom and answers for the life He has given to you.  He knows what is best, so seek Him first knowing that He will never take you in the wrong direction.

PRAYER: Lord, I need answers to the great questions of life.  I need Your wisdom and guidance today.  I am sorry for the times I haven’t sought You first and ask that Your Holy Spirit will lead me and guide me today.  In Jesus’ name, amen.



Blessed Are We

“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” — Romans 4:7-8 (NIV)

In the ancient Greek, the word translated as “blessed” in this passage literally meant “free from daily cares and worries.”  When was the last time that we worried about our sins?  When was the last time we fretted over the fact that we are sinners?  Paul quoted David from Psalm 32:1-2 in this passage from Romans.  We see that God covers our sins and He does not count it against us.  Could there be a greater promise?  To know that through Christ’s sacrifice our sins are forgiven!  They have been washed over in His saving blood.

It is not by our works or good deeds that we are saved.  It is by God’s grace applied to our faith that we find our sins covered and forgiven.  The Bible says that when we are baptized, we are literally clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27, NIV).  God covers us with His Son.  When we are baptized, we are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3, NIV).  Our sins are washed away in His death.  We should count ourselves blessed for our sins are covered and God will not hold the fact that we are sinners against us!  Praise His holy name!

What sins are you holding against yourself that God has promised not to hold against you?  Ask God to remind you of His gracious and perfect forgiveness and to help you let go of your sins.

PRAYER: Father God, I thank You for washing my sins away in the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, Your Son.  My sins are many and my weaknesses are great.  I fail to live up to Your righteous standard daily.  I ask that You would forgive my many sins and cover me with Jesus’ righteousness.  Thank You for Your grace, mercy and forgiveness.  In Jesus’ saving name I pray, amen.


Daily Bread

Give us today our daily bread. — Matthew 6:11 (NIV)

…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. — Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

We spend so much time worrying about tomorrow.  John Powers said, “Worrying is the same thing as banging your head against the wall.  It only feels good when you stop.”  I LOVE THAT!  Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Give us today our daily bread” (emphasis added).  In other words, don’t worry about what you are going to eat tomorrow.  Know that God will provide for today’s needs.  While tomorrow will come, we must remember that God is already there.  He knows what tomorrow holds.  He is the same God who is here today.  He will provide for tomorrow’s needs tomorrow.  Let Him worry about tomorrow.  Pray and trust for today.

This is a message that I need to be reminded of constantly.  I need a big ol’ sign on my forehead that says, “Stop banging me against the wall!”  I worry waaaaaaaay too much.  God knows what I need and has promised to be my provider.  God has blessed me in so many ways.  How can I doubt Him yet again?  That’s the root of worry — doubt.  We will doubt God’s willingness and ability to provide and we have no basis for either.  He has promised to provide and of course He has the ability.  Nothing is impossible for God.  I think that it is when we confuse wants for needs that we get into trouble.  We will pursue our wants and then we don’t have enough for our needs.  That’s when we cry, “HELP!” and we start to sink.  Our eyes turn to our circumstances instead of our Savior who is ready, willing and able to catch us when we sink into doubt.  Trust for today, my friends and God will provide our daily bread.

PRAYER:  Father God, I need Your daily provision in my life.  Help me to remember that You are the one who provides for all of my needs.  Help me to know the difference between wants and needs that I may be wise with how I use what You provide.  Thank You for providing for me in the past.  Help me to trust You for today and to remember that You’ve got tomorrow already taken care of.  Thank You for Your love and grace.  In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.


Praying For Who?

Do you have an enemy?  Is there someone in your life with whom you butt heads constantly?  No matter how you try, you just can’t seem to get along.  They seem to oppose your every thought and deed.  They gossip about you.  They stab you in the back.  They try to sabotage your life at every turn.  How should we respond to these people?  How should we treat them?  According to Solomon, we should treat them with kindness.  Look at verses 21-22 of Proverbs 25:

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.  (Proverbs 25:21-22, NIV)

There are two benefits to treating our enemies with kindness.
  1. You will “heap burning coals on his head.”  (While you may want to do this literally, it is probably best to do it figuratively.)  The hope is that your enemy will realize the error of their ways and a relationship can be forged or restored.
  2. “The Lord will reward you” is a great promise that goes along with the first benefit.  God sees everything!  He sees how they’ve hurt you.  He knows what’s going on.  He will not only repay the wicked for the evil they’ve done, but He will reward you for responding in kindness.

In Matthew 5:44, Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  It’s hard.  Praying for your enemies and persecutors is very, very difficult.  Showing God’s love to our friends is a whole lot easier than demonstrating kindness to our enemies.  Let us seek to please the Lord today by showing His love to everyone, friend and foe alike.

PRAYER: Lord God, I pray today for my enemies and ask that You would help me to show Your love and kindness to everyone I come into contact with today.  Help me to be a shining light for Jesus, even to those who oppose me.  I know that You are a God of justice and that those who do evil will not escape Your judgment.  I also know that I will not escape Your judgment for You are the Judge of all.  I thank You for loving me when I was once Your enemy and for forgiving me when I came to Jesus.  In His name I pray, amen.


The Father’s Heart

1 Kings 21:17-29 (NIV)

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 18 “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. 19 Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood,dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!”

“I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. 21 He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. 22 I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’

23 “And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’

24 “Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country.”

25 (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)

27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.

28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”


Naboth was an Israelite who owned a vineyard near king Ahab’s palace.  Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard and offered to buy it or trade Naboth for another one.  Naboth refused and Ahab went home to his palace and pouted.  Ahab’s wife, queen Jezebel, wanted to know why her husband was so upset.  He explained how Naboth had refused to give him his vineyard.  Jezebel said that this was no way for the king to act.  So she set out to get him the vineyard.  She set Naboth up and, to make a long story short, ended up having him stoned to death by making up lies about him.  Then she told Ahab to take the vineyard.

Elijah shows up and accuses the king and queen of murdering Naboth and stealing his vineyard, which was true.  He then prophesied a similar fate for Ahab and Jezebel and their descendants.  Ahab was grief stricken and filled with sorrow over Elijah’s prophecy.  He humbled himself before the Lord and repented of what he had done.  God chose to spare Ahab because of his humble repentance.  This, in spite of the author’s note a few verses earlier that said that Ahab was the most vile king in Israel’s history.

I am convinced that even the vilest of people, if they truly repent and turn to God, can be forgiven.  God said that Ahab’s descendants would not be spared, but was it because of their father’s wickedness or because of their own?  God’s heart beats with forgiveness for everyone.  God wants to forgive people!  God wants people to have an eternal, loving relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus.  We’re all sinners and we’ve all committed vile sins of every kind.  Yet God, in His grace and mercy, has made forgiveness possible by believing in Jesus, repenting of one’s sins and turning to God for forgiveness, confessing one’s faith and being baptized.  Our sins are washed away and we have God’s promises of eternal life with Him.

We’re more like Ahab than we care to admit.  We turn away from God and pursue the things of this world.  We try to self-righteously justify our sins, but we cannot.  We’re all in need of forgiveness and, praise His name, God is a God who forgives.  Will we humbly turn to Him each day and cry out, “Have mercy on me, O God!”?  There’s mercy and grace at the cross.  And as the old hymn says, “There’s room at the cross for you.”

PRAYER: Father, help me to truly repent of my sins.  Have mercy on me for I am a vile sinner.  Assure me of the salvation and forgiveness that You alone can offer by Your grace.  Thank You for loving and for forgiving me through Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.


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