Remember that song, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”? Not the best lyrics, but it is trying to make the point that the man tries all these different things and can’t get any satisfaction out of them. This song represents a very sad way to live. Yet, God has made us to live our lives in ways that are more than just satisfying; our lives were to be fulfilling. Jesus came that we might have an abundant life. One of the ways that God teaches in His Word to get satisfaction is through the words we speak and share with others. Read Proverbs 12:14.
A man will be satisfied with good by the words of his mouth, and the work of a man’s hands will reward him.
Many times we don’t really realize how important our words are. We carelessly speak words, thinking it doesn’t really matter. We say to ourselves, “What does it matter what I said. They will forget what I said anyways.” However, in reality, once you have said something you can’t take it back. You can try to apologize or delete that post from Facebook, but if someone has seen or heard your words you cannot erase them from their minds. Rash, foolish or angry words will end up bringing us bad things. We will get no satisfaction out of them. Good, kind, helpful, loving, wise words will reap all kinds of benefits. We will gain satisfaction from them. Basically this is the concept of “reaping what you sowing”. What an encouragement to know that God will bless us for the good words we use. If you plant good seed, you will get good plants. So think of your words seeds and maybe you will see great rewards grow out of them.
How many teachers have you heard say, “There is no dumb question”? Or they say, “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Someone else in class may be wondering the same thing.” It is true that you cannot learn unless you start listening to what you are being taught and then asking questions in the spots you don’t understand. Yet so many will still sit back in class and be afraid to ask because they don’t want to appear dumb. It’s not that you are dumb; it is just that you haven’t learned that subject yet. No human being born as a baby comes out knowing everything. It is a process. We miss opportunities to learn by being embarrassed, scared or stubborn. Without learning certain things we are probably missing further opportunities that would come because of our knowledge. The next step to learning is the stage of wisdom. Wisdom comes when we gain knowledge and then apply it and learn further through the experience. There is nothing sadder than to first not seek knowledge or worse yet not to use that knowledge once it is learned. We gain no wisdom and use no wisdom in our lives when we do that. Once such example is found in Luke 10: 25 – 29.
25 Just then an expert in the law stood up to test Him, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the law?” He asked him. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. 28 “You’ve answered correctly,” He told him. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
This gentleman was expert in the law of the Lord and he saw Jesus as a teacher. He saw the opportunity to confirm that he was going to have eternal life. Jesus tested his knowledge with a question. The gentleman correctly answered. He had learned well. Jesus, however, saw down in to his heart. He knew that knowledge was not being applied. The man then wanted to try to prove he was good to go by asking Jesus a question. Jesus told him the parable of the good Samaritan. At the end Jesus shared some wisdom with him. He told him to do the same as the good Samaritan. In other words, Jesus knew that the man was not applying his knowledge and that he lacked wisdom. With Jesus’ command the man was given the opportunity to gain wisdom.
It was good the man appeared to be seeking Jesus’ wisdom with his question, but more important would be that he did not pass up the opportunity to apply the wisdom. We need to do the same. We need to spend time with Jesus in the Word and prayer and then actually apply what we learn. Too many times we go to church and hear a message and return home to re-enter our same routines and never applying what we learn. Remember to take the opportunity to seek wisdom and to apply it.
Yes you are a welfare case. All of us are. All of God’s children are a welfare case. When you think of welfare, you think of this definition normally, “ Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in need.” However there is another definition, “Health, happiness, good fortune; well-being, and prosperity.” In Jeremiah 29:11 we find out just how much God cares about us, “For I know the plans I have for you” —[this is] the LORD’s declaration—”plans for [your] welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” His plans for us are for our “health, happiness, good fortune; well-being, and prosperity”. Isn’t it wonderful to realize that God’s plans are all meant for good for us. He only wants the best for us. Memorize this verse and the next time God’s plans (and everything that happens doesn’t escape his knowledge or permission for it to happen) take you down a different road, in to strange territory or through rough terrain, call it to mind and realize everything in His plan is meant for “health, happiness, good fortune; well-being, and prosperity”. Then you will be able to hold your head up high, remain strong, and praise God for what He is doing for you through the experience. What an encouragement this verse will be throughout your life if you hold it in your heart and mind.
It’s just common sense to realize that to get somewhere we need only to start walking. It’s even more common sense to realize beyond just walking to get there that our legs require our whole body and mind to get us there. So if we want to get somewhere, whether it is a good place or a bad place, it is going to take the commitment of our whole body. In other words, if you end up being somewhere you shouldn’t and doing something you shouldn’t, it wasn’t just because you happened to walk in to it. Your mind started the process, then your heart, blood, muscles, and bones had to follow suit. It took all of you to get there. On the flip side of the coin, it is going to take all of you to get to the place where Jesus wants you to be. He wants us to become like Him. So to become like Him, you are going to need to start getting your mind focused on Him through His Word, His Church and His People. Next you are going to have to make sure your body is in the right places at the right times based on what He tells you to do. You can’t just expect to casually walk in to church one Sunday and suddenly find yourself the perfect child of God. You are going to have to put your whole self in to the process. So make the whole committment with your whole self to walk the walk. Psalm 128:1 “How happy is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways!”
What a great set of instructions can be found in Philippians 4:8. These instructions will shape or walk with the Lord and our life. Our mind is what basically shapes us to be who we are. What we put in to it is basically what we will get out of it. Garbage in, garbage out. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ” We need to have a little better control of what we focus on throughout our day. We need to put good things in to our mind. We need to dwell on things that would please the Lord. We need to pay attention to the various sources of media we use during the day. Whatever we read in a magazine/book, or view on the internet or TV needs to be as God honoring as possible. We also need to control as much as possible who we spend alot of time with. Are they saying things around us that are appropriate, or are they always negative or talking garbage. Memorize this scripture and start applying it to everyday life. Look at each category up against everything in your daily life. Ask God to help you put good things in to your mind. Ask Him to strong enough to stand up to the bad and not let it in to your mind. Help your mind to become a praiseworthy place. A fertal land of purity, loveliness, nobility, righteousness, and admirability.