1 Chronicles 5:23-6:81 / Acts 26:1-32 / Psalm 6:1-10 / Proverbs 18:20-21

Standout verse:

Proverbs 18:21“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit.”

WE MUST BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT WHO AND WHAT WE ARE LISTENING TO. Death and Life are in the power of the tongue, meaning, the things we listen to and take on board in our hearts and minds have great influence on the life we are experiencing in terms of our level of peace, hope and vision.

If we are surrounding ourselves with (or growing up around) people that are negative, condemning, and/or confused in what they believe, we must be pro-active to guard our hearts/minds and seek out people who are solid in the Lord who can help us speak truth and life to our circumstances.

The media is an unbelievably powerful “voice” in our lives.  If we are in-taking self-absorbed, dark, negative, violent, confused, sexually inappropriate or ANY OTHER FORM OF LIFE-KILLING MEDIA, we need to identify it as a tremendously negative voice in our life that needs to simply be shut off and not listened to.  It’s as simple as that.

Here’s a great measuring stick to help us determine if the voices we are listening to are leading us toward HOPE and LIFE or HOPLESNESS and DEATH:

ANY VOICE OF CONDEMNATION IS FROM THE ENEMY.  It produces guilt, shame and hopelessness and will greatly threaten the experience of abundant, fruitful life to those who are overcome by it.  The enemy loves to condemn us - whispering to us that we are insignificant, that God doesn’t really love us or have time for us, that we’ve messed up too many times to truly be forgiven. If he can get us to listen to him and his words (via people or media) and take on guilt and shame, he wins.

ANY VOICE OF CONVICTION IS FROM THE LORD.  Our Heavenly Father ALWAYS speaks words to us that bring hope-filled, life-giving freedom.  He will lovingly put His finger on our hearts (via our one-on-one time with Him, other people, healthy media) and show us those things that are coming between He and us so we can identify sin and set about the task of quickly and thoroughly removing it.  He points out our sin to us, not because He’s picky and mean, but because it is blocking His best for us. This process can be tough, but it leads to LIFE, FREEDOM and HOPE!  It gets us back on track with the Lord so we can keep growing in our relationship with Him. SO GREAT!

If we are feeling hopelessness, doubt, guilt or shame, that’s a great indicator that the things we are dwelling on are NOT from our loving Heavenly Father.  If we can grab ahold this truth, we are one step in the right direction!