Have you ever squeezed an orange only to have lemon juice come out? No? Me neither!
While that may be a silly analogy, the same applies to us. When the pressures of life squeeze us, what’s on the inside pours out in our words and actions. Proverbs 27:19 says, as water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart (NIV).
What would our reflections be? Would they display grace and encouragement, nourishing those around us? Or, would the words of our mouth reflect the frustration, anger, and bitterness of hearts grown cold?
In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus put it like this, you won’t find grapes on briers or figs on thornbushes. The tree is recognized by the fruit it produces. Whatever fills the heart, bubbles up and flows through our mouth (paraphrasing).
The truth is, from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. To change our speech, the words we use, the tone we use, and the motivation of our words, we have to get to the heart of the issue. So download your Making Christ Lord Of My Lips Workbook (sign up for the newsletter) and let’s get started!
1.) TASTE YOUR WORDS
The words of our mouth are the fruit of our hearts. If you were to “eat” your words, would sweet, refreshing orange juice or bitter lemon juice flow? Would your stomach turn sour, or be satisfied? What is the health of your fruit?
From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips, he is satisfied. Proverbs 18:20 (NIV)
2.) DETERMINE WHAT MOTIVATES YOUR SPEECH
Last week we talked about the different forms of poison our mouths can produce. Of the areas you struggle with, what is the underlying root? Is it anger? The expectation of perfection? Frustration? Pride and arrogance? Jealousy? Fear? Perversion? Acceptance? Hurt? Lack of gratitude? Need for attention? Determining the cause is key to “uprooting” the weed.
Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Matthew 7:17-18 NKJV
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
3. CONFESS, REPENT, AND REPEAT
In Psalm 32, David talks about his body wasting away as he kept silent about his sin. Confessing lifts the heaviness from our soul, opening the line of communication with God. The heart of the Father has always been to turn His children back to Him. Resist the enemy’s urge and, over time, the urge will flee.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19 (NIV)
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)
You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. – Margaret Thatcher
4.) COMMIT TO MAKING CHRIST LORD OF YOUR LIPS
Lord – master, captain, commander, King, leader, boss, director, instructor and judge. Whoever sits on the throne of one’s heart, determines the life lived. There is only room for one King on the throne. Either we give all access to our King, allowing Him to steer, direct, and lead or we retain the reigns and direct our own lives.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 (NIV)
Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37 (NIV)
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
5.) STORE GOD’S WORD IN YOUR HEART
To keep our ways pure, we have to live according to His word, seeking Him with all our heart. Hiding His Word in our hearts keeps us heavenly focused and deters us from sin. Though the Making Christ Lord Of My Lips Workbook has scripture relating to our heart, words and renewing the mind, there are verses for every area we struggle in. Search the Bible for them, write them down, commit them to memory.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 (NIV)
I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. Psalm 119:7 (NIV)
6.) GUARD YOUR HEART
Our hearts are the source of life both spiritually and physically. If we don’t guard it with the breastplate of Christ’s righteousness, we leave our lives open to enemy invasion. Do you find yourself around others who draw those weaknesses out? Are there certain environments or entertainment inviting it into your life?
Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Proverbs 4:23-24 (NIV)
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20 (ESV)
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV)
Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked. Proverbs 25:26 (NIV)
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Guard that time well.
Don’t forget to download Making Christ Lord of Your Lips Workbook. This 28-page workbook has a 31-Day reading plan, questions, guided prayers, as well as a scripture reading plan for each area discussed in Scripture.
Our family is doing the study together over the summer. I’d love to hear how you use it!
“Some pain is good,” she explained as she ruffled my husband’s release papers.
Her words caught me off guard, ringing in my ear the entire ride home.
How could pain be good? The very topic of it feels uncomfortable, leaving an uneasy awareness that life is not always pleasant.
What our nurse didn’t expand on is that pain happens for one reason: to protect you. Simply put, it’s the body’s way of letting us know something is harmful. Pain also has a memory, relying on past experiences to determine the stimulus and pain levels.
Unless medication numbs the pain sensors, the body feels each new pain more strongly.
Unfortunately, pain isn’t limited to our physical body. The emotional pain caused by gut-wrenching names last well beyond the initial blow. With each new painful word, name, or accusation, comes a higher level of pain. A pain sinking deeper and deeper into the fibers of our DNA.
In an attempt to cover the throbbing wound, we begin numbing the sensors by self-medicating. Drugs, alcohol, materialism, perfectionism, success, good works, anger, etc., become our outlet. All the while, the only medication strong enough to completely remove the pain is His life-giving truth. A healing truth that declares you are …
Chosen & Cherished
From the beginning, I chose you. It was My grace that drew you to salvation, calling your name out of the darkness. I adore you so much that I sent my Son to pay your ransom, a price you could never pay. Cherished one, you are engraved on the palms of His hands. Always with Me, never forgotten.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. John 15:16
But we ought always to thank God for you, brother loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands… Isaiah 49:16
Sweet friend, I will never steer you wrong. I laid down my life for you to enjoy an abundant life here on earth. Walk with me, talk with me, friend to friend. My counsel comes straight from our Father’s throne room. Our time together will leave you refreshed, encouraged, and full of joy.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. Proverbs 27:9
Although your citizenship is with Me in heaven, I have appointed you my highest-ranking diplomat on earth. I have entrusted you with an eternal mission to represent the interests of My Kingdom. Don’t let the things around you distract you from the importance of your job as My ambassador. You are a significant part of my work on earth.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. 2 Corinthians 5:20
But our citizenship is in heaven. Philippians 3:20
Set your minds on things above not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
Redeemed & New
I alone have justified you. My Son lived a perfect life to redeem an imperfect world. His surrender paid for your striving. You are a brand-new child with a new life, full of possibilities. No longer do I see your past. So why do you gaze at it? Keep your eyes focused on Me as I transform your past problems into a palace of potential. I am making all things new!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Romans 8:33-34
Sealed & Secure
When you trusted me with your life, an eternal deposit was made. A deposit, worth more than all the world’s riches. The eternity I placed in your heart as I formed you was set ablaze. Nothing in all creation can break My seal of approval on your life. You are safe, secure, and sealed with My unwavering love.
He set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:22
Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. 2 Corinthians 5:5
When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14
Names rely on past experiences to determine the pain level. Did any of these or the names from last week’s post trigger an uneasy memory or uncomfortable feeling?
If so, don’t skip or rush through it. Pain’s purpose is to show you where you’re hurt. While the emotional “body” is trying to protect you, numbing your pain sensors, our Great Physician is seeking to heal you. Allow Him to uncover the lie so His truth can cover it.
Choose to embrace the Father’s words, to let His truth hug you and set you free!
Don’t forget to sign up for these Scripture cards. I’ve also included blank ones so for you. Write you own new name or jot down the Bible verses and carry them with you as a reminder of who you were created to be.
As we finish up the series on More Than A Label, it seems fitting to talk about the power of our tongue. So, join me next week for the series on The Power of Our Words.
“Surely she heard me,” I thought as I called her name for the third time. She trotted ahead without a glance. No hint of acknowledgment. Nothing!
When we first got her, we officially named her Pebbles, which seemed fitting for a 2 pound Maltese who wasn’t much bigger than a pebble. Over the next few months, however, we began calling her Kiddo, Baby, and Bug (not even sure how that one came about). It didn’t take long for her to adjust to these new names.
Though her official name had not changed, the names she responded to certainly had.
Just like our cute pup, except on a grander scale, we have original names. Names the Creator himself stamped us with. But over time, we’ve listened to the names and labels others have declared over us. And though our original names haven’t changed, the ones we respond to most certainly have.
If we are ever to recognize our original, TRUE names, we must “retrain” our mind. Recognition must step in. You and I must break-up with the voices inside labeling us with these lies. Because to the Father, YOU ARE …
Irreplaceable Masterpiece Sculpted by The Artist
Hand stitched into your DNA is a unique set of qualities, abilities I knit together as I created your inner being. Whether I created you as a vase to display flowers of hope or a vessel to carry life-giving water, I purposely fashioned you with my mighty hands.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay; you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. Psalm 139:13
Dearly Held Treasure
I have loved you with an everlasting love. Before the creation, I chose you to be my treasured child, holy and set apart. You are more valuable than the jewels of all time, more precious than all other things My hands created. I have crowned you with glory and honor.
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord you God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Deuteronomy 7:6
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion. Colossians 3:12
You crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet. Hebrews 2:9
Beautiful Beloved Daughter
My beautiful daughter, My immeasurable love for you extends beyond the heavens. I have called you My own and sealed you with My Spirit. As my beloved child, I have given you full access to My throne room. Come, sit in my presence. Let Me tell you stories of what you were created to do. Freely approach me, confidently knowing you are My desperately wanted daughter.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. 1 John 3:1
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:16
In him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12
Wonderfully Made in His image
My beloved, you resemble Me in tremendous ways. I made you in My image with incredible abilities. My blood pulses through your veins. I call you my own and have entrusted you with my characteristics. You display my glory. Through you the world sees Me.
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:9
My child, all of those things you’ve struggled with, your stains, shortcomings, and failures were replaced on the cross. My Son’s robe of righteousness and His purity replaced your performance. His spotless sacrifice replaced your striving. No accusation stands against you that He did not pay for on the cross. You are unquestionable without blemish. Spotless. Through my Son, you are FLAWLESS.
But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish, and free from accusation. Colossians 1:22
You have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:10
Fully Known, Deeply Loved
Every day of your life was well known to Me before even one of them came to be. The very hairs on your head are numbered. I know your coming and going and every word you will ever say. All your sorrows and each tear you’ve cried are recorded in My scrolls. Deeply loved one, you are not here by mistake.
Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrow. Matthew 10:29-31
You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see my coming and going. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. Psalm 139:2-4
Your eyes saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:16
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
I have declared your precious value. – God
Royal Heir of the Most High King
Royal Princess, you bear My signet ring of approval. As royalty, you have a mighty inheritance; My eternal kingdom is yours. But this is not an inheritance limited to heaven. As an heir, you have access to all of My kingdom’s resources – NOW. Ask me for your needs. Come to me with your desires. Trust me with your dreams.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God. 1 Peter 2:9
Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17
God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6
Strong and Victorious Overcomer
In Me, you have all the strength you will ever need. You were born into My eternal family. My victory banner goes before you to declare your triumph. Heavenly armies are at your side; I will move heaven and earth to reach down and protect you. Mighty warrior, pick up My armor. Be strong and courageous, bold and fearless for this is who you are.
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37
For whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. 1 John 5:4
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty strength. Ephesians 6:10
Friends, let His words wash over you. You were created for so much more! Drown those lies with His truth and reclaim your identity as His beloved child.
Join me next week as we continue to discuss our names as believers. If you missed last week, you can find it here.
Be sure to sign up for your free printable name cards. Print them out, write the scripture on the back, and carry your new ID with you as a reminder of Whose you are!
Which one do you struggle believing most? Leave me a comment!
If I were to ask you to label yourself in one word, what would it be?
Would the profession you chose define the label? Clothes you wear? Maybe the college you attended? Or, would it be based on the behavior of your children? The status of your home?
There was a time in my life when I would have labeled myself as “trash” – used up, unwanted, tossed out, and worthless.
Perhaps, like me, the labels you “wear” are labels not so easily removed. Branded in your heart and engraved on the walls of your mind lay these horrible names. Names and labels you were called or even assumed, either by your actions or the actions of others.
Soon enough, we begin believing the lie that these are the “ingredients” we’re made of. They become the thoughts we think and the beliefs we carry. Seeping deep into the patterns of our lives, we allow these labels to define us, change us, and place limits on us.
So focused on who we aren’t, we forget Whose we are. We become stuck in this desert between who we are and who He created us to be.
We see the enemy attempting this play in the desert of Matthew 4. Having just been baptized, Jesus was entering His God created purpose – reconciling the world to God.
Along comes the temper with his lofty accusations, “If you’re the Son of God … “
From this story, we see four things:
1. Only your Creator can declare who you are. “And a voice came from heaven saying, This is my Son …” Matthew 3:17
Before Jesus entered temptation, the Father had already established His identity -His Son, whom the Father loved and was well pleased with.
For those who He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29
Satan’s lie says what you do determines who you are.
God’s truth declared who you were before you were born; therefore, the enemy has no authority to relabel you.
2. The enemy is trying to steal (make you doubt) your identity. “If you are the Son of God … ” Matthew 4:3
Before the beginning of mankind, Satan has been trying to steal God’s identity. “I will be like the Most High“ (Isaiah 14:14). So why wouldn’t he approach God’s children, who are made in His image, the same way? After all, if he can steal your identity, he can steal your destiny.
John 1:1 says Jesus was the Word from the beginning of time. As a fallen angel, who worshiped before the throne of God, Satan knew Jesus was the Son of God and yet he attempted to cause doubt. He does the same thing with us.
Satan’s lie questions “Who are you??”
God’s truth declares Whose you are!
3. The enemy knows what triggers you, calculating exactly when to pull the trigger. ” … tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3
By telling Jesus to turn the stones into bread, Satan was essentially saying “If you’re the Son of God, PROVE IT!”
Jesus, weakened by a genuine physical need, was tempted by Satan to prove His name. He knows your weaknesses, propensities, and needs and is patiently waiting to expose and use them.
Satan’s lie says your worth is based on your significance and the opinion of others, so PROVE IT.
God’s truth declares true significance is only found in Jesus Christ. Nothing can separate you from the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of God found in Christ. It was proven on the cross!
4. Only one response is needed. Jesus answered, “It is written … “
Anchored in His identity, Jesus never defended the question of being the Son of God. He only addressed the lies the enemy spewed. When you know the truth, it sets you free.
We have one weapon that divides between God’s truth and the enemy’s lie – the Word of God.
Satan’s lie says you have to defend yourself, no one else will.
God’s truth declares I am your defense!
Children of God, it’s time to rip off those labels, stop feasting on the enemy’s lies, and move forward in our true identity as heirs of the Kingdom. To become so grounded in our identity as His beloveds that, when the enemy questions, “If you’re the son/daughter of God … ” we immediately respond, in true Jesus fashion, with “It is written … “
Join me over the next two weeks as we discuss the names and labels others have placed on us, overcoming the lies with God’s truth. Each week, you will receive a fresh set of True Name Cards so be sure to sign up for my newsletter and check your inbox next week!
But before we go, I’d love to hear from you. What are some labels you wear, names others have called you?
Needless to say, my college days were very different than most. With a young daughter, there were times I had to miss class for one reason or another. Some professors completely understood, fully willing to offer makeup work.
But then … there was him. No makeup work. No excuses!
You had to be present to receive follow-up instructions to a current project, or directions for the next assignment.
I have to admit, at the time, I thought it was a bit harsh, but now I see a valuable lesson interwoven. This professor knew he had a syllabus and a limited time with his students. Lessons to be taught, assignments to be given, and test to gauge our comprehension.
Sure, he could have given the make-up assignment with an overall brief backstory, but I would have missed the details. And, how many of you know details matter? Details bring life to stories and get you from point A to point B. His attendance requirement, while it seemed restrictive, was actually setting me up for success.
In Psalm 90:12, the Word says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
You see, we have the only true Professor. And when we realize our days are numbered, that life on this earth is temporary, and time is our most precious resource, then, and only then, do we fully understand that every day is an assignment.
Every day is a call for prayer.
A call to sit with our Professor, listen to His instructions, and receive those details that bring our stories to life. When you and I are not present, we don’t hear the instructions for current or future assignments. We miss out on the syllabus of our lives. The one our Creator thought about and planned long ago, written just for us.
Friends, when we are underwhelmed in our prayer life, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with life. No direction. Lost. Exhausted.
That why I am so excited to share my journal with you along with some free printables for you to use.
It’s broken into sections: Praise, Selfie, My Loves, Prayer List, He Speaks, Bible Studies, and Verses.
Praise: Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and courts with praise. Psalm 100:4
List of His names (free printable): Because so much of His character is revealed through His names, I start off by acknowledging the power of His name. For example, “Father, you are the Author and Perfector of my life. Thank you that I can trust you to write my life’s story better than I ever could. I surrender my ‘pen’ to you.”
Song Lyrics: If a song stands out, I’ll write down the lyrics. I also listen to a worship song before praying to wash away the surroundings and align my heart.
Selfie: Search me, Lord, and reveal any unconfessed sin. Psalm 139:23-24
Here, I ask the Father to forgive me for anything I’ve done, to cleanse my feet so I can walk in His righteousness, and purify my heart and the words that flow from it.
Other areas I pray over are my work, compassion for His lost children, His direction for my life, for Him to establish the work of my hands and any areas in need of holy attention. Find specific scripture relating to your life and pray them.
My Loves: Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.Psalm 37:5-6
Virtues like boldness, joy, patience, etc. I pray for myself as well as my family.
I have subsections for each family member (and some extended members) where I list specific areas of prayer. Each day of the week is assigned a different area specific to the individual, including related scripture to pray over them. These will be specific to the area of prayer your family member(s) need, but I’ve included a free printable to help you get started.
Prayer List: With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints … Ephesians 6:18
Here I keep a prayer list for others. When the prayer has been answered, I note the date. Looking back at God’s faithfulness gives us hope for the future situations.
He Speaks: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
Once I pray over the above areas, I sit in silence with anticipation. Being still doesn’t always come easy but, with practice, you will find yourself looking forward to this quiet time. When He speaks, AND HE WILL, this is where I journal my time with the Father (printable included). What did He say? Did He bring someone to mind? Has He placed something on your heart? Write it all down and date it. Looking back over the last few years, I am amazed at some of the things I’ve written, which only came from Him.
Bible Verse: Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. Proverbs 6:21-22
I keep a list of verses I would like to memorize. As a family, we try to memorize a new verse every week, which is normally pulled from this list. It’s always growing!
Bible Study: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
As I read through scripture, I keep notes of important verses, people, and anything else the Lord applies His “holy highlighter” to. I’ve included a free printable for this as well. Yay for freebies!
This section also includes a study on a certain topic or person.
Well, that’s it! The one tool that completely changed my life. Because I’m so passionate about it and believe in the power of prayer, I’d love to give a free journal away – set up and ready to go! Just leave a comment below. The winner will be announced next Friday, May 19th. Sign up for the newsletter and you’ll receive the Bible Study Notes, Areas of Prayer, Names of God, and Journal-page instantly.
I pray God invades your heart this week as you commit to drawing near to Him in prayer!
Hello, friends! My name is Esther and I'm so glad you stopped by my blog! Friend, my desire for this blog is to encourage you to passionately pursue our Savior. Through the pages of the Bible and Bible studies provided, you will embrace the promises of Scripture. Promises made for you, now! I pray you encounter the King in a fresh and intimate way as you live out the purpose He created you for.