July 31 – A Tongue of Blessing

“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God….”  Deuteronomy 11:26-28a

The word “bless” or “blessing” occurs 430 times in the Bible, while the word “curse” appears only 160 times.

“Blessing” means “the impartation of the supernatural power of God into a human life by the spoken word of God’s delegated authority.”

“Curse” means “a negative supernatural power instituted by speech; a word spoken by God or someone in spiritual authority that sets in motion a destructive force that continues from generation to generation until supernaturally broken.”

The tongue is a creative force. It can be used to BLESS or to CURSE. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21a)

James 3:9-10 says the same mouth can bless God and curse men. When you “bless them that curse you,” (Luke 6:28a) you neutralize the curse.

Let blessings come forth from your tongue today. Speak uplifting words of faith! “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37)

PRAY: “Father, keep my mouth from saying destructive words.  As with Balaam, put Your message of blessing in my mouth as I speak with others today.  Amen.”

July 30 – The Apple of His Eye

“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.”  Psalm 17:8 (NIV)

God referred to Jewish Israel as “the apple of his eye” in Deuteronomy 32:10 and Zechariah 2:8. The “apple of the eye” refers to the eyeball, or the pupil in its center, that is protected by the eyelids. It is a symbol of that which is precious and protected.

Beginning with Abraham, God promised to multiply his seed and birth a great nation that would carry His blessing (Genesis 12:2). Then, with Moses, God led Israel out of slavery in Egypt and to the land of promise. God used Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Every step of the way was marked with the miracle-working hand of God.

It was through Jesus, the Son of God, that the way was made for every man, Jew and Gentile, to receive this special favor and protection of God. Through Jesus, you choose to serve God from a decision of the heart and thus become a “spiritual” Jew.  “But he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter…“ (Romans 2:29a)

PRAY:  “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, I pledge my devotion to You and thank You for Your promise of blessing and protection. Amen.”

July 29 – Be a Volunteer

“My heart is with Israel’s princes, with the willing volunteers among the people. Praise the Lord!”  Judges 5:9 (NIV)

Israel had just experienced a victory over the Canaanite King Jabin so Deborah, a prophetess, began to sing a song of joy. She was praising God for the “willing” volunteers involved in the pursuit.

God is always happy to have willing volunteers working in His kingdom. All the events that take place at Christian Retreat could not transpire without willing volunteers who work behind the scenes daily.

God is not pushy. He is always looking for someone who is willing. He says, “If you’re willing, I’m able.” When you willingly volunteer for the work of God, He actually adds to your ability. You will be surprised at what you can do and the energy you have in doing the work of God.

“Every man according as he purposeth [willingly] in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (II Corinthians 9:7)

PRAY: “Dear Lord, my hand is raised to volunteer for service for You today. Use me for Your glory wherever and however You desire. I pray in Jesus’ Name, amen.”