In My Words
By: Steve Shirley
The following is my attempt to create some short Bible based messages, in a simple and easy to understand way.
I'd rather hang out with people who admit they struggle with sin in their life and are sorry for it, than with those who think sin isn't really a problem in their life, and don't give it a second thought.
I'd rather be surrounded with a group of people that are on fire for God but don't know their Bible that well, than with a group of Bible scholars who have no fire.
I'd rather hear about what God has done in your life this week more than anything else.
I'd rather have people think I am a "Jesus Freak," than for them to not even know I am a Christian.
I'd rather have a few people praying fervently for me, than a bunch of people who won't really pray that hard.
I'd rather have one person leading worship while playing a piano who is truly worshipping God, than a whole band who is just playing worship music.
I'd rather go to a new church and have one person sit down next to me and get to know me, than have ten people shake my hand and say "Welcome."
I'd rather not use my Christian liberty to do certain things in my life, than to use it and possibly cause a fellow Christian to stumble in their walk with the Lord.
I'd rather see a church have an altar call for unbelievers every week to come forward and give their lives to Christ, and only one person a month comes forward to be saved, than to see a church have no altar call at all.
I'd rather take a chance on losing a friendship while on earth for sharing the Gospel with that friend and upsetting them, than to say nothing, and one day lose their friendship for eternity.
Are you sharing the burdens of your Christian brother? You should be. (see: Gal 6:1-2)
Do you think there are many ways to eternal life? Jesus said you are wrong! He said HE was the only way! (see: Jn 14:6)
Every person, job, accomplishment, etc... will eventually disappoint. Only our Lord will never disappoint.
You can read the Bible without the Holy Spirit, but you will never truly understand it. The things of God are, including God's Word, are "spiritually discerned." (see: 1 Cor 2:14)
No matter what you are facing, it isn't too big for God. (see: Jer 32:17,27, Gen 18:14)
The Bible says that "only" those who have placed their faith in Jesus are "children of God." (see: Gal 3:26, Jn 1:12)
Christian, don't ever go anywhere without wearing your spiritual armor. (see: Eph 6:10-17)
Do you "fear" God? You should! The Bible says it is the "beginning of wisdom." (see: Ps 111:10, Prov 9:10)
When you become a Christian, you are going to lose some friends. This is a good thing. New friends are coming!
Christians can lay up treasures in Heaven, and when you do, no one can steal them. They will be waiting for you when you get there. (see: Mt 6:19-20, Mk 10:21)
If you are a Christian, God has given you are least one spiritual gift which you can use to serve Him. Find it, and use it.
God knows "exactly" the day you will die. No one, or nothing can alter that day.
If you put try to God first in "everything" that you do, you can never go wrong.
The primary goal of all Christians should be to become more and more like Jesus. (see: Eph 4:13,15, Phil 3:12-14)
No person that you see in a day is there by accident. What will you do with that opportunity?
If God calls you to do something for Him, do it, no matter who tries to stop you.
What you want to accomplish may be impossible for you, but it is not impossible for God. (see: Mt 19:26, Lk 1:37)
As a Christian, some people should hate you. Jesus said to expect it. (see: Jn 15:19-20)
God's ways are higher than our ways. We will never fully understand. (see: Isa 55:8-9, Job 37:5)
God's timing very rarely matches up with our timing.
God will deal with those who do evil to you. We are not to deal with them ourselves. (see: Rom 12:19)
God hates pride (Prov 6:16-17). God "gives grace to the humble" (1 Pet 5:5)(James 4:6).
Those who belong to Jesus have "ministering angels." (see: Heb 1:14)
Peter got out of the boat and started to walk on water, but then began to drown because of a lack of faith. But, at least he had the faith to get out of the boat.
When you are "born again," everything that you did prior to that moment is in the past. You start a whole new life!
Every Christian has a testimony of how Jesus has changed you. It is one of your greatest witnessing tools.
Job said in (Job 31:1), "I made a covenant with mine eyes." Have you done this? Be careful what you look at.
Paul said in (1 Th 5:18)(Eph 5:20) to give thanks in "everything." "Some" is not too difficult, "everything" is very difficult.
God can take our weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
There is NOTHING in the universe that does not belong to God.
Everyone should have at least one goal in life that they cannot reach unless God helps them.
Sometimes, there is a battle in the heavens for our prayers to be answered, so be patient. (see: Dan 10:12-14)
If you help your enemy, sometimes it can be like "heaping coals of fire on his head." (see: Rom 12:20)
If you have faith even the size of a tiny "mustard seed," you can do amazing things with God's help.
Someday, the "fullness of the Gentiles" (Rom 11:25) will be reached. Amazing things will begin to happen at that time!
The wicked may prosper for a while, but not forever. (see: Ps 37:1)
Taking the Lord's Supper should not be done lightly. (1 Cor 11:27-30) says some have been sick, and others have died for taking it in an "unworthy manner."
God should be glorified in EVERYTHING we do. (see: 1 Cor 10:31)
Jesus must always become greater, we must always become less. (see: Jn 3:30)
Without the resurrection of Jesus, there would be no Christianity. (see: 1 Cor 15:14,17)
If you know how many times you have prayed today, you probably aren't "praying without ceasing." (see: 1 Th 5:17)
If you love God, He promises to "work all things together for your good." (see: Rom 8:28).
You are just as much of a sinner as anyone else.
Doing good works is important, but doing them to earn salvation is useless.
Be a "cheerful giver." God loves that! (see: 2 Cor 9:7)
No one loves you more than Jesus loves you!
Every single world leader is in power only because God allows it. (see: Rom 13:1-2, Jn 19:11)
I like this analogy on God seeing the bigger picture: You only see part of the parade from ground level. God sees the whole parade from His viewpoint up high.
Jesus understands when you are tempted. While on earth, He was tempted too. (see: Heb 2:18, Heb 4:15-16)
The only one who can "truly" know your heart is God. (see: 1 Kin 8:39, 1 Sam 16:7)
Those who believe in Jesus without seeing Him are called "blessed." (see: Jn 20:29)
Do you have someone in your life who is "sharpening your iron?" This can be invaluable. (see: Prov 27:17)
Everything that you need in your life, God will supply it. (see: Phil 4:19)
Sometimes, the reason why we don't get what we pray for is because it "consumes upon our lusts." (see: James 4:3)
Do you need renewed strength? Wait for the Lord. (see: Isa 40:31)
Before you do or say anything, think of Christ.
We should never fear what any man can do to us. (see: Mt 10:28, Ps 118:6)
The trials in our life produce endurance (James 1:2-3), and patience (Rom 5:3-4).
When I gave my life to Jesus, it took a while for many things to change, but one thing that changed immediately was a "peace that passes all understanding." (see: Phil 4:7)
Jesus is not, nor ever has been: an angel, a "good" man, or an "enlightened" teacher. Jesus is, and always has been God!
The Bible clearly says that Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also says "God is one" (Deut 6:4)(Jas 2:19). This is why Christians believe in a 3 in 1 triune God (the Trinity).
Sooner or later, Jesus will come knocking at your door. Will you answer? (see: Rev 3:20)
People change, God never changes. (see: Mal 3:6, Jas 1:17)
When a person is born again, he receives the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13-14). This is the "guarantee" of our salvation (2 Cor 1:22)(2 Cor 5:5).
If the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, you belong to God (Rom 8:9). If you don't have the Holy Spirit, you don't belong to God.
When we receive the Holy Spirit at salvation, He will do "many" things in us. Among them is to comfort (Jn 14:16), teach (Jn 14:26), and guide (Jn 16:13) us, and to give us "righteousness, peace, and joy" (Rom 14:17).
While Jesus was on Earth, He said it was "good" that He was leaving, because then the Holy Spirit could come. (see: Jn 16:7)
It is easy to love someone who loves you. What should set a Christian apart is loving those who hate you. (see: Mt 5:44, Lk 6:27-28)
Peter said, "we ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). This applies more than ever today.
God will "test" us, but He will never "tempt" us. (see: Jas 1:13)
Jesus was sinless (2 Cor 5:21)(Heb 4:15). We are sinners (1 Jn 1:8,10)(Rom 3:23). The "wages of (our) sin is death (Hell)" (Rom 6:23). This is why we need Jesus. His perfect sinless, righteousness is "imputed" to us (2 Cor 5:19,21)(Rom 4:7-8,24-25), and saves us, when we place our trust in Him.
The Holy Spirit can give us "supernatural power" from God to accomplish tasks that we could never accomplish on our own (see: Acts 4:8-12, 31, Acts 13:9-12). We should pray to be "filled" over and over with the Spirit (Eph 5:18). (This is not a one-time experience.)
There are "countless" number of angels working on God's behalf (Rev 5:11)(Dan 7:10)(Heb 12:22). Many times, they are sent to help us in some way.
The 5th Commandment says to "honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long" (Ex 20:12)(Eph 6:2-3). (This is the first Commandment with a promise.)
Before you get a divorce, think about these 4 words from God: "For I hate divorce." (see: Mal 2:16).
Are you seeking to connect with God in a deeper way? Consider humbling yourself before God by fasting.
Fornication is "any" sex outside of marriage. Jesus calls it an "evil sin" (see: Mt 15:19, Mk 7:21). We are told to "flee" from it (1 Cor 6:18).
God tells us to "hate" a number of things: evil, pride, and arrogancy (Prov 8:13), iniquity (Heb 1:9), lying (Prov 13;15), vain thoughts (Ps 119:113), bribes (Prov 15:27), covetousness (Prov 28:16), the love of money (Lk 16:13), and even "our life in this world" (Jn 12:25).
God can heal sickness, but God does not always heal immediately, and sometimes He chooses not to heal at all (see: 1 Tim 5:23, 2 Tim 4:20). Do NOT be mislead into thinking there is something wrong with your faith if you haven't been healed.
The Bible says that the words that come out of your mouth show what is in your heart (Mt 15:18)(Mt 12:34)(Lk 6:45).
If you think you are facing a lot of trials in your life, take a look at the trials of Paul in (2 Cor 11:23-28). It might help put things in perspective.
God encourages persistent prayer (Lk 18:1-8)(Lk 11:5-13), but not mindless, repetitive prayer ("vain repetitions") (Mt 6:7).
Did you know that (1 Sam 12:23) says it is a sin if we don't pray for others?
Satan cannot do anything to God's chosen people that God does not allow. (see: Lk 22:31, Job 1:6-12, Job 2:1-7)
When we are being persecuted for our faith, Jesus said we are "blessed." (see: Mt 5:10-12)
Christians should not be "yoked" with unbelievers. Christians are called "light," and unbelievers are called "dark." (see: 2 Cor 6:14-18, Eph 5:6-8,11)
Wouldn't it be great to be called "a man after God's own heart?" That's what God said about David in (Acts 13:22)(1 Sam 13:14).
Jesus also draws "all" men to Himself (Jn 12:32), however, we can reject this drawing: (Jn 5:40)(Mt 23:37)(Lk 13:34). PLEASE don't reject it!
Did you know that appearances of Jesus can be found in the Old Testament? It is a "fascinating" study! Check it out!
We must take up our cross and follow after Jesus. Jesus said if we don't, He said we aren't worthy of Him. (see: Mt 10:38)
You aren't worthy of Jesus if you love your father, or mother, or son, or daughter more than Him. (see: Mt 10:37)
As Christians, we need to remember that while we are on this planet, it is not our home. We are not to "love" the things of this world. (see: 1 Jn 2:15-17, Jas 4:4)
Most people constantly strive to be first. Jesus said that to be first, we must be last (and a "servant of all"). (see: Mk 9:35)
Have you sometimes wondered if it is better to die and go to be with Jesus, or stay on earth and carry out God's work? Paul had this dilemma. He chose to stay, and God used him mightily. (see: Phil 1:21-24)
The greatest love you can show to another person is to lay down your life for them. (see: Jn 15:12-13, 1 Jn 3:16).
Do you say, "I could never be a thief, adulterer, alcoholic, drug addict, etc...?" (1 Cor 15:10) says, "But by the grace of God I am what I am." (My favorite Bible verse.) If not for God's grace, we might fall into any sin.
It is easy to tell people that they need to forgive, but when it comes to our own need to forgive, it isn't always so easy to do.
One of the primary reasons why non-believers want nothing to do with going to church is because they believe it is filled with "hypocrites." They expect Christians to live to a higher standard. I believe that it is right for them to expect this.
Our love for others should not be based upon "feelings." Feelings will eventually fade. Our love should be based upon "commitment." No matter how we "feel," we will still love a person, because we are "committed" to them.
To me, one of the scariest things is a person who says, "I am a Christian, but I can't remember the last time I read my Bible."
We should be thankful that God doesn't always give us "everything" that we ask for in prayer.
All through the Bible, God chose to use people that nobody would have expected Him to use.
Do you long to hear from God? Read your Bible.
According to the Bible, all people on earth fall into one of two categories: "children of God" or "children of Satan." You are only a "child of God" through faith in Jesus Christ (Gal 3:26). Otherwise....
(2 Chr 16:9) says, "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." If you need God's "strength," keep this verse in mind.
The Bible says "the Word of God will endure forever" (Isa 40:8)(1 Pet 1:23-25). God supernaturally protects His Word, and it will "endure" whether I defend it or not. But, I'm still gonna defend it.
Some of the strongest Christian testimonies come from people who are "born again" later in life. It's NEVER too late!
As you grow in your Christian faith, you are going to find more and more things that you didn't realize were sin.
I know that there are perfectly good reasons for why I wasn't saved until I was 32 years old, but sometimes I still do the "what if" I had been saved in high school thing. (I still think about my high school best friend committing suicide.)
I don't think there has ever been a time in history when more people are "proud" of their sins than they are today.
Each time you attempt to take a step to grow in your faith, you can expect stronger opposition from Satan. Push through!
It is amazing how many times I have heard someone say, "I am going to start going to church again this week," or "I am going to start attending Bible study this week," then some (often small) thing happens, and they don't go.
Lately, there are days when I am barely able to sleep at all. Almost without fail, something big for God happens later on in the day.
There is a Biblical difference between "questioning God" and "doubting God." Many people questioned God in the Bible, and He seemed to have no problem with it. However, He did have a problem when people "doubted" Him.
Many people pray for God to "change" someone in their life, but sometimes, the better prayer might be for God to "change" you, and how you react to that person.
We need to be happy where we are, on the way to where God is taking us. If we can't be happy where we are, God likely isn't going to give us more.
It's not our having possessions that Jesus minds, it is being unwilling to give up our possessions that is the problem. (see: Mk 10:17-22)
Do you have a "prayer closet?" This isn't necessarily a closet per se, but rather, it is simply a place you can regularly go to to get alone with God, and spend some time with Him in prayer.
One of two things is always true with every trial that happens in our lives: #1. God causes it, #2. God allows it. Either way, God is in total control, and has a reason for what is happening.
God has created you just the way you are. Don't compare yourself to others.
The unsaved are acting the way they are supposed to act. We cannot expect an unsaved person to act like the saved.
The more the Christian church is persecuted, and its believers killed, the more it continues to grow. That doesn't make sense to many in this world.
Satan can perform miracles too. Never forget that! (see: Mt 24:24, 2 Th 2:9, Rev 16:14, Rev 19:20)
Have you ever seen a person that you know is a Christian just by looking at them? I want to be that person one day.
There are two kinds of anger: unrighteous and righteous. Unrighteous anger is becoming angry over wrongs that are done to us. This is sin. Jesus never displayed this. Righteous anger is becoming angry over wrongs done to others. This is not sin. Jesus did this.
Many times, answered prayer brings a person closer to God, however, sometimes it ends up leading a person farther from God. It may not always be best to get what you pray for.
The primary purpose of prayer should always be to comfort our will to God's will, not the other way around.
Hell is always a choice. A person will end up there if they stubbornly refuse throughout their lifetime to confess that they are a sinner, and need Jesus to pay for their sin.
Forgiving is not contingent on forgetting what someone did to you, it is based upon on not holding their sin against them anymore.
God can take our weakness, and turn it into strength. In doing this, God alone gets the glory for what we do. (see: 2 Cor 12:7-10)
There is a song called "Hosanna," and one of the lyrics says, "(God) break my heart for what breaks yours." This would be a great prayer.
Our faith usually doesn't grow a lot when things are going well, it grows in the midst of trials.
There is never a single moment when God is not thinking about you or watching you.
In Heaven, some will be given many rewards, and some few. We will not be jealous of those who get more, because "jealousy" is a sin, and there is no sin in Heaven. Instead, I believe we will selflessly rejoice with those who get more rewards. If only that would happen on earth right now.
I thank God for those Bible teachers that make me want to go out and change the world after I hear or read their teachings.
STD's and abortions would virtually disappear if men and women would simply follow God's plan for us: sex only for one man and one woman joined as one in marriage.
A lot of the mistakes I have made in my life are because I have tried to please people rather than God.
When I look back at a lot of the things I did in my life before I became a Christian, it literally makes me sick. I am SO thankful for a new life in Jesus!
It is so amazing to me that some people that I know from my past, that I never thought would become Christians, are now Christians. (I am sure some are amazed that I am too.)
I love (Acts 12:5-17). People are gathered to pray (likely for Peter's release from prison). Peter is released by an angel, goes to the place they are praying, and knocks on the door. A girl answers the knock, then tells the gathering "It is Peter." They think she is crazy, and say, "It is his angel." How often do we pray, and don't really believe God will answer?
You can combine all of the knowledge found on the internet, and it will still pale in comparison to what God knows.
God wants us to pray about ALL things. There is nothing too small. Keep in mind that "everything" is small to God.
Many people don't like to pray in front of others because they are afraid they will sound stupid. (I have struggled with this.) However, if you just focus on talking to God one to one, and shut everything else out, it gets easier.
Spending time with a person who was recently and radically saved, and is now on fire for God is pretty awesome.
"My faith is a personal thing, I don't want to talk about it." I use to say this. Now, it scares me when I hear others say it. I was lost when I said it.
One thing I try to do from time to time in my prayer life is to think of all the "little" things that God does in my life, that I hardly ever thank Him for. Then, I take time to thank Him (i.e. that the dryer is still running, that I have air conditioning, that I have clean water to drink, etc...).
Most Christians think that when they get to Heaven and see the Lord, they will run up to Him and give Him big a hug. I think we will fall on our faces, and probably won't be getting up for a long time.
No matter how hard you try to carry out the will of God, if you do it without the power of the Holy Spirit, you won't get very far.
Every day could be a God-given chance for you to change someone's life for eternity.
Satan knows what the Bible says better than you do, but he distorts the meaning of its verses.
I know of no one, who at the end of their life has ever regretted praying too much, reading their Bible too much, or worshipping the Lord too much.
When you are a Christian who is serving the Lord, there are two ways to get yourself in trouble: #1. Believing everything bad that people say about you, #2. Believing everything good that people say about you.
As Christians, our sin can never separate us from our "union" with God, but it can break our "communion" with God. This is why we need to confess and repent when we sin. We do not want any sin to hinder a close relationship with the Father.
The more time we spend with someone, the better we get to know them. This also applies to knowing God.
If a Christian in America had to suffer like Christians do in other parts of the world, how many would stand strong?
You know how upsetting it can be when you think you know someone, and then they suddenly change? This never happens with God; He never changes. (see: Mal 3:6, Jas 1:17, Heb 13:8)
Are Christians to "tolerate" what other religions teach about what we have to do to have eternal life? Jesus said He was the "ONLY" way to eternal life (Jn 14:6). That doesn't sound "tolerant" to me.
This is a fact shown in the Bible, and throughout history: the more a person has, the less likely they are to place their trust in Jesus. (see: Mt 19:24)
Do non-Christians see something in your life as a Christian that they are missing?
Yes, God wants you to be happy, but having joy is more important from a Biblical standpoint.
Every miracle that God does first begins as a problem.
Every Christian has at least one miracle that God has done in their life: the moment they were converted and became a Christian.
God promises to "work all things for good for those who love Him" (Rom 8:28). This is a matter of faith and trust in the Lord, because many times, from our perspective, it may not seem like He is doing this.
If you practicing hidden sin in your life that you are afraid that people will find out about at any moment, you will never have the full power of God to minister to those people.
Salvation is never shown in the Bible to be a "process." It comes in an "instant," and what happens in that "instant" is God comes to live inside of you in the form of the Holy Spirit. You are "saved" at that moment (Eph 1:13-14).
I am criticized for this thinking by many, but when I first meet someone, my first assumption is that they are "lost" (not saved), and I am going to find a way to share the Gospel with them as soon as possible.
God is not concerned with our ability, only our availability.
I am amazed at how many people today believe they are "sharing the Gospel," and never mention sin, or repentance, or Hell.
You may be smart, but you will never have "wisdom" without God's Word.
Perhaps the best proof that the Bible is the inspired Word of God is that hundreds of years before Jesus came to Earth, the Old Testament told us dozens of things about Him, and each of these were accurately fulfilled when He came.
I am convinced that Christians who are "people pleasers" have the hardest time sharing the Gospel.
An old saying, "God is God, and you are not."
This verse always stays with me, "For our God is a consuming fire" (Heb 12:29).
If you say you are "saved," and you aren't doing good works, you better question if you are "saved."
If you are an alcoholic, don't go to a bar, order a drink, and then pray "God, help me not to drink this."
If I baked a "big" batch of brownies, and mixed in a very tiny amount of dog poop, would you eat the brownies? The same is true with sin in our lives. Mixing in a "little" sin can ruin a lot more.
What did you do for the Lord today?
I feel fairly confident that most of what we think we will do in Heaven won't be what we will do in Heaven.
That God actually lives inside of me is utterly amazing, and also a bit terrifying at times.
In (1 Kin 19:18), God said to Elijah, "Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him." This verse gives me comfort. (Also see: Rom 11:4)
If people actually believed Jesus could return tomorrow, everything would change.
Thankfully, God's love for us isn't affected by what we do.
Many believe that if they do more "good things" than someone else, they will get to Heaven. The problem is, the standard to get to Heaven isn't being "better" than someone else, the standard is being as "good" as God! Only by accepting the sinless sacrifice Jesus can this standard be met.
While the words of Jesus in the Bible are definitely important, we must be careful not put them ahead of other words in the Bible. ALL of the words in the Bible are inspired by God and important, not just the words of Jesus. (see: 2 Tim 3:16, 2 Pet 1:20-21)
Concerning "thoughts and prayers." If something bad happens in my life, please don't "think" of me, but instead, "pray" for me.
When you look in the Bible at when people gave their lives to Christ, over and over, they did it publicly. They could be killed for making that commitment. Now, the trend is to have everyone "close their eyes," so a person can quietly make a commit without "being uncomfortable or embarrassed." Crazy... This is why Billy Graham encouraged people making a commitment to come forward at his Crusades.
To me, one of the greatest tragedies of today is that most people who call themselves "Christian" have no idea how to share the Gospel with someone.
(Jn 10:28) says, "and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." So, once you have eternal life, you cannot pull yourself out of God's hand by doing the wrong thing. You are not stronger than God!
Time means nothing to the Lord. (see: Ps 90:4, 2 Pet 3:8)
In Jesus, we can be forgiven of any sin. However, we may still have to face consequences from our sin. (Jesus can help us through that though.)