“The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”
Proverbs 22:13 (KJV)
How are you today? There have been many times when I haven’t done things, because I didn’t think that I could do them. They seemed too difficult for me. I didn’t think I had the skills, the patience, the knowledge, the strength, or the financial means to do them. What about you? Have you ever felt like there were things that you couldn’t do that you wanted to do? Were there things that you didn’t do, because you didn’t think you could do them?
This verse in Proverbs convicts me of laziness. Most, if not all, the things that I didn’t do because I didn’t think I could were because I was too lazy to do the hard work to carry them out. I was afraid, overwhelmed, or just ignorant of a way to succeed.
However, the biggest conviction above and beyond laziness is that I didn’t have the faith that God would provide a way and that God would be with me through it all.
I don’t know if I didn’t realize this before or didn’t understand it. I learn something new every time I read the Bible. I may have glossed over this verse before. If I had really understood it, maybe I would have tackled more or at least given them more of an effort, before I dismissed them as being too hard.
As humans, it may be in our nature to look at things as too difficult before we even give them a chance. We may just fear that “there is a lion in the street” or we may say that because it sounds like it would be a good excuse to not put the work in to accomplish something. It may seem like a lion, but only be a sweet little kitten. We don’t even know if we can accomplish something or if it beyond our means, if we don’t try something.
I really hope that the next time I am faced with what I feel is a difficult or impossible task that I remember the words in Proverbs 22:13 and remember that God is with me always.
It may seem like the convictions that I find in these words are a bad thing. Most people don’t like to be convicted. Often conviction leads to discomfort, lack of freedom, punishment, or sadness. Yet, I find comfort and hope in these words. It is like, now that I realize what I was doing, I can change it. I can now knowingly look to God with my troubles instead of dismissing something that I can’t do or don’t think I can do. In reality I probably can’t do it, but with God, I can. God will provide a way.
Thank you for your Word. Thank you for convicting me of slothfulness and showing me that when I feel scared to do something, it isn’t that it is too hard, it is that I am not putting my faith in you. Thank you for being there for me and being ready to help me through every situation in which I call on your name. Help me to do put my faith in you and be obedient enough to do your will, no matter how difficult it may seem. Give me the strength and courage to be obedient to you and do the things you call me to do. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 22:13 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 22:13 mean to me?
*Do I make excuses about not doing anything when in reality I am just lazy?
*Do I trust that God can help me through anything?
*Do I believe that God can make a way when there doesn’t seem to be one?
*Do you confuse laziness with fear?
Now, it is your turn?
What are your thoughts? I would like to hear from you. Please, leave a comment. If you would like to receive these posts in your inbox, please sign up below. Thank you.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
2 Corinthians 6:14 (KJV)
How are you today? Today, I chose to write about a topic, which we might not think of very often. It has to do with relationships and being unequally yoked. So, what does that mean and why should we consider it?
Unequally yoked, is usually referred to as being a believer and an unbeliever. So, if you love someone, why does it matter whether they believe in God or not? Isn’t the love between you the only thing that matters? Love is important, however it may be an uphill battle if you are paired with someone who is not in the same place spiritually as you.
Even though your love may seem strong in the beginning, there may come a time when your difference in belief may be a cause for strife or distress. For example, if one spouse goes to church and the other doesn’t, it might not be a big deal in the beginning, but the person going to church may feel torn some day. That person may feel lonely going to church by himself or herself, seeing many other families and spouses at church together. Or, the person going to church may start to want to miss church to be with his or her spouse, especially if the couple doesn’t get to spend much time together during the week.
This difference could lead to struggles, fights, and difficult feelings. The relationship may feel one-sided, like one person is carrying more of the weight of the relationship than the other. Conflict may arise from one person going to church and the other not, one person praying and the other not, one person quoting scripture and the other not, one person reading the Bible and the other not, one person having faith in God and the other not.
The unbeliever may get tired of the believer talking about God and faith or get tired of the believer trying to get him or her to believe the same. It may make him or her feel like they are not good enough and the marriage will break up because of it. A low self-esteem or low self-confidence can create all kinds of strife and upheaval. That person may start to lash out.
There are other differences that could cause you to feel unequally yoked as time goes by. There could be differences in age, differences in education, differences in ethnicity, differences in work ethic. Yet, a difference in beliefs is at the very heart and soul of one’s being. The other things are just surface issues and may be easier to overcome.
One may feel that it will get better over time. Yet, if the believer grows in faith, the distance between the two will only get wider and wider. And, one definitely does not want to go backwards in their faith, so they can be closer to their spouse. That will only put them both farther from God.
This doesn’t address what happens if you are already unequally yoked. There are other verses to help us out in that situation. However, I hope that this gives people who are considering marriage cause to stop and really think about things like this. You will be glad you did!
Thank you for your Holy Scriptures! Thank you for giving us this guide in how to live. Thank you for your love. Help us to remember these words about being unequally yoked when we consider being in a relationship with others who do not share the same belief or the same level of belief as we do, especially when we are considering marriage. Help us to understand that this is more important than we may feel when we feel that we are in love with someone and nothing else matters. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective Questions for 2 Corinthians 6:14 (KJV):
*What does 2 Corinthians 6:14 mean to me?
*What does it mean to be unequally yoked?
*Am I unequally yoked with friends, coworkers, or family members?
*Are these relationships healthy?
*What can I do to better adhere to this verse?
*What can I do to help others consider the importance of this verse?
Now, it is your turn:
I would like to hear your thoughts? Are you in an unequally yoked relationship? Is is difficult?
Are there any other topics or verses you would like to see in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations?
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“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
James 1:27 (KJV)
How are you today? Last week, I wrote about James 1:26, which was about fake religion. This week, I chose to write about James 1:27, which is about true or pure religion. Do we ever think about the difference between fake religion and pure religion? Do we ever check ourselves and pray as to which we are practicing?
It is often thought of that religion means going to church on Sunday. Yet, worshiping is only one part of religion. Going to church is only a small part of pure religion. As we see in James 1:27, pure religion includes loving others, because God loves us. It includes doing things such as visiting and helping orphans, widows, sick, poor, and those who have troubles in some way or another. It includes helping a friend, a neighbor, and even a stranger during difficult times. We all have troubles and it is a religious and Christian thing to help others in whatever way we can.
In other words, religion is a lifestyle, not a once a week date at church. It is serving and comforting those in need, not being pious, prim, and proper. Pure religion is serving others with humbleness, not trying to bring all attention to yourself or your deeds. Pure religion is keeping your focus on God and not the various fads of the world.
So, it is time to look into our hearts and see which we are doing? Are we participating in fake religion or pure religion? What is in our heart? God knows so we can’t fool Him. We may be fooling others, and ourselves but we can never fool God.
For many of us, it may be that we are some where in the middle. That isn’t all that good either. We are to love God with our whole heart. Speaking for myself, I have room for improvement. Do you?
Sometimes, I think we get into a routine, where we don’t really think about how we are doing. I think we may go to church or read the Bible or even volunteer at certain events and think we are doing well. Yet, we don’t always take a good look at what we are doing and how well we are following God’s Word and God’s will for us. We think we are doing well, because we aren’t cheating or stealing or breaking any of the commandments of the Old Testament. Yet, are we following the commandment of Jesus? Do we love God with our whole being in all that we do and loving others as ourselves? This is pure religion.
Thank you for your love and guidance. Thank you for giving us your Word in order to know how we should live and what we should do. Help us to work towards pure religion and not fake religion. Help us to serve you and not to be like those in the world, but those in your kingdom. Help us to love you with our whole heart and whole being and to love others as ourselves. Help us to know that this is what you want for us and from us. Help us to look towards Jesus as our true example and to listen to your Holy Spirit for direction. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective Questions for James 1:27 (KJV):
*What does James 1:27 mean to me?
*Do I practice fake religion or pure religion?
*Is religion a weekly visit to a church or an every day lifestyle practice for
*What can I do different to better practice pure religion?
*Do I stop and check myself often to make sure I am doing my best to
practice pure religion or do I get caught up in the habit without thinking
Now, it is your turn!
I would like to hear your thoughts and comments. Please, comment below. Also, if you are enjoying this blog, please subscribe to get updated content in your inbox and share this blog with your friends. Thank you.
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”
James 1:26 (KJV)
How are you? When I was looking for verses about which to ponder and write, I came across this one. I wonder if people know just how powerful words can be. Even self-talk is more powerful than we give it credit. Our words are not to be taken or said lightly. They can testify to our true identity. We may try to act one way, but often our words will divulge our true feelings and beliefs.
Our mouths can be used for good or bad. We can use them to uplift others or to tear others down. They can be used to testify truth or to manipulate and lie. They can be used to show love or to show hate. How do you use your mouth?
Have you ever heard someone who is seemingly religious say something cruel to or about someone? I have. It gives me a funny feeling in my gut, like something is strangely amiss. Sometimes, I can’t put my finger on it at the time. Yet, it is the fact that someone who I thought was so religious and so close to God, really wasn’t. It confused my heart.
The Holy Spirit tells my heart that those who love God and who are religious are called to have loving and encouraging words, truthful words, even admonishment. Yet, those words are not meant to be cruel and hateful. Deep down, my heart knows what is said in James 1:26. The Holy Spirit tells me that whoever pretends to be religious yet, says hateful things, cruel things, or untruthful things are not as close to God as they pretend to be. They are just trying to fool themselves and others.
We are called to use our mouths for good. We are called to encourage others. We are called to praise God and testify to God’s truths. We are called to know when to keep quiet and when to speak. We are called to admonish each other, teach each other, and care for each other in kindness.
I find it interesting that this verse talks about what fake religion looks like. Not everyone both walks the walk and talks the talk. There are people who look as though they are really religious. They may go to church multiple times a week, volunteer, and even give to charity. Yet, they still call people names, put people down, manipulate others, lie, and don’t testify to God’s truths.
We are warned that we shouldn’t fall for fake religion. We are warned that going to church, volunteering, and looking religious are not enough. We are warned that not everyone is as he or she seems.
If we talk one way and act another way, often people can see through us and can tell that we are being hypocritical. So, if we go to church and act religious, it is nullified if we then turn around and speak badly, lie, or cruelly put people down. Not only that, but God doesn’t like it when people who are supposedly representing Him, serving Him, and worshiping Him, speak so cruelly and misrepresent what a true follower is like. I can feel for Him, because I don’t like to be misrepresented either. What about you?
Thank you for your Word! Thank you for your loving embrace and protection. Help us to not get caught up in fake religion, but to seek only your truth and to serve you in truth. Help us to be true when we worship you, serve you, and testify to others. Help us to be true to you in what ever we do. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective Questions for James 1:26 (KJV):
*What does James 1:26 mean to me?
*Have I seen people who seem religious but who aren’t?
*How do I feel to see someone misrepresent what it means to love God?
*How do I act? Am I truly a follower of Jesus or just acting like one?
*Do I understand why it is vain to act religious, but then turn around and
misuse my words and voice?
Now, it is your turn.
What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment. Also, if you like these posts and would like to see them in your inbox, please sign up below.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.