Words Like Honey
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
For thousands of years, humans have enjoyed the sweet delights of honey. Bees collect nectar from flowers and return to their hive where they store it in wax honeycombs. They create honey as a food source for themselves during the winter, but excess honey has graced human tables for ages.
Honey is a source of glucose like cane sugar and other sweeteners. For that reason, it has long satisfied the human “sweet tooth.” And honey served as an illustration of the power of words in the Old Testament. Just as honey brings delight and satisfaction, so can pleasant and edifying words. Just as nutritious foods help to build human health, so wise and loving words can build up the spiritual and emotional health of people. Building up others (“edifying” is the biblical word) is a major responsibility of Christians. Paul told the Romans to pursue “the things by which one may edify another” (Romans 14:19)—and that certainly includes our words.
Look for a way today to build up and encourage another person by the words you speak to them. Let your words be like honey to their soul.
Whatever moves the heart wags the tongue. C. T. Studd
Sun 05/24/2015, “Speak Life” (Proverbs 16:24), Pastor Bill Ritchie
This is the kind of fasting I want: . . . Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.
Isaiah 58:6 nlt
A family member needed help with his December rent. To his family, the request felt like a burden—especially with their own unexpected expenses at year’s end. But they dug into their savings, grateful for God’s provision—and blessed by their relative’s gratitude.
He handed them a thank-you card filled with grateful words. “There you go again . . . doing nice things, probably passing it off as no big deal.”
Helping others is a big deal, however, to God. The prophet Isaiah made that point to the nation of Israel. The people were fasting but still quarreling and fighting. Instead, said Isaiah: “Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. . . . Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help” (Isaiah 58:6–7 nlt).
Such a sacrifice, said Isaiah, shares God’s light but also heals our own brokenness (v. 8). As the family helped their relative, they looked hard at their own finances, seeing ways they could manage better all year. This was God’s promise for being generous: “Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind” (v. 8 nlt). In the end, giving to their kin blessed them more. And God? He already gave His all—with love.
We don’t think of seconds as very important. But they tick away into minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Look at it this way: A 70-year-old has lived the equivalent of about two billion, two hundred seven million, five hundred and twenty thousand seconds! While you were reading that last sentence, about five seconds of your life elapsed, and you can never go back and decide to use them differently.
Small as they are, seconds are precious because they are a creation and a gift of God. How we use even these small time increments is important because our heavenly Father has a plan for each and every life. Since we are to live it for His purpose and will, we must consider how He would have us spend not just years, months, and days, but even minutes and seconds. And the time to evaluate how we should use them is now, before any more of our life passes by.
Understanding the value of each moment, the apostle Paul urges us, “Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16). In essence, he is instructing us to take advantage of every opportunity the Lord gives us.
The heavenly Father is the one who opens doors for us to serve Him in a variety of ways, but if we neglect these opportunities, there is no guarantee that we will have a second chance. That’s why we must become aware of how we are using our time. Are we wasting it or redeeming it according to God’s will?
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:2)
In addition to the numerous times when the writers of the Bible asserted that what they wrote came directly from God (e.g., Leviticus 1:1; Jeremiah 1:4; Revelation 1:1), there are at least four warnings against tampering with these revealed words.
The first is our text above, in which Moses commanded neither to add to nor diminish from anything he had written. This warning was supplemented later with the following: “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32).
Moses was the first writer of the Bible and it was appropriate that he should give such a warning. The last was John, and his warning was even more severe, at the very end of the whole body of Scripture. “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life” (Revelation 22:18-19).
Since John was the last apostle, it is clear that this warning is against any later attempt to add some new “revelation” to the now-complete Word of God.
Then, very near the middle of the Bible, there is this: “Every word of God is pure: . . . Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6). And remember also the words of Christ: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). So don’t mess with the Word of God! HMM
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
Some are concerned because there are not more miracles and wonders wrought in our midst through faith. In our day, everything is commercialized. And I must say that I do not believe in commercialized miracles.
“Miracles, Incorporated”—you can have it!
“Healing, Incorporated”—you can have that, too!… I have my doubts about signs and wonders that have to be organized, that demand a letterhead and a president and a big trailer with lights and cameras. God is not in that!
But the person of faith who can go alone into the wilderness and get on his or her knees and command heaven—God is in that. The preacher who will dare to stand and let his preaching cost him something—God is in that. The Christian who is willing to put himself in a place where he must get the answer from God and God alone—the Lord is in that! FBR033-034
Lord, forgive me for so often trying to box up my plans and organize Your work so it can all be controlled and explained. Take over, Lord, and do Your thing, not mine, today. Amen.
The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.—Revelation 22:3, 4.
And doubtless unto thee is given
A life that bears immortal fruit
In such great offices as suit
The full-grown energies of heaven.
If we are to be thus disciplined and trained, as workmen in various orders of work, instruments thus formed for God’s service, what may we look to become hereafter? May not instruments thus formed, when this passing scene is over, and we appear in God’s presence, cleansed and disciplined, with the true workman’s hand, may we not be set to work in higher spheres, in grander ministries, in a world of nobler service? We speak of heaven, as a sort of rest, of sweet consolation, of communion with God, such as we cannot know on earth; but consistently with this perfect sweetness, heaven is full of activity, of ministrations infinite. For God is active, and out of His activity He formed all creatures, As in the deep seas in their endless movements there is calm beneath, so in God are depths of peace as infinite as the activity of His creation. So, too, His creatures partake of infinite peace and intensely active service.
T. T. Carter.
“He will keep the feet of his saints.” 1Sam. 2:9
The way is slippery, and our feet are feeble, but the Lord will keep our feet. If we give ourselves up by obedient faith to be His holy ones, He will Himself be our guardian. Not only will He charge His angels to keep us, but He Himself will preserve our goings.
He will keep our feet from falling, so that we do not defile our garments, wound our souls, and cause the enemy to blaspheme.
He will keep our feet from wandering, so that we do not go into paths of error, or ways of folly, or courses of the world’s custom.
He will keep our feet from swelling through weariness, or blistering because of the roughness and length of the way.
He will keep our feet from wounding: our shoes shall be iron and brass, so that even though we tread on the edge of the sword, or on deadly serpents, we shall not bleed, or be poisoned.
He will also pluck our feet out of the net. We shall not be entangled by the deceit of our malicious and crafty foes.
With such a promise as this, let us run without weariness, and walk without fear. He who keeps our feet will do it effectually.