While others are doubting … Believe.
While others are playing … Plan.
While others are sleeping … Study.
While others are delaying … Decide.
While others are daydreaming … Prepare.
While others are procrastinating … Begin.
While others are wishing … Work.
While others are talking … Listen.
While others are pouting … Smile.
While are others are criticizing … Commend.
While others are quitting … Persist.
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By: D. Delay
I recently heard a story that may help
us. A young boy had caught a handful of crickets and put them in a wide-mouth
jar. He placed inside the jar your typical supplies: grass, flies, berries,
etc. Then he put the lid on the jar with several holes punched in it so the
crickets could breathe. Immediately, they began jumping hysterically trying to
get out of the jar only to hit the lid and bounce back down. This behavior went
on for a couple of days and then suddenly stopped. The crickets became content
with their jar, moving about inside it, eating and adapting to their new
surroundings. But when the boy decided to take the lid off, the crickets didn't
notice. Wanting to see what would happen, he left the lid off the jar – but the
crickets never tried to escape. Before, they had tried to get out only to be
beaten down. Now that they could leave, they contently stayed. Why? Because in
the process of time, they had programmed themselves to believe their fate was
Unfortunately, many Christian are like
Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep your
heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." In
other words, be careful what you believe. If you believe you are a failure, an
outcast, or unworthy, you will believe your “jar" is your fate, when in reality
it is nothing but a barrier to the truth. "Keep (or guard) your heart with
all diligence, for OUT OF IT spring the issues of life." Whatever belief
system you put in your heart is what will come out. And whatever comes out of
your heart is the picture you believe. This can be a very unhealthy cycle.
Others can tell you the truth and even point to the exit, but if you don't
believe it, you will never attempt it – no matter how good it sounds. "For
as a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). When the crickets
no longer believed there was an escape, they stopped trying to find one.
The Hebrew word for issues in Proverbs
4:23 is literally translated as boundaries or controlling factors. So the
Psalmist is saying: "Keep (or guard) your heart with all diligence, for
out it spring the (boundaries or controlling factors) of life." Maybe
someone beat us down with their words or treated us with contempt or prejudice.
We may have fought back at first, but over time, the fight got tiresome and
little by little we adjusted our whole life to fit within the lie. Therefore,
(often unknowingly) the words and actions of others, and then our own words and
actions built an invisible prison.
Thankfully, there are two sides to every
coin. When we learn the truth of who we are in Christ Jesus and the
righteousness we have received through faith in Him, the lid is removed. Then
as we guard our heart, allowing only the truth of God’s Word to reside there,
out of the self-same heart good boundaries and controlling factors will spring
The Apostle Paul said, “Having been set
free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). Sin caged us
in. But righteousness, and our understanding of it, set us free. So guard your
heart! ADs: https://www.facebook.com/ehdlive
By: D. Delay Our family enjoys the fun andrefreshment of water slides and lazy rivers during hot summer vacations. At
most water parks, there are also one or two spots where large buckets hang overhead
filling little by little with water. The closer the bucket gets to being full,
the larger the crowd grows beneath in anticipation—children and adults alike
wait for the outpouring. Then SUDDENLY the bucket tips and a great flood of
refreshment crashes down on all below! In the Book of Revelation, the Bible
describes golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints
(Revelation 5:8). In other words, the prayers of God's people collectively fill
heavenly bowls with sweet aroma, much like the burnt offerings did in days of
old. In Revelation 8,
we discover what these bowls are used for: "Then another angel, having a
golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he
should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden alter w…