The Sweet Stuff Ministry

Thursday, March 22, 2018


Proverbs 5: 1-5  My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.  For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother that oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.  her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.

Temptation is all around us.  A great number of temptations will present themselves as sweet options; choices that will be beneficial to us or make us better.  It is difficult at times to initially discern some temptations that may appear to be sweet.  Those temptations that drip honey should be red flags in the beginning.

In order to understand temptation and to be on guard against those things that drip honey and use sweet talk, we must be prepared for temptation.  We can never think that as long as we are Christians and go to church that we will never be tempted.  Temptations will present themselves in many forms.   Temptations will not always be in the form of addictions, criminal activity, and sexual immorality.  Some temptations will be small and seemingly insignificant, while others are blatantly dangerous and destructive.  Temptation may be in the form of changing your attitude toward righteous living.  It may come in the form of anger and bitterness, grudges and hatred.  You may be tempted to stop participating in church activities. 

Christians are not exempt from temptation.  In fact, Satan is in hot pursuit of all Christians. He will tempt each and every one.  He will drip honey.  He will offer smooth talk.  He will make things look great even when they are not.

Temptations involve lies from Satan.  Resisting temptation engages God's truths.  Application of His principles and reminders of His promises will provide us with protection against temptation.

Prepare for temptation by studying God's word in order to gain wisdom.  The pursuit of godly wisdom is like exercising in order to stay in shape.  The pursuit must never be abandoned.  It is good to develop a list of personal principles in order to prepare for temptations.  Developing personal principles give us an opportunity to think about our reactions to temptation.  Think of it in terms of writing a customized Owner's Manual for yourself.  In it include answers to question that begin as, "What would I do if..................?"  Look up scripture in the Bible that gives instruction about life's situations. Equip your mind with wisdom.  Armor yourself with God's word and His promises.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Worth and Value

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he have his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Our society places value on things in monetary terms.  A gallon of gasoline is worth around $2.25.  A sofa is worth about $850.  Cars are worth thousands of dollars.  Lunch is worth around $10.  The value of consumables that we need to live day by day is determined by supply and demand. 

Antiques are common items in our culture that are worth a great deal of money, especially if a piece is a rare collectible.  Some antique lovers will buy and sell while others have a personal desire for valuable pieces in their homes.  Antique dealers will spend large sums of money to acquire valuable pieces with the hope of reselling the items for profit.  However, without a buyer to pay a price for an antique, the worth is not tangible.  In other words, the value of an item must be recognized  by both a buyer and a seller for the worth to be appreciable. 

When we are interested in buying or selling items there are things that we take into account when determining price value.  We want to get our money's worth whether we are on the spending or receiving end of the transaction.  If you have ever bought a used vehicle, think about one of the first questions that came to mind.   It was likely, "what all is wrong with it".  We take the flaws, missing components, and wear and tear into consideration anytime that we buy and sell.   

Jesus paid the price of his life in order to declare the value/worth of each and every one of us.  John 3:16 tells how valuable we are.  Our worth is proclaimed by the fact that Jesus' life was given for ours.  Jesus does NOT care how many flaws we have.   He determines each of us to be of high value.  Neither missing components, wear and tear, age, nor appearance changes the way that Jesus views every single one of us.  We are all of great value!! He gave his life to prove that point. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Wholeness of God

Isaiah 40:29   He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

We cannot begin to heal our emotional wounds until we acknowledge our brokenness.  When we realize our weakness and attest to God's wholeness, then may we be healed.

Even the strongest people we know have emotional wounds.  Even the tough guys have weaknesses.  There are times when we all grow tired of wrestling with hurts and feeling weak.

God is the source of strength.  He is a fortified tower (Prov. 18:10).

God is the source of peace (John 16:33).

God is a solid foundation (Psalms 16:8).

God is a safe haven and protector (Psalm 119:114-115).

Acknowledge God's strength.  Seek to understand his wholeness.  Confess your weakness.  Allow him to increase your power and give you strength for in doing so, you open your heart to healing.   

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Junk Must Go

Jeremiah 29:13 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."

When we search for God with all our heart, we must rid our hearts of all things that stand between us and God.  We cannot search for God with every inch of our heart while holding on to hurts, vengeful thoughts, anger, and bitterness.  Dragging those things along side us will not offer God ALL of our heart.

When we hang on to hurts that have not been squared away or forgiven, we have junk in our hearts.  That junk looks like insecurities, bitterness, lack of confidence, and lack of desire to move forward in life.  The junk that fills part or all of the heart stands in the way of offering God ALL of your heart.

The junk must go.  It is a good time for spring cleaning the clutter from our hearts.  Empty out all the junk that is in your heart so that you may seek God with all your heart, free and clear of any negative emotions. 

Search and seek God.  Find Him.

If you have turned from him, return to him.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Only God's Shield Will Take Away Stress

Psalms 5:12  For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Remember the commercial years ago with the quote, "Calgon take me away"?  The quote became a catch phrase that many people still use today when things are stressful or frustrating.   I sometimes feel that I need a dump truck load of Calgon delivered to my address.  I am certain that I am not alone in feeling this way.

I remember a time a while back when my stress level compounded within a matter of a few days.  The microwave oven quit working.  We can't complain too much, after all it was 13 years old.  Immediately after installing and plugging in the new microwave, I put a load of clothes in the washer and in the middle of the cycle, the washer dies (it wasn't nearly as old as the microwave).  A few days later after my daughter finished soccer practice, the vehicle would not start.  Did I mention that at the same time, three out of five of us were sick and I had two major research projects due?  Ready for that dump truck load of Calgon ASAP!

My list of happenings is by no means the most stress I have ever endured.  While these occurrences were irritating, the were not life altering.  I use this example to show that there are periods of time in life when negative things seem to be around every corner.  The stresses will distract us from the positive elements of life.  Life's stresses happen to each and everyone of us.  Stress can cause us to focus only on what is going wrong.

Sickness, disease, loss of a job, death of a loved one, and other uncertainties cause great amounts of stress.  These are the life altering occurrences.  No amount of Calgon will sooth the feelings that we experience with these levels of stress.  Only God's shield can offer us protection and relief from major stress.

I understand the feelings and worries that accompany stress. Your flesh wants to understand why so many frustrating things happen, especially when you are trying to live a godly life. One thing to remember when you are in these situations is that God is working on you to fulfill his purpose in and through you. After we become saved, God begins to mold us and guide us into His perfect purpose. Is this always easy? No. There is pruning that takes place, lessons we must learn, and changes that will occur. During this process, it is important to seek God’s heart. Ask Him in fervent prayer what he is trying to teach you or what changes he may want you to make. Sometimes it is our attitude that he is trying to reshape.

When we ask “why” God allows things to happen, His response is one of a sovereign nature-because he knows best and so that his work shall be displayed in our lives. He is also interested in faith building and spiritual growth within us. Our flesh wants answers but God expects us to trust in his holiness and sovereignty. To do so requires much perseverance, prayer, and time in the Bible.
We cannot expect a perfect world when all the people do not live under God’s perfect rule. We must continue to seek righteous living and know that our needs will be met-sometimes in ways that we cannot see until it happens. I have some verses that God showed me in for stressful situations. 
1 Timothy 6:11; Isaiah 32:17; Psalms 1:6; Psalms 5:12. Please study the verses, pray, and never give up your faith and service. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Mask of Functional Bitterness

Ephesians 4:31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form
of malice.

I have used this verse in other posts and focused on different words found in the verse.  Today I will focus on the word "all".  God wants us to rid of ALL bitterness, rage, and anger.  Each and every bit of those emotions must go.  If ALL bitterness is not rid of, even the smallest bit can cause resentment and barriers between you and the people in your life.

You might be inclined to think that if you are not paralyzed by bitterness that your life is in good shape.  Not necessarily.  There can be a level of what I call functional bitterness.  The bitterness is there and causes barriers within a relationship, but the relationship is still functional.  You are able to be in the presence of the person which you have bitterness toward, however, there are inhibitions with the level of closeness and enjoyment that you can experience with this person.  Functional bitterness is a mask that conceals what is truly in the heart.  

With functional bitterness, you are able to operate and perform your regular every day duties.  The bitterness is not constantly on your mind, however, there may be periods of intense reminders or thoughts about the situation that caused the bitterness.  The people around you may not notice the bitterness within you, however, you still feel the effects.  Functional bitterness allows you to get through the days but you do not experience the joy and delight that could be yours if ALL the bitterness is gone.

If you allow your heart to be clear of ALL bitterness, you can then realize the wholeness which God intends for us.  When you experience the wholeness of heart and the delight that the freedom from the bondage of bitterness and anger can bring, it is then that you will become acutely aware of what you have been missing.  The desire to have wholeness and delight will outweigh the desire to wallow in the bitterness when you realize how wonderful the freedom can be.

It is my prayer for any of you that are suffering from any type of bitterness, rage, or anger that you will allow God to examine those emotions and help you rid of them.  For those of you that may have functional bitterness, I pray that you will allow the mask of denial to be removed and that God will take any and ALL of those feelings away.  I pray for each of you to experience the wholeness that God has to offer.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Monday, March 12, 2018

There is no Need to React to the Actions of the Enemy

Psalm 86:17  Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

We serve a God of comfort and peace.  His offer of both is always available.

Satan wants to disrupt our peace and comfort and he will use anyone that will listen to his schemes in order to accomplish misery on our behalf.  The schemes will make us think that our world is upside down.  The actions of others may cause disruption of our peace.  We may be tempted to react in a manner that causes more chaos.

There is no need to react to the actions of enemies.  When God shows us His goodness through peace, we must reflect such to others.  By reacting to the actions of the enemy, we fail to show God's goodness and grace.  If we provide an equal reaction to an evil action, we have only contributed to the evil.

When turmoil, anxiety, and disruption of peace are present in life, remember that we ALWAYS have the promise of comfort from God.  When people around us intentionally cause pain and discomfort, God is available to offer comfort.  When you hold on to God's comfort, and submit to the inner peace that he offers, the schemes of enemies will not seem as significant.  Through God's protection, our comfort can prevail and the enemy's plan will be thwarted.

It is up to each of us to submit to that comfort and to enjoy inner peace.  Do not pay attention to an enemy's actions that are intended to cause you discomfort.  There is no need to react to the enemy-God will act in your behalf.   Reacting to actions from enemies will disrupt your inner peace even more.

Allow Him to comfort you whatever your situation.  Recognize His authority and permit Him to deal with your enemies.  Resist the temptation to react to the schemes of the enemy.  Not only will God comfort you, He will take care of all your enemies!!