Are You a Firestarter? - Your Daily Forward Devotional

Are You a Firestarter?

 

August 21

 

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Imagine you walked into a restaurant, and you saw smoke coming from the kitchen. People don’t seem to be bothered by it. They just go about their business. You think this isn’t right, so you walk through the doors and see that there is a group of people around a fire.

“What are you doing?” you ask. “We’re trying to manage this fire.”

“Don’t you mean, put out this fire?”

“No, we’re just trying to manage it. A little fire won’t be that bad.

That story is silly and made up. But It’s kind of what we do with our negative behavior --especially criticizing others.

Look at what Paul writes in Ephesians 4:31: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”

Paul says to get rid of – eliminate all bitterness, rage, anger, fighting, and slander or as the Greek says blasphemia, or slander. We aren’t supposed only to manage and contain our criticism or defamation of someone. We are to eliminate it.

How is this possible? The gospel. The gospel says you have no power to stop the behavior. But the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to you, can. You are no longer a slave to sin of any kind. Therefore, humble yourself, repent of your behavior, and ask God to eliminate the criticism today.

Text in Context: Read Ephesians 4:17-32.

Reflect: How does a person’s thinking impact their behavior? Why does a person’s beliefs (their heart) ultimately drive behavior? What does one’s belief have to do with the ability to put off and put on?

Respond: Chances are someone criticized you and you’ve been critical of someone else. Have you forgiven them for being criticized? Have you apologized and sought forgiveness for your criticism? If not, begin today.

Prayer: Father, thank you for desiring the best for me. Thank you for not criticizing me, but instead coaching me through your loving Word. Amen.


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How does a person’s thinking impact their behavior? Our thoughts are a powerful source of energy then they become in actions and if we repeat them they will become the new behavior of the person. What does one’s belief have to do with the ability to put off and put on? I think that our God has given us, in Christ, the power to renew our mind Romans 12.2
This praying is a reality in my life today, I mean our God has put in my heart his best desires for me allowing me not criticizes others or God makes me conscious to stop the critics. By this way God coaches me through his loving word.
Guard my thoughts.mouth lord
It would be nice if you changed your message every day! Thank you.
Lord help me to stop criticizing others and let your holy spirit lead and guid me every day.🙏🏽
Lord when I go to help poll watch and count ballots during this upcoming election Please help me to be patient and kind and not slander anyone even if they are doing something wrong. Help me to love them. Only speaking the truth in LOVE.
me too!
I had just asked our Lord to help me rid myself anger, so this was very timely and helpful. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ, I love you!
Father God in Heaven I need you EVERY second in my Life Help Me To be FAITHFUL In the area of forgiveness and Please Show me the Way.
This lesson is very timely for me. I pray that God would help me get rid of all the anger and bitterness in me right now
Dear Father please fill me with the Holy Spirit. Increase my faith. Please remove my anger and bitterness that has built up during covid. Please replace it with compassion, love, and understanding. Amen.
Father God I need your help. I'm not doing as I should in this topic that we read today Father forgive me, help me to be who and what You created me to be. In Jesus Christ name I pray Amen
Amen
I’m in need of a boost to get my focus on the Bible! I have been really lacking and feel like I have hit a wall!
I have grown in God's word so criticizing is not in my vocabulary any more. I must feed my spirit daily in God's word. When I do that, His power is released.
Jesus got ahold of my heart and He won't let me go. Used to be oh so sad.Now I'm free and glad!
As Christ followers should set an example of what God through Christ, Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
My sin of criticizing or for all sin listed in that passage are forgiven Ever since I was forgiven once for all time , God no longer remember my sins , How is that Bob ...at moment of salvation and under the new Covn't I got a invisible heart surgery , taking out my stony , cold heart and replaced with a new heart and Holy Spirit. The command of Love is written on my heart and mind with the Spirit renews my mind. With the mind of Chris informing my natural mind and heart of who I am in Christ , sanctified,holy , justified, born of God , blameless , living in me is the Godhead and now I let God work out this new born again self to express divine virtues. Even forgiveness doesn't have to be done face to face besides the people who sinned against me , I wouldn't want to be around anymore, so I pray God forgive the person and to change my mind about them. Not necessarily go hang out with them . I am a Saint that sometimes sin. And without begging &asking for forgiveness from God , cause of Finnish work of Jesus on cross.. Freedom , for I am not of this world ...amen ..My desires have changed to not want to sin and to know I'm a new creation.
I have repented for what I have said to my family. But have not apologized to one of them ...I need God to help me find the right words to say. Amen
Thank you for this message. Im struggling to find the right words to appologize to my friend. I will pray over this. Perfect for this day!
Timely word!!
Timelely word...thanks
Good word for 2 day. Pricked my heart ❤️ for repentance of that to want 2 do better
Struggle with this, at times!!! Amen
Thank You Heavenly Father in Jesus name. The Lord is not through with me yet. I'm still growing in Christ.
Oooch this is hard a one, looking at me directly, a work in progress, learning to discern. God continue to prune me., no resistance. Amen
LIVE&GROW
Good thinking passed to me
Although I agree criticisms implied with ego as a basis is wrong, thinking or voicing opinion against evil and wrong doing should not be objectionable. How else can we express to those who are not engaged in the scriptures right from wrong?
I was just talking to God this and today about this, to remove and cleans me of this. Thank you for the confirmation 😊😊
What a good reminder
It's so true, we must want to be like Jesus our savior who forgave us and love us, He hold no gruge or criticism against us.
This is a hard one for me. I can forgive I don’t criticize people personally but I do critique to others
We are called to serve
Thank you Lord for helping me to rebuild the negative though with positive thoughts from your word. In Jesus name I pray
Thanks for the reminder! Lord, thank You for the transformational work You are doing in me, my renewing my thoughts and mind, taking away the negatives, and replacing it with positive thoughts and actions for Your glory!
I needed to hear that thank you Lord
These are great truths that we need to eliminate and not manage our anger. Since we don’t know the entire truth about a situation or person we need to love the person and trust God in the situation so we may glorify Jesus. With the Holy Spirit leading us all things are possible!
Very very interest I needed that
I needed that prayer. I find it hard sometimes with that behavior but I'm praying for my behavior to seize. Amen
Amen
Amen
Amen