Luke 10:29 - "But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?' "

As it turns out, "neighbor" has nothing to do with "location, location, location" and asking Jesus a trick question never works.

Revisit the beautiful teaching of how to love our neighbors in Jesus' parable of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25- 37). 

The question isn't who is my neighbor, but rather how can I be a neighbor to everyone in my path. It isn't about a nice subdivision of block parties or an apartment building where we look out for each other. Neighbors are about people who show mercy to others, even if their paths cross only once.  

Only Jesus can create a neighborhood like this.


Matthew 5:17 and 18

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

Enjoy reading the Old and New ... and see what Christ has done.


Luke 2: 1- 20

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman  world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.:

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

             "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests"

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,"Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

And the purpose of this magnificent birth?

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."


In the 2nd book of Chronicles chapter 25, Amaziah (king of Judah) was about to face a formidable enemy. While he had rounded up a decent army, Amaziah felt he needed more power and so he hired men from Israel for a hundred talents of silver (about 3 3/4 tons).

But this is what happened next:

"But a man of God came to him and said - O king, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the Lord is not with Israel ... not with any of the people of Ephraim. Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow."

Ahhhh ... 

GOD'S CHARACTER - Justice with a side note on vengeance

Psalm 9: 7 & 8

         The Lord reigns forever

         He has established His throne for judgment

         He will judge the world in righteousness, 

         He will govern the people with justice.


Psalm 9:16

         The Lord is known by His justice …


Psalm 11:7

         For the Lord is righteous,

         He loves justice


Proverbs 29:26

         Many seek an audience with a ruler,

         But it is from the Lord that man gets justice.


Isaiah 30:18

         Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;

         He rises to show you compassion.

         For the Lord is a God of justice

         Blessed are those who wait for Him.


Isaiah 42:1

         Here is my servant, whom I uphold,

         My chosen one in whom I delight;

         I will put My Spirit on him and he

         Will bring justice to the nations.


Isaiah 42:4

         He will not falter or be discouraged

         Till he establishes justice on earth.


Jeremiah 30:11

         … I will discipline you but only with justice.

         I will not let you go entirely unpunished.


Ezekiel 34:16

         I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.


Romans 3:25 – 26

         (After stating that righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe – everyone has sinned)

“God presented him (Jesus) as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished –

         He did this to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.




 Romans 12:19

         Do not take revenge my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay says the Lord’. (From Deuteronomy 32:35)


Deuteronomy 32:35 (in its entirety)

         It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.


2 Thessalonians 1:6

 God is just; He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you …  (look up when it happens in verses 7- 10)


Ephesians 4:26 – 27

         “In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.


Leviticus 19:18

         You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.


I Thessalonians 5:15

         Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.


A perfect image of leaving vengeance in God’s hands:

I Samuel 24:12

         (David’s words after he spares Saul’s life)

         May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.


Lifestyles of those who have met a holy God and received His mercy:

We present our bodies to God as an act of worship ... living sacrifices. So in the thoughts and deeds of the flesh, we honor the Holy Spirit of God.

We are not conformed to the world's ideas, but are transformed moment by moment in God's presence. We think differently.

Our hearts have confidence that the Lord will show us His will.

We are humble and remember that we are part of a community of believers, working, serving, loving together for God's glory.

The love we show is not an emotion but a way of life. It is sincere.

We are joyful in hope.

Patient in affliction.

Faithful in prayer.

We share.

We live in harmony with others - crying together, laughing together ... we strive to be a blessing to others and never a curse.

We leave the people who harm us in God's care and when called to respond to them ... we are careful to only give out goodness ... knowing full well that in God's sovereign plans - good always overcomes evil.

As far as it depends on our actions toward others ... we live in peace. Laying down the causes of the world and picking up the cross we stand out by loving our neighbors and believing God.


GOD'S CHARACTER - FORGIVING/MERCIFUL - verses chosen by Lauren Lindsey

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.


Mark 1:4

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.


Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us


John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.


Colossians 1:13-14

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins.


Matthew 26:28

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins


Mark 3:26

but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin


Luke 12:10

And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.


Psalms 32:5

Then I acknowledged my sin to you

   and did not cover up my iniquity.

I said, “I will confess

   my transgressions to the Lord.”

And you forgave

   the guilt of my sin.


Psalms 65:3

When we were overwhelmed by sins,

   you forgave our transgressions.


Psalms 78:38

Yet he was merciful;

   he forgave their iniquities

   and did not destroy them.

Time after time he restrained his anger

   and did not stir up his full wrath.


CHAPTER 19 OF EXODUS – Moses’ encounter with God at Mount Sinai


Psalm 77:13 – 15

Your ways, O God, are holy.

What god is so great as our God?

You are the God who performs miracles;

You display Your power among the peoples.

With Your mighty arm You redeemed Your people,

     the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.


Psalm 99:9

Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.


Isaiah 40:25

“To whom will you compare Me?

Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.


Ezekiel 20:41 and 28:25 – when God gathers His people from the countries/nations where they have been scattered …

“I will show Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.”


Leviticus 11:44 and *I Peter 1:15

“I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and *be holy, because I am holy.”


Revelation 4:8 – at the throne of God in heaven …

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come.”




MARK CHAPTER 6:30 - 56

Some snippets about the resources we have in Christ.

He won't send the crowd away hungry, but rather uses the provisions at hand. Two fish and five loaves of bread ... to feed 5,000? NAILED IT! "They all ate and were satisfied."

Lonely frightened disciples in a boat in the middle of a lake with strong winds against them? NAILED IT! He walked on water to tell them, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

And always wherever He went, they carried the sick people to Him. NAILED IT! All who touched Him were healed.


JEREMIAH 29: 5 – 7

“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”





Could we be missing what is right in front of us?

         1 –“ The Pharisees and Saducees came to Jesus and tested Him by asking Him to show them a sign from heaven.”


After Jesus warns them to be careful of the “yeast of the Pharisees and Saducees” the disciples don’t understand and take His warning literally … thinking Jesus was upset that they forgot bread … but Jesus teaches believers.

         12- “Then they understood that He was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Saducees.


After Peter’s confession of Christ as the Son of God …

         17 – “Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

         19 – “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”


The teaching of Christ of what comes next after we confess Him as the Son of God:

         24- 28 – “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

         What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

         For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done.

         I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming into His kingdom.”




Things looking a little crazy in the world today?

Conversations deteriorating into arguments about government?

Too many voices talking over the top of each other?




… there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress


The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

On those living in the land of the shadow of death

                  a light has dawned.


For to us a child is born,

         to us a son is given,

                  and the government will be on His shoulders.


And He will be called

         Wonderful Counselor,

                  Might God

                           Everlasting Father

                                    Prince of Peace


Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.





ISAIAH 30:15 – “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”


PSALM 23: 2 – “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”


PSALM 37:25 – “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”


PSALM 103: 1 – 5:

“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits –

                  who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

                  who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

                  who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”


ISAIAH 26:3 – “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.”


PSALM 9:10 – “Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.”



Some weeds that need rooting out of our heart and conversations as we journey toward a tamer tongue:


Leviticus 19:17 & 18 – “Do not hate your brother in your heart … Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.”


Proverbs 4:24 – “Put away perversity from your mouth (a deliberate desire to behave in an unreasonable or unacceptable way; contrariness); keep corrupt talk far from your lips (having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain)


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


Ephesians 5:4 – “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”


Proverbs 18:8 (and repeated in Proverbs 26:22) – “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” 


Proverbs 10:19 – “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”


Philippians 2:14-16a – “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.”


We talked about our words coming from the overflow of our hearts … here are some verses to help with making the connection.



         Deuteronomy 11:18 – “Fix these words of Mine in your hearts and minds …”

         I Kings 8:61 – “But your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by His decrees and obey His commands at this time.”

         Colossians 3:1 – “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”

         Deuteronomy 6:5 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

         Psalm 119:11 – “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”

         John 14:1 – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.”



         Romans 10:10 – “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

         Proverbs 4:23 – “Above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”

         Proverbs 27:19 – “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”

         Matthew 6:21 – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”



Psalm 51: 10 – “Create in me a pure heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Psalm 19:14 – “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”



GOD'S WORDS -Revealing His Character

As we walk through our 21 day challenge on taming our tongues, we search out a model for our speech. There isn’t a better place to find one than taking a look at what scripture says about God’s Words.


Here are a few for your consideration … feel free to share more.


Both 2 Samuel 22:31 and Proverbs 30:5 –

“The word of God is FLAWLESS.”


Psalm 119:105 –

                  “Your word is a lamp to my feet

                           And a light for my path.”

                  God’s words give guidance.


Hebrews 4:12 –

                  “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

                  God’s words are discerning.


Psalm 119: 130 –

                  “The unfolding of your words gives light;

                  It gives understanding to the simple.”

                  God’s words teach.


Matthew 24:35 –

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."

God’s words are eternal.


Isaiah 55:10 & 11 –

                  "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

         So is My word that goes out from My mouth:

         It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

                  God’s words are nourishing … accomplishing the purposes of God without fail, blessing both the one who speaks them and the ones who receive.


God’s words reveal His character, just as our words reveal our character.  Each word we speak does something … both in our life and in the life of the one who is listening.

This post dedicated to the encouragement of all of us who are walking toward tamer tongues … 



PROVERBS 25:11 – “ A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”


PROVERBS 25: 18 – “Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbor.”


PROVERBS 12:14 – “From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.”


PROVERBS 12:25 – “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”


MATTHEW 12:36 & 37 – “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”