Don Goulding - Blog

Words

“You must repent of such words and thoughts!

If you do, I will restore you to the privilege of serving me.

If you say what is worthwhile instead of what is worthless,

I will again allow you to be my spokesman.” (Jeremiah 15:19)

Words are conceived in the soul. They gestate among the convolutions of the brain, develop in the vocal cords, and are delivered into the world by way of the mouth. Because words originate in the hearts of beings who will live forever, each word is eternal. After the air ceases to vibrate with the sound, words live on in the spiritual realm.

Words contain power. God created the universe by speaking words. With words he made us after his image—beings with power in our own words. We can bless and curse, construct with truth, and destroy with lies. Destinies are altered, wars begun, and nations forged because of words. Is it any wonder God calls us to repent and utter only worthy words? 

Jesus is at the nexus of two megaphones. The whole of God’s wisdom and creative power enter the wide end of the first cone and compress into the person of Jesus. The other megaphone aims its wider opening at us. Jesus speaks into it of all God is and how he loves us. Most of his words blow past—and yet, as his love penetrates our soul, a few truths are conceived. New words gestate. These newly birthed utterances have God’s genetic heritage in them.

What a privilege to receive and give out the truth of God. It’s the miracle of procreating words with God.

Prayer: Jesus, Word of God, speak to me and through me today.

Gem of Joy

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

Back in my business days, I met with industry leaders at exotic locations. We stayed in five-star hotels with every amenity. The halls were graced with pieces of art, each worth more than most people will make in a lifetime. More recently, I ministered in hovels, slept in mud huts, and ate whatever the poor could offer. God allowed me to experience the gamut so I might discover a vital truth.

Joy doesn’t come from circumstances—rather, it comes from a treasure I clutch to my heart in any place and any setting. This prize is a multifaceted spiritual gemstone I must never let out of my grasp. The name of my gem is “Faith in Christ,” and whether I’m coddled in extravagance or deprived by poverty, I curl around my jewel and shut out the world.

I turn the stone in my hands and ponder each facet. One side sparkles the truth that I’m forgiven. Other facets shine paradise and release from the curse into my eyes. Perfect, stunning, lovely warmth from the Holy Spirit glows from my treasure and into my soul. Absorbed by this great trophy, I care little if the roof above me is gilded in gold or peeling in decay.

I can’t live without the luminance I clutch to my core. It’s my future. I can live without present recognition, health, or abundance—but not without the future radiating from my gem.

Prayer: Lord, I wrap myself around the treasure of you.

Atmosphere of Grace

“Arise! Shine! For your light arrives!

The splendor of the Lord shines on you!

For, look, darkness covers the earth

and deep darkness covers the nations,

but the Lord shines on you;

his splendor appears over you.” (Isaiah 60:1, 2)

The surface temperature of our sun is 5778 K. White-hot gasses, light, and energy particles erupt from the massive sphere in every direction, including toward earth. Solar radiation destined for our planet should destroy all life down to the most resilient microorganisms. On the second day of creation, however, God made an atmosphere to absorb our sun’s incinerating heat. The air and magnetic field around us—invisible as they are—protect the world from the eradication of organic life.

Jehovah is the wholly righteous God. His blinding righteousness radiates toward everything in creation. Guilt can no more withstand his burning holiness than a twig would endure on the sun. Sin, imperfection, and lies are engulfed in flames when they touch God’s righteous light. He may tolerate my polluted heart while I float in this bubble of time, but it will soon pop. I must face him and see my unrighteousness turned to ash.

From the epicenter of Golgotha, a supernatural atmosphere poured from the Messiah. Ether with the power to absorb God’s righteous judgment streamed out to cover the earth. The heat of Divine contempt for our betrayal was taken into the shield that is Jesus. This blanket of grace reached forward and back in time to protect repentant sinners throughout history.

The foundation of existence is still righteousness, but now it’s buffered by Grace. God filters the intensity of his holiness through Jesus, so we don’t burst into flames. With Christ Jesus overshadowing me, I can finally begin to reconcile my life to God’s burning light.

Prayer: Great Jehovah, thank you for righteousness covered by grace.