Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on

The Hebrew word for the Jewish people is Yehudim. It means praise, thanksgiving and worship. A Jewish existence is that of praise and worship, thankful for all they have. How then did the name, Jew, become a profane term or a curse word? Because of sin–our own selfish, self-centered choices to live for ourselves and not God.

Jesus’ life as King of the Jews is a perfect example of Yehudim–praise, thanksgiving and worship. Yet, He was hated, persecuted and finally crucified. The sign over His head on the cross said, “King of the Jews,” and that is what He was/is. Jesus lived and taught what it is like to live for God. He lived a life of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus’ life was that of praise and worship. Even in death on the cross He glorified the Father in Heaven. His resurrection was an act of giving and faithfulness.


Jesus was not destroyed by all the evil attempts on His life. He overcame evil with good. He blessed those who cursed Him. He even died for their forgiveness. If this is how Jesus lived, believers are called to live by His example. We are to be Yehudim–praising and worshiping God, thankful for all we have.


Thank you Father God for Jesus. Help us to live our lives by His example and teaching. Empower us with your strength and boldness to stand firm in this dark world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Talking Sapphires

Collection of lovely blue rough and uncut sapphire gemstones.

The Hebrew root of the word “sapphire” is to speak, to tell, to declare. I think of God’s word as a precious jewel. What if every word that came out of our mouths were jewels of love, compassion, mercy, inspiration, encouragement or blessing.

Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).


We can bless or curse by the things we say. The spoken or written word becomes indelible in people’s hearts and minds. “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:5-7). We can choose instead to speak good to people. “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words God” (1 Peter 4:11). Choose today to bless and not to curse with what you say.


Thank you, Holy Lord, for the way you made us. Help us to be aware of what we say to people. Help us to be more like Jesus–to bless and show compassion and not hatred or malice. In Jesus’ name, Amen.