The Uncontrollable Tongue

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but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison. – James 3:8 ISV

James 3:7-12 ISV

These verses come at the end of a passage that speaks of the tongue and how our inability to control it causes us some many problems.  No human can tame his or her tongue. We can pray about it and we can strive to do it, but it is an impossible task for a human.  Only one man was able to do so and that was Jesus, the God-Man.  Nevertheless, that does not relieve us of the responsibility of asking the Holy Spirit to help us do better every day.  Our goal is to be that person who would never say or do anything to hurt someone else and that is the mark at which we should be aiming. Words that we speak without any intention of hurting anyone are often taken in the wrong way and cause pain to others.  Our prejudices, and we all have them, sometimes lead to a “slip of the tongue”.  Our thoughts lead to words and actions that show our true feelings and attitudes about others.  We need to always pray this prayer

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,  Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. — Psalm 19:14

The things that we talk about most are the things that are truly important to us. The words and actions that we say and do are the fruits of our mindset and our hearts’ desires.  Just as a tree produces fruit after its kind, we will produce like fruit, be it good or evil. Our tongues were made to give praise, glory and honor to our Father in heaven.  Just as He spoke creation into existence, we have the power to speak words of life or death.  Let us always speak the words of life.

 

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” — John 6:68, 69

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-04-2018

Thoughts! Words! Actions!

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26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. — James 1:26, 27 NIV

In the days that James lived and penned this book through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, people were weighed down with ritualistic religions. They were bound by rules that said “you must do this”and “you must not do that”, particularly, in the areas of eating and drinking. Those that did a decent job of following the rules considered themselves to be “religious”.  They attended the services at the temples or synagouges and prayed at the right times, etc. Much like today, when we go to church on Sunday morning for a couple of hours and mumble a few (if any) prayers or spend anytime reading the Holy Scriptures during the week.  We seem to feel that if we do those things, we are fulfilling our duties as Christians. We can spend the other 166 hours of the week doing whatever we please. We can gossip, criticize and say and do all kinds of things. We Christians would never steal, kill or destroy, we don’t commit the “big” sins. But the two areas in which we do fall short are in our speech and in our “not doing”.  Jesus gave us a solemn warning about the things we say:

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” — Matt. 15:10
We must take this warning seriously and be very careful of what we say. There are also many verses about how we should treat others. Jesus says that if we see a brother or sister in need and take care of that need for them, it is the same as doing it for Him. If we don’t take care of that need, it is the same as refusing to do it for Him.  Helping others is how we show them the love of Jesus Christ. It is these actions that will draw others to Jesus.

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. — 1 John 3:16, 17

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-01-2018

Full of Deadly Poison

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Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God — James 3;9 NLT

We must always be careful with our words. Somehow, we have gotten into the bad habit of thinking that every word said to us needs a quick reply. It is those knee-jerk responses that get us into trouble most times. We need to take the time to consider what we have just heard and weigh its meaning. What is the situation? What is the tone of voice? Did we hear correctly? In our “busy” lifestyle nowadays, we have to have a lot more patience and consider the other person’s perspective.
Our words should always be uplifting and encouraging. Our lips should bless and not curse. The words we say should always be a “sweet, sweet sound” in the ears of God, then we know they will be pleasing to others. God listens and hears every word we say. Let our words be sweet cool water to a tortured soul. Then people will know what we have in our hearts.

For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.–Matt 12:34b (NLT)


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-03-2017

Worse Than Worthless Words

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26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. –James 1:26 NLT

I wish I had never said that! Sound familiar? Unfortunately, our spoken words are like our texts and our emails, once we have hit the send button, we can’t get them back. Words can pierce us to depths of our heart and the wounds are slow to heal, if they heal at all. In the carpenter trade (which Jesus was very familiar with), they have a saying” “measure twice, cut once”. Of course, the implication is that if you take the time to measure correctly, you want have to cut the lumber again. That would be a good rule for us to follow in our conversations. Think twice about what we are about to say before we say it and maybe no one will get cut to the bone. We should choose words that build up and create rather than destroy. We need to show our faithfulness to Jesus by caring for those around us that need our help. Not just physically and materially, but also spiritually. We need to walk carefully so that we are not corrupted.

Galatians 6:1-4 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-27-2017

What is Good?

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8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. — Micah 6:8 NLT
 
These three requirements seem fairly simple. When we read them, we probably think that we already do these. And perhaps, to some extent, we do. Justice and kindness are things that we do naturally, right? What about the thoughts and the words that we speak when others are not around, are they just and kind? When someone wrongs you, are your thoughts of mercy or revenge? When you see others being mistreated, are you willing to get involved, regardless of the personal cost (Think of the Good Samaritan)? Walk humbly is the really tough one. Are we humble enough to give of our resources, of ourselves, of our abundance and of our time to help others? Even to the point of dying for them? And, if we do these things, are they to show others how righteous we are? Every good gift comes down from the Father above. When we share those gifts with others, we are laying up rewards in heaven.
Walk humbly with our God? Help me to do that, Jesus!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-09-2016

The Holy Spirit Brings Life

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21 The tongue can bring death or life;  those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
— Proverbs 18:24

Words are powerful. God spoke the world into existence and He gave Jesus all authority in heaven and earth. Jesus gave that authority to us.  So, we have the power to speak words of life and blessing or to speak words of death and cursing.  Do your words produce life or death?  Since we are indwelt by the Triune God, we have the words of life. The world needs something to believe in and hang onto. Speak words of life to those around you and you will not only bless them, but you will find as you speak those words and they become real to you, your attitude improves.  The Beatitudes are called that because speaking blessings should always be our attitude. James warns us that the tongue is a dangerous weapon that we are unable to control. 

We must allow the Holy Spirit to control it for us and it will produce fruit that brings forth life.  Let the fruits of the Spirit rule over you and you will become a life-giving stream to your family and friends.
Post 10-15-2016

I Surrender All

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1  O Lord, I give my life to you. — Psalm 25:1 NLT

Psalm 25:1-7 NLT

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to abide within our hearts and minds.  God has sent Him to be our guide and our teacher.  If we are sincere about our repentance and listen to His teachings, we will soon discover that Jesus wants to be not only our Savior, but also our Lord. If we are going to allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives, there will have to be some changes made.  We are becoming new creatures and that requires tearing down the old.  We have new hearts inhabited by a new master.  He also wants to renew our minds.  Jesus, better than anyone, understands that the true battlefield is the mind.  It is where our thoughts and ideas originate. We have to learn to control our thoughts and imaginations and bring them all into the obedience of Christ Jesus.  Once our thought patterns change, our words and actions will change and our words and actions will let those around know which God we serve.  

 2 Cor. 10:3-6 NIV

Post 07-17-2016