Thursday, May 23, 2013

Growth Opportunities: Tongue Tied

What we allow to come out of our mouths is directly related to our heart conditions.  We have to be so watchful of the things we say.  I have heard many, many sermons over the years about our tongues, the words we speak, etc.  My goal is not to deliver the same information as we have all heard.  My goal is to give us all practical methods of application based on what the Word says so we can move one more step through the purification process. 

I don't know about anyone else, but I have a pretty quick tongue most of the time.  It almost seems like my mouth will speak before my brain has the opportunity to process the thought the mouth is going to blurt out.  I know I am not the only like that.  I am doing some better.  At least I am a little slower to speak and I am learning to consult the Holy Spirit before I do speak.  It is important that I do that, because I can be very mean.  I don't really mean to be, but sometimes I get a little spark of anger and lo and behold out of my mouth pops something deadly for the person in the path of  my destruction.

James says

James 3:8 - But no man can tame the tongue.  It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. our unsaved, unrepentant state we have a wicked heart that is deceitful above all else and a tongue that is evil and full of poison.  That just sounds really hopeless, doesn't it?  Or at least I used to think that.  It makes it seem that we will have no control over what we speak.  Ever. 

That is not the true!  There is hope - with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Yesterday we said that- we have a new heart and a new Spirit after salvation.  God has given us those.  We also saw where we are to guard our hearts.  We do that by being careful with what we see, hear, listen to, participate in, etc.  Putting on the breastplate of righteousness as mentioned in Ephesians 6 will also help us guard our hearts.  We need to guard our hearts so our mouths will be able to speak righteously, and to speak healing, and to speak life.

Luke 6:45 - "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil.  For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." 

The above scripture in Luke is often reduced to the last part..."for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Often, the first part of the scripture is not quoted or put into practice.  If we are guarding our hearts and have repented and have received the redemption Jesus Christ paid for our souls, then we can begin to build the good treasure of our hearts so our tongues speak good things.  Whatever we feed our hearts is what will be in abundance.  In the case of good treasure, we need to be filling our hearts with the Word of God, praise and worship, and prayer time one-on-one with the Lord.  We need to be examining our lives for the influences in them that are not producing good treasure, but instead trying to re-infect our hearts with evil treasure.  We could need to look at the people in our lives.  Maybe some of the relationships we have built need to be severed.  Maybe the type of movies we watch needs to change, or the types of books we read.  It is really all about what edifies and builds us up and what tears us down.

Why is examining our lives and taking inventory of the influences we allow in so important?  They all help to determine the picture of ourselves we put forward.  Our pride plays a big role in what comes out of our mouths and the reflection of our hearts we allow people to see.

James 3:13-16 says:

13 - Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show by good conduct that his words are done in the meekness of wisdom.
14 - But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
15 - This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
16 - For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

Pride, envy, selfish ambition [self-seeking] are all characteristics of the old man that must be put to death.  As saved, redeemed, repentant followers of Christ, we cannot allow these things to remain and embed themselves in the new heart God has given us.  In fact, it is much more serious than just being selfish and exhibiting the selfish behavior with no thought to our fellow man.  Verse 16 says that if we are envious and full of selfish ambition, then confusion dwells in our hearts with every evil thing.  Every evil thing encompasses...well...every evil thing!  It doesn't sound to me as if any evil thing is excluded.  The evil influence remains in our lives if we are not dealing with the things in our lives that are evil treasure.  The evil influence remains in our lives if we continue to rely on our wisdom and understanding but retain envy and self-seeking in our hearts.  Remember, whatever is in abundance of our hearts is what flows from our mouths. 

James 3: 9-11

9 - With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude [likeness] of God.
10 - Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 - Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?

Make the abundance in your heart good treasure so what flows from your mouth is blessings to God and to all men.  The Holy Spirit can help us identify areas in our lives that need to be purified so we can collect and store good treasure in our hearts.  When hurts, attacks, confusion, and any other tool of the enemy come at us, we will have our breastplate of righteousness on and be able to recall the Word of God with which we defeat the enemy.  We will begin to speak life and not death.

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Do you love to talk?  Gossip?  You will eat that fruit.  The treasure in your heart - good or evil - will produce life or death in your words.  What we put into our storehouse determines what flows from our mouths.  Let your choice be life. 

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