Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Cleaning up the Tongue by John

CLEANING UP THE TONGUE (JAMESBS6.ser)
James 1:5, 3:6,8,12,13,18

1. The Jews always considered wisdom as coming from God. (Perhaps they learned that lesson from Adam! There’s no OJT for wisdom!)
2. James says fruits reveal their parent trees in 3:12.
3. In 3:18, James says “the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (We’ll discuss this verse later).
4. These verses only contain clues about how we should go about “CLEANING UP THE TONGUE.”
5. Let’s use these, and see if we can make some practical applications. We’ll look at some of the other statements, too.

I. GET READY TO CONTROL YOUR TONGUE.

1. The tongue is a fire. It can cause a raging inferno in moments. ill. When I was in high school during the early years of WWII, I camped out a lot of weekends so I could hunt. The first time at supper time, I gathered everything I needed to start a cooking fire, laid it, and lit it. I was thinking about bacon and eggs when I discovered the leaves had caught fire all around! As quick as I stamped out one place another blazed up. I remembered a movie where they made a fire-break to stop a forrest fire. That’s what I did. After that I always swept the leaves away before I built my fire!
2. Our text told you what your tongue can do. Get ready to control it!
(1) Learn to avoid situations you know will spur you into using bad language, telling bad stories, or gossiping to other’s harm!
(2) When you know you are going to be in a situation where you would ordinarily have used bad language in the past. Be determined! Keep your cool!
a. Pray about it!
b. If you fail, don’t give up, confess your sin, and start over. ill. Have you ever seen an ant lion? They make little cone shaped holes in the dust, and they trap and eat ants. If they can’t catch an ant when he falls into their trap, they throw dirt at him and knock him back down. I watched an ant one day. He would almost get away, and then he would get knocked down by the dirt that lion threw at him. After about 10 times, I was betting on the ant lion. After all, the ant was playing his game! But that ant lion went hungry because the ant never gave up! He got away!
(3) Learn to express yourself better!
a. Build your vocabulary up. Read the dictionary. Work cross-words.
b. Learn to use inflection for emphasis.
c. Learn how to gesture.
d. Learn to change the volume and pitch of your voice. ill. A 4 yr old boy wandered into my yard and proceeded to help me work. In a few moments his mother called him. He ignored her. (repeat 2x). I said, “Don’t you think you had better go? Your mother must want you.” “No she doesn’t!” he said, “If she wanted me, it would be a lot louder!”
3. Deep feelings need to be expressed, and if we know the language, we can do it without cursing.
4. If we have good motives, we can do it without harm! We must remember that curses come out of the heart and intend harm to
someone.

II. THE BEST DEFENSE IS A POSITIVE OFFENSE.

1. No natural man could have walked around the city of Jericho and made the walls fall down! Neither can a natural man tame the tongue!
2. Christians are not natural, worldly people. I Cor. 2:14 says, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
3. Christians are supernatural people saved by Jesus, indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit! Christians can tame the tongue!
4. How? Imitate Jesus! It’s not easy, but it is possible! ill. I never ever heard my father use a curse word. I did hear him call a man a dirty name face to face! I’m sure it came back to haunt him. Several years later, he heard me call another man that same name! I had a problem with my language. In the Navy I learned to talk like a sailor, then Jesus saved me, and I had to learn to use godly language! I don’t think my children have ever heard me use a curse word, but I’m aware they still may, if I forget to be like Jesus for even one moment!

III. POSITIONS OF STRENGTH MAKE STRONG ATTACKS POSSIBLE

1. Now we are back to the tree! If you want to control your tongue, you’re going to have to attack the devil. He’s the tempter, and you have to beat him.
2. The only way to do that is to change sides! You have to join Jesus! He is the only one Who has the strength to defeat Satan, but He can and will do it every time!
3. He is the Vine, you are the branches! When you abide in Him you have His strength. He gives it to you.
4. What happens then, when Christians can’t control their language? They’ve pulled loose from the Vine!
5. How can you guard against it?
(1) Fellowship with Christians a lot! (Not exclusively) You get strength from them.
(2) Develop a daily prayer and devotion time.
(3) Ingest the Word of God every way you can.
(4) And the fourth one is in v. 18.
6. V. 18. Become a “fruit” sower. We think of planting seed in the ground, not the harvest, but the Greek here really says, “But the fruit of righteousness is sown by those that make peace.” “Seed” in Gk is sperma, literally “a remnant.” “Fruit” is ˇkarpon.ˇ
7. We, as Christians, sow the fruit we bear in the world. The world sees the fruit of our lives, hears the fruit of our lips, and these become the seed which bear the fruit of salvation in their lives.
8. When we begin to take responsibility for others, we will find we have good enough reason to prepare our language, to imitate Jesus, to make strong attacks upon the world and the devil from our position of strength in Jesus!

CONCLUSION:

1. Be sure Jesus is your Lord and Savior.
2. Begin to prepare yourself to talk His language.
3. Do all you can to learn about Jesus, and imitate Him.
4. Stop being on the defense! Strike out at the world and the devil from your position of strength in Jesus!

Emmanuel 3/6/2005

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