Volume VI, Number 44
In this issue:
The Holy Spirit through James cautions us that the tongue is “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” which “no man can tame” (Jas. 3:8). This does not mean we cannot gain mastery over the tongue, for verse 2 of the same chapter affirms that “if anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body” (Jas. 3:2). It does mean we must always be vigilant in our control of our tongue or we are headed for great trouble. Given free rein, our words can and do poison our relationships with people as well as God. To “see good days” we must “refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit” (1 Pet. 3:10). And again, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Prov. 21:23).
The difficulty with taming the tongue is due to its inseparable connection to the heart. The decision to control the tongue is really a decision to control the heart. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matt. 12:34-35). We must honestly and humbly consider and accept that the words we choose to speak are a true reflection of what is in our heart, and thus is a true reflection of who we are: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). Only then will we be able to correct sinful speech with any lasting success.
We must tame our tongues from speaking falsehoods: “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’” (Eph. 4:25). We must embed truth deep within our hearts, for “he who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit” (Prov. 12:17). And, “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
We must tame our tongues from using idle words: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). Idle words include profanity, vulgarity and other crude expressions of speech. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth” (Eph. 4:29). The Christian’s language is to be “seasoned with salt,” not salted with rudeness and crudeness (Col. 4:6).
We must tame our tongues from sowing discord: “A worthless person, a wicked man, Walks with a perverse mouth…Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually, He sows discord…therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing” (Prov. 6:12, 14-15). Gossip, backbiting and whispering: these are uses of the tongue that reveal a perverse heart the Lord will not ignore. And why not? Because the Lord “hates…one who sows discord among brethren” (Prov. 6:16, 19). Cleanse your heart of malice, envy and pride so your words will edify rather than tear people down (Eph. 4:31, 29).
God, who knows our hearts, knows the words we are using. One day we will give account to Him for our words, and they will either justify us or condemn us (Mt. 12:37). Which course are you choosing by your words?
Would you parade down the street “dressed like a prostitute” (Prov. 7:10--NIV)? Most ladies would say, “No!” Still, some of them saunter about in clothing which transforms their bodies into pornographic billboards. Immoral women paste themselves with heavy make-up and adorn their bodies in such a way as to incite the look and leer of a lusting man. (Now, don’t tell me you don’t know how a prostitute dresses! How do the movies dress a woman whose character is that of a whore?)
Often, in days gone by, when a man dressed up, one would say, “You look like a preacher.” That meant, of course, that he was dressed in a suit and tie. So, we know the stereotype; we know what it means to be “dressed like a preacher.” One may dress “like a preacher,” and one may dress “like a prostitute.”
What do your clothes say about you? Make no mistake about it, your clothes do make a statement! Who has not heard it said, “He looks like a bum”? Clothes speak! Dress declares, whether for good or ill, whether fairly or unfairly, something about you. Ladies who are Christians should “adorn themselves with proper clothing...as befits women making a claim to godliness” (1 Tim. 2:9, 10). There is clothing that is improper. There is clothing that does not fit the character of one who claims to be godly. Do you wear such clothing?
To all men and women, the command that we “be not conformed to this world” includes our attire (Rom. 12:2). “Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil. 1:27).
(Brother Hafley will be preaching the gospel in Tacoma each night this week at 7:30.)
Perhaps I cannot dry your tears. Then let me cause you to smile. If I cannot take away your sorrow, let me help you to bear it (Gal. 6:2; Heb. 13:1-3). When grief threatens to darken your way, I pray that I may bring a ray of light to brighten your path. When disappointments and defeats produce discouragement and despair, let me console and comfort. Then, look with me and let us open another door of opportunity. Allow me to help you pick up the pieces, and let us go on to other hopes, to achieve dreams never before considered.
When sin and evil have scarred your conscience, and marred your soul, let me point you unto him who has forgiven my sins. Look with me (not to me) to him who will hear, help, and heal (Matt. 11:28-30).
When poverty empties you, I trust that I can enrich your heart, if not your pocketbook. Let us both realize that some rich men are morally and spiritually bankrupt, while some poor men possess the precious jewels of life, all ‘the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Col. 2:3).
When anger and frustration seek to embitter you, let me help you to mend a relationship and to handle challenges with grace and steadfast patience.
When illness comes, let me nurse you back to health with the medicine of the heart, with the salve of the soul.
And when age and time takes its inexorable toll, take my hand and pray that the Lord may grant us both the strength to support and be supported.
Finally, when life is no more, may the grace of God that sustained us continue to assist us unto life eternal. Amen.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
The Demands of Repentance
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 7:2-12
I. SOME BASICS ABOUT REPENTANCE.
The Definition of “Repentance” - Acts 26:20; 2 Cor. 7:10; Rev. 9:20-21.
II. SOME REAL DEMANDS ARE PLACED ON THE PERSON WHO REPENTS – Lk. 3:8-14.
First, There Must Be a Desire to Repent – Lk. 3:10; Acts 2:37; 2 Cor. 7:10.
-When a sinner repents you can tell it! – 2 Cor. 7:1
1. Diligence – Haste,
with care, to correct the sin.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
The Christian's Relation to Jesus
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 3:1-6
I. JESUS IS THE APOSTLE OF OUR CONFESSION – Heb. 3:1.
Sent by the Father (with a word & a work) – Jno. 5:36; 7:25-29.
II. JESUS IS THE HIGH PRIEST OF OUR CONFESSION – Heb. 3:1.
The High Priest is Appointed for Men to Offer Gifts & Sacrifices for Sins –
Heb. 5:1, 3 (cf. Aaron & sins, Heb. 5:4; Num. 3:10).
III. JESUS IS THE SON OVER GOD’S HOUSE – Heb. 3:2-6.
In the Church we are Brethren with Christ - Heb. 2:11-12 (Psa. 22:22).
When You Hear the Name "Moab"
In southeastern Utah there is a small town named Moab which is world-renown for its red rock scenery and outdoor recreation, including hiking, mountain biking and four-wheeling. Its citizens are now concerned that the name of a bomb in the U.S. military’s arsenal will effect people’s impression of their tourist community. The bomb’s acronym is MOAB, short for “massive ordnance air bust.”
“We realize that it is an acronym, but we are still concerned about the effects it may have on our community. Moab relies on tourism both domestic and foreign and has worked for many years and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to create an image that 'Moab' is a destination,” a letter from the Grand County Council said.
Mayor Dave Sakrison told Reuters, “We've invested a lot of time effort to put our city in the best possible light. It's noted as a recreation area. This just kind of has taken us aback.”
If the good citizens of Moab want to put their city in the “bet possible light” then we suggest they change the name of their town. For those who are familiar with the Biblical root and history of Moab one would find little reason to name their town after it, save for the fact that it was located beyond the Jordan, southeast of Jerusalem and east of the Dead Sea.
The nation of Moab began in the moral degeneracy of the firstborn daughter of Lot, whose plan to get her father drunk and lay with him to preserve his lineage produced a son she named “Moab.” The nation which sprung from his loins was idolatrous and given to harlotry (Num. 25:1-3). Moab was an obstacle before God’s people Israel throughout the period of the Old Testament, at various times subjugating and warring against them (Judges 3:12-30; 2 Sam. 8:2; 2 Kgs. 3). Moab would become a derision before the nations because of her unjust treatment of ancient Israel (Jer. 48:26-27). The Moabites are described by God’s prophets as a prideful, wrathful people against whom the Lord would render just punishment (Isa. 16:6; Jer. 48:29). “And Moab shall be destroyed as a people, because he exalted himself against the Lord” (Jer. 48:42).
Ironic, isn’t it? I wonder whether the early Mormon settlers of southern Utah even considered the impression left by the name “Moab” as a result of its Biblical origin and references? To avoid wrong impressions, maybe “Moab” should not have been chosen in the first place.
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 03/08/2003
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