17 September 2009

What is Your Mouth Displaying?

What is the one thing on our body that causes the most trouble? Think about this for a moment, what happens when:
You stub your toe
Pinch your finger
Bang your head on something
when you see someone who looks out of place (different)
When your with friends privately or publicly
When your at work each week
When you make a mistake
When you hear bad (upsetting) news
When your in the car
When your at the church
When you are alone with your thoughts 
Jesus said "The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks". Luke 6:45. We read in James letter to believers scattered due to persecution about this very important issue of the tongue (James 3:1-12). Think about it for a moment usually 9 times out of 10 we end up using our tongues to get ourselves in to hot water, which means more trouble then we bargained for (we call this foot in mouth disease). Instead what we should be doing is keeping our mouth silent with a peaceable spirit through the help of our Lord. Again remember what our Lord and Savior said "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid". John MacArthur says “the tongue is YOU in a unique way. It is a tattletale that tells on the heart and discloses the real person. Not only that, but misuse of the tongue is perhaps the easiest way to sin". How does the Bible describe the tongue? We find in scripture the tongue is variously as: Wicked, Deceitful, Perverse, Filthy, Corrupt, Flattering, Slanderous, Gossiping, Blasphemous, Foolish, Boasting, Complaining, Cursing, Contentious, Sensual, Vile and the list is endless, but from these examples it doesn't sound good. See the tongue is a great concern for James and it should be for us as well. This small muscle is capable of many things; It can be used to build up and it can be used to tear down. The use of the tongue is another test of living faith, "But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works". James 2:18. I have 2 questions for us today. Are you displaying proper use of the tongue? Or Are you always using your tongue to do evil ? The only way to find the answers to these questions is through the word of God. The first thing we need to look at is the tongues capability to cause harm, not only to ourselves, but to others as well.
1. The Tongue is Capable of Corruption
Is your tongue constantly being used for evil? What do you mean being used for evil?
1. Is it being used to Gossip?
(Prov 16:27-28) A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
2. Is it being used for Complaining?
(Num 21:4-5) From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food."
3. Is it being used for Selfish Gain?
(2Tim 3:1-5) But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
4. Is it being used for Corruption?
(1John 2:15-17) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

5. Is it being used for Perverse Talk?
(Jude 1:4) For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
6. Is it being used for Blaspheming our Lord?
(Luke 22:63-65) Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?" And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
We MUST always be cautious of our tongue and especially how we are to use it. Its amazing how something so small can cause so much damage to yourself and the people around you. Look at what James said, the tongue is evil and full of wickedness (v8) we must have self control; we must have disciplined lives with the leading of the Holy Spirit; we must be genuine in our speech. Turn over to what James says in 3:2 "For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body". Now this does not mean perfection as in sinless perfection! It means perfect in the sense of MATURITY! Again it's like what James said earlier in his letter 1:3-4 "for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing".
So as we continue do you display any or many of these characteristics? Because if you do you need to check to see where you stand in the Lord Jesus Christ. Why I say that because the genuine believer will not contradict his or her profession of faith, by regular use of unwholesome words. Jesus said you will know them by their fruits (Matt 12:33) "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.
So what is the importance of the Tongue? Why does it get so much attention in the Bible? Because it is suppose to be used for: Praising, Worshipping, Prayer, Building up, Encouraging, Teaching, Communicating Love.
2. The Tongue is Intended for Edification
We are to edify, strengthen one another with love for each other, so that we grow in our walk with Him (Jesus Christ) who is far more important (precious) to us. Edify (means) "the act of building" (oikos, "a home," and demo, "to build"); this is used only figuratively in the NT, in the sense of edification, the promotion of spiritual growth (lit., "the things of building up"). The tongue must be used for the purpose of good not evil, we must bridle our tongues. Bridle (means) "to lead by a bridle, to bridle, to hold in check, restrain;" it is used metaphorically of the tongue and of the body. You can see the passion of James in this text (verse 10) "From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so". We must use it for good, not evil. How do I know that I'm using my tongue for good? 
1. Is it being used for Praising?
(Heb 13:15) Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.
2. Is it being used for Worshipping?
(Rev 7:9-12) After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."

3. Is it being used to Encourage?

(1 Thess 5:12-15) We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
4. Is it being used to Communicate Love?
(Rom 12:13-15) Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
5. Is it being used for Sincere Prayer?
(James 5:16) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Owen Feltham "All men will be Peters in their bragging tongue, and most men will be Peters in their base denial; but few men will be Peters in their quick repentance." The tongue is small and is capable of so much, may we always use it for what it was intended for: To bring our Lord the Glory He so greatly deserves; to help, care for one another through edification and prayer. We are to bridle our tongues; we are to look to God (Holy Spirit) and His sovereign power to overcome or tame (bridle) the tongue; we must live disciplined lives under the authority of what the scripture says. 
The Tongue is Capable of Corruption it's full of evil and poison. The Tongue is Intended for Edification, we are to speak only that which is good and praise worthy. When God transformed us by His sovereign grace, He gave us the capacity for a new redeemed Holy Speech, and remember He expects us as His children (His righteous children) to speak ONLY that which is HOLY and RIGHT "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person". Col 4:6. Paul goes on to say "let NO corrupting talk comes from our mouths (Eph 4:29-30). Always remember a hateful heart is an unconverted heart and it CANNOT and WILL NOT produce loving words or works. Jesus said "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits". Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles Matt 7:15-16. A loving heart is a regenerated heart and it CANNOT and WILL NOT produce hateful words or works "a healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit". Matt 7:18. So How do we answer the 2 question mentioned earlier? Are you displaying proper us of the tongue? Are you always using your tongue to do evil ? The answer "you will know them by there fruits". Can you leave here today and know that my (Mike, Your Name) tongue is being bridled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Or is it untamed and evil, full of hate and sin, a tongue that is full of the world and all its desires and pleasures to fill oneself. Do we have a tongue that is bitter like salt water?Or pure like fresh water? Only you can answer those questions, because I can't see the heart! But He can! To Him be the glory for His goodness and patience with sinners like us. Stop before you hurt someone or better yet yourself.  


1 comment:

John said...

A good reminder, pastor. One that we forget too often.