Monday, August 20, 2012

Watch Your Mouth

"Watch your mouth" is a popular phrase from mom's. I know it was from mine anyway. As a kid growing up, i probably got tired of hearing that. The tongue is a highly developed organ that is used for taste & speech. But now, i realize that doesn't begin to describe the most powerful organ of our body. Words can be sweet, comforting, healing...or...bitter, piercing & yes, even deadly.

"But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, & these make a man 'unclean'."
Matthew 15:18

Matthew 15:18 tells us that the tongue actually reveals what is in our hearts. Words are an expression of our true nature. What we say reveals who we really are inside & can bring a blessing or a curse to those around us. Our tongue has the potential for both good & bad. It can either honor God or make Him grieve. It can praise God or cause a separation from Him.

"If anyone considers himself religious & yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself & his religion is worthless."
James 1:26 (NIV)

Somewhere in our lives, we are all probably guilty of gossiping & saying things that we regret later. If we don't give God control of our tongues, they can become harmful weapons that can slander, criticize & hurt others. If that happens, as the verse above tells us, our religion is worthless.

As i pondered this verse today, i know that i have been guilty of not giving control of my tongue to God many, many times over the years. But i realized recently that when God is in control of your life & you've asked Him to let His light shine through you, he is in control your tongue & gives you His strength to keep a tight rein on it. He also gives you His wisdom to know what to do & what to say. In a recent situation that came to mind as i pondered this verse, i was getting extremely frustrated with a person. I was about ready to give in to my frustration & let it all out verbally, angrily & defensively. Just in time, i heard, "Walk away. Walk away." And i listened & obeyed. I walked away. And i am so thankful that God lead me away from the situation, or i would have regretted what i was about ready to say.

When we hurt others with words spoken in anger or defense, we are letting our human nature be in control. But when we submit our lives to the Holy Spirit, letting Him be in control, our words & actions are kinder & more understanding.

The tongue can also refer to a unique language of a people or nation. If we are truly God's children, shouldn't we learn to speak His language fluently, so others will know we're related to Him? How awesome to have the resemblance of our Father be recognized!

Monday, August 13, 2012

God's Work - Be It Done Ever So Humbly

We've all heard that pride comes before a fall. But it seems in today's society, we tend to set ourselves up to fall when we start to believe our own press, toot our own horns, & take full credit when it's not deserved.

"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."
Romans 12:13 (NIV)

We can never take credit for the great things that happen in or through us, because we know that God is the One doing the work. Rather, we can be grateful that He is allowing us the privilege of coming along for the ride. People who accomplish the most for God's cause are those who have a clear sense that their success has nothing to do with their talents or abilities. Instead, they keep their eyes & ears open to see where God leads them to do His work.

Since Hubby accepted a Pastor position at our small church, i have been experiencing this everyday. I could have stayed in the comfortable background as a Pastor's wife, or i could accept God's invitation to fill in the empty spots that He put on my heart. So i am taking a joyous journey with our youth group. Had i turned down this invitation, the work would still be done. God would have chosen someone else to do His work. But I am so thankful that He gave me this opportunity.

So when God lays an opportunity on your heart, remember that you WON'T be doing it alone. He will make the time & provide the ways for Him & you to accomplish anything. And you will be amazed where the joyous journey will take you!