Our lives are fed and framed by the words that come out of our mouths. Words invoke the spirit realm into action. Words either advance God’s kingdom or Satan’s kingdom. Words can bring life or death into any circumstance, problem or challenge in life. Our mouths are the key to the quality and depth of our lives and hold the key to our spiritual growth and development as Christians. The words that flow out of our mouth are an indication of the true condition of our heart. We have an ultimate arsenal and weapon of victory and that is our mouth, our jawbone, confessing and believing the Word of God and like Samson we can slew a thousand of the enemy’s best strategies and schemes as not one devil spirit in the host of hell can stand against a Holy Spirit-charged mouth that speaks the Word of God with bold faith and confidence. But as Christians we have allowed our mouths to be patterned and molded by the world so they speak just like the world speaks. For too long, Christians have allowed their mouths to be full of fear, anxiety, distrust, deceit, pride, jealously, ignorance, bitterness, unforgiveness, envy, strife, selfishness, unthankfulness, condemnation, hatred, gossip, grumbling and complaining. Not only does this destroy your life, but it destroys your witness for Christ. Our mouths should be sanctified and come out from the world and reflect the heart of God and the purity and love of Christ.
It has been said that the “tongue” is one of the most exercised muscles of our body. It has been estimated that in a typical week, the average person will speak enough words to fill a 500 page book! However, for the Christian, the use of the tongue must be a matter of careful forethought and discipline. The Bible warns that believers who do not bring restraint to their tongue and speech have been deceived — and without such control over their words, their religious acts are worthless and hypocritical. “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (James 1:26). It is a deception for any of us to think that Jesus can be Lord over our life, without also becoming Lord over our tongue.
This wonderful study will examine the importance of our tongue and our mouth and what they are full of? What overflows out of your mouth daily? What flows out of your mouth at work, at home, in your marriage, in your church and in your relationships? What flows out of your mouth about your God? Our mouths have been garbage containers for way too long and it is time to empty the trash container permanently and fill it with the awesome good things of God, the beauty of His splendor, the praise of His mighty works and the grace that He has freely given us. The theme section or foundation of this teaching is in Psalm 71.
Psalm 71:8: My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long.
Does your mouth declare God’s splendor all day long? Or is it full of complaints, grumblings, dissatisfaction, anger and fear?
I want you to read and meditate on this magnificent Psalm 71 and the inspiring truths that it proclaims. Psalm 71 declares ten things are mouths should be full of daily and we should be speaking about all the time:
1) God’s praise 2) God’s splendor 3) God’s righteous deeds 4) God’s saving acts
5) God’s mighty acts 6) God’s marvelous deeds 7) God’s power 8) God’s faithfulness
9) The joy of the Lord 10) God’s righteous acts
How many of these wonderful things have you experienced? More than you will could even number my friend. Not only do we see the splendor of God and these ten things revealed in His Word, but if we open our eyes and look, we would see these ten awesome works occurring in our lives daily. How we have may God to small! Oh how we have failed to see the greatness of our God! Oh how we have limited Him in our thinking and in our knowledge and have utterly failed to see just how big, how majestic, how grand and how wonderful our God is. Start training your mouth to utter these awesome truths daily and see the transformation in every area of your life. See how God becomes closer, your relationship deepens, your thankfulness abounds and your words reflect His glory.
Look at these awesome verses on the mouth and the tongue.
Psalm 19:14 (NIV) May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
This should be the verse for our spiritual check-up daily that the words of our mouth and the mediation of our heart be pleasing to our Lord.
Psalm 40:3: (NIV): He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.
The song in our mouth; the words that we are full of can exhibit the greatness and goodness of God for others to see and inspire them to put their trust in the Lord or our words can drive people away from God’s heart because of their venom, poison and fear. Our words literally can lead people to Christ or push them away.
Psalm 89:1 (NIV): I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
When was the last time your mouth was full of God’s faithfulness?
Psalm 81:10 (Amplified): I am the Lord your God, Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
Who do you want to fill your mouth, God or the world?
Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
We eat of the fruit of our tongue all the days of our lives and this verse literally proclaims a mind-boggling truth that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Most of the devil’s attack comes through words where he proclaims false accusations, deceit, lies and confusion. The fiery darts of spiritual warfare are often words. We don’t want to assist him by having our mouth full of the same deadly things.
Proverbs 21:23 (NIV): He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles.
We should frame this verse and hang it on our mirror. We must as Christians guard our mouths and keep our tongues with the help of God Almighty. Often the trouble we are experiencing is because we recklessly opened our mouth without even the thought of guarding it.
Psalm 141:3 (ESV): Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
What is coming out of the door of your lips?
Psalm 17:3 (HSCB): You have tested my heart; You have visited by night; You have tried me and found nothing [evil]; I have determined that my mouth will not sin.
Our mouths lead us into sin more than any member of our body.
II Samuel 23:1,2(NIV):These are the last words of David: “The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse, the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, the hero of Israel’s songs:
“The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
The Spirit of the Lord can inspire and lead our tongue to where His word is flowing from our lips.
Our mouth should not be like the wicked person:
Psalm 10:7 (NIV): His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.
Proverbs 4:24 (NIV): Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
God would not command this if we could not do it in His strength and power.
The standard of the unbeliever and the world. This section of Scripture is the Magna Carta of the sin nature: Romans 3:10-18 (NIV):
10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”]
Verse 13: Amplified: Their throat is a yawning grave; they use their tongues to deceive (to mislead and to deal treacherously). The venom of asps is beneath their lips.
NLT: “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their speech is filled with lies.” “The poison of a deadly snake drips from their lips.”
“Their mouth (words) is like the odor of a newly opened grave.”
Tombs were sealed not only to show respect for the deceased, but to hide the sight and stench of the body’s decay. The full import of this picture can only be appreciated in hot climates like the Middle East. Imagine the effect of the oppressive heat on decaying flesh! An ugly picture is being painted. As an unsealed tomb allows those who pass to see and smell what is inside, the unregenerate man’s open throat—that is, the foul words that come from it—reveal the decay of his heart.
In describing asps William Newell writes that
“The fangs of a deadly serpent lie, ordinarily, folded back in its upper jaw, but when it throws up its head to strike, those hollow fangs drop down, and when the serpent bites, the fangs press a sack of deadly poison hidden “under its lips,” at the root, thus injecting the venom into the wound. You and I were born with moral poison-sacks like this. And how people do claim the right to strike others with their venom-words! to use their snake-fangs!”
Verse 14: Two things are mouths should never be full of are cursing and bitterness.
Cursing (ara) (only here in the NT) originally it meant a wish, a petition, a prayer, but from the time of Homer it came to mean a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one, an imprecation (invocation of evil upon another), a curse which the deity was to execute. Eventually ara came to mean a malediction, the evil invoked, the mischief itself, the realized curse. In Greek mythology Ara was personified as the goddess of destruction and revenge. Cursing refers to wanting the worst for someone and publicly expressing that desire in caustic, derisive language. It represents open, public expression of emotional hostility against one’s enemy.
Bitterness (pikría from pikrós from pik- = to cut, prick) originally meant pointed or sharp, e.g., of arrows then more generally of what is “sharp” or “penetrating” to the senses, a bitter, pungent taste or smell and then what is “painful” to the feelings.
Pikria was used literally to describe plants that produced inedible or poisonous fruit. Greeks defined this word as long-standing resentment, as the spirit which refuses to be reconciled. So many of us have a way of nursing our wrath to keep it warm, of brooding over the insults and the injuries which we have received.
In the NT pikria is used in a metaphorical sense to describe animosity, resentfulness, harshness or an openly-expressed emotional hostility against an enemy. Pikria defines a settled hostility that poisons the whole inner man. Somebody does something we do not like, so we harbor ill will against him. Bitterness leads to wrath, which is the explosion on the outside of the feelings on the inside.
Bitterness reflects a smoldering resentment, a brooding grudge–filled attitude, an unwillingness to forgive or a harsh feeling. Bitterness is the opposite of sweetness and kindness (cf. husbands toward wives in Colossians 3:19 – see note). It harbors resentment and keeps score of wrongs (cf 1Cor 13:5)
Pikría or bitterness: It is the spirit of irritability that keeps a person in perpetual animosity, making him sour and venomous. Bitterness applies to the bitterness of spirit to which men give vent by bitter words.
Ephesians 4:29-32: Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.
30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).
31Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).
32And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.
Amplified: Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.
Unwholesome (sapros from sepo = cause to decay, to putrefy, to rot away, be corrupted) describes that which is rotten, putrefying, corrupt, disgusting, perishing, rank, foul, putrid, worthless (e.g., in Mt 7:17,18 = fruit, in Mt 13:48 = fish). In secular writings sapros was used to describe spoiled fish, rotten grapes on the ground, crumbling stones. The basic meaning relates to the process of decay. Sapros is used of things unusable, unfit, bad. It describes that which is harmful due to the fact that it is corrupt and corrupting or defiling.
Paul presents a picture of the repugnant (and non-edifying) nature of our old self’s “old garment” of rotten speech, which like rotten fruit or fish (now that’s a smell you really want to avoid), will not nourish anyone. Instead the rotten fare contaminates, sickens, smells foul and creates an unpleasant atmosphere for all who come near. Using this vivid metaphor Paul commands believers to put off speech like one would toss out rotten fruit or fish!
In Psalm 64:3 the tongue is called “a sword.” This sword has certainly damaged, bruised, wounded, and killed more people than all the swords in all the wars since history began. You’ve seen it many times. That newly married couple – so lovey-dovey for days and days on end. But one day the fellow lost his temper and slashed into the heart and affections of his wife with uncontrollable anger and with words he might regret forever. But it was said. The damage was done. How often we need to remember that old saying: We cannot call back the arrow we’ve shot into the air, the water under the bridge, or the spoken word. One of the earliest poems I ever learned was:
Angry words, O let them never
From the tongue, unbridled slip.
With the soul’s best impulse
Ever check them,
Ere they soil the lips.
Angry words are quickly spoken,
Bitter thoughts are rashly stirred.
Fondest links of life are broken.
By a single angry word.
Is there something that could be numbered greater than the incomprehensible amount of stars in the heavens? What about the sands by the sea, every blade of grass, or we could add all of these things together. There would still be something that would exceed them in number! It’s the things said by this little monster called the tongue. This uncontrollable little red rebel that lives in a red cave guarded by two rows of white soldiers called teeth. Think about how many words are being spoken today just over all the telephones worldwide. And how about all the words slung around the globe by our TVs and radios? The tongue has done more damage than any other instrument in the human body.
James 1:26: Barclay: If anyone thinks that he is a worshipper of God and yet does not bridle his tongue, his worship is an empty thing.
Heibert: If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
KJV: If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
NLT: If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
Phillips: If anyone appears to be “religious” but cannot control his tongue, he deceives himself and we may be sure that his religion is useless.
Bridle (chalinagogeo from chalinos = a bridle + ago = to lead) literally means to guide with a bridle. It signifies the picture of one leading or alternately restraining by use of a bridle, in the present context the latter nuance being emphasized. The present tense indicates continuous action. In other words, James describes the one whose tongue is habitually unbridled! For anyone who has every been around horses and put a bridle in the horse’s mouth in order to lead and guide this massive and powerful animal, the picture James draws is indeed striking! It says a great deal about the power of this little member of our body.
I said, “I will guard my ways, That I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle, While the wicked are in my presence.” (Ps 39:1)
That I sin not with my tongue. Tongue sins are great sins; like sparks of fire ill words spread, and do great damage. If believers utter hard words of God in times of depression, the ungodly will take them up and use them as a justification for their sinful courses. If a man’s own children rail at him, no wonder if his enemies’ mouths are full of abuse. Our tongue always wants watching, for it is restive as an ill broken horse; but especially must we hold it in when the sharp cuts of the Lord’s rod excite it to rebel.
James 3 is a commentary and admonition on an area of a person’s life that no one has successfully tamed: the tongue. God has created us with an instrument that can sing His praises yet curse His name. Our tongues compliment and criticize, comfort and offend, instruct and deceive. Since giving our lives to God, however, we have embarked on a lifelong task to tune this instrument to harmonize with God’s melody. And what an arduous and intensive task that is!
The first twelve verses of James 3 inform us how strong and wild this “little member” is in each of us. Like a bit controls a horse, or a rudder turns a huge ship, the tongue has the ability to do things far beyond its size. It can start wars, condemn innocents, ruin lives and careers, separate friends and family, and worst of all, lead others to throw away their salvation. It is so vital that we control the use of our tongue!
Here is James chapter 3 is the great “handbook on tongue control”…
2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3 Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well.4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh.
When the doctor examines us, one of the first things he does to determine our physical condition is to say “Stick out your tongue!” James is saying in a sense “Stick out your tongue so I can assess the condition of your heart”. This principle applies to the life of the person whose religion is pure and undefiled, for the tongue reveals what is in our heart.
In a Hebrew culture, a man would rather die than lose his reputation. In fact, loss of reputation was serious social leprosy. An outcast, rejected, often feared, repulsive and alone – such a man wandered the edges of community, without home or comfort. There are worse things than death. Ask the liar, the adulterer or the thief.
In Psalm 35:12, the psalmist is attacked by verbal terrorists. These are edei hamas, literally, testifiers of violence. They use words as weapons of assault, destroying the reputation of their victims. In the Hebrew culture, these people might as well have been carrying backpack bombs. The damage they inflict is far worse than death or dismemberment. They take away a man’s integrity. They strip him of his dignity. They inflict him with community expulsion. If you thought that sticks and stones could break your bones, but words would never hurt you, you don’t live on this planet. No wonder the Bible is replete with warnings about the tongue.
Among the more dangerous pitfalls in life concerning the use of the tongue are the ex-cuses we use to justify and continue habitual behaviors. Notice this partial list of such excuses:
» “Honesty is the best policy,” or “I’m only being honest.”
» “The truth hurts.”
» “Wrong is wrong, and it must be corrected.”
» “I’ve been through a lot, so it comes out in how I express myself.”
» “It’s just my sense of humor. Don’t take it seriously.”
I Peter 3:10 (NAS): THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS,
MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.
Keep thy tongue from evil. Guard with careful diligence that dangerous member, the tongue, lest it utter evil, for that evil will recoil upon thee, and mar the enjoyment of thy life. Men cannot spit forth poison without feeling some of the venom burning their own flesh. And thy lips from speaking guile. Deceit must be very earnestly avoided by the man who desires happiness. Our seeing good days is in direct proportion to how we keep our tongue from evil.
We live in a society absorbed with its own feelings. Today, people are addicted to seeing themselves as victims and demanding special tolerance, favor, acceptance or gifts. Yet a mind concerned with its own painful experiences, rejections, mistakes or emotional hurts is one that refuses healing. These emotions comfort like old bandages, and many are afraid to see what is underneath. Some cling to them because they give special “handicap” privileges, and they use them to justify what they believe, say or do. It is a demonic delusion because it only perpetuates the pain and denies the freedom or forgiveness that God offers. Pain should serve to teach and mature us, not box us into the darkness. Hebrews 2:10 says Christ learned by the things He suffered. Likewise, our painful experiences can teach us the contrasts between this human life and the glorious life for which God is preparing us. Preoccupation with personal pain denies the fruit of the Spirit. It brings no peace or joy or love, etc.
Joshua 1:5-9 (ESV): No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Do you want to be strong, courageous, have good success, prosper and live with no fear? Then your mouth must be full of the Word of God, the Bible.
Philippians 2:14-16 (KJV): 14Do all (not some or a few) things without murmurings and disputings:
15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
All (pas) means all without exception. The Greek reads literally ”all things do”, all being placed first for emphasis that there are to be no exceptions!
We cannot shine as lights in this world if we are always murmuring and disputing. We run the race of life in vain if our mouth is full of grumbling and complaints.
Murmurings (goggusmos from goggúzo = to say anything in a low tone, English = gong) is an audible expression of an unwarranted dissatisfaction = expression of one’s discontent. Expression in low tones of disapprobation (act or state of disapproving). Grumbling, grudging, murmuring, complaining (= making formal accusation or expressing dissatisfaction, resentment, displeasure or annoyance). It can reflect a a secret debate or secret displeasure not openly avowed (see use in John 7:12).
Wuest comments that goggusmos refers…
not to a loud outspoken dissatisfaction, but to that undertone murmuring which one sometimes hears in the lobbies of our present day churches where certain cliques are “having it out,” so to speak, among themselves. The word refers to the act of murmuring against men, not God. The use of this word shows that the divisions among the Philippians had not yet risen to the point of loud dissension. The word was used of those who confer secretly, of those who discontentedly complain. The word is found in a secular document reporting an interview between Marcus Aurelius and a rebel. A veteran present interposes with the remark, “Lord, while you are sitting in judgment, the Romans are murmuring.” (Wuest, K. S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament)
In secular Greek there is a use of goggusmos describing grumbling dissatisfaction at disappointed expectations.” (TDNT adds) “The idea is that a supposedly legitimate claim is not met. What is denoted is a strong personal attitude. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.)
Barclay adds that…
It describes the low, threatening, discontented muttering of a mob who distrust their leaders and are on the verge of an uprising. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. Ed.)
Commenting on goggusmos in this passage in John 7 Barclay writes that…
It indicates a kind of growling, discontented undertone. It is the word used for the grumbling of the children of Israel in the wilderness when they complained against Moses. They muttered the complaints they were afraid to utter out loud. Fear can keep a man from making a clarion call of his faith and can turn it into an indistinct mutter. The Christian should never be afraid to tell the world in ringing tones that he believes in Christ. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. Ed.)
Jude 16: These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
I wonder, if there had been a secret video camera recording your life this past week, how much grumbling would have been captured on film?
Complaining about our lot in life might seem quite innocent in itself, but God takes it personally. (Erwin W. Lutzer)
If Christians spent as much time praying as they do grumbling, they would have nothing to grumble about.
Spurgeon offers an antidote for a complaining, murmuring spirit writing that…
If we complained less, and praised more, we should be happier, and God would be more glorified. Let us daily praise God for common mercies—common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless, that when deprived of them we are ready to perish. Let us bless God for the eyes with which we behold the sun, for the health and strength to walk abroad, for the bread we eat, for the raiment we wear. Let us praise him that we are not cast out among the hopeless, or confined amongst the guilty; let us thank him for liberty, for friends, for family associations and comforts; let us praise him, in fact, for everything which we receive from his bounteous hand, for we deserve little, and yet are most plenteously endowed. But, beloved, the sweetest and the loudest note in our songs of praise should be of redeeming love. God’s redeeming acts towards his chosen are for ever the favourite themes of their praise. If we know what redemption means, let us not withhold our sonnets of thanksgiving. We have been redeemed from the power of our corruptions, uplifted from the depth of sin in which we were naturally plunged. We have been led to the cross of Christ—our shackles of guilt have been broken off; we are no longer slaves, but children of the living God, and can antedate the period when we shall be presented before the throne without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Even now by faith we wave the palm-branch and wrap ourselves about with the fair linen which is to be our everlasting array, and shall we not unceasingly give thanks to the Lord our Redeemer? Child of God, canst thou be silent? Awake, awake, ye inheritors of glory, and lead your captivity captive, as ye cry with David, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Let the new month begin with new songs. (Spurgeon, C. H. Morning and Evening: Daily readings December 1, Evening)
Spurgeon also said…
The very word murmur, how simple it is, made up to two infantile sounds—mur mur. No sense in it, no wit in it, no thought in it. It is the cry rather of a brute than of a man. Murmur—just a double groan.
Proverbs 12:18,19, 22 (NIV): The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. 22 The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
Proverbs 15:4 (NIV): The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Most of us do not escape life without being deeply touched by such actions from others. But how incredibly sobering it is to see ourselves in these actions of others, to realize that we are guilty of the very things that may have hurt us deeply! We, too, are responsible for spreading the flames of a fire that devours and destroys all in its path. The evil of our tongues is as limitless as the evil James describes. A sharp tongue is a weapon, no less as effective as a pointed spear or a sword honed to a razor’s edge. A sharp tongue has no place among the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). It does not express love, spread joy or promote peace. It shows no patience, kindness or goodness in its words. It betrays faithfulness and gentleness, and most of all, it shows no measure of self-control.
My sharp tongue has been a contradiction to the convictions I have expressed nearly all my life. I never saw it until I had to come face to face with the jabs, slices, and pricks of other sharp tongues, and to feel the fires they started within me. I would beg the Father for understanding, of why such communication should exist and why I should receive it with such bitterness—until I finally saw, as David did, that I am the guilty one.
James 5:7-9 (ESV): Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
So many of our rewards in heaven at the judgment seat of Christ will be determined by the words that came out of our mouth while we lived upon the earth. What is your mouth full of? Isn’t it time that our words heal, that our words bless, that our words bring grace, that our words touch hearts because our words are His words and flow out of a loving relationship with our God. Determine to always check the contents of your mouth so that you can glorify God in word and deed. The world is so negative, so accusatory, so angry, so miserable, and so lost isn’t it about time Christians sanctify their mouths as we can never be His hands and feet to the world until we are His mouth first. Are your words bringing life or death? Restoration or hurt? Gossip or deliverance? Strife or peace? Depression or joy? Dismay or hope? Health or sickness? Love or hate? What is your mouth full of? Your life depends on it!
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