Having a Desire to Defame
Having a Desire to Defame.
This past week’s sermon was intense for the hearer, and the speaker. The power of the tongue, I mean really, how hard to you have to look into your life to find something that you said that was out of line? In my life, I don’t have to look very far until I start seeing things that make me wince.
The bitter sweet about the tongue.
With this tiny object we can do a lot of damage, as well as doing a lot of good. God told James to pen down the fact that if a man can bridle his tongue, he could bridle his entire body. Wow! How many of us really do that though? More often then not we are using our tongue to apologize for something we let our tongue say.
The best example of this I can use is a balloon, now the balloon represents us as people; we come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Our tongues have the potential to be a tack, or to be tape. What does the tape do you might ask, well the tape holds things together, it makes things stick, it makes a seal around a leak, and if you were to wrap it around the balloon, it makes a protective layer…to build up. That is what God has called us to do, to speak in such a way that it imparts grace and builds up the hearer. EHP. 4:29 paraphrased.
The tack however punctures, it wounds it pops, and it breaks through the protective layer and cuts deep causing damage to the balloon, in some cases so much so that the balloon can not be restored to its previous place.
I know that is a different example but it could be true with our lives. Sometimes as Christians we say things that go so deep, and do so much damage that people may not as easily return to their previous place on life. James says with our tongues we bless God, and curse men. These things ought not to be so. My spiritual family let everything you say be seasoned with salt and tempered with grace.
#1 If we no longer desire to defame, we must first begin speaking of our Savior instead of our selves.
James tells us that the tongue being so little boasts great things.
Don’t be prideful in your caring, confronting, or your common talk.
#2 If we no longer desire to defame we must begin speaking to Build others up rather then break others down
James also tells is in chapter 3 that the tongue is a an unruly evil, full of deadly
Poison. Has what you’ve been saying had poison in its intent?
-“what you say determines what they see.”
#3 If we no longer desire to defame we must begin speaking to bless the creator instead of cursing His creation.
With it we bless our God and curse men. If God spoke to you like you speak to
People how much passion would be in your pursuit of His presence?
It really comes down to Psalm 100. I encourage you to stop reading this blog and go read Psalm 100, its five verses, do you have time? The truth is what comes out of your mouth is already in your heart. Put the high praises of God in your heart in and they will be on your lips as well.
I would much rather the joy of the Lord come out then the junk of the world.
Let your mouth be the reason why people in your circle want to know the Lord instead of why they no longer want to come to church.
Go and Contend for victory.
Having Disdain and Disregard
Disdain and Disregard.
This past week was definitely an eye opener for our Youth Church. James Chapter two opens with a story about a poor person entering a church along with a well dressed, apparently rich person coming to the same church. The one who appears rich is treated well and you can guess how the poor person was treated. We would never do something like that right? Here is what we did, we dressed up two of our guys in nice clothes, I mean they got fresh, smell good, some hair gel, a couple ties and they were ready. And on the other side, we told two different guys to wear some work clothes that were obviously worn out, and here is the kicker, we told them to not wear deodorant that Saturday.
Would you believe that in our Youth Church the guys who were smelling good and looked nice held between 50 and 60 conversations? As opposed to the guys who were not so fresh holding a grand total of 8 conversations, Hard to believe huh?
The message is clear, we say we love God, but do not love His people. The only thing on earth with eternal worth is people. But if they are dirty or smelly or “different” then we don’t want to give, we don’t hug them, we don’t want them in our cars, or on our white carpets, we don’t want them holding our children or hanging with our groups.
Thank the Lord that Jesus didn’t look at you the same way when He died on the cross.
God, they are too messed up for me to die, just look at all their sin, it’s everywhere.
No, the Bible says that for the joy that was set before Him he endured the cross and despised the shame and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Why should we look at people any differently then our Lord, Captain, and King?
The rest of James chapter 2 tells us that faith without works is dead; we can say that we love, but the test of a living faith is to see if you love when it is not convenient, at the most inopportune time, at great personal cost. That is a living faith; it’s active regardless of how you view people.
Go and Contend for Victory!
Having Destructive Devices
Are there attitudes that destroy relationships that you have encountered before? Have you ever been around the perpetually angry person, where they are angry and bitter before you have even spoken to them? How about someone who has no desire to listen, now just because they don’t listen does not mean they can’t talk, oh can they talk, talking is one of their strong suits, and they know. They talk about everything; in fact, there is probably not a subject you could bring up that they don’t know something about.
James the half bother of Jesus knows what it means to have value and worth, do you think that he felt inferior having Jesus as his brother… wow! Pretty daunting, and I think James knows this, which is why the spirit allowed him to pen verse 18. Where the scripture tells us that God brought us forth by His will and the word of truth that we might become a first fruits of His creation. Let me say one thing about this. You have VALUE. The breath of almighty God is on the inside of you. No matter what the world says, not matter what your spouse says, no matter what your parents told you. You were made in the image and similitude of God. And He brought you forth of His will, you have intrinsic value. AMEN!
Now sometimes, I like adding the word “since” to the scripture. Check it out. Since you are first fruits of God’s creation “since” you have the mark of your creator, “since” you call yourself a Christian. “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” 1:19. Makes sense right? Well, since you are God’s representatives on earth, it is a good idea for us to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath, why? Because the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of Christ.
Most Christians including myself have this verse backwards, we are swift, I mean swift, I am talking about very quick very very swift to anger. This is a destructive device; our anger hurts others just as much as it hurts us. Believe this; you cannot fulfill the will of God walking in anger. Ouch! Rough, but true. Also in this verse is anther device we seem to have mixed up. The Bible says we need to be slow to speak and quick to hear. Is that backwards in your life? How about prayer, do you spend the entire time speaking about your woes? Or do you listen to God. When your family or friends bring you their problems are you ready to hand out advice before they even finish. Sometimes a problem for a Christian is not speaking, other times it is speaking to much, have you ever said something wrong and had to go back and make it right, what a humbling experience.
Since you mark yourselves as a follower of God, be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. The truth is you are just not showing Christ when you stamp your feet, yell, and punch the wall. Not that any Christians struggle with anger or speaking what is not right. We all exist in a perfect nativity scene with no anger or malice or bitterness with little baby Jesus. And the truth is real life is happening and it is hard and the road is narrow, remember this when you want to misspeak or yell or get angry, if God on the day He created the world thought you couldn’t do it, He would have never breathed the breath of life in you, but He did because through Him you can! I know that there is no power that can stop us, through Him we are More then conquerors. AMEN Go contend for victory.
Having Divided Desires
Having Divided Desires.
We began our study through the book of James this past Saturday night, James the half brother of Jesus who wrote the book does not waist any time jumping right into common church issues. I was almost taken off guard in preparing to teach because James begins to write and so many relevant issues are discussed that I was unsure on where to begin.
The first thing he tells us is that we are supposed to count it all joy when you fall in to various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith will produce patience. (NKJV) 1:2
Have you ever actually considered the weight of this verse? Count it a joy when were being tried? Count it a joy and blessing when we are going through a struggle? What! More often then not when the struggles hit I complain, and moan, and wonder why God has allowed this event to go off of my life’s schedule that I had so precisely planned out. I mean really God, this can’t be your will for me, this must be from satan. This is not from the God I know.
The interesting thing about this is that later on James says that God does not tempt anyone with evil. He does however allow trials or tests. Look at it this way, a test in school is to see if you will pass, not to get you to pass out. We get on jot off of our planned out lives and we think God is no longer a God of love or grace. How could you allow me to struggle with money God, why do you allow me to loose this job? Numerous things, God why did you take this person out of my life, how can you allow me to be in this situation at work God? It’s not fair! When maybe all God is saying is “do you trust me?” Do you depend on me for your needs? Have your friends become your security instead of your Savior? Do you need me or long for me? Do you love my word?”
Then James shows me why I turn to the creation rather then the creator. He tells us that the person that doubts is like a wave of the sea, tossed back and forth, and that they shouldn’t expect to receive anything from God because they are …. Here it is….. Double minded, and the word actually says UNSTABLE IN ALL THEIR WAYS. Wow!
When the desires of our heart turn from the eternal to the temporary, we begin to have divided desires, meaning we still like God, but we like this other situation as well. And this is where James shows us that we are double minded and unstable in all our ways.
Have you become unstable on how you view God’s goodness? Has your belief in His faithfulness become unstable, how about your relationships, are they firm and spiritual, or fake and carnal. Have you become unstable as spouse or an accountability partner? Are you no longer reliable as a student or worker?
Nate really bro, my life is not that dependant on what my desires are I don’t think everything I do will be unstable if some of my desires are not about God.
My friends consider the words of James as you journey this week. Are your desires centered on your self, or your Savior? Maybe you are going through trails right now, remember this, trials are allowed by God and temptation is brought by satan. Don’t confuse where the source is. I would rather have God asking with a test if I trust Him, then to have satan tempt me to so how to destroy my trust in God.
Let us realign our focus on the Father who is defined in His very character as pure love.
-We fight from victory, not for victory.
Pass the Baton
Pass the Baton.
I know this is lengthy, but it is worth it, take ten minutes and read the entire page. My character isn’t described until the third point.
The service began with a video of an athlete demonstrating the proper ways to pass a baton in what is called a relay race. This is where there are four runners, and they each run 100 meters, the only catch is they have to hand off a baton to the runner that takes their place, and this has to happen 4 times. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the women’s USA team actually dropped their baton in the last 100 meters of the race. It was devastating for those runners, everything they had trained for, gone in one fell swoop and misplacement of hand.
Sometimes Christianity is the same way, Paul relates life to a race, and we are the runners, some of us have been carrying a baton spiritually for a long time and we are longing for another runner to pass the baton to. Others of us have carried the baton before, but have recently been scarred from a “dropped baton” experience, and we like the USA women’s team feel like all is lost. Still there are others who are reaching back waiting for the baton to be passed, waiting on their destiny or their new job or a spouse to come around.
There are 3 ways of passing the baton, perhaps one of these is your size running shoe, let’s take a look.
The first and fastest way to pass is The Blind.
This is where the runner never looks back and focuses ahead and as he is running he reaches back to grab a baton, when he feels it hit his hand, he takes off.
Maybe you are the person God wants to hand a baton to spiritually, are you even in the race though? When Jesus called his disciples, every one of them was doing something, they were active. Don’t sit on the bench spiritually and expect the baton to be magically passed to you. Serve, run, if you are in a church now, ask the Pastor if there is something you can do behind the scenes…. Just to get your legs stretched out. I don’t want to be blunt but, the toilets get used every week and sometimes they get dirty. The fastest way to receive this baton is if you are already running.
The second way to pass the baton is the Half blind.
This is where the runner is running, and as she hears her fellow runner behind her, she will briefly turn around to see where they are and look for the baton.
This can still work, we run and we look back to see where we are, to see where we have been. But there is a snare here. What happens in life if you look back briefly, but never turn back around. Where you look back and say: “wow, back then I watched what I wanted, drank what I wanted, said what I wanted, and slept in on Sundays. Those were the good old’ days.” The packaging of satan is very luxurious, but the contents of the present are always death. Satan gives us selective amnesia, he shows us drinking a beer at a barbeque as the sun is setting with good friends. He doesn’t show you throwing up and hung over. Be careful when you turn to glance at the baton that you don’t forget to turn back around. Your race is not over yet, keep running.
Next is this slowest way to pass. It is the Reach back.
This is where the runner runs but is holding their head over their shoulder to constantly watch where their partner is at. Here is the cold truth about this method of passing. We want the baton, we want a destiny and a purpose and plan from God for us, and believe it or not, the baton is in reach, we can see God’s vision for our lives. Do you know what stops us? People. We are constantly looking over our shoulder at the people behind us or around us. Maybe your spouse or family doesn’t understand why you go to church so much. Maybe your co-workers bag on you because you don’t hit happy hour with them on Fridays. It could even be that the person were dating or want to be with doesn’t see themselves with the same destiny as you have and you will settle to run His race for a Human, looking over your shoulder unable to gain speed. One of the biggest factors of me running with my head over my shoulder concerning people was bitterness. Let me speak truthfully. I was unable to receive the baton and destiny because I was looking back at bitterness. Which looks something like this: “oh pastor 6 years ago little Tim stepped on my big toe and I know he did it on purpose, and I just can’t speak to him now, so I don’t want to serve in ministry with him because he smiles at me and I know he is laughing at me cause he stepped on my toe.” Seems comical huh? It is what we do. We will run for years looking back over our shoulder at something that happened and never really reach God’s full purpose for our life. Will you still “make it” to the finish line? Probably, will you win the race, no. Will you live with destiny, no, will you run with purpose, no. Bury the Bitterness, and begin to run with recklessness.
Is God trying to hand you a baton?
My friend…..RECEIVE AND RUN!
Go contend for victory. Amen
Page 1 of 4«StartPrev1234NextEnd»