Fiery tongues

James 3:5 the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it boasts of great things. Consider how small a spark sets a great forest ablaze.

It takes surprisingly little to teach an animal to obey. A bit and bridle will direct and redirect a horse, a collar and lead for a dog and a tone of voice for a cat. However, the principle is different for humans. People are always seeking their own way and trying to be different from other people. If a person is different, that is a good situation, but trying to copy others is unhealthy and turns people into hypocrites.

We are free to live and move as we will to do, but we can never throw over the everlasting principles upheld by the moral law. If we obey our Lord and God, we will have perfect freedom to choose, for we will choose rightly at all times.

How can we know we are walking in this everlasting way? Let us check our speaking – written, spoken and read words. The three-fold principle of Scripture as always at work. The tongue is a hidden part of the body until we open our mouths and it instantly displays what we are and how our minds work. We see trivial mind process and boasting about what we think we have. We tell people about the great things we do, have done and are going to do. There is no harm in this, if it is true..

But even one unhelpful word can cause Year’s of trouble. We can inadvertently start a spiritual forest fire. Just a spark can set alight a whole area of land and wipe out years of seeming growth. Nevertheless, that same fire can open up the way for new growth and a whole new set of living organisms.

Perhaps this is what is needed today. A blaze of glory and power to sweep through our land and put all evil to flight.

Perhaps the words of our mouths, as Christian people will still rise into flames so that many will be lifted out of the ashes of their lives and find freedom.

Give and take away

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The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

God bestows gifts on His people to enable them to carry out serve for Him, or to enrich their lives to help them carry burdens as He requires. In the giving and the taking away there is blessing for everyone. 

God sees the big picture. His eternal plan for the world and human kind cannot be stopped or changed in any way. His purposes will definitely bear fruit for eternity.

God give gifts that are to be used. If we don’t use the gifts we have been given, then we ourselves will suffer loss.

When our task for God is done, then the gift in now not needed, and He will take it away and replace it with another more suitable to our circumstances.

In all things, God is kind and full of compassion. The removal of some gifts might be helpful to some believers. But others will persevere with the vision and receive their full reward.

It is better to give than to take away…

Beautiful One

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Beautiful One

As we see the Saviour in the written Scriptures, and as we repent of our sins and all wrong-doing, we believe in Him and we are saved. Saved from the consequences of our sin, and the power of its grip on our lives. Our eyes are then opened and we see Him, not with the physical eye, or the imagination, but with the knowledge we have of Him that we love, as revealed to us in the Holy Word of God.

In other words, See the Saviour… taste the savour…

Abuse

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Abuse in a persons youth, is probably the worst thing that can happen to them. Abuse is more than the actual physical act. It permeates the mindset, thoughts patterns, emotional responses, in fact, every part of the young persons life. Even if they have been taught right ways of living, this evil interjection in their lives, will cause such sorrow and contaminate their attitudes to any number of things.

Abusers do not just seek to contaminate the body, but to warp the mind and soul. What is said to a young person is even more destructive than the physical infringement on that person.

It is not for no reason or lack of empathy that our Lord Jesus let abusers know that their judgment would be severe and perfunctory.

“Jesus invited a little child to stand among them. “Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”     Matthew 18:2-6

No abuser will get off from that judgment. There is no sea in heaven…

Anyone who leads others astray, or does anything to hurt another person in their inner life and soul, is already condemned. You don’t have to do much, just offend their sensibilities, and you will lose your soul forever.

Those who have been abused will receive pervasive help from the Lord as they cope with their hurt and dishonour. The Lord will lift up the downcast and make them rulers in His everlasting kingdom. They will suffer no loss. Some people, will wish to have justice at work for them, in this life, but many others will not. They depend on their Lord and God and He will honour them and make full amends for the unrighteousness of evil people. If abuse has been our experience, we do not have to suffer more, by reliving and continually opening the wounds. The Lord Himself will be our portion, and He can heal the soul and make it bright and loving for His sake and ours too.

Everlasting peace will be for all those who trust in Jesus the Saviour, and when His kingdom fully comes, all hurts will be put away, along with the unrepentant predator.

 

Reading

“He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”  Nehemiah 8:3

If you can read, think about the person or the people who taught you to do so. Maybe you can’t remember them…

They gave you an amazing skill that is unlike any other. Reading opens doors to ideas and concepts that cannot be accessed any other way. It allows the mind to interact with other minds so that we learn and grow. It is disabling to not read, or not to want to put the intellectual effort into delving into the deep and different though processes of other people. 

Schools in England were started by Christian women, such as Hannah More. There were no schools for children, although rich families could pay for sons to be educated and would pay for a tutor. The motivation of these women, was to teach children to read so that they could read the Word of God for themselves, and be able to find God. We have come a very long way since those Christian sentiments were realised. 

Dare I say we have become lazy about this skill. The onslaught of the pictures based media, has taken the impetus to read away from many people. We have no taste for improving our reading or trying to read more challenging material. We think we can learn all we need to know through short films and sound-bites. We gave forgotten the joy of reading material that is difficult, and thereby extend our own understanding and insight. 

There has always been the proliferation of books, and even in these digital days, books are still written and read. To read the book of books is still the highest pinnacle of our spiritual and intellectual powers, and it feeds the soul like no other book ever could. It can be understood as we read it with forgiven hearts and the Holy Spirit showing us its truth as we read. The Bible is a challenge to read, in various ways, but it changes our minds and lives even as we read it. 

There are also Christians from the past who have left us writings that really teach us and feed our souls. To not read, cuts us off from that source of knowledge and blessing. We find it hard to read, so we don’t bother. What a  pity to know how to read, and yet not pursue the riches of it. Many also view the Scriptures in this way and because it challenges our reading skills, and our spiritual state, so we leave off from reading it, 

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119

We must read the Word to know the Word. If it is not read and rehearsed, it cannot help us when we need it. When we interact with the written, eternal Word, it acts like a sword that cuts out our sinful ways and purifies how we think and live. 

“With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.” Psalm 119

As we read the Word, we can know it and speak it. Reading and re-reading the text will embed those words in our minds. The Word will then be alive in us and will be precious to us. 

“I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”  Psalm 119

Perhaps the truth is we don’t want to read, even read our Bibles, because we don’t really delight in the Word. We might know enough to stand up and speak it to people, but in our private lives, it has very little attraction for us. The problem is not the lack of reading skills, but the lack of love for the Lord Jesus and His precious Word. 

Ezra read to all the people. All could understand. He didn’t elaborate too much about the content of the message, but just read the Word of the Lord and explained what was being read. All the people listened carefully and the Word read to them did them good. The Word caused them to weep, because it spoke to their souls, and they were sorry for their failures and sins. This is what caused them to change. The Word then came to them to be joyful, for “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8

This is the purpose and power of reading the Word of God… 

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12

Holiness of life

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“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:28,30-31

Jesus in no way ever downplayed or downgraded the law of God.

It is convenient to some that the fact that Christ has paid for the sin in the life of the believer and so is regarded by God as holy. We are justified by the shed blood of Jesus our Saviour and are freely forgiven from all sin. The actual sins are forgiven, paid for and gone, and also the power of sin in the life of the believer is broken. But we extend that truth into wrong territory. Sin still has influence on us as Christians and there is a perpetual fight as we live in this sinful world. We cannot ignore our personal sinfulness or get used to the wrong desires we still have.

Holiness is a daily desire in the heart and soul of the Christian. We seek to be like Christ our perfect Lord and our life is a continual activity of cleansing. It is a fight. Ephesians chapter 6 tells us to prepare for the fight and put on the full armour of God.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”   Ephesians 6:10-11

This passage speaks of rampant spiritual enemies in heavenly places. We must fortify our wayward hearts against these forces, which are too strong for us to resist.

It is human to want know what commandment is the one we really have to obey. If we have to choose one, which is the most important. The effect of our fallen state before God is seen in all our attitudes and desires. Jesus answers the question fully and deeply.

We love God with all that we are. We adore His being from the very depths of our being. Our desire for Him, His presence and His person, is our chief longing. We love His closeness and His Word is always on our tongue. This is also a mark of a true believer, as an unbelieving person with no faith, does not have such desires.

Because we are Christians, our souls are now alive to God. We are aware of His presence in our lives and we want to be holy, for He is holy. The dead soul does not want this. Our soul is the part of us that relates to God and the part of us that can fully reflect His image, since we are made in His image. The soul is the deepest part of our sentient beings, and is capable of understanding and loving God with His own love. The spiritual life of the soul is imputed to us when we repent of our sinful selves and exercise faith in The Lord Jesus Christ and the complete salvation He bought for us on the Cross of Calvary.

A Christian is someone with a renewed mind. It does not dwell on evil, but is renewed every day in the Word of God and prayers. It is a mind taken up with serving God and thinking of ways to serve and witness for Him. It is an active mind that reads and thinks and deeply appreciates the things of God. The redeemed mind thinks God’s thoughts, and is wise in the wisdom of the Holy Scriptures. The Christian prays that the mind of Christ will be replicated in their own mind and that the mind will be changed to operate with the whole being to worship, commune and serve.

“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”   1 Peter 1:15

Physical strength as well as intellectual and emotional strength is the hallmark of the Christian servant. The effort of our body activity reflects our devotion as well as the spiritual activities. Tiredness is debilitating but we can overcome it in the power of God. God will renew us every day and give the rest we need to do our tasks. The body is not yet made new for the heavenly kingdom, but all our power is exerted for the glory of God.

“But we have this treasure in clay vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed;  always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”   2 Corinthians 4:7-10

If we put God first then the other things will follow. If we live in devotion and in the power of God, daily confessing our sins, then our attitude to other people will be right also.

“Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.”   Romans 12:2

We do not downplay the law of God, but fully uphold the commandments and strive for holiness in our lives, that will be seen by others who are seeking God too. This promotes Christian fellowship as we see the likeness of the Father in each other.

 

 

 

His holy ones

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“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”   Jude 1:14-15

Will you be in this band of holy ones? 

This is a fearful Scripture and should strike a chord of searching questions in our minds. It was written thousands of years ago and remains true and immanent. The days of the end times are here and the earth awaits its redemption and release from the power and consequence of sin. The people of God are being brought into the kingdom and when that number reaches completion, the end will come.

The people of God are redeemed and will judge with Him in His glory. All the ungodly will feel the conviction of their sins in their souls, with no more opportunity to repent and believe. All the evil acts they have done and the lies they have said and their defiant rebellion they have exercised against the Lord, will now be judged and paid for. 

All evil will be put down forever and will never again taint the society of the Just. Enoch saw this holy vision, because he walked with God and knew the closeness of a daily, constant communion with God. Those who seek God, will understand the signs of sinfulness and its end. We must warn and tell the people around us of these spiritual realities and flee to the only Saviour. 

It is not too late. He is still calling people to repent and believe and the door of eternity remains open. Why be foolish and loose your soul? You can still be a part of that mighty throng that belong to the Lord Christ and will reign with Him forever. Those who repent and believe will have glory forever, but those who refuse will be forever lost… 

Women who glorify God