My tongue has been a source of several problems in my life. You?
Not because I am malicious, but because I come from a long line of women that want to fix and improve and rescue and control. And thank you God that I am aware of that now. The moral of the story is – MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, because even when you mean well, it’s none of your business unless someone asks for your help. And even though the tongue is a tiny body part it can do more damage than fists and weapons.
When we speak to edify our words are peacemaking, encouraging, and can change the atmosphere in a room. When we speak harshly, impatiently, and with bad intent our words can change the atmosphere in the whole house. We all know that, so why don’t we observe and practice “speaking life” to people, like Jesus did? His words breathed life and love into those He came in contact with. He showed us how it’s done.
Here’s a verse that truly convicted me when I first read it:
8 “…but the tongue is not able to be tamed. It’s a fickle, unrestrained evil that spews out words full of toxic poison! 9 We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! https://my.bible.com/bible/1849/JAS.3.8-9.tpt
Does that make you cringe? Do you claim to be a kind and considerate person, a godly person even, but only for the people you like and can tolerate? Be honest. That would be the norm for most #humans, don’t you agree?
What led me to this line of thinking was my new devotional book. Day 4 is simply entitled “WORDS.” The opening verses are from the book of John, chapter one. Some pretty powerful words in those first five verses. If you’ve never read them and they don’t make sense to you, it’s okay. Just know that ‘the Word’ is Jesus. The following is from the English Standard Version or ESV
***Please note that all quoted material in this post is from the book, THE CHOSEN, BOOK ONE, 40 DAYS WITH JESUS, unless it is Scripture.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John 1:1-5 ESV
I will share two different translations at the end of this post. You will see the widely used New International Version, (NIV), compared to a very new translation called The Passion Translation, (TPT). I love to read God’s words in four or five different versions. The Bible is so alive and dynamic that even reading the same exact words more than once can strike you differently depending on circumstances and where you are in your journey. This is the Spirit led part of Bible reading and study. If you take the time to dig, He reveals things to you that He couldn’t otherwise.
By the way, did you know that the Bible is the best-selling, most read, most translated, most disputed collection of books in history? Rick Warren said that and gave some stats. I didn’t write them down but he is a reliable source and great teacher so I’m sure it’s accurate. There is a link to the sermon where I heard this when you click here.
Allow me to shift gears here for a moment, and share part of this paragraph in the book. I believe this needs attention, because I know I felt like a fish out of water when I first began to walk this walk. And guess what? I still do. Years later. When I read things like this it warms my unconventional heart 🙂
“The disciples were an unconventional group…rough around the edges…salt-of-the-earth and smelly to downright sketchy. They were loud, proud, greedy, defensive, skeptical, and independent…”
So, based on that description above, do you think you might fit in as a follower of Jesus? Don’t think about the church part. Just read what that says and know He would choose you, too, no matter your station in life, just like He chose them. Does it surprise you to know that Jesus’ words changed their lives and everything about them?
How about this? If Jesus was walking the planet today where do you think He would be hanging out?
The Ritz? Or the local biker bar? Don’t take offense if you’re someone who does hang at the Ritz or at the local biker bar. I’m just saying Jesus gravitated to people that were “the least of these,” people that were tormented by disease and disfigurement and demons. The proud and arrogant paid him no mind because they didn’t need Him. Just like us when life is great! It was the poor Jews, living in squalor, squished beneath the thumb of the Roman Empire, that wanted anything to do with him. They were repeating history, still seeking a savior since way before Jesus came, a king that would end their misery. They still are.
I never knew how bad the Israelites had it until recently, even though I’ve read much of the Old Testament and knew the general history. Watching THE CHOSEN has brought their culture to life for me, every little detail that a non-Jew would not know. I have a new respect for their discipline and their smarts. Such a strong and dedicated people, so devoted to customs and Old Testament Law. It breaks my heart that they do not accept that Jesus is that Messiah they are still waiting for. Maybe they feel like God will let them slide, like He always has.
God chose us all to be in His family, but He set them apart from the rest of his family of earthbound children. That is for another post, when we talk about the Old Testament. Know that He wants us all in His family, but those Israelites are special to Him, and they have always rebelled. Over and over and over throughout history. (‘Sound familiar?) And God is pretty clear about how to have eternal life, Jew or non-Jew, (aka Gentile). I didn’t used to believe it was the ONLY way, even growing up a little Catholic kid, but it’s only through accepting Jesus that we can have eternal life.
That is why the disciples dedicated their lives to bringing people to Jesus and baptizing them into the family of Christians, as God wants.
“…twelve ordinary men, initially full of hot air and void of purpose, became the very ones so changed by Jesus’ words that they would fearlessly take them to the ends of the earth.”
And why do you suppose they loved Him enough to do that?
because they knew him. and we can know him, too.
They got to spend time with Him, watch Him love on people. ALL PEOPLE. They learned humility and generosity and gentleness from Him. They became devout followers, that still made so many mistakes, and even let Him down when He needed them most. But He chose them, and loved them, and taught them as much as he could before His death. And even if you don’t believe that Jesus is God in the flesh you still can’t deny that He was a pretty cool guy when he was here.
Here’s where I remind you to watch this tv series I keep talking about. It is unprecedented and will open your eyes like it did mine. You can download THE CHOSEN app and see exactly how cool Jesus is. The creator of the show did such amazing things in bringing all of them to life it will blow your mind. Guaranteed. And…It’s FREE! https://thechosen.link/1Y1R7 And, here’s the trailer 🙂 https://youtu.be/K1-FoFj8Jbo
You really have to want to do better and feel better about yourself and your place in this world to want to be more like Jesus because it has to be intentional. And honestly, it can’t happen if you never read His Word. That’s how you get to know Him. That’s how God communicates with us.
When we seek to understand, we will.
But do you believe the Bible is God-breathed?
The scholars who put it together did so over the course of many years, and were from different regions. If you want to learn more about why we can trust the Bible, listen to Rick Warren’s sermon series on YouTube here. Within the first five minutes he tells you the Bible is “God-breathed.” And then he tells you how we know this. He’s a great teacher! He is the founder of Saddleback Church, a now global church with campuses in over a hundred countries; also the author of THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE. Look for it on Amazon, of course.
‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 https://my.bible.com/bible/111/2TI.3.16-17
And that’s the truth. Look at it this way. Did you trust that history book they made you use in high school? Why did you? Who wrote that book? Where did they get their information? How reliable were their sources? And do you think those guys were smarter and more reliable than those Hebrew scholars??! I think not. Money is not what motivated the writing of Scripture, I might add.
Again, to reiterate the author, Jesus’ words truly did change the world. We’ve needed a redeemer since Eve bit the apple. God meant for us be in His family, in heavenly bliss, to edify each other out of love for one another, as brothers and sisters. Jesus modeled that for us. We have no excuse not to know how to do it. We only have the excuse of not wanting to, spoiled brats that we are.
You can get your own devotional book here. This is not an affiliate link. I am not compensated for promoting THE CHOSEN or their fund-raising merchandise. I wholly believe in this ground-breaking series because it is changing lives. God’s hand is in this, without a doubt.
Please enjoy all the links in this post. Don’t be afraid to click on any of them. And below are the links to those two versions of John 1:1-5.
If you have never read a Bible in your life, the gospel of john is where you want to begin.
‘He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ‘ John 1:1-5 https://my.bible.com/bible/111/JHN.1.1-5
‘In the beginning the Living Expression was already there. And the Living Expression was with God, yet fully God. They were together— face-to-face , in the very beginning. And through his creative inspiration this Living Expression made all things, for nothing has existence apart from him! A fountain of life was in him, for his life is light for all humanity. And this Light never fails to shine through darkness— Light that darkness could not overcome! ‘ John 1:1-5 https://my.bible.com/bible/1849/JHN.1.1-5
So, your homework is to download a Bible app! There are soooo many good ones. The best thing about them is there is so much more than just the Bible in them. Videos and studies and many translations so you can read more than one. Communities of people to pray with and for. Here’s the app I use most; https://bible.com You can even have it read to you while you drive or walk. Another great one is the Daily Audio Bible; https://dailyaudiobible.com/
Please don’t forget to email me if you have questions. firstname.lastname@example.org And please know that the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.
Peace in Christ
In His own words…