Summary: We must control our tongue in order to live a Godly life.
Guard Your Tongue
June 3, 2007
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We must control our tongue in order to live a Godly life.
Maybe you've heard about the three ministers who went fishing one day, all friends who pastored different churches in the same town. While they were fishing they began confessing their sins to each other. The first pastor said, "Do you know what my big sin is? My big sin is drinking. I know it's wrong, but every Friday night I drive to a city where no one will recognize me, and I go to a saloon and get drunk. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it, it's my big sin." The second pastor said, "Well fellas, to be honest with you, I've got a big sin too. My big sin is gambling. As a matter of fact, you know all the money I raised for that mission trip to India? I took it to Las Vegas instead and lost it all. I'm so ashamed, my big sin is gambling." Finally it was the third pastor's turn. He said, "Guys, I probably should have gone first, because my big sin is gossiping."
Focus Passage: James 3:1-12
1. Why must I watch what I say?
a. My tongue directs where I go (vs. 3-4.)
b. My tongue can destroy what I have. (vs. 5-8)
c. My tongue displays who I am. (vs. 9-12)
„« The Problem?
If you've got a problem with your tongue, it's much more serious than you think. You have a heart problem. A person with a harsh tongue has an angry heart. A person with a negative tongue has a fearful heart. A person with an overactive tongue has an unsettled heart. A person with a boasting tongue has an insecure heart. A person with a filthy tongue has an impure heart. A person who is complaining or critical all the time has a bitter heart.
2. What is the solution?
a. Get a new heart.
You've got to get a new heart, that's the problem. Ezekiel 18:31 "Rid yourself of all the offenses you have committed and get a new heart and a new spirit!" Painting the outside of the pump doesn't make any difference if there is poison in the well. I can change the outside, I can turn over a new leaf, but what I really need is a new life. What I need is a fresh start. I need to let go of all the past and be born again and start over. I need to get a new heart.
How do I get a new heart? 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new person. The old has passed away. Behold all things have become new." New life, new heart, new spirit. When you come to Jesus Christ, He wipes out everything you've done in the past. He says you¡¦re starting over. It's like being born again. You need a new heart.
We need to pray like David prayed in Psalm 51 "Create in me a clean heart, O God" because what's in my heart is going to come out in my mouth.
b. Ask God for help every day.
You need supernatural power to control your tongue. You can't do it on your own. Your life is a living proof of that. We cannot control it on our own. We need supernatural power so we ask God to help us. Psalm 141:3 "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips." That¡¦s a great verse to memorize and quote every morning. Here is a good prayer to start each day with: "God, put a muzzle on my mouth. Guard my lips. Don't let me be critical today. Don't let me be judgmental. Don't let me say things off the cuff that I then regret." You need to ask God for help daily because you need His power in your life.
c. Think before you speak.
Engage your mind before you put your mouth in gear. James 1:19 "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." They go in order. First be quick to listen and then slow to speak. If you're quick to listen you will be slow to speak. If you're slow to speak, then you will be slow to become angry. If you have a problem with anger you need to work on being quick to listen and slow to speak. The result will be you'll be slow to anger.