Summary: We are the sheep of God's pasture, but we often have trouble hearing God because of the bleating of our own voices. How often does God say to us, "Before I can speak, or move in your midst, let there be silence among the lambs"?
Silence of the Lambs
Sunday, October 21, 2012
By Pastor James May
James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
One of the smallest parts of the body can create some of the greatest problems we will ever have to deal with. While it has a great purpose; its value is often over-rated; and while it is useful in many ways for the good of all mankind; it is also very often used in a manner that abuses people and causes a lot of pain. That small member of the body is called the tongue.
This tongue, not necessarily the muscle that helps you pronounce words or taste your food, but the words that come forth because of the work that this muscle in your mouth does, can do more damage than any other part of your body.
The power of words spoken by using the tongue has both created and destroyed nations; has brought both blessings and judgment upon all of mankind; and carries the power of life and death. By the tongue men like Hitler have influenced and inflamed the depraved hearts of men and caused the whole world to be caught up in a reign of terror and death. By the tongue, men like Billy Graham have brought forth a message of peace and love; pointing thousands upon thousands to the Cross of Christ. The tongue is a tool that can be used for both good and evil; and sad to say, it is more often used for evil than good.
Among Christians we would think that the tongue is more often used for good but in my experience, this isn’t the case. The only difference that you might see in Christians is that the tongue is used more often to give God honor; but we must be always on guard, because that same tongue that gives honor to God can turn into a tongue that dishonors God in the blink of an eye. Oh that we could learn to control that little member of our body called the tongue, but it’s nearly impossible. How often does our tongue speak words that get us into trouble with both God and man?
James 1:26 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. Now that’s a powerful statement – BUT SO TRUE!
Quite often, the true condition of our heart, and the depth our relationship with Jesus, can be clearly seen in the words we speak and in the manner in which they are spoken. We can claim to love Jesus all we want, but if the words coming out of our mouth are spoken in a manner that offends everyone around us; then where is the love of God in that? We can claim to be as close to God as we want to; but if the words we speak are meant only to build us up in the eyes of others; or to make promises that we know in our hearts that we can’t keep; then those words prove to everyone around us that though our lips give God service; our heart is far from being close to the heart of God.
We can’t speak words to build up our own ego, or to make us appear to be something we are not; and we can’t speak lies and claim to be one with God. God is not a man that he should lie; and God knows that the biggest problem that all of us have is that we more highly of ourselves than we should.
I like the way that James 1:26 says that we should have a bridle on our tongue. A bridle is used to guide that horse in the direction that it should go; and a bridle is used to reign in that horse when it tries to break free and go where it wants to. Oh if only we could get a bridle on our own mouths. If only we could have enough control to stop those words that hurt and injure the hearts of men before they manage to break free from our mouths. If only we could reign in our thoughts before they become words that are spoken forth. But all too often we speak, and then we think; but by then it’s too late to think. The damage has been done. The tongue is Satan’s weapon of choice among both Saint and sinner alike for none of us has full control of our tongue.