Friday, August 28, 2015

Watch Your Mouth










But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:8)









What happens in the mind affects the tongue and the tongue affects the spirit, soul, heart, and body. The bible speaks extensively of the power of the tongue.  Spiritual warfare includes the battle with the tongue.

Read what the Bible says about the tongue in James 3:1-13. These verses reveal that although the tongue is a little member of your body, it is very powerful. Through the tongue the whole body can be defiled. The tongue can never be tamed by man. Only when you yield your tongue to God can control be maintained over it. But even then, it will never be completely tamed. You can never relax your guard over the tongue believing you have totally conquered it.

The Bible compares the tongue to:

A fire:                                                                            James 3:5
A burning fire:                                                            Proverbs 16:27
A world of iniquity:                                                    James 3:6
A beast that needs taming:                                       James 3:7-8
A fountain of either fresh or bitter water:             James 3:11
A tree bearing either good or evil fruit:                 James 3:12
An unruly evil:                                                            James 3:8
Deadly poison:                                                            James 3:8
A sharp razor:                                                             Psalms 52:2
A sharp sword:                                                           Psalms 57:4; 59:7, Psalms 140:3
A deep pit:                                                                   Proverbs 22:14

The Bible says the tongue is powerful because of the effect it has on others. The tongue actually has the power to bring death or life:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue... (Proverbs 18:21)

The tongue is powerful because of the effect it has on you. You can snare yourself with your own words:

Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth; thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. (Proverbs 6:2)

The tongue is powerful because your words can separate you from God:

Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? (Psalms 12:4)

Your tongue is closely related to your heart, body, soul, and spirit. For example, if Satan has control of your heart, he has control of your tongue:

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies;  These are the things which defile a man...  (Matthew 15:18-20)

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.     (Luke 6:45)

Satan uses the things you say to cause a breach (opening) into your spirit:

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)

By evil communication you create a breach through which Satan enters to war against your spirit. Satan also uses your lips to affect your soul:

A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.  (Proverbs 18:7)

Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:23)

Through the tongue, Satan affects your whole body:

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. (James 3:6)

Your tongue affects your whole life:

He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life; but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. (Proverbs 13:3)

Satan seeks control of your tongue by tempting you to speak:

COVETOUS WORDS:

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

IDOL WORDS:

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36)

FOOLISH WORDS:

The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge; but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness. (Proverbs 15:14)

UNPROFITABLE WORDS:

Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. (II Timothy 2:14)

FABLES AND COMMANDMENTS OF MEN:

Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. (Titus 1:14)

EVIL ABOUT THINGS YOU DO NOT KNOW:

But these speak evil of those things which they know not... (Jude 10)

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. (II Peter 2:12)

FLATTERING WORDS:

For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness. (I Thessalonians 2:5)

ENTICING WORDS:

And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. (Colossians 2:4)

MURMURING, COMPLAINING, AND BOASTING WORDS:

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. (Jude 16)

For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (II Peter 2:18)

VAIN WORDS:

They speak vanity every one with his neighbor...  (Psalms 12:2)

PROUD WORDS:

...with their mouth they speak proudly.  (Psalms 17:10)

BOASTFUL WORDS:

How long shall they utter and speak hard things? And all the workers of iniquity boast themselves. (Psalms 94:4)

WORDS WHICH TAKE GOD'S NAME IN VAIN:

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7)

CURSING AND BITTER WORDS:

Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. (Romans 3:14)

LIES:

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psalms 58:3)

Let the lying lips be put to silence, which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. (Psalms 31:18)

SLANDERING WORDS:

Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. (Psalms 50:20)

MALICIOUS WORDS AGAINST OTHERS:

Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deed which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words...  (III John 10)

WHISPERING WORDS (GOSSIP):

A froward man soweth strife; and a whisperer separateth chief friends. (Proverbs 16:28)

TALEBEARING WORDS:

A talebearer revealeth secrets; but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. (Proverbs 11:13)

BACKBITING WORDS:

He that backbiteth not with his tongue  nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.  (Psalms 15:3)

DISSEMBLING WORDSDissembling words cause division:

He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him. (Proverbs 26:4)

CONTENTIOUS WORDS:

A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.  (Proverbs 18:6)

WORDS OF STRIFE:

Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.            (Psalms 31:20)

WORDS OF DISCORD:

A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:19)

DEVOURING WORDS:

Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. (Psalms 52:4)

FROWARD AND PERVERSE WORDS:

Put away from thee a froward mouth and perverse lips put far from thee. (Proverbs 4:24)

EVIL AND DECEITFUL WORDS:

Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.   (Psalms 50:19)

Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth...  (Psalms 140:11)

MISCHIEVOUS WORDS:

They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. (Psalms 38:12)

FILTHY WORDS:

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  (Colossians 3:8)

As you can see, the list is extensive of the damage the tongue can cause in you and by you.  But, don’t be disheartened,  know that God has counter strategies to obtain victory over the tongue!

(Biblical Studies)

10/04/16


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Peculiar Treasure






Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  (Exodus 19:5)





Being born again in Christ does not automatically make us a peculiar treasure, however, it opens the door to allow God to begin the necessary work to adorn us in the beauty of His holiness.  

Spiritual maturity involves a right personal relationship with the Lord which includes good prayer and Bible study habits. If we are to lead others in the ways of God, you must communicate with Him yourself and have knowledge of His Word. You can attend leadership seminars, go to college, and read many books on leading souls to Christ, but unless you continue to seek the Lord your ministry, tricks and tips will fail.

A right relationship with God also involves being full of the fruit of His spirit.  

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

The fruit of the Holy Spirit refers to the nature of the Spirit revealed in the life of the believer. It is spiritual qualities which should be evident in the lives of all Christians, and especially in spiritual leaders.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for witness.  The gift of the Holy Spirit (the indwelling o God's spirit) is for power. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is for character. Spiritual fruit is evidence of spiritual maturity. Just as fruit takes time to develop in the natural world, spiritual fruit takes time to develop. It is the product of natural growth in the life of the Spirit.

The Bible speaks of two kinds of spiritual fruit: The outer fruit of evangelism and the inner fruit of godly spiritual qualities. Spiritual leaders should bear fruit by being a powerful witness of the Gospel message:

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain... (John 15:16)

The last command of Jesus before returning to Heaven was:

Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)

He challenged His disciples with a great vision of spiritual harvest:

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. (John 4:35-36)

King Solomon said:

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30)

The power of the Holy Spirit enables believers to be spiritually fruitful through evangelism:

But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

God gives us the method of spiritual reproduction:

And the thing that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (II Timothy 2:2)

In addition to the spiritual fruit of evangelism, we are also called to develop the fruit of Christ-likeness:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

These are inner qualities the Holy Spirit wants to develop in the life of the believer. They are qualities that were evident in the life of Jesus Christ. This is why we call them "Christ-like qualities".

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is found in every act of goodness, righteousness, and truth done by believers:

For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. (Ephesians 5:9)

The fruit of the Holy Spirit includes the following specific qualities:

LOVE:

Love is an emotion of deep affection, care, and concern. It involves caring for people, being friendly, sympathetic, compassionate, understanding, comforting, encouraging, and attentive.

  • The leader must love God (Mark 12:30).
  • Love is to be shown by the believer to all believers, and the unsaved (I Peter 1:22; Luke 6:27,32,35; Matthew 5:43-44; 19:19; John 13:34-35; 15:9,12; 17:26; I John 2:9-10).
  • The believer's work for the Lord is to be a labor of love (I Thessalonians 1:3).
  • Faith works by love (Galatians 5:6)
  • Spiritual gifts work through love (I Corinthians 13
  • Love is the key to success of all ministry (I Corinthians 13).

 Love involves tact, which is an ability to get along with others and relate to them in a positive manner. It is an ability to say and do what is necessary and difficult without offending others.

JOY:

Joy is a quality of gladness, delight, and jubilance.
  • It is God's desire that you have joy (John 15:11; 17:13).
  • The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Ghost (Acts 13:52).
  • The source of joy is not in worldly things. It is in God (Psalms 16:11).
  • Because true joy is spiritual and not dependent on outward circumstances the believer can rejoice in temptation and trials (James 1:2; II Corinthians 7:4).
  • The believer can be longsuffering with joy (Colossians 1:11).

 PEACE:

Peace is a condition of quiet, calm, tranquility, and harmony. It is the absence of strife, anxiety, and concern. A believer with this quality is reliable and able to keep his head in emergencies because he can keep calm.
  • Confusion is the opposite of peace. God does not cause confusion. His desire is to bring peace (I Corinthians 14:33).
  • All true peace comes through Jesus Christ (Acts 10:36; Ephesians 2:14; Romans 5:1; John 14:27; 16:33).
  • Believers should follow after things which result in peace (Romans 14:19)
  • and live in peace with others (II Corinthians 13:11; Hebrews 12:14).
  • Unity, which is necessary in any effective ministry, is kept through peace (Ephesians 4:3).
  • The peace of God must rule the heart of the believer (Colossians 3:15).

 LONGSUFFERING:

Longsuffering is the quality of patience. It is the ability to cheerfully bear an unbearable situation and patiently endure. Longsuffering was a quality evident in the ministry of the Apostle Paul 
  
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,  (II Timothy 3:10)
  • We are to be longsuffering with joyfulness (Colossians 1:11). 
  • The believer should preach God's Word with longsuffering (II Timothy 4:2)
  • and relate to others with this quality (Ephesians 4:2).
  • He must "put on" longsuffering as a spiritual quality (Colossians 3:12).

 GENTLENESS:

Gentleness is the quality of having a mild manner, not being severe, violent, or loud. It is a quiet and respectful kindness.
  • The Bible warns believers not to strive but to be gentle to all men (II Timothy 2:24).
  • We are not to be brawlers. Brawlers are people who are always fighting or arguing (Titus 3:2).
  • We are to be easily entreated. That means we are to be easily approached by others because of our gentle nature (James 3:17).

 A gentle believer and a great leader. David wrote:

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation; and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. (Psalms 18:35)

GOODNESS:

Goodness is acts of holiness or righteous acts.
  • God fills the hungry with goodness (Psalms 107:9).
  • As believers, the goodness and mercy of God follow us (Psalms 23:6).

 FAITH:

Faith is an attitude of belief, expectation, and hope towards God 

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)

It is believing that all God said is true and that nothing is impossible. Faith, combined with the work of the ministry, accomplishes great things for the Kingdom of God.

Faith is an attitude of confidence in God which makes followers feel confident and builds their faith. It is the belief that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me".

MEEKNESS:

Meekness is controlled strength.
  • Disciplining of others should be done in meekness (Galatians 6:1) 
  • and it helps the believer keep unity in the church (Ephesians 4:1-3).
  • It should be used in dealing with all men (Titus 3:2; II Timothy 2:24-25).
  •  A wise man is a meek man (James 3:13).
  • All believers are encouraged to seek this quality (Colossians 3:12; I Timothy 6:11; Zephaniah 2:3).

 TEMPERANCE:

Temperance is moderation in emotions, thought, and actions. It is self-control.
  •  Temperance is mastery in all things (I Corinthians 9:27 and 9:19- 27).
  • We are to add temperance to our lives (II Peter 1:6).

 In addition to spiritual fruit, the Bible identifies specific qualifications for leaders. These are found in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. The following qualifications are those listed for pastors, bishops, elders, or deacons. Although these qualifications are identified for specific offices, they are desirable for all believers: 
  • Above Reproach: Should have a good reputation, moral, disciplined, and not be in violation of God's Word: I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6, 7
  • Husband Of One Wife: If married, should have only one mate: I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6. (The support and cooperation of the mate in ministry is also important.)
  • Temperate: Moderate in all things: Titus 1:8; I Timothy 3:2
  • Self-controlled: Demonstrate control in all areas of life and conduct. If a man is to lead others, he must be able to control himself: Titus 1:8
  • Sober, Vigilant: This means the leader is knowledgeable, sensible, wise, and practical: I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8
  • Hospitable: Home is open to others: I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8
  • Able To Teach: Has an ability to communicate God's Word to others: I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9
  • Not Addicted To Wine: I Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7
  • Patient: Opposite of being quick tempered: I Timothy 3:3
  • Not Self-willed: Not self-centered and always wanting their own way: Titus 1:7
  • Loving What Is Good: Supporting all that is worthwhile to God and His purposes: Titus 1:8
  • Just: Fair in dealing with people: Titus 1:8
  • Stable In The Word: Titus 1:9
  • Holy: Righteous, sanctified: Titus 1:8
  • Not Fond Of Sordid Gain: Not greedy for financial gain. Free from the love of money: Titus 1:7; I Timothy 3:3
  • Good Reputation With Those Outside: Must have a good testimony among non-believers:  I Timothy 3:7


 (Biblical Studies)

10/03/16

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

End Time Behavior Demands it - Launch Out into the Deep!






"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9 








Despite the severity of our personal situation or the uncertainty of the current situation of the country in which we live, we must stick to the journey at hand.  We launch out as far as God directs us and then we allow Him to take over.

 “Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.  

And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.”  Ezekiel 47:1-5, 9

If God gave us His spirit we ought to do more than have a superficial relationship with Him.   It can't just be Sunday morning worship only, paying your tithes or singing on the praise time. We must be equipped to go deeper in God.  We must have:

  •                  faith that will defy human understanding
  •                  faith that goes totally beyond what you thought could happen 
When God has called you to do something He has already given you the ability to do it.

We can not doubt God or the ability that He places in us.  We must not waver in our belief.  Double mindedness will keep you in the shallow place.

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” 
James 1:8

When God has complete control you can't leave until your assignment is done.

When God is leading you, He doesn't leave you where you are.  Follow His lead
No more can we settle for being average.  Take on His nature and characteristics even in our dealings with people.  Learn to forgive even as Christ Jesus instructs.  There is something about being associated with God that can transform everything about you.   Allow yourself to grow up in God.  
When you don't get to a place where you can forgive people you limit your own growth in God.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”  1 Corinthians 13:11 

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Matthew 6:14-15

Don't go to hell from the church.  Again, church attendance, paying tithes, being a part of the programs does not guarantee your entrance into heaven.  There must be demonstration of your faith unto God by obedience to His will.

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
1 Peter 2:2

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”  Hebrews 12:1  

Don't let getting outside of God's will cause you to leave prematurely.  God is saying come on up higher, lose control and let me have control.  It is not just a Sunday morning experience.    You have to be careful to be clothed in God; in His holy Spirit everywhere you go.  

But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.”  Luke 2:44-46

It's hard to come into contact with God and still be the same.

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”  Luke 8:43-48  

Get a desire for the things of God.

“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
Psalms 37:4-5

Our focus should be on the eternal things of God and not the temporal things of this world.  Yes we know that the world is in a horrible state but we should not be surprised about it.  The word of God expressly informs us of end time behavior of this world.  Just as there is end time behavior upon us, we need to be in end time behavior through our pray, praise, worship and faithfulness to do the will of God.  The world has most definitely launched out, likewise so must the body of Christ!  Don't get so caught up in the things o the world that you lose focus on who is sovereign.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  Colossians 3:2
 
 Biblical Studies
10/01/16