(James 3:7-8 KJV) For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and
of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of
mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of
It is shocking to
think that everything in the world is tamable except the tongue. To make things
even worse our text says that the tongue is “unruly, evil and full of deadly
In other words the
tongue lies dormant like a poisonous snake until provoked and then it strikes
with deadly venom. An unruly tongue strikes instinctively (like a snake) and
not from a carefully thought out plan.
Jesus said “O
generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the
abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”(Matthew 12:34)
The Apostle James
goes on to say, “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)
Over the years I
have come to realize that our text was saying a lot more than I originally
thought. I also discovered that I was not nearly as holy and perfect as I
thought I was ether, even though I was pretty good at obeying what I believed
to be the dos and don’ts of the Bible.
are very important and one should strive to walk righteously before the Lord
doing as the Apostle Paul suggests by buffeting one’s body. However, obeying
the dos and don’ts actually have more to do with the outside of a man than it
does the inside of a man.
Perhaps that is
why Paul said in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world but be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind…” In other words, one’s outside
discipline is only the first step in living righteously before the Lord. The
second step is a daily renewing of his mind which is the outworking of the
Okay, I think I
understand all of that but what about the tongue…the tongue…what am I going to
do about the tongue? All of my good works of trying to obey the dos and don’ts
of the Bible are fine, but without bridling my tongue it is all for naught.
Every time I think I have my tongue bridled I relax a little and it is loose
A couple of days
ago after seeing the hand of God move powerfully in one of my services my
tongue broke out of the bridle again and I spoke unkindly to a man. This man
was not in my church service but he was doing some service for me back home.
I should have not
only shown him mercy because I had that right but one should always show mercy
to those under his authority.
about what I said and somehow trying to justify it I realized it was not
necessarily what I said that was wrong but how I said it. A person with a
strong personality has the ability to say something in a soft spoken way that
can be as venomous as a poisons snake. Being kind when one is killing someone
with their tongue does not count.
I have come to
realize that one cannot tame the tongue…they can only dedicate it to the Lord
and fill themselves to overflowing with His word and His presence. His presence
is what disconnects the tongue from its poisonous roots and turns it into a
tongue of praise.
I want to live a
life of ‘tongue dedication’. I want to
be a better man and a better example to those who look to me. My desire is that
my tongue be bridled tightly except when it comes to praising You. I give You
all praise and honor and glory.
(1John KJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love
casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made
perfect in love.
is one of the most crippling things known to man because it paralyzes his
confidence. For example, bullies like to intimidate other people because it
weakens them and gives the bully an unfair advantage.
strategy behind intimidation is to cause doubt, and doubt was what caused Adam
and Eve to sin when they doubted what God said was true. As a result of their
sin, they lost their place in the Garden of Eden and their lives were changed
forever. Doubt caused by intimidation will usually guarantee that one will have
a head-on collision with disaster, as was the case with Adam and Eve.
has always been an extremely effective weapon of war. It is used in military
efforts as well as in all sports competition because it causes fear in one’s
opponent and fear causes weakness.
see this whole thing played out when Goliath faced Saul’s army in 1 Samuel 17.
Because of the size of Goliath and his threats, he completely weakened Saul’s
well-trained army and basically rendered them helpless.
little David was not intimidated by the threats of this loud-mouthed giant and
therefore was able to defeat him with a single rock. David’s action proved to
Saul’s army that size is not a factor when one operates in faith that is based
on knowing the covenant of God.
are many things that can be intimidating. One may be intimidated by heights,
crowds, cliffs, important people or even people in authority. The reason these
things can be intimidating is because of uncertainty, which has the same effect
as facing the bully on the playground.
and intimidation are such a part of our society today that it is almost as if
they are in the air. We may say that we are not afraid of what other people
think, but that has not proven to be true when it comes to witnessing for the
was walking down the street in Queensberry,
New York a few months ago and
decided to call my wife who was back in Texas.
She was taking care of our little great niece who was less than a year old at
the time. Her name is Raleigh
and my wife and I are absolutely goofy over that baby.
wife, Karen, told me that she would hold the phone up to Raleigh’s ear and I could talk to her. For
the next couple of minutes as I (a six foot two inch man) walked down the
street in Queensberry, New York, I talked baby-talk to little Raleigh without
any fear or intimidation. I am sure the other people on the street who heard me
thought I was off my rocker, but I did not care.
before last I woke up at one o-clock in the morning and the Lord brought back
to my mind the time I talked baby-talk to Raleigh
as I walked down the street in Queensberry,
New York. That morning the Lord
taught me something about that experience that I shall never forget. I learned
at one o-clock in the morning lying in my bed that the only defense for
intimidation and fear is true love. My love for baby Raleigh consumed
intimidation and it had to yield to the greater force which is true love.
You for showing me early that morning that the only antidote for fear and
intimidation is true love. True love is what caused David to defeat Goliath and
the same true love is what caused me to walk down the streets in Queensberry,
New York talking baby-talk to little Raleigh. The same true love will also help
me to have no intimidation as I blow the trumpet for You, Lord.
(Revelation KJV) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and
the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the
seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto
Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto
all the giftings that a parent dreams of for their child…writing would rarely
be at the top of the list. Could it be that most parents think that the gift of
writing should be in the hobby category and not seriously taken as a means for
is certainly something to be said for that conclusion and yet without writers
and scribes one would not have the Bible, history or great literary works to
learn from and be inspired by. The fact is, if things were not written down,
one’s education would be reduced significantly.
God seems to have put something in mankind that drives him to record his
thoughts and his history. If that is the case, then it has to be one of the
most unsung and yet needed gifting of all time.
when Adam was created he had the ability to remember everything like God did,
but when Adam sinned he lost that ability and now man has to write down his
intent in using this text is not to discuss eschatology, but to point out that
John (the writer) felt the need to record his vision in a book for others to
read. I believe the driving force behind this 92 year old man to record his
vision (revelation) is extremely significant. His vision was a message that
everyone needed to read…and read…and read…and that is why it needed to be
written down rather than just talked about.
while ministering in the Albuquerque,
New Mexico area I had the
opportunity to visit the PetroglyphNational Park. The park
was one long range of volcanic eruptions instead of single mountain eruptions.
I stood in awe as I looked at this one-of-a-kind phenomenon with all of its
large black boulders laying there as memorials. One of the things that
intrigued me was the 20,000 writings and images that had been pecked out on the
black boulders. These writings and images dated back hundreds and even
thousands of years ago.
could not help but wonder what was on the minds of the artists/writers as they
chipped away at the stones in order to get their message out. Why did they feel
the need to take the time to do such art work/writings?
their reason for writing or drawing so that future generations could know of
their existence or was it only to express their own feelings? Perhaps I need to
ask myself the same question since I too write.
I think back on my day at Petroglyph National Park I cannot help but wonder if
those people felt at least something of what the apostle John felt as he wrote
the book of Revelation. I realize their message was not on the same level as
John’s message, but my point has to do more with the motivation behind the
writing than the writing itself.
Thank You for
giving us so many ways of expressing our thoughts and emotions. I pray that my
own writings will inspire and encourage others to look up and move forward
knowing that “all things work together for the good to them that love God.”
19:32) Thou shalt rise up before the
hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am
I think respect and honor have gone the way of the pipe organ. When I was
growing up, those qualities were such a fundamental part of life that it would
never cross one’s mind not to show respect and honor, especially to elders.
seems to me that during the rebellion of the 1960’s a spirit of overfamiliarity
came in and consumed one of this countries natural treasures. That treasure is
the respect for one another and especially for older folks and those in
the reason the subject of honor was addressed in our text in the first place
was to remind us of how God feels about it. I also find it interesting that our
text seems to imply that there is a relationship between respecting old men and
fearing God. As a matter of fact, the way our text is written it could also
imply that one learns how to fear and respect God by practicing on older men.
that is true then does it mean that one’s salvation is in question where there
is no respect or does it only mean that one only knows God in an immature way?
It would certainly seem to me that if one does not respect and honor God, then
how can they really know Jesus as their Lord.
is a spirit and one of the most subtle traps of all time because it can devour
one’s basic ability to show respect and honor on any level. That would also
mean if one cannot show respect and honor, then their ability to show true love
is also in question.
I was watching a
car show last night on television and it showed a museum of one-of-a-kind cars.
Standing alone was a sports car and the man being shown this car gasped for
breath when the owner said to him “Would you like to sit in the car?” “Oh yes!”
the man said as he took off his shoes and gently opened the car door and eased
down in the seat. The owner then replied, “I know you respect the car.” The man
sitting in the car asked the owner the value of the car and the owner said “My wife
turned down twenty-five million dollars for it.”…In other words, it was
brings me to my own personal experience that took place recently while I was in
I was asked if I wanted to go to the train museum and see the train that Tom
Hanks used in the Christmas movie, “The Polar Express.” I excitedly said,
was absolutely awed by the sight of this great train, but not necessarily
because it had been used in the movie, “The Polar Express,” but because it was
so massive and beautiful and powerful. As I stood looking at Steam Locomotive
No.1225 it seemed to demand a respect because of the important role it played
during World War II, It totaled five hundred thousand miles hauling materials
back and forth across the state. You might even say that Steam Locomotive No.
1225 helped win World War II.
I stood there that day looking at this massive steam engine, I was inspired by
the fact that it is still in use. It no longer hauls materials up and down the
track at sixty MPH as it once did, but it still does haul sightseers up and
down the track at forty MPH.
seemed to notice that those who respect things such as the expensive car in the
museum and Steam Locomotive No. 1225 are more likely to know how to show
respect for other things (such as the elderly). That being the case then it is
not hard for that person to also show respect for God because that level of
respect and honor resides in them.
desire is for respect and honor to not only reside in me, but to be manifested
through me in my daily life toward others and especially toward You. Lord, my
respect for things such as Steam Locomotive No. 1225 are not in the same
category as my love and respect for You because You are due all honor.