Friday, January 13th, 2017
Do-Gooders (Part 59)
Speak From Clean Hearts
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
Matthew 12:34-35 (NKJV)
But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
James 3:8-10 (NKJV)
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
Proverbs 17:28 (NIV)
I intend and desire to speak good words, but intention and desire aren't enough.
'For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me... O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!' (Romans 7:19-20, 24-25).*
I deeply respect Paul's testimony in sharing his battle against his flesh. He's so excruciatingly honest... many believers can't comprehend it. Perhaps they just don't want to acknowledge their own frailty against life's temptations, as if they might be judged lesser Christians.
But if Paul, a world-changing apostle, called himself 'The very least of all saints' (Ephesians 3:8), who am I not to confess my big mouth? So if I speak wrongful, hurtful or bad words, does it mean I'm not saved or Spirit-filled? Does it mean my heart is not clean enough? No, no, no and yes.
The Blood of Jesus, in Whom I believe, cleanses me and atones for all my sins. But the bearing of spiritual fruit requires a process of transformation. Young or barren trees bear fruit in due time with proper sunlight and maturity. Likewise, proper Son-Light will perfect me, as long as I keep reaching up to Him.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Don't grow discouraged in your progress, whether its achieving godliness or reaching your goals in media. Don't let the devil con you into an urgency or despondency--prompting you to feel inadequate.
In terms of speaking positive words, let's both do something God says is smart: If we can't think of good things to say, then let's not say anything at all. In silence we will not be sinning. Even more, others will think us wise.
'Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips' (Psalm 141:3).
To Be Continued...
* Short, excellent article on Paul's despair in Romans 7: Is Romans 7:14-25 describing a believer or an unbeliever? https://www.gotquestions.org/Romans-7-14-25.html
* Follow up short article on Romans 8:1 regarding no condemnation: What does it mean that there is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1)? https://www.gotquestions.org/no-condemnation.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.