Death And Life Are In The Power Of The Tongue

King Solomon cautioned readers of the book of Proverbs that death and life are in the power of the tongue. As followers of Christ created in the image of God, how often do we consider the gravity of that fact? How often are we mindful of what we say, tweet, text, send?

Careless words. Thoughtless words. Abusive words. Caustic words. Malicious gossip. Words wielded deliberately like the deadliest blade intent on belittling, damaging, destroying. Words spoken without the least bit of thought to their impact.

The apostle Paul cautioned the Corinthian church about their verbal assaults on each other. He feared they had resorted to quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. (2 Corinthians 12:20) He told the church in Colossae to rid themselves of all anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language. (Colossians 3:8)

James tells us the tongue is a fire that can set a forest ablaze. He asks us how praise and cursing can come out of the same mouth. (James 3:5-6, 9-12)

Our words matter. How we say them matters. The intent behind them matters. Our words can lift up. Our words can tear down. Our words can bring life. Our words can bring death.

I wish I could say my words have never wounded. But I can’t. I wish I could say I’ve never spoken out of anger, or jealousy, or arrogance. But I can’t. I wish I could say I’ve always spoken the truth in love, or never allowed a hurt to go by without responding with harsh words. But I can’t.

Maybe you feel the same.

Here are three questions to ask ourselves before our words leave us.

Is what I’m about to say true? Is it nice? Is it necessary? It might be true, but do we need to say it? Will it serve to bless, heal, help?

Going back to Paul again. “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” (Ephesians 4:29 GNT)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Our words, however they are delivered, are powerful. Since we are called to be like Jesus, shouldn’t we use our words as he did?

Our words need to speak life, not death, to those around us.

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Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18: 21 ESV

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Guest Post – I Am Judas

Today’s guest post, I Am Judas, written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I Am Judas

Not a name most would like to call themselves but I am Judas. You may be thinking I am the other Judas, not Iscariot but the one mentioned in John 14:22 but that is not what I am saying. I am Judas, Judas Iscariot. In case you have not been following the “I am _______” series (I am Mary, Thomas, Samuel Peter and Adam) I want to assure you that I have not suffered some sort of mental illness that causes me to think I am anyone and possibly everyone other than Dave. I am Dave Peever but for this post I must state that I am Judas.

I have been called by Jesus.                                                                                 

I entered Bible college all excited; I was going to be a pastor. I was called and nothing could stop me. I may not have been the best student or the best example of a Christ follower but that didn’t matter, I was one of them. Life had meaning and goals, all I had to do was finish out my 3 years of training and I would be able to fulfill my calling. No longer would I be a student among students but rather I would be able to make a name for myself. I was Judas.

Money and position were important.

Summer break came and it was time to work, time to make money. It felt good to have cash in my pocket and a place to contribute. I was needed at work and I was rewarded at work. Position and profit soon called louder than commitment and Christ following. It didn’t matter who called me or what they called me to do, I had new meaning in life and new goals. I was Judas.

I didn’t leave the group, just backed off.

I didn’t return to Bible college, instead I pursued a career that had nothing to do with my calling. I’m not sure what others thought. I figure many saw me at church and assumed that my commitment to Jesus had not changed just my choice of how to live it out. I lived one way when Christians were looking so as to gain their approval while living totally different when they were not around so I could feed my lust for money and worldly position. I was Judas.

The only one I was truly fooling was me.

Maybe others thought I was still a follower of Christ but I would have to say that as time went on people stopped seeing me that way. They may not have written me off but it was becoming apparent that I was not the man I tried to trick people into thinking I was. The truth is I am not sure anyone was falling for my act although they all treated me the same as before. I had sold my relationship with Jesus for money and the approval of others and somehow I fooled myself into thinking He didn’t know. I was Judas.

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Matthew 26:14-16 (NIV)

 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” John 13:27 (NIV)

I may not have handed Jesus over to be killed but it isn’t beyond me to kill Him off in my everyday actions so that I can gain wealth and the approval of those who do not follow Him. I am Judas.

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective. I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Crinoline Cowboys Book Review

Southern Belles conquer the west. Set in Crinoline Creek, Texas in the late 1860s, Crinoline Cowboys is a collection of four stories. Authored by Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Marilyn Turk, and Kathleen Y’Barbo, each story tells the tale of a strong, determined woman who leaves her southern home and losses following the Civil War, to start a new life in the Texas.

As Madalyn Turner, Josephine Montgomery, Sarah Beth Taylor, and Bea Wilson face their new surroundings, challenges, and the unfamiliar ways of the citizens of Crinoline Creek, their stories take us on a delightful journey right up to the happily ever after.

If you’re a fan of Christian historical romance set in the west, this may just be the book for you. With four different heroines, heroes, and sets of problems there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

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What if the Shepherds Didn’t Seek the Messiah?

courtesy pexels.comWhat if the shepherds didn’t seek the Messiah?

The Bible tells us a multitude of Heavenly Hosts filled the sky the night Jesus Christ was born. In their appearance to the shepherds watching their flocks, we’re told the shepherds were afraid. I’d be frightened, too, if an army of angels suddenly appeared in the sky. Wouldn’t you?

An angel told the shepherds the news he shared was great. He said it would bring great joy to everyone. The great news was the announcement of the Savior’s birth. After the angels praised God over Christ’s birth, they told the shepherds to go see what had happened.

We remember the shepherds left their flock of sheep, their livelihood, and went to Bethlehem. The City of David.

In Bethlehem, the shepherds found Baby Jesus in a manger.

Before the shepherds headed to Bethlehem, they did not form a committee to figure out the best way to get to Jesus. They did not ponder what they should say when they found the baby. They didn’t vote to see who would lead the way. They simple got up and went.

The shepherds left their sheep and went quickly into Bethlehem. Once they found the newborn baby, they told Mary and Joseph what the angels said to them in the field. Today your Savior was born…He is Christ, the Lord. Then the shepherds returned to their sheep, praised, and thanked God.

But what if the shepherds didn’t go?  What if the shepherds didn’t leave the security of their fields?  What if they didn’t walk however-many-miles into Bethlehem?  What if they didn’t search for Jesus?  Would their lives be changed, or would they be content to let the day of Christ’s birth pass by without notice?

Like the shepherds we are given a glorious message. Unlike the shepherds we live this side of the cross. We know what it cost God to send his son, Jesus, into our world to save us from our sins.

As we reflect on Christmas and the birth of a baby in the manger who became the Savior on the cross, we too must seek the Messiah. We must go quickly and tell others the Good News of a Savior who came to seek and to save everyone who is lost.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. Luke 2:15-18 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry-Bells Across the Snow

Bells Across the Snow

O Christmas, merry Christmas,

Has it really come again,

With its memories and greetings,

With its joy and with its pain!

Minor chords are in the carol

And a shadow in the light,

and a spray of cypress twining

With the holly wreath tonight.

And the hush is never broken

By laughter light and low,

As we listen in the starlight

To the “bells across the snow.”

 

O Christmas, merry Christmas,

It’s not so very long

Since other voices blended

With the carol and the song!

If we could but hear them singing,

As they are singing now,

If we could but see the radiance

Of the crown on each dear brow,

There would be no cry to cover,

No hidden tear to flow,

As we listen in the starlight

To the “bells across the snow.”

 

O Christmas, merry Christmas,

This nevermore can be;

We cannot bring again the days

Of our unshadowed glee,

But Christmas, happy Christmas,

Sweet herald of goodwill,

With holy songs of glory

Brings holy gladness still.

For peace and hope may brighten,

And patient love may glow,

As we listen in the starlight

To the “bells across the snow.”

Frances Ridley Havergal from Streams in the Desert.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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