Luke 6:44-45 (NIV)
Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Oh, if I could only tame my tongue. I have every intention of saying the right things but thank God for His Grace and Mercy for all those times that I don’t. We all bear fruit in our daily life. The fruit that we offer others is our attitudes and actions. We are the Kingdom of God sent forth into the world by the Lord to provide that very thing we once needed to others – life and love. So how are we doing in this endeavor? Let’s talk about it.
I want the world to identify with Jesus Christ based on the fruit of my life. The contents of my heart makes its way to my mouth. Sometimes I am fine with the words I speak but there are many times when I wonder where in the world they came from. Those words that are harsh, unyielding, unforgiving or worse. Am I the only one? There once was a mother in our church with more than a handful of children. Each Sunday they would arrive and as she dropped some of them off in our class, she would stroke their head or speak a kind, loving word to them individually as if they were her only one. I began to judge my own parenting by her example as there were some Sundays we barely made it out of the car alive. So one morning, I pulled one of the older children aside for my own personal validation and asked him if his mother was always like this? Did she ever have a meltdown? Did she ever raise her voice? He then proceeded to shatter my image of the perfect mother and I quickly said, “Enough! Enough! I feel better now.” She is still one of my favorite mom’s in the whole world because even though she loses it just like the rest of it – her love and affirmation of her children is clear in her words.
I Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT)
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
We emphasize the power of our words but do we empower our words. Hmm… now that’s food for thought today. I want my words to be powerful and draw others to the love and grace I have found in the Lord but is that what I am saying? I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels but if I don’t love others I would just be making noise. How do we wrap our words in love empowering them to share the Gospel that we have in our hearts with a lost and dying world? It is way more simple than we make it.
Ask me about my husband. Go ahead. I dare you. My husband is my best friend. Partner. Wonderful father. Amazing man. The love that I have in my heart for him is overwhelming. I can tell you all about him. Ask me about my children. If you do, you better take a seat. My children are amazing individuals each within their own right. I will gladly tell you all about them. Each word is wrapped in the love that I have for them. I admire them. I appreciate them. I respect them. I know everything there is to know about them. We have relationships. They are not chance encounters but the very ones that I experience life with so I can tell you about it effectively. What if we took the time to have a relationship with Jesus Christ as we do our family and close friends? Such an experience would fill our hearts with real love for the Lord that we could express to other people. It would wrap our words in love rather than those things that pollute the well of our heart. We would speak life because we could identify with it.
John 6:63 (NLT)
The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
The Spirit of God lives in us. When we accept Jesus Christ, it is His Spirit that gives us life. Shortly after we say “I do” to the Lord, we begin a covenant relationship. I have been married to Jesus for more than 35 years. Yet, I am only now beginning to fully accept His Partnership in everything I do in life. I have been with my husband for more than 15 years and I have a close, intimate bond with him even in our imperfection! Imagine the potential of the relationship that I have to Jesus Christ if I invest an equal amount of time pursuing my relationship with Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in flesh. Words. As the Spirit turns the dead things in me back to life, it will change the way that I communicate with everyone else. The Bible tells us to speak things that are not as though they were and I believe that. But you have to believe in the One who you get those things from! I can say that my husband is a mechanic. I can let him under the hood of the car and ask him to fix the transmission with total faith that he could do it even though he has no idea how to do it. But I know my husband and know that is not something he does, so I wouldn’t ask him to do it for me. Our words must line up with the Truth to be empowered by God for fulfillment or they will accomplish nothing. Human effort accomplishes nothing. The Word of God is filled with His Spirit and His Life. These are the words that will impact and change me from the inside out and teach me how to love God, Jesus and His Spirit so that I can effectively love others, too.
Proverbs 18:21 (NLT)
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
I love to talk. (I can hear my husband snickering already.) Talking has consequences that I have reaped over and over. I have learned that there is time to talk and be silent. If you love to talk, God will use it for His Glory. You just have to make the right choice before you open your mouth and let your tongue start moving. The tongue has the power of life or death hidden in it. Each day the Lord grants us the freedom to choose life or death in how we live. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20) The content of our words is not as important as the intent of them. When we love the Lord with all of our heart, it is filled with His Word. When we speak – lives saturated in the Word of God committed to pursuing Him wholeheartedly will pour out life to others, but those who are only giving God lip service (Psalm 78:35-37) cannot even help themselves. Blessing and cursing cannot flow from the same heart. You have to pick one. Fresh water will always be contaminated by salt water. You cannot separate the two so we must flush our heart with living water to get rid of all impurity and speak life in each moment to each person based on the life of love that we have discovered that changes our intentions in each word.
Matthew 15:10-11 (NLT)
Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”
Shut up! Religion tells us what to do, what to say, how to act. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is confessed by our tongue and demonstrated in how we live. Now, hang on. It sounds like Jesus is telling us that He would rather hear our heart saying the right words more than acting all religious. We have a long list of do’s and don’ts that are supposed to keep us lined up with the Lord but it seems to me like Jesus is back to “who do you say that I am”? (Matthew 16) When our revelation of who Jesus is and what He came to do overrides any other need, want or desire, our words will begin to change. As we learn to trust Him more, we will need less religious doctrine to govern our life but will speak truth and live life in love with Him! What do your words say about Jesus? What do they imply about the Greatest Love you have ever known? Perhaps if we would spend more time getting to know the Lord than working on our speeches about someone we do not know – we could set the world on fire with His Love all over again!
Proverbs 13:3 (NLT)
Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.
Christianity does not produce a new vocabulary. It simply wraps our words in the love and affirmation that we have found in Jesus Christ. It allows us to love others and make it evident in the words we speak each day. If you have asked Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, but don’t know Him then it will be really difficult to relay that information effectively to others. To read the Bible from cover to cover without experiencing God’s Love first hand is useless. Good information but it cannot save your soul. God’s Word wrapped itself in flesh and has a name – Jesus. You have to “KNOW” that Name to be saved. You have to believe that the Word is true. You have to accept His Love and Grace before offering it to anyone else or it is not yours to share. We are granted long life in knowing Him. It flows from the abundance of our heart. What is in your heart? Be sure that I am evaluating mine. Listen to the Words you speak and it will give you a glimpse of what lies inside your heart. Gentle words are a tree of life. (Proverbs 15:4) I love that. The Lord is offering us more of Himself today as always so that our words will be once again inspired and empowered by His Love!
Psalm 19:14 (NLT)
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.