In James 3, God repeats the classic parental command and makes it very clear that He’s serious. Yes, He says here that no one can tame the tongue, but the context of the chapter makes it clear that He expects us to try.
Luke 6:45 tells us that what comes out of our mouths reveals what is really in our hearts. We can say it isn’t so, but where else would the words come from?
If I’m truly walking in the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love that God desires from me, if that’s what fills my heart, then the words that come out of my mouth will be words of love. I won’t be calling another driver an idiot (or worse). I won’t be bad mouthing the mother who isn’t controlling her screaming child.
I won’t be, as James puts it, cursing a person who was made in God’s very image. And, whether we want to admit it or not, EVERY man was made in God’s very image, even the one whose views don’t correspond with our own.
If I do catch my mouth saying things it shouldn’t (or my fingers typing things they ought not) it’s time for a heart check.
Our FATHER! Not some uninterested god who created the planet and then walked away, not an angry God who has to be appeased. No. He is MY FATHER who loves me and will love me forever, who wants the best for me, who has good plans for me.
who art in Heaven
He’s not bound by Earth. He has a higher perspective. Where I can only see what’s around me, He can see everything. Where I have access only to the resources at reach, He has it all.
Hallowed be thy name
My father is holy. His very name is holy, and I commit myself to living a life that reflects His holiness, to strive to have a reputation that reflects well on my Father. Yes, living in this world can make that a challenge, so I ask, “God, help me.”
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven
Yes! It’s GOD’S KINGDOM that I want to see here on Earth, where HE rules, where HIS will and ONLY His will is done just as surely as it is in Heaven. I know it will happen ultimately, and pray it is soon. I also pray that it be in ME today. Let God’s kingdom come in the earth that is Tammy Cardwell. Let God’s will be done in the earth that is Tammy Cardwell.
Give us this day our daily bread
Yes, please provide our physical needs for the day. Even more, let me feed on God’s Word. Let me chew on it and find in it the spiritual nourishment I need for the day. Let it strengthen me and help me grow.
And forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors
Ah, Lord God, give me the ability to always walk in forgiveness. I refuse to let unforgiveness poison my soul, and want to always forgive, whether or not the other person ever deserves it or asks… or even admits they were wrong. And Lord, forgive me for my sins as I forgive them.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
Yes, oh yes. Lead me in every step I take, Father, so that I can stay far away from temptation and the evil that comes with it.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever
And that is the bottom line. It’s ALL about God. No one ranks higher. No one has His authority or power. He was in the beginning and will be throughout eternity.
I recently had to stop in the road because two little dogs had dashed into the street. One crossed the road, but the other got confused and was wandering. I prayed for the poor things, but then I realized what they’d been after and was floored.
A large dog was jogging beside a woman. He stayed right at her side, never seeming to even notice the little yapper that was chasing after him. He never broke stride, never looked away. He was doing EXACTLY what he’d been trained to do.
And he was carrying his own leash. Literally. He held it in his mouth as he jogged down the sidewalk beside a woman who obviously had total trust in him. And the two made me think.
In a sense, we’re all like that dog. God calls us to run along beside Him, but though He gives us a guide (the Word and the Spirit) that He could use as a leash to control us, He ultimately leaves the decisions up to us. What do we do? What do I do? Do I actively choose to walk faithfully beside Him, not turning to the right or left?
You can’t afford to go backwards. You have too many people following you!
My pastor said these words this morning, and they seared my soul. We tend to think that what we do is our own business and only our own business. We think wrongly.
The Bible refers to us as being surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. We are. As Christians, we can never forget that we are being watched. We are being watched by those in the church. We are being watched by those in the world. But we are not merely being WATCHED. We are being FOLLOWED.
There are those who simply watch me, I’m sure, but there are others-often I don’t know who they are-who are watching me and following my example. If I’m walking in the right direction, setting them a good example, great. If I’m not, their blood may well be on my hands.
It’s a sobering thing to consider, this influence that we have. What if we consider something to be perfectly fine, but someone watching us believes it to be sin? Drinking is a good example here. Many Christians see nothing wrong with drinking while others consider it sin. If one who considers it sin is influenced by one who considers it not sin and chooses to drink, then in his own heart he has committed sin. Who is responsible for his sin?
Paul addresses this in 1 Cor. 8:10-13. His context is eating food offered to idols, but the principle remains. See, in particular, verses 12 and 13. [AMP]
And when you sin against your brethren in this way, wounding and damaging their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
Therefore, if [my eating a] food is a cause of my brother’s falling or of hindering [his spiritual advancement], I will not eat [such] flesh forever, lest I cause my brother to be tripped up and fall and to be offended.
I cannot afford to do anything but move onward, forward, with God. I truly can’t afford to go backwards, to backslide, to drag my feet-or even to do something that makes it appear that I am. If I do, and if in doing I lead others to do likewise, I can get myself in a heap of trouble.
In reading Exodus 15:16-32, we see one phrase repeated many times.
…just as the Lord had commanded him.
Moses is setting up the Tabernacle and we see in these words that he has learned a great truth. We aren’t called simply to do what God tells us to; we are called to do it “just as the Lord has commanded.” It is for us to live our lives not by our own standards, but by His.
Because Moses paid such close attention to God’s commands…
Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.