anger

“Smart Mouth”

Anyone that is fascinated with nature is sure to believe that the Venus Fly Trap is one of the neatest plants to be found, and boy does this plant have one smart mouth!  God provided these plants with mouths that have little sensitive hairs inside of them.  These hairs cause the mouth of the plant to shut up tight when they are agitated in less than a second!  This plant’s mouth works exactly like God wanted it to.  There are a couple of lessons that we can learn from this plant.

First, we, unlike the plant don’t always use our mouths the way God intended for us to do.  We often say things that we shouldn’t.  The Holy Spirit, through James, says concerning the tongue, “With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.”  And also, “Does a spring bring forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?” (James 3: 9,11)

Sometimes the meanest things done are not things that are done at all, but instead are things that are said. It’s amazing how a body made up of about 206 bones can be controlled by something without a single one in it. (James 3:2-5)  Often the best of friendships and even marriages are ruined because of this sad fact.

The second and most useful thing that we can learn from God’s little creation is that when we become agitated we need to shut up our mouth tight.  Easier said than done isn’t it?  But none-the-less, it is something that we must learn to do.  Most especially I, as a person that used to speak my mind no matter the place or time, have had to wrestle with this.  Now as a Christian I must remember that Jesus said that I will have to answer “for every idle word spoken.” (Matthew 12:36)  When you think about that it can be a scary thought because an active mouth can shoot out a lot of idle words! Many of those “idle” words spoken in anger will have a loud echo on the Day of Judgment.  We will be a lot better off when we learn to keep our mouth shut until we can calm down.

The apostle Peter urges Christians to be like Jesus when he said, “that you should follow His steps…who, when reviled did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten….” (1st Peter 2: 21,23)

If you think that’s not a challenge then you’re stronger than I am, but it really is all up to me to decide just what kind of “smart mouth” I’m going to have. EA

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An Aching Heart

“O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, Because you have heard, O my soul, The sound of the trumpet, The alarm of war.” (Jeremiah 4:19)

Jeremiah was a “preacher’s preacher” when it came to the seriousness of sin and God’s judgment. He refused to even “wink” at the things that Judah had “closed their eyes to.” He was a staunch opponent of the attitudes and activities that pulled the hearts of his people away from their God. And while all of that is true, Jeremiah still had a soft heart wrapped inside his hard words. It painfully hurt God’s prophet to watch the people he loved make decisions that led to their own downfall. Jeremiah was not a “blood thirsty” preacher that looked forward to the punishment of the people for their sins – HE DESIRED REPENTANCE!

There are times when a preacher must preach on sin and judgment not because he gets a kick out of it, but because it is his JOB! (2nd Timothy 4:1-5) A preacher can be angry at sin without being angry at the sinner.   A preacher can have a loud voice and a tender heart at the same time. Yes, unfortunately there are times when preachers confuse the opportunity to get up and present the message of Christ’s cleansing blood with an opportunity to get up on their own cleansing “soapbox.” But many more times, like the nation of Judah did, I am afraid that people end up confusing an actual lesson on sin with a lesson on a person’s opinion.

We must not confuse a sermon on righteousness with a sermon on self-righteousness. (more…)