Sticks and Stones

James 3:5-8  5 So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself. 7 People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison.

Whoever came up with this saying that words “will never hurt me” was obviously never attacked by words, but rather just the sticks and stones.  Unless the sticks and stones deliver a fatal wound, they don’t hold a lasting pain.  Bruises and cuts heal over time. Words, on the other hand, can hold lasting hurt that individuals may even carry to the grave.  “Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life.” (Proverbs 18:21)  The tongue can be the most powerful weapon we carry.  It can nourish life as proverbs says, or it can kill.  It cuts right to the bone and the damage that it does can many times not be undone.  This weapon has shown itself many times in my life.  The shown side not being the nourishing life side either.  It had its contribution in the demise of my marriage.  It has caused me plenty of troubles when dealing with figures of authority.  One authority instance resulted in near death and near total paralysis.  None of the other instances in my life made that big of an impact, but this last one has.  It has given me a completely different perspective on this life in general.  The tongue seems to only be remembered for a lasting time when we utter negative words.  Hence the myth of “words will never hurt me.”   What actually matters in this life is the showing of love to others.  To show Jesus living through us.   This reminds me of a song too, 7eventh Time Down, Just Say Jesus.  “When you don’t know what to say.  Just say Jesus.”  If you really don’t know what to say in a situation, then call on Jesus.  Either saying nothing at all and praying for an individual, or calling on our Lord and Savior to give you the words will result in a much more positive outcome then letting your weapon (tongue) wield its damaging power.  When discussing a topic that you don’t agree with, it is much wiser to pray for the person involved than to try wielding your weapon to make things better.  The Owner’s Manual states that man alone will never change the mind of another human.  Yes, those of us who believe are very passionate about it.  Yes, we want others to come to knowledge of the saving grace we have experienced.  BUT, we will never accomplish this by being argumentative or by debate.  We must pray for the Holy Spirit to give this desire.  The Spirit does the “saving”, we do not.  We must train ourselves to wield our weapon with words of truth, life, and love.  If we cannot, then standing mute is our best option.  Then pray for this person, for yourself, and for your evil tongue, that the Spirit will deliver you to a different opportunity to share the love of Christ.  One last thought.  The Owner’s Manual also states that we can tame all kinds of wild animals, but we can never tame the tongue.  Man was given authority over all the animals that roam the earth.  This is great reason to “just say Jesus”.  He is our strength and why we were created.  To rely on Him to direct our paths and our tongues.  Mine has had plenty of mishaps when I was the one directing.  How bout yours?  Just say Jesus and He will control our weapon when it is wielded.  Love you all!  Bless God!!

Pontifex Forever

2 Timothy 2:24-26  24 The Lord’s servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people. 25 They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will believe the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the Devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

The Lord’s servants: that’s us who have accepted Jesus as our mediator.  A servant is defined as: a person in service of another.  This means that a servant does as the “another” tells him to.  Therefore, if we are to be true servants of the Almighty, then we need to follow the word of God.  Here it says we are not to quarrel but must be kind to everyone.  It doesn’t say to only family and those we like, but to everyone.  Everyone means everyone.  If we are to teach effectively then we must remain patient with everyone.  This doesn’t only apply to an actual teacher, as we are all teachers with our behavior.  How can we expect someone to believe what we have said if our actions then display completely differently? True teaching comes from how we act and live out life’s circumstances.  I failed miserably at this for many years.  I really wasn’t even trying but instead relying only upon grace.  I could talk a good game for Jesus, but when it came to actually displaying what I talked, I failed over and over.  Now that I have endured many life altering situations, culminated by the largest being my death and paralysis that were overcome by only one explanation, Jesus Christ, I have tried to curb my actions to that of which I have always believed.  The phrase “actions speak louder than words” shows itself to be extremely powerful when dealing with our human mind frame.  We are looking for any excuse to repute what someone has said by how they act.  This is why delving into the gospels is so important.  They show the life of Jesus, and not once does He do anything other than what He says.  Even when it came to death, He knew what He was here for and what His death would accomplish for all of us, His children.  He would become our permanent Pontifex (high priest).  His sacrifice was offered up once and for all.  He did not have to offer a sacrifice first for His own sins and then for the people, as the Levitical priests had, as He knew no sin.  He did offer up the sacrifice that would cover our transgressions forever.  All we have to do is accept it.  And now He sits at the right hand of God, interceding for us, becoming our mediator.  We have been held captive by satan to do his will. What’s more so is that our fleshly nature wants to follow this earthly prince because we are fleshly beings accepting what we can see and have a difficult time accepting what we cannot see, the Spiritual.  This adds all the more importance to relying on our High Priest to defeat the flesh side of us that accomplishes satan’s will, and yield to the Spiritual side that is to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, AND to love others so that they might see Christ in us.  This isn’t about mind over matter.  We are not powerful enough to do it on our own.  It’s about realizing that we cannot do it on our own and utilizing the Trinity to empower us over evil.  This life we live now is temporary, even though it doesn’t seem like it.  And every one of us is going to live for eternity.  The question yet to be determined is where is it going to be?   In Paradise with our Creator God and our permanent Pontifex?  Or is it going to be with satan and his entourage?  Whatever one believes about hell can possibly be disputed, but the one thing that cannot is that it is a place void of God.  Void of God; that in and of itself is eternal torment and not a place myself or any of us, should want to be. When you feel like you can’t do it on your own. When this life is too much to bear all by your lonesome.  When you feel you’ve tried everything.  You are right on all accounts.  You can’t do it on your own, it is too much to bear, and you have tried every earthly thing.  It is time to try our permanent Pontifex who defeated death and delivered THE crushing blow to satan and his minions.  He will stand in the gap for us, He will mediate between us and the Father, and He will love us forever.  This week is the week, even though our own beloved country is trying to eliminate what they were founded upon, that we remember what Jesus has done for us, the sacrifice He delivered, and the He is our mediator at the Father’s right hand!!  I love you all!!  Bless God by not forgetting His Son, our Pontifex!