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Posts Tagged ‘David’


– Be angry, and do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath.  For anger rests in the bosom of fools God has no pleasure in. – Ephesians 4:26, Ecclesiastes 7:19, and Ecclesiastes 5:4

– A moment of anger can destroy a lifetime of work, whereas a moment of love can break barriers that took a lifetime to build. – Leon Brown

“Anger” has many negative connotations attached to it.  It can mean to irk, irritate, or infuriate.  It can be indignation provoked by perceived unfairness.  Even though it can conjure up images of ungodly behavior, anger does not always birth sin.  What matters to God is how we handle any anger before going to bed.

There are several forms of good anger, such as in instances of moral injustice or righteous indignation. Christ was justly upset when casting out those who bought and sold within God’s temple (Luke 19:45). Overthrowing the tables of the money changers, and upsetting the seats of the dove sellers (Mark 11:15).

However, our Father’s anger is always right, perfect, and true (Deuteronomy 32:4), even though He is slow to wrath (Psalm 103:8).  Long suffering towards all, not wanting us to perish (2 Peter 3:9).  Always ready to pardon (Nehemiah 9:17), if we turn from our sin and don’t offend Him anymore with it (Job 34:31).

On the other hand, Christian anger is generally a manifestation of flesh – and not Spirit.  Although it’s understandable (Galatians 5:17), it does not make it acceptable.  Human wrath is typically rooted in the world – not the Word.  Something or somebody is causing feelings of annoyance, hostility, or discontent.

Souls are like container vessels that can only hold so much in.  Once filled to the brim, something spills out in word or action.  The mouth will always speak out of the heart’s abundance (Luke 6:45).  The longer any anger resides inside, the more it gets pent-up like a spiritual pressure cooker ready to burst any second.

Anyone in such a volatile state within can go through what appear to be a string of normal days outwardly. Nothing much seems to be bugging them externally. However, they’ve foolishly left anger unaddressed nightly for a week.  It can detonate at the worst time, directed at one who is not the cause of their wrath.

It can result in instant fireworks.  The fuse ignited by anger days before – sparked by another person or situation – finally hits the bundle of dynamite sticks in the heart and everything blows up without warning. The one who explodes not only hurts the innocent party with words, but is left scrambling to save face.

This is wrath that doesn’t work the righteousness of God (James 1:20).  This is a type of anger keeping some wrapped up in unrighteous rage throughout their life.  Keeping them playing hurtful, harmful games of trying to get even with others – instead of leaving all vengeance to God (Hebrews 10:30-31).

Unless it is taken care off, all anger can start ticking like a time bomb in the heart.  It starts behaving like a spiritual toxin if it isn’t brought up and addressed on a regular basis (lead verse).  Toxins can easily create disease.  Physical ones harm the health of a human body; spiritual ones harm the health of a human soul.

Harboring unrighteous anger in the heart as the sun sets, is allowing it to be unaddressed with whomever or whatever it is focused upon – and with God.  It has to be brought up.  The longer wrath rests in a soul, the more foolishness it births.  Any Christian folly isn’t faith.  It gives place to Satan (Ephesians 4:27)

Our days on this earth are evil.  Therefore, we are to walk circumspectly – not foolishly (Ephesians 5:15-16).  Anger born of folly corrupts production of the spiritual fruits God commands us to bring forth meet for repentance – and which are to remain (Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30, Matthew 3:8, John 15:16).

However, even righteous anger has to be watched very closely so we don’t get too high-minded and start jumping to conclusions.  We rarely have all the facts needed to justify wrath – right or wrong – while everything is naked before Him (Hebrews 4:12-13). Things aren’t always as they seem (Joshua 22:6-34).

There is an old saying of “cooler heads prevail” and it’s why we have to keep our anger in constant check so we don’t sin.  We are being purified as Christians through the blood of Jesus, but we will never be as perfect (1 Peter 1:19).  Having any kind of mind like this means God’s truth isn’t in us (1 John 1:8,10).

Does our Father give us ways to address and handle anger so we keep it at bay?  Yes – He does.  There are several throughout His Word, but perhaps one of the best remedies is to remember the words of David: “Stand in awe and do not sin.  Commune with your heart upon your bed – and be still (Psalm 4:4).”

In Psalm 77:6, we read “I call to remembrance my song in the night.  I commune with my own heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.”  If we do these and can’t find our anger source, then we ask God to make intercession.  To reveal deep and secret things only He can see (Daniel 2:22, Romans 8:26-27).

Although there are many other ways (e.g. Psalm 141:3, Proverbs 15:1, Philippians 4:8-9), remember we do not know what any day will bring (Proverbs 27:1) that could arouse angry behavior.  Our soul has to be kept in a constant state of peace and calm.  If it’s being filled with the world, wrong wrath emerges.

Anger is a very complex issue and its triggering factors are many.  It’s a topic far too broad to cover here and this piece is not intended to proclaim of knowing all the causes and answers concerning wrath. However, bottled up anger is a joy and peace stealer, and it can shipwreck relationships beyond repair.

As God tells us in the lead verse, we can be angry, but we cannot let the sun set on it.  We have to come to grips with it before going to sleep.  Wrath will rob us of rest required to walk soberly with Him the next day.  Instead, we will wake up stressed and tense due to anger left lingering in our soul during the night.

Unaddressed, unconfessed anger to others and God – and left uncorrected before retiring in the evening – is a catalyst for committing sin the next morning.  We’ll likely leave the house meditating on the wrath; not the Word.  Sin always lies waiting at our front door (Genesis 4:7), and withholds good (Jeremiah 5:25).

Remember a lot of unrighteous anger in life can put us in a lot of contention with other people – or God. This is nothing more than pride (Proverbs 13:10).  It frequently creates conflict and friction, and leads to disagreements within relationships – even with Jesus – because life just is not going exactly as wanted.

Who is ever going to get mad, angry, or upset when everything is going precisely the way they desire (Psalm 23:1, James 1:4)?  So, if wrath exists before the sun sets, it might mean swallowing some pride and taking a bite of humble pie.  Visiting or calling a person we’re angry at, to hear their side of the story.

This is showing grace, and how we grow in it (2 Peter 3:18) – so we don’t wallow in wrath day after day.  If we are Christians, then we’ve been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5).  We have been given the only power we’ll ever get to put off things like lying, anger, wrath and filthy talk from our mouth (Colossians 3:8-9).

In conclusion, remember our Father above is always ready to pardon us, gracious and merciful, and slow to anger (Nehemiah 9:17).  As Christians, we are to be the same way to everyone else, no matter if they fail to do the same in return.  Otherwise, we are not learning Jesus as commanded (Ephesians 4:20-32).

Repeated troubles and problems dealing with anger, and letting it go, shows this is not being done.  One may be hearing and studying a lot about truth, but never applying it to life from the inside out (2 Timothy 3:7).  More wrath is likely in store until it is finally dealt with as God commands; before each day ends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers; especially they of the circumcision.  Whose mouths must be stopped – who subvert whole houses teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre’s sake. – Titus 1:10-11

– For the love of money is the root of all evil.  Which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. – 1 Timothy 6:10

Money taints and money talks – and it can rapidly turn any house of God into a den of robbers.  Money corrupts, causing people to behave dishonestly and fraudulently against others and God.  Obtained in such a sordid manner, money is known as lucre, and arouses moral distaste in the mouths of others.

Lucre soils the soul with lust and spoils godly love (1 Peter 1:22).  Following its filth keeps any Christian far from heaven (Mark 7:6), despite feigned words often smooth as butter to the contrary of following Jesus (Psalm 55:21).  Unbelievers can stay far from the Word if they see believers “in it” for worldly gain.

However, people following the path of dishonest profit and lucre is nothing new to God (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10). It can exist as much in the church as outside of it.  In Jeremiah’s days, Judah was so saturated with idolatry and immorality, they could not see they had made God’s house into a den of robbers (Jeremiah 7:11).

We see similar money scenes in the New Testament. Simon the sorcerer thought the gift of the Holy Ghost could be bought with money.  Although he had been baptized with water, Peter told Simon his heart wasn’t right with God (Acts 8:13-21).  The Spirit couldn’t be received, as he was still in iniquity’s bond (Acts 8:23).

Jesus was recorded as being angry just once – when He went into God’s temple and cast out those who bought and sold within (Luke 19:45).  Overthrowing the tables of the money changers, and upsetting the seats of dove sellers (Mark 11:15).  No one must ever have to buy something and pay a price to hear Christ.

These people had turned God’s house of prayer into a house of profit – a deceitful den of greedy thieves (Matthew 21:13).  A pack of grievous wolves Paul warns us about, who speak perverse things to draw disciples after them (Acts 20:29-30).  Altering and distorting God’s gospel for dollars (Galatians 1:6-7).

And, Titus warns us of whole houses being subverted, with preachers teaching things they should not for filthy lucre’s sake (lead verse).  They are greedy dogs who can never have enough; nor understand (Isaiah 56:11).  Scratching itching ears with unsound words; but sure sounding good (2 Timothy 4:3, Titus 2:1).

Getting those in the pews to turn away from truth – and to fables (2 Timothy 4:4).  This is when people get tired about hearing the plain gospel of Christ, the one preaching against worldly gain (Matthew 6:19-20).  Dull of listening to such (Hebrews 5:11), and weary of being unprofitable servants (Luke 17:7-10).

We are to buy the truth placed inside us a Christians, and not sell it.  Nor, are we to market and charge for any godly wisdom, understanding, or instruction we have acquired (Proverbs 23:23).  Paul would work occasionally as a tent maker so he could come to people and preach without gainsaying (Acts 10:29).

Again, goals of earthly gain is not new to God.  There were those back in Old Testament days who couldn’t see any worldly profit by following His ways; including Job.  Job had said “What profit shall I have, if I am cleansed from my sins (Job 35:1-3)?”  Some men in Malachi’s times had similar minds (Malachi 3:14).

God will give us a mouth and wisdom to where our adversaries will be unable to gainsay from – or resist what we speak (Luke 21:15).  However, gainsayers want others to turn from attending to truths of the Word.  Leading greedy souls astray with deceptive words of how to get profit from it (Matthew 24:4).

This has led to ungodly pursuits like the creation of Christian investment programs.  Where participants pool their money and put it into such, so they can all be of one purse when they get a profitable return. Exacting more than God has appointed; and filling their homes with spoil (Luke 3:13, Proverbs 1:13-14).

Greed is an intense and selfish desire for gain.  It has also fueled the explosive growth of merchandising His Word.  It’s turned the church into one giant mall of countless products for Christians to purchase.  This is deceiving masses into believing spiritual growth can occur by spending money on such – over and over.

The damnation of all those who market Christian merchandise for even a penny – does not slumber (2 Peter 2:3).  Those who preach for profit are running greedily after the error of Balaam for reward.  They’re heading for woe – and shall perish in the gainsaying of Core if not repented of (Jude 1:11, Luke 13:3).

All for a love of money and lucre.  All because their god is their belly, and their belief is based on bank account balances.  Bolstered when there is more – bottoming out when there is less.  Minding earthly matters like money and materialism, but whose end is always destruction (Philippians 3:19).

Given everything written so far, keep in mind money by itself is neutral.  If left out of mortal hands, it is harmless.  However, when one has just a little bit of money, it can start wreaking havoc in any home – any life.  Challenging and questioning one’s motives for doing anything, even within a church or ministry.

Even if money is gained honorably from God through humble obedience (e.g. Malachi 3:10, Luke 6:38), it can put people at odds with Him.  Creating more problems than providing any lasting sense of inner peace.  They are never fully satisfied with having riches once dreamed of in the past (Proverbs 27:20).

At one time, Solomon was richer and wiser than any king on earth (1 Kings 10:23).  He had obtained this fortune through unselfish means (2 Chronicles 1:11-12).  Because of this, there was a later time where Solomon withheld no joy from his heart.  He could have whatever he set his eyes on (Ecclesiastes 2:10).

It was not enough.  Solomon foolishly began doing evil in God’s sight.  His father David had fully gone after the Lord – Solomon did not in disobedience (1 Kings 11:6, Acts 13:22, Mark 12:30).  It caused God to stir up an adversary for Israel and Solomon the rest of his days as king (1 Kings 11:14-25).

Wealth can make people many friends.  However, it can make them wonder who their real ones are, and who would disappear when the money does (Proverbs 19:4).  In a similar vein, wealth can cause people to live in constant worry of having worst fears realized. Losing all their riches, regardless of reason or season.

This happened to another man of God in Scripture – Job (Job 3:25).  Worldly prosperity will always drive a wedge between even how the most upright believers (Job 1:8) talk of following God, and how they actually walk.  Spirits must never waver or wander – spiking or dipping based on having favorable finances or not.

Earthly riches are hedges for honoring God.  It is easy to raise hands to heaven and praise His name when one has the money they want.  However, it is a hedge Satan is always ready to cut down.  All he needs is a green light from God as with Job.  Job lost everything short of his life and wife in one day (Job 1:2-3, 9-19)

Jesus warned that our lives do not consist in the abundance of things we possess (Luke 12:15).  We brought nothing into this world – and it is certain we can carry nothing out (1 Timothy 6:7).  What does it profit if we gain the whole world and lose our soul in the end?  One penny can’t save us (Matthew 16:26).

As Christians, we serve the Messiah or Mammon (Luke 16:13).  We cannot do both (1 Corinthians 10:21).  Mammon is wealth considered as an evil influence, or a false object of worship and devotion. Pursuing it debases and demeans God.  It shows Him where faith is really focused (Colossians 3:2).

Those who will be rich in this life fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts; drowning them in the worldly waters of destruction and perdition (1 Timothy 6:9).  Those who are rich are charged not to be high-minded.  They are not to trust in uncertain riches, but God (1 Timothy 6:17).

Regardless, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (Mark 10:25).  Riches do not profit in the day of our death, but righteousness will deliver us from it (Proverbs 11:4).  The former will cause falling, the latter flourishing (Proverbs 11:28).

Jesus Christ is the only foundation we can lay and build upon as believers.  God warns us to take heed how we build on it (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).  Chasing after greenbacks or greed is building upon a flimsy foundation of Mammon, and another man’s – but not the Son of Man’s (Luke 6:48-49, Romans 15:20).

We are to follow spiritual riches and desire such gifts from our Father.  These are the peaceable fruits He commands us to produce until death (Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30, John 15:16). – meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8).  It is so our faith grows exceedingly, as does our love towards all (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

If we earnestly covet these best gifts, God will show us a more excellent way (1 Corinthians 12:4-31).  If we desire something, then we do all we can to get it. Spiritual gifts cannot come from spending or seeking money, but by spending alone time with God and His Word – away from the steady noise of the world.

We do this through private prayer (Matthew 6:6), studying the Bible to be approved to Him (2 Timothy 2:15), and by being doers of the Word – not just hearers (James 1:22).  This is the godly exercise required to gain contentment in life.  This is how we gain the profit and promise of heaven (1 Timothy 6:6)

Broad is the road to destruction (Matthew 7:13).  God warns us not to err from our walk on the straight and narrow (James 1:16, Matthew 7:14).  Satan is always waiting to lead us away to a faith shipwreck (2 Peter 3:17, 1 Timothy 1:19).  Instead of the Almighty – following the almighty dollar is a sure-fire way to err.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– And Jesus said to him, “No man having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62

– Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul – seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?  Fill your horn with oil, and go.” – 1 Samuel 16:1

The Sower” is a painting by van Gogh.  It shows a stark country setting.  A simple farmhouse sits far off in the background.  The foreground shows a young man walking across a dirt field with a seed bag slung over his shoulder – the sun blazing above.  His gaze is fixed ahead as he scatters seeds behind – unaware a few birds have gathered there; already eating some of them.  It is a good illustration of the lead verse.

A bad illustration is sitting in the same Sunday seats week after week, year after year.  Doing so develops a complacent Christian life not in accordance with God’s Word.  The more we feel at home here in our body – including that of a church – the more we’re absent from the Lord.  We don’t want to be found naked at the end because we clothed ourselves in the comfort of any physical church (2 Corinthians 5:1-6).

This is not God’s idea of spiritual farming.  Failing to move when God commands is stubbornness.  When He told Noah to build the ark – Noah moved with fear (Hebrews 11:7).  He didn’t tell God it wasn’t a good time.  Stubbornness is a sin (1 Samuel 15:23).  It is a refusal to move in accordance with the Word, because one is still conformed to the world (Romans 12:1-2). It is remaining in a state of disobedient unbelief.

We don’t see people chosen by God to follow Him (John 15:16) like Moses, David, and Paul attending weekly Sunday church services or mid-week Bible studies.  Then, wandering about in the world outside of those times, wondering what God wanted them to do.  Jesus did not hang on a Cross for us to hang around in an idle haze, confused at any time about what God wants us to do (1 Corinthians 14:33).

There are many reasons why we have to be on the move much of the time.  One reason is God always has something for us to do – as long as He is the One leading us by the Spirit (Romans 8:1).  We cannot make things up in our minds as some accused Moses of doing (Numbers 16:28).  God warns us of having false dreams or lying divinations; misled by them – or misleading others (Jeremiah 23:32, Ezekiel 13:6-7).

While Samuel mourned over God’s rejection of Saul as Israel’s king – Samuel was going to be of no use to Him sitting in the same place too long (second lead verse).  There was a new king to go find and anoint. Still, Samuel didn’t wander off without a clue, hoping he would happen upon the right person.  God had set directions and instructions for Samuel, as is always the case with us (1 Samuel 16:1-13, Proverbs 5:23).

Another reason we have to keep moving is because we are all being pursued by the devil.  Satan is a spiritual predator who does not sleep.  He always knows where we are and who we are (Job 1:6-11, Acts 19:15) – roaring about like a lion seeking whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8-9).  It’s easier for physical predators to attack and kill sick, weak, or stationary targets.  It’s easier for Satan to do the same.

God designed our bodies – physical and spiritual – to move.  A third reason for both to be in movement is it promotes health and healing.  As Christians, we are not our own anymore.  We have been bought with a price, and we are to glorify God in our body and our spirit; which are His (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  Lack of use with either leads to atrophy; a gradual decline in vigor or effectiveness due to underuse or neglect.

Any person in such a state often wants or requires others to do things for them physically or spiritually. In the book of John, a man with an infirmity (physical weakness) had sat by the pool at Bethesda – for 38 years.  Many other impotent people were also there. An angel would enter the pool in a certain season and stir it up.  After this troubling of the waters, the first person in after would be made whole (John 5:2-5).

When Jesus saw this man – He knew the man had been infirm a long time.  Christ asked, “Do you want to be made well?”  The man replied, “Sir, I have no man to put me in the pool when the water is troubled. But, while I am coming, another steps down before me.”  Jesus said, “Rise, take your bed and walk.”  The man did and was immediately healed (John 5:6-8). Christ never touched him.  Jesus simply said “Move.”

Movement prevents us from having too much idle time on our hands.  Idle time leads to idle words we will all give account of on judgement day (Matthew 12:36).  It also creates idol walks and talks, and worldly conversations we are not to have (Exodus 23:13, 2 Corinthians 1:12).  In addition to other sins like pride, an abundance of idleness led to God’s fiery destruction of Sodom (Ezekiel 16:49, Genesis 19:24).

Movement does not mean staying busy all the time. When the Pharaoh oppressed Israel, he wanted them to be so busy making bricks, they wouldn’t have time to make sacrifices for God.  This is too busy (Exodus 5:6-8).  We have to stop from time to time to clearly hear God’s still, small voice – to get new instructions as Elijah did (1 Kings 19:11-15).  However, once we do – we move with fear and without delay like Noah.

Staying in one place too long leads to familiarity. Familiarity tends to breed contemptuous, complacent, careless, and/or lukewarm spirits.  Such ungodly attributes arise from getting too accustomed to something or someone.  Relaxed Christians are the end result (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).  Even in their churches where Satan could be sitting, or preaching from the pulpit (Revelation 2:13, Ephesians 6:12).

If we move ahead and don’t look back in accordance with God’s Word (lead verse), in humble obedience to His commands unto death (Philippians 2:8) – we’re doing His will.  God’s charge in Matthew 24:14 can’t be fulfilled any other way.  If we sit still in one place too long, the sin of stubbornness is sure to stagnate our spiritual growth.  This gives place to Satan and plenty of room to devour us (Ephesians 4:27).

Much like the style of van Gogh’s “The Sower” – we’re to sling a spiritual seed bag over our shoulder and set out across the farmlands of faith.  Sowing the Word of God as our seed as He leads us by the Spirit (Mark 4:14, Luke 8:11).  Not looking back over our shoulder to see if they are landing on stony ground – or if the devil is there to take them away, or we’re not fit for God’s kingdom of heaven (Mark 4:15-16, lead verse).

This keeps us from sowing the same spiritual fields over and over.  When farmers of God’s physical fields do this year after year, the dirt becomes stressed and unfruitful.  The same goes for the spiritual soil of our hearts.  Instead, we scatter a handful of seeds on the ground and move on ahead.  God will send another person along to water it – but He alone will be the One to provide the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).

Only God decides what any physical or spiritual seed will ever become, giving each one its own body as it pleases Him (1 Corinthians 15:37-38).  We can’t grow seeds planted in human hearts into producing spiritual fruits God commands them to become in ourselves or any other person (Galatians 5:22-23).  If we try to, we only defile His crop (Deuteronomy 22:9).  This doesn’t move anyone closer to heaven, does it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Also, take no heed unto all the words that are spoken, lest you hear your servant curse you.  For oftentimes also, your own heart knows that you yourself, likewise has cursed others. – Ecclesiastes 7:21-22

– For every man’s word shall be his burden. – Jeremiah 23:36

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone spoke exactly all the right words we’d like to hear – everywhere we went; every day?  Nothing but warm, well-wishes coming forth from truthful tongues?  When has that ever happened?  If we keep letting words we think are said the wrong way, in the wrong tone, and at the wrong times to ruin our days – we’re probably not going to have many of them.

From the time we get up, all it can take is wrong talk to us at some point after that, to wreck any good mood we may have had earlier on.  We can leave home with a super mood in the morning – then come back with a sour one that night – all because of words.  We may have been able to brush them off a bit before God with some decorum during our day out in public … until we got home (2 Kings 19:27).

Someone cursed at us.  Another said something upsetting.  One person uttered words most would perceive as harmless – but it was the “tone” they used with us.  What was it they “really” meant? However, we may never know how the words we’ve said to others have been likewise.  If we examine our hearts in this regard, we should see we’ve been on both ends of give and take at times (lead passage).

It is true that blessing and cursing should not come out of the same mouth (James 3:10).  However, the tongue is an unruly evil – full of poison – which only the truth of Christ can tame (James 3:8).  This truth is inside us by faith as Christians through the power of the Holy Ghost.  So we’re rooted and grounded in His love (Ephesians 3:16-17).  So we learn Christ in time (Ephesians 4:20-32).

So we learn not to speak reckless, wrong, or grievous words.  One corrupt communication from a Christian can damage the testimony of many (1 Corinthians 15:33, Ephesians 4:29).  We have had our conversation in the world before (2 Corinthians 1:12).  It is now to be as it becomes the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).  So we talk and walk worthy of God (Job 13:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:12).

Unbelievers do not have the power of the Spirit to set a guard over their lips (Psalm 141:3).  They are still going to communicate from the abundance of their hearts – which is the world.  Our tongues should be talking out of the abundance of ours – which is the Word (Luke 6:45).  No matter what others may say to us, we know how to answer them with graceful words, seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6).

God once put a man named Shimei – cursing up a storm – in the path of David and his men (2 Samuel 16:5-6).  How did David react (2 Samuel 16:11-12)? Our Father might just decide to do something similar with us.  Bidding unbelievers to speak bothersome words – at times we may least want to hear them. For Him to see how those of us proclaiming to be Christians respond – with blessing or curse.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing.  My brothers, these things ought not to be. – James 3:10

– Let them curse – but You bless.  When they arise, let them be ashamed, but let Your servant rejoice. – Psalm 109:28

Shimei came tearing out of his house, hurling both curses and stones at David and his men.  One of them named Abishai said, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord, the king?  Let me go over – I pray of you – and take off his head (2 Samuel 16:5-6,9).” However, David knew better than to react so harshly and hastily.  He knew Shimei’s speech and behavior had been bid from above (2 Samuel 16:11).

Perhaps as a test from God, to see if David or his men would curse Shimei back.  Getting into a war of words – or weapons (2 Timothy 2:16).  David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).  People back then might have had a hard time believing this if David was getting himself into shouting or shooting matches with everyone who did not like him – or what he was doing.  Shimei certainly didn’t.

Shimei was from the house of Saul, the previous king.  Shimei cursed David, calling him a bloody man of mischief.  It’s why Shimei thought David had lost his kingdom (2 Samuel 16:8).  But – David thought God might requite him some good for not cursing back (2 Samuel 16:12).  So, he and his men just wisely walked away – with Shimei still cursing, throwing stones, and casting dust (2 Samuel 16:13).

Can a fountain send forth – in the same place – sweet water and bitter?  Can a fig tree bear olive berries?  So can no fountain yield both salt water and fresh (James 3:11-12).  Likewise, how convincing can the testimony of any Christian claiming to be following Jesus, sound to any lost or unbelieving person – if blessing and cursing words should be coming forth from the same set of lips?

If we have heard Jesus, and have been taught by God’s truth now dwelling in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:16-17) – then we are to put off the conversation of our old man (Ephesians 4:21-22). We are not to be deceived, for evil communications corrupt good manners (1 Corinthians 15:33).  We are not to let such talk come forth from our mouths (Ephesians 4:29).

Oh, but the tongue – no man can tame.  It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:8). Mankind has tamed the biggest of beasts, but our tiny tongues can still kindle a wildfire like hell.  One cursing comment from the mouth of a Christian can do that – damaging any prior testimony (James 3:6-7).  How can we possibly curb cursing words from blurting out – and replace them with blessing ones?

Our every word will be our burden (Jeremiah 23:36). We will be justified or condemned by them (Matthew 12:37).  However, Jesus Christ said that out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths will speak (Matthew 12:34).  What we fill our hearts with, has to eventually emerge from our lips.  These hearts are like vessels which can only hold so much, before something spills out in speech (Matthew 9:17).

Following or favoring any part of the world has to be partly reflected by our words.  They can appear quite Christian-like for quite a few days – full of seeming kindness, love, and compassion.  Then some care, complaint, want, or worry of the world walks in – and our heart speaks accordingly (Psalm 23:1, Mark 4:19, 1 Peter 5:7).  Making it very hard at times for others to believe anything we’ve said before.

God sets a blessing, and a curse before us each day (Deuteronomy 11:26).  However, back and forth our words can go – between the Word and the world. Blessing people one day, cursing others the next – both from the same mouth (lead verse).  The lost can’t hear without a preacher (Romans 10:14).  If they hear cursing words coming from Christians – why would they want to come closer to the Cross?

We are to let our conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:27).  Our communication is about things above – not below (Philippians 3:20).  Always exercising a good conscience, so our talk is void of offense towards God, and towards men (Acts 24:16).  So those who speak evil of us, may be ashamed for falsely accusing our good conversation in Christ (1 Peter 3:16).

Do we think God is not going to send us shouting and cursing people who don’t like us as Christians, similar to how He did by putting Shimei in David’s path?  To see how we respond?  Perhaps people who have been hurt by a church, or a previous cursing word spoken by us.  Those who can’t wait to catch us in our words – maybe hoping for some slander to slip out – like some did with Christ (Mark 12:13).

We can offer them the same hope of salvation as we have (Romans 8:24-25).  Having sanctified God’s truth in our hearts, so we speak such to others with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).  No matter what they are saying or doing in return.  Or, we can keep the lost very cautious and uncertain about the Cross – by speaking hurtful or cursing words, to them or others.  And, nobody gets blessed that way.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– And be sure – your sin will find you out. – Numbers 32:23

Two men – Naboth and Uriah.  Both had something that two kings – Ahab and David – desired greatly. One was a vineyard – the other a wife.  Even though Naboth and Uriah did not sin in these situations – Ahab and David did so to fulfill the lustful desires of their hearts.  Three of the four died.  David survived. Although he repented – he still had to pay a dear price for his transgression against God.

David’s first son born of Bathsheba would be dead just a week after birth.  King Ahab would die soon, as well.  All because of sins that were bare before God from their beginnings (1 Kings 21:1-15, 1 Kings 22:34-38, 2 Samuel 11:1-27, 2 Samuel 12:13-19, Hebrews 4:12-13).  The kings were found out – and they found out the cost of their iniquity.  We can be sure our sin will find us out, too – at what price?

Scripture has concluded we are all under sin from the start of life (Galatians 3:22).  It withholds good things from us (Jeremiah 5:25).  As with David, sin can withhold even future blessings from us for a very long time (2 Samuel 12:7-8).  It can also cause many serious things to happen to others – even the deaths of those who did not sin with us.  Sin lies at our doors daily (Genesis 4:7).

We can choose to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season like Moses (Hebrews 11:25) – but pay for them our entire lives.  Yes, God is long-suffering, patient, merciful and gracious – but He will not at all acquit the wicked (Nahum 1:3).  Our Father by no means will ever clear the guilty.  The penalties for sin can even be passed from generation to generation (Exodus 34:6-7).

We don’t come to Christ because we’re good people – we come before the Cross because we’re sinners.  We don’t become good people because we become Christians, either – there is none good but God (Mark 10:18).  However, we do become God’s children again – reconciled and reunited with our Father in heaven (Romans 5:10, Romans 8:16, Colossians 1:20-21).

Still, our hearts are still desperately wicked and deceitful.  This is why God has to come dwell in them through the Holy Ghost – for only He can understand them (Jeremiah 17:9-10).  We have presumptuous and secret sins we might not even be aware of yet (Psalm 19:13, Psalm 90:8).  We have no power to repent of them without abiding in God – and Him in us through the Spirit (John 15:1-7).

Following the flesh as Christians has to result in us receiving some sort of heavenly punishment (Romans 8:1-14).  God’s discipline may seem mean while it’s happening – but it’s out of His love for us (Hebrews 12:6-11, Revelation 3:19).  However, we are assured it will happen (Hebrews 12:5-11).  All of our God’s commandments are not meant to be grievous (1 John 5:3).  We have to do our part by obeying them.

When we are born again of the Spirit (John 3:3). it comes when God has convicted us of our sin with His sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10).  No longer will He wink at us in any ignorance about sin’s consequences (Acts 17:30, Romans 6:23).  It is not to have any more dominion over us (Romans 6:14).  Willful sinning is now direct disobedience.  There will never be another sin sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10,26).

This is why Christ shed his precious blood on the Cross (Matthew 26:28).  This is the very same blood shed daily on a Christian heart as a salve for sins – to keep them in continual remission (Hebrews 10:22). So we keep repenting and not repeating the behavior of our old sinful man (2 Corinthians 5:17).  So we don’t fall away from such repentance.  If we do, it’s impossible for God to renew us to it (Hebrews 6:4-6).

A tentacle in the physical world is a slender and flexible limb used for grasping things or moving around.  A tentacle of sin does the same thing.  It is slender and flexible.  It reaches in and grabs our heart.  Then we move out and about as the tentacle touches another person’s heart, and pulls them into our sin.  Slowly and subtly it weaves its way into the fabric of our life – even our faith.

 

 

 

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(Scripture from the KJV)

– My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change. For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both? – Proverbs 24:21-22

– “I really don’t know what I was waiting for, and my time was running wild. A million dead-end streets. Every time I thought I’d got it made – it seemed the taste was not so sweet.” – David Bowie (“Changes”)

Why do so many seem to always go about continually trying to change their ways (Jeremiah 2:36)? Almost all of us are bombarded daily with commercial pitches and products – promising “to change our lives.”. This can be very easy to do if we don’t like ourselves much – or it seems that others don’t like us very much – and it can be a very expensive endeavor if we keep buying into it each time. The only true and lasting change there ever can be in life comes from above and within. It is through the might of the Holy Spirit in the inner man – Jesus Christ dwelling in hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:16-17).

This inner change cannot be done by without help from God. We can’t just wish and hope that it will happen. We have no root in ourselves – without our Father we can do nothing (Mark 4:17, John 15:5, Acts 17:28). Through praying in the Holy Spirit – God has to get to work on our desperately wicked and deceitful hearts – full of presumptuous and secret sins – cleansing us from all unrighteousness (Jeremiah 17:9, Psalm 19:13, Psalm 90:8, Romans 8:26, 1 John 1:9). This is called repentance. It is changing our hearts. However, it is not merely turning away from sin – but turning to God for His help in doing it (Psalm 79:9). Repentance is a continual, day-by-day renewal of the inner man – while our outer man perishes (2 Corinthians 4:16).

It is allowing Christ – not worldly commercials – to transform our minds (Romans 12:2). As long as we live – this process cannot stop. Who among us can ever say “I have made my heart clean – I am pure from sin (Proverbs 20:9)?” As believers, the second we hit the cruise control button on inner change, our cunning and deceitful adversary – the devil – will waltz right in (1 Corinthians 10:21, 1 Peter 5:8). Without repentance – we will perish (Luke 13:3,5). This process is over when we take our last breath. That’s when the final change takes place – when Christ changes our vile bodies – that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. According to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself (Philippians 3:23).

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