We’ve all seen the forest fires that have devastated the lands out west, and we have grieved over the loss that has occurred because of the fires.
What caused these fires? Some say a spark, maybe a campfire that wasn’t completely put out and flickered the dry brush around it, growing into a massive eruption of shooting flames spreading now as wildfires.
Today, James speaks of a fire. “Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” (James 3: 5)
He then compares our tongue as a fire. Yep, I’ve been a victim of an uncontrolled fired-up tongue. James says, “The tongue is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3: 6)
- One word released by such a small part of our body–the tongue– can destroy the whole course of one’s life.
Look at the animal world. Many of them have been tamed. All kinds of creatures, birds, reptiles, and animals of all kinds, “But no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3: 8)
- A tongue that is restless, is a tongue that keeps lashing out full of venom.
My brothers and sisters, “This should not be!”
Wisdom Of Different Kinds
Wisdom from the world is much different than wisdom from heaven. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3: 13)
However, if we harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in our hearts, and are not concerned about it, this it is not wisdom from heaven but earthly wisdom, unspiritual from the devil.
- Envy and selfish ambition are breeding places for disorder and every evil practice.
The other wisdom, wisdom from heaven, is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, and full of mercy, good fruit, impartial and sincere.
- Those who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
- Be a peacemaker, you’re sowing into the right kind of harvest–righteousness.
(Shared from James 3, Modified)
Not Listening Brings Harm
When God is trying to get our attention and we don’t listen we are not only hurting and harming ourselves, but others.
- Others are affected by our bad choices.
Jeremiah rebukes Judah and the people of Jerusalem. “You did not listen to me, declares the Lord, and you have provoked me with what your hands have made and you have brought harm to yourselves.” (Jeremiah 25: 7)
Then God spoke through Jeremiah saying how He will destroy them. He tells them, “This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy-years.” (Jeremiah 25: 11)
- Destroying an entire country is proof of our sin affecting others.
Jeremiah is using his tongue for good, but there’s a price he pays.
Speaking The Truth May Cost You
Jeremiah’s life is now threatened. God tells him to “Stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who came to worship in the house of the Lord. Tell everything I command you; do not omit a word. Perhaps they will listen and I will relent and not bring disaster I was planning.” (Jeremiah 26: 2-3)
- Our repentance stops the wrath of God from coming.
Do you see the grace of God, over and over again. He desires His people to listen, but we do not.
Jeremiah is obedient, he tells all the people everything the Lord instructed, and he doesn’t water it down. As soon as he finishes, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him saying, “You must die!” (Jeremiah 26: 8)
- Speaking the truth does not often sit well with people.
- Following the Lord requires truth to be spoken.
- Stand, my friends, even if you’re standing alone.
What does Jeremiah say now? He says, “Do with me whatever you think is good and right. But be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for IN TRUTH, the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.” (Jeremiah 26: 15)
The officials and elders of the land stepped forward and spoke up.
- Our tongues can be used to defend one another.
They said, “This man should not be sentenced to death! He has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.” (Jeremiah 26: 16) So Jeremiah was not handed over to be put to death.
(Shared from Jeremiah 25-26, Modified)
Learn The Art Of Humbling Oneself
The Psalmist declares, “I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother, like a wean child is my soul within me.” (Psalm 131: 2)
- Children have a natural humility until adulthood takes it away from them.
(Shared from Psalm 131, Modified)
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
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