The Little Indian Boy and the Feathers

1 John 1:2 ESV
the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us-

This verse is on the heals of verse 1 stating “the word of life”, the life John is talking about is Jesus. Reference back to John 1:1 ESV “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

When Jesus spoke, the people never heard anything like what he was saying. As CS Lewis says Jesus was either a lunatic, a liar, or Lord. The claims Jesus made were HUGE. He claimed not to be a good teacher, He claimed to be God! John testifies as a reputable reporter that Jesus IS eternal life. John was not some crazy man on the street corner holding a sign that says “The end is near!” He was well respected. Remember, John saw Jesus glorified on the Mount of Transfiguration. He was an eyewitness.

Jesus revealed to John that He was God. John not only testifies the reality and truth of this fact but also he proclaims it. The term proclaim can also be translated as to show. He did not just tell of Jesus, but he showed people a life transformed by Jesus. Actions always speak louder then words. Who we are and how we live will make a greater impact.

Be a true and clear witness to the gospel of Jesus through your words and your actions.

I see myself girded up to live out a life worthy of being called an ambassador of Christ at 8:00am and then by 8:01am I somehow mess it up. It is a constant struggle to keep my mind focused on actions AND words. To align my actions with my words is one of the hardest things to do.

There is a story of an Indian Chief and a little boy sitting high on a cliff overlooking a ravine with a river down below. The little boy wanted to learn how to gain more wisdom. So the chief gave him a handful of tiny feathers and said to throw them up into the air over a cliff. The boy did so and watched as the wind lifted them up into the sky, some floated all the way across the ravine to the other side, some down into the river, some floated back over their head and onto the land, while others lifted far up and out of sight. The chief said to the boy, “Now go and retrieve every single feather and bring it back.” The boy laughed because he knew that was impossible. So it is with our words. Once we let them go, we can never get them back.

Lord, help me to be a great ambassador for you. Help me to continually check my actions and my words that they line up with bringing you more glory. Help me to testify and proclaim that you are who you say you are. Help me to be a good student and not only learn your lessons but apply them every moment of every day until you call me home in glory!

Friday Fruits Audit ~ Your Words

bridle your tongueDo you bridle your tongue?

The words you say have the ability to direct your life; either to a sinful destiny or a godly destiny. I choose the latter, however, I often fail. I pray daily for help in this area and get sad when, once again, I blow it. James put it so well when he discusses this in the below passage. Readers were well acquainted with the understanding behind the examples of bits and horses, rudders and ships. They would have heard these analogies often. To compare those ideas with the tongue and the body makes one not think that you can control the body physically with the tongue but that the bit and the rudder controls the DIRECTION the horse and ship go, so similarly the tongue controls the direction a man goes; his is destiny to live a controlled, godly life.

“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.” – James 3:3-12, ESV

How many times do we have to mess this up before we get it right? Probably until we are home with Jesus. However, it is not something that we should overlook. Actually, having the Holy Spirit dwell in you means that your words, if slanderous, used for gossip, cussing with friends because it is funny, or any other ungodly use should have a somewhat immediate effect on your own spirit. I’m not saying you will be perfect and never wrongly judge or criticize someone. I am also not saying that the occasional profanity won’t slip from your mouth by accident. The difference is that the moment it does, if you are truly walking in the Spirit, you will feel convicted. It won’t be months later or even weeks or days. It will be within a moment or two. Perhaps even an hour if you are really in a funk. But that conviction will weigh heavy on your heart. It will cause you to notice right away as a reminder to do better next time. If you are growing as a believer in Christ, you will notice growth. The more you are convicted and continue to walk in the Spirit, the better you will get at bridling your tongue.