While in Thought the Fire Burned

“I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.
My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, ‘LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.  Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.’ Selah.”  Psalm 39:1-5  (KJB)

The Psalmist, the singer, was refusing to speak and be silent.  While he is being silent his thoughts rage, the fire burns as he continues to add fuel to that fire.

I have been there.  I am fairly certain that all who are reading this has been in that place where you bridle your tongue, and wisely so, but the anger, the hurt continues to rage in your thoughts.  What do we do with that?

David realized he had a problem.  He took it to the LORD.  So must we take it to Him.

Going to God in prayer is the best place to vent, to complain about that man or woman or situation that has caused our thoughts to roar at us; rousing anger, rage, and maybe even bits of hatred.

I was asked not too long ago, ‘Don’t you ever get angry?’  My answer to that was, “Yes!”  If it is not seen by others there must be something going on. One of at least two things: 1.  I am just covering it and building a fire in me making me even angrier; or 2.  I have taken the rage, anger, and hatred to the throne of God.

The first can be dangerous.  The second is the way of the faithful Christian. When we take our complaints to the Lord, then we will have less of a problem getting along with others.

Jesus Christ died on the cross to deliver us from our sins.  He was buried to carry away our sins and shame.  He arose from the grave the victor over sin, death, and hell.  He is coming again.  Do you know Him?

Use Your Words Wisely

“The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.” Proverbs 18:4
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” 18:21

Using Words Carefully – Proverbs 18:1-24

Verses 1-4 –  These verses carry over from verses 27 and 28 of chapter 17.  There is much in the Proverbs of speech, the tongue and words.  We are taught to choose and handle words carefully; and not deceitfully.  The fool is one who cares only for his own words; is in the process to thought while another is talking; and only to have something further to say.
On a first look verse 1 could seem to have a positive intent; however with the word “intermeddleth” it means that the individual contends with wisdom.
Verses two and three then show the intent of the heart of verse one.  On verse 4 see Proverbs 20:5

Verses 5 – 9 –  Speaking good of evil, and evil of good to overthrow the righteous is not good.  Backbiting,  and slander is the heart of the destruction of the fool’s mouth.
A lazy individual is akin to the great waster (v. 9).

Verses 10 – 11 –  Many a wealthy individual has all their hopes in their wealth, investments, and possessions.  An island of safety in the midst of words of warning and hope (v. 10).

Verses 12 – 21 –  You can see that the words of the foolish individual is more important to him/her than listening to others in verses 13, 17.  Verses 16 speaks of giving gifts – not bribes to buy off judges, law enforcement, etc.  Probably could be likened to a gift someone might bring to the King’s birth.
In verse 18 there seems to be some wisdom in “casting lots” for the ceasing of contentions.
There is reward or destruction in our use of words.  They can be the difference in life and/or death; destruction or building up.

Verses 22 -24 –  See Proverbs 12:4; 19:14.  Marriage is good if it be found in the way of God.  For a marriage to be good the man and a woman must choose and use words carefully.  Good communication is a key.
In verse 23 we have a contrast between the poor and the rich.  The poor is humble before others when asking something from them.  The rich have no need of anything so they speak roughly to others.  Again whether one is rich or poor really makes no difference when it comes to our choosing and use of words.
In verse 24 we have a sentence which is familiar, “And there is a friend who sticketh closer than a brother”.   Before that we learn that if one is to have friends, then, we must be a friend.
Friends choose and use words carefully.  The choosing and using words carefully has nothing to do with “Political Correctness”; but using words to build up.  A lot of times hard/truth words need to be used to bring out good quality in another.

More on the Mouth

The Mouth of the Wise and Righteous – Proverbs 10:1-32

At least 13 times in chapter ten there is reference to “mouth”, “lips”, or “tongue”.  Verses 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 31, and 32 with a couple of  verses having two references.

There is power in our use of words with our tongues, lips, our mouth; hear what God says about the power of the tongue; “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21).

From Warren W. Wiersbe –

Wise and righteous are key words in this chapter, and they go together, for the wise practice righteousness and the righteous grow in wisdom.
The wise bring joy and not grief to their parents (v. 1). They will take advantage of God-given opportunities (v. 5) and will obey orders (v. 8). Wise people gather knowledge (v. 14) and share it with others (vv. 13, 21, 31). They also know when to be quiet (v. 19). They do not jest about sin (v. 23) but are serious about obeying the Lord.
The righteous have God’s protection and provision (vv. 2–3, 24–25), and He blesses them in life (v. 6) and after death (v. 7). Their words give life (vv. 11, 20–21, 31–32), and their works prosper (v. 16). Their future is secure (v. 30) and joyful (v. 28).
If you are wise and righteous, those traits will be revealed by your words (vv. 6, 11, 14, 20–21, 31–32) as well as by your works.

Of verse 6 Matthew Henry Commentary says,

“Verse 6
Here is, 1. The head of the just crowned with blessings, with the blessings both of God and man. Variety of blessings, abundance of blessings, shall descend from above, and visibly abide on the head of good men, real blessings; they shall not only be spoken well of, but done well to. Blessings shall be on their head as a coronet to adorn and dignify them and as a helmet to protect and secure them. 2. The mouth of the wicked covered with violence. Their mouths shall be stopped with shame for the violence which they have done; they shall not have a word to say in excuse for themselves (Job 5:16); their breath shall be stopped with the violence that shall be done to them, when their violent dealings shall return on their heads, shall be returned to their teeth.”

The Believer’s Bible Commentary –

10:11  The mouth of a righteous person is a well of life flowing with words of edification, comfort, and counsel. The mouth of the wicked is silenced by his violence and malice.

10:15  The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Those who have money can make money. The poor man can’t get started; his poverty is his undoing. The rich can buy quality merchandise that lasts longer. The poor buy worn-out, second-hand things that keep them poor with repair bills. This is the way things are in life, but not the way they should be.

The ESV Study Bible –

Prov. 10:12–18 These verses constitute a paragraph, with both vv. 12 and 18 mentioning hatred and both using the word covers/conceals (Hb. kasah); the individual verses relate to this overall theme. At the center of the section is a statement about wealth and poverty (v. 15) that requires careful attention. Though wealth can represent strength, and poverty can lead to ruin, the verses that precede and follow v. 15 (vv. 12–14 and 16–18) reinforce the call to recognize that what people pursue and how they pursue it are more important than what they possess (see 28:6, 20). Deception conceals a hatred (10:18a) that causes contention among others (v. 12a) and ruin for the person who deals in it (vv. 14b, 16b). Seeking wisdom (vv. 13a, 14a, 17a) through obedience, by contrast, fosters a love that can make peace with others (v. 12b); such a path leads to life (vv. 16a, 17a).

Prov. 10:19–21 These three proverbs contrast the prudent and productive character of righteous speech with the revealed emptiness of what is concealed in foolish speech (see v. 18).

It would seem, in looking at most of these verses, not related to the mouth, that they are connected by slouth.

Verses 31 – 32 speak of the froward (Perversive, fraudulent) mouth.  First the froward mouth will be cut off; secondly, it is the way of the wicked.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Fifty and Two

“Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath…” Isaiah 45:22-23 (NKJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

Seeing how God has spoken His Word, and that not one word He has spoken will ever fail; but all will be fulfilled, just as He has said; I want to live with His Word in my heart, and mind, and seen in my hands and my feet as I live for Him; so that others around me might see Him at work in me; so that they might have the Word of God – the Living Word, who is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, and God the Son – empowering, protecting, loving, and God being glorified in all who will call on His name.

Christmas Day Two Hundred Forty and One

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to always guard my mouth and tongue that I not speak, or write anything that unnecessisarily offends others; or attacks them personally; and that I might always speak what lifts up my Lord and God Jesus Christ.

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.” Psalm 141:3-4 (KJV)

Captivity

“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.” Psalm 126:1-2 (KJV)

The verses from Psalms whether written following the Egyptian captivity and the people’s deliverance, or the Babylonian captivity is of little importance.  Zion had been taken captive, and you yourself may be in captivity as I write.

I am a captive.  I will let you know in a moment what I am a captive of.  The people of Zion, Israel, if you will were captive for 70 years in Babylon, and when their deliverance came just as God had said, then, they were rejoicing.  “We were like them that dream” the Psalmist says.

It seemed almost unbelievable.  Are you a captive today.  Does sin hold you captive?  Are you doing things you know to be wrong, and then feel guilt following the act? Maybe no guilt, but you know it is wrong?  You are a captive to your own sins.  It rules you.  It controls you.

There is freedom from sin.  Sin is a horrible master.

I told you moments ago that I am captive.  What am I captive to?  To love, mercy and grace of God shown to me through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Through Him I am free from sins bondage, sins weight, drudgery, guilt, condemnation, and fear.  I am captive to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Son of God, and God the Son.  He set me free.  My mouth is filled with laughter, and my tongue with singing unto Him.

The LORD has done great things for all those who are captive to the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Distress

“In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and He heard me. Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:1-2 (KJV)

We all experience distress.  Distress is defined as; “great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble.”  It had the same meaning to the Psalmist; probably David.

Being slandered, falsely accused; we have all had it happen one time or another.  If you have not; then you will.  It is not pleasant.  It can make you want to just curl up in a corner, and never see anyone again.  That is what the culprit who spreads it wants.

Christian, when it happens to you do as David.  Cry unto the LORD.  He will hear you.  Look the enemy, the liar, the culprit in the face; in the midst of others, and make them come clean.

The LORD will hear your cry.  He will deliver you.  Liars, slanderers, can never stand up to the truth.

One thing for certain; Christian, those things best not be coming out of your lips or mouth concerning someone else.  Be an encouragement even to those who might be  your foes, your enemies; but especially to those who are your friends.

In your distress cry unto the LORD.  In your distress praise the LORD.  In your distress stand your ground, and pray for those who offend you.

Keeping the Tongue

“I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” Psalm 39:1 (KJV)

We have a powerful little thing in our mouths that can heal and/or kill.  It is called a “tongue”.  James the half brother of Jesus says, “No man can tame” (James 3:8).

We do not often think of the power we wield with our tongue, and as in writing a blog or writing in an email, on facebook, or any form or writing.  We often do not think of these things as being the “Tongue”; however, they are spoken words, and carry either hope and light or death and darkness.

The Psalmist David said, “I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue…”  We too, as people, and especially those who are Christian, need to weigh our words, or thoughts, before we speak them.  One measure to have is, Do these words give life; or do they give death?  If they give life, then speak.  If they give death, then maybe we need to keep our mouths shut.

God forgive me for the times I have spoken death; and also forgive me for the times I kept my mouth shut when I could have given life.

Through the Bible in a Year 072813

To Be Called By His Grace…

I.  …WE ARE DELIVERED FROM CONDEMNING RELIGION (Galations 1:13-14)

II.   …WE ARE CALLED TO A NEW LIFE AND MINISTRY (1:15-17).

III.  …WE ARE DEAD WITH CHRIST; YET RISEN WITH HIM (Galations 2:18-21).

 

EVENING MESSAGE –

When the LORD is Great in Our Lives…

I.  …WE WILL GUARD OUR WAYS AND OUR TONGUE (Psalm 39:1-5).

II.  …WE WILL BE COMPASSIONATE TO OTHERS (Psalm 41:1-4).

III.    …WE WILL REJOICE IN  HIS GREATNESS (Psalm 48:1-7; Psalm 54:1-7.

IV.  …WE WILL KNOW AND RECOGNIZE THE HEARTS OF WICKEDNESS (Psalm 58:1-5).

V.  …WE WILL THIRST FOR GOD DAILY, AND OFTEN (Psalm 63:1-2).

VI.    …WE WILL SEEK THE LORD FOR OUR KEEPING (Psalm 64:1-6).

Preserve My Life from Fear

This was the Psalmist prayer in Psalm 64.  There are times we all have people speak against us with hateful, malicious, envious words; and these words do harm to our thoughts and can affect our physical strength and stamina.  However, if we go around in fear of what people may say, may be saying, then we will continue in those losses.

“Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.  Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: that they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.”  Psalm 64:1-4 (KJV)

As I was reading Psalms 61 – 65 this morning these verses stuck with me more than others.  I like many other preachers have preached about the tongue.  The Bible speaks much about the human tongue and the evil within an uncontrolled one (James 3:1-12).

The enemy is ultimately Satan.  He has vitriolic words; especially against anything good and godly and righteous and just.

The Psalm shows words as being like a sword, bows and arrows; referring to “bitter words”.  How many lives have been taken by the use of hateful, envious, bitter, malicious words?  Maybe not physical life by the words themselves; but ultimately leading to the death of a young person, or a spouse, or a parent, because of these words.

Let me write for you here what I wrote in my journal this morning concerning these verses –

It was 64:1-4 that invaded my attentions.  It concerns the mouth and words and the tongue as a sword and bow and arrows.  Words do harm us.  In fact we can murder with our words the character, reputation, confidences, and sometimes even faith of others by hurtful words.

Be careful today how you speak.  Do not be anyone’s enemy.  Be a friend.  We all need a friend.  Let me give you a “Thumperism”  – “If you cannot say something good about some one, then do not say anything at all.”  Good words.

Speak especially well of Jesus our Lord and Savior.  He alone is worthy of worship and praise.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Fruit of the Lips

The Fruit of the Lips

“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37 (KJV).

Jesus is still speaking to and of the Pharisees. The hearts of the Pharisees are corrupt and their fruit is corrupt. A thorn tree cannot help bearing anything other than thorns. The fruit of their lips comes from their hearts, because their hearts are evil. Their hearts are evil because they know the Scriptures, but do not know the Truth when He stands in their midst. Their hearts are evil, because they are “full of dead men’s bones”, dead and profess to know God, but know Him not. They are evil because they lead blind men into the ditch with themselves. They are evil because they praise the godless and condemn sinners who seek a Savior.

Jesus uses imagery similar to that of John the Baptist, “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” 3:7 (KJV). Slithering, sneaky, slothful serpents whose only mission is to lead people to destruction. It is almost an insult to the serpents. Because of the evil of their hearts they cannot produce good fruit. They cannot speak good and fruitful words. They condemn themselves. The only hope for these religious leaders is to deny themselves, their corrupt fruit, corrupt lips, and believe in Jesus.

People do not often think this way, but words often reveal the content of the heart. If, for instance, the first word to come to you lips and tongue when you smash a finger is a swear word, then you really do have a heart problem. The one whose heart is right when they smash a finger might be something along the line, “Lord help me”, but not to take His name in vain, or swear vehemently against Him. That comes from evil in the heart. By our words we will either be justified or condemned. Good words are spoken of our Savior and His work from the heart of those whom He has changed.

Guard your words, for they reveal the content and state of your heart.

-by Tim A. Blankenship