If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
James 1:26 KJV
NIV: Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
NLT: If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
I’m sure that you, like me, are turning your thoughts toward the New Year. The New Year is an ideal time to make changes and renew purpose and vision for a better self. The trouble is though, that personal change doesn't just come from a calendar. How many times have we heard someone say, “If you don’t like what you have, you have to do something different from what you are doing”. Or how about, “You are eating the fruit of your words”…. “You have what you say”. Truths; but frustrating truths when you believe you are already doing all you can to see change in your life.
We all know there are biblical principals that establish the above and we cannot escape the truth of Jesus’ words from the gospel of Matthew; “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Our scripture today affirms that wrong speaking deceives our heart! Jesus said take heed how you hear and what you hear.
If we want a reality check, all we need to do is listen to what is coming out of our mouths in some kind of consistent fashion. It’s the things we say “all the time” that are the indicators. What we know verses what we really believe. It’s the yeah but, that reveals the heart of a matter for us ~ so, if need be, let’s do an update to a new version for 2019.
My son attend to my words, Let them not depart from the eyes, but keep them in the midst of your heart; NLT says let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they are life unto those who find them and health and healing to all their flesh.
No matter what the situation in life, if we want to see new and improved, it begins with the sure foundation of what God has said. Jesus said my words are spirit and they are life. We are to come to Him, the living word, and feed on Him to have abundant life. Our Father on the mount of transfiguration had to shut Peter up, saying this is my beloved son, LISTEN to him. James’ epistle tells us if we are doers of the word and not hearers only that we won’t deceive ourselves.
Maybe there are things we need to stop listening to and instead replace with what Jesus says. Jesus has words of life that when they are exalted, fed upon, planted in good soil, work to bring forth good fruit in our lives. The word works in a believing heart, so we guard our hearts!
My prayer for each of us this coming year would be to see the goodness of God in the land of the living because we believe. Let God be true and every man a liar!
Happy New and Improved 2019