September 24, 2019
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 24 September 2019
See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very word of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell (James 3:5b-6).
James 3:3-5a illustrate the incredible power of the tongue by means of several examples. The first illustration depicts the tremendous discrepancy between the thing being controlled (a horse, a ship) and the size of the controlling instrument (a bit, a rudder), which proves that something small in size can indeed control a much larger object. The second illustration depicts how something great in size, such as a sailing vessel, can be directed by the strength of the winds, which the small rudder is able to use for direction. Similarly, the tongue is a small member of our bodies, yet can boast of having an influence upon our lives which is disproportionate to its relative size.
Though small when compared to other parts of your body, the tongue holds a place among them that grants it unusually great power, both for good and evil. A single word or phrase has the power to start a fire. Our tongues steers our lives and relationships, much like the rudder of a sailing vessel or a bit in a horse’s mouth. Words have the power to bring life or death.
Just as damaging words impact our lives, so do moments of affirmation and encouragement influence us. You may be in your field of work as a result of someone else’s words. Someone noticed your skills and told you; or, perhaps someone challenged you to be a leader. Now your friendships and relationships are impacted as a result of words spoken. James 3 compels us to ask: “How are we doing with our tongue? Do we speak words of life or death?”
When false teaching occurs, it is usually in relation to two biblical doctrines: (1) the person of Jesus Christ; and, (2) the believer’s identity in Him. False teachers fail to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God and seek to undermine his uniqueness as the God-Man. Jesus Christ is completely God and believers are complete in Him (cf. Col 2:9-10). Remind yourself of whom God says you are in Christ Jesus.
Believers are given fullness because of their vital union with Jesus, the full One. Spiritual completeness is in Christ, “the head over all rule and authority” (v. 10). Orient your day based upon these words of life for yourself, then let your conversation be attractive and gracious to motivate others to know the sufficiency of Jesus Christ in their life, the One who has all knowledge and wisdom and the fullness of deity. Choosing words of life can make a world of difference for us and for others.
REMINDER: the Capitol Commission (interim) Bible Studyis next Tuesday, 1st of OctoberRoom 123 CAP (Basement of Georgia's Capitol) @ 12 Noon