“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.”- James 3:6 ESV
We must have a solid foundation if we are to stand on THE ROCK! We must know WHO WE ARE, WHY WE ARE HERE and WHOSE WE ARE! We also need to be aware of the limitations of being human! Why does a DOG BARK? Because it is a dog! Why does a CAT MEOW, because it is a cat! Romans 3:23 tells us, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! As a matter of fact- those of you that have pride in how good you are, lets bring some TRUTH THERAPY with the book of Romans: None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)
Leader, if we don’t know the TRUTH of where WE ARE- we will never be able to GET TO, where GOD HAS PLANNED for us to GO! Psalms 14:1-3 and Psalms 53:1-3, Ecclesiastes 7:20 and other verses in the WORD OF GOD tell us what Jeremiah 17:9 says bluntly; “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?? This is a continuation of James’s big idea that faith and works go together. That what one says and does proves what they really believe. Those who trust God, who really believe Him, begin to be changed from the inside out! First their HEART and then in their SPEECH. For the tongue is untamable, capable of great destruction- unless we get a NEW HEART! Ezekiel 36:26 makes it clear: And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. (Ez 26:36)
Conduit, the tongue isn’t merely the one bad apple in the barrel. It is the member which corrupts all of the other parts of our bodies. An uncontrolled tongue is responsible for setting the course of our lives on fire, for burning down everything along the way. The word “hell” here is derived from the Greek name of the Valley of Hinnom. This was a well-known known place just outside of Jerusalem. Hinnom Valley had been used in the past for human sacrifice. At the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, it was a perpetually-blazing trash heap. Because it was associated with garbage, rejection, evil, destruction, and fire, this Valley of Hinnom was often held up as a picture of God’s eternal judgment on sin: hell. This is so foundational to the LIFE of a CHRISTIAN that GOD gives a specific warning: I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak. (Matt 12:36) This is why Jesus told Nicodemus: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Be born AGAIN by the SPIRIT of GOD and LET GOD LIVE through you by renewing your mind and getting a HEART TRANSPLANT from the GREAT PHYSICIAN-JESUS!