6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. – James 3:6 NLT
James 3:2-6 NLT
We all know the old saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Or as I learned it in my childhood “words don’t bother me”.
Either way, it is wrong. With our tongues, we can speak words of life or words of death. The death might be a relationship or a lost opportunity. We can speak words of peace or words that stir up anger. We should always consider our thoughts carefully because those thoughts turn into words that can buildup, tear down or completely destroy. We can think of our thoughts as a text message we are about to send, once we hit the send button, there is no way to recall the message regardless of how much we regret the words. Our words can truly fan a small spark into a raging wildfire causing damages that may not be repaired. Regardless of how we feel about any situation, it is our duty to speak words of peace and restoration.
9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
– Matt. 5:9 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. — Romans 2:15 NLT
It is said that on a dark night with no obstructions, the human eye can see the flickering flame of a candle up to a distance of thirty miles. How is this possible? Even the smallest of lights will dispel darkness. This is true of that quality that we refer to as “good”. Good dispels evil. As Edmund Burke put it: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Even those who have never read God’s law or those that say there is no God know this is true. All humans innately know the difference between good and evil. For most humans, it is natural to choose to do good whether they believe in God or not. That innate knowledge (we call it the conscience) that God has put in the heart of a human is what prevents total chaos from occurring on the earth. Even those who have never read the Bible or heard the Gospel know the difference between right and wrong. That knowledge becomes more real and more powerful when we receive the Holy Spirit. An atheist can only be an atheist because his/her beliefs are based on a wrong assumption. If the foundation is faulty, then the whole house will crumble. So, good men and women, let us build our house on a solid foundation of truth, light our candles and be a shining light in a world of darkness and evil. Only God knows how much darkness each of our lights will penetrate. Let us take the advice given by Tom Bodett and leave our lights on so a lost and dying world can find their way home.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God’s great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. — 1 Peter 1:3 NCV
The hope that we have of our final salvation is a living hope. It was searched for and studied by the prophets of old. The Holy Spirit revealed things to them and as much as they desired to grasp this hope, they were told that the truths they were revealing were not for them at that time but for a later time. That time came when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, ascended into heaven and sent us the great Comforter, the Holy Spirit. When we receive the Spirit and He abides within us, He brings with Him a living hope. It may start as just a tiny flame of hope, but as our understanding matures, it grows with each passing day. We are saved, we are being saved and one day we will have our final salvation.
The prophets desired it, the angels desire to look into it and understand it, but, by the grace of God, we have it. We need to feed that hope daily by studying God’s Word, praying and praising Him. As we practice these things, we will find that our hope grows and that we experience a peace and joy that we cannot explain. A joy full of glory because each day we are nearer to the ultimate goal of our faith — which is the salvation of our souls.
12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.–1 Cor. 3:12-15
God is waiting to show you the way.
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.–1 Cor. 15:58
How did you answer yesterday’s question? “Am I fruitful?” Maybe you thought, “Why does it even matter?” The answer is in the passages above. Jesus is the foundation and the head of the Church. There is no other foundation that will stand in eternity. If we are being fruitful, then our work will stand the test of fire. It will show that we have been a valuable part of God’s Kingdom work here on earth. If we are faithful, there are rewards laid up for us in heaven. There is nothing that we do for the Lord that is useless. Does our work earn us salvation? Emphatically, NO,IT DOES NOT! If what we do here on earth proves to be of little or no value, Christians will still make it to heaven, but they will have few or no rewards and their hair may be singed from living too close to the flame.–