Daily Devotional for Thursday March 7, 2013
(James Chapter 3)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I was flipping through the channels the other night and came across Joel Osteen preaching. What do you suppose blinds so many (obvious in the stadium) people to his "feel good" preaching?
ANSWER: I have been warning people for the last decade about this gutless, cotton candy, motivational fell good speaker masquerading as a "pastor." Here is a link to one of scores of Devotionals that deals with Osteen, http://www.liveprayer.com/ddarchive3.cfm?id=4044
Here is one that I could probably do a month's worth of Devotion's around. You can read the entire 3rd chapter of the Book of James in less than 5 minutes. Please, take that 5 minutes today and do it. It is amazing how living a successful Christian life really boils down to a few things. The foundation, of course, is our daily relationship with Christ. It ALL starts there.
Sin as we know is a manifestation of what is in our hearts. You don't commit the act of adultery until is starts in your heart, moves to your head, and finally is performed by your body. Hatred is a condition of the heart. Having your heart right is the key to how you live your life and the actions you perform day in and day out.
Even though we are talking today about our tongue, that organ that we use to speak with, the things we say start in our heart, move to our head, and are manifested in our conversation. We can never talk about taming our tongue until we talk about taming our heart. We can never talk about the things we say until we talk about the genesis of those words.
As long as I have breath and you read these Devotionals, I will implore you to realize that the key to having a pure heart is having a daily relationship with Christ. An intimate, vibrant, real relationship from which our heart and life are guided by.
Understanding that what we say is born in our heart, then thoughts, let me encourage you today to understand the power of the things you say to other people. We can accomplish so much with our conversation, while we can also destroy so much. I believe it is critical to use our conversation to build people up.
There is so much negative in the world today. We should always take the opportunity when speaking to people to encourage them, lift them up, be an encouragement to them. I also believe that we have to use conversation to be honest with people.
Most counseling situations I am in are as a result of lack of communication. For whatever reason, we don't say what we should, we aren't clear about our feelings, we don't express our thoughts enough, and the lack of communication over a period of time festers into major conflicts. I am a firm believer of being up front and honest. Even if it is uncomfortable and painful, it is better to get it out and deal with it before it becomes even a larger problem.
Of course, our conversation is also the gift the Lord has given us to tell others He is our hope and reason for life. I have talked the last few days about witnessing. While we witness through how we live our life, we also witness by communicating the hope we have in Christ. The easiest and most effective way is to simply tell others what Jesus has done in our life. You don't need to be a bible scholar to tell people how He has impacted your life.
I love you, I care for you, and I pray for you daily. My encouragement for you today is to take inventory of your conversation. Be aware of the things you say, how you say them, and the impact they have on others. Sometimes you have situations where you just have to sit down and have a serious conversation. You can always use God's gift of communication to build someone up and to encourage them. NEVER miss that opportunity.
People need someone to lift them up and encourage them along the way. It can make all the difference in their day. Be aware how powerful what you say is. Be aware of what you say before you say it. Be aware that if you are not happy with the things that come out of your mouth, then you need to pray for the Lord to show you what is really in your heart. You don't speak by accident. It starts in your heart. Pray that prayer today . . . "create in me a clean heart Lord". God will always honor the prayer of His child to be like Him!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,