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Taming The Tongue


"Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things."
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have our brothers and sisters from around the world here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We would  ask that you would do the same for us. We would also appreciate if you would share our website with all of your family and friends.  We again would like to encourage you to visit our Prayer Wall, not only to pray for our brothers and sisters in their time of need, but to also add any prayers or concerns that you may have. 
The tongue, though it is small, is powerful and far too prone to excess, perversion and corruption. It is  without doubt the most difficult member of the body to control. It is also the most powerful. Words have brought about great victories as well as great defeats. Words have, no doubt, changed the course of history.  However, the Christian who gains control over the tongue, can control his life as well. 
Church leadership comes with tremendous responsibility. I believe that one should never take a position of leadership in church, over the beloved flock whom we've been entrusted, unless we are prepared to be honest, pure, and loving. Leadership is a honor and great privilege, and with great privilege comes tremendous responsibility. God holds teachers of His truth doubly responsible because we who lead the flock are in a position where we can either draw people toward Christ or lead them astray.
Therefore, pastors must be careful what they say with both their words and their life. They must use their tongue to share God’s truth and refrain from sinning with their tongue. Furthermore, teachers must practice what they teach, less they are hypocrites. Those who do not use their tongue to develop or build up their students in the truth contradict their reason for being. I believe that a faithful pastors knows the way, shows they and goes the way of the Lord.
True faith, genuine faith yields to Christ’s lordship over the tongue.  

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father,

Father, we are so thankful for Your Word for us today. Lord, we pray that You would grant us the grace to control our tongue. We invite You to work within our hearts to work, and within each of our lives. Even those of us who are redeemed, who have a new heart, who are still in the flesh, may we yield to Your control over our tongue, that our speech would always be of grace, love and truth. May our words be edifying, building one another up, rather than critical and tearing each other down. Help us to realize how powerful are our words and forgive us for our frequent violations of our speech. Sanctify our mouths, season our words with salt. Grant us the patience to hold our tongues in silence when needed and the boldness to speak the truth to a lost and dying world.  Let our tongues be an instrument grace, blessing, and truth, to all who hear us speak. May our words glorify Your name rather than bring You shame.
In Jesus' precious name we pray

Today's Message: Taming The Tongue

There’s a certain inherent prestige in becoming a teacher. The presumption is, that you know more than those that you teach, which means that in way, they should look up to you. Because of this, there is the  danger that some will take upon themselves the office of teacher for the wrong reasons, or that those who took the position for the right reason, will fall into pride. If a man goes into teaching the Word of God because of a secret desire for status or personal recognition, then he is doing it for himself and not for the Lord. Tragically, throughout history, many who teach God's Word have allowed their desire for prestige and status to influence their teaching. Rivalry, envy and jealousy abound when one strives for recognition and status.
In the world in which we live today, striving for power, status, fame and recognition is the cultural norm, a common feature of our everyday life. Underlying what may have begun as a desire to excel in their studies, is the unhealthy desire for recognition, fame and adoration. The danger is when a person falls into this position without realizing it, even when it has been damaging to the flock and his own  life.  Such wrongful desires can effect the words that one speaks, self promotion, tempering the message to please men and not God result in bondage, which can be difficult escape. This is in fact, a major problem for those engaged in the Lord’s work.
Open with me your Bibles to James chapter three. As we continue in our study of this wonderful epistle, James goes from preaching that genuine faith works to the matter of the tongue, as another test of living faith. Because true faith will be demonstrated by pure speech. I believe that there is nothing more telling on the heart than the tongue.
This is obviously a matter of great concern to the apostle James, as it should well be for any teacher of the Word. In fact, James mentions the tongue in every chapter.

Jesus said in Luke chapter six verse 45, "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart."
Our salvation, transformation will manifest new life in the way we live and will show up in the way we speak. In John 6:63, Jesus tells us "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life."
What we say has a powerful influence on the course of our lives. I invite you to follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds, as we prepare our hearts for what the Holy Spirit is saying to each of us. May we all be richly blessed by His words. James 3:1-5a. 
"Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things."
Why doesn’t James say the heart is the problem? In short, because the tongue is the organ by which the heart expresses itself. James uses the tongue as the living symbol of what is in the heart. In other words, let me see your tongue and I'll show you what's in your heart. Psalm 141:3 says "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips."
And Isaiah said in chapter 6, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
I believe that this is a great passage of Scripture, very challenging. Who has never said something that they later wished that they could take back? It only takes one wrong to cause a lot of trouble. I shudder to think just how many lives have been destroyed because of careless words. Relationships shattered, reputations damaged, even wars started, all because of words. 
Colossians 3 says "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 1and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him." The old sinful nature which has been crucified with Christ, but the new man is made in the image of Jesus and speaks words of life.
Verses 1-2, "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well."
James is calling us to control our tongue because of its great potential to condemn. Though he doesn’t mention the tongue here, there is the implication. In other words, James is saying take care not to embark impetuously into a teaching position, because a teacher basically uses his tongue, and you have such a high liability to abuse that, bringing upon yourself potential judgment. Although we become new creatures in Christ, we also carry around with us the old nature or the flesh, which wars against the Spirit.
Remember back in chapter 1:26, when he said "If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless." The point he's making again here, is faith which does not transform the tongue is no saving faith at all. And, even those who teach, need to take inventory of their speech to ensure their faith is real. Having introduced the subject on the level of those teach, "Let not many of you become teachers," he's not denying the fact that God wants us to teach, because God does want us to do that. He's simply saying do not embark into a teaching ministry without a sense of understanding of the seriousness involved. 
Then, he moves to a general statement of everyone's speech.  There were apparently some within the assembly whom he was writing to, who were aspiring and ascending to the role of teaching, giving little or no thought to the implications involved. So, he's saying think about it, don't rush into teaching, because of the great potential to sin with your tongue. When you sin with your tongue in private, that's one thing, but to do it publicly, that's something else.
In fact, the Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 9, "For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel." Some are compelled to preach. 

And in Matthew 28, Jesus certainly tells us "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  So we can see that the Lord wants us to articulate His truth. 

The word he uses for teacher is the word "didáskalos," meaning an instructor or master. So it's safe to conclude he's talking about a recognized teacher, competent in theology. Keep in mind he's writing to those of Jewish heritage, and among the Jews there were official teachers or rabbis. For example, Nicodemus, was a recognized official teacher of Israel. Apparently among those to which James was writing there were too many men who were self-appointed teachers. He's talking about ignorant, unqualified, unprepared, and wrongly instructed teachers. He's is pointing out that a man should not take on the role of teacher unless God has indeed called him to it. And, because our words affect more people, those of us who teach God’s Word will be held more accountable. 

I believe that many of those who stand in the pulpits today, who need to keep in mind, for one day, we will stand before the Lord to give an account! Hebrews 13:17 says "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account." 
That's why Paul says in II Timothy 2 "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth."
Verse 2, "For we all stumble in many ways." This is a comprehensive word on the depravity of everybody. He's pointing out that we all sin, and he is including himself, when he says "for we." I speak for myself, when I say, I am one who stumbles in many ways, not just occasionally! He goes on to say "If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well." He is really zeroing in on the tongue here. Of course, we can never achieve sinless perfection in this life. So he does not mean sinlessly perfect, he's referring to spiritual maturity. I believe that one of the best ways to tame the tongue is to recognize that we all will be held accountable for our speech. 
Paul says in I Corinthians 4:5, "Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God." In other words, it doesn't matter what you, or what I think. What matters is what God thinks, and I teach in view of what is coming ahead! 
And, in Matthew 12, Jesus tells us this, "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment." True believers have this sense of being accountable for their speech, therefore, if we sin with our speech, we need to ask God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of the one we sinned against. 
I know many people, who think as long as they ask God's forgiveness, that's enough. Asking someone's else forgiveness is not necessary. While the Bible gives us no blanket command for confessing to others, it is certainly implied in Luke 17:3-4, "Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him." And there are a number of other passage in Scripture Colossians 3, Genesis 50 and Ephesians 4 to name a few. However, I believe that those impacted by the sin should also hear the confession. God calls us to be honest and forthcoming with regard to others, therefore, it is our responsibility is to genuinely repent, confess the sin, and ask others for forgiveness. 

In verses 3 and 4, James uses two analogies here to make the point that the tongue is small, but mighty. In other words, do not let its small size mislead you. "Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires." 
In order to direct the their subjects, both the bit and the rudder must overcome antithetical forces. A horse is a powerful animal that can be useful in doing much work, however, only if it can be directed. A ship is a useful means of transportation, however, without a rudder, it will be at the mercy of the wind and waves, resulting in a loss of lives and cargo. To work properly and accomplish good things, both bit and rudder must be under the control of a strong hand that knows how to use them properly. In the same way, the tongue must overcome the opposing force of the flesh and be under the Holy Spirit's wise control, if it is to accomplish anything good. Is it then any wonder, why God put the tongue in a cage behind the teeth"
In Matthew 12, Jesus, being in an intense dialogue with the Pharisees, said "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart."
In verse 5, he says "So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things." 
I believe that both Jesus and James would strong disagree with the old expression "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Much like a great forest fire, is set off by a small spark! When you give your life to Christ, along with being transformed, we are to acquire a whole new vocabulary. I believe God gives us a new heart, and with it comes a new tongue, however, even a new tongue falls victim to the old flesh. 
In Closing..
The tongue is a powerful instrument, it can destroy relationships, wreck a marriage, ruin a family. It can manifest love, comfort, peace and joy. Because of its power to control you, it has the power to condemn you. Choose your words wisely. James wants us to recognize the inordinate power of the tongue, either for good or for evil, so that we use it carefully. The bottom line is, if you can't control your tongue, it will surely get you into great trouble!
By nature the tongue is ready to serve as a destructive instrument of evil. By grace though the tongue can become an instrument of blessing. If we will surrender our tongue to God, He can train our tongue to be a force for good and righteousness, and we gain the potential to control our whole life as well.
May it be so..
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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