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The difficult task of knowing when not to speak

In the Bible the book of James talks about how we are to bridle our tongues.  It says how can blessings and cursings come out of the same mouth and that the tongue is uncontrollable.  Jesus said to have our speech be seasoned with salt.

There was an experience that happened with my relative a while back.  I said something where I basically just stuck my foot in my mouth, which is just an expression for saying the wrong thing, and she gave me the silent treatment for a long time.  She was an unbeliever so she had not grasped the concepts of forgiveness, but in the process she taught me a very important lesson, which as of late I seemed to have forgotten.  In the process she taught me how to respect her and to be sensitive what I say to her.  I loved my relative and I did not want her to be mad at me and hoped that she would eventually forgive me and she did.  God is the same way and His anger can be kindled so much more, but sometimes we don’t realize that.  We kind of take Him for granted and not give Him the respect that He deserves.  Sometimes we don’t give God the same respect we give to other people, and even when we are mad at other people, we don’t give them the respect not to talk about them behind their back.  I know my relative can have a bad temper at times, but God can have a temper too.  I knew my relative loved me, but she was just angry with me for awhile.  God is the same way.

Isaiah 54 says,

“With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the Lord, your Redeemer.

I know we should never do anything to make God mad at us, and we should never never never do that, but if in the current moment we may think that God is mad at us, it is ok, because He still loves us, and it says that He chastens those He loves.  If He loves you He chastens you.  He is not going to stay angry forever.  He may just distance Himself from you for awhile for one to see how much you will go after Him, and how much you will realize the way you hurt him, and how He feels about the situation.  We are so caught up in how we feel about what’s going on in our lives.  We are so concerned with all the circumstances, and our reactions to it, that we forget that God has a heart too, and we need to be sensitive to it, and not try to dishonor it.  I’m not saying we’ll be perfect all the time, but through life we’ll learn lessons, and learn how to trust Him, and how to depend on Him, so that we can learn how to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.  So even during these times if it seems like your walking through darkness, or that it may seem like there are no answers, God is still there, and He’s still waiting for you to turn around.  He’s waiting to pick up all the pieces of your broken life.  He’s there to restore the damage that’s been made out of your life and to give you beauty for ashes.

Sometimes when we speak out of anger or frustration or because we just don’t know how to handle the situation we are facing, and we haven’t exactly learned how to keep our tongue under control, there will be times when we’ll be reminded of what God feels like.  We don’t like it when people are frustrated and angry with us, so then when shouldn’t be angry or frustrated with God for all the things going on.  He’s in control, and so many times in our lives we’ve tried to take control and not to submit to authority, and not to discipline ourselves in various areas.  I am not even saying that I have mastered anything in application in my life, but it’s only through the grace of God that I am able to share with you all on this journey.  We need to stop beating ourselves up for our mistakes and even the things we may say out of our mouths, but before we do that we need to take time to think and make decisions on how we are going to try to work on improving our attitudes.  We get so caught up in religious activities that we don’t actually take time to think and see how we are going to apply all that we have learned in the Bible.  We have to pray, and read the Word of God, but on days when it may be even hard to get out of bed in the morning then we need to know what kind of power we have waiting inside of us to make life for us, and how we can take Biblical examples of guarding our mouth, and ask us to show us His heart.  How many days would you like to go without God speaking to you?  Not very long I’d suppose.  So in that time more than really praise or worship or any other thing that we’ve tried to seek God with, we need to ask God, and to think how we can change our mindset.  It’s one thing to read the Word of God as just words, stories, and narratives, but it’s another thing to make it an application.  Start with one thing and then see what else you can improve on.  Some people that have an issue with their mouth, like gossiping have an issue with forgiveness, which is an area where we ALL need to work on.  If you have mastered the area of forgiveness then you are miles high then most of us Christians.  Most Christians are biting each other’s heads off all the time, and it’s so sad in the Church.  There are times when we’ve had people we respected lie to us, and we forget that we’ve lied ourselves, so that needs forgiveness.  We’ve had people come and say the  wrong thing at the wrong time and not shown compassion towards us, but then we fail to see how we’ve not been compassionate toward them in their hour of need.  There was a song by Mariah Carey called, Love takes time, which I don’t usually condone of secular music, but there are songs out there that really speak to me.  It goes something like “Love takes time to heal when you’re hurting so much”  Depending on what has happened in your life and how you’ve gone through life, I’m sure you’ve had to learn how to forgive and may be still learning when not to speak.

Sometimes when we at our weakest moments, we just say things, and we can all learn a lesson from Jesus when He was on trial he just was silent, and they didn’t like it, because they wanted Him to say something to convict Himself.

There was a story of a television show where there was a man who was in jail and when he was in jail, they would question him, and all he did when they questioned him he kept silent.  I think there was a Biblical principle behind that somewhere.

There’s always wisdom in knowing when not to speak and to speak.  So we should learn the principle of when to keep silent.  There’s another secular song called “Enjoy the Silence”.  We must choose words carefully, and when we are not perfect, then we should keep things to ourselves.

 

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Bearing Fruit in the Kingdom of God

We have this gardener who came and planted a blueberry plant, and then he came back and he said the other day that he had to remove that plant because it was not bearing fruit.  It really spoke to me because I found this verse.

John 15

15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Love and Joy Perfected

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

It is very important to bear fruit for the kingdom of God, and we cannot do this without Jesus.  We need His help and without the pride coming in saying, it is my own sufficiency which comes in and does this, but there are fruits that must be cultivated and maintained in the Kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

We all have these areas to work on and to develop the character and nature in God, but we must be careful that when we are developing the fruit of longsuffering, that we do not lose the fruit of joy, love, peace, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Jesus is patient with us to see which way we will turn out, but when He sees that we are not bearing fruit in the last days, then we are at threat of having everything we so longingly desire being taken away from us.  One of the key things to focus on is Love.  Love and Longsuffering are tied together, and I am sorry to say it, but it’s true.  When we are suffering long, we may become tired and worn out, and exhausted if we do not abide in Jesus, so when you see yourself falling into that trap, then the best thing to do is spend some time, which fruit can you work on improving more.  The 9 fruit gift of the Holy Spirit is a chained link which is tied together and whenever there is one that is strong, it can help sustain, all that are weak, but the most important one is love.  Love protects the breastplate of righteousness, and joy protects the Helmet of Salvation, Peace protects the Gospel of peace, and the rest also help prepare you with the Armor of God.  When you are going through the difficult times, remember love is a choice, not a feeling or an emotion, you choose to forgive, you choose to love, you choose to have joy, and through trials you choose to have patience, but sometimes patience, is the fruit that is hardest to develop.  Sometimes in life there are difficulties and trials, but through testing of your faith, that produces of patience, and patience, produces, character, and character produces hope.  Sometimes, we don’t see the hope in our situation, so then we wallow in self-pity and murmur and complain, but then we can choose to have joy and not complain and yearn to seek ourselves, but to allow Christ to work in us though we may be living examples of Christ.  And even though we may struggle from time to time because no man is perfect, even the anointed body, we still have this treasure in earthen vessels, which is the glory of God and Christ living in us.  So we must be careful, and I believe that this plant that was taken away because that it does not bear fruit, is a reminder, of how we must train and develop and mature not to just accept our former selves and love our outward man, but to go and remember that it is the soul and the spirit of a man that God looks after and cherishes, and that He cares for and tenderly nourishes.  So if you can’t cultivate one fruit, then cultivate more than one fruit.  And with that you will have patience.  There is no Law against the fruit of the Spirit, but the Law of Love, so if you are not operating out of love then ask yourself, what can you do to see the best of the person.  Allow God to transform you and to work in you to make you into what He created you to be, and don’t wallow in self-pity and discouragement because of trials and circumstances, and try to pursue these things, which are the nature of what Christ is called us to have.  Have love, Have joy, and Have peace, but most of all don’t have pride, because pride in saying that I don’t need to change and pursue these things, will lead to destruction, and God doesn’t want that.  Thank God for what you do have, and build up the nature of the fruit of the Spirit in life.  We may not understand what it actually takes to be like Jesus, but Jesus had to submit to His Father’s will, and that caused Him great anxiety, and stress, but in the end He gave up His will for His Father’s will, and we must do the same.