Holiness in the Tongue

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“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1 15-16 KJV 

What is holiness? The bible teaches us that God is Holy and He requires His people to live holy lives. But what does He mean by holy? Does He mean to live like a monk in a monastery completely separate from modern society? No, that would not be practical for any of us and that is not the realistic calling of the Bible. God’s commandment to His people was given to them within the context of society that was expected to work, have families and normal relationships. Practical Holiness is a call to live in this world without letting the world live in us. The root meaning of Holy is to separated or sanctified – this means to live in a modern world in a way that is pleasing to God. When it comes to holiness God always begins in the heart for this reason I would like to discuss this question. Where does practicing true God pleasing holiness begin?

THE GOD OF YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER

The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11:13 that, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever”. What does this mean? This means that who God was in the Old Testament remains the same in the New Testament and what God expects of His people does not change. In the Old Testament God gave a command to His people He said in Leviticus 11:45, “…ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” and in the New Testament the Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:16, “Because it is written, be ye holy for I am holy.” He is the God of yesterday, today and forever; many modern Christians have forgotten that God still absolutely requires us to live a holy, pleasing life before Him. Peter goes as far as to call us a royal priesthood, a chosen generation, a peculiar people. Wow what an amazing and glorious privilege to be considered in the eyes of God royalty, chosen and peculiar.

TRUE HOLINESS BEGINS IN THE TONGUE

The Apostle Peter states in his writings that we ought to be holy in all manner of conversation, some versions of the bible say conduct but for the sake of this study will stay with King James Version of conversation. Peter declares to us be holy in your conversation, I think all of us can understand that conversation begins in the tongue. And so it is that practicing holiness begins with us beginning to bridle our tongue. We must understand that the tongue is directly connected to our hearts (spiritually speaking). Our tongues will always give evidence of what the condition of our hearts is. Jesus said this concerning the heart and the mouth, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” whether we realize or not it is our tongue that defiles us. We cannot truly practice holiness when our tongues are out of control, when they are unbridled and quench the Spirit that God has poured in us. It does us no good to practice holiness in other areas of our lives and our tongues continually are out of control.

HE WHO CONTROLS THE TONGUE CAN CONTROL THE BODY

Did you know that the bible teaches us that whoever can control their tongue can also control their entire body? Holiness that is practiced often ends in failure because we have not brought our tongues under the power of the Holy Spirit. Listen to what the Apostle James says about controlling the body, “…If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” The man that can control his speech, his conversation can bridle; bring into subjection the whole body. It is at this point that I declare to you again that holiness begins by controlling the tongue. Likewise James also reminds that the man that cannot control the tongue will defile his whole body (James 3:8).

WE WORSHIP GOD WITH OUT HEARTS AND TONGUES

We must consider the fact that it is our tongues that we use to worship God, to pray to God, to encourage one another and to share His holy word with one another. And yet many times we use this same tongue to hurt one another, to curse one another, to gossip about one another and to argue with one another. James ask us a simple question, “…can a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?’ The answer is no, either a fountain gives off good water or bad water not both. He uses this question to ask whether our tongues should be in this condition where they are giving praise to God on one hand and the other being used in a carnal unholy way. He says this should not be so. James says, “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” Our tongues should have the liberty to praise God and open our hearts before Him and likewise be under the control of the Spirit and used to build up and edify.

THE TONGUE SHOULD GIVE LIFE AND SAVE FROM TROUBLES

The Bible says in Proverbs that, “in the tongues is the power of life and death.” We can give life to people and ourselves through the use of the tongue or we can destroy others and ourselves through the power of the tongue. Consider these scriptures in regards to the power of the tongue:

Proverbs 15:4 “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit”

Proverbs 21:23 “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles”

Many people cannot practice holiness in their hearts because they have a breech in their spirit. What this means is that their spirit is like a wall that has been broken in a certain place and that wall no longer has the power to keep good things or bad things out it has been breached. So anytime God pours in His blessing the enemy can easily come through the breach and rob the person of what God has given him. How can we practice holiness when our spirits have been breached because out tongues are out of control. Many of the troubles that we suffer are caused be our very own tongues.

BEGIN HOLINESS WITH YOUR TONGUE AND THE BODY WILL FOLLOW

If what James is teaching us in his writings is true, then controlling the tongue is the key to practicing holiness before God. He teaches us that if we get a hold of our tongue and are able to control its speech then naturally the power to control our entire bodies will follow in line. A holy tongue means a holy heart and this is the holiness that God is after, holiness and purity in the depth of our inner man.

God Bless,

© 2008 Apostolic Messenger

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The Little Bamboo

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  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28

I recalled this story in a message that was preached in Spanish by Bishop Juan Fortino from Miami. I will do my best to share it with you in English.

There was a gardener who had a beautiful garden and in this garden he had many different flowers, trees, some fruits and vegetables and in one little corner he had one tiny little bamboo growing. The bamboo loved his gardener more than any of the other plants and trees in the garden. He loved him because the gardener use to take extra time to talk to him everyday. One day while the gardener was watering him the bamboo asked the gardener what his purpose in the garden was? The bamboo said I know the flowers are here because they give a beautiful fragrance to the garden. And I know the trees are here because they give shade to the garden, and I know the fruits and vegetables are here because they give you food. But what am I here? Why do you pay so much attention to me? The gardener said, “I have a very special purpose for you that you cannot see yet.” Although the little bamboo did not know what his specific purpose was, he was still very excited because he now knew he had a purpose. Time went by and the little bamboo grew into this great, mighty bamboo, he was taller than any of the trees in the garden. One day while enjoying the cool morning he noticed the gardener coming his way but this time he did not have his usual bucket of water he only had a large knife in his hand. As the gardener approached the bamboo he asked the bamboo, are you ready to be used for your purpose?” The bamboo was very excited and he replied,”Yes” I am ready to be used for my purpose. So the gardener begin to cut the bamboo down with the large knife and the bamboo screamed and said, Master what are you doing? That hurts so much! The gardener said, if I am going to use you I need to cut you down. The bamboo said, If you must cut be down so I can be used then have your way master. After the gardener cut the bamboo down he took him to the side of his house and laid him on a lng bench. The bamboo said, what are you going to do to me now master? The gardener said, if I want to use you I must split you open and rip your heart out and all your insides. The bamboo screamed, no master that will hurt to much! The gardener told the bamboo if I don’t then I cannot use you. The bamboo said, if you must split me open so that you can use me then do what you must master. The gardener split open the bamboo and the bamboo screamed out with pain but before he knew it the  gardener was done. The gardener left the bamboo to dry out for a couple of weeks on the side of his house and the bamboo was growing in anxiety wondering when and how the gardener was going to use him. At this time he noticed that the gardener did not pay as much attention to him as he used to. He noticed that the gardener spent most of his time taking buckets of water to the trees and the plants that were in the garden. The once little bamboo was wondering if it would have been better for him to stay in the cool of the garden then to want to be used by the master. Afte a couple of weeks the gardener returned to the bamboo and he began to put the bamboo back together. The bamboo was just so happy to be touched by the gardener that he had completely forgotten that the gardener had a special purpose for him. When the gardener was done putting the bamboo back together he picked him up and took him to the side of the stream where he used to get the buckets of water to fill the garden. The bamboo asked the gardener, master what are you going to do with me now? The gardener said, I am going to use you as a pipe from the stream to my garden. The bamboo replied, master you are going to use me to water the garden? You mean I will bring water to all the plants and trees in the garden now? Yes the gardener replied, I will now use you to bring life to my garden, without you they will not have water. The bamboo was overjoyed and could not believe the gardener would give him such a wonderful purpose. The bamboo now understood why the gardener had to what he did to use him. Many times we do not know why we are going through the thing we are going through but we can be sure that God is working His purpose out in us. Sometimes God has to cut us down, rip everything out of us, let us dry out then put us back together to use us. Remember no matter what you are going through God is going to get the glory out of your life.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28

God Bless,

Resolved to Pray

Well I back from the holidays and ready to get back to my blog. December was a pretty crazy month for me. It started by me getting really sick; a combination of the flu, bronchiits, allergies and being really busy. It really put me down for almost the entire month. Despite this I was able to still enjoy the holidays with family and friends. I thought I would start the New Year by pointing out a couple of things that happen when we pray.

Five things that happen when we practice prayer:

1. We humble ourselves in the presence of God

2. We practice faith because we are praying to a God that we cannot see

3. We practice obedience because we obey God’s command to pray

4. We practice trust because we trust God to hear and answer our prayers

5. We practice spiritual relationship with God because we speak to Him in prayer

Three things that happen when we pray:

1. We are ushered into the presence of God through prayer

2. We are quickened made alive (spiritually) through prayer

3. Our minds are able to percieve the spiritual things of God

The power of Prayer:

1. Prayers are answered

2. We can see the power of God manifested in our lives

3. The will of God is known and accomplished

4. The carnal man is crucified and spiritual man is at liberty to live the fulness of the spiritual life.

The benefits of prayer are many and the truth of the matter is we cannot have success in our spiritual walks unless we practice prayer on a daily basis. Prayer releases the Spirit of God to work freely in my life; emotionally, physically and most importantly spiritually. It is for this reason that I am completely resolved to pray more faithfuly in the year 2008. I encourage all my brothers and sisters in the Lord to make a covenant with the Lord this year; a covenant to pray, to have fellowship and relationship with God it is a resolution you will not regret.

God Bless