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Thursday, September 15, 2016

INVITING CHANGE

Ephesians 4:29 New Living Translation
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” 
            We wrestle with our old nature a lot more than we have to and therein lies the basic reason why we all say things we shouldn’t say. We feed our minds with things that we shouldn’t feed it. It’s like the black dog / white dog illustration; the one fed the most is stronger. Feed the white dog. Some things seem ingrained in us. Foul language for example. If the truth be known, we all slip up from time to time. It shouldn’t be a normal speech pattern for us; however, it happens. The scripture that always gnawed at me was in James letter to the “twelve tribes —Jewish believers scattered abroad”. (James 1:1).
                   “Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.” (1)
            James is right. How is it possible that out of our mouths come both blessings and curses? I wish I knew. I am as guilty as the next person. At least I know the Holy Spirit is still convicting me of my bad behavior. It would be a major cause for concern if I didn’t care that I spoke improperly. It’s all part of the sanctification process. Will we allow ourselves to listen and learn from God’s Spirit so we can effectively alter our behavior? It’s up to us.
            Our lives, whether Christian or not, are in a constant state of flux. We are changing every day, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. It depends on our heart’s attitude. We should be focusing on God and His word for direction, yet we rarely find the time. Even when we read scripture each day, its message doesn’t stick in our mind, heart or spirit as we forget what we have read moments later when life crowds it out. Our old nature will fight us as long as we let it. We can keep our old nature in check by feeding the white dog within. We can’t do this thing by ourselves. We need the help of God’s Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through this minefield called life. We can do it, but it takes us making an effort to change. God provides that change, we need to take ownership of it. God hasn’t taken us to the place we are to simply drop us off and walk away. He loves us and will see us through whatever we are going through.
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible, published by Tyndale House.

(1) James 3:9-12 (New Living Translation)

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