Archive for the ‘Tongue’ Category

April 2nd, 2009

Restoring Ruptured Relationships

“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:7-8 (NIV)

Doing life requires restraint. There are countless temptations used of Satan to entice us to compromise our Christianity. His goal is to get us to drift from our devotion to God. One of Satan’s favorite tools is an unbridled tongue. He knows that our words can do more damage than our actions alone.

Have you ever said something you deeply regretted? Have you had one of those moments when you spoke before you had time to really think through and process what you were going to say? Ouch! It is impossible to retrieve words once spoken. If only we could snatch them out of the air before they made contact with the tympanic membrane of someone’s ear. If you have ever allowed words to slip and wound someone, then embrace this great word from God on how to respond.

  • “If you have been trapped by what you said,  ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself,  since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go and humble yourself;  press your plea with your neighbor!” Prov 6:2-3 (NIV)

Has God placed someone on your heart  that you have  wounded with your words? Are you willing to go to them in humility in order to apologize and ask for their forgiveness? God will honor your obedience to His word. God will make a way for you to experience restoration. Restoration is God’s specialty! Don’t delay. Make things right!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Restoration, Speech, Tongue.
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July 21st, 2008

Stick Out Your Tongue (7)

Has your tongue ever gotten you in trouble? Examine the following verses to get a glimpse of how God views the words you speak.

  • “Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” Psalms 34:12-13 (NIV)
  • “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” Prov 13:3 (NIV)
  • “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Prov 18:21 (NIV)
  • “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalms 141:3 (NIV)
  • “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Prov 10:19 (NIV)
  • “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” Prov 17:27 (NIV)

In light of these verses, let’s open another door. Have you wounded anyone with your words? Words have the power to build up or tear down. Words have the power to encourage or to deflate. Your words can bring healing or your words can bring harm.

  • “If you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor!” Prov 6:2-3 (NIV)

In humility, go to the person you have wounded with your words and acknowledge your guilt. Ask for their forgiveness and watch God do a reconciling work in your relationship. Even if the person does not respond like you desire, do the right thing to honor God. God’s way is always the best option!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 21st, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Speech, Spiritual Maturity, Tongue.
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July 20th, 2008

Stick Out Your Tongue (6)

“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:7-8 (NIV)

As a child, my favorite part of the circus was watching the lions do tricks at their master’s command. To see the lions that normally would devour a human being for an afternoon snack, now obeying their master, was breath taking. The lions had been tamed.

James says that no man can tame the tongue. He goes on to say that the tongue is a restless evil. To add another layer, James says that the tongue is full of deadly poison. That doesn’t sound too good does it? Is it even possible to control the tongue? The answer is “no.” You cannot control the tongue on your own. That brings us to the final step in aligning your heart with God’s heart.

Step 3: Surrender to the Holy Spirit’s control.

Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19-10). By refusing to give the Holy Spirit full control of your life, you will grieve and quench the Holy Spirit. You do not have the power in and of yourself to tame your tongue. You do not have the power to change your heart. Only the convicting, convincing, and comforting work of the Holy Spirit in your heart can produce lasting life change. To surrender to the Holy Spirit’s control is a perpetual process of yielding to His prompting.

Jesus modeled this concept of yielding in the garden of Gethsemane when He yielded to the Father’s will by saying, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as you will”(Mt. 26:39 NIV). Jesus is our model to follow.

Are you willing to surrender to the Holy Spirit’s control? Are you willing to experience the heart transformation that will in turn transform your speech? Align your heart with God’s heart.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, July 20th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Speech, Spiritual Maturity, Tongue.
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July 19th, 2008

Stick Out Your Tongue (5)

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” Psalms 51:3-4 (NIV)

Aligning your heart with God’s heart is vital if your are going to control your tongue. Your speech is a matter of the heart. Your transformed heart will produce transformed speech. After you have asked God to search your heart, you are ready for the next step in aligning your heart with God’s heart.

Step 2: Confess the sin God reveals.

After King David committed adultery and murder, God brought deep conviction to David’s heart in order to position him for confession and repentance. As God revealed the sin in King David’s life, David acknowledged his sin before God.

  • “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8 (NIV)
  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

As God reveals the sin in your life, be willing to confess your sin specifically. In the language of the New Testament, to confess means to say that same thing about your sin that God says about it. Don’t try to neutralize your sin or water it down. Name it and say the same thing about your sin that God says about it. Once you have confessed your sin specifically, receive God’s provision of forgiveness. Now embrace a lifestyle of moral purity. As your heart is transformed by the grace of God, your speech will be transformed.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, July 19th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Speech, Spiritual Maturity, Tongue.
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July 18th, 2008

Stick Out Your Tongue (4)

“We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” James 3:2 (NIV)

One of the marks of spiritual maturity is controlling the tongue. James is saying that if you control your tongue you will be able to control your whole body. The sin nature seeks to be gratified. One of the most susceptible instruments to sin is your tongue. Someone has commented that your tongue is located in an area that is slippery when wet and for that reason God has placed the tongue behind a cage of teeth walled in by the mouth.

We have learned that it’s really not about the tongue, but about the heart. Jesus said that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. What does it take to align your heart with God’s heart?

Step 1: Ask God to search your heart.

King David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”(Psalms 139:23-24 NIV). Are you willing to pray such a bold prayer? When you ask God to search your heart, He will unearth sin that has been embedded in your heart. The light of God’s holiness will penetrate and expose any dark areas of your heart that are not in alignment with His heart. You may want to consider having a pen and some paper handy to write down what God brings to your attention. More to come…

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, July 18th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Speech, Spiritual Maturity, Tongue.
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July 17th, 2008

Stick Out Your Tongue (3)

“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” James 1:26 (NIV)

Have you ever said something that you wish you could retrieve? We have all been there. The experience was painful and regretful. If only we could have thought about what we were going to say before we said it. If only we could have visualized beforehand the impact our words would make. Let’s use the word THINK as an acrostic to give us some insightful questions to ask before we speak.

Is it True? Now that’s a great question for us to consider before speaking. What would our world look like if everyone only spoke the truth? Instead of spreading lies and infusing suspicion, everyone would operate based on integrity and truth.

Is it Helpful? Consider your words. Are they beneficial to others? Does your conversation add value to the lives of other people? Let’s commit to speak words that bless and build others up.

Is it Inspiring? God has sealed you by the Holy Spirit so that you can be a vessel of honor. Your life is designed by God to inspire others to come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and to mature spiritually. Do your words encourage others to reach their God-given potential? Are you helping others to express their gift mix? Your words have that kind of power!

Is it Necessary? Sometimes silence is the best option. When we are about to say something that is not necessary, maybe that’s a good time to hit the pause button. As we contemplate the importance of what we are about to say, maybe our delivery of those words will be halted in order to prevent damage.

Is it Kind? I remember hearing Dr. Jerry Vines, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, say that “a Christian never has the luxury of being unkind.” Before we speak, we might want to ask the question, “Is it kind?” Will our words reflect the heart of Jesus? Will our words demonstrate the value that God places on others?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 17th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Speech, Spiritual Maturity, Tongue.
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July 16th, 2008

Stick Out Your Tongue (2)

Did you know that every chapter of James addresses your speech? Your conversation and your conduct will indicate the spiritual condition of your heart. Read through these verses slowly and allow God to speak to you about your speech.

  • My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19 (NIV)
  • “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” James 2:12-13 (NIV)
  • “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:7-8 (NIV)
  • “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.” James 4:11 (NIV)
  • “Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No,’ no, or you will be condemned.” James 5:12 (NIV)

God weighs our words specifically. Everything we say today matters in eternity. Maybe that’s why God gave us two ears and one mouth.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Speech, Spiritual Maturity, Tongue.
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July 15th, 2008

Stick Out Your Tongue (1)

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matt 12:33-34 (NIV)

Do you remember the days when the nurse would ask you to stick out your tongue in order to insert a thermometer? The process was to detect your physical temperature. Your tongue is also an indicator of your spiritual temperature. The words you speak reflect what’s in your heart. Jesus affirmed that the mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart.

Biting your tongue is not sufficient. It’s really not about your tongue. It’s about your heart. Whatever is in your heart will be displayed by your speech. The way you speak to others will exhibit what’s in your heart. Just as a good tree will bear good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit, your words will bear fruit based on the spiritual condition of your heart.

Open your mouth and stick out your tongue. What has your tongue revealed about your heart this week? Examine the words you have spoken. Have you been gracious and kind in your conversations? Have your interactions revealed a heart aligned with God’s heart?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Speech, Spiritual Maturity, Tongue.
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