Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Book of James Continued-Game Over

The Book of James Continued
Game Over

From the 4th grade onward I went to school in the rural western part of Bowie County in Northeast Texas. The school district was quite large geographically and buses ran for miles and miles down graveled roads to pick up one more child from a farm. Some children spent an extra 2 to 3 hours on the school bus every day.  I was one of the fortunate children, I lived closer to the school and drove our old 8n Ford tractor to school and back. It didn’t have any brakes but that seemed normal and so no one was concerned.

The environment in which a child is raised seems normal to the child … right up until they realize that not everyone is living like this. Anyway, there were less than 30 people in my graduating class of 1973 at James Bowie High School in Simms, Texas. We were the fighting Pirates.

During most of my years at James Bowie, the school was challenged to get enough boys together to field a football team. This usually meant that if you played football, you played every play of the game. Although I was a relatively small young man, 5’1”, 110 pounds in my freshman and sophomore years, I nonetheless suited up and played every play of every football game. I was fast and slippery, that coupled with the fact that I didn’t necessarily like getting hurt, settled me in as the offensive running back; defensive safety; kick-off and punt returner; and one of the first ones chasing right behind our opponents as they moved the ball down the field to score.

I must admit … we weren’t that good in my years as a Fighting Pirate, but we did our best. Losses just didn’t seem to keep us from going back out there next week and doing it all over again.

In my junior year, along about the very end of the season, the weather was freezing cold and it began to rain that Friday and finally about sundown it turned into sleet. Our football field was no better than our team. It had dips and shallow low places that quickly filled up with water, as much as 5 or 6 inches in some places. That night, the surface of those miniature lakes froze over and underneath was a slush of mud and ice. I was so cold.

Over all the 50 years since, I have looked back to one moment on the field that night and clearly remembered what I said to myself … I have never forgotten it. Someone didn’t show up for our team and it made us have to shift everyone around to cover every position. I was pulled up from the safety position on defense and put on the line. Bear in mind that our opponent’s line averaged 220 pounds and each one outweighed me by at least 100 pounds. But, I was the best we had to fill that position and so the coach told me to strike hard, push back, penetrate the line and look for the ball. I can remember him saying that over and over with each timeout and delay of game.

It just wasn’t possible. I truly tried my best but the whole game felt like Ronnie torture. We were losing as usual but that wasn’t my concern. I was more focused on the fact that I was freezing … literally freezing.

Right near the end of the game, the other team had the ball and were almost midfield on the right side. I lined up against the giant and said to myself, “strike hard; push back; penetrate the line and look for the ball.” Then, the ball was snapped, and I pushed as best I could but here came the running back and everything was moving my way. As usual for the night … they had correctly forecasted the weak spot in our defense.

My capable opponent, head to knee (my head, his knee) slapped me down to the ground right into one of those slush ponds. I felt ice break and the slush and freezing cold water rush up into my helmet, down the front of my jersey and it super shocked my whole body as a pile of offensive and defensive players pushed and struggled and finally came to rest on top of me. I was 17 years old and I truly didn’t know if I was going to make it out of that pile alive. The cold made everything and every one move slower it seemed. And then there was the fact that if a person was in the middle of the pile, it was warm being surrounded by all those bodies. However, for me, on the bottom of the pile, laying trapped in that freezing cold water, every second seemed like it might be my last. But, struggle and yell as much as I liked, I still couldn’t budge even an inch.

It was at that time I said something to myself, just before I saw something, that changed the way I think even today. What I said to myself was in effect, “I am the coldest I have ever been in my life. I will never be colder than I am right now. I am going to remember this moment and if I am ever colder, I will know I was wrong.” Isn’t it odd that some intense moments are burned into our memories and are markers in our lives for our whole lives?

I have been mighty cold since that winter night in 1971. And, every time I get real cold I think to myself, “Am I as cold as I was that night?” The answer has always been, “nope!” Laying in that few inches of half frozen water on that football field underneath a pile of people that night continues to be the coldest moment of my life.

High intense emotions seem to burn memoires of every little aspect of an event in the wrinkles of our brains. I can remember my helmet was filled with mixed mud and ice that sloshed when I fell and my head was turned to the left. From the bottom of that pile, laying with my body half covered in freezing water it was a moment truly frozen in time. Instead of panicking when people weren’t getting up quickly, I registered my thoughts and then I saw something that gave me hope.

From my trapped position and through the layered bodies on top of me I could see the scoreboard … we were losing … but what especially caught my eye was the clock. It was the last quarter and we had less than a minute to play before the game was over. That became my hope. All of the sudden I realized that I had made it and it would all be over in just a minute. When I was tempted to give up and give in to fear and panic and pain, I became encouraged. It will all be over soon!

That was the last football game I ever played. The following year was my senior year and I had a full-time job working 48 hours each week and I got married that year instead of playing sports. The team didn’t miss me and I didn’t miss playing all that much either … I had a new focus in life.

I don’t think things would have turned out much different for me if I hadn’t have seen that clock but I do know for certain that it made me feel so much better realizing that what I was going through would be over soon. All I needed was just a little more endurance … just a little more patience … just a little more long suffering, and then I’d hear that buzzer and I could go home. Going home and getting warm was going to be my win.

Have you found the book of James yet? Let’s read from:

James 5 NKJV
7  Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
8  You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Wait patiently can mean to not sink, nor run away, not withdraw; don’t panic; don’t become fearful; don’t become aggressive and fight against. Put your focus on the end … the finish line … the harvest … and endure.

What is your win? Success is often a matter of perspective

Patience here means to be long-suffering; long-patience; long-endurance.

Establish your heart = fix it on the win and don’t let time, temptations or trials give sufficient cause to let your heart be moved.

Time is shorter than you may think, and trials will be over soon. Everything has a time and then it’s over. Whether a ball game or life. If things don’t change beforehand, they will definitely change at the coming of the Lord.

It’s like looking up at the scoreboard and seeing the clock has only seconds left in the game. We are encouraged, especially when we know we are the winners, to realize there is but a short time until the final buzzer and our victory will be realized and the game over. What is your win?

Troubled moments are not the rest of your life … it’s just a moment.

The game is not up to you … how you play the game is.

Play your best even against overwhelming odds. Sometimes that means just participating. We can’t just give up and wait ‘till the game is over.
1.  Get up
2.  Show up
3.  Suit up
4.  Stand up
5.  Finish the Game …

Just do your personal best and let God be responsible for the rest.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

No Greater Joy


John, surnamed Boanerges, was born around the year 6AD in the fishing village of Bethsaida. Bethsaida was a town situated just at the point where the Jordan River empties into the northern waters of the Sea of Galilee. Some scholars imagine John to be the youngest of the 12 disciples whom Jesus called to follow Him. One thing we know for sure is that John Boanerges, known to us as John the Apostle of Jesus, outlived all of the other Disciples. John died in the town of Selcuk which was adjacent the older, much larger Roman port city of Ephesus, in Turkey. John died in about the year 100AD at about 94 years old.

John is remembered for many things, none greater than the fact he is called “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. In depictions of the Last Supper, painters continue to place John closest to Jesus, he is the one leaning on Jesus’ chest. John is also known for writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He has 4 books in the New Testament which bear his name and then, there is the book of Revelation which he penned as the great Apocalypse yet to come.

About the year 90AD, perhaps 10 years before his death, John was about 84 years old. At that time he decided to write a personal letter to a beloved friend Gaius. Some imagine Gaius to be the Bishop whom John had appointed over the Church at Pergamum. We do not know for certain who Gaius was, but we can see from John’s letter that he was a well-respected leader who taught, lived and supported the truth.

The letter John wrote was in response to a missionary report he had heard in Church. It seems the Church in Ephesus where John attended had sent some missionaries out to evangelize the Gentiles who lived in what is now the country of Turkey. When report got back to the Church in Ephesus concerning of the hospitality and support the missionaries were receiving from Gaius, the elder Apostle John decided to write his friend and commend him for his willingness to help spread the Gospel even though he did not personally know these missionaries. John had evidently taught Gaius well and still considered him to be one of his spiritual sons. Now, let’s see what John has to say to, and about Gaius in his letter.

3 John 1 
1 ¶  THE ELDER, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:
2  Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
3 ¶  For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.
4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
5  Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers,
6  who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well,
7  because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.
8  We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

There are three clear highlights from these first verses of Third John. Remember as we read this 1900-year-old letter from John, we should not see it as merely a historical record or a letter intended by God to only be read by Gaius, rather, it contains holy instructions for our lives today.

1.  It is the will of God that we prosper and be in health.
2.  There is no joy greater than to hear that your children walk in truth.
a.   Truth = Objective Truth free from falsehood, pretense or deceit
b.   What is truth?
c.   John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.”
                                         i.    Truth is not determined by:
1.   A Show of Hands
2.   Popular Opinion
a.   Jesus was popular with some and not with others…
b.   However, it was not popular opinion that made Him the Son of God … or the Truth
3.   Social Acceptance
4.   Personal Preference
5.   Individual Experience
6.   Long Established Practices
7.   Scientific Research
8.   Archaeological Discoveries
9.   Religion
                                        ii.    Truth is determined by God
                                      iii.    Truth is revealed in Christ
                                      iv.    Truth is imparted by the Holy Spirit
                                       v.    Truth is accepted or rejected by man
d.   Everything must pass the Jesus test.
                                         i.    WWJD
                                        ii.    I should think, feel, believe, say and do the same.
e.   v. 4 There is no greater joy than to hear that your children walk in truth.
                                         i.    There is One Truth
1.   Truth does not change (Malachi 3:6)
2.   Truth is no individual truth – there may be individual experiences
3.   Truth is greater than glorified opinion
4.   Truth filtered through the subjective opinions of man is not truth
5.   Truth does not change – (Hebrews 13:8)
3.  We will do well to support those who share the Gospel truth.

v.6  If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well,
v.8  We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

a.   We become fellow workers with those whom we support
b.   Walking in the truth demands we serve, and we send

This morning God wants to encourage us all to:
·        Live a prosperous and healthy life
·        Teach and live the truth according to Christ
·        Support the work of God


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Life Under Siege


This is a word from God for someone, or several someone’s today:
“Sometimes the best time is the next time. Don’t be afraid to try again.”

Now, this word is for the rest of us … Are you ready for the message today? Set your heart to hear at least one thing from God today, hold it tight, maybe write it down, take it home, live it and give it to someone else this week. Today’s message from the Bible will confirm three things:
1.  Life is about going …
2.  Life is about getting …
3.  Life is about giving …

To make these points more memorable and clear this morning, we are going to review just a little bit about two historical military campaigns. These two battles have one major thing in common – they were both sieges. What is a siege?

A siege is when one army surrounds a city or group of people and cuts them off from the outside world. The strategy is to wait them out and make them surrender or face starvation.

Without going into too much detail, the most well-orchestrated siege on US soil took place during The American Civil War, (1861-1865). In the winter of 1862/63 General Ulysses S. Grant led his Union soldiers against the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The city was very well fortified, and, they had 30,000 Confederate troops defending it. General Grant failed to secure victory and had to withdraw. As a result the Southern Army continued to control both civilian and military travel along the Mississippi River.

Long before airplanes, cars, trains, and even wagons or chariots existed, individuals, militaries, commerce and news traveled by boat. This encouraged early settlements, and eventually cities, to grow up along waterways. Water provided life and enabled people to travel and to make a better living. There is no river in the United States bigger than the mighty Mississippi. It winds more than 2300 miles from a lake in upper Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. A lot depends on the Mississippi, and during much of the Civil War, the Southern Confederate Army controlled it all the way from Memphis, Tennessee to the Gulf. Their main fortification was the city of Vicksburg situated on a high bluff overlooking a deep bend in the river.

Vicksburg was considered an impenetrable fortress of which General Grant was well aware. In the spring of 1863, undaunted by his earlier defeats, Grant took a bold step and did what no one else would have ever imagined. He led his men across the Mississippi River and southwards on a forced march through the almost impassable Louisiana swamps, well beyond the hopes of resupply. About 30 miles south of Vicksburg, Grant and his 70,000 men crossed back over the river and found themselves right in the heart of enemy held territory. In only 3 weeks Grant’s army marched 180 miles, fought and won 5 major battles, captured 6,000 Confederate soldiers and drove the 30,000-man strong Confederate Army into the city of Vicksburg where they took up positions to defend the city. Only, Grant didn’t attack with soldiers – he attacked with time, hunger, isolation and relentless cannon fire.

From May 18th through July 4th, 1863, the Union Army laid siege to the city of Vicksburg and waited for them to starve or surrender. The citizens of Vicksburg dug more than 500 caves in the sides of the hills trying to escape the cannon and mortar fire. People starved and many died. There was no hope that it was ever going to get any better. Finally, On July 4th, 1863, General Pemberton, Commander of the Confederate Army at Vicksburg, surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant.

The Union victory at Vicksburg was the culmination of one of the longest and most complex campaigns of the Civil War. Indeed, a growing number of historians consider Vicksburg the most decisive campaign ever waged on American soil—and justly so. Among the fruits of victory, Northern forces captured a garrison of 29,500 men and tremendous quantities of war matériel. Included among the seized public stores were 38,000 artillery projectiles, 58,000 pounds of black powder, 50,000 shoulder weapons, and 600,000 rounds of ammunition. Over the course of the campaign, the Federals also captured 254 cannon, which represented more than 11 percent of the total number of guns the Confederacy cast during the war.

The Siege of Vicksburg was the most profitable battle of the Civil War for those who were fighting for the cause of Christ. For the next 81 years the citizens of the city of Vicksburg refused to celebrate July 4th as Independence Day. Nonetheless, it helped to liberate those who were once so wrongly enslaved. It was a bold step that someone had to take.

The second historical battle we will review this morning comes from the Bible and is found in 2 Kings 6 & 7.

It was about the year 835 BC. The players were:
·        Ben-Hadad II, King of Syria (Ben = Son of; Hadad = The Syrian God of Thunder and Storms)
·        King of Israel, King Jehoram, who lived in the city of Samaria
·        Elisha the Prophet of God
·        4 Nameless Lepers

The Scene: King Ben-Hadad of Syria thought the King of Israel was conspiring against him. So, Ben-Hadad brought his army to the city of Samaria, about 100 miles from Damascus, and laid siege to the city. Over time things got so bad in the city of Samaria that people were dying of starvation. Unimaginable horrors were being committed by the Israelites who were desperately trying to stay alive.

At its worsts, two women agreed to kill and eat their young children together. When it came time for the second son to be slain, boiled and eaten, the mother refused. This so angered the first mother that she complained directly to King Jehoram. It was terrible and the King was at his wit’s end. He had no one else to blame so he blamed God, and since he couldn’t physically hurt God, the king decided to kill God’s prophet, Elisha.

It may seem strange but even in this day I’ve heard a few people blame preachers when they think they aren’t getting what they want or deserve. Jesus, John and the Apostle Paul said that ministers are often targets of those who think they are doing God a favor by hurting or discrediting them. I’m just glad none of you feel or act that way.

2 Kings 6
24 ¶  And it happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria.
25  And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver.

31  Then he (King Jehoram) said, “God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today.”

2 Kings 7
3 ¶  Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?
4  “If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.”
5  And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there.
6  For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses — the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!”
7  Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact — their tents, their horses, and their donkeys — and they fled for their lives.
8  And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.
9  Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”

The devil wants to lay siege to your soul … why sit we here till we die?

1.  Go
a.   Life is about going
                                         i.    God had a victory in store for the Union soldiers, but He needed someone to Go! No doubt, God put it in his heart.
                                        ii.    General Grant got up and went.
1.   He didn’t let his earlier defeats and losses determine his future
2.   He knew if he wanted victory, he had to Go!
b.   The 4 Lepers got up and went … they knew they had to Go!
                                         i.    It was a God thing, not their thing – but they had to go.
c.   Go to God – Go with God
d.   Go to the Word – Go with the Word
e.   Go to Church – Go with the Church
f.    Go to work
g.   Go and tell – deliverance begins with go! 2/3rds of God is Go!
2.  Get
a.   Get saved … Don’t just go to Church – Get something out of it.
b.   Get help … go and get … you won’t get if you don’t go …
c.   Anyone can build a victim story …
d.   Get up and get something good going …
e.   Get your heart right with God … Get!!! Don’t just go …
f.    When we go to work, we get a paycheck
g.   When we go to Church, we get a word from God
h.   When we go to prayer, we get answers – Don’t forget to get!
i.     Grant went and he got what he needed to feed his troops and what the North needed to outfit itself for the continued campaigns. Grant didn’t forget to get … 50,000 rifles …
j.     The 4 lepers wouldn’t have gotten anything if they had just sat there afraid, tired, sick and feeling dis-included. They got a lot!
k.   We will get what God has for us when we Go where He sends
3.  Give
a.   The secret to living is giving …
b.   General Grant didn’t keep the spoil for himself.
c.   The 4 lepers didn’t keep the blessings just for them.
d.   People who give to help relieve the pain of others and to meet the desperate cries of those who cannot go and do not have, will go down in history as heroes.
e.   God needs you … People need you … Give and be even more blessed … The lepers said: “This is a day of good news …”

Let’s all commit this morning to: Go … and Get … and Give! It’s life … God needs a victory … He needs your victory to share with others.

At least: Go to Church; Get in the Word; Give your testimony to others.

“Sometimes the best time is the next time. Don’t be afraid to try again.”

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires!


This evening we will be continuing our study of the New Testament Book of James and we will begin reading in Chapter 3.

Only you can prevent forests fires! (Smokey Bear)

Smokey Bear was created on Aug. 9, 1944, when the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council agreed that a fictional bear would be the symbol for their joint effort to promote forest fire prevention. The first poster of Smokey Bear depicted a bear pouring a bucket of water on a campfire and saying “Care will prevent 9 out of 10 fires.” Smokey Bear soon became very popular as his image appeared on a variety of forest fire prevention materials. In 1947, his slogan became the familiar “Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!”

Indeed, still each year 90% of the destructive fires are started by people.

More than 260,000 fires each year are intentionally set by arsonists.

There are accidental fire laws in Utah that disallow a person from being charged with a felony or tried as a criminal if the fire is determined to be accidental. But states like California have included charges allowing for the criminal prosecution of “reckless burning” on its law books in efforts to curb the number of accidental fires caused by negligence and increase the amount which can be assigned and recovered for damages.

What would you say about the person who accidently caused a fire that injured a family member or destroyed a neighbor’s home?

Now, what would you believe about that person if you found out they had been the cause of multiple fires which had destroyed 12 homes resulting in multiple injuries within their community?

Julio Gonzalez was responsible for only one fire. 
Julio Gonzalez was responsible for
setting fire to the Happy Land nightclub in Bronx, New York,
in 1990, which killed 87 people. The night of the fire,
Gonzalez was thrown out of Happy Land after getting into a
fight with his girlfriend who worked there. Gonzalez returned
to the nightclub intoxicated and poured a can of gasoline
along the club’s only stairway and started the fire. Most
victims were trampled or suffered from asphyxiation.
Gonzalez was charged with multiple counts of murder.

Raymond Lee Oyler was arrested and charged with murder during the 2006 Esperanza wildfire that destroyed 40,000 acres across the San Jacinto
Mountains. This deadly fire was caused by arson and worsened when Santa Ana devil winds picked it up. Five firefighters were killed while defending a vacant home that was destroyed by the fire. Oyler
was arrested for the Esperanza fire, as well as two wildfires in the summer of 2006. He was convicted of five counts of first-degree murder, 20 counts of arson and 17 counts of using an incendiary device, in which a jury called for the death penalty in a 2009 hearing.

Look with me at our text for tonight in:

James 3 NJKV
1 ¶  My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
2  For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
3  Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.
4  Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.
5  Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!
6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
7  For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.
8  But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9  With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
10  Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11  Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?
12  Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
13 ¶  Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
14  But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
15  This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
16  For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
18  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

James 1
19 ¶  So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
20  for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
21  Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
23  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
24  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
25  But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
26  If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.
27  Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Things the unbridled tongue does that defiles the person who owns it:
·        Lying
·        Selfish Boasting
·        Unruly conversation
·        Cursing others
·        Starts fires that injure others
o   Accidental = A true accident
o   Negligence = Haphazard or inconsiderate actions
o   Arson = Intentionally setting a fire
o   Pyromania = The insanity of getting a thrill by watching things be destroyed by the fire you cause.

The unbridled/unruly tongue is motivated by three things:
·        Earthly = Carnal logic
·        Sensual = Human emotions
·        Demonic = Demonic inspiration

Here are two steps that will help to keep us from kindling destructive fires with words.

1.   Examine yourself …
o   Learn to recognize sin in your own life (The mote and beam)
o   Judge yourself … (1 Corinthians 11:31)

2.   Take a step in a new direction …
o   Say to yourself – I’m not going to speak evil of any other person. (Titus 3:2)
o   I am not going to let any corrupt communication come out of my mouth.  (Ephesians 4:29)
o   Verbally give the Holy Spirit permission to interrupt you when He knows you about to say something about someone or to someone that is less than edifying. (Psalms 141:3)
o   Change the water in your well.

Luke 6:45  “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Remember: Only you can prevent forests fires!