By Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries
Every year, sparks from hot campfires or careless matches start fires which consume millions of trees in beautiful forests. Once begun, these fires move unrelentingly through hills and valleys - nothing is safe from the fury of the flames.
Every year, sparks from hot tempers or careless words start fires which consume millions of lives in beautiful relationships. Once begun, these fires move unrelentingly through self-esteem and trust - nothing is safe from the fury of the tongue.
"Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body."
Our tongue has incredible power to build up and encourage, as well as tear down and destroy. When we place our trust in Jesus, our sins are eternally forgiven. But the day will come when our careless words are revealed and we see the full extent of the damage we've done; "men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken" (Matthew 12:36).
In what must be one last sorrow-filled moment before we enter our eternal glory, we all come face to face with our sin; "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:10). Perhaps the purpose of this moment is to permanently etch in our soul a full appreciation for His love. Even with all my careless words, He loves me and wants to spend eternity with me in fellowship. Amazing!
David prayed that God would "set a guard over my mouth and keep watch over the door of my lips" (Psalms 141:3). While this is a wise prayer, our lips must be seen as an absolute last line of defense - once our words escape they can almost never be fully recovered. We must strive to control the sparks at the true source; "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34).
If our heart is filled with the ways of the world, our mouth will naturally speak the world's wisdom which is "foolishness in God's sight" (1 Corinthians 3:19). Rather, we must fill our heart with the ways of God and allow our mouth to overflow with His love; "I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You" (Psalms 119:11).
Have we been the cause of some raging fires or smoldering embers? If so, we must pray for healing and believe that "with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). We must fill our heart with the power of His Word and "not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths" (Ephesians 4:29). Let's stop the destructive fires. Let's begin today to fill our heart with His Word and prevent the sparks.
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