I had a whole different Monday Minute planned, but to be honest, I just wasn’t feeling it. And this morning’s sermon on James 3 changed that. Our Pastor has been preaching through the book of James and with every passing Sunday, the words of James hit harder and harder. Joy in trial. Faith without works is dead. Taming the tongue. Patience in suffering. Warnings and admonitions.
So today’s “minute” is inspired by yesterday’s sermon 🙂
There are days when, if I actually listen to myself, all I talk about is what I want to get done, how to make it happen, and how Troy can help me. Me. What I want. Blech. Even what I want from God!
And then there are sweet days. I’ve printed off these printable love notes that came from an online newsletter I was a part of, where it has “You are…” or “I love…” and you are to fill in the rest. Since we got married, Troy and I have enjoyed dropping those in little places where we’ll find them…often at the end of a day where our heart just bursts with love and thankfulness for each other.
One of the clear ways we can see what is in our heart is by listening to what we’re talking about. If we’re flying off the handle in angst about someone else, chances are there is anger, jealousy, hurt, resentment in our heart. If we are gossiping a lot, it shows areas of perhaps pride, jealousy, comparison in our hearts. And like me some days, I can just be consumed with what I want and how I want it. Blech.
In Luke 6:45, Jesus says to the people, “…out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks.”
Pastor shared how:
*words reveal our spiritual maturity; our discipline.
*words reveal our need of God’s grace.
Paul expands throughout James 3:1-12 on how powerful the tongue is. It can set a forest ablaze; it can bring life or death. Both blessing and cursing shouldn’t be coming from the same tongue, because a “salt pond cannot yield fresh water.” (vs12)
So where does change of the heart come from?
This is where I personally would like a 3-step program, tips, or a concise list of how-to’s. I like those. I know what to expect, and what’s expected of me.
But no. No systems. The only way change of the heart comes is from the transforming power of Christ. Through the redeeming work of the gospel as it refines and heals us over and over, as we say, “Lord, I need you in this area. I want change, but I can’t make it happen on my own.”
Putting Him first in our hearts. In every area.
Lately, if I even hear the word gospel, I tear up. Even after being a Christian since I was wee little, there are still areas of my heart for God to reveal and say, “I can make this better. Whole. Let me love you through this.”
And I tear up. The gospel. I tear up. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, and saying to Troy, “I didn’t KNOW! I didn’t know.” The truth of the gospel is becoming more and more real to me, and I oh so love it, and need God’s hand in the process of peeling back the layers of ‘me’ so that more of Him can shine through. Because at the end of the day, at the beginning of the day, and all throughout the middle…I want more of Him than anything else.
He’s at work. Even when we can’t see it or have a 3-step strategy to check off our to-do list of obedience to the Lord. He’s at work.
We must own our helplessness. And our words are evidence of the state of our heart. They are evidence for our need of Christ’s transforming power.
So this week… let’s watch the words of our mouth. And let the Holy Spirit show us areas of our heart that still need to be redeemed. And trust that it’s His joy to do so.