Choose to Cultivate Life

James 3:9-10 (CSB) With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness. Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way.

Beloved, refuse to be double minded. Refuse to be one who is first swayed one direction, and then another. One who blesses out of one side of their mouth, and then curses out of the other. Choose who you would be – and choose wisely, and then stand fast.

Choose to be a fountain of blessing. Choose to speak life. Choose to see the good, and encourage that good to flourish. Bring the things that trouble you to Me. Pray them out with care. Hope and believe for the best. Choose to cultivate life.

James 3:2-10 (TPT) We all fail in many areas, but especially with our words. Yet if we’re able to bridle the words we say we are powerful enough to control ourselves in every way, and that means our character is mature and fully developed. Horses have bits and bridles in their mouths so that we can control and guide their large body. And the same with mighty ships, though they are massive and driven by fierce winds, yet they are steered by a tiny rudder at the direction of the person at the helm. And so the tongue is a small part of the body yet it carries great power! Just think of how a small flame can set a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! It can be compared to the sum total of wickedness and is the most dangerous part of our human body. It corrupts the entire body and is a hellish flame! It releases a fire that can burn throughout the course of human existence. For every wild animal on earth including birds, creeping reptiles, and creatures of the sea and land have all been overpowered and tamed by humans, but the tongue is not able to be tamed. It’s a fickle, unrestrained evil that spews out words full of toxic poison! We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sister, this should never be!

Humble Strength

James 3:7-8 (CSB) Every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish is tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Beloved, without My help, taming your tongue would be an arduous and ultimately unsuccessful task. But with Me all things are possible. Surrender your voice to Me. Ask Me to fill your mouth. For I AM fully able to strengthen you to walk in humility.

When you care more for Me than the thoughts and opinions of man, holding your tongue simply becomes a gift and an offering to Me, and I find it most pleasing. So walk in that humble strength, for it is beautiful.

James 3:2-10 (NIV) We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. 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. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Powerful Vessel of Life

James 3:6 (CSB) And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among our members. It stains the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Beloved, refuse to underestimate the power your tongue wields. With your mouth, you can wreak immense damage that affects your whole body as well as those around you. Resist the urge to try to marginalize its impact. But at the same time, refuse to be cowed into silence either.

Remember that power can be used for good or evil. So rather than causing trouble, instead use your mouth to bring life and share hope – to build up rather than tearing down. In this way, you can become a fount of life. As a yielded vessel, your mouth can pour forth the sparkling, clear flow that comes straight from My Spirit. So surrender yourself to Me, beloved, and be a powerful vessel of life.

James 3:2-10 (AMP) For we all stumble and sin in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says [never saying the wrong thing], he is a perfect man [fully developed in character, without serious flaws], able to bridle his whole body and rein in his entire nature [taming his human faults and weaknesses]. Now if we put bits into the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we guide their whole body as well. And look at the ships. Even though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines. In the same sense, the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See [by comparison] how great a forest is set on fire by a small spark! And the tongue is [in a sense] a fire, the very world of injustice and unrighteousness; the tongue is set among our members as that which contaminates the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life [the cycle of man’s existence], and is itself set on fire by hell (Gehenna). For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the human tongue; it is a restless evil [undisciplined, unstable], full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. These things, my brothers, should not be this way [for we have a moral obligation to speak in a manner that reflects our fear of God and profound respect for His precepts].

Hold Your Tongue

James 3:5 (CSB) So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest.

Beloved, remember that even a small spark can start a forest fire that devastates thousands of acres. Resist the urge to judge by man’s standards, thinking a simple joke or teasing word is “no big deal.” Consult My Spirit, for woe be to the one whose “joke” damages the spirit of another.

Remember that I hear every word. These are My beloved creations you are speaking to, so be sure to do so with care. For anything that undermines the work of My Spirit or the identity I have given is a work of darkness. Whose kingdom would you build? So be intentional, and seek My wisdom, for it is better to hold your tongue than hurt one of My children.

James 3:2-10 (GW) All of us make a lot of mistakes. If someone doesn’t make any mistakes when he speaks, he would be perfect. He would be able to control everything he does. We put bits in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, and we have control over everything they do. The same thing is true for ships. They are very big and are driven by strong winds. Yet, by using small rudders, pilots steer ships wherever they want them to go. In the same way the tongue is a small part of the body, but it can brag about doing important things. A large forest can be set on fire by a little flame. The tongue is that kind of flame. It is a world of evil among the parts of our bodies, and it completely contaminates our bodies. The tongue sets our lives on fire, and is itself set on fire from hell. People have tamed all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures. Yet, no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison. With our tongues we praise our Lord and Father. Yet, with the same tongues we curse people, who were created in God’s likeness. Praise and curses come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen!

Tame Your Tongue

James 3:3-4 (CSB) Now if we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we direct their whole bodies. And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

Beloved, though your tongue may seem like a small muscle, it can wield more damage than the fiercest blow another could deliver. Tame it, for you are responsible for every word that departs from it. Just as those who have intentionally or thoughtlessly injured you, so you have done to others. So extend forgiveness even as you yourself need it.

Resist the urge to minimize the potential hurt your words may inflict. Remember that echoes of painful words may repeat and continue their damage for decades to come. So be slow to speak, weighing each word – seeking insight from My Spirit. Let Holy Spirit lead you rightly, and help guard your tongue that you might be known as a fountain of life.

James 3:2-10 (NLT) Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 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!

Intentionally Sow Words of Life

James 3:2 (CSB) For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body.

Beloved, it’s not that you won’t ever say the wrong thing or hurt someone with your words, but rather how you strive to avoid doing so and the humility with which you respond when you do. Choose to be circumspect in your speech. Season it with a liberal dose of love and kindness delivered humbly and with a heart to build up rather than tear down.

Resist the urge to spout off at the mouth when you are angry or frustrated. Instead hold your peace, and find a moment to pour out your heart to Me. Refuse to allow careless words to flow from you, but rather be one who intentionally sows words of life in all around them. You are able. Simply ask for My help.

James 3:2-10 (VOICE) We all stumble along the way. If a person never speaks hurtful words or shouts in anger or profanity, then he has achieved perfection. The one who can control his tongue can also control the rest of his body. It’s like when we place a metal bit into a horse’s mouth to ride it; we can control its entire body with the slightest movement of our hands. Have you ever seen a massive ship sailing effortlessly across the water? Despite its immense size and the fact that it is propelled by mighty winds, a small rudder directs the ship in any direction the pilot chooses. It’s just the same with our tongues! It’s a small muscle, capable of marvelous undertakings. And do you know how many forest fires begin with a single ember from a small campfire? The tongue is a blazing fire seeking to ignite an entire world of vices. The tongue is unique among all parts of the body because it is capable of corrupting the whole body. If that were not enough, it ignites and consumes the course of creation with a fuel that originates in hell itself. Humanity is capable of taming every bird and beast in existence, even reptiles and sea creatures great and small. But no man has ever demonstrated the ability to tame his own tongue! It is a spring of restless evil, brimming with toxic poisons. Ironically this same tongue can be both an instrument of blessing to our Lord and Father and a weapon that hurls curses upon others who are created in God’s own image. One mouth streams forth both blessings and curses. My brothers and sisters, this is not how it should be.

Cultivate an Atmosphere of Peace

James 3:18 (NLT) And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Beloved, do more than simply walk in godly wisdom – cultivate it in those around you. Encourage them to bear fruit. Work together to walk in unity. Be intentional to inspire one another to pursue righteousness. Allow joy to be your strength, and share one another’s burdens.

For truly the Body of Christ is called to live in peace and love. You are called to strengthen one another and encourage one another towards that which is good. Create an atmosphere of peace. Reflect Me – YHVH Shalom, the Lord your peace. For living in this manner is the greatest testimony you can share and it is achieved without a word.

James 3:13-18 (MSG) Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats. Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

Simply Reflect Me

James 3:17 (NLT) But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

Beloved, the fruit of true wisdom is sweet. It is easily recognizable, and tastes of Me. It is pure and cultivates harmony. It builds up and encourages that which is good. It is founded in truth and My Word. It isn’t self-seeking or unkind. It’s merciful, and encourages goodness.

Those who walk in this wisdom, seek to understand. They listen well – to men and to Me. They embrace that which is right, and inspire righteousness and mercy. They refuse to walk in judgment, but rather from a heart of love they seek to bring all into alignment with Me. They are genuine, and walk in sincerity. Their ultimate goal is to simply reflect Me. Continue reading “Simply Reflect Me”

Measure By My Standards

James 3:16 (NLT) For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

Beloved, refuse to open the door for the kingdom of darkness. Those who succumb to jealousy and greed are not operating in My flow. Being obsessed with your own interests is counter to the way I move. If you are not working with Me, you’re working against Me. So refuse to take the bait.

Refuse to be drawn in by the world’s system. Refuse to fall prey to comparisons with others. Seek Me. Seek My plans for you. Be content, and overflow with gratitude. Each person has been given their role – their call, so seek to walk in the fullness of that which I’ve called you to.

Refuse to allow petty jealousies to distract you. Whose standard will you measure by? Mine is the only one that matters. So seek to fulfill what I have ordained for you with excellence and fullness of joy. Refuse to be derailed or drawn offtrack. Continue reading “Measure By My Standards”

Be Kingdom Minded

James 3:15 (NLT) For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.

Beloved, love those I have placed in your life – both the lovable and the challenging. Encourage them and build them up. Seek out ways to support that which I have called them to. Trust that there is room for all of you in My plans. Refuse to allow your own needs and interests to be your sole focus.

Be Kingdom minded. Think of what is for the greater good. Walk in humble obedience, and speak words of life. Prophesy, beloved. As you show yourself to be an example of godly wisdom, you bring glory and honor to Me. Allow that to be its own reward. Continue reading “Be Kingdom Minded”