Words Matter!

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Bible Reading Devotion for September 7, 2017
from First John 4 found at https://www.esv.org/1+John+4/ .*
by Pastor Jerry Ingalls

What is in the spirit of a person?

How can you know whether a person is speaking with the Holy Spirit?

The Apostle John teaches us that we can know a person’s spirit this way, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. [2] By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, [3] and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. [4] Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. [5] They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. [6] We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (I John 4:1-6).

The Apostle John makes it very clear that we can know that a person is from God by the Spirit of truth. How? Through the Holy Spirit who is in the person.

Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (John 16:13).

How do we know what is in a person?

By what comes out of the person’s mouth. Words matter!

If you are in Jesus Christ, born again by the confession of faith for the forgiveness of your sins, then the Holy Spirit is greater in you than any other influence of the world that is in you, on you, or before you. The power source of the Heavens lives in you and it can master that which you cannot. We may have been contaminated by the dirty water we all swim in, but we aren’t left powerless to its influence. God has given us His power and presence so that we can overcome the world as Jesus overcame the world! “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (v. 4).

One of the greatest indicators of the mastery of the Holy Spirit of our lives is found in that one muscle of your body called the “tongue.”

James, the half-brother of Jesus and great leader of the earliest of churches in Jerusalem, said this, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. [7] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, [8] but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. [9] With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. [10] From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:6-10).

Brothers and sisters, we cannot bridle the tongue with the power of our flesh! The Bible says that NO person alive can tame the tongue. Do you think that you are the exception? You may not curse God or use foul language, but are you taking part in gossip or adding your comment when you should be holding your tongue?

That is why it is so important that our tongues be under the submission of the Holy Spirit who is in us. Because what is impossible for all people is not impossible for God to do in us! It is with our tongues that the world will know that our hope is in Jesus Christ, who has given us the Spirit of Truth to dwell in us and to guide us in all truth; to use our tongues to proclaim the gospel of salvation.

Have you submitted your tongue to the power of the Holy Spirit in you?

*Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.


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