From: Su Min
To my Agapetos in cyberspace:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realm with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance to his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves (Eph 1:2-6.)
How wonderful it is to know that God chose each one of us, you and me, even before creation of the world. Indeed having selected each one of us, God desires that we are holy and blameless in his sight. He sent Jesus to cleanse us with his blood and with his word.
We look at His Word today to see how we may be holy and blameless. Hear Jesus speak to you as we turn to His Word, "Again, anyone who says to his brother "Raca" is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says "You fool" will be in danger of the fire of hell (Matt 5:22)."
Here Jesus is extending his teaching on how we, as children of God, should seek to understand and live according not only to the letter of the law, but also to the spirit and intent of the law. He has said "Do not murder". Do not have murdering actions. He has extended this to "Do not be angry, do not have angry emotions, do not have angry thoughts". In this passage he teaches us Do not have a murderous tongue, do not to have an angry tongue, do not have a hostile tongue.
Raca "O empty one", is an Aramaic term of utter vilification and contempt. It would seem that anyone who used such an abusive term could be hauled up to Sanhedrin, which was the highest tribunal of the Jews, for punishment. Character assassination might be equated with a form of murder. Raca was a bad word that Jews are not to use. Jesus extends this even further. Even verbal kicks, punches and slaps are beyond the boundary of God's love. Anyone who says "You fool" will be in danger of the fire of hell.
"You fool". "You idiot". "You donkey". "Stupid". "B..." God help me. Many a time these words have slipped from my lips. Many times more they have raced through my brain, halted at my lips for the sake of wanting to appear goody goody. But God hears those unspoken words. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord (Ps 139:4). Jesus has made the call for us to repent. Jesus wants us to turn from our wicked ways. He says "Do not murder. Do not be angry. do not use dishonourable addresses".
The word of God recognises our difficulty in controlling our tongues. "With our tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers this should not be so (James 3: 9-10)." The text goes on to link a tamed tongue wit heavenly wisdom. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from Wisdom... The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace- loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3: 13,17). Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Col 4:6).
- Our lips, our mouths, our tongues are used to generate words that carry our innermost feelings out in a form of verbal communication so that our fellow man can know our innermost thoughts. The Psalmist links the words of his mouth with the meditations of his heart
- A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue
- The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips
The world becomes a better place when we stop reviling others. Indeed the kingdom of Heaven comes to earth as we learn to bless, not curse. As we submit ourselves to the lordship of Jesus, we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and teach us and guide us as we turn to His Word and feed upon it.
Virtual reality is a figment of electronic gadgetry. I prefer Biblical Reality. With my Biblical Reality goggles I see a vision of the goodness in people around me. The best view I get is from my Phillipi 4/8 spectacles. With it I can see whatsoever is true, whatsoever is noble, whatsoever is pure, whatsoever is lovely, whatsoever is admirable, whatsoever is excellent, whatsoever is praiseworth. I use my Phillipi 4/8 headphones and get to listen to whatsoever is true, whatsoever is noble, whatsoever is pure, whatsoever is lovely, whatsoever is admirable, whatsoever is excellent, whatsoever is praiseworth. I get to see my brother and sister as a person made in God's likeness, and so much more am I able to bless and be blessed.
Let us pray.
Father in heaven,
thank you for the lesson today.
Lord, you know we are a fallen people.
Yet you reach down to pick us up, and you send your Son to cleanse us.
Today O God, we surrender our tongue to you.
Too often we have used it in spite, in hate, in ridicule.
Forgive us Father.
Cleanse us father.
Fill us with your Spirit, Father, that all the words of our mouth may be pleasing and acceptable to you, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.
In Jesus Name.
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
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