Victory Vitamin Blog – James 3:8

“but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” 

James 3:8 NIV

 

James focuses on the tongue because the tongue helps form words.  It’s not actually the tongue that needs taming, it’s our hearts and minds that motivate us to say things we shouldn’t.  I’ve noticed that the older I get, the less I have to say.  I’m finally taking my mom’s advice: “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.”  I’m now working on pointing out the good in people and talking about that.  Every day we have the option of using our words to hurt other people, or help them?  As children of God, is there really a choice?  Why would we ever say anything hurtful to someone, or about someone?  Why?  Jesus died because He loves not just you and me.  He loves ALL people, even the ones we speak evil about.  As Jesus hung on the cross He refrained from speaking evil about those who were killing him.   Isaiah 53:7 NIV “as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”  Fill your words with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”: -Galatians 4  Fill your words with the first 8 things in that list and if you can’t, then exercise the 9th thing in that list.  In other words, if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Mark 7:6

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” 

Mark 7:6 NIV

 

Jesus was talking about the Pharisees here.  They were all show and no go.  They liked to dress the part and walk around judging other people for not being holy enough.  Does that sound like some Christians today?  There are the cliché’s, “Less talk, more action.”  “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  Words are words but where’s the heart?  Where’s the concern, where’s the compassion.  Jesus came into the world with one mission, to die to pay for the sins of the people He loves.  Yeah, He talked too, but His mission was primarily one of action.  He displayed His love by dying as our substitute.  In response, we worship God not just with our words, but with our lives.  One saying puts in this way: “Preach the Good News everywhere you go.  If necessary, use words.”  The Holy Spirit lives in your heart, filling it with the love of Christ.  Get out there and empty it on someone.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Ephesians 5:15-16

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

-Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV

 

Let’s start at the end of this verse and work our way back.  No arguments that the days are evil, right?  Take your pick of disheartening events here at home and around the world.  It’s sad, but we are to make the most of every opportunity to dispel the darkness of this world with the love and light of Jesus Christ, who loved us to the point of death.  A death that cleansed and pardoned us from sin.  How do we wisely make the most of every opportunity?  By being very careful how we live.  Keep your eyes open.  Be aware of your surroundings and when you see an opportunity to say something kind, or do something good, DO IT!  Don’t let opportunities to show the love of Christ slip away.  Jesus said that the greatest command is to love God most of all and love your neighbor as yourself.  By doing this, you may play a role in bringing someone to faith in Christ.  That will change not only the world in which we live, but it will change eternity for the person who comes to Christ.  Be careful how you lie.  Wisely make the most of every opportunity!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Ephesians 4:19 NIV

“Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.”

-Ephesians 4:19 NIV

I probably don’t need to tell you that bad things are on the rise in our nation.  The opioid epidemic, alcohol abuse, marijuana use is now socially acceptable, mass shootings are commonplace.  And all of this as religion, specifically Christianity, is being treated like it is actually the real scourge on society.  I propose that the teachings and example of Jesus are actually the cure to much of what ails our society today.  Many are using drugs and booze to fill a void that can only be filled with the love and forgiveness of Jesus.  People will try anything to find contentment and peace, even if it kills them.  I’m not saying Christians don’t have their struggles.  We too are susceptible to sadness, depression, despair and hopelessness, but under all of that there is a solid foundation.  The fact that Jesus loves us.  He loves all people so much that He took the proverbial bullet for us.  He died on the cross in our place.  He paid the price we should have paid.  That.  Is. Love.  We need not carry the burden of guilt and shame around with us any longer.  It’s been taken away forever.  We’re free to live lives of love, knowing that when this life is over there is the certainty of eternal life through Christ.  Those certainties give contentment and peace.  The love and forgiveness of Jesus fill the void in us that can’t be filled by anything else, and by sharing that message with others in our words and actions, we just might change the world.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Ephesians 3:14-16

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,”

-Ephesians 3:14-16 NIV

 

Paul is praying for the Christians living in the city of Ephesus.  Google it, it’s a real place.  He prayed that God would strengthen them with power by His Holy Spirit in their inner being.  Let me briefly touch on those three things.  Power.  The Greek word is dunamis, from which we derive the English word, dynamite.  POWER!  Real power.  That power comes to us through the Holy Spirit.  Guess what, if you believe that Jesus is your Savior from sin, the Holy Spirit already lives in you.   “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”  -1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV  If the Holy Spirit lives in you, that is, in your inner being, your soul, then you already have the power Paul was praying for.  It’s in your “inner being”  so it’s spiritual power, not physical power.  Sadly most Christians fail to tap into that power and instead make excuses for not loving, serving, forgiving, and witnessing to others.  Jesus’ death and resurrection earned forgiveness for your sins and faith in Him now guarantees you eternal life.  Beyond a shadow of a doubt, God’s power is in you.  Dynamite power.  Use that power today through an act of kindness, witness, or service to another.  With God’s power, you can do more than you ever imagined!