"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


            God's word mentions two distinctly different swords, both of which are small but extremely heavy. So heavy are they, that no Christ-follower can carry both. In fact, all true disciples of Christ carry the same one, described in the following Scripture passage.
2Timothy 3:16-17(ESV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (17)that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
            That's right; we're talking about "The Sword of the Spirit(Ephesians 6:17). There is another sword, however, that all of us have at our disposal, whether or not we use it.
Proverbs 12:18(ESV) There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
            So, what happens when you wield your sword of choice? Does it bring healing, or grievance? Does it build people up, or tear them down? In case you haven't noticed, "sword" and "words" are interchangeable. Do you use kind words for those you want to impress, and biting words for those who are unimportant or disagreeable to you?
            Another passage of Scripture compares the tongue(symbolic of the words we utter) to the bit in a horse's mouth, a boat's rudder, and a small flame.
James 3:3-10(ESV) If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. (4)Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. (5)So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! (6)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.
            The imagery presents two functions for the tongue, or words: First, as a steering device. Second, as an instrument of destruction. But even something as positive as a steering device can, when mishandled, direct us to shipwreck on the rocks. And something as dangerous as a flame can be used to produce power or purify a substance.
            We often hear that we can be sure of our eternal destiny by "the witness of the Spirit." While the Bible indeed says that, interpreting the "witness" as the warm, comfortable feeling we get at church is exactly wrong. The hundred-percent accurate way of knowing where we are ultimately headed is simple, and far more objective than feelings; we must open our ears to the words we wield, and open our eyes to the effect we have on others.
            So please, watch what sword you wield. Your eternal life depends on it.

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