Monday, April 30, 2018
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I have had the wonderful privilege of being in all of the United States actually. One of the last I had the opportunity to visit was one of the most beautiful - Alaska. When I went there the first time, I was impressed with the motto they had on their license plates. It seemed pretty appropriate. "Alaska - The Last Frontier." I can see why they say that. There are hundreds and thousands of miles of unpopulated expanse, abundant wildlife like bears and moose and eagles, great untamed areas, even some untamed people. There's a wildness that does seem to make it the last frontier.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Last Frontier In You."
As a state, Alaska probably qualifies as the last frontier. But if you're talking about the state people are in, well, Alaska, move over. The greatest untamed frontier on earth is identified in our word for today from the Word of God. It is in James 3:2. You ready? "We all stumble in many ways," God says. "If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man (or a complete man is what it means), able to keep his whole body in check."
So, God says that when it comes to the untamed areas of our personal lives, our tongue is the last frontier! He acknowledges that we stumble in many ways, but then He elevates controlling this one particular kind of sin to the position of Proof #1 that a person is really grown up spiritually, proof that Jesus being Lord is conquering the deepest corners of a person's rebellious heart. That's when his faith has reached "what he says."
Listen to God's description of the wildness of this frontier. James 3:7, "All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea are being tamed...but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and our Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." Man, you talk about a spiritual frontier!
Now, there are people who are doctrinally sound, sexually pure, financially honest, personally unselfish, busy for the Lord, but verbally untamed. Well, if you want to graduate to real spiritual maturity, make your tongue a central issue in your commitment to Jesus Christ. This is the battle on which you need to focus all your spiritual weapons.
Perhaps a recording of your conversation (your talk) this past week would probably tell the story--that sarcasm that cut people so deeply, the criticism that diminished the reputation of someone who wasn't even there, that put-down that made you feel bigger when it actually made you smaller. You know, those angry words that wounded people that you say you love, the negative talk that destroyed someone's confidence, the double-meaning comments that polluted you and those who heard you. Unfortunately, the recording would tell the story. What we say is the greatest proof or disproof of all we say we have in Christ, and it's the battle we must win.
If you can, in Christ, get control of your tongue, you can find the power to control any part of your life. It's time you turned all the power of Jesus Christ on that last, untamed frontier - the one in your mouth!