October 30, 2020
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"Made you look!" That's a classic line from when we were kids. As we're driving through some of this continent's steep mountain ranges, we've seen a sign that's guaranteed to make me look. You usually see it on a long drive down a steep mountain. The sign says, "Runaway truck ramp ahead." Of course I immediately look in my rear view mirror for some reason. If some big old semi with failed brakes is barreling down the mountain, about to run me over, I would like to be the first to know! I'm not sure what I'd do about it, but at least I'd like a moment for my whole life to flash before me. Those ramps are long emergency ramps, usually covered with something like sand that will help a truck grind to a halt. Now, if you've ever smelled the hot rubber of overworked brakes on a mountain, and you probably have (I have), you know that providing a way to stop runaway trucks is really a good idea. And they must be needed. I hate to say this, but I often see fresh truck tracks in that sand!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Wreckage of a Runaway Mouth."
Highway engineers know that you have to find a way to stop a runaway truck. A truck with no brakes can do a lot of damage. So can a mouth with no brakes - something's that's a lot more common than runaway trucks. Now, many of us know all too personally the damage that can be inflicted by a runaway mouth. We still carry the memories, the scars, the negative effects of the names we've been called, the verbal cruelty, intended or unintended. Sadly, though, we're not just the victims of someone else's runaway mouth. No, we're also the victimizers. We've done the hurting, too.
The Bible is brutally frank about what we do with our words. It says: "Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark." "The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell...It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison" (James 3:6-8). Wow! Man! Raging fire - deadly poison!
When we know so painfully how reckless and angry words have hurt us, why do we keep on spewing them ourselves, often hurting the people we love the most? There is incredible wisdom in David's cry to God in Psalm 141:3: "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."
Jesus said our words aren't really the problem actually; they're the symptom of a much deeper problem. In Matthew 12:34, our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus says: "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." He went on to say that "men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Our runaway mouths are serious business. And Jesus said the heart of the problem is our heart. Our words are symptoms of our deadly heart disease. The disease, well it's sin - the hijacking of our life from the God who gave it to us. We're out of control because we're away from God.
Thankfully, there's hope. God's provided a place where a life hurtling toward the cliffs of eternity can stop its deadly downward race. It's not a ramp. It's a cross. The cross where Jesus died to absorb all that our sin could do to us: its shame, its guilt, its power, its eternal punishment. All so He could do this miracle described in His Word: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you...I will put My Spirit in you...I will save you from all your uncleanness" (Ezekiel 36:26-28). A new heart - a heart with the desire and power to do it God's way. When your heart's full of God's love, it starts to change what comes out of your mouth.
Jesus has done this new heart miracle for countless people over 2,000 years. He's waiting to do it for you when you say, "Jesus, I am Yours starting today." I'd love to help you do that. That's exactly why our website is there and how it can help. It's ANewStory.com. Your new story could start there today.
The day you give yourself to this awesome Savior, a new you is born. Let it begin today.