Where Are You Pitching Your Tent?
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1, 2.
Many who should be setting their tents nearer to the land of Canaan are pitching their camp nearer to Egypt. They are not living in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. Many attend places of amusement to gratify the taste, but no spiritual strength is gained by so doing, and you will find yourself on the losing side. To encourage the love of amusement is to discourage the love of religious exercises, for the heart becomes so crowded with trifling, with what is pleasing to the natural heart, that there is no room for Jesus. . . .
It requires the faith that works by love and purifies the soul to meet the mind of God. There are those who believe in Christ; they do not think Him an impostor; they believe the Bible to be a revelation of His divine character. They admire its holy doctrines, and revere the name, the only name given under heaven whereby men can be saved, and yet, with all this knowledge, they may be as truly ignorant of the grace of God as the veriest sinner. They have not opened the heart to let Jesus in.
What shall I say for the benefit of the youth? Will you open your hearts to Jesus, that His love, His mercy, may fill the chambers of your soul, that you may sing and make melody in your hearts unto God? O if all your affections were given unto Jesus, you would learn the language and the songs of Canaan!
In the worldling you expect to see lightness, trifling, vanity, immorality, jesting, and joking, but let it not so much as be named among you who are risen with Christ. . . . We must now elevate our thoughts and come to learn in the school of the Master.
As we near the close of time, the current of evil will set more and more decidedly toward perdition. We can be safe only as we hold firmly to the hand of Jesus, constantly looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is our mighty Helper.
That I May Know Him p. 307
A few years ago, I was having a very bad day at work. My computer was not working right and a few other problems were giving me trouble. My friend and coworker, Bev, joked about a totally different situation like we normally do, but instead of my usual and expected, joking comment of “I’ll bring roses to your funeral.”, out popped the word “stinkweed” instead of roses. A look of hurt crossed Bev’s face. As soon as I saw the hurt, I realized that my comment which had been intended to be funny was not funny at all. Although my comment was born out of my frustration with my circumstances, it was still out of line. Of course, I apologized and she forgave me, but how much better it would have been if I had not made a potentially cruel comment at all.
How often we offend with our words. Sometimes we offend unintentionally like I did that day. Sometimes we offend because of anger or jealousy. Sometimes we deceive by a look or a gesture instead of speaking the truth. Sometimes we speak against someone who is trying to follow what God has laid upon his heart, yet we put the worst possible motive upon it and slander that one who is doing His Father’s will. How this breaks our Great Redeemer’s heart of love. He, Who gave everything for us, is looking for the reflection of His character in us. He listens to our every word, waiting to hear His words coming from our lips. Yet, how often He sees and hears quite the opposite causing hurt to His Great Heart of Love. How true are Jeremiah’s words, “Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.” Jer 9:8
James tells us, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 1:26,27;3:2-18
With tears in His voice, our Loving Redeemer proclaimed, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matt 12:34-37
We will have to meet our words again. Solemn thought. Daily we should heed the advice of the children’s song that says, “O be careful little lips what you say.” Words we have spoken in anger, words we have spoken in jest, cruel words, slanderous words, all are recorded in the courts above. Our Dear Saviour hears them all. These words also have an effect upon ourselves. How careful then, should we be to put a guard upon our lips, lest by our words we wound those whom the Saviour loves, lest by our words we discourage the very one who is doing right, lest by our words turn others away from their Only Helper.
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” 1 Pet 3:8-12