The word "profess" has two ordinary meanings in today's language. The first is to openly voice or share one's feelings about someone or something, to declare one's love for another. The second is to affirm one's faith or allegiance in something verbally. Often this is used about religion, but it could also be used as a profession of theological guidelines, or scientific school of thought. It's something we feel strongly about.
The common thing of these things is the fact that a profession requires words. We must share with our words what we believe. Philip said to those who were being baptized and reaffirmed their faith after they answered the questions asked of everyone coming to baptism, that they had just made a public profession of faith. They just used their words to share with others what they believed.
Our words have power. What we say can make the difference between us representing Christ or embracing the forces of evil in this world. When we remember what we believe, and we speak the accurate and positive words of God to ourselves, we are living into God's power.
James 3 warns us of what happens if we don't take our language seriously. James starts off by acknowledging that we shouldn't take for granted the fact that our tongue isn't easy to control. He says in v. 2,
"Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way."
Then he goes on in vv. 3-6 to talk about how the tongue is like a small bit in a horse's mouth, a small rudder controlling a huge ship, or a small spark that sets huge fire ablaze. The key here is that even something small that we say can cause large implications. We must be careful so that we don't do damage with something as small as a word.
We can use our words to fan flames that burn for God, or we can use our words to fan flame that burn for the evil one. We can cut people down, or we can build them up. We can praise God, or we can curse him. We have the choice of how we want to focus our words, but it starts with how we focus our mind. Is today going to be a day that is focused on God? That is a daily decision.
Friends, that is what we have to do every day. We have to speak the truth. We have to wake up each morning and say to ourselves what kind of day we want to have and repeat it each time we feel the world or the evil one is trying to pull us back. Our words are strong. They can be a tool for Satan to use against the body of Christ, or they can be God's tool to build the kingdom.
If you'd like to download the PDF to print of the "Daily Embrace of God" words, to speak positively and reject evil in you life, click here.
When was the last time you started a fire? I know here in Florida we don't get to enjoy them often, but think about watching how a single spark can spread and catch an entire pile of wood on fire. Or, think about how a single match can catch all of your charcoal on fire.
Read James 3:1-12.
- When was the last time your tongue got you in trouble?
- What are some different ways words can be used negatively?
- What are some positive uses of words?
- What do you picture as the language of a person who is in the image of God?
- What kind of fires do you want to produce with your words?
Read James 3:13-18.
- What does an honorable life look like?
- How do you fight off things like jealousy and selfishness?
- What helps you to become more loving?
- How does peace plant the seeds for greater things?
- In what areas of your life would you like to become wiser?