Hooked, Caught and Captured

James 3:3-12 (ESV)  If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 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. 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! 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.For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 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.11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

My husband, children and grandchild all love to fish.  My father taught all the kids in my family how to fish, including all the details of which bait to use, which hook to choose, what strength line was needed, how to choose a fishing pole, and how to fish for the different types of fish.

As I read the scripture above I was reminded of fishing and the hook you use to catch the fish.  The official description of a fish hook is as follows: A device which goes at the end of a fishing line that actually catches fish either by impaling them in the mouth or, more rarely, by snagging the body of the fish.  The barb is shaped so that after the hook goes into the fishes mouth, it won’t easily come back out. A basic fishing hook is shaped like the letter J.  Funny how Jesus starts with a J right?

 

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I think the devil uses different bait, just like a fisherman to catch us on his hook.  It could be anger at another person, gossip, jealously, hate, pain, the list goes on.  I think we open our mouth, take the bait and then we are hooked.  Some open their mouths so wide they completely swallow the hook while others are simply hooked on the mouth, the lip or even the body.  Once we are hooked, just like a regular fish hook, it is hard to get loose because of the barb, we have already committed with our words.

As a fisherman, we had to choose if we were going to catch and then release the fish or if we would keep them for dinner.  I assure you the devil has no plans to catch and release us.  Each time we took the fish off the hook the fish would fight and wiggle to try to get away.  Sometimes, they would escape from our hands and fall back in the lake.  They could either fight for their life or fry in the pan. They had been caught but they were not truly captured until they were in the ice chest or in the frying pan. Then there was no hope.

The devil may have caught you with his bait I mentioned earlier.  You may feel caught, you may feel trapped, captured, backed into a corner.  Maybe you have started something and you don’t know how to get out of it. You don’t have to live there.  Start fighting the devil and the desire to use your words against others.  Fight, wiggle, jump, do whatever you can to get away from the devil.  Stop and go apologize for the one you have wronged.  Go back and repair the damage you mouth has made.  Make amends.

Maybe you are the one that is suffering from someone else’s words.  God does not approve of us tearing each other down as the scriptures says above.  Pray for the person who is trying to hurt you.  They have been hooked.  They have been caught.  Pray for their freedom.  Pray for them to see a way out.  Pray for you to forgive them.  Don’t stop praying until they are freed.  Ask others to pray with you for them. Ask God to give you wisdom on how to release the hurt you may feel and to love your enemies.  In other words, do what is right, no matter how hard it is.  God will honor and bless you if you do.

The Bad-mouther

Proverbs 6:12-19 (ESV) 12 A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, 13 winks with his eyes, signals[a] with his feet, points with his finger, 14 with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; 15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. 16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
 
The bad-mouther is a person who says something nasty about nearly everyone at the office, the member of your extended family who insults everyone in your family, or the guy in your local church who capitalizes on every opportunity to share how stupid, inept, and hypocritical another Christian is in your church or another one. The sad thing is that some of these are Christians
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How do these people get away with it? What is it about the strategy of bringing others down that works?
 
1) Because sometimes we get unwillingly involved in gossip because we don’t want to hurt feelings, say no, and decline the unsolicited information. When someone wants to gossip to you or in your presence: change the subject or just say you are sorry but you would rather not listen or talk about someone who is not present. It’s just a rule you set for yourself. You are encouraging another to sin. If the gossiper did not have you listening, he would not be gossiping. “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
 
2) People love gossip, whether it is true or not. “The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
 
3) It leads to success if allowed to happen and/or continue. This is a way of creating fear in others at work, church and/or in the family. If a person has “TAKEN DOWN” people by sowing discord or gossip then they create fear from others in their circle. Others have seen what chaos this bad-mouther caused for someone else and they do not want it to happen to them so they give in to whatever the bad-mouther wants.
 
4) They plant bad seeds in your mind about the person they are talking about. You can’t forget it. It may or may not be true, but regardless, it could cause you to treat someone unfairly or love him less. Assumptions and reading into things with the person you heard gossip about begins to grow the seed planted when you listened.
 
5) Because what they are saying is truth. Truthful gossip is a way to distract you that it is still a sin. Unjust violation of the good reputation of another by revealing something true about him is wrong. We have no right to spread information that ruins something so precious as a good reputation unless it is necessary as in defense of self or of others. It would be great if we all focused on mastering ourselves, rather than wasting time gossiping, passing judgment, and betraying people behind their backs.
 
I leave you with these 3 quotes:
 
“What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth.” ~ Jewish Proverb
 
“Do not repeat anything you will not sign your name to.” ~ Author Unknown
 
1 Thessalonians 4:11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.

You Aren’t From Around Here Are You?

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Ephesians 4:29 ESV  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

I was watching a show on Amazon Video the other day that was filmed in a small town in Kentucky. In the series, the people on the show were portraying Kentucky mountain folks.  The southern accent was very prominent, and actually pretty accurate of the south.  In one of the series there was a man from up north that came into town on business with the locals, both bad guys.  I had to laugh as I watched this episode.   In the first series the northerner starred in, he would say over and over again how he could not understand the local man.  In the second series he starred in, the northerner said he needed google translate to help him understand what the local man was saying.

It reminded me of how we should speak as Christians.  Our language should change after we are saved.  People who are not saved should not understand what we say because we don’t talk like them.  John 8:47 says “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”  Non-Christians may not understand the things of God but that doesn’t mean we should not talk about God.  We should talk about Him so much that they want to know what we are saying.  In the show, even though the man did not understand what the locals were saying, he really wanted to understand them.  His frustration made him work harder to figure out what they were saying.

When we are Christians the way we talk to others is different.  Those who are not saved may not understand the way we talk to each other.  Colossians 4:6 ESV Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.  We should not loose our cool with other people, christian or not.

Matthew 15:11 ESV says “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”  What words are coming out of your  mouth?  I heard a sermon by Joel Osteen and he was talking about the different sins people struggled with.  He specifically mentioned people in his life who struggled with swearing.  I hear so many christians swearing.  I have watched the faces of lost people when they hear a christian swear.  It is a look of confusion.  Even they do not understand how a christian can so freely swear.  

Ephesians 5:4 ESV says “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”  The bible is full of scripture that tells us how we should talk once we become saved.  Maybe you don’t know “churchy talk” but we all need to learn God talk.  How do we do that?  By reading His read.  Churchy talk is man talk.  God talk is His language and there are blessings for His children who use God talk.

I am not sure if there is google translate for the bible, however there are many tools available to you to make reading the bible easier.  There are many different versions of the bible.  Check them out online before you buy one.  Here are a few online resources where you can read a verse in many different versions.  If you keep going to a particular version then maybe that is the one you should buy.

http://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblestudytools.com/

https://www.bible.com/

https://www.youversion.com/

Each of these sites also have a commentaries by several people.  If you read something and you don’t understand it, no matter which version you read, then you can read the commentary, which explains the text you just read.

In Joels sermon he stated that we all deal with our own sin.  For him, it was impatience while for someone else it was their words, swearing.  This isn’t a devotional to make you feel bad about swearing.  The bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  Maybe you are saying that you can’t change your language.  Those old ways just won’t go away so how do you change?  Philippians 4:13  (GW) I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.  With God’s help thats how.  YOU CAN DO.  Don’t stop trying.

Just in case no one has told you this today….God loves you, wherever you are in your walk with Him!