More On Communication

A north wind brings stormy weather,
 and a gossipy tongue stormy looks.
24 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack
 than share a mansion with a nagging spouse (Proverbs 25:23-24 MSG).

The Message version continues with some humor on how to get away from a contentious spouse [most versions use wife here]. Remember it’s Solomon’s depiction not mine. The solution seems extreme. However, the situation is also. Let God help you control your tongue and you will be blessed with his message.

Don’t Be Quarrelsome

This vivid comparison of a gossipy tongue and a contentious spouse is real. It’s an historical problem and a real one today too. Slander, backbiting, gossip and quarrelsome speech are divisive and disrupt positive relationships.

Ask God What to Say

Here is God telling Jeremiah what to do during the siege of Jerusalem.

Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own (Jeremiah 33:3 MSG).

Yes, God is in the business of speaking to people, the Prophet Jeremiah, simple people like Gideon and even simpler people like us! God knows our situation and he wants to hear our requests. Let God help you control your tongue and you will be blessed with his message.

Prayer: Father, I know you love me and want to help me. What a blessing to know you answered Jeremiah and you will answer us today. I’m listening and want to hear your voice.

Kindness and Grace Extended

If the wild olive branches were grafted in, which is contrary to nature, it’s even more likely that the cultivated branches would be grafted in to their own olive tree (Romans 11:24 by Frank Ball).

Romans 11 by Frank Ball
In your Bible Romans 11

Paul wanted the Jews to be jealous of his evangelism and hear the Good News. He warns that few Israelites have received Christ Jesus. Sadly that remains the same today.

Call Still Offered

Isaiah prophesied about the time when Jesus would come to Jerusalem . . . And then I will keep my covenant with them and take away their sins (Romans 11:27 New Living Translation).

God hasn’t withdrawn his call for them [Jews seeking God] to believe and receive his gift of salvation . . . God has allowed everyone to live in disobedience so they could see the error of their ways and receive his mercy (Romans 11:29,32 by Frank Ball).

Remain in Christ

Believers are warned that there is a cost to pay for straying. Those in Christ must stay close, listen to his voice, obey his teachings and do as he told us to do.vine

Pay attention to both the kindness and the judgment of God. Remain in his kindness to avoid being cut off. If those discarded branches were to turn from their unbelief, God is able to graft them back onto the tree (Romans 11:22,23 by Frank Ball).Paul ends with a statement for meditation:

… Everything we have, everything we are, and everything we do is because of him. He gets all the credit forever. We can’t praise him enough or do enough to equal what he has done for us, that is for sure(Romans 11:36 by Frank Ball).

Prayer: Father, I know your love and salvation through Jesus. Thank you for allowing me to be grafted in to the true vine.

Questions: How do you reconcile the Salvation God provides with the judgment in store for those not receiving Jesus his Son? What do you think when you realize for centuries many Jews have missed knowing Jesus?

The Father Shows – Jesus Does

“Whatever the Father does, the Son will do likewise, because the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does” (Eyewitness John 5:19,20).

Eyewitness: p.99
In Your Bible: John 5:17-24

Healing a lame man in Jerusalem at the pool called Bethesda, brought Jesus trouble again – because he did it on the Sabbath. The Jewish leaders claimed Jesus did work which was not allowed by Law on this holy day. They were sure this time they has a valid reason to persecute Jesus.

Jesus reasoned with the leaders, but the spiritual level he presented was beyond their understanding. Jesus said, “My Father has always been at work doing good, and I must do the same” (Eyewitness John 5:17). His intent was to tell religious leaders of “why” instead their focus was on “when.” It inflamed their anger.

THE FATHER SHOWS JESUS EVERYTHING

Now they had Jesus in another offense, he called God his Father inferring he was equal with God. In defense, Jesus said, “I assure you that the Son can do nothing by his own initiative but will only do what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise, because the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does” (Eyewitness John 5:19,20).

What a joy for Jesus to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs each time the Father shows him to do something. The Father shows – Son does. It’s not merely for mankind to get the blessing or healing, but for God to get the honor and glory through Jesus.

Believers, receive Jesus’ encouraging words: “Listen. Those who hear what I am saying and believe on him who sent me will have eternal life. They will avoid condemnation, passing from death to life” (Eyewitness John 5:24). If we think this is only applies to those who heard Jesus speak when he was on earth, John the Apostle clarifies it in his Gospel: The Holy Spirit is given to believers to help them remember everything Jesus said.

WHY BELIEVERS MUST HONOR JESUS

Be sure to hear what Jesus has to say. Showing honor due the Son of God, reveals believers are honoring the Father too. This was a additional mountain sized stumbling block for the Jewish leaders. It should not be a stumbling block for believers today, but instead a wonderful opportunity embedded in every breath we take. Glory!

Application: Jesus admits he does only what his Father shows him to do – an amazing revelation. We should not take any of Jesus’ words lightly. No, we must meditate on them and let them sink in to our spirit. They should “direct our path” as the psalmist says.

Prayer: Father, I want to know/hear all that You are saying and doing.