Mouth Confusion – July 19, 2017

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Mouth Confusion – July 19, 2017

Mouth Confusion – July 19, 2017

This morning, as my wife and I were driving into town for the day, the radio personalities were talking about a new favorite flavor of potato chips from Lays. I arrived at me destination before they revealed the answer but it made me remember a conversation I have several months ago with a friend about flavored chips. Lays was doing a huge promotion asking people to try different flavors and let them know which ones they liked best. Our conversation stalled when we were talking about the “Gravy and Biscuits” flavor. My friend called them, “mouth confusion.”

First let me say that the chips have a remarkable resemblance in flavor to real down-home Southern gravy and biscuits. As a bit of a gravy and biscuit enthusiast, when that flavor combination enters my mouth I also expect certain textures to come along with it. As I write about this I can almost feel the gentle flakes dissolving in my mouth as the warm sausage gravy has served its created purpose – to soak into the biscuit and carry the rich farm fresh flavors deep into my pallet. But I digress!

Really, I just never could adjust to the combination of a potato chip texture and the flavor of gravy and biscuits in my mouth at the same time.

Recently in a study of the Book of James this very concept was discussed.

James 1:3 says, “Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?” ESV

The whole conversation about whether Lays should mess with biscuits and gravy flavored chips is a matter of opinion, but in James’ writing what comes from our mouth is a matter of spiritual maturity. As we should be growing as believers into a better replica of the image of Christ every day, our behaviors will be modified.
Think of it like this; if you are out shopping and see an infant throwing a tantrum it is a bit annoying but also can be somewhat amusing. Take that same tantrum and apply it to a twenty-something – there is nothing amusing – only shameful behavior!
As you grow spiritually there will naturally be changes but some other behaviors ware changed as a matter of your will. To be blunt – sometimes you have to act grown up no matter how you feel.

James, in this one verse, addresses our battle with our carnal nature to gripe, whine and complain. But his teaching is that these no longer have a place in our lives as we mature in Christ. You must decide whether you are going to be a verbal blessing to others or you are going to make their day more difficult. It is a simple decision you must make about how your words will impact those who hear you speak.

Throughout your day you will have plenty of opportunities to gripe and complain – the slow, incompetent store clerk, the endless lines at the “fast” food joint, the antics of politicians, or your perceived shortcomings of a spouse. The reality is that there are many temptations spew venom from your lips in each of these situations and feel completely satisfied in doing so. But remember – about the only ones who like snakes are other snakes!

Let me end this by encouraging you to take a few minutes and look back over your day. Evaluate what has come from your mouth. Has it been sweet on the ears or has it been venomous babble? Ask Holy Spirit to help you guard what comes from your heart through your lips!
Do not be one of those biscuit and gravy potato chip / mouth confusion kind of Christians!

Serving Him by Serving You,
Joe Jackson, Jr.


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The Man in the Back of the Boat 11-23-2016

The Man in The Back of the Boat

The disciples followed Jesus into a boat which was to transport them across the Sea of Galilee. Because of the topography of the area storms can quickly turn a calm lake surface into a tempestuous storm. Such was the case this night as the group slowly made their way across the sea. The storm turned so horrific that even those who made their living fishing on this sea began to fear for their lives.

Then in the accounts of this story from Matthew, Mark and Luke, draw your attention to the back of the boat where Jesus is asleep on a cushion.
How can He sleep in this storm? Why is He still asleep in this storm?
So far this account has turned from the euphoria of Jesus’ miracles and teachings just before this boat ride, to a life and death situation – and Jesus is asleep! One of the bright spots of this story happen right at this point. The disciples at least know where to run in times of trouble – to Jesus! However, their approach left much to be desires, or at least much to be learned.

Freeze!

I do not think for one moment that Jesus is unaware of the entire situation. As a matter of fact, it is entirely possible that He not only is aware but has the entire scenario planned as a great teaching moment for the disciples and thus for us. Stated bluntly – Jesus is asleep on purpose.

Ok – back to the story.

The disciples awaken Jesus and say something like, “Do you not care that we are about to die in this storm?” Which probably meant something like, “How can you let us suffer and die while you do not even try to help us?” You see – the disciples were wanting Jesus to get up and help them on the oars or by taking a bucket and bailing water out of the boat – but He had something much greater in mind for these guys.

Things happen real fast now. Jesus gets up rebukes them for their lack of faith, leans out into the darkness and speaks quiet or peace to the storm. That’s it! Everything goes quiet. Jesus returns to the back of the boat and finishes His nap (He is simply leaving them alone to figure out what just happened).
As they try to take in all that has just happened they come to one collective agreement – they do not even know who this man is! Who is this man who can sleep through the storm? Who is this man who rebuked them for their lack of faith during what appeared to be certain death? Who is this man who can command a storm to simply stop being a storm? Who is this man who can immediately cause the waves to cease rolling over the bow of the ship? They suddenly had no clue as to the limits of His power!

But I am not writing this for the purpose of re-writing an event you can read for yourself in the Gospels. I would like to make some observations which I believe will be valuable to you in your walk through life:
– Rest can only come when you are at peace.
– Most of the storms in your life are not truly life-threatening.
– The answer for your life-storm is as close as a prayer away.
– Knowing whom to turn to when you are in a life-storm is vital.
– All of us often severely underestimate the Man in the back of the boat.
– The Man in the back of the boat (Jesus) truly cares about you.
– The Man in the back of the boat is the answer for your storm.
– What you need more than anything else in your life is peace.
– The Man in the back of the boat has the peace you need.

Please take a moment to let the truth found in this account sink into your mind and then allow The Man in the back of the boat to share His peace with you today!

Serving Him by Serving You,
Joe


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