Trash talking and gutter gossip is nothing more than fruit from the pit of Hell! (Jas.3:1-12) and it seems to be such a big part of our society. We have TV shows and magazines solely dedicated around slander and gossip. It has always astounded me how different ones can constantly be involved with corrupt communication. Unfortunately, even in the midst of many communities of believers we see the cancer of gossip! But of course we clothe it with religious jargon saying it’s a prayer request. But sadly there never seems to be the prayer just the gossip.
Years ago I was invited to go with a medical team to the Philippines to minister. While I was there we went to a regional garbage dump to minister to a group of people who actually lived on the garbage heaps. These people spent their days rummaging through the toxic garbage from others looking for something of value but only to receive infection and sickness.
In the same manner people that are obsessed with listening and spreading hateful communication are themselves living amongst the most unrighteous mounds of spiritual trash. It is no better than eating out of a dumpster or living on a garage dump rummaging through others refuse. Some people think its spiritual to be a garbage can for others to dump their garbage, but actually we really are to be a trash man. A garbage can will get putrid and smelly and contain germs, but a trash man is one that takes someone’s garbage and puts it in a safe place to be covered up.
Paul exhorts the believers at Ephesus saying, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good …that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Eph 4:29) The Greek word “corrupt” actually means rotten and worthless words. So Paul is telling us not to be involved in trash talk, but only those things that will uplift and bring grace to others. When you say things that tear others down and is not edifying it is lining yourself up with the devil who is called “the accuser of the brethren in Rev.12:10. The devil speaks evil of us and tears us down before God. In 1 Pet 5:8 it says that he goes about looking for whom he can devour. When individuals openly or secretly gossip they are bearing the fruit of the evil accuser.
I do realize that things that are healthy and living produce refuse and garbage. So therefore without a proper garbage system we would be in big trouble. We must have experienced trash men that are able to get rid of our toxic and disease infested garbage. It is the same in the church… there will be smelly trash and as Prov. 14:4 says there will also be poop in the stall. Therefore, we must decide whether we will be a “garbage can or a trash man” with other peoples garbage.
When we cast the weaknesses of others before the Lord through our prayers as in 1 Pet.5:7 and give biblical support, we are dealing properly with the garbage of others. But when we spread it or rummaging through it we resemble the varmint the scatters the garbage down the street making a bigger mess. Gossip is seldom the complete story or truth being twisted to fit the mood of the one spreading it, not to bring any kind of help.
In comparison to what we see the enemy of our soul doing before God, we see the picture of Jesus in Rom. 8:34 after His finished work on the cross going before the Father as our advocate and intercessor. It goes on to say that nothing will separate us from the love of God. The question we will have to answer is whether we are lining up with the accuser or the intercessor! Will we be a “garbage can or a trash man”! We have a choice.
Trash talking and gutter gossip is nothing more than fruit from the pit of Hell! (Jas.3:1-12) and it seems to be such a big part of our society. We have TV shows and magazines solely dedicated around slander and gossip. It has always astounded me how different ones can constantly be involved with corrupt communication. In many communities of believers we even cloth it with religious jargon saying it’s a prayer request. But sadly there never seems to be the prayer just the gossip.
Years ago I was invited to go with a medical team to the Philippines to minister. It opened my eyes to the needs and tremendous hurts of people. While I was there we went to a regional garbage dump to minister where individuals actually lived on the garbage heaps. These people spent their days rummaging through the toxic garbage of others looking for something of value but only received infection and sickness.
In the same manner people that are obsessed with listening and spreading hateful communication are themselves living amongst the most unrighteous mounds of spiritual trash. It is no better than eating out of a dumpster or living on a garage
Some people think its spiritual to be a garbage can where as we really are to be a trash man. (tweet)
dump rummaging through others refuse. Some people think its spiritual to be a garbage can where as we really are to be a trash man. A garbage can will get putrid and smelly and contain germs, but a trash man is one that takes someone’s garbage and puts it in a safe place to be covered up.
Paul exhorts the believers at Ephesus saying, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good …that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Eph 4:29) The Greek word “corrupt” actually means rotten and worthless words. So Paul is telling us not to be involved in trash talk, but only those things that will uplift and bring grace to others. When you say things that tear others down and is not edifying it Continue reading →
The April sun broke through our kitchen window. I had sleep in my eyes. My siblings and I sluggishly forced ourselves to eat our morning oatmeal. There was nothing uncommon about this morning in 1967. It began like any other typical day. Until, the telephone pierced the silence and brought all of us to attention. My mother answered in her normal cheery voice, but immediately her tone changed. Her cheerfulness went to a devastating, “Oh my God” and from that moment my life changed forever.
Our daily priorities were obliterated by the news that my dad had just suffered a heart attack (that would later become fatal). As my mother hung up she insistently cried, “Everyone go and pray in the front room for your dad.” The sluggish sleepiness that just moments earlier was so prevalent vanished as we all began to cry out to the Lord. In the midst of disaster, we prayed!
Praying became a natural response in times of crises and need in our household, because it was instilled in us as a daily way of life. I can remember how my mother loved to take walks on our ranch in the beautiful Rocky Mountains to pray. On several occasions we would run up the trail to catch her only to find her deep in prayer. It was memories like this that had a profound impact on my life.
I believe some things must be caught not just taught. Joshua had evidently caught something as he followed Moses. The young Joshua saw the results of Moses’ communion with God. He talked to God and then walked in His power every day. Joshua caught the spirit of prayer and abiding in God’s presence. I love Exodus 33:11 where it says, “So the Lord spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” Picture this scene: Moses returned to camp and to his responsibilities but Joshua stayed in the Lord’s presence. Evidently Joshua caught something; he understood that a life of intimate prayer and communion with God will result in a walk of power.
A lifestyle of prayer was birthed in my own life through being raised in the shadow of many great men and women of prayer. Even once I had left for college and then continuing down the road to marriage and raising a family; it seemed that God would always place me in the midst of men and women of prayer. Through colleges and seminaries rooted in prayer such as Christ for the Nations Institute and others. Speakers that taught and motivated us to minister out of the place of prayer such as Dick Eastman, Mike Bickle, Bill Bright, as well as, great Pastors such as Dr. Larry Lea, who were used to call a generation to pray. God was definitely orchestrating in me a lifestyle of prayer.
Over the years I have reflected on many of those days and memories and have been encouraged that I had caught an attitude of prayer to sustain me in and through my life. It has kept me through many trying times and has become a lifelong message of mine as well as a book I have published, “Igniting the Power of Prayer”. It is my desire to see God’s people live a life empowered through a life of prayer
There is a definite difference between the life that is separated unto prayer and the life that has separated from prayer. One has the power of God flowing through it and the other is powerless. We must understand that Jesus is the vine and we are only the branches. (Jn. 15:5). As long as we stay connected to the life-source then we will walk in His power.
Paul encouraged the Christians in Ephesus with these words: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” (Eph. 6:10). We walk in His power as long as we are in fellowship and communion with Him. I remember my former pastor, telling the church that some things must be caught not just taught. I believe Joshua caught something as he followed Moses.
Joshua saw the results of Moses’ communion with God. He Talked to God and then walked in His power every day. Joshua caught the spirit of prayer and abiding in God’s presence. I love Exodus 33:11 where it says, “So the Lord spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” Picture this scene: Moses returned to camp and to his responsibilities but Joshua stayed in the Lord’s presence. Evidently Joshua caught something; he understood that a life of intimate prayer and communion will result in a walk of power.
We cannot survive without being grafted into the vine. Joshua was committed in making sure that he was grafted into the vine. It was a daily choice he made. Just as it must be a daily choice in our life to make sure we are connected into the life source of the vine. As we come into the place of prayer and communion with God, we are strengthening our connection in the vine!
The flashing police lights and news cameras drew our attention across the street. The assembling crowd was all gazing to the other side of the yellow police tape. People stood in awe as they covered and took away a body, apparently a victim of a mugging. We were shocked and dumbfounded at what we were just exposed to.
My three younger girls, my wife and I were coming to speak at a church in Houston, Texas. We had never been to this church before. So after arriving in town, we began to look for its location. To our amazement and literal shock we had come upon this crime scene, which ended up being right across the street from where we were scheduled to speak. At that moment, words could not express the feelings that rushed through my very being. All I could think about through the night was eternity! The thought of how totally lost people are without Christ and how close eternity really is to each one of us.
This experience has stuck with me through the years. It has given me an eternity awareness that just cannot be shaken. The fact is there are people dying and going to hell every day around us. We sit in our stained glass churches every Sunday, hearing the Word of God. Yet, we leave and never change our society with the message of Christ. Like we read in Matt. 9:37, “…The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” The harvest of souls is ready to be harvested. They are ripe and in their prime to be picked. Yet, it says that the laborers are what is holding up or hindering this great harvest, for they are few in number!
How many people do you know that need to hear the Gospel?
Today, Will you choose to be a part of God’s great plan of salvation?
Will you not only PRAY for the laborers to be released into the harvest field, but be one of the laborers?
It’s time to stop talking about reaching people for Christ and just do it. We go to conferences about soul winning. We listen to great messages about reaching the lost for Jesus. We pray about our friends and family coming to know the Lord. But…. We don’t act on it.
It’s time to shake off the dust of complacency and be about the God’s business!
Years ago revival flooded through the countryside of New England, where the total population was just around 300,000 at that time. Through the preaching of such renowned men as Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield from England and others, thousands were transformed by the power of God. During the two years between 1740 and 1742, there were estimations of 25,000 to 50,000 people in the New England states who came into the kingdom of God. This radically changed the whole atmosphere of the society. The moral fiber of society was changed for the better. Benjamin Franklin said, “…it seemed as if all the world was growing religious; one could not walk through a town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families in every street.”[i] He said this of the results of one of Whitefield’s meetings. That poses an interesting question that we should ask. If someone walked down the streets of your neighborhood would they be as impacted as Benjamin Franklin?
In our day can we say that there is a noticeable difference when it comes to the church and the world? If we turn to and look at the scriptures we can quickly see that there is supposed to be a radical difference. The church by biblical definition is supposed to have a direct impact on its surroundings.
The Body of Christ or the church must become effective salt. Then and only then will we begin to change communities and surroundings for the better. Either we will be effective or we will be defective. How often do we feel the Church is being trampled under society’s feet? Maybe it’s because we have lost our edge or our effectiveness. If we are doing what we’re supposed to be doing, we will affect our surroundings. To understand this better, let us look at the uses of salt. To begin with, we know salt flavors things and makes things have a better taste. Secondly, salt is a preservative. It keeps things from rotting and going bad. Thirdly, salt melts the hardness of the cold ice. Fourth, it has been used to keep weeds from growing in certain areas. When we are revived by His spirit, the Church will be seasoning to society, a preservative in society, melting the hardness and coldness of society and keeping unwanted weeds from growing in its midst.
Today will you be salt that is effective or salt that needs to be thrown out?
God has placed us in various places to effect it for His kingdom and purposes.
The job you’re at, whether a school, a bank or a construction site, it is all for a reason.
When Jesus spoke to His followers in Matt. 5:13 we see where it says, “You are the salt of the earth…”. Jesus was saying that they as followers of His must penetrate and impact their society. He wasn’t saying hide and be ineffective. No, not at all! That’s a defective believer! Therefore as followers of Jesus we need to use our talents, hobbies and everything else we possess to further God’s plan for His kingdom. This is to impact our surrounding with the beauty of His holiness. Each on of us has a certain hobby or something that they love to do…right? And you gravitate to others with the same like mindedness as yourself. In the same manner many that don’t know the Lord but have the same passions are drawn to you. So, use that as a open door to impact their lives with the Gospel. Therefore USE IT!
2 Chron 7:14“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” NKJV
Nearly 50 years earlier, a similar movement of prayer took place, bringing our country to its knees. It all started in 1857, in New York’s Manhattan area, with an individual named Jeremiah Lanphier, who had a burden from the Lord to start a noon prayer meeting. He had advertised and promoted it, but when the day arrived, only six people attended. He was faithful to continue pressing forward each week, and that soon brought a steady increase in attendance. Before long, prayer meetings began to spring up in almost all of the public buildings downtown. The well-known newspaper editor Horace Greeley sent one of his reporters in horse and buggy to count how many people were in attendance at the noon prayer meeting. Time was against him, limiting him to making it to 12 meetings in the one, hour prayer time, yet he counted 6,100 persons praying. The publicity thrust a landslide of prayer, beginning a movement that spread throughout New England. Reports indicate that in one year more than a million people were converted.[i]
The revival had no boundaries at that point, going out in every direction. Some say that people were converted at the rate of 10,000 per week in New York City. Quickly moving in every direction, the Revival continued to have a great effect upon whatever stood in its path. Lives were affected and changed for the glory of God. Shortly after the revival had begun, the country found itself in the middle of the bloodiest war ever fought on American soil. Think of all the young men who lost their lives in this war. Yet due to the moving of God, many of their souls were saved! God’s grace and mercy truly does endure forever!
A city, a region and ultimately a nation was impacted for the Kingdom of God.
Today will you be that one person who will stand in Prayer?
It might be your discipline for prayer that stirs your family, community or city to turn towards God.
Choose to find a time and place to spend some of your day with the Lord. It doesn’t have to be some great amount of time, just give the Lord what you can. Many times we set ourselves up for failure because we put to great of commitment on ourselves. Start small and grow each day.
It starts with You!
[i] Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation , The Rebirth Of America, 1986, p. 63
I heard a story about a little boy who was handed an orange by a man trying to be kind. The boy’s mother asked, “What do you say to the nice man?” The little boy thought and handed the orange back and said, “Peel it.”
As rude as this boy in the story seems to be, what’s more shocking is that this attitude is prevalent throughout our society. Everywhere we turn we can see it filtering through this great nation of ours. We have raised a generation of self-absorbed people that are blinded to everything other than their desires and needs. We have forgotten the simple act of gratitude.
The scripture says in 1 Tim. 3:1-2 that in the last days men will be lovers of themselves and unthankful along with other selfish attributes.
I am reminded of the story of the ten lepers that stood afar off as Jesus entered a certain village. They lifted their voices so that Jesus could hear them and cried out saying “have mercy on us!” Jesus responded by telling them to go and show themselves to the priest, who had the final decision in pronouncing them clean or defiled.
As they went in obedience it says the very thing that had kept them estranged from society, a disease of cruelty and defilement incredibly dries up and they are healed. Now if this was the end of the story it would be a great lesson on obedience and God’s mercy, but it goes deeper. The story continues with the scene of only one of the ten returning to give thanks for the miracle from God. The author points out that this healed man was not a Jew but a Samaritan. He wasn’t educated in the traditions and things of God. Yet he knew enough to be eternally grateful for the life changing miracle he was given. Many times those who profess to be Christians are out-done by unbelievers.
It’s time we develop a habit of gratitude towards God ourselves. We can do that by being thankful in three simple areas. 1.) Being Thankful for Everything He has done in our lives. 2.) Being Thankful for Everything He is Doing in our lives. 3.) Being Thankful for Everything He is going to Do in our lives.
Being grateful in these areas will help develop a heart of gratitude in us. Once we learn to be grateful to God that same gratitude will flow out to others.
It truly is time to stop the madness of self-centeredness and develop a lifestyle of thankfulness, not just thanksgiving but Thanksliving!
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1Thes 5:18 (NKJ)
In my college dorm room my roommates and I had a garbage can in the corner. We would practice our shooting skills by taking consistent shots day after day. It became a game that we would play mimicking a championship basketball game. Who could get the trash in the can.
We learned to bank our trash off of the walls and into the can. We threw banana peels in it, lobed in handkerchiefs underhanded, school papers waded up and tossed with perfect arch filled the trash can. We were getting so good we could throw our trash and garbage with our eyes closed and make it. All because we knew where the trash can was.
In like manner there are some people that everyone else knows that they are that open trash can in the corner. It’s a known fact that trash is always welcome. They are eager to invite any type of garbage you might have. The gossip about the innocent or the private mockery behind other peoples backs. These people are nothing more than human garbage receptacles.
One rap artist’s lyrics say, “Don’t tell me what was said about me… Tell me why were they so comfortable to say it to you”. Think about it? They themselves think it’s a badge of honor but in all reality they are nothing more than a disgusting garbage can.
Why do people feel so comfortable coming to them with their garbage? Well, people are looking for a place to dump their trash and these people are more than willing to take it. Why, you might ask? I believe in some sort of warped way they feel import carrying the trash of others. It empowers them to be able to have information about others whether good or bad.
They have defiled the very vessel God made them to be to become a container that is made for trash.
Let me ask you… do people tend to come to you to gossip and talk about others. Do you find yourself always in a conversation with people that are always degrading and talking down others? If so it’s time to turn to God and ask him to change you!
Prov 20:19 Gossips can’t keep secrets, so never confide in blabbermouths. (The Message)
Lev 19:16 “Don’t spread gossip and rumors. (THE MESSAGE)