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“Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body”. (vs20-22)
Talebearers murmur against God and man. They are not satisfied with Christ, so they grumble under their breadth, but it will bring anyone peace. God is to be praised and worshiped as the Savior of sinners, and by His grace, we are to love others and pray for people, rather than speaking against them. He says, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:14-15).
The gospel reveals a God who is worthy of infinite praise, no matter our circumstances, because He is the One who put away sins, the One who gives grace to the ungodly, and the One who helps and controls eternity for everyone in need. Do not be a murmurer, or your words will be hurtful to others, going down to their insides. We are not to be unconcerned about the pain that we cause others, but let us guard our mouths before the throne of God, praying and thinking before speaking. Realize how EVIL words make people feel.
Will you have peace and murmur at the same time? God says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7). Will you be saved? Then take loving others seriously, and make your character more important than your feelings. Go to Christ in prayer, when life has you down, and do not believe that it’s your right to speak ill of Him who made you, the God who absolutely, wisely, and justly rules this world. Believe that your life must be properly ordered, and you will spare yourself and others.
Secondly, we can’t escape with hypocrisy, so what does it matter if we fool others, since we cannot fool God (Prov 26:23-26)? We read, “Fervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross. He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself; when he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly”. If men applaud you, but you are secretly sinful and insincere, then it will come out. The same people who praised you will testify in your condemnation, and this sobers me. Paul said, “Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden” (1 Tim 5:24-25). The gospel makes me a real Christian because a phony will not be saved. My sins may not find me in this life, but they will show themselves at the Judgment and hang upon me forever, as I’m punished in hell. Nothing matters in this life, therefore, except a REAL relationship with God. Grace must cause of a holy life, whereby God’s power, through looking to Christ, produces good deeds.
If you are saved, then everything will work out forever, and in the end, your labors will receive the full reward. Wisdom, however, disregards false prophets because their character is ungodly. The gospel is more than saying nice things about Christ; it is living by His commands, and if a sinner will not repent, if his character is unholy, then he is to be rejected as a saint, and you are not to hear him. 1 Cor 5:13 says, “put away from yourselves the evil person”. 1 Tim 5:19-20 says, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear”. It doesn’t matter if he’s a pastor or general member of the church. We are ALL held to the standard, and sin cannot be our secret addiction. I pray for myself and others as one who is desperate. I must be saved on God’s terms, and everyone who calls upon Him in truth will receive this salvation, which He gives, “for whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13). He will make you holy because of Christ, and instead of being damned to destruction, He’ll reward you for what He did. Grace is powerful to save. Believe, and receive it.
Finally, do not boast about our plans, as if you can make them happen, as if we are God and can do our own pleasure. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth”. In everything, recognize your own personal weakness! You can’t even breathe or stay alive another second without His strength. Be humble and submissive, therefore, and say, “Your will be done”, knowing that you need Christ for everything - every good work, every glimpse of faith, and every bit of strength. Do not be self-confident and braggadocios, for who are you? Brother Job complained that God was unfair, until he saw His greatness and realized that He does as He pleases, and NO ONE can stop Him. He said, “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You… therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:2, 6).
Will you be saved tomorrow? Don’t boast yourself. Tomorrow belongs to God and not you. Will you be strong tomorrow? If so, then trust Christ for that strength. Do not look in the mirror and say, “I will accomplish my wishes”, but surrender your health, family, and destiny to the Eternal God and trust Him to care for everything. James wrote, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil” (James 4:13-16). Self-confidence trusts an insignificant fool who has no strength, but trusting Christ is safety and peace. Do not boast, therefore, except in God. Glorify Him instead of yourself.
Heshimu Colar, Pastor of The Gospel Church, faithfully proclaims the saving message of Jesus Christ, continually exalting Him in God's word as the Savior of...