Tuesday, August 20, 2019
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1: 26-27
Metamorphosis is the process of change; complete change! Tadpoles change into frogs; caterpillars enter the cocoon and emerge transformed into butterflies. Spiritual metamorphosis (transformation) is expressed as a renewed mind. Spiritually transformed believers have…
A Controlled Tongue
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21
James called the tongue a raging fire, totally unable to be tamed. He says it’s like the rudder on a big ship, or a bit in the horse’s mouth. It is a small thing, behind the scenes, yet the most powerful muscle in the body. As surely as harsh words cripple people, good words inspire people to live higher-purposed lives:
· I regret that I have but one life to give for my country. – Nathan Hale
· Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country. – President John F. Kennedy
Words such as those changed the course of history. They challenged our souls and spirits, and as a result we will never be the same. I have been the recipient of kind words in difficult circumstances. There were times when such words put my heart back together and gave me the courage to go on.
Spiritually transformed people have a controlled tongue that speaks words of healing and encouragement. And they have …
A Compassionate Heart
James visiting, or caring-for orphans and widows, is his way of helping us understand that the least powerful in our society, those who are most likely to be forgotten or fall through the cracks…these are the ones we must always help. Transformed, spiritually renewed people have their tongues under control, and they are compassionate.
But you probably have known people who are not what we would call religious; they never attend church or even seem to have faith in God at all. Yet, they are compassionate towards the less fortunate; they do more than even many believers who talk a good talk. They seem to be more Christian than the Christians. Are they Christians of “genuine religion” after all? Well, they might be; it isn’t up to you and me to judge another’s motives for what they do. But remember this, practicing kind words and even doing wonderful good deeds are not what make you a Christian – those are only indications you follow a strong moral code of kind and unselfish ways. If living like that could bring about forgiveness for our sins the cross is God’s chief mistake; it would mean Jesus didn’t have to die. The Apostle Paul said it clearly, you cannot buy salvation:
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9
So, then, if it’s by grace, why all this “genuine religion” talk about doing good stuff? It’s simple – if you have truly been born again, you will be like the One who gave you life.
There is a good example of this in the science of fiber optics.
The strands of glass or plastic are about the thickness of a human hair. Bundled together they carry light, electrical impulses and even sound waves at incredibly fast speeds. They’re the reason why your TV picture is so sharp, and your cell phone works.
Imagine a thousand of these (hair-sized) fibers bound together like a cable. Each strand has a beam of light to offer, but each one came from the same, single light source. The light at the end of the “cable” reflects the source. And the source, through all the little cable connections, sheds light that changes the world. This is how it is when you allow yourself, like a caterpillar submits himself to the cocoon, to let God have you in His cocoon of salvation. In it, he nourishes and changes you – you become transformed and renewed to live a life that reflects His glory and beauty. That’s metamorphosis!
The Christian life is so much simpler when we stop trying to force the change, and simply accept the change God is bringing!
 Title Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Unless otherwise noted, Scripture used from The New Living Translation©
 Romans 12:2