Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Clean Heart...and Tongue

Dave reports:

Last night, Ralph sat down with me and after introductions he was asking all kinds of questions about what the Lord thought about cursing and swearing. Ralph focused on that because he said he did not smoke, drink, do drugs, and he wanted to try and keep his life clean.

I shared with him that what came out of his mouth is a reflection of the heart. I shared with him Matthew 12:34-37 and it hit him like a ton of bricks. All this led to me presenting the gospel to him. Ralph was eager to make a decision to repent, get his heart (and mouth) straight and receive the Lord Jesus.

Before we prayed, I recapped what he was about to do, and he said "Stop, I have some more questions that need to be cleared up!" So for the next half hour Ralph wanted to know why Jesus should be the "choice" for salvation, when there are the Muslims that also have their own sincere "choice" to get right with God (Allah) via the prophet Mohammad? Wow, I was delighted to answer that question! After all this, the Lord convinced and satisfied Ralph about his choice and committment to Jesus. Ralph received Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life. I gave him a Good News bible study unit and by the grace of God, Ralph will move forward with the Lord.


Blogger Yannick said...

Interesting you shared this, as I was speaking with someone today about cursing as well. I didn't have a verse to quote but they pretty much thought there was no problem with cursing. Next time I will be sure to use Matthew 12:34-37.

It always brings me joy to see when someone gives their life to Christ.

Keep up the wondeful work in the Prison ministry. And its wonderful to read these stories of the Lord speaking to these peoples hearts and bringing about change in their lives.

Peace and God Bless you.

2:45 AM  
Blogger Ryan C. said...

Regarding Matthew 12:34-37, I'm not seeing how one could derive from there that one shouldn't swear.

Yes, it says you'll be accountable for what you say.. however, that's a far stretch from saying that the use words *you* (or the majority of a given country) consider to be "swear words" are frowned on by God.

Lastly, who are *we* to decide what is classified as a "swear word" is in God's eyes? Just because a word *much* newer than the bible itself upsets certain people, that means that God must also take offense? Who are they (or you) to decide?

Not looking for a flame war.. just some serious/intelligent discussion on the topic.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Hi Ryan,

Good question. Since I wasn't there with the inmate I don't know if he had any particular words/phrases in mind.

However, the general principle from that passage is that the words that come out of our mouths reflect what is in our hearts. A similar passage is Matthew 15:10–20 where Jesus says that it's not what goes into a man (certain foods) that makes him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth that makes him unclean.

Paul says, "Nor should there be obsenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving" (Ephesians 5:4).

James, the brother of Jesus said, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be" (James 3:9-10).

I agree that it isn't always easy to tell what words the above Scriptures apply to. But a good question is, 'Where is the person's heart?' A Christian should be seeking to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in his thoughts, words and actions. At the least that means we are honoring God and other people with the words we use.

Blessings in Christ,

3:19 PM  

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