Article # three: The Tongue: The Heart’s Ambassador
So you just can’t believe “They don’t want Him (enough)!” Not want Christ? It just can’t be! Hmmm. Let’s look at it.
J E S U S : Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Mat. 12:34)
What is in will come out. What we say says who we are. The tongue is the heart’s ambassador. To know what is in your heart simply monitor your words.
Lovers of money speak money. Lovers of food speak food. Lovers of business speak business. And lovers of Christ speak Christ.
Lovers of Christ speak Christ. Yes, they speak money and food and business as well; living down here calls for that. But Jesus is the emphasis – because Jesus is the heart’s chief occupant.
The spiritual health of an individual can be determined by the words she speaks. Likewise the spiritual health of a christian community can be determined by their collective words.
To know, listen. When is the last time someone in your circle spoke of Jesus? How about the last time you coffeed with a friend….. what did, and didn’t, you talk about? The last Bible study, was Jesus mentioned….. more than, In Jesus’ name, amen?
Generally, preachers don’t preach Christ. I say, generally. Some, especially evangelists, preach Christ much.But Jesus is not the theme of most messages. Believe has been replaced by Be good and, Try harder and, Be a team player and, Do it this way and…..
Sure, Jesus is quoted once in a while, but only to underscore something other than Jesus. The King is less than focal. He is not the main issue. To come to your own conclusion, listen. As the preacher preaches, use your fingers to count the number of times the Name is mentioned. Probably you will only need one hand.
A. W. T o z e r : I am weary of the familiar religious pep talk. I am tired of being whipped into line, of being urged to work harder, to pray more, to give more generously, when the speaker does not show me Christ. (God Tells the Man Who Cares)
Paul was not your average preacher. Paul preached Christ. (“I determined not to know anything….. except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”) Paul thanked God through Christ. (“I thank my God through Jesus Christ.”) Paul blessed others in Christ’s name. (“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”) Paul served Christ. (“An apostle of Jesus Christ.”) Paul loved Christ. (“To live is Christ.”) Paul longed to be with Christ. (“To die is gain.”) Paul was prepared for the judgment seat of Christ. (“There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness.”) For Paul, life was Christ, Christ, Christ.
And Christ preached Christ: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” “I am the light of the world.” “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” “Follow Me.”
Paul preached Christ, Peter preached Christ, John preached Christ and Christ preached Christ; yet Joe Average Preacher does not preach Christ. Why? The answer is harsh: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” If it’s not in there it won’t come out. (Now again, I am speaking of relationship, not sonship.)
Many are God christians. They speak God often and Jesus rarely. Everything is God, God, God. I can hear you asking, “What’s wrong with that?”
Although the New Testament speaks God much, it speaks Christ more. Christ is central in New Testament writings because Christ is central in heaven. He is referred to or spoken of at least five times more than the Father and the Holy Spirit combined. And Christ far outnumbers God. That’s the way the Father decreed it be. God the Father and God the Holy Spirit decreed that God the Son was to be central in heaven and on earth. “God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” So what’s the point?
The point is there’s something wrong down here. If heaven and the Bible have their speech right, and we speak otherwise, something must be wrong. And something is wrong, terribly so.
There is power in the name of Christ. When a christian speaks Christ something good happens to her. And that is why christians (I’m speaking generally) do not speak Christ. Hunh? Let me explain.
There has been, and always will be, a battle for the throne of your life. Christ is not seated on the throne of Jill Average Christian, Jill is. Or one of her many idols. Whoever or whatever is seated there feels threatened whenever the Name is mentioned, so the Name is rarely mentioned.
More of Christ and much of Christ is available to all. Those who have little have little because they want little. Simply put, “They don’t want Him!”….. enough, enough to dethrone god me.
Speaking God is vague, ambiguous. God might make god me uncomfortable, but not seriously threatened. But the name of Jesus, that’s different. That Name makes both demons and me tremble.
Again, the tongue is the heart’s ambassador. Your heart and that of your friends and your christian community is revealed by words spoken. To know, listen.
C h a l l e n g e : When you first entered the family of God, through Jesus Christ, you invited Christ to sit on the throne of your life. Is He still there? Or has Jesus become something less than lord? Your problem isn’t that you have not been good enough, but your trust in Christ has lessened. Where will you go from here?
P r a y e r : Father, when we drift from Your Son we drift from You. You do not love us less; You simply await our return. Kindly anoint this word with the most Holy Spirit, and draw the lukewarm back to passion and intimacy. In His name. (And hopefully the reader says, “Amen!”)