Melting Away

Colossians 3: 8 – 9

But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech from your mouth, do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.
As we set our eyes on those things above, we must take care that we do not resurrect those things from our old self. But the good news is that as you keep your eyes on Jesus, those old things will feel foreign. They are inconsistent with your new self and soon they become uncomfortable. Then they will begin to melt away from you.

It is interesting how many of the above offenses are committed with our mouths. Getting our mouths under control is the bulk of the battle but with our eyes fixed on Jesus, he lends his strength to us so that in our weakness, we are strong. As we focus our attention on seeking Jesus and our Father, his power is made alive in us. Our worship and love of him draws us away from our old behaviors. They will eventually become as repugnant to us as they are to Him because we are drawing closer to Him every day and becoming more like Him.

Deep Pit

Proverb 8: 8

All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them.

King David wrote in Psalm 17: 3 that he purposed that his mouth would not transgress. That is a noble goal. Maybe setting that goal was enough for David to be able to accomplish it. For others of us, though, some tools may come in handy. Today’s verse is just such a tool and it might be a good one for one of those index cards.

The eighth proverb is a message from wisdom. She is crying out in the streets trying to get our attention, trying to help us. We are to seek wisdom, only a fool wouldn’t. Well, when we seek and find wisdom we get all that she is and she tells us that her mouth only utters righteousness. Surely that is wisdom, speaking nothing but righteousness. Now here is how you can use this verse as a tool for yourself even though it is wisdom speaking. Because you seek wisdom you can make this same declaration. If you have purposed in your heart that your mouth will not transgress then confess that all of the utterances of your mouth are righteous. After a while your brain will catch on. Then it will begin to regulate your mouth. 

Honestly, if you do not transgress with your mouth then you are a holy person indeed. Our mouths are deep pits into which we fall. Keep your mouth straight and you will find your paths straight too. Let God’s power help you to cover over that deep pit and make a straight way for you.

Heart & Mouth

Psalm 19: 14                      Index Card 1

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

I am beginning a new series today. Many times I recommend that you take really meaningful verses and write them out on 3 X 5 index cards then put them in plain sight so that you can review them frequently. Well, it may please you to know that I take my own advice. Today’s verse is the first in a series of Ivey’s index cards. I hope you enjoy seeing which verses I have recorded in my scripture deck of cards.

This verse is first and foremost in my mind and, in my stack of cards, because my failures so often come out of my mouth. In truth, it is what is in our hearts which bubbles up and out of our mouths (Matthew 12: 34) and often in the most inconvenient of times. So, this verse reminds me to check the content of my heart and set a guard over my mouth (Psalm 141: 3).

Fruit that Satisfies

Proverb 18: 20

With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips.

A friend of mine says that I should write a Word of the Day about the power of the tongue at least every month. Well, I should, perhaps, be reminded even more frequently than that. I am amazed at how little we guard our mouths. Even the secular world recognizes this spiritual law. Read self-help books or listen to PMA teachings and you will hear these teachers over and over again educating people that their mouths determine their futures. If secular instructors recognize this spiritual law, how is it that we Christians continue to spew doubt and negative confessions out of our mouths day and night? We really should know better.

I think part of the answer is that we really do not pay attention to what we say. Listen to yourself for a day. Then take every single thing you say literally. For one day do not give yourself poetic license. Presume that when you are “tickled to death” you are going to die. What if you were literally “blown away” (one of my personal favorites)? Now those are some examples of the innocuous things we say but what of the more significant ones? Do you constantly say that you are having senior moments? Guess what, if you keep saying that you are going to have more. Do you ever make negative statements about yourself or your future?

I know some people argue that words are not really that important, that they will not carry out the purpose of their meaning. People say, “Well, I didn’t mean it literally or I didn’t mean it like that.” Well, how did you mean it? If a word has a specific meaning then why does it not mean what it is supposed to mean?

Now here is the point. Why even use those negative or fruitless expressions? Will you die if you stop saying that you were tickled to death? Is there no other way to express that you thought something was funny?

That is the negative side of the coin. The positive side is that you can improve your present and your future by changing your language. Your business is inspired by positive affirmations, not negative. That is why God tells us that our stomachs will be satisfied by the fruit of our mouths. He is trying to teach us that we can fill our stomachs and even our pocketbooks with the fruit of our lips. And here is the thing, this is a free service. It costs you absolutely nothing to speak well of yourself, your business, your family and even your church and pastor. You can even talk yourself into happiness. Watch what you say. Police your language and then thoughtfully speak. Make a determined choice about the things you let come out of your mouth. Listen to what you are about to say before you open your mouth and let it fall out. I promise you that you can change your life.

One last thing, if you have already passed this class, then begin to watch what you think about yourself, family, etc. Begin to police your thoughts. You can fend off depression, worry and a whole lot of other negative experiences if you will watch what you say to yourself internally.

Sentry Duty

Psalm 141: 3

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

Yesterday’s Word was actually a teaching on spiritual warfare. It was about how to survive and even win the battles of life. I can’t leave you with yesterday’s teaching without giving you this verse too because they go so very much hand in hand. As you run into the presence of the Lord the very last thing you should do is explain the problem over and over to him. In truth, He already knows the problem. What He is looking for from you is trust and faith. So, the key thing you have to do is to guard your mouth. Now I know for myself that I don’t necessarily do a very good job of even that in my own strength so the first thing I do is to pray asking for help. Don’t make this hard. Just pray these exact words. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Write this verse on a 3 X 5 card so that you have it handy when you need it. Then just speak it to the Father.

You won’t be surprised, perhaps, to discover that David wrote this psalm in addition to the one from yesterday. (If you missed yesterday’s Word of the Day you can read it at .  It seems to me that he learned that one of the first things you have to do in the day of trouble is shut your mouth.  

When we get upset it seems to loosen the cords that hold our mouth. The first thing that many of us want to do is to call someone and tell him how someone did us wrong. You may feel that if you don’t tell someone you will just explode. I know the feeling. That is why the first thing to do is to pray this verse. Honestly, God will help you. Then get out your Bible and read. Let God lead you into peace.

This is a trick of the devil and we really must stop playing by his playbook. His strategy is to get us upset or angry so that we let loose with our language. When we do that we actually give him building blocks that he can use to defeat us. In a sense we defeat ourselves because we provide the ammo that shoots us down. So, do yourself a big favor. The next time you get mad, someone does you wrong or some ugly problem jumps up in your face, set a sentry over your mouth. Get one of those big dudes to stand guard for you. Put this verse into action and then let the Lord lead you.