Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 01 What Do You Have On Tap???
When we go out to a ‘fast food’ restaurant, which we don’t do often, they usually hand us a cup so you can fill it yourself. You choose what soft drink you want at the soda dispenser, and when you put your cup under the tap, you usually get what the label says you’ll get. But there are those times when there is a major faux pas; you sometimes get all syrup, or all soda water; or even worse you get the wrong ‘flavor’! YUCK! Now sometimes, it’s just hoses that got crossed up, but usually it’s because something is empty or someone didn’t do their job—either way, what “IS” in the tap, “IS” what you get, whether you want it or not! I think it’s often the same way with us; we don’t always keep our hearts and minds set on Jesus, and when people pull the tab, or push the button, or insert their cup, so to speak, they are surprised, disappointed, angry, sick, offended, or totally caught off guard with the results of what was ‘on tap’! Scripture has a lot to say about this issue—and I think it would behoove us to ponder what scripture has to say to me and you about what we keep ‘on tap’! James gives us a great place to start.
“For every kind of beasts,
and of birds,
and of serpents,
and of things in the sea,
and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame;
it is an unruly evil,
full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father;
and therewith curse we men,
which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth
My brethren, these things
ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren,
bear olive berries?
either a vine,
so can no fountain both yield
13 Who is a wise man
and endued with knowledge among you?
let him shew out of a good conversation
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife
in your hearts,
and lie not
against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above,
but is earthly,
16 For where envying and strife is,
there is confusion
and every evil work.” James 3:7-16
“17 But the wisdom that is from above
is first pure,
and easy to be intreated,
full of mercy
and good fruits,
and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness
is sown in peace
that make peace.” James 3:17-18
Let me say that the only way we can make “peace”, is when we have the “peace” of Jesus in our hearts. It’s what I believe Jesus was talking about when He mentioned the “peace makers” in the beatitudes—not those who stop fights and wars, but those who have “peace with God”, and bring others to Jesus, to have “peace with God”! And having peace with God, is having His Spirit within us (the Spirit of Jesus Christ), for Jesus is the only man (the God Man) who can ‘tame the tongue’ (or the heart)—mine or yours! I can’t help but smile when I remember that James never heard of ‘social media’, but he surely seems to be describing it!
“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access
into this grace
wherein we stand,
of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
Having “peace with God”, is cause for rejoicing, yet so many seem to have no inspiration to rejoice, when all you hear from them is moaning and groaning (and while my age and my joints may give me cause to moan and groan in my aches and pains—my heart is full of gratitude and rejoicing in the LORD who delivered my soul from hell, and set my heart, mind and feet on a path toward glory!! Amen and Amen)! It’s kind of like the old question, “What do you get when you squeeze a lemon?”, the answer isn’t lemon juice (which is what you ought to get, because it’s a lemon) but the true answer is, “You get out, whatever is inside?”! The same is true with us! Jesus reminds us of that on multiple occasions—what is ‘inside’ will come ‘out’, and Jesus must be ‘in’ our hearts to affect our ‘outside’ behavior!
“O generation of vipers,
how can ye,
speak good things?
for out of the abundance of the heart
the mouth speaketh.
35 A good man
out of the good treasure of the heart
bringeth forth good things:
and an evil man
out of the evil treasure
bringeth forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you,
That every idle word
that men shall speak,
they shall give account thereof
in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words
thou shalt be justified,
and by thy words
thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12: 34-37
Do my/your words reflect Jesus’ redeeming justification, or condemnation? It’s your choice and it will bring the consequence!
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth
come forth from the heart;
and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart
proceed evil thoughts,
20 These are the things
which defile a man:
but to eat with unwashen hands
defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:18-20
Simply put, you can wash the dirt off of your hands, but if you haven’t let Jesus wash your heart, it will keep putting out that which is vile. Yet as a believer, my job is to speak truth and let people know truth, that there is a difference between the precious and the vile, and like Jeremiah, that isn’t always an easy job—in fact it hardly ever is! But, when God saves us, and calls us to serve Him in a particular way, we may find that it may hurt, yet God’s grace “is sufficient” for it all (not because I say so, but because God says so, and I have found HIM faithful to the task—always!). Jeremiah wrote words that have often lifted my heart and encouraged my soul to press on!
“Why is my pain perpetual,
and my wound incurable,
which refuseth to be healed?
wilt thou be altogether unto me
as a liar,
and as waters that fail?
19 Therefore thus saith the LORD,
If thou return,
then will I bring thee again,
and thou shalt stand before me:
and if thou take forth
from the vile,
thou shalt be as my mouth:
let them return unto thee;
but return not thou unto them.
20 And I will make thee unto this people
a fenced brasen wall:
and they shall fight
but they shall not prevail against thee:
for I am with thee
to save thee
and to deliver thee,
saith the LORD.
21 And I will deliver thee
out of the hand of the wicked,
and I will redeem thee
out of the hand of the terrible.” Jeremiah 15:18-21
Much like John wrote in the Book of The Revelation, sometimes we are called to “go out from among them”; there are those who will not receive our testimony of truth, as well as those who will revile us for standing with Jesus. We must stand as Joshua did and declare, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”; and sometimes that will cause others to reject you. But I’d much rather stand with Jesus and truth and let the world judge me as they like, than to fall for the lies of the devil and face God’s judgment and lose my soul!
“For what shall it profit a man,
if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul?
37 Or what shall a man give
for his soul?” Mark 8:36-37
Whatever is in your tap will come out.
“My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them,
and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life;
and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them
out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me,
is greater than all;
and no man is able
to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30 I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30
Have you heard HIS voice and come to Him in repentance and faith; realizing and admitting that you have a sin problem that only Jesus can fix; believing that HIS substitutionary (He took your place at Calvary), atoning (He paid for my sin), sacrifice (He died for my sin debt), for I owed a debt that I couldn’t pay, and HE took my place to pay a debt that He didn’t owe; all because He loves me and you! Because of HIS love and saving grace, how could I do any less than love Him in devotion and obedience before a lost and dying world in need of a Savior! I want to keep my tanks full of Jesus and may my ‘tap’ ever flow with HIS truth, love, power and grace!
“If ye love me,
keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Yet it’s not about ‘rules’ but relationship—a relationship with the ruler of the world who loved me and died for ME/YOU! Knowing that when we follow Him the world won’t like it! But I’m going to keep on giving out JESUS regardless of the cost! And unless Jesus returns soon, we need to know that persecution and suffering is on the way!
“Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater
than his lord.
If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you;
if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you
for my name’s sake,
because they know not him
that sent me.” John 15:20-21
And again, as Jesus sent out the disciples to preach The Kingdom:
“And whosoever shall not receive you,
nor hear you,
when ye depart thence,
shake off the dust under your feet
for a testimony against them.
Verily I say unto you,
It shall be more tolerable
in the day of judgment,
than for that city.
12 And they went out,
and preached that men should repent.” Mark 6:11-12
Paul reminded his son-in-the-ministry with a clear message that we must not miss (even though it’s not a popular message today—it IS truth)!
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure,
having this seal,
The Lord knoweth them
that are his.
And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ
depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19
“Yea, and all that will live godly
in Christ Jesus
shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
So, my question for us today is simply, “What do you have on your tap?” Is Jesus your shepherd? Are you walking with Him in obedience and devotion, or have you allowed the enemy to steal your joy, peace and love? Or have you never come to Jesus? If He is knocking at the door of your heart you only have to open it up to Him!
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
if any man hear my voice,
and open the door,
I will come in to him,
and will sup with him,
and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
I implore you to come to HIM—He is ever faithful! And if you know Him, but are not walking in the light, repent and He will cleanse you today. Jesus is in the ‘cracked pot’ restoring business—I know because I am one! I praise God for it!
“If we confess our sins,
he is faithful
to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned,
we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:9-10
Tap into Jesus—
“……..and him that cometh to me
I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37b
And that means YOU my friend—that means YOU!
Amen and Amen!!!