Small Spark

James 3:1-6 

1Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

First Time

Do you ride a bicycle? What is your most memorable experience at your very first try of riding a bicycle?

The first time I rode a bicycle, I lost control and I fell into a ditch causing my big toenail removed. It hurt, but, I kept on pedaling until sunset. I went home that day riding my bicycle with confidence. Of course, someone helped me ride my bike.

A few weeks later, I found myself helping a classmate how to ride his bicycle.

At your first time riding bicycle, it’s hard to balance yourself. It can be frustrating.

Similarly, balancing spiritual and secular life can be frustrating and discouraging to spiritually infant Christians. Riding a bike, living in godly lifestyle or any activity, there will always be first time for everything we do. Everyone can commit mistakes but we must strive to grow spiritually mature. Here’s a challenge: 1 Peter 2:2, 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.

We must do whatever it takes to gain knowledge of godly principles to follow them diligently and teach others what we practice are essential process of our spiritual growth. Additionally, we can earn eternal treasure. Personal experience is very handy illustration that we can use to encourage other believers in their spiritual journey.

Apostle Paul challenges us to check our own lifestyle, if we desire to teach. It say in Romans 2:19-21: 19If you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 

Did you discover if God has given you the gift of teaching? Teaching is rewarding.

What do you normally post on your social media? Most probably, you regularly post on your account ideas you want others to learn, right? Social media updates can expose your lifestyle, personality, character, mindset and principles in life somehow.

Do you appreciate religious principles that are posted in social media accounts?

When posting biblical principles on social media, be sure to check your lifestyle.

  1. Check

1Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly2We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

Social media are very convenient tool to teach spiritual truth; use them discreetly and carefully; but, don’t settle at collecting hundreds of likes or thousands of comments.

Have you ever considered any possible effect of your updates to your readers, followers or subscribers? Are you aware that you also teach them when you post biblical principles on your account? In a sense, you act voluntarily as biblical teachers somehow.

Personally, how essential are your social media updates to you? How about any possibility of profits? What are eventual consequences of social media posts to you?

Listen carefully: The Lord God Almighty has records of all activities that he may reward in this life and certainly, in eternity. Did he include activities on social media? What do you think? Be mindful of your social media posts – God may reward you for that.

Now, when other people learn from you, you are their teacher, right? If they learn about biblical principles from what you posted on your social media account, you become their teacher, right? Here’s a warning: Teachers of God’s word will be judged more strictly. Teachers will be judged more strictly because God has chosen them to teach.

Observe attentively! Here’s what Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:11, 11Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.

Teaching is significant process of discipleship. Pray that you may enjoy teaching.

In 1 Corinthians 12:28: 28God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance.

The Lord had selected individuals he preferred to teach his godly commands. Teaching biblical principle is spiritual gift. It says in Romans 12:6-8, 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

You may ask, “How can I practically know if I’ve been given the gift of teaching?”

If you are enthusiastic to tell others about godly biblical principles; if you enjoy using social media as your platform or tool, you may have received a spiritual gift of teaching. So, don’t take it very lightly. Instead be very prayerful that God will empower you. You may not know it; your social media post may encourage others to trust God.

Check your lifestyle. Seriously consider that teachers will be judged more strictly. 

  1. Consider

3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 

Listen, if controversial and polarizing topics about politics attract you. One short comment will spark thousand of reactions in just a very short span of time. You might be disturbed by many negative, unpleasant and offensive remarks that are meant to spoil the day of readers. Never discount the presence of provocative hostility in the internet.

Humans would try to manipulate others. Consciously or unconsciously, it could be productive manipulation. Take for example how human control horses. They put bits in their mouth and the horse will follow its rider. Or, a small rudder used to steer a huge ship is another instance; it’s a manipulative innovation of humans. And the human tongue can be instrumental also to manipulate positively or negatively.

With godly wisdom, we can properly use our tongue positively to help others for productive spiritual result. How? The Lord Jesus Christ has expected us in Acts 1:8: 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

When his Holy Spirit empowers us, our Lord Jesus Christ expects practical results of transformation in us. Then, we witness for him. Pray that God remind you and make you always ready as witness for Christ. When empowered by the Holy Spirit – we can discern potential believers and disciples; we can sense it, if a person is not ready yet to listen to godly principles; we can also decide firmly when and where we testify.

It’s possible that you are called to serve as international missionary to the end of the world. Listen: If you sense interest in international mission works, make sure of your calling; and, pray hard until you have firm decision without any hint of hesitation.


Once upon time a believer sensed a desire to serve the Lord in fulltime ministry. He didn’t know where to start. So, he enrolled in the seminary to learn more about God. Then, a missionary professor preached on mission opportunity. The enthusiastic seminarian inquired, “Sir, what do I need to do to qualify as international missionary?” The missionary professor casually told him, “First, finish your seminary studies!”

Past forward. After seminary graduation, he served as fulltime missionary. In the mission field, a young believer told him, “I would like to be fulltime missionary like you!” That time, he remembered the advice of his professor;  he advised the young believer also, “First, finish you studies, before you decide as fulltime missionary!”

The young believer went on to serve as fulltime missionary but did not finish his studies. Later in just few years, he totally quit and did not serve the Lord ever since.

Truly, Christ expects believers to be his witness and he also designated specific spiritual gift for each us. Our spiritual gift is the most effective means to let others know about the transformation that Christ had done in our life. When empowered by the Holy Spirit of Christ, we become enthusiastic, joyful, consistent, and continue serving him.

If you are very enthusiastic in your activity, you would not desire to quit abruptly.

The term “enthusiastic” has evolved from two Greek terms en + theos, which means “possessed by God” or “have God within.” When we sincerely and prayerfully accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit came into us to possess or empower us. When love, joy and faithfulness are combined together, that’s enthusiasm. If you love what you do, you enjoy it and you want to keep doing it again and again, right? Pray that you may distinguish the difference between enthusiastic or disillusioned.

It is a reality that there were many Christians who were disillusioned about their calling. The missionary who followed the advice of his professor to finish his studies first before going to fulltime mission work was an inspiration to a young believer. However, the young believer didn’t heed his advice of finishing his studies first. Later, the young believer said that his pastor and friends told him to follow his heart desire; it may have flattered him and spark his decision to be fulltime missionary.

One probable question is: Did God call the young believer as fulltime missionary? If he was called, why did he totally quit, after few years as fulltime missionary?

Listen: When you sense a strong urgency to serve the Lord in fulltime ministry, mission or pastorate, pray seriously and sincerely that God fills and empowers you with his Holy Spirit, first and foremost. The Holy Spirit will enable you to make firm decision.

Ask for prayers; do your best to know and search on essential questions, possible challenges, problems and struggles of believers who had been in that particular ministry that may have caught your interest. Ask yourself a very crucial question: “Will I continue to persevere and serve the Lord, if challenges and problems happen while I serve God?”

If the Lord called you to a particular fulltime ministry, pray for godly peace that surpasses understanding. Peace from God removes and erases any hint of doubt so that whether you go, postpone or take another path, you are at peace with your decision.

Listen attentively to suggestions. Get as much advice as you can. But, when you are pressured or instigated by what others say, don’t decide yet; don’t decide based on other’s suggestion. If you say, “I decide to do this because they told me so,” you will be doomed for failure unless you are very sure that it is God’s way of speaking to you.

Listen! You must decide because you have sensed the peace of God in your heart.

Right! It is very proper for Christians to be prayerful also when giving advice, especially to those who are showing potentialities. Flattery can mislead even believers. Flattery can corrupt the mind of naïve and foolish to believe what they think they are.

Some people may just want to hear flattery to confirm what they think of themselves. Pastors wish church members to join the fulltime ministry, and may not realize that their listeners are flattered. It happened in the past; it will happen again.

Flattery can corrupt the mind and can cause problems in the church eventually.

  1. Corrupt

6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

There are times when we may unconsciously said something we don’t intend to say, especially when emotion is extreme. Most often, an angry person speak words that are not pleasant to hear. Have you had such experience before? I had my own share!

When caught in an argument and emotionally disturbed, unmindfully, we may desire to prove that our point is right; and, by insisting that we are right, we can also miss a probable opportunity to show kindness. Someone said, “I you have to choose between, being right and being kind, choose to be kind and you will be right!”

Anyone can be unmindful when angry or even when excited. Have you observed that when you are excited about one thing, you cannot readily think intelligently? How many times have you said something you did not intend to do when you were excited? 


There was a stand up comedian who shared his blunder. He was so excited to travel when the government removed restrictions. In excitement, he told his wife, “Tell me where you want to go and we will go!” His wife said, “I want to go to Hawaii!” The comedian answered, “Ok! To Hawaii, we go!” Later on, he realized that it’s not very cheap to have vacation in Hawaii, and said, “What? Did you really say, Hawaii!”

The comedian admitted that if he retracted what he said, it would be hard for him to convince his wife again. Can you easily believe or trust a person who casually says empty words that they would not necessarily meant or intended to do? Their favorite song could be, “I was only joking my, dear. Looking for a way to hide my fear.”

They could be fooling themselves. Empty word is not very best way to win others. Even comedians have to be serious, sincere and fulfill their commitment.

Everyone wants to hear funny stories. Some people are born comedians, and there are also individuals who try to be funny. There are funny stories that may lighten or lessen your burden and there are unpleasant jokes we should not entertain. Have you ever thought if funny stories or jokes can help or obstruct spiritual maturity?

Did you know that coarse joking and empty words are related to foolishness?

It says in Ephesians 5:3-7, 3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.

Right! Biblically, coarse joking and empty words are related also to immorality, impurity, idolatry. What does it mean foolish talk, coarse joking or empty words?

Foolish talk includes nonsense, unwise, unmindful statement, conclusion without proper basis, even badmouth or saying unkind words to hurt the feeling of others.

Coarse joking includes vulgarity, making fun of other’s appearance,

Empty word includes promises not meant to be fulfilled.

Parents are often caught making empty promises just to appease uncooperative child. Politicians promise anything to gather votes but not necessarily desire to fulfill them.

Many young ladies are flattered by empty words and deceived by their suitors.

Why do we unmindfully entertain foolish talk, coarse joking or empty words?

It’s spiritual battle for believers. The Scripture warns thing we should not do; that’s what we want to do naturally. It’s a natural tendency for humanity to follow and indulge in sinful instinct.

We believe that our old sinful nature was crucified and died with Christ. We believe that we also resurrected to new life in Christ, by faith.

The celebration of the Lord’s Supper reminds us of the death and resurrection of Christ and for us to spread the good news of salvation in Christ until he comes.

May God use our tongue to spark the spread of the gospel of Christ regularly!

><((‘> .. ><((‘> … ><(((‘> tmec\2022 <“)))>< … <‘))>< .. <‘))><







Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.