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Text Sermons : Zac Poonen : Watch Your Eye And Your Tongue

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In 1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul tells us one of the secrets of his life. He “treated his body roughly, training it TO DO WHAT IT SHOULD, AND NOT WHAT IT WANTS TO” (Living). Otherwise he feared that after he had preached to others, he would be disqualified.

Our eyes and our tongue are the two members of our body that we need to discipline the most. We invite unbelievers to give their hearts to Christ. But the Lord asks us to give Him our bodies (Rom.12:1) - and He asks especially for our eyes and our tongues. If we don’t give Him these, all the time, we cannot expect to be bondslaves or spokesmen of Christ, or to stand approved by God in the final day.

If we don’t keep our eyes under control - at home, in the bus, on the road and in our place of work - we will find that even if we preach like angels, we will be disqualified by God in the final day. Many servants of God through the centuries have fallen because they were not careful with their eyes. They allowed their eyes to wander and look at pretty girls, and soon one thing led to another, and they fell into sin. It is not enough to say that we don’t lust after women. The Bible warns us not even to admire a woman’s BEAUTY, lest it bring us to spiritual poverty (Prov.6:25,26). How careful we must be then.

We have to be careful in the same way with our tongues. God will not use the tongue of a man to preach His Word, if that man allows his tongue to be used by Satan at other times. The Lord told Jeremiah, “If you separate the precious from the worthless (in your conversation), then You will become My spokesman” (Jer.15:19). We must never speak anything that does not come from a heart of goodness. That’s not easy to do, because we are so weak in this area. We have to be ruthless if we are to discipline our tongues.

I am sure many people whom God had called in past days to His service, whom He had planned to make His prophets did not become prophets, because they were not careful to discipline their eyes and their tongues. They did not subdue their bodies.

To be a wholehearted disciple of Jesus is to have a burning desire to present ourselves to God without any blemish. If we want to build the church as the Body of Christ, we must gather together all those who are eager to present their bodies to God thus, and who are really keen to make their bodies their slaves. We must mourn when our eyes are not absolutely pure. We must mourn when our tongues have spoken something that was not spoken in absolute goodness. Paul kept his body subdued and remained faithful to God until the end of his life. That is why he was not disqualified, but finished his course with joy(2 Tim.4:7).

Jesus was faithful to keep every part of His body available exclusively for His Father (His Head). It is written in Romans 15:4 that He never pleased Himself. He never sought His own pleasure in the way he used His eyes or His tongue. He did not look at what He wanted to. Nor did He speak what he wanted to. He always sought to do what pleased His Father. Thus He presented His body without any blemish to His Father and became the perfect spokesman of His Father to the world (Heb.9:14). That is how we are to live too, as members of His spiritual Body now.

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