Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter (James 3:11 KJV)
A fountain of water cannot send forth, at the same time, water that is sweet and bitter. The Apostle James uses the analogy of a fountain of water to explain a critical spiritual truth regarding the spiritual power of our words. In the verse before the above, he says
“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (James 3:10 KJV)
When we bless and worship God with powerful words and use the same mouth to curse or insult people, it is similar to a fountain of water that sends froth water that is sweet and bitter. It is confusion. More importantly, he uses the figure of a fountain of water to describe our words. It means when we speak, we are like a fountain that produces water. The people around us drink from our fountain, meaning our words have a spiritual and physical impact on them. When the water from the fountain is bitter, they drink from that bitter water and their lives, of course, can be made bitter. When the water is sweet, they drink from the sweet water and are encouraged, built up, inspired, and strengthened.
Many of us are familiar with John 7:37, which says out of our bellies shall flow rivers of living waters. Well, this devotional teaches one primary way that water flows out of your belly. It is through the words that you speak. Be a fountain of living and sweet water to those around you, including your children, spouses, friends, neighbors, etc.
Why does the Lord use water to describe our words figuratively? In what ways are our words similar to water?
APPLY THE WORD
Ephesians 4:29 says when you speak, your words should minister grace to those who hear you. This is living, fresh and sweet waters! Your words should encourage, build, inspire, and not bring down, ruin, condemn, or destroy people.
Ask the Spirit to help you control your mouth and allow only rivers of living waters to gush out of your belly.
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