Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Proverbs, Chapters 25-26 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -
Highlight Passage: Proverbs 25: 11, 15, 18, 23 :[NIV] … 11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given. … 15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone. … 18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor. … 23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.
Highlight Passage #2: Proverbs 26: 20-28 :[NIV] … Read these nine proverbs from the link above for Chapters 25-26.
Reference Passage #1: James 3: 1-12 :[NKJV] … To study this passage, go to this link -
My Journal for Today: Today’s chronological reading segment, again taken from the Book of Proverbs, is, according to my Parsons Commentary, a section of proverbs apparently collected by King Hezekiah, primarily for kings, princes, and priests, … i.e., the leaders of God’s people. And from just these two chapters, you will likely note, as I did, that many of these directives deal with using and/or controlling the wild and powerful tongue.
And anytime this subject is discussed in Scripture, I immediately think of the discussion of “the tongue” we find in the book of the New Testament written by the half-brother of Jesus, the leader of the Church in post-resurrection Jerusalem, … James. Jesus’ brother was very concerned about how leaders and teachers used the power of influence in their speech; and hence you can read James’ powerful word pictures and treatise on the power of the tongue in James 3: 1-12 (linked above); and being a minister, Elder, and teacher in my church, verse 3: 1 is always daunting to me, which states that leaders/teachers in a church have greater responsibility to think and say the right things than do other disciples of Christ. Therefore, careful control of “the tongue” becomes something doubly (if not more) important for us church leaders; … but of course, it’s important for all witnesses for and disciples of Christ due to the powerful influence our words have in this age of information.
Have you ever been dealt a decisive, or even crippling, blow by the lying, slanderous, or gossiping tongue of someone else? And in today’s world of emailing, texting, and e-messaging on social websites, what we say – or how we use words from our keyboards – can very quickly and powerfully make or break relationships … or have devastating influence on others.
I think about how young people can – and do – use social media to bully or tear down the egos of their fellow teens; and adults can even be more vicious with the way they use “the tongue” in various social groupings, … yes, even in the church. How often does the effective testimony and/or witness of someone in a church or company become damaged or destroyed by gossip or an ill-used email or texting from one person to another? Today, someone’s reputation can be ripped asunder by one ill-place text or a casual comment of gossip.
The tongue can so quickly rip apart someone’s life; … or … it can do just the opposite with a well-place word of encouragement or affirmation. And the latter is what we need so, so much more of in our culture these days, especially as words are bantered about so rapidly and powerfully. Could you use a word of encouragement today? I’ll bet you could. So, why don’t you turn that around, assuming that someone in your life could also use a little affirmation and let’s you and me make it a point to use our tongues, keyboards, or texting devices to powerfully lift up someone else’s life with a word of encouragement.
Being influenced by God’s word in Proverbs this morning, I’m going to choose to encourage someone today! How about you?!!
My Prayer Today: … Lord, show me someone who needs a word of Your love from my mouth or keyboard today; and help me to use the opportunity to shine Your light of love into their lives by a word of affirmation or encouragement. Amen