Monday, February 16, 2015

February 16, 2015 … That Wild and Unruly Beast!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 47

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Steven Curtis Chapman sining his song … His Strength Is Perfect, declaring the reality of our weakness, for example in training our tongue; but God’s grace is sufficient to give us HIS POWER to develop our self control.

Highlight Passage James 3: 8-9 [NKJV] … 
9 With [the tongue] we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 
… Jesus’ brother reflects on the reality of how the unruly tongue can be used for glory of the Savior or for the gory of self.
Highlight Context - James 3: 1-12 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK

Reference Passage #1 - Proverbs 23: 7 [NKJV]
  7 As a man thinks in his heart so is he. … 
 … What we think, in our hearts, often is reflected in our words and actions. …

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV]
28 “If any of you would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. …”
 … Jesus’ charge of discipleship …

Reference Passage #3 - Galatians 5: 22-23 [NKJV] … 
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness [meekness], … AND … self-control.   
… Notice that Peter places “self-control” as the final of the nine fruit of the Spirit, and this placement was likely because it is the most difficult fruit to mature in our lives.

Reference Passage #4 - Ephesians 4: 29 [NKJV] … 
22 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but [only] what is necessary for edification that it may bring grace to the hearers. … 
 … God through Paul gives us the way to control our tongues. If what we say cannot edify or give someone grace, DON’T SAY IT!!!

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dave Branon, reminds his readers (me) of the reality of how we can tame all kinds of wild animals but so often, in our flesh, we have so much trouble taming one of the smallest organs in our own bodies, … the unruly tongue.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones; … but words will never harm me!”NOT!!!

Whoever wrote that old adage, certainly hadn’t looked at the reality of the latent and overt emotional wounds inflicted by parents in what they’ve said to their kids, which has caused so many social ills in our world. Nor did that fool take into account how the words of cyber-bullies affect teenagers in our world today. In fact, many teen suicides can likely be tracked back to the damage done by the words of others, especially parents, in the lives of these young ones wounded by words.

 Jesus’ brother, James, was right on when he wrote, inspired by God, his treatise on the unruly tongue in James 3: 1-12, highlighted and linked above. He wrote truth … that this tiny member of our bodies is probably the most difficult to bring under control.

 Have you ever noted how the Apostle Paul, when he was listing the fruit of the Spirit, which is really a description of the qualities of Christlikeness which are implanted into all Christians when they come to Christ, “self control” is listed last on the list? And I believe that it was/is because, of all those qualities of Christ, to which all Christians must aspire, “self control” is the most difficult to bring to maturity/completeness. And our taming of the tongue may be the most difficult area in the pursuit to bring Christlikeness into all areas of our self.

 What we say, as Jesus’ brother wrote in the James 3 passage linked above, is SO MUCH TRUTH!!! The tongue can bring about vast damage to others or it can bring glorious grace as well. And God, through Paul, gave us the guidelines on how to control the tongue when he wrote, in Ephesians 4: 29, the two best tongue-controller criteria. To paraphrase, he wrote that if what we say is not going to either lift someone up or bless the hearer with God’s grace, then we simply shouldn’t say it.

 And I’ve spouted enough words on the subject here - FOR SURE! So, I pray we all realize that what we think becomes the precursor for what we say [see Proverbs 23: 7]; and so, we must pursue more of Christ in our minds so that what we say will be a reflection of our Savior. Nuff said!!!

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … make what I say and write a reflection of YOU! … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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