Month of Prayer, Day 18

Today’s scriptures are about words.  Your Words are powerful, Lord, because they create.  Indeed, Lord, Your Word is forever settled in heaven.  It is as unchanging as Your faithfulness.  You established the earth by Your Word, and it abides.  What You create is for a purpose.

Lord, Pr. 18 tells us that our words create, as well.  Help my words to also have a purpose.  Help me not to express my own heart, but to delight in understanding. Help the wellspring of wisdom flow from my mouth and not foolishness.  Help my lips not to enter into contention or call for blows.  I do not want my mouth to be my destruction, or be a snare for my soul.  I want my mouth to honor and glorify You.

Keep me from haughtiness. Keep my ears and my lips closed to gossip. Let my ears wisely seek knowledge. Help my heart to be prudent, acquiring knowledge. Let the produce of my lips be good and not evil.

Lord, Pr. 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Let my tongue speak life. Help me to be a wife who is honorable, loyal, and helpful.  Help me to speak life into my husband.  Let me to listen before speaking, and to answer softly.

Lord, I thank You that Your name is a strong tower that I can run to for safety.  When I need protection, Lord, You are ever there; unchanging, and eternal.  Thank You, Lord.  Thank You that Your faithfulness will endure to the generations that come after me!

I love You, Lord,

jamie

 

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The healing tongue

Pr. 12:18:  “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.”

Almost 3 years ago, I was admitted into the hospital for a lovely 5-day visit.  A dear friend of mine came to visit.  She and I are close friends, and she was also my fitness pal and co-worker at the time.  I vividly remember when she walked through the door because her eyes were brimming with tears and I could see pain on her face.

I eventually found out that prior to her visit she had been “beat up”  and “pierced” by careless and inconsiderate comments by our co-workers concerning the cause of my condition.  Feeling guilt and shame, she asked me, “Did we do this to you?”  Instead of simply offering comfort and care to her as her friend was lying in the hospital, our co-workers had been criticizing our choices and pointing out how we had brought this upon me with exercise and food choices.

Since I have never been fully diagnosed, that could be true.  Who knows?  However, their words at that moment wounded my friend and brought her more pain that she was already feeling.  It’s easy for us to think of all the kind, encouraging things they could have said to her instead that would have promoted health and comfort within her.  As I was lying in the hospital bed, I began to encourage and comfort her, hoping to ease the pain they had inflicted.

This kind of situation is somewhat normal, however.  Human nature makes us quick to throw out words of opinion, criticism, correction, advice, or solution; and much slower at simply offering comfort.  I’m so thankful our Father in heaven isn’t as quick to do those things as we.  His Word is full of healing, comfort, and consolation.

This morning I read Psalm 23, which is indeed filled with comfort:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

If you’ve been pierced by careless words, turn to the Word of God for healing.  Then, being full of His Word, when we find ourselves about to pierce another with our own words, we need to take a moment to find healing words to offer instead.  There is enough pain in this world already.  Healing is what is truly needed.

Grateful for His staff,

jamie

To persuade a ruler

Pr. 25:15:  “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone.” 

I am reminded of the story found in Luke 18:1-8 of the judge and the persistent widow.  The judge eventually avenged the widow, saying, “Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

The point Jesus was making in that parable was that we always ought to pray and not lose heart.  Hearing what the unjust judge said, how much more will our Father answer our requests?  When we pray, God hears our cries.

Mark 7:24-30 tells the story of a Gentile woman who asked Jesus to cast a demon from her daughter.  Jesus was not yet prepared to help the Gentiles, but the woman was simply persistent.  He was impressed that she did not quit and did as she asked.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, forbearance means:  the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry.

We see no evidence of anger in the widow or the Gentile woman, but we certainly see patient requests given more than once.  Is there something you’ve been asking the Lord to do?  I encourage you not to give up.  I encourage you to forbear with a gentle tongue.

God did not put these parables in the Bible for no good reason.  He could have left them out if He didn’t want us to follow them.  The truth is that these aren’t even the only times in the Word where the Lord tells us these things.  Over and over, He tells us to present our requests to Him.  Sometimes it takes time.  That is where patient forbearance comes in to play.

If you know the Father, and you know His love for you, then you know that He will not leave you or your family broken.  Perhaps that is why we see in Ph. 4:6-7 that we are instructed, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

We request with forbearance and thanksgiving, (with a gentle tongue), and God’s peace guards us.  Our Father loves us.  His plans for us are for good, and truly He has an eternal plan for those who love Him.  Do not give up.  With forbearance, ask your Father for what you want.  You will find Him faithful to answer you with what is truly needed.

Patiently,

jamie

What’s on your tongue?

Pr. 31:26:  “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”

Being around children all day, I am acutely aware that kindness on the tongue is not something that happens by accident.  We are born pretty selfish, self-serving, and self-absorbed.  Tenderness, affection, and courtesy are attributes that take time and training to develop.

That training should not end when we are grown.  As adults, we must make sure that we are still training ourselves to be kind.  It is something that can still be lost if not nurtured.  Where can we find kindness in this world?  I’m glad you asked.  The Word of God teaches us in Eph. 4:32, “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Eph. 5:2 tells us to, “walk in love.”  Ph. 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”  Col. 3:12-13 urges us, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering:  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another…”

I could go on and on.  There are numerous verses about kindness, affection, forgiveness, and bearing with one another.  Why so many?  We were born selfish.  Just as when we were kids, we need constant reminders.  If we are to have the law of kindness on our tongues, men and women alike, we must be sensitive to the rebukes and reminders we find from the Lord.

Also, when we are walking in the Spirit, it is evident by the fruit He produces within us:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  With God at the helm of our lives, this fruit will naturally be brought forth in our lives.

Wisdom and kindness come from the Lord.  If we are tarrying in His presence, studying and absorbing His Word, asking for His guidance throughout our days, and listening for His still-small voice to speak His wisdom, then we will be full of Him and walking in the Spirit.  This is when we will be one who opens their mouth with wisdom, and has the law of kindness on their tongue.

If you want to be someone like that, stick with God.  If He can bring forth water from a rock to refresh thousands, He can certainly help us speak kind words to refresh those around us.  🙂

Blessings,

jamie

 

 

Why go to church?

Pr. 15:2:  “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.”

Ps. 122:1 says, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”  You can find much wisdom in the house of the Lord.  Pastors and teachers spend time throughout the week studying and praying over the Word of the Lord.  They are prepared to use their knowledge rightly to impart to you more wisdom from the Word.

I have heard enough people say that there are hypocrites at church, and that is true.  But guess what?  We are all sinners and have all fallen short of the glory of God.  Not one of us on this planet is perfect, nor ever will be.  The best we can do is to gather together and try to remind ourselves of God’s power, His goodness, His love, His truth, and His strength.  Church is the place where we go to find wisdom.

Find yourself a church where the Word of God is taught and the message of Jesus Christ, Him crucified, and His soon-coming return are preached.  Don’t worry about the imperfections of the workers, as long as Jesus Christ is worshiped and glorified.  He said where two or three are gathered in His name, He is there in the midst.  If you show up, so will He.

Foolish talk will not bring you eternal life.  Go to the house of the Lord, where the tongue of the wise will use knowledge rightly.  The Lord will use the imperfections of the workers to strengthen your soul.

Seeking His wisdom,

jamie

Let the fire go out

Pr.  26:20:  “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer,  strife ceases.” 

I just threw my brother-in-law under the bus.  I randomly told on him and caused strife within the room.   I felt bad immediately, apologized,  and then read this verse.   Boy, what a lesson.

Outside we have a campfire the is smoldering  from our fire last night.   We had a huge fire due to the large amount of wood Donnie’s brother and dad picked up yesterday, so even though we abandoned he fire last night,  there is still heat inside the core.  We would only have to add some wood to that fire and we could get it roaring again.

I apologized to my brother-in-law, but the subject matter was something that is already sensitive within our family.  The words I cannot take back simply added heat to the fire already smoldering.

I typed before about James 3:6 where it says, “The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”

My comment wasn’t mean-spirited, but it certainly wasn’t helpful, and if only under the surface,  it added wood to a smoldering fire.  We have to speak slower and make sure we’re not adding wood.   People are counting on us.

Biting my tongue,

jamie

The tongue reveals the heart

In my NKJV, 10 of the 33 verses in Proverbs 15 are about the tongue/words of our mouth.

These verses remind me that James 3:6 says, “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.  The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”

Jesus also said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”  (Luke 6:45)  In Mt. 15:18, He said, “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.”

If we have truly invited The Lord into our hearts, the abundance of our hearts will be good, pure things of love, full of wisdom and understanding.  Therefore the words we speak, as a true heir of God, will build up others around us and will be a delight to The Lord.

If the words of our mouth are tearing others down, breaking the spirits of those around us, or stirring up anger then we need to examine our hearts, quite literally, and invite The Lord to be Lord of it all.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.

jamie