Friday, September 25, 2015

TAMING THE TONGUE

Today’s┬áReading: Psalms 38-39

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Here is an “arrow loop” in the wall of Jerusalem’s Zion Gate. These were slots in the walls through which defenders would shoot arrows in ancient times. We may not shoot literal arrows, but Jeremiah 9:8a says, “Their tongue is as an arrow shot out.” Zion Gate is located in the southern part of the Old City. This gate was used by the Israel Defense Forces in 1967 to enter and capture the Old City. The stones surrounding the gate are still pockmarked by weapons fire. This entrance leads to the Jewish and Armenian quarters (wider photo below)..

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Psalm 39:1

I said, “I will guard my ways,

Lest I sin with my tongue;

I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,

While the wicked are before me.”

 

There’s a very big word here which has only one letter, the letter “i”. In these two Psalms, “i”, or actually the capital “I”, appears 19 times. Could it be that we focus on ourselves too much and not enough on God? Our tongues provide the most obvious indication of what’s going on inside the “I”. David, Solomon, Paul and James all wrote about the problem we have with our tongues. James even wrote that our tongues can start a forest fire (read James 3:1-10). Dangerous or what? David writes that he can stop sinning with his tongue by guarding his ways and restraining his mouth with a muzzle. We muzzle dangerous dogs, but is this the best way to keep us, as humans made in God’s image, from backbiting and attacking one another? Self (the big “I”) control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). The Spirit produces this fruit of self-control in our lives, not the big “I”. The Apostle Paul follows his description of the fruit of the Spirit with these words, “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (the “I”) with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). Therefore, controlling our tongues is possible by yielding daily to the Spirit of God. It will take time for good fruit to grow and ripen, so that if someone takes a bite out of us, they will taste the goodness of Jesus, who dwells in every believer.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Your servant David, twice in today’s reading, compares our lives to “vapor.” Like the morning mist, my life seems to evaporate. I ask, “Where has time gone?” Therefore, Lord, I pray all the more fervently that You will make every moment and every word I speak or write count for good. Fill me up to overflowing, I pray, so that from the overflow of Your Spirit I will bless others with the words my tongue speaks. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

For some reason the sitcom which featured Archie and Edith Bunker comes to mind. I remember that when Edith would be making her point rather emotionally, Archie would say, “Stifle yourself!” I’m laughing as I imagine the scene, but in reality it was no laughing matter to be a part of such a dysfunctional family. Perhaps the essence of comedy is the difference between what I am as a person and what I know I should be. It’s much easier and more fun to laugh than to cry. Archie’s instructions to his wife, “Stifle yourself,” never worked. Edith’s tongue kept right on upsetting Archie in every episode.

By God’s Spirit, who according to the Scriptures lives in me, I can have a tongue which follows the instruction given by Solomon, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

Yours for words “fitly spoken” to people around us and in prayer to God!

David

A wider view of the Zion Gate described in the photo above.

10 thoughts on “Friday, September 25, 2015

  1. David I never liked the sit com you reffered to because of the words that they
    spoke, and humor myself. Father God I pray to that you would give me an overflow
    , and only speak your words to others.
    in Jesus name
    amen
    Lianne

  2. Pastor David t hank you for your words today and everyday, you are truly a fine example for others. I like that verse in Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Blessings to all .

  3. Thank you for your message this morning…it hit the mark! I am reminded of the words of a dear friend, Dorothy Ozard who prayed: “Lord fill me so full of your Spirit, that when I tip over, only you pour out.” Blessings.

  4. WOW!
    Your 100 Personal Words today, including your comments “words “fitly spoken”” reminds me of Pope Francis at the White House, at the US Congress, at the UN and again today at Ground Zero.
    I feel that his words softly delivered were indeed “like apples of gold in settings of silver”.
    May I suggest that we all pray for the safety of the Pope and his continued strength, as he completes an horrendous US speaking schedule at age 78?
    Shalom,
    Graham.
    2012 Holy Land Yellow Bus.

  5. Hooray for Edith Bunker! She portrayed many women who had no voice!
    Her husband, Archie, was a bully! I think it was terrific that writers in that day realized how people were talking to each other and has it really changed that much?

    I’m always suffering from “foot in mouth” situations, I need prayer please! I had an incident last night! I need prayers for the Holy Spirit to nudge me hard to keep quiet! I apologized, I am sorry for my mouth running over! Forgive me Lord!

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