Tag Archives: tongue

Through the Bible, September 9

Reading:  James 3-5

Summary: The “practical gospel” continues by addressing the matters of the Christians speech, divine wisdom, worldliness, dangers of wealth, suffering, and prayer.  This letter demonstrates that much of the New Testament’s contents are not only relating historical events or doctrinal content, but making practical application of Christianity to daily life.

Devotional Thought:

The Surprising Path to Spiritual Excellence

The gulf is quite expansive that spans the difference between my talents and abilities and those of a professional athlete, musician, painter, etc. They are what they are because they possess and exercise exceptional gifts is certain fields.

We make a mistake when we try to apply that same truth in the spiritual realm.  Those who excel spiritually aren’t those who are especially gifted to do so.  Rather it is those who give attention and effort in areas within the grasp of each of us.

Take the tongue for instance.  Our inability to completely and finally control our tongues is readily acknowledged.  But one who works on it diligently and consistently has gone a very long way in controlling the whole body (Jas. 3:2).  Earlier James said that making a claim to being religious while failing to bridle one’s tongue renders the entire venture worthless.

Every one of us has a tongue, every one of us speaks, every one of us employs words in our communication. Not every one of works on controlling their tongue.  It’s not a matter of some special capacity with which one endowed, but the will and determination to do what would please God regarding this “small member”.

If one is interested in exceptional spirituality, the tongue is a very good place to begin.

My Delight is the Lord, May 17

The Tongue Challenge

May 17, Tuesday: Following God’s Way

Scripture Reading: James 3:1-18

How many perfect people do you know? A list of such people doesn’t even exist because there are none. If this kind of person did show up, one of the most amazing facts about them would be that they do not and have not stumbled with their tongue. That’s just one of the easiest ways we can fail, and we all do it. That might lead us to think it falls lower on the significance scale because everyone does this. It’s such a common fault, it’s not a big deal. But just the opposite is true. The tongue–representing our words here–possesses exceeding power, for both good and ill. So, all the more reason this frequent area of offense is to be closely guarded. What is more, if we think in terms of moving our lives in the direction of perfection here is a place every one of us, without exception, can begin and likely experience marked advances. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Questions to Ponder:

  • Why should one be cautious about being a teacher? (v. 1)
  • What do these illustrations teach us about the tongue? (vv. 3-5)
  • How far reaching, personally speaking, are our words? (v. 6)
  • What “ought not to be so”? (v. 10)

A Week in the Word, August 24-30

 

Theme: Psalms & Proverbs — Life Well Lived in Proverbs

This week will mark only our second foray into the book of Proverbs.  Being a book that is about wisdom—pursuing it, acquiring it, and practicing it—and that the foundation of that wisdom is fearing God, the proverbs of this book also touch on very practical matters of living life.

Though the book of Proverbs appears to have no real order and arrangement beyond being a collection of collections of proverbs (see 10:1; 25:1; 30:1; 31:1), several themes keep cropping up. We’ll focus our attention on three of these themes: the family, the tongue, and self-control.

Proverbs seeks to impart wisdom about how life can be best lived.  It attempts to identify pitfalls, highlight common failings, and point the reader down the best possible path to a well-lived and fulfilling life.

Proverbs being what they are—short, compact statements of truth and wisdom—and the book of Proverbs being what it is—haphazard arrangement of these compact statements—our readings will be collections of single-verses from throughout the book based on the themes mentioned above.

Readings and Introductory Comments:

Proverbs 1:8                        17:1, 13                      25:24           

            3:33                           18:22                          27:15

            5:15-20                      19:14, 26                    28:24

            10:1                            20:20                         29:15

            11:29                          21:9, 19                     30:17           

            12:4, 7                        22:6                           31:10-31

            14:1, 11                      23:22, 24-25                                   

            15:6, 17, 20, 27          24:3-4

Following on the heels of last week’s theme (Christian Living — Family) we’ll begin our readings in the same place.  As just about anyone can testify, family can at the same time be a source of great joy and blessing, but also of great pain and misery.  Attention given to family can pay tremendous dividends and has a direct correlation to the joy and contentment of our lives.

Proverbs 4:24                                             15:1, 2, 4, 14, 23

            6:12, 16-17                                      16:24, 27, 28

            8:6-8, 13                                          17:9, 27, 28

            10:8, 11, 14, 18, 19, 31, 32             18:8

            11:9, 12, 13                                     20:19

            12:6, 13, 14, 18, 22, 23, 25             21:23

            13:2, 3                                             26:20, 22, 28

            14:3                                                  29:20

Nothing gives mankind any more trouble than our tongues.  James speaks directly to it in the New Testament (Jas. 3:1-12).  Nothing can get us into trouble quicker and nothing diffuse a volatile situation better or bring delight to ones life than the words we speak.  No theme in the entire book of Proverbs gets any more attention than the tongue.

Proverbs 6:34                        19:3, 11, 12, 19

            11:23                           20:2

            12:16, 23                     21:14

            13:16                           22:8, 24-25

            14:16, 17, 29, 35         25:15, 28           

            15:1, 18                        26:21

            16:32                             27:4

            17:14, 27                       29:8, 9, 11, 22, 23

            18:23                             30:32-33

The New Testament teaches us that self-control is characteristic of a life guided by God’s Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:23; Titus 2:11-12). It is therefore not surprising that a life well lived is one characterized by self control as well.

Study/Thought Questions:

Proverbs 1:8

  • From whom is a child to learn?

Proverbs 3:33

  • Whose house is blessed?

Proverbs 4:24

  • What is crooked speech?

Proverbs 5:15-20

  • What is drinking water a euphemism for in this passage?

Proverbs 6:12, 16-17, 34

  • What is #2 on this list of things God hates? (v. 17)
  • What enrages a man? (v. 34)

Proverbs 8:6-8, 13

  • What is an abomination to my lips? (v. 7)
  • What is listed alongside perverted speech as hated sins? (v. 13)

Proverbs 10:1, 8, 11, 14, 18, 19, 31, 32

  • Who comes to ruin? (v. 8)
  • Who has lying lips? (v. 18)
  • Who is prudent? (v. 19)

Proverbs 11:9, 12, 13, 23, 29

  • What does a man of understanding do? (v. 12)
  • What does a trustworthy man do? (v. 13)
  • Who inherits the wind? (v. 29)

Proverbs 12:4, 6, 7, 13, 14, 16, 18, 22, 23, 25

  • Who is (not “wears”) a crown? (v. 4)
  • What ensnares an evil man? (v. 13)
  • What does a prudent man do? (v. 16)
  • What can overcome anxiety? (v. 25)

Proverbs 13:2, 3, 16

  • How can one preserve life? (v. 3)

Proverbs 14:1, 3, 11, 16, 17, 29, 35

  • How is great understanding demonstrated? (v. 29)

Proverbs 15:1, 2, 4, 6, 14, 17, 18, 20, 23, 27

  • What is a good response to wrath? (v. 1)
  • What brings joy to a man? (v. 23)

Proverbs 16:24, 27, 28, 32

  • What are gracious words like? (v. 24)
  • Who is better than the mighty? (v. 32)

Proverbs 17:1, 9, 13, 14, 27, 28

  • What is one way to seek love? (v. 9)
  • Who has knowledge? (v. 27)

Proverbs 18:8, 22, 23

  • What is one “favor” from the Lord? (v. 22)

Proverbs 19:3, 11, 12, 14, 19, 26

  • What effect does good sense have? (v. 11)
  • Who brings shame and reproach? (v. 26)

Proverbs 20:2, 19, 20

  • Whose lamp will be put out in utter darkness? (v. 20)

Proverbs 21:9, 14, 23

  • What’s a good way to keep oneself out of trouble? (v. 23)

Proverbs 22:6, 8, 24-25

  • Who should not be your friend? (v. 24)

Proverbs 23:22, 24-25

  • To whom should you listen? (v. 22)

Proverbs 24:3-4

  • What builds up a house?

Proverbs 25:15, 24, 28

  • What is like an unprotected, unguarded city? (v. 28)

Proverbs 26:20, 21, 22, 28

  • With whose absence will a quarrel end? (v. 20)

Proverbs 27:4, 15

  • What is a quarrelsome wife like? (v. 15)

Proverbs 28:24

  • Who is like a person who destroys?

Proverbs 29:8, 9, 11, 15, 20, 22, 23

  • What’s the difference between the wise and the foolish? (v. 11)
  • Who shames his mother? (v. 15)
  •  Who obtains honor? (v. 23)

Proverbs 30:17, 32-33

  • Who will be eaten by vultures? (v. 17)

Proverbs 31:10-31

  • How valuable is an excellent wife? (v. 10)

Meditation Thoughts:

What would you say is the book of Proverbs’ answer to gossip?

Is it a valid response when one says about their temper, “That’s just the way I am”?  Why or why not?

In the family setting, what is of greater value and importance than getting ones way or winning the argument?

Memory Verse:

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (Prov. 16:24)

 

 

Life Loved and Good Days

Devotional Text: 1 Peter 3:10

Who could ask for anything more?  Really?  To be able to say that one loves the life they live and that their days are good, would be the dream of so many people.  It would be so much better than the frustration and aggravation they feel presently dominates their lives.  And let’s face it, we’ve all had too many of the days that are anything but good.

Ok, so how does one get there?  How do we achieve what everyone wants?  That answer is likely as surprising as it is old.  Peter quotes from Psalms 34 for the answer.  The one who “desires to love life and see good days” should do some specific things.  These include:
• watch what you say—“keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit”
• be careful to do good—“let him turn away from evil and do good”
• make peace a priority—“let him seek peace and pursue it”  (1 Peter 3:10-11).

Had you been asked about the course of action for loving life would any of these been on your list?  Is it not telling that what would lead to what we want, is so neglected or at least minimized?

Think about how these three impact the relationships of our lives.  Is not our joy and pleasure in life directly related to the condition of our relationships?  Our focus becomes more of providing an atmosphere where we can enjoy the love, companionship, and interaction with friends, family, and loved ones instead of getting what we want.

Whoever desires to love life and see good days; that’s me!

–David Deffenbaugh

For today’s Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE

The Surprising Path to Spiritual Excellence

Devotional Text: James 3:2

The gulf is quite expansive that spans the difference between my talents and abilities and those of a professional athlete, musician, painter, etc. They are what they are because they possess and exercise t exceptional gifts is certain fields.

We make a mistake when we try to apply that same truth in the spiritual realm.  Those who excel spiritually aren’t those who are especially gifted to do so.  Rather it is those who give attention and effort in areas within the grasp of each of us.

Take the tongue for instance.  Our inability to completely and finally control our tongues is readily acknowledged.  But one who works on it diligently and consistently has gone a very long way in controlling the whole body (Jas. 3:2).  Earlier James said that making a claim to being religious while failing to bridle one’s tongue renders the entire venture worthless (Jas. 1:26).

Everyone of us has a tongue, everyone of us speaks, everyone of us employ words in our communication. Not everyone of works on controlling their tongue.  It’s not a matter of some special capacity with which one endowed, but the will and determination to do what would please God regarding this “small member”.

If one is interested in exceptional spirituality, the tongue is a very good place to begin.

–David Deffenbaugh

For today’s Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE