Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - May 23, 2017

Today's Reading:

Acts 28:1-16

1 Samuel 4-5

Psalm 52

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Have you ever thought about the tongue. It's such a little member of the body, but many Bible writers rued its destructive power. This was the subject of James' lament, in chapter 3. And it is something which the Psalmist also wrote about in today's chapter:
James 3:5-10  "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of Hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."

Psalm 52:2-4 "The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue."
Yet as overwhelming and impossible as it seems to us, by the power and grace of God, it is possible to tame the tongue. Scripture makes this abundantly clear in the dynamic description of the 144,000. First, the Revelator made it plain that the 144,000 were "redeemed" from among mankind. This means that they were sinners for whom Christ died. But it goes on to say that God is able to take these former sinners and transform them so completely that they are "without fault" and their mouths no longer speak any "guile". What a testimony of what Almighty God can do with a surrendered soul!
Revelation 14:4-5  "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." 
So, what James said about the tongue being impossible for any person to tame merely meant that we cannot accomplish this task by our fleshly strength or by sheer willpower. How, then, can we tame it?

Christ gave us a powerful key to finding victory over the power of the tongue. He said that our tongues naturally speak about whatever is in our hearts.
Matthew 12:34  "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."
The tongue merely gives voice to the things we keep in our hearts. Thinking about this causes me to ask from God that changed heart, each and every day. Today, and every day, let us join the Psalmist in praying:
Psalm 19:14  "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Yahweh, my strength, and my Redeemer." 
While the meditation of my heart is acceptable in His Sight, the words of my mouth will be under the control of His Spirit! That is wonderful news. And this is the key to lastingly taming the tongue. It all starts with a new heart. Thankfully, God is in the Business of giving heart transplants:
Psalm 51:10 & 15 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me... O Yahweh, open Thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise."   
 As we ask, we will receive. For He has promised!