Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 34-35; James 3
In the Exodus passage we find the rewriting of the Ten Commandments. God meets Moses in the mount to once again give general commands that would govern people for centuries to come. In James 3 we find the specific command regarding the tongue.
With maybe the exception of Proverbs, no other passage in scripture addresses the role and impending danger of the tongue as James 3. Verse two says, “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” The mark of maturity is being able to control what we say and how we say it. If we can yield that part over to the Spirit’s control, then the Bible says we can control all aspects of the body. Proverbs speaks over and over again about the foolishness of gossip, tale bearing, slander, evil speaking, and words without discretion. Our words come from the heart. Jesus told the Pharisees that it was out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. James likens it to a tree and the fruit that it produces. A corrupt tree will not produce good fruit and a good tree will not produce corrupt fruit. The way our fruit is manifested is the use of the tongue. It broadcasts to everyone around where we are spiritually. It should be a big red flag if people are comfortable coming to us with their gossip. This chapter ends with an exposition on wisdom. There is definitely different fruit that is born from wisdom that is from above. I cannot help but believe these are in the context of the use of the tongue. Earthly wisdom is earthly, sensual, and devilish and produces envy, strife, and every evil work. Heavenly wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, merciful, without favoritism, and without hypocrisy. When we speak, may it manifest a heart in tune with God and may it produce the fruit of the Spirit.
• Lord, please help me to say things that help and not hurt.
• Lord, fill me with your wisdom as my heart cries out to you. I recognize my complete incapability to control my tongue on my own. Please help me to be surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s control.
• Lord, help my words today to be pure, peaceable, and gentle. May the testimony of my mouth be a manifestation of a heart that loves you.
• Lord, please help our church to be a place where our words lift high the name of Christ and may there never be a haven for tale bearing.