Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
It’s the middle of the week. Perhaps you are already running low on energy. Perhaps you are running low on spiritual energy as well? If so, meditate on these words from the book of Lamentations:
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”
Indeed, God’s mercies are new each morning. His compassions never fail. May this truth sustain you and grow you in grace this week!
A Few Announcements:
- The Vos study group meets tonight at our house at 7:00PM. Our address is 7818 Green Devon Drive, 77095. Please let me know if you plan to join us.
- Our men’s breakfast will meet this Saturday at 8:30AM at the home of Matt Brueggeman. His address is 7402 Skylight Ln, 77095.
- Continue to be in prayer for our church, the men in officer training, and the session as we move forward in the organization process!
- Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is a reflection from the book of James on the tongue.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Taming the Tongue”
James 3:10, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
The book of James is a convicting book. As one reads through its five chapters, one is repeatedly stuck by the depths of indwelling sin simmering in the believers’ heart. James meddles. He pokes. He prods. He challenges. And perhaps no chapter cuts deeper than chapter 3 – a chapter wholly devoted to the tongue – words – words that come from our mouths. In 3:1, James issues a stern warning to teachers, indicating the weight that teachers’ words carry. And then in vv. 2-13, James broadens his teaching on the tongue (i.e. words) to the church. There are several points to note from these verses.
Frist, we must consider the power of the tongue. By means of two metaphors in vv. 3-4, James highlights the power inherent in the words we speak. Although physically small in size (like a horse’s bit or ship’s rudder), the tongue wields much power. Why? Simply put, because words are powerful. As James summarizes in v. 5, “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.” The tongue is capable of great things – words are capable of great things – they are powerful things – words have changed the course of history and of many a person’s life.
Second, James highlights the poison of the tongue. Yes, the tongue boasts of great things, but “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (v. 8). This seems rather harsh, does it not? Is not James going a bit overboard? What is his evidence for this assertion? James continues, “With it [the tongue] we bless our Lord and father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing” (vv. 9-10a). Is this not true in your life? Is this not true in my life? Does James not strike us to the heart? On Sunday morning we sing praises to our Savior, but on Monday all types of filth (harsh words, coarse language, mean-spirited comments, gossip, etc.) comes pouring from the same tongue. Blessing and cursing from the same tongue! Jesus tells us in Matt 12:35, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” That is, our words are a reflection of our heart. And the ‘battle’ of our tongue reflects the ‘battle’ of our heart; namely, our daily battle with indwelling sin.
Third, the possibility of the tongue. How do we grow in this area? What, or where, are the resources for growth in this area? And the answer James gives us … “wisdom from above” (vv. 13-17). As he tells us, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” Oh that our words could be characterized by such heavenly wisdom! But again James rebukes us in 4:2, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Brothers and sisters, may we pray for pure tongues. May we pray for peaceable and gentle words! May we pray to speak mercifully and sincerely to others! May we pray that our words would reflect our hearts that are being conformed into the image of Christ! For “a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (v. 18).
Rev. Robert Arendale, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC), www.csopc.org