The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
I loved reading this today.
This is my short and very important thought on this day in the USA.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers,
petitions and thanksgivings,
be made on behalf of all men,
for kings and all who are in authority,
so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:1,2
Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose:
"He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?
This is the sweetest, most wonderful thought today. God is jealous for a close relationship with His own. The previous verse says when we love the world and its things we are spiritually unfaithful to Him. He wants us near.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. What a privilege! Wonderful!
There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.
There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.
O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.
Now if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they will obey us,
we direct their entire body as well.
Look at the ships also,
though they are so great and are driven by strong winds,
are still directed by a very small rudder
wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.
So also the tongue is a small part of the body,
and yet it boasts of great things.
See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
And the tongue is a fire,
the very world of iniquity;
the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body,
and sets on fire the course of our life,
and is set on fire by hell.
For every species of beasts and birds,
of reptiles and creatures of the sea,
is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.
But no one can tame the tongue;
it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.
With it we bless our Lord and Father,
and with it we curse men,
who have been made in the likeness of God;
from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing.
My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?
Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs?
Nor can salt water produce fresh.
Today’s reading is very convicting. It’s all about my tongue. I need this reminder every day. I’m taken up with the figures of speech used to help understand our tongues.
First is the bit. It is put in a horse’s mouth and the horse can be controlled by it. So the tongue controls the whole life. I know when I am thankful with my mouth, my whole life changes. This is a good reminder today to use my tongue for thankfulness and goodness which will affect my whole life.
Second is the ship’s rudder. It is so small compared to the huge ship but it controls the direction the ship goes. So the tongue is small, but controls the direction of my life. It’s good to think about where I want my life to go and then speak accordingly. I know when I’m complaining and ungrateful I don’t like where that leads.
Third is a fire. It takes just a spark to cause a great fire that destroys. Just a simple word can destroy. The tongue is a world of iniquity, defiles the entire body, sets on fire the course of one’s life and is set on fire by hell. Satan uses our tongues. I know it’s true in my life. This is such a dangerous thing!
Forth is a wild untamable animal. Many animals can be tamed, but not the tongue. It is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. These metaphors seem to be getting more and more serious and dangerous. Imagine! I carry with me fire and evil and poison!
Fifth is the fountain which doesn’t send out two kinds of water. And the fig tree which only produces figs, not olives. Our tongues bless and curse both. It shouldn’t be. We should use our tongue as a fountain of refreshment and blessing.
Later in this chapter we find out our speech is really a heart issue.
I’m so convicted! And thankful for this reminder. I must never forget the potential for evil and destruction that I carry with me. I must use this tongue to glorify God. I'm thankful God forgives. I’m praying this prayer…
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee.
Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.
For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes,
and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,
and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes,
"You sit here in a good place,"
and you say to the poor man,
"You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,"
have you not made distinctions among yourselves,
and become judges with evil motives?
Listen, my beloved brethren:
did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith
and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
Well this is clear instruction! There should be no distinctions made among people in the church. I love what Bill MacDonald says:
Snobbery and caste distinctions are utterly inconsistent with true Christianity. Servility to human greatness has no place in the presence of the Lord of Glory. Contempt for others because of birth, race, sex, or poverty is a practical denial of the faith.
I’m thankful for this truth.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.
I love this encouragement! Trials come in all shapes and sizes. They are varied. God allows them in our lives to develop our character. He wants to make something of us. How should we respond? We can rebel. We can complain. We can feel sorry for ourselves. But here is guidance for the right response! Count it all joy! Why? Well, you have to read the chapter. God is at work in us and for us. That only comes through the right response in the hard times.
In this you greatly rejoice,
even though now for a little while,
you have been distressed by various trials,
so that the proof of your faith,
being more precious than gold which is perishable,
even though tested by fire,
may be found to result in praise and glory and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 1:6, 7
This is so freeing! For the various trials He gives various grace.
…the manifold grace of God. (same word… various)
1 Peter 4:10
Various grace for various trials. That’s a cause for rejoicing!
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
Annie J Flint
More than anything I would like to encourage you in your walk with God!