Holy Spirit purifies a heart, so a person will speak words that please

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, March 19, 2018

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

Our contradictory speech often puzzles us. At times our words are right and pleasing to God, but at other times they are violent and destructive. Which of these speech patterns reflects our true identity? We were made in God’s image, but the tongue gives us a picture of our basic sinful nature. God works to change us from the inside out. When the Holy Spirit purifies a heart, he gives self-control so that the person will speak words that please God. (NLT)

James 3:3-12 – We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Can you pick olives from a gif tree or figs from a grapevine? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty pool.

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. –Proverbs 12:1 (NIV)

April Rowland (Missouri) titled her story “SPEAK NO EVIL;” here is April’s story:

“I know that gossiping and speaking ill of others is a sin, yet I still fall into this behavior constantly – and even blame others for my failure. If that co-worker were not so annoying, I would not complain about her to others. If only my neighbor would bring her dog in when he was barking, I wouldn’t talk to the other neighbors about her inconsiderate behavior. The truth is, I make the choice to speak ill of others because it’s easier than being loving and kind.

“In Titus 3:2, we are told ‘to speak evil of no one’ and ‘to show every courtesy to everyone.’ Sure, it’s easy to love our neighbor when our neighbor is kind, caring, and easy to get along with. But the people in our lives who are hard to love are often the ones who need love the most. Maybe my annoying co-worker is dealing with a difficult personal situation. Maybe the neighbor with the barking dog is working a second job because of financial problems. We are commanded by God to live, not to judge. Thankfully, God knows we are imperfect and forgives us when we fail to speak lovingly to others. All we can do is to keep trying and keep praying for strength to succeed in speaking lovingly to and about everyone.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – “Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other” (Eph. 4:32, CEB).

Prayer: O Lord, help us have only kind words for others as we remember how you love us. Amen.

Prayer Focus: NEIGHBORS STRUGGLING TO GET ALONG

To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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