kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The truth about your tongue

Verse for the week: Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares for you.  I Peter 5.7

Prayer for the week:  “Grant us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly, and while we now dwell among things that are passing away, to cleave to those that shall abide forever; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (Adapted from the Leonine Sacramentary by Frederick B. Macnutt, The Prayer Manual,  p. 17). 

Bible reading for the day:  James 3.1-12
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, from your tongue comes judgment on our sin and mercy for us sinners… thank you! Guard me and my congregation from the deadly poison and the bad teaching that can come from our own tongues. Tame our tongues, Lord, and our hearts… that these small organs may yield big praise to you and blessing to our neighbor.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord:

The Eighth Commandment:
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, lie, or gossip about our neighbors, but defend them, speak well of them, and put the most charitable construction on all that they do.  (from The Small Catechism, by Martin  Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction:  The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.  Phil 4.7
*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray.  It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:                                                                                        T: thanksgiving
                                                          R: regret (repentance)
                                                          I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
                                                          P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God. 

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