TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, August 22, 2018:
Utterly unconcerned about consequences; careless.
He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die.
There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
In the second verse we have put above from Proverbs, we see a contrast between using harsh words that are spoken recklessly and bring harm and using wise words that are well thought out to bring healing. Reckless words are often spoken out of anger and out of anger comes reckless actions. Reckless words and actions have consequences as we find demonstrated in the account in the failings of Moses and the Israelites recorded in Numbers 20:2-13.
The children of Israel often rebelled against God and they constantly complained to Moses about the lack of food and water. In Numbers 20:3 it says the Israelites quarreled with Moses because they had no water. They were angry so there is no doubt harsh words were spoken. Their rebellion against God and against Moses angered Moses. Nevertheless Moses interceded for them and God instructed Moses to gather the people before the rock and told Moses to speak to the rock to bring forth water. In his anger Moses first spoke harshly to the people calling them rebels. Then he recklessly struck the rock, not speaking to it first as God commanded Moses thus disobeying God’s instructions. Water came forth from the rock but because of Moses disobedience God did not allow him to enter the Promised Land. Disobedience is reckless and always has consequences.
This is contrasted with one who speaks thoughtful words that will bring healing. In Ephesians 4:29 the apostle Paul writes, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
The word for “unwholesome” refers, in this verse from Ephesians, to that which is foul or rotten, such as spoiled fruit or putrid meat. Paul is reminding us that foul language of any kind should never pass a Christian’s lips, because it is totally out of character with the life one has in Christ. The Christian’s speech according to Paul should be at all times instructive, encouraging, uplifting (even if it needs to be corrective), and suited for the moment and above all words should be truthful.
Our Lord set the standard for us. In this verse from Ephesians Paul says that our words should give grace to those that hear them. Because we have been saved by grace and kept by His grace, we should live by grace and speak with grace.
All around us today we hear words from people that do not honor our Lord. It is so easy for us, when we hear these words all the time, to be influenced even unconsciously, to accept them and even begin to use those same destructive words. Our Lord warns us not to get reckless but to live for Him making sure that our words and actions honor our Lord.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Isaiah 25:4.
For You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm and a shade from the heat.
Keep me from reacting recklessly and help me always to be truthful and to speak words that are wise and bring healing rather than hurt. Help me to only say and do what will bring honor to Your name.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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