February 21, Tuesday

jabez2The AMI QT Devotionals from February 20-24 are provided by Jabez Yeo.  Jabez, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently working in NYC and serving at TRPC-E.  He hopes to become a missionary.  His devotionals are based off material from Serge’s Sonship program. You can click here for more information.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Orphans Through Our Tongues

Galatians 4:6-7

Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

21Oftentimes, the greatest dangers appear to be innocent on the surface level. For example, suppose we were swimming in the ocean and saw a tiny black speck moving back and forth. From a distance, we may assume it to be harmless, perhaps a piece of driftwood. But if we were swimming right next to it, we would see that the black speck is really a fin, and what lies beneath is a gigantic killer shark.

As Christians, our tongues are those tiny fins that reveal the dangerous beliefs in our hearts. Suppose, for example, all of us were to avoid the following for a week: gossiping, complaining, criticizing, blame-shifting, defending ourselves, boasting and deceiving others. I think it’s safe to say that all of us wouldn’t get through a day without doing one of those things. Yet Jesus Himself declared in Matthew 12:34-35, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”

By daily engaging in such things, we show ourselves to be spiritual orphans and reveal whom we are truly committed to: ourselves. The misuse of our tongues displays our lack of trust in God and that we are His children. For example, when we blame-shift or make excuses, we show our unbelief that God is in control and protecting us. When we complain, we reveal our belief that God is not running the world correctly. When we boast in ourselves, we declare our belief that we accomplish through our strength alone. When we defend ourselves or cannot sincerely apologize, we show our lack of trust that Christ’s righteousness is ours, and our belief that we need a good record of performance before others.

The full implications of this may be too much to bear. Thankfully, because of God’s mercy, He gives us the power to be like Him. Let’s pray that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing to Him (Psalm 19:14).

Prayer: Father, forgive me for using my mouth to say hurtful things to and about others.  Even worse, forgive me for irreverent and untrue things I have said about You in moments of anger and frustration.  Help me to rein in my tongue under the Spirit’s guidance so that it is used to glorify your Son.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 2


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Genesis 3:9-13: But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Questions to Consider

  1. What misuse of the tongue do we see immediately after the first sin?
  2. What do these things ultimately reveal?
  3. Which tendency to misuse the tongue is most common in your life?

Notes

  1. Blame-shifting (e.g. it was the woman, it was the serpent) and defending oneself. There could also be some hint of criticism and deception (not the full truth was told).
  2. Adam and Eve were seeking their own righteousness instead of admitting their guilt. Sin brings enmity and disunity through the false belief that we are the most important beings in the universe.
  3. Personal response (e.g. gossiping, being too critical of people, lying, etc.)

EVENING REFLECTION

While our tongues can bring incredible harm, they can also bring life (Prov. 18:21). Is there someone in your life that you can speak a word of encouragement or affirmation to? Ask God to bring that person to mind and talk to him/her after your prayer. You won’t regret doing so.

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