Our Daily Bread 3rd July 2020 Devotional – Just A Spark
TODAY’S TOPIC: JUST A SPARK
Bible In A Year: Job 25–27; Acts 12
Key Scripture: The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. – James 3:5
Today’s Scripture: James 3:1–6 (NIV)
Taming the Tongue
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.
4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Insight: Our Daily Bread 3rd July 2020 Devotional
In the New Testament letter of James, the author describes as useless a religion that can’t control the tongue (1:26), but later he adds that no one can tame the tongue (3:8). What is James saying? Because he’s writing as a servant of Christ (1:1), he may be recalling what Jesus said when He reminded the religious leaders of His day that it’s out of the heart that the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).
It’s our hearts, not just our words, that need to come under the control of a Source beyond ourselves. At the end of chapter 3, he contrasts a wisdom of self-centeredness with wisdom that is peace-loving, gentle, considerate, merciful, and good—a spirituality of heart, word, and action resonating from the life-changing Spirit of Jesus (3:17–18).
Message: Our Daily Bread 3rd July 2020 Devotional
“We’re in the library, and we can see the flames right outside!” She was scared. We could hear it in her voice. We know her voice—the voice of our daughter. At the same time we knew her college campus was the safest place for her and her almost 3,000 fellow students. The 2018 Woolsey Fire spread more quickly than anyone anticipated—most of all fire personnel.
The record heat and dry conditions in the California canyon, along with the legendary Santa Ana winds, were all the rather small sparks needed to ultimately burn 97,000 acres, destroy more than 1,600 structures, and kill three people. In the photos taken after the fire was contained, the usual lush coastline resembled the barren surface of the moon.
In the book of James, the author names some small but powerful things: “bits [in] the mouths of horses” and the rudders of ships (3:3–4). And while familiar, these examples are somewhat removed from us. But then he names something a little closer to home, something small that every human being possesses—a tongue. And while this chapter is first directed specifically to teachers (v. 1), the application quickly spreads to each of us. The tongue, small as it is, can lead to disastrous results.
Our small tongues are powerful, but our big God is more powerful. His help on a daily basis provides the strength to rein in and guide our words. By: John Blase
Reflect: When was the last time your tongue got away from you? What will help you keep a tight rein on your words in God’s strength?
Today’s Prayer: Jesus, I’ve been on the receiving end of words that burn. And my words have hurt others. Help me to keep a tight rein on my tongue.
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