This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s message: Love God Love People (LISTEN HERE)
James 3:9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Who doesn’t like singing your favorite hymn with a church full of worshippers or singing at the top of your lungs your favorite contemporary Christian song? Music moves the soul and encourages the heart. Your day could be crummy and an encouraging song comes on the radio. You could have had a difficult week, but the songs on Sunday morning lifted your soul. Praising the Lord we love to do.
Of course not…right?
How could our same mouth that is used to praise God could also be used to curse human beings. Hmmm…I don’t know…perhaps as you are driving in the car singing along with the Christian radio station a car cuts you off and you throw up your hand and say, “What the f…!
Oh how I hate to admit that out of the same mouth can come words that express love for the Lord and express a lack of love for the Lord.
We have been struggling with this since the first fall into sin. When Eve was introduced to Adam…praises! “This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
When God confronted Adam about eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, “It’s the woman YOU made.” (God, it’s YOUR fault.)
How quickly our love for God changes when our heart shifts from being driven by the Spirit of God to being driven by the sinful flesh.
James points out how weird it is that the same mouth would produce praises and curses. A spring can’t produce both fresh and salt water. A tree can’t bear olives and figs. But yet the mouth can produce praises and curses.
Loving God is difficult because when we use our mouth to berate someone else, use God’s name in vain, or call down curses on someone, we are either directly expressing a lack of love toward God or indirectly by not loving what he created.
Both are wrong.
For both we need forgiveness.
Our ability to love God with our words is the work of a loving God to purify our words. The Lord’s call to Isaiah the prophet is a great example (Isaiah 6:5-9):
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
9 He said, “Go and tell this people:
The Lord purifies our lips so that once again we can speak and sing his praise and be a voice for his love and grace.
Love God with all your words!
You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.
Apply: What temptations come to use your voice to curse God? Ask the Lord for his forgiveness and purifying work to put praise back on your lips!
Prayer: Lord, take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee! AMEN