Monday, July 6th

Monday, July 6th

A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you. Matthew 12:33-37

This week is all about the "Tongue" both in the message and in the Devotionals. The Matthew passage above connects goodness with the proper use of the tongue and badness with its improper use. The message of the Bible is that only God is good and that apart from a vital relationship with him, true goodness for us as human beings is impossible. God intends that our lives be like good trees that produce good fruit. From a vital relationship with God comes a good heart and out of a good heart comes good fruit and good fruit includes good speaking. This is the answer to the question above, "How could evil men like you speak what is good and right?"

But this leads to another question, "How can we have this relationship with God? Of course the answer to this question is, "Jesus." He came to show us what living life out of a vital relationship with God looks like and then he gave up his life on the cross to provide for all who are willing, the vital relationship with God we so desperately need. Again, from a vital relationship with God comes a good heart and out of a good heart comes good fruit and good fruit includes good speaking.

While good speaking (the tongue) is just one part of good fruit, it is a major part. Jesus says above that every word counts and that how we use our tongue throughout our lives will be the measure for whether or not our lives have yielded the good fruit God intended our lives to produce. Our focus in the consideration of the "Tongue" in this series is not on condemnation for how bad we are in the use of our tongues, but rather on a game plan for true victory with this small, but powerful instrument that will make all the difference in our living fully for God.

Lord, help me see as clearly as possible in my own mind and heart the truth before me right now. Grant me, Lord, a confidence that you are wonderfully working with me from the inside out and are bringing me to a place of victory in regard to my tongue. Forgive me for all that has not been "good" in regard to my heart and tongue. Deliver me from those patterns and practices that are so troublesome to me. Here I am, Lord! Do with we me (heart and tongue) what you will in regard to teaching me and changing me over the coming days and weeks through this series on the "Tongue." Amen!

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