Thursday, July 16th

Thursday, July 16th

Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. James 3:2-4

Then Jesus said to his followers, “If anyone wants to follow me, he must say ‘no’ to the things he wants. He must be willing even to die on a cross, and he must follow me. Whoever wants to save his life will give up true life. And whoever gives up his life for me will have true life. It is worth nothing for a man to have the whole world if he loses his soul. He could never pay enough to buy back his soul. The Son of Man will come again with his Father’s glory and with his angels. At that time, he will reward everyone for what he has done. Matthew 16:24-27 (ICB)

The key word in today's passages is the word, "control." In the Matthew passage, Jesus is saying that by staying in control of our lives, we lose them, but, in giving up control of our lives to him, we save them. Throughout this series, it has been emphasized that apart from Divine intervention we cannot live fully for God and therefore we cannot bring our tongues under proper control. As indicated by our James passage, it works the other way as well. If we cannot bring our tongues under control, we cannot life fully for God.

Either way the tongue is like a "bit" or a "rudder" in our lives that determines the direction our lives will take. If the tongue is controlled properly, then the whole life is controlled properly. If the tongue is not controlled properly, then our lives are out of control in one sense but under the control of the tongue in another sense where our lives are dominated by our sinful hearts and the sinful words that flow from them. Truly, we need a Savior who will deliver us from our sinful heart, life, and tongue so that we can live fully for God and be a source of blessing to others as we consistently speak into the lives of others words that are life giving and words that are healing.

Lord, show me more completely what it means to give up control of my life and what being under your control looks like. I want to be surrendered to you, but I need your help and intervention. I believe that only you can bring my tongue under proper control and that only you can make it true that my life is lived fully for God. Amen!

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