DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-02-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 12:34-37
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
BIBLE TEXT: 34 …. How can you say anything good? What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts. 35 Those who are good have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. 36 I tell you that everyone will have to answer for all the careless things they have said. This will happen on the day of judgment. 37 Your words will be used to judge you. What you have said will show whether you are right or whether you are guilty.”
OBSERVATION: I believe that mankind has found, what they believe to be, ways around this warning given by Jesus in our Scripture today. Way too often we comment ‘but that was only a joke’, or ‘I’m sorry’, even though in both cases the bitter words are out of our mouths and the hurt is stinging the other party severely. But in our Scripture today, God helps us to understand where those words come from. Brace yourself as we meditate on the criticality of saying bitter words, and also on how we might avoid them.
APPLICATION: If while driving down the road our car began to sputter, we won’t head to the dealership and trade that car in, we will take it to the repair shop and ask them to determine what is causing the problem, and then fix it. Likewise, if we discover that we just said something that might hurt a Brother, we should immediately look for ways to correct that problem. The Bible speaks of the awful danger of the tongue and how it easily and quickly causes grief to others, and especially to God. But most critical today is the matter that God will use our words to judge us when we stand before Him. That’s a frightening thought, especially when we consider the number of vain words that we speak, and the off-color jokes that we share – usually at some else’s expense. But notice how quickly Jesus identified the root of the problem. We care capable of speaking: kind words – just as Jesus spoke when He was here on earth; challenging words – especially when we recognize the solution to a problem that a fellow believer is facing; encouraging words – when we hear of the discouragement someone is facing at home or at work; evangelistic words – when the Holy Spirit enlightens us to the spiritual needs of our friends or loved ones. But in each of these cases, our ‘good’ words originate from a heart touched by Jesus, and filled with the Holy Spirit. So what happens when we have rejected Jesus, when we have chosen to follow the wicked path of Satan and his evil followers here on earth? Isn’t it clear to see that evil begets evil? I don’t believe it is possible for a heart that is used to dishing out evil words and evil actions, to suddenly change its course and be kind and loving to others, unless that heart has been refreshed by the God of all love. Notice how angry people say angry words, not loving and caring words of affirmation. Friends, I believe that God is encouraging us today to fill our hearts with His love and His character. A heart of love will speak words of love and caring, just like Jesus did to all that He touched. Your decision today will determine how you react to life’s circumstances, and how you will be judged on that day you stand before the God of all creation. You have no choice in the meeting, only what will influence your output here on earth, and God’s ultimate decision on where you belong for all eternity. Please read my Footnote carefully, especially the link behind ‘To Know Jesus’. Today might be the day God sets your appointed meeting with Himself – are you ready?
PRAYER: Oh Lord our Lord, thank You for giving us this truth today. May all my readers be touched by Your Holy Spirit and may we seek Your face as we analyze what Your decision will be about our eternal destination. Yes, we can put aside all excuses and indeed examine the person we have become because of the decisions we make. We were reminded that this is influenced by all that we have filled our hearts with. Please cleanse us oh Lord, and make us white as snow. Fill us with Your love and Your character, so that our hearts will overflow with gladness, with love, with caring and with everything that You stand for. We desperately want to be where You are, oh Lord. Please help us to make decisions today that will help us to live the life Your taught us to in Your Word. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!