What comes from your mouth?

March 19, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
(Ephesians 4:29 (NIV))

Words are a powerful device. Words can be uplifting and encouraging. Words can be sad and convey despair. Words can convey affection and in the next breath, they can convey anger. We have a tendency to use words rashly and in haste. It is so easy to let the wrong words slip off of your tongue. I would venture to say that every one of us on this planet has said something today that they wish could be taken back.

Most people think of unwholesome talk as the proverbial four letter words that we all tend to know even if we hate to admit it. However, have you stopped to think about what else may be considered unwholesome?

Words said in anger or in hatred destroy instantly. Words said in frustration never make the situation any better. Words aimed directly at provoking hurt are never able to be recalled. All of these types of words can be unwholesome for they destroy. They do not build up.

Jesus rarely used words that did not build up. I can only think of a few situations that He used terms less than uplifting. I do not think that being called a brood of vipers made those people feel good about themselves. However, even when Jesus said words such as these, they were not expressed in the rage and hatred that we often use. I picture the use of these words more out of pity than out of anger.

Unwholesome talk is anything that destroys what God is trying to accomplish in and through another person. Guard your tongue, for Satan can use it to do just that. Give pause to your words. Let your tongue be guided by the Holy Spirit. He will not give you unwholesome words. He will fill your mouth with words that will be a blessing to all who hear.

What comes from your mouth?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do your words and actions show?

November 9, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
(1 John 3:18-20 (NIV))

The old saying that actions speak louder than words is definitely true.

Words are cheap. What is in a person’s heart is what he or she will do. Our actions will show the world that we are bought by the Blood of the Lamb, not our words. Words can be deceiving, and even appear to be the truth. Satan comes disguising his words and they may appear to be truth, yet, when his actions are judged, he is the father of all lies.

Let your hearts focus on Jesus Christ and allow God to work through you by the power of the Holy Spirit, and then your actions will truly represent what is in your heart.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is in your heart?

October 13, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man `unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man `unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him `unclean.’ ”
(Matthew 15:16-20 (NIV))

Do you actually listen to the words that come out of your mouth?

Perhaps you are like most people. Most of us have a tendency to listen to what other people say and criticize their words instead of truly listening to what we are saying. We have a tendency to think that the words that we utter are blameless and have no wrong associated with them. Oh, if we would only listen to what we are saying!

Jesus was correct in teaching us that what comes out of the mouth makes us unclean, for it truly is a reflection of what is in our hearts. There is a saying that we should think before we speak. All too often we simply open our mouths and let out the first thoughts and words that arise. We have hoarded these thoughts and made them the treasure of our heart. Accordingly, because they are the treasure of our heart, they are the first thing on our mind and therefore the first thing out of our mouths. Is your heart’s treasure unclean? We must find a new treasure.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

We must bury the old treasures and replace them with the treasures that are important to God.

What is in your heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you fully embraced the power of the Gospel?

October 7, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
(1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (NIV))

How did the Gospel come to you?

Was it only words, or was there power behind the words? Was the Holy Spirit involved or was it just a brief discussion about someone named Jesus? Was there a personal conviction or was the mood more of a “I have nothing better to do” attitude?

Sadly, I feel that the Gospel has been watered down by today’s society, and, yes, even the Body of Christ. The early church knew the power. I know that some did not, but we read more accounts telling us that people responded because of the power of the Gospel. Do we expect power when we read the Bible? Do we expect power when we go to church? Do we expect power when we pray?

Do we embrace the Holy Spirit as a welcome part of our spiritual lives? Do we seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Do we, as the Body of Christ, even know what the Holy Spirit can do within us and through us?

Do we have a deep conviction? Will you stand firm in your faith no matter what the enemy may send your way? It is easy to profess a faith in Jesus when everything is going great. Some even draw closer when things start to get bad, but do you have the faith and the conviction to stay the course even if your physical life is endangered?

The Gospel is powerful. It is more than just words. It is more than just a good story. It is more than something to do with an hour or two of your life each week.

The Gospel is life. The Gospel is power. Have you fully embraced the power?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What makes you unclean?

March 14, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him `unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him `unclean.’ ”
(Mark 7:14-15 (NIV))

Jesus knew that what goes into a man can not change his heart. What comes out of a man is a reflection of the heart. If unclean thoughts, words or deeds come out of a man, then his heart is unclean and nothing that goes into a man can change that.

From a worldly point of view, it is true that we must wash our hands and anything that we put into our mouths, but this “dirt” does not change a person’s heart. It may make them sick for a day or two, but it will not make their heart unclean. An unclean heart comes from being around sin and not distancing yourself from that sin. An unclean heart comes from holding grudges and being angry against others. An unclean heart comes from resentment. An unclean heart does not come from what we physically put into our bodies. It comes from what we spiritually put into our hearts, and then let grow there without being removed. It then comes out through our thoughts, words and actions.

Be careful what you put into your heart, for it is what can make you “unclean.”

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you find in your words?

February 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
(Exodus 20:7 (NIV))

Society has come to use many words and phrases over the course of history to mean things in various derogatory levels of expression. How many times have you heard someone say “God” and you knew that they were using this as a shorter version of a curse? How many times have you said or thought something similar to that yourself? Even these little slips are a sin because they use God’s name in vane. True, His name is not really God, but YHWH, but the sin does not lose any of its guilt due to the translation from the original language.

Listen to the words that are spoken around you during any given day. What do you hear? Listen to the words that come from your mouth. Listen to the thoughts that come from within you. Do you find yourself thinking things that are expressions that take God’s name in vane?

Day to day living makes us do things that we don’t really stop to think about. Each time that we do them, it is a sin in the eyes of God. No one can make it through a day without sinning. We all need a Savior. We all need Jesus, who was sent to take away the guilt of our sins. With sin, there is no hope and there is death. With Jesus, we know hope and there is no death.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our thoughts condemn us

January 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not pay attention to every word people say,
or you may hear your servant cursing you–
for you know in your heart
that many times you yourself have cursed others.
(Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 (NIV))

It is human nature to think and say things under your breath. Things that you would not want anyone to even know that you knew. These are the things that are secretly holed away in your heart.

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
(Matthew 15:19(NIV))

Perhaps it is this characteristic of humanity that lead Jesus to say:

“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
(John 8:7b(NIV))

Not a single one of us is above reproach. Not a single one of us is capable of leading the perfect life that God wishes for us to live. Our thoughts condemn us. Our thoughts manifest themselves as words and deeds. Our words and deeds condemn us. Only one thing that we can do will remove the condemnation from our lives.

We must accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. We must accept His righteousness in exchange for our condemnation. He willingly takes our sin upon His shoulders and gives us His grace and mercy.

We are not perfect. Even if we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we will stumble. We will curse others in our heart and sometimes, even, under our breath. But, we have a Savior who is living within us, and teaching us that we must follow Him and not give in to that side of our nature.

Do you curse or do you accept righteous instruction?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who holds your future?

December 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.
(Luke 21:12-19 (NIV))

It doesn’t seem like we are too far away from the time that Jesus is speaking of when He says that all men will hate us because of Him. Think about that for a moment.

How many Christmas Nativity scenes have had to be altered because someone filed a lawsuit? How many court cases have there been because a student or group of students decided to pray in school? How many times have people attempted to remove God and Jesus from the history of this nation? How many times have other religions been tolerated while the name of Jesus is forbidden to be spoken?

Do you see a developing trend? Things have drastically changed since prayer was removed from the schools. Violence has increased. Divorce has increased. Drugs have increased. We have become a society that wants nothing to remind us that what we have become is wrong. The further we turn from God, the further we want to go and the more that we need to return to the One who created us.

People who profess a faith in Jesus are being persecuted and put to death all over the world. Our nation has come to the point where we no longer value the Judeo-Christian ethic. We are rapidly moving toward the time when we go beyond the court cases to remove the words “In God We Trust” from our money to the time when just the mention of Jesus will have people wanting to harm us. We must be prepared. We do not know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.

Who holds your future? Where does your future lead?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What can you do to spread the Word?

July 18, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
(Romans 1:16 (NIV))

Have you ever truly stopped to reflect on just how powerful words can be?

Words can bring encouragement. They can destroy. Words can bring great joy or great sadness. Words can do tremendous good or bring tremendous harm.

There is one Word that brings eternal life.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1 (NIV))

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

Consider the language that you speak. How many different words do you know? Do any of them carry the power to bring salvation? Only Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, can bring such a promise.

Every day, we speak hundreds, if not thousands of words. We must choose carefully what we say. We must speak the truth of the Word of God so that others may be brought to salvation, for only the Word can save.

Think about how powerful the Word of God has been in your life. What can you do to spread the Word?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you spending your morning?

March 29, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
(Matthew 27:31 (NIV))

The events of the long night and morning were over. Jesus had been arrested, beaten, falsely accused and judged, and then sentenced to die a horrible death. The only thing left of God’s plan was the actual crucifixion. Think on those events as you read this, for many will be reading it at the time of day that things actually unfolded.

How are you spending your morning? Is it filled with reverence and thanks for what Jesus endured? As you pour yourself another cup of coffee, does the impact of Jesus’ suffering bring you to tears or do you even think of it at all? As you head to that meeting, do you reflect upon just how things would be if Jesus had not had His meetings with Pontius Pilate? When you feel the burdens of the day come crashing in around you, do you stop to think of the burden that Jesus bore as He carried His cross?

It is so easy to get lost in the trivial details of our own lives. We think that they are so important. We think that if we don’t close that next big sale, the world will fall apart. We think that if our children don’t get into that private school, their lives are over. All that we bear is the burdens and sins from our own lives. Imagine having the weight of the sins of the world hoisted upon you. Imagine the world being so engrossed in the usual activities that your sacrifice becomes trivialized. Imagine taking on the burden anyway because you love the people of the world.

Stop to think just what Jesus went through so that you can have grace and salvation. Retrace His steps as He carries His cross to Calvary. Put yourself in His place as the nails pierced His hands. Imagine how He felt looking down through history as He looked upon you at this very moment in time. He suffered and died for you and I. He did it willingly so that we may have grace and mercy.

Spend the day embracing His sacrifice, feeling His pain and emotions. Look upon your life as He looked upon it. Jesus felt that His sacrifice was worth everything that He endured. He felt that you and I were worth whatever price He had to pay.

Today, stop and thank God for His Son, Jesus, and His willingness to go to the cross for you and I. That day was a day of agony and fear, but through the fear we have a shining ray of hope – the resurrection on Easter morning!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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