"Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless." James 1:26
Friday, July 31, 2015: 138 checked in for Day 2 of SPLASH 2015. Everyone was excited to see all that the Lord would do, not only in the lives of those we were serving, but in our own lives also. Being on mission, whether in a foreign land or here at home, helps keep in perspective that life is not all about me . . . but about being the hands and feet of Jesus! We learned in our devotion yesterday, that our religion is the outward, external expression of our worship of Jesus. Therefore, we set out to show our community that our religion is not useless, but is real and genuine as we minister God's Grace to those in need. Devotion for Day 2 is below:
Our religion will not make an impact upon others when we deceive ourselves about our damaging words. How was your speech control yesterday? Rank your success on a scale of 1-10. Talk to God about it right now!
Think of a time you ave been deceived by someone. Think of a time you have deceived yourself. This verse tells us that there are people who are self-deceived. Galatians 6:3 also mentions this condition. "If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves."
This condition can become epidemic in among Christians. A person thinks they are mature when they are not. A person thinks their relationship with Jesus is powerfully expressed when it isn't. Please avoid the temptation to identify this person in your church or group! Doing so misses the point. Could you be self-deceived? If we are not taking our speech very seriously, we are self-deceived. The result of that is that we cannot make the impact in the world for Jesus that He intends. Do you think you are making an impact when you are not? What positive impact are you having for Jesus on your family, friends, or others in the community? Don't deceive yourself!
Evaluate the positive impact of your religion on others. On a scale of 1-10, what impact are you making? How, why?
James says that some folk's religion is "worthless". Can a person's Christian faith really be worthless? It can, if God is measuring worth by the impact it has on others and on the believer themselves. This word, "worthless", refers to the inability of a thing to make an impact or to achieve its purpose. Is your relationship with God making an impact or achieving a result in your life and the lives of others? According to this verse, it isn't if you refuse to control your speech! The impact of your religion is DIRECTLY related to the quality of your SPEECH CONTROL.
Resolve to accurately consider your life today. Desire to make the impact God wants you to make! Ask for forgiveness from anyone your words hurt yesterday. Commit to say good things today. Find two people to compliment today for the impact you saw them make yesterday. Tell them how they helped you!
Ask the Holy Spirit to search you and show you the truth. Pray this Bible prayer, Psalm 139:23, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Listen to God. Then, talk to God in prayer about what He shows you! Respond to what God shows you about yourself. No more self-deception.