Highlights In Today's Reading:
Besides being a revelation of God to man, the Bible is meant to provide practical instruction that covers every aspect of life. Contrasts are often used to illustrate the meanings of a proverb. For example, check out 15:17! It literally says a bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak (fatted calf) with someone you dislike! Our government officials need 14:34. What is your favorite?
A lying tongue destroys trust in another person's word. Just one conversation can do evil that will last a lifetime though the lying tongue is but for a moment. . . . Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are His delight (12:19-22). The tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and . . . it is set on fire of hell (James 3:5-6).
Christ exposed Satan as the source of all lies when He said to a few "reputable" religious leaders: Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not (John 8:44-45). It was Satan's lying tongue that brought death and all our suffering into the world, and spoiled the paradise which God had prepared for Adam and Eve. The Bible reveals that lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are His delight (Prov. 12:22). Also, he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile (I Pet. 3:10).
The tongue of a liar strips a man of what makes life beautiful, takes away his good name, and breaks bonds of friendship. In contrast, wise and kind words help to heal the wounded spirit. The Son of God came to bind up the brokenhearted (Is. 61:1; Luke 4:18) and to restore fellowship between God and mankind which was first broken by the slandering tongue of the Devil (Gen. 3:5; Job 1:10). The tongue should be an instrument of life. The tongue that is controlled by the Holy Spirit becomes an instrument of imparting His life and truth to others.
Truth is the great need today — truth in word and deed as well as our thoughts. To this end Christ came into the world. Jesus answered. . . . for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto The Truth. Every one that is of The Truth heareth My voice (John 18:37). Jesus said to His disciples: I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).
Thought for Today:
Lord, who shall abide in Thy Tabernacle? who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh unrightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart (Ps. 15:1-2).
As One who hates lying (Prov. 12:22). He that sat upon the throne said. . . . all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:5,8).
12:1 brutish = very foolish, without regard to reason or propriety; 12:11 vain = worthless; 12:25 Heaviness = Worry; maketh it stoop = causes depression; 13:11 vanity = dishonesty; 13:16 layeth open = exposes; 14:1 plucketh = tears; 14:23 penury = poverty; 15:1 grievous = harsh; 15:17 stalled = fattened; 15:27 gifts = bribes.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Staff: Ken Sharp • Government Officials: Rep. John Hall (NY), Rep. Timothy Johnson (IL), and Justice Anthony Kennedy • Country: Tunisia (10 million) in North Africa • Major languages: Arabic and French • Islamic state — no open ministry for Christ is permitted; strict surveillance of all Christian activities • 99+% Muslim; .3% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for others (Num. 21:7).
Optional Reading: Philemon 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 9:37