Is Your Religion Worthless?

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“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26 (ESV)

According to James, our religion is worthless if we do not bridle our tongues. Unwise and ungodly speech brings great damage to the cause of Christ and the kingdom of God. My mother often reminded me throughout childhood to use wisdom in speech by “thinking before speaking.” Self-control in speech is vital for every believer. Religion will shine as precious and significant when Christians consistently speak a language of holiness.

Consider these sobering verses from Proverbs:
“When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”
Pr 10:19

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Pr 13:3

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Pr 12:18

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Pr 15:4

“The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.” Pr 15:2

“Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue.” Pr 28:23

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Pr 18:21

Lord, as I consider your holiness, I recognize that I am a man of unclean lips. I live among a people of unclean lips. Have mercy on us, O God. Cleanse my heart and change my speech. I do not want my religion to be worthless. Set a guard over my mouth. May my speech today be gentle, self-controlled, loving, truthful, and pleasing to You. May I speak a consistent language of holiness that my religion will shine as precious and significant to the glory of God. Amen.

“O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!
Do not let my heart incline to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with men who work iniquity,
and let me not eat of their delicacies!
But my eyes are toward you, O GOD, my Lord;
in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!”

Ps 141:1-4,8

Verses above are quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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Modern Hymns of Keith Getty

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I was blessed this week by the ministry of Keith and Kristyn Getty as guests on the Southeastern campus. Keith is a prolific modern hymn-writer and Kristyn is a truly gifted singer. Some of their most familiar songs are: In Christ Alone, The Power of the Cross, and Speak, O Lord. I thank God for this couple and His blessing on their ministry.

Keith says there are two reasons he writes modern hymns. “First, it’s to help teach the faith. What we sing affects how we think, how we feel and ultimately how we live, so it’s so important that we sing the whole scope of truth the Bible has given us. The second reason is to try and create a more timeless musical style that every generation can sing, a style that relates to the past and the future.”

For more info, check out: www.keithgetty.com.

The Heavens Speak

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Well, I have finally started a blog. Looking forward to future musings on worship, theology, music and life.

Heard a great sermon this morning on self-control in speech and anger from James 1. I am sobered by Psalm 19 that the “heavens declare the glory of God.” Day after day the heavens and the sky “pour out speech.” Just as the heavens glorify and point to the Creator, may my life make much of Christ. May my words and my meditations be pleasing to You, O Lord.

I took this photo in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Best regards.