Promise 4: CEO or Servant?

April 15, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 4: Commitment

A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.

 

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, do you wash my feet?’  Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”

John 13:6-17

 

Just about every work situation has a “gopher.” That’s the guy who does the odd jobs, runs the errands, and cleans up the messes. He’s usually underpaid and overworked. It’s a job with little hope for advancement and less affirmation. It’s the job nobody wants. 

At the time of Jesus nobody wanted to be a slave. Especially demeaning was the job of foot washing—a role assigned to the lowest slave in the Oriental home. Foot washing was traditionally observed at times like this, before an intimate meal or banquet. In this dry and dusty region, sandaled feet were quickly soiled. Having washed and prepared themselves for the meal earlier, the attendees would only need their feet washed to be completely clean and ready for the festivities. 

As the disciples and Jesus gathered for this Passover dinner, they had also prepared in this manner. But there was no servant present to wash their feet, and nobody was about to volunteer. The disciples wanted to be served, not serve. They wanted to rule, not be ruled.

Imagine the disciples’ shock when Jesus took off his outer garment, wrapped a towel around his waist and washed their dirty feet! The master became a servant. The CEO became a gopher. He even washed the feet of Judas, who would betray him into the hands of the Jews who wanted him silenced (v. 11); and of Peter, who would later deny that he even knew who Jesus was (v. 38). 

When he finished cleaning the disciples’ feet, Jesus told them to follow his example of humble service. We too need to follow his example in our family and work lives. We should serve our wives, children, coworkers, bosses, friends, and even enemies. Take a few minutes an identify some jobs or chores that you don’t normally perform and volunteer to do them.

Promise 4: Jesus Encourages Hate?

April 14, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 4: Commitment

A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.

 

“Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Luke 14:25-35

To many readers this passage seems confusing. Hating self and family seems like the opposite of God’s ideal for his people today. But Jesus wasn’t telling his followers they were to hate their families and themselves. Instead, Jesus used this vivid imagery so his hearers would realize that all earthly commitments and affections were to pale in comparison to their love for him. 

Amazingly, when we love Jesus above everything else, everything else takes on more meaning. A man who is completely devoted to Christ will allow a Christlike attitude to permeate all of his relationships—even his relationship to himself. This man will soon discover that he’s more devoted to his wife, his children, his work, and his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Promise 4: Happily Ever After?

April 13, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 4: Commitment

A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.

 

“Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: ‘It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.’ But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.​ ​I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.”

1 Corinthians 7:1-7

 

Four-year-old Suzi had just heard the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for the first time. When she got home, she retold the fairy tale with wide-eyed excitement. After telling her dad her Prince Charming had arrived on his beautiful white horse and brought Snow White back to life with a kiss, Suzi asked, ‘And daddy, do you know what happened next?’

‘Yes,’ he said, ‘they lived happily ever after.’

‘No!’ she replied with a frown. ‘They got married.’

In childlike innocence that little girl spoke an in-depth truth without realizing it. Getting married doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as living happily ever after. Marriages require hard work and devotion in order to be strong. One other important factor in a healthy and happy marriage is commitment to moral purity. In this passage, Paul gives us guidance toward that end. Underlying his instructions is an assumption that the husband and wife are in a committed, exclusive relationship that they look only to each other to meet their needs for intimacy.

First, Paul says, the husband and wife are to meet each other’s sexual needs. Notice how Paul’s instructions exhort the couple to focus attention on the other’s needs, not their own. A man whose sexual appetite is greater than his wife’s might find such instructions a bit unsettling. After all, if he focuses on his wife, his sexual needs might go unmet. The sacrificial nature of the marriage relationship may call for this at times. But Paul’s instructions not to ‘deprive each other’ stand equally for both marriage partners.

Second, the husband is to regard his body as belonging to his wife, and the wife is to do likewise. Sometimes men make the costly mistake of getting this backwards, thinking that this passage calls their wives to be there for them. But look at Paul’s instructions again: Neither the husband nor the wife is to think of the other as being there for them. Instead, they’re both to view themselves as being there for their mate.

Third, a husband and wife need to take time to devote themselves to prayer. Paul lays out the ground rules for this time period: It should be mutually agreed upon. Its focus should be on prayer, not abstinence. It should also be short, so that the increased sexual energy won’t provide Satan the opportunity to tempt either spouse.

The idea of voluntary abstinence from sex within marriage may be new to you. Indeed, you may wonder why Paul would urge couples to periodically abstain from physical intimacy. Many couples find that following Paul’s instructions helps to develop spiritual and emotional intimacy between partners. They see this as an exhortation for married couples to maintain a balance in their lives. They find that the transparency of prayer links them together on a number of levels, helping them find and maintain that delicate balance.

The God-honoring marriage relationship encompasses all aspects of the couple’s lives—physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and so on. Prayer between marriage partners dissolves barriers. It creates emotional intimacy. It strengthens the relationship, and in so doing brings partners closer together on all levels.

Paul’s instructions leave no room for spouses to ignore the needs of their partners. They urge husbands to put their wives’ needs before their own, and vice versa. A couple who demonstrates such sacrificial love will have made a good start on the journey toward living ‘happily ever after.’

Promise 4: The Gift of a Blessing

April 11, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 4: Commitment

A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.

 

“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”

– Mark 10:13-16

A number of years ago, University of Southern California football coach John McKay had the privilege of coaching his son, John. During a television interview a reporter commented on the athletic ability of young John. Coach McKay responded in an impressive way. “Yes, I’m pleased that John had a good season last year,” he said. “He does a fine job and I’m proud of him. But I would be just as proud if he never played the game.”

What a statement! McKay’s son knew that he didn’t have to excel on the football field to be loved by his dad. That means that neither a knee injury nor a season on the bench would have made him any less worthy of his dad’s love. And John could look to the future and know that his dad would love him even if he didn’t make it big in the business world. It’s that kind of parental encouragement that motivates young men like John to excel. Parents who provide a nurturing environment instead of a competitive, pressure-packed climate for their children give them the chance to make their parents proud of them for all the right reasons.

One of the most important needs a child has is the need for a father’s approval. If you’re a dad, this means that one of your greatest responsibilities is to pass on to your children an awareness of love, an awareness that each child in your family is important to you. And if you’re not a father, you probably have the chance to influence the younger generation through family, church, work or social responsibilities. Your responsibility, then, is to set the proper example of godliness for those under your influence to follow.

While Jesus wasn’t a father, he understood children, and he realized their need to be blessed. With Jesus is our ultimate example, let’s look at his blessing in this short passage.

The blessing had two aspects. First, it involved verbal affirmation. When Jesus opened his mouth and blessed the children, he spoke words that praised and built them up. Through this we learn that it is not enough for a father to love and appreciate his children from a distance. A father must express his love and affection to make it real to his children.

Second, Jesus’ blessing involved physical affirmation. Notice that Jesus ‘took the children in his arms’ and ‘put his hands on them.’ Jesus could have stood over the children and lectured to them. He could have had them sit at his feet. Instead, he wrapped his arms around them and placed his hands on their heads and shoulders. Jesus knew that nothing communicates love and acceptance like physical touch.

If you’re a dad, rivet that truth in your mind. Even if you’re a ‘hands off’ kind of man, try to discover how you could communicate more through words and through touch as a means of blessing your children. Talk to other men who seem to have a good relationship with their children to find what their method of ‘blessing’ is, and then act on it. If you’re not a dad, reflect on how you could be a blessing to the young people with whom you relate as an uncle, a brother, a church member, or even an employer. God has given us the responsibility of influencing the young people of today for his purposes and for the expansion of his kingdom.

Are You Living in Fear, Doubt, and Discouragement?

April 6, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. — Psalm 56:3

In 2 Chronicles, chapters 19 and 20, we read about how King Jehoshaphat of Judah endeavored to honor God during his reign. As a leader, he spent a great deal of his time among the people. He appointed judges to carry out the rule of law while directing builders to fortify the towns. He was a good king as he regularly reminded his leaders, “Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” (2 Chronicles 19:7)

Jehoshaphat was also open and honest about his faith. He prayed to God publicly, reminding them not to be afraid or discouraged. But the Israelites were fearful of the battles before them. They were afraid they would lose everything to the invaders, including their lives.

Today, many folks are fearful and discouraged. No matter what battle you face, let the words of Jehoshaphat speak truth to you and bring you peace: “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17). The truth is: the battle is the Lord’s!

Jehoshaphat’s prayer, in chapter 20, has six components that were true then and now:

  • He acknowledged that God’s intervention was the only way their nation would be saved.
  • He reminded the crowd how God had helped them through past difficulties.
  • He admitted God’s complete sovereignty over the situation.
  • He thanked and praised God for the protection He had given them and for what He would do to protect them in the future.
  • He claimed God’s promises.
  • He placed his dependence on God alone for the deliverance from their pending struggles.
  • As believers in Christ, we can come boldly into our Father’s throne room and seek His help and mercy. Whatever your struggles, whatever your situation, and whatever your financial dilemma — know that the God who saved the Israelites will save you and yours.

Personal Application

“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25–27)

“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:47)

Suggestion for Prayer

If you’re in a battle, struggling for deliverance, worried about tomorrow, meditate on the truths of Jehoshaphat’s prayer. Let God take on this battle and free you.

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers. Don’t miss the resources on the topic of fear over at his website.

What Are You Afraid Of?

April 6, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior. — Psalm 38:22

My good friend Jim Knuppe is a great pilot and holds many aeronautical records. He has flown around the world in his private planes a number of times. I remember Jim once shared a story of an encounter he had with a powerful thunderstorm just outside Denver.

The unusual air currents caused the plane to momentarily lose power and fall from the sky. Jim told me what came to mind was just that simple desperate prayer of a believer, “Jesus Help Me!” Scripture records the same prayer used by numerous kings, prophets, and disciples. Jim was spared from tragedy; the plane went on to have a safe and happy landing. God always answers this prayer… even when it’s our last.

Todd Beamer prayed this prayer. The following email I received records the spiritual strength Todd demonstrated on his fateful flight:

“JESUS HELP ME”

The Faith of Todd Beamer

“I don’t think we’re going to get out of this thing. I’m going to have to go out on faith.” It was the voice of Todd Beamer, the passenger… and Wheaton College graduate… who said, “Let’s roll” as he led the charge against the terrorists who had hijacked United Flight 93, the one, you will remember, that crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside.

The whole world knows how brave Beamer and his fellow passengers were on September 11th. But this week we learned more fully what buttressed that bravery: Faith in Jesus Christ.

Todd died as he lived, a faithful evangelical believer. In an article titled “The Real Story of Flight 93”, Newsweek reveals gripping new details from the actual transcripts of the now-recovered cockpit voice recorder. “Todd had been afraid,” Newsweek relates. “More than once, he cried out for his Savior.” After passengers were herded to the back of the jet, Beamer called the GTE Customer Center in Oakbrook, Illinois. He told supervisor Lisa Jefferson about the hijacking. The passengers were planning to jump the terrorists, he said. And then he asked her to pray with him.

As Newsweek relates, “Beamer kept a Lord’s Prayer bookmark in his Tom Clancy novel, but he didn’t need any prompting. He began to recite the ancient litany, and Jefferson joined him:

Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.”………

As they finished, Beamer added, “Jesus, help me.” And then, Beamer and his fellow passenger prayed a prayer that has comforted millions down through the centuries. The prayer that David wrote in a time of great anguish:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil……….

And then the famous last words: “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.”

We now know from the cockpit voice recorder that Beamer and other passengers wrestled with the hijackers and forced the plane to crash into the ground, killing themselves, but foiling what was believed to have been the hijackers’ plan to fly Flight 93 into the Capitol or the White House.

As Christians, we know that God can bring good out of evil. In Todd Beamer, the world witnesses a faith that held up in the extremity of fear. A faith that is even now comforting his widow and two young sons.

God answered Todd’s prayer and delivered him safely home… to Heaven.

Most of us will never have to demonstrate the type of courage Todd did in overcoming the terrorists on Flight 93, but most of us will find an occasion when we need to cry out to Jesus for help.

The world tells us to cope. Our culture offers many options, and some can be really destructive: shopping, eating, alcohol and drugs, even exercise and busyness. When we try to soothe our fears or fill our pain with activities or substances, we rob God of opportunities to comfort us, fight for us, and rescue us. We rob ourselves of opportunities to grow closer to God and experience Him intimately.

Ultimately, when times are really tough, the Lord waits for us to cry out to Him. Whether it’s a crisis of the moment or an ongoing circumstance of endurance, turn to the Lord. Ask Jesus to save you. You never know… it could be your last and greatest testimony.

 

Personal Application

What is going on in your life that prayer would help? Lean into these verses and be comforted?
“Help me, O LORD my God! Save me because of your unfailing love.” (Psalm 109:26 NLT)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

“… The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

 

Suggestion for Prayer

If you’ve been coping through life, rather than turning to the Lord, cry out to Jesus. Ask Him for courage and strength to face your circumstances, and then let Him be your Savior, not just “once and for all”… but everyday.

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers. Don’t miss the resources on the topic of fear over at his website.

Coronavirus and Prayer

April 4, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.— Lamentations 3:22–23

This pandemic strikes fear and concern even in the hearts of mature believers. Let’s turn to God’s Word for comfort. The book of Lamentations was penned by Jeremiah (a.k.a. the weeping prophet). He wrote this book to teach people that to disobey God is to invite disaster. Jeremiah also shows us God suffers when we suffer.

As we dust off this Old Testament verse, we find Jeremiah sitting in a cave weeping as he looks over the rubble of a destroyed Jerusalem. A city he loved so much — God’s city — was in ruins. The tang of smoke and the stench of rotting flesh intensified the atmosphere of utter hopelessness. Some of you may be feeling the same way as Jeremiah… but read on… there is hope.

As Jeremiah took in this awful sight, he realized just how big our God really is. Jeremiah reminds us that having faith in our Heavenly Father is the only thing that can cast out fear and despair. The prophet assures us that God’s compassion will never cease. God is present with us always and we can count on Him no matter the circumstances.

What a powerful illustration for us to ponder today during one of the most serious global crises we have seen in a long time. The unprecedented response, while necessary, is causing intense fear and insecurity. In this country, not since 9/11 have we seen such anxiety and confusion. The obvious question that comes up at times like this is, what is God doing?

During the weeks and months following 9/11, masses of people flocked to local churches and places of worship looking for answers. Church attendance soared. But now we are being asked to stay home… to hunker down maybe until July and beyond. Both our sons are worship pastors in mega-churches, and they are now just doing video broadcasts with no audience. Our approach to worship and spiritual growth is changing. What can we do?

I would prayerfully ask you to consider the following:

  • Pray for our country that God would heal our land and guide our leaders (Proverbs 25:13).
  • Using social media, phones, or texting reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to comfort them with God’s promises. (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
  • To the degree you are able, physically assist people who may be older and high risk with their basic needs (Galatians 4:13–14).
  • Become a Jeremiah man/woman and consider how your prayers and words can bring about, peace, hope and spiritual focus to others (Mark 5:35–36).
  • Drop off some packaged cookies, comfort food, or notes of encouragement to the patio or front porch of your first responders and medical professionals. You should not enter their workspace. (Hebrews 3:13).
  • Operate like the First Century Church – small groups meeting through social media for fellowship and spiritual support (Act 20:7).
  • Join in pushing this email and the Pandemic of Prayer idea to your database (Matthew 4:23).
  • Utilize our vast library of on-line personal and church resources to encourage and empower you during these troubled times (mensministrycatalyst.org/resources).
  • Go to (mensministrycatalyst.org/devotional-archives/) to send out any of our 460 devotionals to comfort those around you (John 14).
  • Our ministry stands ready to encourage and support anyone wishing for special prayer, comfort, and some resources to help you through these troubling times. God is our refuge and our fortress (Psalm 91).

God bless you!

Pandemic of Prayer

As an indication of your commitment to pray for this Country and your neighbors, place a Cross in your front yard. If you are Jewish, place a Hebrew Star. Any homemade or manufactured Cross or Star will do. We all have scrap materials or can go to a place like Home Depot and get some wood or metal to make a simple symbol. If don’t have any wood or metal, then tie a “white ribbon” around a tree. Send an email to your neighbors indicating that your cross or star is an indication that you are praying for them and their families.

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers. Don’t miss the resources on the topic of fear over at his website.

Do You Believe in Miracles?

April 1, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, ‘If you are willing, you can make me clean. – Mark 1:40

In this fast-paced, high-tech world some people have forgotten that God is in the business of making miracles. Mankind has explored the depths of the universe and the bottom of the seas. We have modified DNA and created artificial parts for the human body. Through technology, we can supply an endless stream of information and artificial intelligence. We’ve become pretty self-sufficient. But the reality is, we still can’t create miracles. We still get into situations where we’re just stuck.

One name for God is Miracle. What man sees as impossible; He sees as possible. Before we come to a relationship with the living God, we describe unplanned situations as “chance” or “coincidence”. As believers, we should look for God’s hand in the unbelievable, impossible, and unimaginable.

Too often we let our own logic, rather than God’s spirit, take control of our lives. How many times do we miss the opportunity for a miracle because we’re determined to “fix it”? The prophet Isaiah had a reply for people who thought they could work their own miracles: “Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” Isa. 29:14. God is amazingly creative—He works outside the realm of normal reasoning! There’s no boundary to His love, His power, or His ability.

Still, in the midst of our personal storms, it is sometimes difficult to remember that God can handle it. We too often let fear take a foothold in our thinking. The opposite of fear is faith—the faith that ultimately builds courage. Ask those who have been miraculously healed of cancer, those who have conquered their fears, addictions, and emotional issues, or farmers and ranchers who continually see God’s miracles from the soil. Ask moms and dads who have witnessed the miracle of birth. Remember the miracles in your own life…and those reported to us in the Bible. God’s Word gives us so many examples of how our Father works through miracles. It reminds us to “Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.” Psalm 105:5.

Today, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus continues to heal people. He heals bodies, marriages, broken hearts, financial messes …you name it! He is the ultimate comforter, encourager, healer, and provider. He is our advocate.

Sometimes we “miss the miracle”. Too often the power of God, through His mighty miracles gets overshadowed by the boasting of man’s accomplishments, flashy technology, or sizzling sideline stories. Don’t expect the media to report on miracles. You may have to read between the lines to see it, but you can be sure, God is still in the business of making miracles…everyday!

Personal Application:
What is God saying to you through these verses?

Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. – Acts 2:22

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… – Eph. 3:20

Suggestion for Prayer:
If you are in a jam, ask God to work a miracle in your life. He can handle it!

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers. Don’t miss the resources on the topic of fear over at his website.

Promise 3: Taming the Tongue

March 24, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 3: Virtue

A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.

 

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

– James 3:3-12

In this short passage, James bluntly addresses the issue of our speech. Read over this passage again to catch the metaphors he uses to describe the tongue. Have you ever realized what a potentially wicked thing that little muscle in your mouth is? Make no mistake about it—the words you speak are powerful beyond imagination. They expand or limit your friendships. They can make or break your career opportunities. If you’re married, they’ll help determine the quality of your marriage. If you’re a father, they’ll shape your children.
A godly man recognizes the tongue’s power to build up or to tear down. But the tongue only shapes the words that originate in our hearts and minds. Hearts that are controlled by the Spirit’s power will produce speech that builds other sup instead of tearing them down. In other words, if we want to control our tongues, we must ask God to help us control our hearts.
The book of Proverbs is filled with verses that address a person’s speech. Turn to that book and take an hour or so to read through it. As you do, highlight in some way every verse that addresses this subject. Allow the Bible’s wisdom and the Spirit to direct your heart—and your tongue.

Since our founding in 1990, Promise Keepers has challenged men to keep seven promises. Learn more.

Promise 3: Contamination Alert

March 19, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 3: Virtue

A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.

 

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’

Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ And, ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’ Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

– 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

If you’ve ever had a bad cold or the flu, then you know what contamination is all about. Just as a single flu germ can infect a healthy person, so a little evil can contaminate a spiritually healthy person. Paul warns us to guard against the power of evil to contaminate good. His message about the dangers of alliances between believers and unbelievers (vv.14-16) refers not only to marriage, but also to business, religious, and other personal relationships. Notice that Paul emphasizes both a negative and a positive duty of every believer. First, we must avoid being corrupted by the influence of unbelievers, keeping both body and spirit clean from anything that might defile us. Second, we’re to continually seek to please God with our lives out of reverence and awe for him.
Paul raises five questions in this passage. Take a moment to read and answer them for yourself as you think about your relationships. How can you go about avoiding spiritual contamination? What steps can you take to pursue holiness?

Since our founding in 1990, Promise Keepers has challenged men to keep seven promises. Learn more.