Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32
Being faithful to the teachings of Jesus is the key to knowing the truth. That truth is the key to our freedom.
To attain this freedom that we all long for, Jesus says we have a part to play. We need to learn what it means to be faithful. The word in Greek means to abide, to stay with it, to linger over it, to never leave it, to allow it to have a constant presence in your life, to refer to it, to journey with it. Are you feeling bound up, constricted, depressed, or just plain bored with your life? Determine to journey with the teachings of Jesus today and everyday, and you will find the freedom that you long for. This is Jesus’ promise to His followers. Receive it today by taking His Words to heart and obeying Him.
Your Word is Truth. Teach me to follow your teachings closely, to study them faithfully, and more than anything else, to obey them joyfully. I commit myself to sticking with Your Word over every circumstance in my life. I commit myself to take the time to linger over your Word every day, to keep it close my heart and close to my person. I will make it the reference point for every decision I face and every dilemma I encounter.
In Your Name! Amen
If you speak good words rather than worthless ones,
you will be my spokesman.
You must influence them;
do not let them influence you! Jeremiah 15:19b
We utter hundreds of words a day. How many of them are constructive? Oh that we would be obedient to the countless commands in Scripture to guard our words. To speak only what is helpful in building each other up. To understand that we can instill life or condemn to death the hearts of people with our words. Before we pray for our children today that they would be influencers of light and Truth, let’s pray for our own tongues.
I repent of the many times I have spoken ill of others and to others. [Pause and get specific with God.] I cannot change myself, but with Your great help, I can transform my mind and my words through Your Word of Truth. As I meditate on Your Word, I will change my ungodly habits and will begin to intentionally speak words that are helpful to my family and to everyone I encounter today.
Please help me teach my children today that their words, too, can create reality. As we are made in the image of God, our words, like God’s words, have creative power. Teach me to model this to them every day. And as they grow in their knowledge of Your great love, protect them in this society. May they not be molded by the world, but may they be pillars of Truth in this world. May they be influencers for Truth and Righteousness. I give you thanks and praise for making this possible through Your Son.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. James 1:26
We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. James 3:3-6
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
One of the hardest things in the universe to control is that little clump of muscle, situated right in the middle of the head, known as the tongue. With it, we start fires of adversity in our own lives and in the lives of others. With it, we determine our life’s destination. With it we bless. With it we curse. With it we administer life. With it we administer death. If we want to grow, we must increase our ability to control that little bit/small rudder/tiny spark.
(James says that we ruin our own bodies with our uncontrolled tongues. Selah on that for a while.)
It is so easy to spout off with my mouth. Forgive me for the many times that I have used it for evil. I repent. With your help, I determine to change my habits and maintain my tongue to speak what is right and pure and just and kind and loving and forgiving. In so doing, I receive your promise of a life that is free from the burden of guilt and shame. I would rather have a life that honors You.
In Jesus’ Name Amen.
A friend of mine told me recently the story of a two-word prayer that she prayed that changed her life forever. Moments earlier she had given birth – an emergency C-section – to her firstborn, a son. In the midst of fear and elation, she suddenly realized that she wasn’t up for the job. She could not possibly do this Mothering-thing without supernatural assistance. She prayed: “I’m Yours.” And with those two words spoken right in the middle of a flurry of nurses and doctors scurrying all around her hospital bed, she made Jesus Christ the leader, Master, orchestrator, general, and CEO of the rest of her life. She has been faithful to live out that commitment now for 27 1/2 years. And I’m here to say, it worked! God worked for her, and she has an amazing son, a follower of Jesus himself, who now happens to be our family chiropractor.
Would you pray that prayer with us today? Perhaps it will be for the first time as you determine to live your life for the One who created you and knows how to operate your life much better than you do. Or perhaps, if Jesus is already your Lord, it is a prayer that you will want to breathe out daily as a reminder to yourself that you are not your own. You have been bought with a price, and He is making something beautiful, glorious, righteous, and stunning out of your life. Here it is:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.