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Thursday, December 15, 2016

ADVENT DEC. 15

PSALM 141:3-4



"Set a guard, O Lord,  over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,
To practice deeds of wickedness
With men who do iniquity;
And do not let me eat of their delicacies."


Well, well.  Here's a challenging prayer request from David.  He who wrote the Psalms, who put everything from his fears to his praise into words, asks this of  his God, the One who is the Word.  I must admit, that the words that come out from my heart may not be audible, but they are out there for whoever reads my blog making myself vulnerable. (Most of whom I have no idea who you are.  It's like I am talking to strangers.*) 


I too must ask God to put a guard over my mouth, to watch over the door of my lips.  Sometimes it is a snippy word to a spouse, or a harsh word to a child, or a judgmental word to a fellow believer, or a cross word to a word who needs a cup of water, not one that is thrown and splashed in their face.  Who wants to be a loose cannon?  A loosey-goosey gossip?  A blabber mouth?  One who is known for a cutting tongue instead of mercy?  Guard us and keep watch, O Lord!


Okay, as I've said before, when we lived in Kansas City and went to a large church, I would say all the way to church, "I'm going to keep my mouth shut," and would repeat this mantra all the way across town.  Did I?  No, of course not.  In our inspiring Sunday School class of over 100 young adults, when the teacher opened the lesson up for discussion, you-know-who always raised their hand with a comment.  All I could hope was that what came out had passed the guard and God kept watch over my lips. 

The next part, "Do not incline my heart to any evil thing," reveals the way the guard is set, in the heart.  Whatever is in the heart, comes out the mouth, as the words of Jesus illuminates...

"For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 
The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good;
and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil.
And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak,
they shall render account for it in the day of judgment.
For by your words you shall be justified,
and by your words you shall be condemned."  
(Matthew 12:34-37)

Then how must we be saved?



"'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart'--
that...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you shall be saved;
for with the heart man believes,
resulting in righteousness,
and with the mouth he confesses,
resulting in salvation."
(Romans 10:8-10)

So, once we have worshipped our Lord, like the shepherds, we must go make known
what we have seen and heard and treasured in our hearts...

  


"'Let us go straight to Bethlehem then,
and see this thing that has happened
which the Lord has made known to us.'
And they came in haste and found their way
to Mary and Joseph, and the baby
as He lay in the manger. 
And when they had seen this,
they  made known the statement
which had been told them about this Child.
And all who heard it wondered
at the things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary treasured up all these things,
pondering them in her heart.
And the shepherds went back,
glorifying and praising God
for all that they had heard and seen."
(Luke 2:15-20)

Can you see the connection between what the heart believes and the mouth confesses?
That's where the true treasure lies.




Back to the Psalmist.  He wanted nothing to do with evil men.  He did not want any dainties, delicacies to pass by his lips, into his mouth, that would make his heart sick.  "Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies." (Psalm 23:5)  Jesus said we are to be in the world but not of it.  We can't help but rub shoulders with those of whom Jesus would say those who are not for him are against him. 



There are certainly those whose hearts are set against our Lord, who are especially apparent as we celebrate the true reason for the season.  Sometimes they seem to offer the Turkish Delight that tempted Edward in the C.S. Lewis book, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."  So we ask once again, that God would guard our mouth and watch over the door of our lips, not only for what will come out, but that which would come in. 



So what is in your heart?
Have you treasured Truth in your heart?
What will come out of your mouth?
Is it praise that sends you out to share the Good News?
Go tell it on the mountain!



*Hey, pilgrim, it would bless me this Christmas season if you would just let me know who you are under my blog with a comment or a thumbs up.  Just saying...









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