30 for 30

Day Twelve

Stop

Today we’re going to do a breathing prayer together. Breathing is good. We need it to be alive. Begin by taking some slow deep breaths. As you inhale, whisper these words: God is here. As you exhale whisper: And I am with you. Fix your gaze upon Him afresh this morning.

Look

Read Matthew 12. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. You may want to make notes, underline in your bible or journal all that God is saying.

Thought of the day

Matthew 12: 35 ‘The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.’

Careless words. I’m sure we’ve all spoken quite a few of them!

I wonder if you pay attention to the words you say? So often we don’t give much thought to the words that come out of our mouth – we kind of just speak on auto-pilot.

Here is what Jesus is saying in this passage – God is incredibly interested in how we use our speech. It’s important to God because, firstly, it has a direct influence on those around us – we can bring life, or tear down. Our words set the culture of our homes, and workplaces, and family life.

Encouragement can transform someone’s destiny, and curses can demolish hope. James writes in the New Testament that our words have the power of life and death. They can start forest fires and they direct the ship of our lives.

Secondly, God cares about our speech because what we say points to a deeper issue. Here, Jesus makes the powerful point that the words that come from our mouth give a thermometer reading of what is in our soul. Challenging.

In Luke 6:45 Jesus says that ‘From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.’

Our words highlight what is going on in our inner world. Jesus says that if there is evil in us, it will come out in our language. Equally, good people bring hope, life and joy to the world through their speech.

Consider it today – how do we speak to those around us? To our spouses, or siblings? To our work colleagues or those we oversee? To our children, to our leaders, to strangers?

Do we encourage and bring hope? Do we prophesy life and draw out destiny? Do we rebuke and correct in a way that builds people up instead of breaking people down?

May we be a people who change the world – for good – through our words.

Pray

‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’

We’re going to spend some time practicing forgiveness today. Take some time to bring before God all that you need forgiveness for. If you can’t think of anything – ask Him – there’s probably something! Particularly think about the words you’ve said.

Secondly, bring to mind anyone that has hurt you. Give them to God and forgive them. Let go of any bitterness and resentment and speak the words out loud: ‘I forgive you.’

Live

So often we’re unaware of the words we say. Here’s a challenging application. Find someone who you spend time with who sees you in your good and bad moments. Maybe a close friend, your children, a spouse or a home group leader. Ask them honestly to give feedback on your speech and become aware of how your words impact your world.