Lord, open Thou my lips

James 3

We are generally too fond of talking, and are not always careful as to what we say; let us hear attentively what the Scriptures have to say of unholy tongues.

James 3:1

masters or teachers

James 3:1

Men are too ready to set up for teachers and censors, but if they knew the increased responsibility of the position they would prefer to be learners.

James 3:2

and this should make us slow to assume leadership

James 3:3-5

It walks through the earth, attacking the best of men, and even daring to assail heaven itself.

James 3:3-5

If it be fire from heaven it brings a Pentecost; if fire from hell it makes a Pandemonium.

James 3:6

not a nation, or a city of sin, but a whole world of evil

Stella says an unruly tongue is worse than the fire of hell, for. that torments only the wicked; but this afflicts all, both bad and good.

James 3:7, 8

God alone can subdue it, and teach it to be silent, or to speak to his glory. This lion cannot be bound even by a Samson, but the Lord can transform it to a lamb.

James 3:9, 10

Inconsistent language is monstrous. Our speech should be all of a piece, and altogether holiness unto the Lord. Is it so?

James 3:13

Holiness, meekness, and gentleness in conversation are the best signs of a really instructed mind. God alone by his Holy Spirit can give us this wisdom.

James 3:14-18

Old Thomas Adams has wittily said: “It is a singular member. God hath given man two ears; one to hear instructions of human knowledge, the other to hearken to his divine precepts. Two eyes, that with the one he might see to his own way, with the other pity and commiserate his distressed brethren. Two hands, that with the one he might work for his own living, with the other relieve his brother’s wants. Two feet, one to walk on common days to his ordinary labour, the other, on sacred days to frequent the congregation of saints. But among all, he hath given him but one tongue; which may instruct him to hear twice so much as he speaks; and to walk and work twice as much as he talks.”

 

Words are things of little cost,

Quickly spoken, quickly lost;

We forget them, but they stand

Witnesses at God’s right hand.

 

Grant us, Lord, from day to day,

Strength to watch and grace to pray;

May our lips, from sin set free,

Love to speak and sing of thee.

 

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