James 3

James 3: Heavenly Wisdom is Pure

James explains that we need to govern our tongue unto perfection, because our tongue is “…full of deadly poison.” (James 2:8) But James encourages us to do good and have faith in God so that “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these ought not so to be.” (James 2:10)

James then explains that “…the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17) Therefore, things that are of God are full of good fruits.

Mark 7

Mark 7: False Traditions

                  The Scribes and Pharisees come from Jerusalem to criticize Jesus for feeding many, with having them wash their hands before eating, as it is customary for the elders to do. Jesus answers unto them; “…Well hat Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…” (Mark 7:6-8) Jesus instructs them that just because it is tradition to do something, does not make it above the commandments or teachings of God. The people that were gathered with Jesus did nothing wrong, but simply failed to honor a tradition. Jesus explains that they were being hypocrites for saying they honored God, yet with their actions they were chastising His Only Begotten.

Jesus explains to those gathered, that only by what leaves man can defile him; “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness.” (Mark 7:21-22) These are the things that can defile man, not what they partake.

From here, Jesus leaves to the borders of Tyre and Sidon where he meets a Greek woman, who had a daughter who was possessed of an evil spirit. Jesus tells the lady that she will come home to find her daughter cured and freed from the evil spirit. Jesus then departs the land and goes to the sea of Galilee, near the coasts of Decapolis. Jesus is met by a man who was not only deaf, but also dumb in his speech impediment, He takes the man and hold him; “…and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue.” (Mark 7:33) and instantly the man was able to hear and speak.

Isaiah 49-50

Isaiah 49-50

Chapter 49: Messiah = Light unto the Gentiles

The servant speaks in his own voice – he has been called from the womb. His mouth has been made like a sharp sword. He will be a light to the gentiles. He will release prisoners, and those in darkness. The Lord cannot forget Israel, as a nurse cannot forget her nursing child. The Lord will protect Israel from her enemies, who will be humbled and defeated.

Chapter 50: Isaiah shall have a tongue of power

Israel has brought its misfortunes on itself. The servant is obedient, and has been given a wise tongue. “… the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word…” (Isaiah 50:4)

”I gave my back to those smitters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair…” (Isaiah 50:6) He has faith that the Lord will justify him, however, and that his adversaries will grow old like a garment, and be eaten up by moths. People will be kindled by fire from his hand.

Psalms 39-40

Psalms 39-40

                David speaks of two very important things in these two chapters (39-40). David speaks out about how we need to be careful to what we say. Now when I was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the country of Honduras I always found that teaching this to children was far easier than adults. It seems so simple for the innocent… don’t say bad words, don’t say bad things about others… etc. So we can take a page out of this chapter and put it permanently in our mental library. Don’t swear or speak evil of anyone. Pretty simple!

Then David goes on to speak about how his “heart had failed him” and because of this his only way to lift himself up again, was through the Lord. This reminded me of a scripture in Luke which speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world; “And there shall be signs in the sun and the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and looking after those things which are coming on the earth…” (Luke 21:25-26)

                This hit me hard, because I feel like we are currently living in a world where the hearts of men are failing, and the world is falling down around us. But we can be like David and ask for the Lord to send us help, so that he can lift us up again, no matter what we have done. Through our diligence and the help of the Lord, He can help keep our hearts from failing us.

Chapter 39: Control thy Tongue

To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.

                David opens this Psalm with a promise that he made to the Lord; “…I will take heed to my ways, that I sin no with my tongue…” (Psalms 39:1). In other words David shouldn’t be swearing or saying anything evil. This would include gossiping about other people or saying “bad” words.

David says that altogether man is full of vanity; “Excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.” We need to avoid this.

Chapter 40: Thy Lord be magnified

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

                David tells us that the Lord helped him out of a horrible pit, and that the Lord is filled with loving kindness. David tells us of when he was in the moment of pain and anguish and when he looked up to the Lord for help…

“Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord; let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me….innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me… my heart faileth.” (Psalms 40:11-13)

He then asks the Lord; “…make haste to help me.” (Psalms 40:13) David was desperate, afterall his heart had failed him and he felt like there was no way out of his sin, except it is through the Lord.