“Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.” (Malachi 2:13-14)
“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-30)
Here’s the outline of the devotional I shared a while ago with the Men’s group of Ikthus East church, Bacolod City. It’s part of the series of Bible studies I’m doing on 1st John, particularly the three stages of the Christian life. Be blessed!
1 John 2:12-14 KJV
 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.  I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.  I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
During my quiet time this morning I read Proverbs chapter 10. I noticed it had a number of things to say about the speech of the righteous.
– The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.
– The tongue of the righteous is choice silver.
– The lips of the righteous feed many.
– The mouth of the righteous brings worth wisdom.
– The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable.
I assume, using New Testament lenses, that the righteous refers to people who by grace have clothed themselves with the righteousness of Jesus Christ through faith in him, who live according to his will, and who are filled with his wisdom. This kind of people are in a position to be a blessing to others through their speech.
What comes out of their mouth? Life-giving wisdom. Not only practical wisdom pertaining to the affairs of this life, but more importantly gospel wisdom, the wisdom that leads to eternal life.
Their speech is also attractive, able to delight those who listen to them. What they have to say is precious and even rare because of the spiritual insight they possess.
But they don’t just blurt out anything that comes to their mind. They weigh and they consider; they choose their words carefully; they restrain their lips. They speak the truth, but they do so in love, and at the right time and at the right place.
And finally they share their knowledge. They don’t hoard it and just keep it to themselves. For the only way they will be able to feed many with their lips is if they share the wisdom God has given them. And they do this not only as a matter of stewardship but because they care for people. They want others to be blessed.
So go and be a blessing! Share the wisdom you’ve been given.
“While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” (Psalm 146:2)
Praising the Lord is a life-time business. While I have breath, while I’m still alive, I should go on praising the Lord in every way, whether through singing, working, preaching, teaching, etc.
Now that I’m older (past middle-age actually) I’ve lost somewhat my relish for things I used to do in my youth, such as singing, writing poems and songs, composing and playing the piano, preaching, teaching, etc. Maybe it’s because when you grow old you’ve got less energy than before, and you tend to focus on the more “serious” aspects of life (e.g., work, preparing for retirement, providing for your family, taking care of your health) so that you tend to neglect “less important” things such as songwriting and the like. Actually, I still do these things, but not as often as I would like. And that’s why I’m thankful for this verse because it reminds and encourages me to keep on doing these things while I’m still alive. What’s more important than praising the Lord all the days of our lives? Yes, we praise him through our work, but we ought to praise him too through singing, songwriting, composing music, writing poetry, preaching – all the ways we can according to our gifts! Besides, the Lord also said, “To whom much is given, much is required.” So what do I do with the rest of my life? I will praise the Lord in whatever way I can as long as I have life in me.
Lord, help me to do just that: praise you in every way – sing, write, compose, work, preach, teach – while I have my being.