Today I Will

tattly_jen_mussari_today_is_the_day_web_design_01_grandeAs I was thumbing through one of my files, I found a quote from Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.  In September of 1999 Talk Magazine listed him as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States.

During a lecture on the power and often negative impact of words, Rabbi Telushkin said:  “If you cannot go for 24 hours without drinking liquor, you are addicted to alcohol.  If you cannot go 24 hours without smoking, you are addicted to nicotine.  Similarly, if you cannot go for 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, then you’ve lost control of your tongue.”

Have you lost control of your tongue?  Compare your verbal characteristics to the verses below:

  • James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”
  • Proverbs 8:7-8”For my mouth will speak truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; nothing crooked or perverse is in them.”
  • Psalm 10:7 “His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.”
  • Psalm 71:8 “Let my mouth be filled with Your praise And with Your glory all the day.”
  • Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

As you think about what the good Rabbi said, and as you consider the Scripture above, I hope you’ll say:  “Today I will:

  • Slow down enough to consider how I speak to my precious family.  I will remember to thank God for each one of them. I will not curse them.  I will bless them.
  • Reflect the goodness of God and determine to be a conduit of His grace and love.
  • See the needs of others, and help bear the burden of those who are overloaded with grief, sorrow, or some trial.

Let me suggest that you use the words of the following Psalm as a prayer for today:  “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).”

Just 5 Words

New-Birth-missionary-baptiiThe sentence consisted of five brief words.  They were common words and each by itself was powerless; however when the five were woven together in a sentence, they communicated an extraordinary truth.

To someone who was as religious as he was the words were startling.  He most likely had excelled at his bar mitzvah.  If his rabbi had graded him, he probably was at the head of the class and an A+ student.

But Nicodemus had the rug pulled out from under him when Jesus said these five words:  “You must be born again.”  Even though he was a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin, and a religious person, Jesus said Nicodemus still needed to experience the new birth.

The new birth is much like your physical birth:  Whatever you need is provided, the pain of the process is felt by another, and someone else does the work.

There is one major difference.  When you were born the first time, you had no choice in the matter; however, the choice is yours when you think of your second birth.

The power, the effort, and the pain of your second birth are not yours, but the choice is:  “For whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).”

Your new birth is by God’s power, according to God’s plan, and for God’s purpose.  Notice how John expresses this: “To us, the greatest demonstration of God’s love for us has been his sending his only Son into the world to give us life through him. We see real love, not in that fact that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to make personal atonement for our sins. If God loved us as much as that, surely we, in our turn, should love each other (I John 4:9-11)!”

Let me leave you with three questions to keep you thinking:

  • Have you experienced the real love of God?
  • Do people see it you?
  • Do you share it with others?