I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.
Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 4:11-16
11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
The call of scripture is to “speak the truth in love.”
One of the amazing claims of the Bible’s account of creation is that humans as well as all of life were created by God’s word.
God spoke and things were created.
God’s word stirred life into being.
The Bible also maintains that we are to be co-creators of our history with God. We have significant influence over our time on this earth.
Our words help create our lives.
Our words have a part of us in them. They tell people who we are.
Words take on a life of their own. They say something about who we are and how we live and our attitude toward others and even ourselves.
The beginning of the gospel of John, in speaking about Jesus, says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1) . . . and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
We can also think about this passage in another way: words do have a tendency to become flesh and dwell among us. When our language is full of virtue and nobility, those words move us closer to the gentleness of spirit by which we become fully human. Our words become flesh.
The letter of James says that the tongue can be used for blessing and cursing, for sharing God’s love or for sharing rumors, for telling others about the joy and peace found in the faith or for telling others about someone else’s problems.
The tongue can be used for starting raging, destructive, killing forest fires — or for starting fires of love which warm and give life to those gathered around them.
The tongue is a tremendously powerful tool. May God tame it — that we may always speak the truth in love.
A good question for us to ask is simply this: What words will become flesh — will take on a life of their own — because of me?
A good prayer to pray is found in Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
“Many Gifts, One Spirit”
God of change and glory,
God of time and space,
When we fear the future,
Give to us your grace.
In the midst of changing ways
Give us still the grace to praise.
Many gifts, one Spirit,
One love known in many ways.
In our difference is blessing,
From diversity we praise
One Giver, one Lord,
One Spirit, one Word
Known in many ways,
Hallowing our days.
For the Giver, for the gifts,
Praise, praise, praise!
God of many colors,
God of many signs,
You have made us different,
Blessing many kinds.
As the old ways disappear,
Let your love cast out our fear.
Freshness of the morning,
Newness of each night,
You are still creating
Endless love and light.
This we see, as shadows part,
Many gifts from one great heart.
Thank you for sharing this moment of your day with me, with God, and with these reflections on a portion of scripture. I hope you will carry these with you throughout your day and night.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster