Purifying Our Lips
Daily Bible Reading – Zephaniah 1-3; John 9
Today’s Key Passage – Zephaniah 3:8-20
About a week ago, I was having a conversation with my wife about a situation involving one of our friends. As we were talking, I began one of my sentences by saying, “I know I should not say this, but”. At this point, I honestly do not remember what I said next or even what it was about, but I do remember how I felt when I completed my sentence. As soon as the words flew out of my mouth, I felt the undeniable pang of conviction as the Holy Spirit corrected me for my words. The worst part was that before I even spoke the words, I knew I should not have said them based on how I began my statement, but for some reason I chose to say them anyway.
As I read today’s key passage, I thought about that day. In it, God is speaking through the prophet Zephaniah about what the new earth will be like once Jesus returns in glory. Among all of the wonderful ways He describes our new home, he says, “Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.” (Vs. 9) In the new earth, God is going to purify our lips in two ways. First, everyone will speak the same language so we can all praise God together without any barriers. Second, and perhaps more importantly, He will purify our hearts so that the words we speak will always be directly in line with God’s perfect will. On that day, we will not have to worry about what we say because our words will always be holy and pure. Until then, however, we have to carefully follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit before opening our mouths.
Most of us have times when we speak without really thinking. Other times we use qualifiers like I used last week to try to justify what we are going to say. When we begin a statement with, “I know I should not say this” or “With all due respect”, it is almost as if we are trying to give ourselves permission to say something sinful. The problem is that the use of a qualifying statement before saying something hurtful or rude does not really make our statements any less hurtful or rude. Our words still affect others and they still affect our witness for Christ. The good news is that when we hear ourselves using those qualifiers, it gives us just enough time to stop ourselves before we say something we might regret. The next time you find yourself starting a sentence with, “I know I should not say this”, stop yourself and make the choice not to say anything at all. In the end, you will feel much better about yourself, and you will protect the health of your relationships.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.