Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

7 January 2022

Proverbs 26:23

Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
    are fervent[a] lips with an evil heart.

In a way, the glaze hides what is underneath while giving the appearance of revealing its inner makeup. We can see the clay, but the glaze covers over the imperfections and causes the clay to have a shine that it really does not possess of itself. In the same way, we may use our lips to deceive what is underneath.


Some speak fervently with the intention of covering up their evil. Others speak fervently merely out of their nature. In both cases, the fervency does not measure the sincerity of their hearts. It is not speech that ultimately reveals the heart. It is the long-term obedience in both speech and action that provide the best test. And that obedience is not a mere performance of duty, but one that bears the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Look at their fruit – the fruit born in them and the fruit of their lives, i.e. the impact on others around them. Fervency is not bad; just don’t use it to measure the heart.

 

Psalm 145

I will exalt you, my God the King;
    I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
    and extol your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    and faithful in all he does.[c]
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
    Let every creature praise his holy name
    for ever and ever.