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James 3:10 - Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing...

NIV Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
KJV Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be

Our tongues are hypocritically inconsistent. One minute blessing and the next minute cursing. James tells us plainly, "this must not be."

If you pour salt water into fresh water, guess what you get -- more salt water.

Inconsistency in our speech pollutes our character and witness. Speech is more than words, it is a reflection of the heart.

1 Pet 3:10 - Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil

NIV For,
"Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech."
KJV For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

To enjoy life we must refrain from speaking evil and keep our lips from lying.

Peter quotes Psalm 34:12-16a (see memory verse below) to confirm that God's blessing rests on those who practices righteousness.

Why is speech so important? Consider the following verse:

"Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body." - James 3:5-6a

ACTION: What steps can you take to guard your tongue today?

Psalm 149:1 - Sing His praise in the congregation of saints

NIV Praise the LORD.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the saints.
KJV Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

The call for a new song comes at several points in the Psalms (33:3; 40:3; 144:9). These words encourage more than just novelty; they call for freshness and integrity in performing music.

One of the primary emphases in the Book of Psalms is that the praise of God is to take place in the center of the worshiping community. Praise unites the people of God (33:1-3).

Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson's new illustrated Bible commentary (Ps 149:1). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

Psalm 66:18-19 - If I had cherished sin in my heart...

NIV If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
but God has surely listened
and heard my voice in prayer
KJV If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

Ongoing sin in a believer's life hinders effective prayer (Ps. 32). This is especially true if we cherish certain unconfessed sins in our lives.

Proverbs 23:17 says "Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD."

We are commanded not to cherish sin or envy sinners.

James 4:8 - Come near to God and He will come near to you

NIV Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
KJV Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

We draw near to God in honest prayers with open sincere hearts.

God forgives those who truly come to Him. We cleanse our hands and purify our hearts through forsaking sins. The double-minded are those who are divided in their hearts between God and the world.

Proverbs 4:23 - Guard your heart

NIV Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
KJV Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Guarding our hearts
from sin and the world is of chief importance. It has been said, "As a man thinks, so he is."

A wellspring is a source of continual supply -- often related to wells and water. We must guard our hearts from being polluted by sin as much as possible, as sin pollutes the living waters which are to flow from us.

1 Samuel 16:7 - The LORD does not look at the things man looks at...

NIV But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
KJV But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

God gave Samuel a new perspective. In these verses, God tells Samuel to pick a young David to be the future king, not one of David's seven older and arguably more qualified brothers.

While man often judges on outward appearance, God searches the heart.

Jeremiah 17:10 - I the LORD search the heart

NIV I the LORD search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward a man according to his conduct,
according to what his deeds deserve.
KJV I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

God rewards or punishes ultimately according to the condition of our hearts.

A heart which has faith in Him, submits to His will, obeys His Word, and serves Him, is a heart which actually doesn't get what it deserves -- eternal punishment.

Our most important commandment is to love God with our whole heart (Matt. 22:37). With this heart a person believes in Christ and so experiences both love from God and the presence of Christ in the heart (Rom. 5:5; 10:9-10; Eph. 3:17)..

Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is deceitful...

NIV The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
KJV The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

God knows our hearts. The "heart" of a person includes one's thoughts, feelings, and what makes one "tick".

Our hearts are notoriously sinful. Scripture clearly indicates that this sinful nature is present within us before we are even born! (Psalm 51:5) Since we are sinful from birth there is only one solution; a new birth is required!

Jesus says "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'" (John 3:6-7) Without Jesus our hearts are not just sinfully diseased, they are not even beating -- the are spiritually dead.

Psalm 84:10 - Better is one day in your courts than...

NIV Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
KJV For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

The "house" of the Lord provides eternal dwelling, whereas the wicked dwell in temporary "tents." A single day in His presence is far superior to all of the thousand best days the world can provide combined.

Acts 2:40-41 - he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."

NIV With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
KJV And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

The apostle Peter was preaching the first sermon to a newly formed church. Just before this, he is calling people to repentance. But being saved from 'this corrupt generation' implies that the people were not just individual sinners, but a product of the mindset of a generation. Therefore, their thoughts were not to be focused any more upon the prevailing mindsets, but upon by the spirit and truth of God. Becoming a Christian changes the way we look at everything; including ourselves. The gospel forms a new generation within the corrupt generation in which we live.

Today's commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,
Grace NYC

Ruth 3:1 - My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you?

NIV One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for?"
KJV Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

The story of Ruth is regarded as one of the greatest stories in ancient literature. In this part, Ruth's mother in law is coaching Ruth in how to prepare for meeting her potential (and eventually, future) husband, Boaz. Similarly, there are times when we need to get prepared for opportunities that haven't happened yet. Many times the preparation becomes an act of faith toward the faithfulness of God.

Today's commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,
Grace NYC

Genesis 39:1-4 - his master saw that the LORD was with him

NIV Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.

The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant.

KJV And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.

And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

Up to this point in Genesis, Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob have experienced miracles. God is very visible and audible through visions and appearances.

But when we get to the abduction and selling of Joseph into slavery, there seems to be silence. But God's silence is not his absence. When Joseph thinks that he has been doomed to destruction, God was preparing for a day when Joseph would save not only his own family but much of the ancient world.

When God seems the most hidden, he is working nonetheless.

Today's commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,
Grace NYC

Esther 4:14 - for such a time as this...

NIV For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?
KJV For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Esther was given the unique role of being the queen of Babylon when the king had given an order to eliminate the Jewish people. Her cousin, Mordecai, reminds her that she was placed there for purposes that they could not have fathomed until now.

In the same way, we have been placed in positions for such a time as this. Whether employed or unemployed, demoted or promoted, God has placed us where we are for a unique purpose.

Today's commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,
Grace NYC

Psalm 3:3 - But you are a shield around me, O LORD

NIV But you are a shield around me, O LORD;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

KJV But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

This psalm was written while David was fleeing as his own son, Absalom, was attempting to take over David's kingdom. The emotions in this psalm run strong and well they should. Yet in the midst of this turmoil David cries out to God to be his shield. God is ultimately the one who lifts our head from our current circumstances. As we cry aloud God will answer!

Today's commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,
Grace NYC

Mark 6:1-3 - "Where did this man [Jesus] get these things?" they asked

NIV Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

"Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.

KJV And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.

And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Scripture frames business as a high calling. One of the criticisms of Jesus was that he started as a carpenter! But throughout the gospels Jesus talks about wine making, building homes, farming, treasure hunting, ranching, management and many other business practices as analogies of the Kingdom of heaven. So it shouldn't be surprising that Luke, a doctor, was chosen as the one to write a gospel and the book of Acts. God wants to use businesspeople to change the world.

Today's commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,
Grace NYC

Colossians 1:10 - live a life worthy of the Lord

NIV And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God
KJV That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

According to Paul, truth is revealed by our lives, not just our thoughts. But the information age causes a problem: we think that because we've learned about something that we are living it. We want to gather data about prayer, but we fail to pray! But Paul reminds us that it's the actual actions of our lives that proclaim the truth that we know. We know enough, now it's time to apply. What do you need to apply today? Don't try to get more information, do what you know now!

Today's commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,
Grace NYC

Genesis 2:2-3 - On the seventh day He rested from all His work

NIV By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done!
KJV And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

As part of the creation account, we see that work is not a part of the curse, but a part of the very activity of God. So when we work we are like God. But that work should be marked with times of rest and refreshing. To rest during times of work or work during times of rest creates an atmosphere of fatigue to our bodies and souls. It takes us out of His blessing.

Today's commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,
Grace NYC

Ecclesiastes 4:10 - If one falls down, his friend can help him up

NIV If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

KJV For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

We are created to live in community and engage in caring relationships with one another.

The practical outcome of this truth is described in Ecclesiastes 4:10, which pictures someone who has "fallen and can't get up." Should any of us falter, or have unexpected needs, a friend can come along to lend a hand. But when a person lives in isolation, too "independent" to need or help anybody else, he or she quickly discovers no one is there when trouble comes.

We need one another. Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves (see Matthew 19:19). Love for one another is not some passive feeling, but a practical response to a need expressed through "compassion in action."

What might that look like in your life today?

Submitted by the Compassion International team of writers and editors

Leviticus 19:10 - Leave them for the needy

NIV Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.
KJV And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.

This law handed down to the ancient Israelites required that landowners leave any grain that dropped to the ground during harvest; they were forbidden to pick their fields clean. They were not allowed to even collect the stalks growing on the edges of their fields.

The leftovers belonged to the poor, especially widows, orphans, and needy foreigners. In this way, an agricultural society could provide a safety net for the poor. Because their land really belongs to God, the practice of gleaning served to remind landowners that they were stewards of God's property, sharing with those less fortunate.

What an important reminder during times of economic stress as we reflect on the One who really owns and provides all we have and enables us to share with those who have less.

Submitted by the Compassion International team of writers and editors

Proverbs 22:9 - A generous man will himself be blessed

NIV A generous man will himself be blessed,
for he shares his food with the poor.

KJV He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

The promise here is very simple: The person who seeks to relieve the wants and misery of others will be blessed.

What sorts of blessings do we receive when we share with others? The practice of giving out of a generous heart enables us to escape the hold of material things and the power money has over us. We are also freed from unexpected disappointment that descends when financial success fails to satisfy the soul. Instead we grow emotionally and spiritually as we experience fulfillment through real stewardship and the joy of loving sacrifice.

Giving to those in need is not an obligation, but an opportunity. Think about your standard approach to money and belongings. Ask yourself, "Am I holding on with a tight fist or offering my open hand to share with those in need?

Psalm 130:1-4 - If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?

NIV Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;

O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.

KJV Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.

Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

John Newton was terrified. On March 10th 1748, a storm raged around him and his ship appeared to be sinking. John Newton, a profligate sailor at the time, began to pray. John thought each minute would be his last; yet, the vessel survived the storm. After returning to England, Newton began earnestly studying the Bible. He devoted himself to Christ and eventually entered the ministry. Later, he would write one of the most famous Christian hymns, "Amazing Grace."

John later said, "On that day the Lord sent from on high and delivered me out of deep waters. On that day, Grace, an undeserved kindness in the language of the devout, had begun to work for him. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;'tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home."

1 Peter 4:10 - Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others

NIV Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.
KJV As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

has given each believer unique talents and abilities to be used for His glory. These gifts are meant to be used, not abused! We must be good stewards of these abilities and use them to serve others. These gifts aren't meant to merely serve our own self-interest. Further, we should never envy the gifts of others -- we should USE the ones we have in faithful service.

Matthew 6:2 - So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets

NIV So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
KJV Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.


When we give, we are not to have ulterior motives! We are not to give to gain favor with men or grab attention for ourselves. We are to give cheerfully and not under compulsion. (2 Corinthians 9:7) Our reward is in heaven, not here on earth.

Psalm 29:10-11 - the LORD blesses his people with peace

NIV The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.

The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.

KJV The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.


David may have seen a rainbow and remembered God's promise given after the Flood (Gen. 9:8-17). God sat as King at the Flood, and He is still King! No storm is greater than God. If you trust Him, the storm will bring glory to God. If life is stormy just now, worship Him and wait on Him. The storm will pass, and He will give you peace.

Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1991). With the word Bible commentary (Ps 29:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.