16 Jun Speaking from a Pure Heart
Last Sunday, Pastor Jason Finley preached from James 2:14-26 and showed us that we are saved for good works through a living faith.
Read: James 3:1-12
This Sunday, Pastor Mark Welborn will preach from James 3:1-12 and will exhort us to let the Holy Spirit sanctify our tongue. As you prepare for our Sunday gathering, let this devotional from John MacArthur lead you to seek the Lord’s help in speaking from a pure heart.
Reflect: “Speaking from a Pure Heart”
“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26).
Your speech reveals the condition of your heart.
In verse 22 James talked about the delusion of hearing the Word without obeying it. Here he talks about the deception of external religious activity without internal purity of heart.
That’s a common deception. Many people confuse a love for religious activity with love for God. They may go through the mechanics of reading the Bible, attending church, praying, giving money, or singing songs, but in reality their hearts are far from God. That kind of deception can be very subtle. That’s why James disregards mere claims to Christianity and confronts our motives and obedience to the Word. Those are the acid tests!
James was selective in the word he used for “religious.” Rather than using the common Greek word that spoke of internal godliness, he chose a word that referred to external religious trappings, ceremonies, and rituals—things that are useless for true spirituality.
He focused on the tongue as a test of true religion because the tongue is a window to the heart. As Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matt. 12:34). Corrupt speech betrays an unregenerate heart; righteous speech demonstrates a transformed heart. It doesn’t matter how evangelical or Biblical your theology is, if you can’t control your tongue, your religion is useless!
You can learn much about a person’s character if you listen long enough to what he says. In the same way, others learn much about you as they listen to what you say. Do your words reveal a pure heart? Remember Paul’s admonition to “let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29). Make that your goal each day, so you can know the blessing and grace of disciplined speech!
Suggestions for Prayer: Ask the Lord to guard your tongue from speaking anything that might dishonor Him. Be aware of everything you say.
For Further Study: Read James 3:1–12. ✧ What warning does James give? ✧ What analogies does he use for the tongue?
“Speaking from a Pure Heart,” June 13th Devotional, in Drawing Near, by John MacArthur.
Sing: Song List for Sunday
1. “All the Earth,” by Vertical Worship
2. “Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb,” by People & Songs
3. “Forgiven,” by Sovereign Grace Music
4. “May the Words of My Mouth,” by Shane Barnard
5. “Behold the Lamb,” by Keith & Kristyn Getty