Devotionals by Dr. Stephen Davey

Talking to Immortals

With it [the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing.
 
When James mentions cursing in this passage, he’s not talking about profanity or calling down from heaven a curse on someone. This is literally a reference to slander, gossip, and accusation against other believers.
 
You might say, “Well, that’s not so bad . . . at least we’re not saying bad things about God.” But James anticipates this loophole and clarifies his rebuke a step further: he points out the contradiction between blessing God on the one hand and cursing someone made in God’s image on the other.
 
People have been made in the likeness of their Creator and that sets us all apart from the rest of creation. We are the image-bearers of God. Mankind isn’t just a more slightly evolved animal. We have conscience and self-awareness, with moral reasoning, along with creative ability to shape the world around us through art, music, science, philosophy, and mathematics. An animal never admires a sunset and ponders in spirit the issues of creation.
 
James reminds us especially that when we offend other believers, God Himself is offended.
 
Think of it this way: imagine being invited to someone’s home for dinner. While you’re there you notice a picture hanging on the wall and you whisper to your wife, “I hope he didn’t pay a fortune for that painting; it’s horrible!” Then you discover the artist is your host—and he overheard you! Would you then say, “Look, don’t take it personally . . . I’m not criticizing you; I’m only criticizing your work!”
 
You can’t separate the two, can you? To belittle the art is to belittle the artist. God is as interested in what we say to each other as He is in what we say to Him.
 
One author illustrates the radical change that should come from understanding the value of God’s highest order of creation, the human being.  In his book The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis writes:
 
Remember that the dullest and most uninteresting believer you talk to will one day be a creature which, if you saw [him] now, you could be strongly tempted to worship [him]. It is in light of this that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.
 
After James spends an entire chapter dealing with our speech, he cuts to the heart of the matter by revealing why we really struggle so much with our speech. Our problem isn’t our mouths . . . it’s our minds. So the solution isn’t to speak better; the solution is to think better!
 
The reason we criticize and slander and castigate people is because we’re not seeing them the way God sees them. Our thinking is wrong.
 
So, who are you struggling to love and think kindly of today? Heed James’ words . . . treat them as an immortal creation of Christ.  
 
Prayer Point: Have you hurt someone with your words recently? Confess it to God and then confess it to that person.  You’ll be happy you did!
 
Extra Refreshment: Read Paul’s convicting words regarding your speech in Ephesians 4:25-32.

Silencing the Critics

Politics is one of the most polarizing and divisive topics in our culture. People have political affiliations and opinions, and they often enjoy sharing those opinions - sometimes loudly. As believers, we need to remember that God also has an opinion. God has told us how He expects us to relate to our governing authorities and the attitude we are to have regarding those in political power. During the two middle weeks of September, you're going to hear Stephen's brand new series called "Above Politics and Parliaments." Our featured resource this month is a lesson from that series called "Silencing The Critics." It's our prayer that this series will help you think biblically about politics and your relationship with those whom God has placed over you in civic government.
 

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Many ministries today expound on life and illustrate with Scripture;
we’re committed to expounding on Scripture and illustrating with life!

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About Wisdom for the Heart

Wisdom for the Heart is an international Bible-teaching ministry based on the sermons of Dr. Stephen Davey. The broadcast Wisdom for the Heart is heard on more than 300 radio stations throughout the United States, as well as transmitted to the Middle East (Arabic), Europe (English), Latin America (Spanish), and Africa (Swahili).

 

About Dr. Stephen Davey

Stephen Davey is the son of missionary parents and was raised to love Christ, His Church, and His Word. In his last year of high school, Stephen committed his life to serving Christ and prepared for a life of servant-leadership at Liberty University, Tennessee Temple University, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dallas Theological Seminary.

Following graduation from Dallas Seminary in 1986, Stephen and Marsha trusted Christ for His provision and moved with their infant twin sons to Cary, NC, to plant Colonial Baptist Church. From the beginning, Stephen preached verse-by-verse, while Marsha created the nursery and children’s programs. In those early days, word of this new church’s commitment to Bible exposition spread rapidly around town, and the fellowship was soon overflowing with attendees.

After worshipping in a school for six years, Colonial moved into its first building, located on seven acres. Within a year, the church not only outgrew its first building but the entire master plan. Nine years later Colonial moved to its present location on forty acres, where several buildings have been designed to maximize outreach, discipleship, community, and worship. The church family currently engages in more than 100 ministries carried out by several thousand volunteers and led by an excellent, Christ-honoring administrative support team and pastoral staff. Their united global vision remains front and center as the Word of God continues to be expounded — and applied.

Stephen also serves as the president of Shepherds Theological Seminary, a young and exciting seminary which has already earned accreditation with TRACS and associate membership status with ATS. With an outstanding faculty and growing student body, Shepherds currently meets on the beautiful campus of Colonial. Stephen enjoys interacting with the students, as well as teaching Pastoral Theology and Creative Bible Teaching.

As the Bible teacher of Wisdom for the Heart, Stephen takes the message of the Gospel around the world. Spanish programming is currently broadcast on 90 radio stations and can be heard throughout Central and South America, reaching an estimated 70 million people. The people have responded hungrily to the teaching of God’s Word.

The Arabic translations are being aired on stations located throughout the Middle East, covering much of Iraq, Kurdistan, Jerusalem, Jordan, and Palestine, reaching an estimated 10 million listeners daily in their own language. In the Middle East, there are 300 million Muslims who need to hear the Gospel.

Swahili is now reaching a potential African audience of more than 50 million listeners. Like the Arab world, spiritual darkness encompasses daily life. Most of the 180 million who use Swahili daily are Muslim; life is governed by Islamic tradition and the teachings of the Koran.

Print and audio resources are available in book and transcript form, CDs, MP3s, and podcasts. Everything Stephen has preached throughout his ministry is now available at no charge in transcript and audio formats at wisdomonline.org. We are praising God for the things He has done—and the things He is doing!

Stephen and Marsha have been married 31 years and have been blessed with twin sons Benjamin [wife Caroline], and Seth; daughters Candace and Charity.

Contact Wisdom for the Heart with Dr. Stephen Davey

Mailing Address
Wisdom for the Heart
PO Box 5729
Cary, NC 27512
 
Toll-free Phone
1-866-48-BIBLE
(1-866-482-4253)