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October 9 – Quick to listen and slow to speak

Put away all filthiness and rampart wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. – James 1:17

Scripture reading: James 1:19-21

Yesterday, we read that all good gifts come from God. Today, James warns us of things we all need to digest as God’s children. We need to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. That is, we have to watch jumping to conclusions when we hear what others have to say, and seek to find out the truth before we react. To jump to conclusions without listening properly often results in anger in our hearts. When this happens our words and our actions are often not pleasing to God. This can happen even when we are trying to correct someone for wrongdoing.

James tells us that in order to prevent this from happening we need to put away filthiness and wickedness. Putting away filthiness is the act of ridding your life of those things that influence you to act in selfish and wicked ways. It is to push selfish desires and passions out of your mind and heart. James says you can only do this by humbly admitting you are sinful and prone to all kinds of wickedness and turn to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. Jesus Christ saves our souls so that we can begin to be quick to listen, slow to speak and anxious to live for the Lord. This is true because as the good news of Jesus Christ is humbly received, our souls are saved and we begin to live not for selfish wicked pleasures, but for the Lord.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the good news of Jesus Christ would more and more be received in our minds and hearts so that we would more and more live for the Lord in the joy of salvation.

Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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