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James 3:1-12 Devotional – Day 4

By January 12, 2023Daily Devotional

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

GOD IS PERFECT God completely possesses all excellent qualities. Additionally, there’s no quality of excellence that he does not have. He is “complete” or “perfect” in every way.

Jesus tells us, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). And David says of God, “His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30).

Praise God that He is Perfect
Praise God that He is complete in His perfection. Praise God that He is excellent in every way. Nothing or no one is more excellent than God. Praise God that His plan for salvation is perfect. His actions are perfect.

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

  • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
  • Ask God to guide Trace and empower student leaders as they prepare for another semester of Christian Challenge at WSU.

James 3:1-12 – The Message
When You Open Your Mouth

1-2 Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards. And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life.

3-5 A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!

5-6 It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

7-10 This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!

10-12 My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?
Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson


We have been given dominion over the natural world. This is part of what it means that we bear the image of God. That image was marred by the fall in Genesis 3, but it was not lost. In Genesis chapter 9 long after the fall in the garden, Moses still maintains that we are made in God’s image. As image bearers, we can tame animals and fields, but as tarnished image bearers we cannot (by ourselves) tame our own tongues. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try; it means that we must rely on our relationship with God to live good and fruitful lives. We cannot think that we can, by our own efforts, become the people God has designed us to be. We need the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the people of God as key resources to become more like sons and daughters of God. We are responsible to give full effort to train for godliness. This great tension must be held in balance…we are to fully trust God and not ourselves, and we are to give full effort–not wait on God to do something more than he already has done. We have been given all we need for life and godliness in Christ Jesus.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
2 Peter 1:3

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