Religious Lace

2 Mar

God’s Word:  Matthew 5:33-37: Jesus said, “And don’t say anything you don’t mean.  This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions.  You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it.  You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with a religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true.  Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.” 

Jesus’ Message to Me: (My interpretation of what Jesus is saying to me through these verses)

Be a person of integrity.  Be sure that your words describe the true intention of your heart.  Don’t use religious lace to say what you think people want to hear or to make yourself appear better than you are.  A person of integrity can be trusted to say what they mean and to do what they say.

Speak from an attitude of humility.  Some throw out religious sounding jargon to appear holier than others.  They embellish their conversation with religious lace to make others think they have pure motives.  The hearers listen to the talk and then observe the inconsistent walk and determine that person is a hypocrite.

So live that others know your word is your bond.  Never let any unwholesome word come from your mouth.  When you do—it is displaying what is in your heart.  Above all else—keep your heart pure for it is the wellspring of life.  Your choices decide whether the water from this wellspring is sweet or bitter.  You can’t add enough religious lace to make the bitterness in a heart appear sweet.

Jesus’ Question for Me: Do others consider you a person of integrity or consider your words as merely religious lace?

Jesus’ Promise to Me: Integrity and humility draw the attention of God and earn the respect of others. 

My Song to Jesus:  Down from His Glory

Down from His glory,
Ever living story,
My God and Savior came,
And Jesus was His name.
Born in a manger,
To His own a stranger,
A Man of sorrows, tears and agony.

O how I love Him! How I adore Him!
My breath, my sunshine, my all in all!
The great Creator became my Savior,
And all God’s fulness dwelleth in Him.

What condescension,
Bringing us redemption;
That in the dead of night,
Not one faint hope in sight,
God, gracious, tender,
Laid aside His splendor,
Stooping to woo, to win, to save my soul.

Without reluctance,
Flesh and blood His substance
He took the form of man,
Revealed the hidden plan.
O glorious myst’ry,
Sacrifice of Calv’ry,
And now I know Thou art the great “I AM.”

Switzerland born William Emmanuel Booth Clibborn (1893-1969) was the grandson of William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. In 1921 he wrote the words to Down From His Glory. These powerful lyrics became even more intense when he adapted them to the tune of Edwardo Di Capua’s famous O SOLE MIO. To sing this song as a member of a congregation or a choir is uplifting. To listen to it sung by a power soloist or duet is a spine-tingling thrill.

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