Watching Our Words (Matthew 12:34–37) - Radical

Watching Our Words (Matthew 12:34–37)

“For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. The good person, out of his good treasure, brings forth good and the evil person, out of his evil treasure, brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment, people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words, you will be justified and by your words, you will be condemned.”
-Matthew 12:34-37

Wow. Are those not penetrating words from Jesus? Now, obviously we know when we hear words like justified and condemned, we see those in the whole of scripture and what Jesus is teaching here aligns with what we see all throughout scripture that we’re justified before God only by faith in Christ, only by trust in Him, not by our works, good or bad. But that’s part of the point of what Jesus is saying here, is that our words are the overflow of our hearts. He says, “For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

What do your words say about your heart? Lord help the overflow of our hearts to glorify You.

I just want you to think about your words today, yesterday, the day before, the words you’ll speak later on. I don’t know if you’re listening to this at night or in the morning, but the words you will speak in the coming 24 hours, what do your words say about your heart?

I just want to go straight into prayer. God, please help us to speak in ways that are not careless, in ways that are careful. Even now, as I’m speaking these words, God, I pray that my words would flow out of a pure heart. God, I pray this in my life. I pray this for others who are listening right now, just like we see all throughout your word. Think about James 3 and how the tongue is like deadly poison and there’s so much unhelpful, unhealthy evil.

Evil is the word you used here to describe what comes out of our mouths so often. God, please, please forgive us for careless words and please help us to be careful with our words today, tomorrow. Lord, we pray that you would continually change and transform our hearts, make our hearts more like yours, that our mouths might be the overflow of good treasure, that our mouths might bring forth good edification, speech that is seasoned with salt and Colossians 4 kind of way that’s gracious, that’s kind, that’s loving, that’s tender, that’s meek, that’s true. God, we pray for all of these kinds of words to come from our mouths, words that count, words that are not careless. Please, please help us.

God, please continually change and transform our hearts so that our words in our homes, in all of our relationships, in our work, in the church and the world with people who don’t know you, with people we know well and people we just pass by, God help us to speak good. God, please cause the overflow of our hearts to be good, edifying, careful speech that is glorifying to you and good for others to hear. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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