DECEMBER 23

 

A word spoken in due season, how good it is! A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver—Prov. 15: 23; 25: 11.

 

We are to remember, when talking with those who have an ear to hear and are inquiring the way to the Lord, that there are great crises in the lives of men, momentous occasions, in which one word may be more valuable, more potent, than would be a hundred words or a thousand words at another time, under different circumstances; and we are to be instant in the Lord's service, whether seasonable or unseasonable to ourselves, gladly ready to lay down our lives for the brethren. … We are to distinguish, however, between out-of-season to ourselves and out-of­ season to others; and to be willing to serve others at any time, however out-of-season to ourselves, if it be in season and opportune for them. We are not to intrude even the Gospel itself at inopportune times, however convenient the occasion may be to ourselves.

 

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There are times for silence and times for speech. There are things to be said and things to be left unsaid. He who speaks when he should be silent, who says what should be left unsaid, and who withholds what should be said, is unwise and injurious. But he who is silent when silence is in order, who suppresses unsuitable and injurious remarks, and who utters in the right spirit and manner the thing that the time, place, occasion and person require, is wise and helpful. The ability to say the right thing in the proper spirit and manner, at the right time, occasion and place, to the right person, is a grace of rare attainment, value and fruitfulness. Let us study more carefully to select the things of which we speak, the spirit and manner in which we speak, the times, occasions and places at which we speak, and the persons to whom we speak. Then more and more will our words be good, because in season.

 

Parallel passages: Psa. 37: 30; 39: 1; 119: 13, 46, 172; 141: 3; Prov. 12: 18-20; 15: 1, 2, 4, 7; 16: 21, 23, 24; 31: 26; Eccles. 12: 9-11; Eph. 4: 25, 29; Col. 4: 6; 1Pet. 3: 15, 16; Rev. 14: 5.

 

Questions: How did I use my tongue this week? What were the effects?

 

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS

 

"WHAT a friend we have in Jesus,"

Sang a little child one day;

And a weary woman listened

To the darling's happy lay.

 

All her life seemed dark and gloomy,

All her heart was sad with care;

Sweetly rang out baby's treble,—

"All our sins and griefs to bear."

 

She was pointing out the Savior

Who could carry every woe;

And the one who sadly listened

Needed that dear Helper so!

 

Sin and grief were heavy burdens

For a fainting soul to bear;

But the baby singer bade her

"Take it to the Lord in prayer."

 

With a simple, trusting spirit,

Weak and worn, she turned to God,

Asking Christ to take her burden,

Owning Him as her dear Lord.

 

Jesus was her only refuge,

He could take her sin and care,

And He blessed the weary woman

When she came to Him in prayer.

 

And the happy child, still singing,

Little knew she had a part

In God's wondrous work of bringing

Peace unto a troubled heart.

 

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