Under Attack (June 27)

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson. Now available on Amazon.com.

June 27

Under Attack

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 140:1-8 | 2 Kings 10:32-12:21 | Acts 18:1-22 | Proverb 18:1

Today’s Scripture Focus: Psalm 140

“They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips” (Psalm 140:3 NIV). 

The Psalmist is under attack. Though unconventional, the weapons used against him are not unfamiliar to most of us. He describes his foes this way: “They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips.” Often times the deadliest weapons aimed against us are the words of others—words aimed to wound and destroy.

As children we used to say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Those words may be valiant attempts to downplay a verbal attack, but they are untrue. Deep down we all know that words can wound us deeply.

Jesus gave us a pattern for praying that includes releasing forgiveness to those who sin against us (“forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”). An important part of following this pattern of prayer is found in releasing forgiveness to those who have wounded us through their words. Forgiving those who wound us by their words brings deep freedom and brings rest to our troubled souls.

Have you been wounded by the words of others? Take those words to the cross and leave them there. As you forgive those who have wounded you, you will find rest for your souls.

Father, forgive me when my words are as sharp as a serpent’s tongue; when my words are like poison. Help me to forgive those whose words have wounded and poisoned me. Help me to find the healing and freedom that comes from forgiving those who’ve sinned against me. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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