February 8 – 12, 2021

February 8 – 12, 2021


James 3:2-10; Acts 26:15-19

The Bible says the tongue is like a rudder.

Words steer our lives for good or for ill. Once a grammar school teacher told my father he could not sing, and he almost never did. He did marry my mother who had a beautiful alto voice—good enough to sing in Charles E. Fuller’s Old Fashioned Revival Hour Choir. And my father loved to hear his brother-in-law, my Uncle George, sing as he played his lute. Dad was a good audience.

Prophetic words have a way of setting the course of a person’s life. Like Samuel’s words at his anointing of David, saying, “This is the one” (1 Samuel 16:12). Or Simeon’s words at the dedication of Jesus: “Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You may now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).

Then there were the words of Jesus to Peter at points all along the way, constantly steering and course-correcting him. Peter could count on hearing the words he needed to hear. Like a fulfillment of Isaiah’s words, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21).

Jesus’ words to Paul set the course of his life from their first encounter, “I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people, and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:16-18).


How about you? Has God spoken into your life words of guidance steering you in a particular way or direction? And have your words helped steer others in a good way?

Prayers for Brian and Anna Kleinsasser, YWAM  

Brian and Anna Kleinsasser are YWAM missionaries who have served around the world spreading the gospel. Pray for their effective witness for Christ among their neighbors and the people they host at the Airbnb they are managing during their unanticipated COVID furlough here in the U.S.



John 1:1-18; Colossians 2; Ephesians 1; 1 Corinthians 15

The Bible says Jesus is the Living Word, who was in the beginning from eternity.

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega of the entire cosmos—the heavens and the earth—as well as our personal faith in Him (Hebrews 12:2). By Alpha (the first letter in the Greek alphabet) is meant all creation took place through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. By Omega (the final letter in the Greek alphabet) is meant He is the goal and destiny of all. As the Word of God, He is the rudder that will steer everything, including us, where God is going.

If ever there was a Word that matters, it is this Word—the Word that John talks about at the start of his gospel biography of Jesus, who is the Word of God having become human, like us—and yet still God. This is a mystery. But people have always found Him—Jesus—to be relatable, even today.

Does it surprise you to learn that Muslims are put off by many things Christian, but not Jesus. Jesus is known by Muslims as the prophet of love. This is amazing because Mohammed’s Allah is seen by Muslims as distant and unapproachable. Jesus’ Father is very different.

On the other hand, Jesus is the One who makes God known (John 1:18; Hebrews 1:2). When lifted up, He draws people to Himself (John 12:32). In fact, He is more than intriguing because He is the expression of the love of God.

Recently our men’s early morning share group has been going through N.T. Wright’s book, Surprised by Hope. Wright tells us that love is the glue that holds the cosmos together. And love is the key to more fully understanding the mysteries of God. Isn’t it love that we all crave—all people everywhere? And Jesus the Word of God is the greatest expression of God’s love (John 3:16).


How can we make the greatest commandment to love our greatest obedience today and this week?

Prayers for Brian and Anna Kleinsasser, YWAM   

Pray for good health and appropriate care for Brian and Anna’s parents, Robert and Joan Johnson and Ethel Kleinsasser; all three are in their 90’s. Pray also for the health and safety of the Kleinsassers’ children and grandchildren.



John 6:63; Hebrews 4:10

The Holy Spirit’s words are alive and active.

In Jesus’ farewell address to His disciples, just before His death and resurrection, He underscored the significance of the Holy Spirit in their lives and their assignment. What He said to them, He says to us. The Holy Spirit will remind them of all of Jesus’ words. Later Peter would write that all of Scripture is Spirit-breathed (2 Peter 1:21; see also 2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is true that Paul said “the kingdom of God is not a matter of words, but of power” (1 Corinthians 4:20), but we know that the Holy Spirit’s words are words of power. We need those words to live His Spirit-filled life.

Earlier this week, we read in James that the tongue is like a rudder, steering us in the right (or wrong) direction (James 3:4-5). James pointed out that nobody can tame our tongues. But God the Holy Spirit can. We all need Him to do that for us.

We are and will be judged by our words. Words worthy of the God who loves us are words of truth and love. They build others up and do not tear down. But where do they come from—these words and deeds, good or bad, right or wrong? And how do we learn to think or say them?

First, we need a new heart because it is from the heart that words come (Matthew 15:18).

Second, we need to be filled with God’s Spirit and to live Spirit-filled lives because it is the Spirit who helps us here; the flesh will not help us.

Third, the Scriptures, being God’s written word, was the book Jesus most relied on, and we have this same resource available to us.

Fourth, we can call upon God with words of prayer, like Jesus did and like He does even now (Hebrews 7:25).


How can we learn to think and communicate words worthy of the One who loves us, saves us, and lives for us even now?

Prayers for Brian and Anna Kleinsasser, YWAM     

Pray for fellow believers to join them in praying for our nation, especially for our leaders. May these individuals listen to God’s voice as they make decisions about how to deal with COVID and how to respond to social unrest and division.



Psalm 19:7-14

The Bible can be helpful with words that steer us in the right way.

David found God’s words sweeter than honey from the honeycomb.

“The decrees of the LORD are firm,
And all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
They are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.”

(Psalm 19:9-10) ~ David

Jesus had a high view of Scripture. He said every jot and tittle is important (Matthew 5:18). He came to fulfill the Law. “Whoever practices and teaches these commands [in the Law and the Prophets] will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19). “Scripture cannot be set aside” (John 10:35).

Jesus said we live by every word of God that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4). That is how Jesus lived, and that is how we can live, too. Jesus said His sheep hear His voice, are known by Him, and follow Him (John 10:27). Jesus said the Scriptures point to Him (John 5:39). The Bible is God’s written word to help guide our personal lives in the right direction (Psalm 119:105). 

United Bible Societies, Wycliffe Bible Translators, and other groups are translating the Bible and teaching literacy in nations and ethnicities all around the world. YWAM co-founder Loren Cunningham wrote The Book that Transforms Nations, in which he gives principles and examples where this has happened. Hans Nielson Hauge (1771-1824) brought the Bible and teachings of Jesus to Norwegian business people and farmers, transforming the entire nation and greatly raising its status and stature. Because he was part of the recognized clergy, he spent years in prison for his efforts. Today he is recognized as a national hero.

Recently, Discovery Bible Study storytellers have been taking God’s Word to informal groups in formally resistant areas in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, North Africa, and other places.


What Scripture has the Spirit of God made alive to you in your lifetime or this week? Is God’s Word sweeter than honey to you?

Prayers for Brian and Anna Kleinsasser, YWAM   

Pray that God’s voice and calling will become clear to Anna and Brian as they prayerfully consider where God would have them serve next once they are free to travel outside the U.S.



Matthew 18:18-20; John 16:24

Prayer: the practice of letting our words lead us toward God and His way.

Jesus is a prayerful person and He begets prayerful people. He ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). Prayer is a present tense activity that Jesus is now doing on our behalf. We can partner with Him at any time in the grand project for “His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). 

  • When we think we cannot do His will, His Word says, “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13).
  • When I need comfort, I can go to Him in prayer (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
  • When all the doors seem closed, I can go to the One who opens doors (Matthew 7:7-8).
  • When I need healing, I can go to the One who heals (Psalm 103:3).
  • When I have cares, I can cast them on Him in prayer (1 Peter 5:7).
  • I can call on Him to be saved (Romans 10:13).
  • I can call on Him and “He will show me great and mighty things I do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).
  • We may not know how to get where God wants us to go, but He will guide us “to our desired haven” (Psalm 107:30).

Once 55 years ago the thought came into my head that I needed to seek Diana’s father’s permission to ask for her hand in marriage. The only problem was, her earthly father was “dysfunctional.” So, I made the request of her Heavenly Father. This took place in a forest at a weekend retreat.

Me: I request Your daughter’s hand in marriage.
God: You are asking a hard thing.
Me: What do you mean?
God: Marriage will require much more prayer than you do presently.
Me: Okay. Then I will pray more.
God: Okay. Then I agree to your request.

This conversation may seem to some as merely wishful thinking, but it strengthened my resolve and gave me courage. Rival suitors fell away, and six months later she agreed to marry me. And God was right—marriage does take more prayer!


Who needs your prayer today? Thank God for those praying for you, including Jesus.

Prayers for Brian and Anna Kleinsasser, YWAM   

Pray for the YWAM teammates whom the Kleinsassers worked with while they were in Costa Rica, and pray for the community they seek to serve. May God provide for both the physical and spiritual needs of these precious people and bring them to maturity in Christ.


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