2-8-21 Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” How often do we speak thoughtlessly using rash, slanderous, boastful, or half-truth words? Words, that if we had taken time to think about what we were saying, we would not have said what we said. Or we would have expressed ourselves more carefully. “The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” That is why we are judged by the words that we speak. They show what is inside of us. It is as we are told elsewhere, the tree is recognized by its fruit. We, by our nature, we fail to do what God demands of us. We cannot save ourselves, so we must rely on someone outside of ourselves to make us right before God. That person was Jesus. He did what we cannot do and then took God’s wrath in our place. Our lives are now different, in that we recognize our sins and repent of them trying to do better out of gratitude for what Jesus did that day. Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; I fail daily to live as you desire me to live. I say and do things that are not God pleasing. The only hope I have is your love toward me. Thank you for your son, Jesus who took the punishment I deserve. Help me through the Holy Spirit to bear the good fruit that marks me as your forgiven child. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.