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"Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7-9, HCSB).

I love reading verses in context. There are often things I miss otherwise. Jewels of encouragement and direction, things I wouldn't always notice, if I hadn't happened upon the verses surrounding the famous one. Joshua 1:9 is a verse I've long had memorized. It's so encouraging to know that God goes with us wherever we go. It's a truth that resonates with me as a military spouse. As I read back through these verses this morning, it was verse 8 that struck me, though. In this verse, we're told to recite God's word day in night, keeping it ever by our side. "This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth," says the Lord. The words should forever be on our lips.

And that got me to thinking. Are God's words forever on my lips? I do my best, but there are moments when I'm completely carnel. Moments when I mutter under my breath, criticizing this person or that, gossiping with friends, for the sake of talking, bickering with those around me. In these moments, God's word really aren't on my lips. No, my words are. Who knows what type of day that person I'm criticizing is having. It doesn't justifying the words spoken. No, words are a dangerous thing, as the book of James tells us. Words can spark fires (see James 3).

Oh how I long for my words to be God's words. To speak only love, grace, and forgiveness. To be so intertwined with my Savior that good, not evil, comes from my lips. I guess it's a daily process. A daily releasing of my own ways, and focusing on His instead. A daily focus on the word of God, so that good things are coming into my brain and out of my mouth. I truly think it makes a difference when we focus on good things, don't you?

What verses do you focus on, to start your day off on the right foot? How do you mointor what's coming out of your mouth?