Lord, Thy Will Be Done By Us…That We Make Proper Use of Our Tongues. 

by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on August 3, 2023 in

Sermon for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity      August 6, 2023

Text: Ex.20:16                     Summer Sermon Series           23:2398

                              That We Make Proper Use of Our Tongues.

This is the second time that God addresses the use of the tongue in the Decalogue. Two commandments given about it! That ought to tell us that He is serious about guarding our tongues, lest we abuse and misuse this small part of our bodies in deadly ways.
Sadly, our world does not consider it as an important matter and often refuses to “tame the tongue” as God admonishes. He wants us to tame the tongue in two directions – 1) towards Him (2nd Com.) and 2) towards our fellow man (8th Com.). Listen to what God says about the tongue through the inspired writer: James:3:3-10.
What do a horse’s bit, an ocean ship’s rudder, and a match have in common? Each is very small in comparison to the thing they control. Yet each will guide, destroy, or determine the direction in which the bigger object, of which they are a small part, will go.
In a similar way, the tongue is a very small part of the body. Yet, the words which come from it exert a great influence. They can determine the direction of people’s lives. With the tongue we help make people happy or sad. We make them feel good or bad. We help to bring about a better position for them in life, or we destroy their direction. Most of all, we help save them for eternity by speaking the truths of Christ Jesus, or we say nothing and watch them walk in unbelief to their eternal loss. Such a great influence this small part of the body can have on people’s lives.
So it is that we pray, LORD, MAY THY WILL BE DONE BY US That We Make Proper Use of Our Tongues…

I. …so that we do not destroy our neighbor’s good name.
That is another treasure God has given us which we cannot give up without harm – a person’s honor and reputation. Public shame and contempt is unendurable. God would guard ours and our neighbor’s honor and character just like He guards our other possessions. A good name, untarnished reputation, honorable report in the eyes of others is indeed a great treasure. King Solomon writes, “A good name is better than fine perfume” (Eccl.7:1).
When young people wish to leave a good impression of themselves, especially on one whom they adore, what do they put on? A good perfume or cologne with a sweet aroma. Why? Sweet aromas are pleasing to us and draw us. In contrast, we are not drawn to foul odors and will try to get away from them.
In a similar way Solomon declares that a good name and honored reputation is better than the finest perfume. It is to be treasured because it pleases others and draws them. But if a good name is soiled, things turn sour mighty quickly. Consider Joseph.
After his brothers sold him, he was taken to Egypt and became a servant in Potiphar’s house. Potiphar was captain of Pharoah’s guard. Joseph had the reputation of being faithful in service to his master and rose to the position of manager in Potiphar’s house. In all that he did, Joseph had the sweet-smelling perfume of a good report about him, as he kept the 7th Commandment, “improving and protecting his neighbor’s property and business.”
Potiphar’s wife looked at him with adulterous desires and tried to seduce him in breaking the 6th Commandment. Joseph refused, saying, “How can I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Oh, that made her mad! She told lies about him and destroyed Joseph’s good name. As a result, he was thrown into prison.
It is the blind world’s way to bear false witness, to lie, denounce, and persecute the truth. It is a sin of the tongue and is a common vice of the fallen human nature. That nature would hear and tell evil rather than good of a neighbor, out of spite or envy.
Thus God, like a wise and gracious father who knows the weakness of our human flesh, commands: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” – whether in court, in the church, over the backyard fence, behind your neighbor’s back, or elsewhere. The flesh prefers hearing evil to good. It would have all the world speak well of us in terms of shing gold, but it cannot bear that the best be spoken of others.
So, dear Christian friends, guard your tongues lest you sin against this commandment. “Let him who thinks he stands be careful that he does not fall” (1Co.10:12). For if you speak evil of your neighbor, God threatens to punish the impenitent. Constant vigilance is necessary to Make Proper Use of the Tongue so that we do not destroy our neighbor’s good name.
There is only one power that can keep us from this sin and blot out every sin against this commandment. It lies in the grace and merits of Christ our Savior. Go to Him in penitent faith and you shall have forgiveness, life, and the strength to use your tongue…

II. …with kind words that cheer and lift people up. Instead of destroying a person’s name, God would have us use our tongues and actions to build him up in the eyes of others. How?
In his explanation to this commandment, Martin Luther spoke of 3 ways: “by defending our neighbor, speaking well of him, and putting the best construction on everything.”
I’ve always liked that last phrase, “putting the best construction on everything.” It makes me think of building something good and beautiful, like constructing a house, using all kinds of strong material. But, in this case, you are building a person’s name with kind words that cheer him and lift him up in other people’s eyes rather than expose weakness or tear him down. As Peter writes, “Above all, love each other dearly, because love covers a multitude of sins” (1:4:8).
The story is told of 2 young boys eating dinner at the home of their aunt. The table was covered with the finest linen and set with expensive china and gleaming silver. Unnoticed by others, the younger boy spilled gravy on the immaculate tablecloth. The older boy could have pointed it out. But, eager to spare his younger brother unnecessary embarrassment, he quickly took his own napkin and spread it over the offending spot. It is a simple parable of what Peter meant when he said, “Love covers a multitude of sins.
Christian love’s primary object is not to expose the faults and weaknesses of others, especially not in lying about them. Its primary object is to use our tongues to speak kind words that cheer and lift people up -to cover a multitude of sins.
Isn’t that what the Savior did for us? Instead of exposing all our wrongs and demanding punishment of His heavenly Father for every transgression, saying, “Look what they have done,” He prayed “Father, forgive them,” and then He laid down His life to cover our sin. He did it out of love for us to cheer and lift us up in our most desperate need.
That’s love, the kind of love our present-day critical world so desperately needs. How different our world would be if each of us would learn to overlook our brother’s frailties and bear with him in his weakness, to exercise Christian patience, forbearance, and a kindly tongue.
Oh, it is true. There is time for corrective action by those whom God has placed in authority within the home, the church, and the state for this commandment is meant to be kept in such a way that evil is not left unpunished. This commandment must not be understood as turning a blind eye and permitting evil to go unreproved, for in so doing the soul may be lost. Christian love dictates that we seek to win the erring brother in repentance.
In doing that our God gives us a pleasing alternative to gossip and unnecessary exposure that destroys our neighbors’ good name. Jesus said, “Go and tell him his fault, between him and you alone. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother” (Mt.18:15). There is a time for corrective action by God’s proper authorities. There is also a time for healing silence, a time when “love covers a multitude of sin.”
God grant us the wisdom we need to discern correctly between the two. To that end we pray: LORD, MAY THY WILL BE DONE BY US…That We Make Proper Use of Our Tongues. God grant it in our lives of faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

The Ninth Sunday after Trinity                   August 6, 2023

   Welcome in the Savior’s name. We are happy to have you worshipping with us today as God calls us to a life of faithful stewardship in the use of all His gifts to us.

Stewardship is a matter of faith. Faithful stewards humbly recognize that everything they have in this life is the property of the Lord of heaven who holds every creature in His hand. Life itself is His good gift to all mankind to be managed wisely by us to His glory, our good, and the eternal welfare of souls.

In the sermon text we continue in our study of the Ten Commandments with the Eighth Commandment. Besides the sacredness of person (5th), of spouse (6th), and of property (7th) which God has graciously given us, there is yet another treasure one cannot dispense with – a person’s honor and reputation. God would guard the honor and character of ourselves and our neighbor as He guards our other possessions, so that everyone may be respected by spouse, children, workers, and neighbors. A good name is one of the greatest gifts He gives that Christians will seek to guard and keep for Him.

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Be Faithful Stewards of the Gifts of God’s Grace

The Preparation

Opening Thoughts on the Service

The Entrance Hymn: “O Bless the Lord, My Soul”                                                  #623

Order of Worship: Service: Setting One with Holy Communion:                pages 154-160

Prayer of the Day

The Ministry of the Word

(The Lessons for the Day are taken from the Historic Pericope Series of the Christian Church.)

The Responses following each lesson are on page 160

Proverbs 16:1-9 God weighs the motives of the heart and responds to them for the good of His people. Therefore, find contentment in His righteousness and not in much earthly wealth.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Israel’s rebellious history against God and self-destruction in sin serves as an example for us not to set our hearts on evil things but to look in all things to our faithful God, being led by Him in ways of righteousness. As we look to Him, He will uphold us in times of testing and trial.

The Gospel Acclamation (God’s Love)                                                                page 161

Luke 16:1-9 In His Parable of the Shrewd Manager, Jesus encourages believers to be wise and faithful stewards of His gifts. True stewardship is a matter of faith. In a worldly way the man in the parable was wise as he planned for his future. But the believer, in looking to the Lord for all things, is to be wiser in his use of God’s gifts.

The Sermon Hymn: “Brothers, Sisters, Let Us Gladly”                                            #748

The Sermon:    Lord, Thy Will Be Done By Us…

                             That We Make Proper Use of Our Tongues.                                  

                                                   Exodus 20:16

Our Response to the Word

The Confession of Faith: The Nicene Creed                                                     page 162


The Offering

The Lord Blesses Us

The Order of Holy Communion                                                                  pages 165-169

(We invite our communicant members to the Lord’s Table, believing that in the bread and the wine, they receive the Savior’s true body and blood for forgiveness of sins. Since Holy Communion implies a oneness of faith, our practice is that of close communion. We therefore ask visitors to speak with the Pastor before communing.)

The Distribution

The Distribution Hymn: “Son of God, Eternal Savior”                                               #729

Thanksgiving & Blessing                                           Beginning the middle of page 170

Closing Hymn: “May the Grace of Christ Our Savior”                                            #928

Silent Prayer

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The Pianist: Pastor Edwin Lehmann

The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Point to Ponder: “The boneless tongue so small, so weak,

                                 Can crush and kill,” declares the Greek.

“The tongue destroys a greater horde,” The Turks assert, “Than does the sword.”

The Persian proverb wisely saith: “A lengthy tongue, an early death.”

Or sometimes takes this form instead: “Don’t let your tongue cut off your head.”

While Arab sages this impart: “The tongues great storehouse is the heart.’

From Hebrew writ this saying sprung: “Though feet should slip, ne’er let the tongue.”

The Sacred Writer crowns the whole: “Who keeps His tongue doth keep his soul.”

(cf. Proverbs 21:23

— Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

The Ninth Sunday after TrinityHistoric Series

Old Testament Lesson: Proverbs 16:1-9 – Ask God to Bless Your Plans

1A person may have thought things through in his heart, but an apt answer from his tongue comes from the Lord.

All of a person’s ways are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs motives.

Commit what you do to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

The Lord has made everything for his own purpose, even a wicked person for a day of trouble.
Anyone with an arrogant attitude is disgusting to the Lord. Be sure of this: he will not go unpunished.
Through mercy and truth, guilt is atoned for, and through the fear of the Lord, one turns from evil.
When the Lord is pleased with a man’s ways, he causes even his enemies to live at peace with him.

Better a little with righteousness than a large income without justice.

A person’s heart plans his way, but the Lord makes his steps secure.

Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 10:6-13 – Be Careful Not to Fall.

Now these things took place as examples to warn us not to desire evil things the way they did. Do not become idolaters like some of them—as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to celebrate wildly.”And let us not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell. Let us not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and so were being destroyed by the serpents. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them grumbled, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 All these things that were happening to them had meaning as examples, and they were written down to warn us, to whom the end of the ages has come.

12 So let him who thinks he stands be careful that he does not fall. 13 No testing has overtaken you except ordinary testing. But God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tested beyond your ability, but when he tests you, he will also bring about the outcome that you are able to bear it.

Gospel Lesson: Luke 16:1-9 – The Shrewd Manager.

1Jesus also said to his disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager who was accused of wasting his possessions. The rich man called him in and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you can no longer be manager.’

“The manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, since my master is taking away the management position from me? I am not strong enough to dig. I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from my position as manager, people will receive me into their houses.’

“He called each one of his master’s debtors to him. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘Six hundred gallons of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and write three hundred.’ Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘Six hundred bushels of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and write four hundred and eighty.’

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the children of the light are. I tell you, make friends for yourselves with unrighteous mammon, so that when it runs out, they will welcome you into the eternal dwellings.                               The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) © 2019

The Eighth Commandment

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray,

slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, think and speak well of him,

and put the best construction on everything.

(English text as published in the Concordia Triglotta, 1921)

How this commandment is transgressed.

–      He who conceals and suppresses the truth before a tribunal of justice;

–      He who compasses another man’s injury by falsehood and deception;

–      Here belong the vicious flatterers, tale-bearers, and the double-faced;

–      Also those who search the righteous life, deeds, and words of a neighbor for occasion to misrepresent and slander him;

–      He who gives ear to evil tongues and encourages rather than opposes them;

–      He who does not employ his tongue to protect the good name of his neighbor;

–      He who does not rebuke the slanderer;

–      He who does not make it his rule to speak well of everybody and to conceal what is evil;

–      He who fails to champion the truth but suppresses it.

How this commandment is fulfilled.

A peaceable, benignant tongue which hurts no one and benefits everyone, which reconciles adversaries, excuses and defends the maligned, in short, a conversation informed by truth and free from subtility.

Under this head belong all that is taught concerning our duty to speak or to be silent when the honor of God, the rights, the cause, and the salvation of our neighbor are at stake.

(Martin Luther on: A Treatise on the Law, Faith, and Prayer of 1520)

Calendar & Announcements for Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church

A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue), Springfield, MO 65810

Church phone: 417.887.0886                   www.zionluthchurch.com

Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244                email: revelehmann@gmail.com

You can also find us on Facebook















Next Sun.


9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

with Holy Communion online -Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study


9th Sunday after Trinity

(Pentecost 10)

 The Lehmanns will be out of town through Thursday. Confirmation Class recessed for summer.





No Midweek Bible Class this week.














9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

online – Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study



10th Sunday after Trinity

(Pentecost 11)


 A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

Money and wealth rule in today’s materialistic society. We would also admit that God has richly blessed each of us with many physical blessings—far more than we deserve. How we handle those blessings, whether in dollars or possessions, reflects our relationship with God. May we be inspired by God to use all His blessings in ways that are pleasing to Him and serve his purposes!

 The Gospel Lesson: Luke 16:1-9 (the answers are found on the back side)

  1. What is the main point of this parable?
  2. How is this point furthered by the statement “You cannot serve both God and money”?

Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (the Long’s son-in-law); Libya, Jodi Milam’s granddaughter; Barbara Long; Lois Wiese; Barbara Breidel; John, Elisha & Isaac Covey; Lucille Huston; Kathy Workentine, Glenn Schulz’s sister, diagnosed with a reoccurrence of cancer.

Forward in Christ’s next edition for August and Meditations next series of daily devotions beginning the end of August have arrived. There are copies in the narthex for family and friends.

Lord, May Thy Will Be Done By Us Today we continue on our journey through the Ten Commandments with Commandment #8. Each Sunday we will review a commandment and Martin Luther’s Catechism explanation of it. We would encourage each member and friend to read through the sections of each commandment from the Catechism the week before it is the sermon text for the day. What a good review of your precious confirmation instruction that would be! If you don’t have a catechism, see Pastor for one.  Next Sunday we look at the Ninth and Tenth Commandments together.

Upcoming Services and Events


The Week in Review

Last Sunday Worship: 25; Bible Class; 12   There was no Midweek Bible Class: ; Offerings: $.


                                                                        Next Sunday’s Lessons:               

10th Sunday after Trinity: Jer.7:1-11; 1 Cor. 12:1-11; Luke 19:41-48 (Historic Pericope Series); Commandments 9&10


Answer to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:

  1. This parable serves to encourage us to make good use of our money. How we use the money and possessions that God has given is a fruit of faith and will reflect our relationship with Him. By keeping a proper perspective on the blessings God has given, we will use them to serve His purposes and to support His kingdom here on earth.
  2. Worldly wealth and possessions are given by God to be used in His service. The God who gives the money must always be more important than the money that He gives.

This week I am praying for……


Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann