Posts Tagged ‘The Word’

Life-giving Words

June 2nd, 2014

“The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life.” John 6:33 NIV.

Wise is the one who realizes when enough has been said.

My thoughts and comments today are about “life-giving words.”

All of Creation began with a simple word. “God said, ‘Let there be . .  and there was . .“ See Genesis 1:1-3 NIV. “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which were seen were not made of things which are visible . . In the beginning the Word already existed . . without Him nothing was made that was made.” Hebrews 11:3/John 1:1-3 NKJV.

Words are powerful. Words inspire great achievements. Words communicate much more than information. Words touch more deeply than the mind. Words penetrate deeper and endure longer. Words generate powerful emotions and actions. Using the example of a ship and its rudder, he wrote, “A tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. So also is the tongue . .” James 3:4-5 NLT. “We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way.” James 3:2 NLT.

James wrestled with the complexity of words for good or bad, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” James 3:9-10 NIV. With words, love is expressed; promises are made; hearts are healed; friends are restored, comfort is offered; but also, truth can be compromised; hearts are broken; misinformation is shared; accusations are made; blame is given; friendships are fractured; misunderstandings happen; wars are started. Words can enhearten or dishearten, affirm or accuse, and heal or wound.

Use your words well and wisely, but speak them always with truth and grace. ”Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17 NKJV. See Psalm 55:21 NKJV. There is a time and place for truth or grace, usually best with both. Knowing the difference requires wisdom and sensitivity. Jesus voiced grace and understanding to sinners, but spoke straightforward truth to the self-righteous. Let this be your example: “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” Psalm 6:63 NIV. Jesus’ words are life-giving. Let yours be life-giving as well. See Proverbs 16:23-24 NLT/Romans 14:19 NIV.

The Bible provides wise advice: “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:6 NKJV. When I read Paul’s words, I see my Mom in her kitchen cooking. As she cooked, she would occasionally taste what she was preparing, savoring it momentarily and then adding what was lacking in the slightest measure. She tasted her cooking before she served her family or guests. That’s a good practice with your words. Wise is the one who realizes that sometimes, before much or anything is said, enough has been said. See Proverbs 17:28 NLT.

Here’s the practical, definitive answer: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O God, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that your conversation honors God and edifies others.

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The Christmas Mystery and Miracle

December 23rd, 2013

“Great is the mystery . . God was manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16 NKJV.

No word from God is incredible, if no work of God is impossible.

My thoughts and comments today are about “the Christmas mystery and miracle.”

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, mysterious and miraculous in every aspect. The living, eternal God came into our world – at the most unexpected time, after four hundred silent years; to the most unlikely place, a stable in Bethlehem; in the most unlikely form, a baby. You don’t have to explain the mystery; God invites you to simply embrace the miracle. Paul described this incredible but true Christmas miracle this way, “Without controversy great is the mystery . . God was manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16 NKJV.

The heart and reason for Christmas is best expressed in the most familiar of Scriptures, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16-17 NIV. Bethlehem’s cradle foreshadowed Calvary’s cross. Isaiah prophesied, “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.” Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV. Christmas is when the Father gave us His Son; the Cross is where Jesus gave us Himself as our Savior. See 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NIV.

John described this history-changing moment with these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life and that life was the light of men . . He was in the world, and though the world was made by Him, the world did not recognize Him . . The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” Read John 1:1-17 NIV. The “Word” that John describes so eloquently is none other than Jesus, God’s Son. The mystery is that Jesus “became flesh;” the miracle is that He “made His dwelling among us.” Accept the mystery; believe the miracle. Jesus is, “Emmanuel . . God with us!” Matthew 1:23 NIV.

Let me remind you of the already familiar story of how this came about. Read Luke 1:26-38 NLT. An angel appeared with a startling announcement to Mary, a young, devout, not yet married, Jewish girl. Understandably, she is described as, “confused and disturbed,” by the angel’s words. Those would be normative emotions. She had questions because the miracle was wrapped in a mystery.

The angel’s cryptic answer was simple, “For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.” Luke 1:36-37 AMP. Read again the verse above; the Amplified Bible accurately translates the Greek words used by ancient translators. Simply stated, the Angel assured Mary – and you and me – no word from God should be thought incredible to you, when no work of God is impossible to Him. Incredible, but true! See Isaiah 55:11 NIV.

Jesus is the embodiment of the Word of God and the Word of God is the faithful expression of Jesus.“Search the Scriptures . . which testify of Me.” John 5:39 NKJV. The power of God flows from the word of God, then and now. While Jesus lived among us, He spoke to nature and the wind and waves obeyed; He spoke to disease and sickness departed; He spoke to sin and forgiveness flowed; He spoke to spiritual oppression and demons fled; He spoke to death and life returned. No word from God shall be without power nor impossible of fulfillment – spoken to Mary or to you!

My prayer for you today is that you never fail to see the miracle because of a mystery.

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