Words (5/29/16)

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Sermons | 0 comments

Jim Kier with Pastor Jim

Jim Kier with Pastor Jim

Sticks and stones can break my bones…  But can words hurt?  Even more importantly, can words Help??? 

Lay Speaker Jim Kier helped us see the power of words during his sermon of 5/29/16.  Jim was filling in for Pastor Jim Bolton who is on vacation.

 

 

Click the below “Play” button and scroll down to follow along (the recording is from the 11:00  service)…

 

Our scripture reading was from Luke 7:1-10.  Open the below drop down box to follow along.  The New International Version is shown…

Luke 7:1-10

1 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum.

2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die.

3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant.

4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this,

5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.”

6 So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.

7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.

8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”

10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

 

Spoken into Existence!

Today’s message came from a sermon Rev. Bolton gave several weeks ago. What he said has been rolling around my mind. The background came from the creation words in Genesis. Gen. 1:3…

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

We continue with verses 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29….  Everything was Spoken into existence!  And God said… and it was!

And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”  So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 

God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning — the second day.

(Gen 1:6-8) 

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.”

And it was so.   God called the dry ground “land,” (Gen 1:9-10)

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”

And it was so. (Gen 1:11)

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years. (Gen 1:14) 
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” (Gen 1:20) 
God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” (Gen 1:22)
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.”

And it was so. (Gen 1:24)

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”   (Gen 1:26)
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”   (Gen 1:28 )
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.  (Gen 1:29)

 

In every example God’s word is completed. We see how God works.  When Pastor Jim said “God SPOKE all creation into existence.” My mind started and has been thinking about the magnificent power of God’s words.

God works in mysterious ways. Pastor Jim doesn’t use a schedule for his messages, but for this Sunday I relied on the Lectionary (which is a list of suggested scripture readings for each Sunday). When I read the passage listed for today, I was amazed at how it  fit perfectly with what had been going around in my mind.


 

God’s Words are Powerful

We’ve seen how God spoke creation into being.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Over and over again we see examples of the power of God’s Words…

The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.
The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

I could go on;  there are many references where angels have spoken God’s word to us.

God’s words of joy, the birth of Jesus, words of warning take the child to Egypt.

Sometimes it is a message we want to hear, at other not so much and then those that we would love to have not heard at all.

Our scripture today shows how with the spoken word Jesus healed the slave and He did it from a distance. Jesus healed many people just by speaking.

Yes, we have examples of miracles being performed by ordinary people, such as casting our demons, I don’t know of anyone who through the spoken work had the ability to speak material objects into existence, only God the creator can speak material items into existence.

 

Our Words can be Powerful

But do you and I possess the power of the spoken word?  My mother’s words were powerful, and they taught me a lot of lessons.  Here are some examples of how we can be shaped by words; 

My mother taught me___.

RELIGION

“You better pray that stain comes out of the carpet.” 

LOGIC

“Because I said so, that’s why.” 

FORESIGHT

“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

IRONY

“Keep laughing, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

STAMINA

“You’ll sit there ’til all that spinach is finished.” 

WEATHER

“It looks as if a tornado swept through your room.”

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE:

“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION:

“Stop acting like your father!”

ENVY:

“Millions of less fortunate children in this world don’t have a Mom like me!”

 

There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have a wonderful Mom like you do!
My mom used this last one to get me to finish my dinner, eat all on your plate there are hungry people in the world.

I must admit that those of you who knew my mom you know how great she was, but I heard several of these as I was growing up.

 

One more saying:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.”

How many of you have heard this?

How many agree with that statement? How many disagree? How many are not voting?

You may remember things that people said to you in the school that still bother you today–still intimidate you.

 

The Bible Claims the Power of Words

I want to share some ideas by Keith Axsom, Keith enjoys writing devotionals and articles for A History with God Ministries. In a paper called “What Really Happened At The Cross” he shares these ideas…

God’s word has given us everything we need to lead happy, prosperous, fulfilling lives. In the word is clarification of what we need to do to live abundantly and fulfill God’s will for ourselves, and enrich others in the process.  

Throughout the bible, God is either speaking (God said), or telling us how to speak (say to the mountain). Herein is a key to living a successful life as is laid down in the word.  I believe that when you realize how powerful your words are, you will speak in a way that will put you on the path to the abundant life that Jesus spoke of.

When I began this study I did a word count of the critical words connected with the spoken word, all taken from the King James edition. Generally speaking, a word repeated many times indicates there is something important that the Lord wants to get across to us.  For example, the word “speak” occurs 623 times in the bible.

  • … “Spoke” or “Spoken” appears 282 times,
  • …  the word “word” 1,179 times.
  • …  the word “say” occurs 2,414 times
  • …  and the word “said” a whopping 3,619 times!
  • For a total of 7567 references.  

Contrast this with some other important biblical themes:

  • “grace” occurs in the bible 159 times,
  • “faith” occurs 336 times and
  • “save” also occurs 336 times 

(this is very interesting in itself as it is our “faith” in Jesus which “saves” us…but that is for another study).  

Due to the multiple permutations of “speak” and how many times they appear in the word tells us that the very act of speaking is an important biblical theme…

So if the Bible contains over 7000 references to “word” or “say” or “speak”, what is the Bible saying?  Here are a few examples

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  (John 1:1)

Jesus Christ is the Word, and the bible is the word. You have heard many sermons on this verse. Rev. Rodney Buchanan a Methodist minister, says.” The most important words in the entire Bible are these: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

This is the great truth that sets Christianity apart from all of the other world religions. Our God has not remained remote and unapproachable, he has come to us in person. He did not just write us a letter. He did not just send us a representative. He did not just speak his laws from a mountain. He came to us as one of us.”


The following verses speak directly to us and our use of words.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”   (Proverbs 18:21)

This emphasizes how critical our words are. I can’t think of any more important subjects which “death” and “life”, and they are in the power of the tongue!  The words that we speak will bring life or death depending on which words we choose to use.


Out of the same mouth bring cursing and blessing.

My bretheren, these things ought not to be.”   (James 3:10 )

We can curse others, or curse ourselves with our words. We can also bless others, or bless ourselves with the same tongue. What we speak has power and we need to learn how to speak and how to use our tongue to our benefit.  God has shown us what to do in his word.


“My son, give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes, keep them in the midst of your heart.

For they are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”    (Proverbs 4:20-22)

God directs us to listen to his words and his sayings. God’s words have power. In essence, words have creative power for life and all that goes with it. This includes health, prosperity, well-being.


You may have noticed that whenever I am asked to speak I use a lot of scripture. If you were listing scripture today you probably needed a legal pad. I use scripture because the power that is imparted in God’s words, NOT MY WORDS “do not come back void, and will accomplish the purpose for which they have been intended.”

Scripture is not, “just” words, they are health; they are life. Speak them until you know them.  Renew your mind as you speak God’s words.

But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.’”  (Romans 10:8)

The word here means utterance, any sound produced by a voice, a thing spoken. In other words, it is out loud. Words are tied to our faith. It takes faith to speak words of confession, words of proclamation, words of edification. The spoken word verbalizes our heart’s cry and confirms our soul’s desire.


For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”   (Romans 10:10)

Keith Axsom comments on this verse.

The act of accepting Jesus as Lord requires a heart conversion. This verse emphasizes the importance of confessing, or speaking out what has been transacted within our heart. So both heart belief and confession are important parts of the conversion.

 

The mouth speaks and confirms what the heart has believed. This confirmation shows the change which has occurred in our heart. The heart change is confirmed by the words that we speak. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

 

If you want to be healthy, you confess health. If you want to be wealthy, you confess wealth. As a believer, you are entitled to both. Speak what you want.

 

If what you want lines up with the Word, it has already been provided for and you need to lay claim to it. Speak it out loud. Disregard the circumstances, or just the things you can see, taste, smell, hear and feel.

 

That is how the world looks at things, and it is carnal. God’s word is spirit, and it is truth. If God says it’s yours, then it’s available to you. Start speaking what you want. Don’t stop until you have it.”

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him I will confess also before my Father who is in heaven.”   (Matthew 10:32)

This provides more support for the power of the spoken word. Jesus says that we should confess our belief in him before men. He will then speak to the Father regarding us. Jesus is pleased by the confession of our reliance on him.

Our spoken word confirms our heart belief. What we say has power…at least God thinks so. You and I are going to stand before God with Jesus as our mediator; we need to be faithful to the call he has given us.

Ezra was a man who made the Word of God his ruler. His story is in the book of Ezra.  He measured his life by the Word of God, and when he applied that ruler and made it his way of life, it helped him to live like God wanted him to live.

 

Words Aren’t  just Air- They Have Real Power!

I went online and asked the Question: “What does the Bible say about the power of words?

I don’t know who wrote this but I like it and I will conclude with it…

Words are not simply sounds caused by air passing through our larynx. Words have real power. God spoke the world into being by the power of His words, and we are in His image in part because of the power we have with words.

 

Words do more than convey information. The power of our words can actually destroy one’s spirit, even stir up hatred and violence. They not only exacerbate wounds but inflict them directly. Of all the creatures on this planet, only man has the ability to communicate through the spoken word. The power to use words is a unique and powerful gift from God.

 


Quiz Time!

As you reflect on what you’ve just heard/read, give this quiz a try.  If you don’t understand an answer (or if you disagree with the “correct” answer, post a comment)…

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