Faith Church

The Power of Your Words – Dan Christopher | Sermon from 5/10/2015

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Good morning!  It’s so nice to see you all on this wonderful Mother’s Day morning!  Happy Mother’s Day to all of you ladies!  Let’s hear it for the Mom’s.

Mom’s are a wonderful creation aren’t they?  Well today my message is going to deal somewhat with creation.  Before I begin, I want to use a song entitled “Because of Who You Are”  because this song also has something to do with creation and relates to what I’m going to talk about.  Pay close attention to the words, especially at the very beginning of the song.

Do song.  Isn’t that a great song?  Lord we praise you just because of who you are.  I wanted to start with that song because I wanted to talk about something in the word of the very first line of that song.  What was the first line?  Were you listening?  It said “You spoke the words and all the worlds came into order”.  That phrase relates to Genesis chapter 1 where it says:

“1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

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

There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.  Oh . . . sorry.  That last part isn’t in Genesis.

Do you see the connection to the lyrics of the song?  The song started with “You SPOKE the words, and all the world came into order”.  And the Bible verse said  “And God SAID, let there be light and there was light.  Verse 6 goes on to say:

“6 And God SAID, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”  And verse 9:

“9 And God SAID, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”

And so it goes in Genesis Chapter 1.  God created the world but how did He do it?  Genesis chapter 1 says He did it by speaking!  Isn’t that just a simply amazing thing to think about?  God created by speaking??? How is that possible?  Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to be there watching that happen?  Wouldn’t it be great . . . if we could do that?

Perhaps you’ve never thought about this, but, the scriptures also say something wonderful in Genesis 1:27.  In this verse it says:

“So God created man in his own imagein the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

I’m going to pause now for a dramatic effect so listen carefully . . .if we are created in God’s image, then does that mean than man can create too?  Think about this.  Of all of the other creations of God, what other creature besides man (be it bird, fish, or animal) makes much of anything other than a nest or a place to keep their young safe or maybe to camouflage themselves as protection from predators?  Now I’ll give you this, some of God’s creations make some pretty amazing nests.  Let’s take a look at a few examples: (Show pictures of Bowerbird nest, Amicta cocoon, termite mound, paper wasp nest)  Some of those are pretty cool, but again those are basically places to lay eggs, or to protect themselves.  Man is different.  Think about all of the things around us.  Man does create!  Men and women have created many things that have changed our world.  Thomas Edison said “let there be light” and there was . . . the light bulb.  Not quite as fabulous as the light God created, but not bad for a human. We have created bridges to connect land across the water.  In the beginning of creation, things were apparently too wet so God created dry land.  We have created clothes dryers, hair dryers, heaters and more to dry things when they are too wet.  Man has created many different kinds of machines, including planes, and trains, and automobiles.  Man has created many different kinds of buildings, and art, and musical instruments of all sizes, shapes and sounds.  Man has created computers and the internet, cell phones, and, and, and, the list is endless.  Man is made in God’s image and we DO create.

But let’s go on and dig a little deeper.  If we are created in God’s image, can we . . . create by speaking?  Well I don’t know about you, but if we can, the plan for lunch today just started looking a whole lot better . . . right?

Can we create by speaking?  That’s a crazy idea, isn’t it?  Could that be true?  Even when thinking about this as a possibility, I immediately became a little skeptical.  I mean, if we could create by speaking, wouldn’t we be doing it.  I’d be driving a Jagamaroadillac (combining all of the features of a Jaguar, Camaro and a Cadillac.)   If we could create by speaking, wouldn’t our entire world be filled and overflowing with junk?  Anything we could think of we’d make.  That would be a disaster.  And we’d likely become very lazy.  Instead of going ALL the WAY to the KITCHEN WAY over THERE to cook dinner, we’d just whip up some Chicken Cordon Bleu with sides of parmesan potatoes, tossed salad, and maybe some baked Alaska or something even fancier for dessert.

I shouldn’t have gone down that road, cause now I’m hungry.

Anyway, you see what I mean.  Many humans already tend to be greedy and somewhat lazy.  If we could create like God creates by speaking, it would be a HUGE disaster.

However, once I had asked myself the question, of whether we who are created in God’s image could create by speaking, I wondered if there is anywhere else in scripture that might hint that this could be true?

I thought about Matthew 17:14-20 that Pastor Andy preached on not long ago.  It says:

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.”18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can SAY to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

So Jesus says, that if we have faith, NOTHING will be impossible.  If we SAY to this mountain (note again a reference to using a spoken word) we can move mountains.

This gets right at the heart of what I want to talk about today.

We don’t know if Jesus literally meant we could move a mountain.  Maybe He meant it figuratively.  Life sometimes hands us big problems, big conflicts, big mountains people have made out of mole hills.  Maybe what Jesus meant is that with words we can move mountains (or that is to say) we could move (or solve) big mountains of problems with our words.

Maybe we can use our words to create, but not in the direct way that’s been implied so far in this message.

Words are not simply sounds caused by air passing through our larynx caused by certain movements of our tongue and mouth. Words have real power. As I said earlier, 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.   Many people have written or said interesting things about the power of our words.  Here are just a few quotes that I found particularly interesting:

Words: So innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.  – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Kind words do not cost much.  Yet they accomplish much.   – Blaise Pacal

“The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges, your words can create the most beautiful dream, or your words can destroy everything around you.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” -Mother Teresa

You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime. – Dale Carnegie

So we can see that unfortunately, there is a down side to having power in our words.  Although words can convey positive or encouraging information, the power of our words can also convey negative and discouraging information as well.  Words can destroy another’s spirit. Words can stir up hatred and violence.  Words have caused wars.  Words can not only rub salt in emotional wounds but can inflict wounds 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.

Proverbs 12:6 says, “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,  but the speech of the upright rescues them.”  So our words have the power to destroy and the power to build up. The first part of Proverb 18:21 tells us, “The tongue has the power of life and death”.  Are we using words to build up people or destroy them? Are our words filled with hate or love, bitterness or blessing, complaining or compliments, lust or love, victory or defeat? Do our words create laughter or tears?  Like tools they can be used to help us reach our goals or to send us spiraling into depression.

I think we all can relate to the idea that our words can do positive, good things or they can do harm.  However, I think there are also many uses of words that fall somewhere in between these two ends of the continuum.  Our words can be simple casual conversation or idle chatter to engage others in conversation.  In this case our words might neither be positive or negative.  Word can also be used for humor.  But even humor can be positive or negative.  Silly jokes might bring a smile to someone’s face or lift one’s spirit.

Q: What do you call a fake noodle?

A: An Impasta

Q: Why did the picture have to go to jail?

A: Because it was framed.
Q: What happens if you eat yeast and shoe polish?

A: In the morning you’ll rise and shine!

Q: “What’s the difference between a guitar and a fish?”

A: “You can tune a guitar but you can’t tuna fish.”
Sorry, sometimes I just can’t help myself.  Hopefully those feeble attempt at humor brought a little smile to your face.  But you know, humor also can be negative.  As Christians, our attempts at humor should NOT include dirty jokes.

Wanna hear a dirty joke?  Did you hear about the pig that climbed on top of the pig pen?  He rolled off and fell in the mud.  Oh that’s dirty!  That’s not really what I mean by dirty jokes but I know you know what I mean.

Just because you many have overheard a dirty joke at work doesn’t mean you should tell it to someone else.  Doing so might create a negative or offensive work environment and it might cause someone to think of you in a way that you may not want or they might even lose some respect for you.  If they hear you, a Christian, telling a dirty joke, they may begin to think that it must be okay and maybe they too will pass it on.

We need to THINK, REALLY THINK about how we use our words.  I’ve heard some people say that they’ve lost what, . . . lost their filters, right?  You’ve heard this.  I don’t think I buy that.  That kinda sounds like an excuse for someone to say whatever comes into their mind without thinking about the consequences their words may have on others.  All of us have the ability to think through the consequences of our words and our actions.

So, our words not only have the power to bring us life or death in this world, but can also impact what happens in the next world as well. Jesus said in Matthew 12:36-37, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned”. Words are SOOOOO important, that we are going to have to give an account of what we have said when we stand before our Lord in heaven.

The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. Being like Christ means we shouldn’t use foul, dirty language. For some reason, many people today seem to think it is macho or liberating to use vulgar humor, dirty jokes, and foul language, but this kind of talk should have no place in our conversations. Paul continues in the second part of the verse: “. . . but only let come out of your mouths “what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

So Paul is urging us to be a blessing to those with whom we have daily contact through the use of our words. As followers of Christ we should try to emulate the example of Jesus whose words were so filled with grace that the multitudes were amazed at His words.

If this is what is intended, then we should be careful with out words.  Positive, encouraging words can do amazing things.  But careless, or caustic words (sometimes even the tone of our voice or the manner in which we speak the words) can cause great damage.  Even if we take this to heart and try as hard as we can, every word that comes out of our mouths from now until we die is not likely to be a positive, encouraging word.  We’re human, we get mad, we get tired and irritable, we get frustrated and stressed and in those times our words may not match the intent of our hearts.

But ask yourself this question.  When you think about the words you used this week (at work, at home, in public, and in private), were the majority of your words positive and encouraging or negative and destructive.  I want you to think about that because if we are created in God’s image, and if we claim to be a follower of God (a Christian), shouldn’t at least the majority of the words coming out of our mouths be words for good?

I feel that I need to add one other area about the power of our words and then I’ll wrap up.  I want you to think about the words that you say to yourself?  Do you use words whether spoken or in your thoughts) that uplift and encourage yourself or do you put yourself down?  Do you tell yourself you’re not good enough?  Even these words must be considered.  After all, we are all God’s children and that means you and you, and you and me and we were all fearfully and wonderfully made.  Maybe we’re not just like everyone else . . . but maybe that’s for a reason.  God has chosen you so do not get mired down in self-doubt and self-loathing.  God created you and He loves you, and that makes you pretty special.

If you have any doubts about the power of our words, think about the impact that these four, short phrases may have had on you, either when you’ve said them or when they were said to you:

  1. I’m sorry.
  2. I forgive you.
  3. Great job!
  4. I love you!

Words do indeed have great power.  In conclusion, we have seen today that according to the scriptures, God creates by speaking.  God created man in His image.  What was God trying to do when He created man?  I think He was creating a being that He could fellowship with and have a relationship with.  So a lot of God’s creating was to create a nice place for us and then to create us to be with Him.  Because we are made in God’s image, man can create and man can create with words too.  And when we use those positive, encouraging words, aren’t we creating relationships too?  I think this is why we were given the gift of words . . . the power of our words.  How are you using your words?   Let us pray.

References

What does the Bible say about the power of words? http://www.gotquestions.org/power-of-words.html

The Power of Our Words -

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept08/vol66/num01/The-Power-of-Our-Words.aspx

HOW OUR WORDS IMPACT OTHERS

http://michaelhyatt.com/how-our-words-impact-others.html

 

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