On this blog, occasional short videos are post.
This link goes to a longer video, but it is a good homily, or sermon.
One of the topics covered is the power of words and how things can sometimes be expressed correctly or incorrectly. The book of James covers this in Chapter 3.
James 3:1 Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. Anyone who doesn’t stumble in word is a perfect person, able to bridle the whole body also. 3 Indeed, we put bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, and we guide their whole body. 4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so big and are driven by fierce winds, are yet guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot desires. 5 So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest! 6 And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna. 7 For every kind of animal, bird, creeping thing, and sea creature, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind; 8 but nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in the image of God. 10 Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send out from the same opening fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, yield olives, or a vine figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh water.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and don’t lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
The Apostle Peter (also known as Simon Peter and Simon Bar Jonah) illustrated this common human problem. One minute he received commendation from Jesus, and then later Jesus said to him, “get thee (“thee” is an old English word meaning “you”) behind me, satan” as Peter did not understand the reference to the coming cross.
Matthew 16: 13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 They said, “Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.”20 Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.
21 From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you.”
23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds.28 Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
In today’s world, it is particularly important to understand the power of watching words, not only from the side of “us” watching our words, but also from the side of listening to other’s words.
You want to know if “someone is lying”.
You want to know if someone is lying about a car you are thinking of buying…particularly if you are buying it from an ad in Craigslist or Facebook and not from a dealership that would become legally responsible for lying.
You want to know if someone is lying about a house you are thinking of purchasing or renting. Are there any problems that you need to know about? Going through certified real estate agents provides some protection due to laws in place.
You want to know if someone is lying to you about something that will affect your health.
You want to know if someone is lying if he says there is no God (Jesus is real) or that there is no hell (heaven and hell are real).
You want to know if someone is lying about many things. You only have so much time, energy, health, talents and money and you need good information to make good decisions on how to use everything God has given you. And, you only have one soul and you want to make sure it goes to heaven after death.
When it comes to making decisions about natural things, this is why people read reviews. People are more than happy to give their opinion about something. And, by reading multiple reviews, you get a good sense about the topic.
There are two things to watch out for. One is the one negative person that no matter how good a “whatever” is, a product, an event, “whatever”, there is that one reviewer who gives a terrible review in spite of multiple positive reviews. Watch out for that and question “why”. Did they get the one lemon in the batch? Are they getting paid to give a negative review or paid to give information that contradicts so many other people? Is the reviewer seeking honor from someone or a promotion and afraid to tell the truth?
Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no wise guidance, the nation falls,
but in the multitude of counselors there is victory.
Sometimes we are not seeking information about something that we want to purchase, but rather, we are seeking information about something that will affect our lives.
This is where we have to watch out for “group speak”. This happens a lot in the mainstream media. There have been videos made placing 20 or so newscasters up against each other and they all appear to be reading from the same teleprompter saying virtually the same thing.
God made man in his image. And so we have the ability within us to sense if we need to be careful. People call this different things…intuition, the gut feeling, go with your gut, common sense, or in scriptural terms for believers who have been born again by the Spirit of God, the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, and gifts of discernment.
In terms of regarding and analyzing the many words we hear a day, we need to employ this sense of discernment using the Bible as our foundation. If we hear words like “a man can be a woman or a woman can be a man”, we can say, No, because God created them male and female. There weren’t 57 varieties.
And so, sanctified common sense, intuition, go-with-your-gut knowledge, based on the knowledge of the Biblical scriptures can get us through, as well as godly counsel. If we don’t feel peace, we need to find out from God, why? Am I about to make a bad decision? Is this not the right course? Why do I not feel peace basing my decision on words that were spoken to me? Am I off track with God? Is God warning me? This is the purpose of prayer…to talk to God and to listen to his answer. This is the purpose of the Bible…to read and find answers in Words that were spoken by Jesus or words that were spoken by holy men inspired by the Holy Spirit. You can find the answer in prayer, in the Bible, or you may be directed to an answer that comes another way…through a person’s sermon or conversation, a writing, a godly book or some kind of information that comes to you some other way that may give you the answer. If it’s a car, you might be directed to a good mechanic.
Even beyond what has been said already, some people are very capable of deceiving others. In the garden, Adam and Eve talked with God. They were as “in synch with God” as could be, so to speak. And yet satan deceived them. They were “as in tune” as they could be, yet they fell. How much more so should we be careful today.
Words matter. Pay attention to words, your own and others. And if something seems questionable, find out why. It some cases, it might pay to do an actual background check, particularly if you are thinking of taking on another individual in a significant role, such as a business partner or a babysitter for your child. If it is important enough, it is worth the time and money to do the check.
In real estate there is a certain level of question that, if a person asks it, they are instructed to talk to an attorney. In life, if the questions are important enough, you might want to do some significant checking to find out if the words spoken to you are true.
Regardless of things others have told you, about Jesus, the New Testament tells us about Jesus. Read it through. Start with the book of John. Start with the New Testament. Read John Chapter 3. Read Romans Chapter 10.
Words matter. Be sure you have listened to and understood the correct ones.
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