The Power of Words
Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 12 · 2 years ago

The Power of Words

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Words are powerful. Shape your world with the power of your words. May God change our hearts so that what comes out of our mouths brings life, brings healing, and brings encouragement. Find purpose.

Words are powerful. Imagine with me for a moment a world without words. There would be no books, no movies, there would be no TV, there would be no signs. Words provide us away to find a depth of meaning to our life experience that just nothing else can. And as we try and wrap our mind around what's going on in our world today, we've got to try and find words to put meaning, to try and find purpose in everything that's happening. And maybe the words that come to mind as you think about the world today is you say, man, this is a crazy place, or maybe you're saying like it's just seems like everything is spiraling out of control. These are words and phrases that we use to try and find purpose, try and find meaning in what we see, and maybe what we see today is quite different than what we saw a couple months ago. Member, back in two thousand and nineteen and we were looking ahead to your two thousand and twenty. It's going to be a great year and you had a great meaning, a great purpose in mind. You had that great job and you are experiencing success in many ways. And then just fast forward a few months later and things look very, very different. Maybe for you or your friend or someone you know. How do you find meaning? How do you find purpose? How do you wrap your mind around put words to that experience? Maybe you were investing heavily in your kids, who were excited for them in school and then their sports and all the things that they are involved in, and now, and just a couple weeks you're wondering are they going to go...

...back? Is it safe to go back? See when our world gets turned upside down like it did and it will again sometime in the future, what kind of words, what kind of meaning, do you put to what you're experiencing? And that's what this series is all about. Live with purpose. I believe that there is a purpose, a meaning that you can live for, that we can live for, that goes beyond anything that we experience here in this life, any anything that happens to us. There is something deeper, some greater purpose that we can live for, we can experience. And so, if you're joining us for the first time today, we're so glad that you are here with us. I connect US church. Please engage in the comments and texture named to that church phone number. We'd love to connect with you and help you in any way that we can connect you to God's next step for your life and I would encourage you to go to connect US church dot org to catch up on the first two messages of this series. The first one we talked about how a greater purpose to live for is a purpose of being united, of being one and man. If we look at our world today, is so divided on so many issues, so so many people on both sides of the fence trying to say, you know, their right and the other ones wrong, and and they're just fighting for so money things. But Jesus, two thousand years ago, prayed that his followers would be one, that they would be united, and as a church we want to pursue that, we want to go after that, we want to fight for that unity that can come. We want to fight for that big purpose, live for that big purpose. And it's not just unity with one another...

...but, as Jesus talked about in this passage, we looked at its unity with the father and the son and the Holy Spirit. And God invites you, he invites me, into this beautiful relationship and it's an awesome one unified relationship with God that you can have. And then the second part of our series we looked at this big purpose of humility, of being humble, that, no matter what we think is right and looking at the world around us, you know you're not always right. Imagine that you're not always right. And so what happens when you realize that what you thought was right wasn't right? Can we be humble to recognize that? And we also looked at this idea that the closer we get to God, the more we try and follow him, the more that we try and live for him, the more we realize just how flawed we really are. And so God, in his perfect ideas, perfect will for us and for the world, had this plan that he was going to send his perfect son, Jesus, to die in our place, to be in our place, to be in our substitute, so that we could be healed, so that we could be made righteous because of Jesus, not anything that we do, because we all know that we all fall short, but because of what Jesus has done. So we want to live with that great purpose of unity, that great purpose of humility, and today we talked about this living with a great purpose that's almost shaped by the power of our words, but the words that we use to describe our situation, our life today, change the way that we ex variance, that we understand, that we find this great meaning, this great purpose with the words that we use. And so, to illustrate that, you may be seen a cup like this before your you're almost all the way done drinking it,...

...or maybe you've just started drinking it. Is The cup half full or half empty? It's the same cup, same situation, different perspective, different words. Or maybe you've seen a meme like this on show social media describing our year. He says, my plans, the Year of two thousand and twenty, the year of vision. It's going to be a great year. I got this, I'm ready to go. It's going to be the best. And then two thousand and twenty happens and it doesn't turn out the way that you thought it was going to see his two thousand and twenty the worst year ever? Or has it been a good year with significant challenges? Same situations, different perspective, different words? So I'm wondering, how would you describe Your Life Right now? Just a couple words for ten year, a teenager getting home and your parents ask you, Hey, how was today? How was work today? How was school today and you've got your famous one word answer. It was good, it's right, it's fine, terrible. I'm wondering what's your short one or two word answer to answer the question how is your life today? Take a minute and in the chat what words described life right now? Take a moment, warm up those fingers, get in the get in the chat, share your thoughts and I will be back in just a few minutes. So words not only describe the situation that we are in, they shape the way that we are in, and the Apostle Paul had a lot to say about the use of our words. The Apostle Paul was a religious Jewish leader back two thousand years ago. He lived during the time of Jesus and when Jesus ascended into heaven, he's appeared to this man Paul...

...on the road and literally knocked him off his horse, and since then his life was completely different. He was a follower of Jesus, he pursued Jesus, he he loved Jesus and tried to live out Jesus teachings. And Paul also wrote down much of what Jesus was teaching him and as he was writing it to the different Christians that he was meeting, and one of the letters that he wrote and sent was to the church in Ephesus, and really it was passed around to the churches in that area. And Paul had a lot to say about the words that we use. Let's take a look at some of these words that Paul has for us about words in effesions. Chapter Four, he says this, he says so, stop telling lies. Tell us, let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good, hard work and then give generously to others in need. Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And don't bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of Redemption and get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God, through Christ, has forgiven you. So there are so many...

...good things here in these passages, so many truths about our words that we need to dive into. But if you leave today trying to curse less and use better words, I will have failed in my job this morning. See, Paul wants us to use our words wisely, but he recognizes that what comes out of our mouth really starts from the heart, and so he sets these practical tips about words within the context of how to live your life, of a transformational life, change that comes from following Jesus Christ, and so that's where I want to start, because Jesus says that out of the heart the mouth speaks. There is a relationship between what you believe and what you do and the type of person you are and the words that come out of your mouth. So the things that you accidentally say you didn't mean to say, oftentimes come from somewhere that you maybe mean it more than you think you do. And so that's why Paul starts this section about these words by starting to talk about life change. This is where he starts. He says, with the Lord's Authority, I say this. Lived no longer as the gentiles do. See, we're talking about words, but Paul's talk about living no longer as the gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Paul's writing to Christians and he says, don't live like those who are gentiles. Now, a gentiles, anybody who isn't a Jew. And so what's funny? He is, Paul's writing this letter to a bunch of gentiles and he's saying, don't live as the gentiles do. It's like I am a gentile, Paul. What he's saying here is, and the word gentile has been came to be used to describe anyone who wasn't a follower of Jesus. And so what he's saying is is, as a Christian, as a follower of Jesus,...

...you can live differently than others. And so he says, for they are hopelessly confused, those without Christ those are who are not follower Jesus, are hopelessly confused. Now, of course, Paul wrote this this these words, not in English, but he wrote them in Greek, and and this word that is translated here in the new living translation as hopelessly confused. It's a word that was used to translate a Hebrew word from the book of ECCLESIASTES, that that book is all about meaninglessness. Everything is meaninglessness, and that word vanity, meaninglessness, emptiness, that's what this word was used to describe, to use to translate. And so the idea here, and I think a great way of understanding what Paul saying here, is that we they are hopelessly confused, they are feeling like there is something empty, that there is something missing, and maybe that's you in this season of life, that you just feel like something isn't all there, something is a little empty. I'm I'm missing out on something. That's what Paul is saying here. And he goes on and he says their minds are full of darkness and they wander far from the life God gives. He's playing off this idea of this emptiness, this missing out on something, that that there's dark there's a lostness, trying to travel, trying to find meaning, trying to find purpose, and he's saying they wander from the life God gives. See, I think we all want to live this great, great life. We believe that, hey, if there is a god, then then life should be great, life should be wonderful, there should be an amazing life that this God gives us if he's there, if he's real, and so why aren't I experiencing that? Why does it feel so empty? Why does it feel so devoid of purpose?...

That's what he's saying here, that they wander so far from the life God gives. He goes on and says their minds are full of darkness. They wander from the life God gives because, because, why, they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. Notice where this comes from. Where is the battle of meaning, Battle of purpose? It's in their mind and it's in our hearts. In our mind what we think about, the words that we think about, and our hearts are feelings, the words that we use to describe how we're dealing with this. They have no sense of sin, shame, Paul continues. They live for lustful pleasures and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But here it is Paul saying to you, but that isn't what you learned about Christ. See, there is something different, there is something more, and it comes from Christ, he says, since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the spirit where renew your thoughts and attitude. Renew your thoughts and attitude, renew your thoughts and attitude and put on your new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy. See, no matter where you are in your relationship with God, God has something new for you to put on. So I'm wondering right now, what is something new God has put on you? Take a few minutes in the chat and answer this question and I will be back in just a few minutes. What is something new God has put on you? So what...

...does this look like? Paul brings us back to our subject today, are words, and he says that what comes out of our mouth is really what is in our heart, and so we are looking for this life, change, this new life that God can give us, and from that we speak better. We don't necessarily learn how to use our words better, but we become better people as God changes us, transforms us, and from our mouth better words flow forth and so this is what those things look like. Paul says, stop telling lies. Easier said than done. Right, stop telling lies. Maybe we have incentive oftentimes to hide some of the truth, or maybe you just completely disregard it all together. You know, when someone asks you, Hey, did you finish that project? Or Hey, what did you do today? Or how about this one? How are you really how are you doing? You know how we answer these questions can be different based on the situation or the circumstances that we find ourselves in when we're asked those questions. But which answer is true? Which one is is real? Maybe sometimes we use partially true answers, but is partially true as good as a hundred percent true? See, I believe there is power in the truth. There is power in the truth, and unfortunately, truth has become something so difficult in our world, in our culture today, you know, world of fake news and fact checkers. who gets to the side what is really true? And how do we know that what we're being told is really the truth? So we might not be able to influence what other people say, but...

...we do have the ability to try and control what we do say and the truth that we tell. We need to tell our neighbors the truth. Look what Paul says, stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. I love what Paul does here. He says you can't control them, but you can stop telling lies. And why would you do that? Because you're not going to tell lies to your neighbors. You're not going to tell lies to the people that are in this with you see, when we see people as just pawns to manipulate, and if we think that, we try and use words to make them do this thing because it'll be beneficial to us and we'll try and say this thing in order to get something in return, then of course lyings on the table. Anything's on the table. But if there are neighbors, then what we say is going to be true and it's going to be helpful, going to be empowering to them, and so a simple label of how you view people can change the way that you speak to them. The second thing that Paul sells us to do with our words is and don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry. Don't sin by letting anger control you. Oftentimes when we get angry, we get crazy with the things that we say. We get out of control with the things that we say. And so here's the question. What controls you? Do we let anger, or are other feelings inside control you? Control what you say, influence what you say? When you meet someone new, what motivates you to engage in a conversation with them? Do you make...

...time for them? Do you true really care to listen to them, or do you have your kind words that you say and then move on with your life? Or when you get home from a long, frustrating day at work and your spouse or your children come to you, and how are your interactions with them? Is Everything fine, is everything good, or it was the worst day ever? And I can't believe she said that in my bosses and and because of that, you are and I can't believe you did that and you forgotten. And do we let our anger control you, control us in the daytoday circumstances that we find ourselves in, and there's absolutely things that we should get rightly angry at. We should. But here's the question. What controls you? Are you allowing that anger to control you? And if so, Paul says don't let that happen. We need to let God control us and what we say and what we do. Paul has some practical advice to make this possibly. Says don't let the sun go down on your anger. And so many of us have years worth of sunsets on the anger that we hold inside, and Paul says that shouldn't be don't let it control you. Deal with it, work it out. Why? Because anger gives a foothold to the devil, a foothold, a place of entry, a starting point. The Devil wants to get into your life. The adversary wants to get into your life and and what we know about the devil is that he is the father of lies. And so when we start lying, when we start abandoning truth, we're really living into the devil's plan for for our life and...

...for the world, and it doesn't lead to good places. Jesus tells a illustration. He says the devil is like a thief that comes to kill, steal and destroy. He wants to do that in your life and we can't let him get a foothold in our life. So we want to deal with what's inside. We want to deal with the anger inside when the Holy Spirit deal with US and change us. Paul goes on for a third way, with our words, and this one's not as clear with our words, but you'll see in a second. He says, if you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good, hard work and then give generously to others in need. On on the surface, this is a lot about what you do your way. Yet you live the actions that you make, and and and in many ways it is. But we all have hands and we have hand. Many of you are good with your hands. And how do you use your hands? How do you view your hands? How do you describe what you do with your hands? If you describe yourself as a thief, you'll be a thief. But if you take those very same hands that cause you to steal, those very same hands can be used for great, great purposes, for hard work and generously giving to others in need. So it's oftentimes the very things that are so negative in our life so just tear us down and make us cause us do the wrong thing. oftentimes it's those very things that God wants to use to heal, to redeem and to restore, to use for his great purpose. In Your Life. See The way that you frame a situation, describe a situation, really changes. It shapes the purpose, the meaning in that whole situation. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what words do you use to describe what...

...you see? Do you say you're a thief? Then the more you say that over, the more you say that over, the more it becomes and shapes who you find yourself to be. So Paul tells us this advice. He says don't use foul or abusive language ever, not to yourself, don't ever tell yourself foul or abusive things, and don't use those kinds of words to describe anyone else or any other situations. Don't say those words to God or to others, not to your kids, not at work, not at school. Don't use foul or abusive language. Instead, let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. See, if we just try and use not well, if we try and use the right words all the time, if we try to avoid certain words, try and not say certain things, and will never get anywhere with that. There's too many things that we can't say but if we learn to be an encouragement, if we learn to try and say the right thing and try to be an encouragement, to be helpful, to be good, then we can focus more on what God wants us to do rather than what he tells us not to do. Because words are so abstract, right. I mean, is it really a lie? Is it not a lie that I did I say something found, that I say something abusive? Maybe it was a little bit, but maybe not so much. It's so hard to kind of pinpoint where you're at on that spectrum when it comes to our words. But the more we try and focus on how to be an encouragement, how encouraging was what I just said, how helpful was what I just said, that changes the way that we live. And so that's practice.

What is an encouraging word you can tell someone today in the chat, for our final time together in the chat? What is an encouraging word you can tell someone today? Get someone in mind and practice saying something encouraging to them and I'll be back to wrap it up. Communities die one toxic sentence at a time. Relationships die one toxic sentence at a time. Friendships die one toxic sentence at a time. You know, if someone tries to point out that what you say is hurtful or harmful or could be more encouraging, could be better, please listen to them because what we say, what we think we're saying. We wouldn't say it unless we thought it was the right thing to say or the good thing to say. But what we say oftentimes doesn't translate a hundred percent into what other people here and so let's be open to when other people have feedback for us to say, Hey, I think your words aren't so kind, they aren't so helpful, they aren't so good, and and just be open and honest that, you know, sometimes we don't get it right and we say the wrongs thing. And so when we do that, Paul tells us that we bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way that we live. And I don't know about you, but when I say something that causes someone I love to cry, to have experience deep sorrow, that that recks me. Now I can remember a specific situations where that has happened and it's the worst feeling in the world. And Really, is that what you say cause someone to have such a reaction, so negative and it's not good. It's not good and I'm sorry for that, but...

God has that kind of relationship with you, he wants to have that kind of relationship with you. And and the words that we say to others that aren't encouraging, that aren't good, they bring sorrow in the same way it makes God cry. And the words that you use, the words that I use, he says, remember that he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. God has identified you as his own. God has this relationship with you as that person that loves you. God loves you even more than that has. It wants to have of even better relationship with you than that person that is so close to you. God has that, he's identified you as his own, and what we say really, really matters to God, and he's saved us to the day of redemption. Like God gave everything to purchase you, to be with you, to have a relationship with you. He gave his own life. Jesus died for you in your place so that you could have a right relationship with God, as you believe in Jesus Christ, and he has this kind of relationship with you and what you say really matters to God. And so here's Paul's advice. What we should do in situations when we don't get it all right, we feel in this way. He says, get rid of all bitterness. We get bitter. Get rid of all rage and anger and harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Let's let's throw that off. That's the old self. Let's get rid of all of that and instead, here's what we should do. Be kind to each other, tender hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ,...

...has forgiven. You see, when words aren't used wisely, when you words aren't used well, we get bitter. They cause just hurt and pain to build up. When someone is full of Raige, full of anger, uses harsh words or and the slanders people, it hurts people. It hurts people. Sometimes we just feel like we need to say things, we need to get it out, we just need to clear the air, we just need to express our thoughts, we just need to get it out there. I just need to get it out because I'm so angry. But what's the best? And to dope for that, for that feeling, for that desire is it to really get it out, or is it to forgive? Believe God wants us to forgive. Forgive one another. If we forgive one another, our words will be so much better to them. If we need to forgive, just as God, through Christ, has forgiven you everything that you've done to wrong, God, to hurt God, God has already forgiven you. He's forgiving you for everything you've done in the past, everything you're doing right now, when everything that you will do in the future, it was all taken care of and all paid for on the Cross by Jesus Christ. He has forgiven you. So we need to forgive one another. Sometimes the most powerful words we could ever ever say is I'm sorry, I'm sorry, will you please forgive me? It takes humility to say that, and out of...

...the same mouth that causes so much hurt and so much pain and so much division can also come so much healing and so much restoration. God did that for you, and so let's do that for other people. No matter what happens in your life, you can use your words in powerful ways. In many ways, you can shape the world in which you live by the words that you use. You can live with a great purpose that you shapes your world by the power of your words. There is power in what you say, so may God change our hearts so that what comes up out of our mouth brings life, brings healing and brings encouragement.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (108)