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

Episode 12 · 1 year 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 mefor a moment a world without words. There would be no books, nomovies, there would be no TV, there would be no signs. Wordsprovide us away to find a depth of meaning to our life experience that justnothing else can. And as we try and wrap our mind around what's goingon in our world today, we've got to try and find words to putmeaning, to try and find purpose in everything that's happening. And maybe thewords 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 justseems like everything is spiraling out of control. These are words and phrasesthat we use to try and find purpose, try and find meaning in what wesee, and maybe what we see today is quite different than what wesaw a couple months ago. Member, back in two thousand and nineteen andwe were looking ahead to your two thousand and twenty. It's going to bea 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, verydifferent. Maybe for you or your friend or someone you know. How doyou find meaning? How do you find purpose? How do you wrap yourmind around put words to that experience? Maybe you were investing heavily in yourkids, who were excited for them in school and then their sports and allthe things that they are involved in, and now, and just a coupleweeks you're wondering are they going to go...

...back? Is it safe to goback? See when our world gets turned upside down like it did and itwill again sometime in the future, what kind of words, what kind ofmeaning, do you put to what you're experiencing? And that's what this seriesis all about. Live with purpose. I believe that there is a purpose, a meaning that you can live for, that we can live for, thatgoes beyond anything that we experience here in this life, any anything thathappens to us. There is something deeper, some greater purpose that we can livefor, we can experience. And so, if you're joining us forthe 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 thatchurch phone number. We'd love to connect with you and help you in anyway that we can connect you to God's next step for your life and Iwould encourage you to go to connect US church dot org to catch up onthe first two messages of this series. The first one we talked about howa greater purpose to live for is a purpose of being united, of beingone and man. If we look at our world today, is so dividedon so many issues, so so many people on both sides of the fencetrying to say, you know, their right and the other ones wrong,and and they're just fighting for so money things. But Jesus, two thousandyears ago, prayed that his followers would be one, that they would beunited, and as a church we want to pursue that, we want togo 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. Andit's not just unity with one another...

...but, as Jesus talked about inthis passage, we looked at its unity with the father and the son andthe Holy Spirit. And God invites you, he invites me, into this beautifulrelationship 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 purposeof humility, of being humble, that, no matter what we think is rightand 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 realizethat 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 toGod, the more we try and follow him, the more that we tryand live for him, the more we realize just how flawed we really are. And so God, in his perfect ideas, perfect will for us andfor the world, had this plan that he was going to send his perfectson, Jesus, to die in our place, to be in our place, to be in our substitute, so that we could be healed, sothat 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 whatJesus 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 witha great purpose that's almost shaped by the power of our words, but thewords that we use to describe our situation, our life today, change the waythat we ex variance, that we understand, that we find this greatmeaning, 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'realmost 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 likethis on show social media describing our year. He says, my plans, the Year of two thousand and twenty, the year of vision. It's goingto 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 happensand it doesn't turn out the way that you thought it was going to seehis two thousand and twenty the worst year ever? Or has it been agood year with significant challenges? Same situations, different perspective, different words? SoI'm wondering, how would you describe Your Life Right now? Just acouple words for ten year, a teenager getting home and your parents ask you, Hey, how was today? How was work today? How was schooltoday and you've got your famous one word answer. It was good, it'sright, it's fine, terrible. I'm wondering what's your short one or twoword answer to answer the question how is your life today? Take a minuteand in the chat what words described life right now? Take a moment,warm up those fingers, get in the get in the chat, share yourthoughts and I will be back in just a few minutes. So words notonly describe the situation that we are in, they shape the way that we arein, and the Apostle Paul had a lot to say about the useof our words. The Apostle Paul was a religious Jewish leader back two thousandyears ago. He lived during the time of Jesus and when Jesus ascended intoheaven, he's appeared to this man Paul...

...on the road and literally knocked himoff his horse, and since then his life was completely different. He wasa follower of Jesus, he pursued Jesus, he he loved Jesus and tried tolive out Jesus teachings. And Paul also wrote down much of what Jesuswas teaching him and as he was writing it to the different Christians that hewas meeting, and one of the letters that he wrote and sent was tothe church in Ephesus, and really it was passed around to the churches inthat area. And Paul had a lot to say about the words that weuse. Let's take a look at some of these words that Paul has forus 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 sinby letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you arestill angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you area thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good, hardwork and then give generously to others in need. Don't use foul or abusivelanguage. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your wordswill be an encouragement to those who hear them. And don't bring sorrow toGod's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember he has identified you as hisown, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of Redemption andget rid of all bitterness, rage, anger harsh words and slander, aswell as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God, through Christ, hasforgiven 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 ifyou leave today trying to curse less and use better words, I will havefailed in my job this morning. See, Paul wants us to use our wordswisely, but he recognizes that what comes out of our mouth really startsfrom the heart, and so he sets these practical tips about words within thecontext of how to live your life, of a transformational life, change thatcomes 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 arelationship between what you believe and what you do and the type of person youare and the words that come out of your mouth. So the things thatyou accidentally say you didn't mean to say, oftentimes come from somewhere that you maybemean it more than you think you do. And so that's why Paulstarts this section about these words by starting to talk about life change. Thisis where he starts. He says, with the Lord's Authority, I saythis. Lived no longer as the gentiles do. See, we're talking aboutwords, but Paul's talk about living no longer as the gentiles do, forthey are hopelessly confused. Paul's writing to Christians and he says, don't livelike those who are gentiles. Now, a gentiles, anybody who isn't aJew. And so what's funny? He is, Paul's writing this letter toa 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, andthe word gentile has been came to be used to describe anyone who wasn'ta follower of Jesus. And so what he's saying is is, as aChristian, as a follower of Jesus,...

...you can live differently than others.And so he says, for they are hopelessly confused, those without Christ thoseare who are not follower Jesus, are hopelessly confused. Now, of course, Paul wrote this this these words, not in English, but he wrotethem in Greek, and and this word that is translated here in the newliving translation as hopelessly confused. It's a word that was used to translate aHebrew word from the book of ECCLESIASTES, that that book is all about meaninglessness. Everything is meaninglessness, and that word vanity, meaninglessness, emptiness, that'swhat this word was used to describe, to use to translate. And sothe idea here, and I think a great way of understanding what Paul sayinghere, is that we they are hopelessly confused, they are feeling like thereis something empty, that there is something missing, and maybe that's you inthis 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 whatPaul is saying here. And he goes on and he says their minds arefull of darkness and they wander far from the life God gives. He's playingoff this idea of this emptiness, this missing out on something, that thatthere'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 thenlife should be great, life should be wonderful, there should be an amazinglife that this God gives us if he's there, if he's real, andso why aren't I experiencing that? Why does it feel so empty? Whydoes it feel so devoid of purpose?...

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

...does this look like? Paul bringsus back to our subject today, are words, and he says that whatcomes out of our mouth is really what is in our heart, and sowe are looking for this life, change, this new life that God can giveus, and from that we speak better. We don't necessarily learn howto 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 thisis what those things look like. Paul says, stop telling lies. Easiersaid than done. Right, stop telling lies. Maybe we have incentive oftentimesto hide some of the truth, or maybe you just completely disregard it alltogether. You know, when someone asks you, Hey, did you finishthat project? Or Hey, what did you do today? Or how aboutthis one? How are you really how are you doing? You know howwe answer these questions can be different based on the situation or the circumstances thatwe 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, Ibelieve there is power in the truth. There is power in the truth,and unfortunately, truth has become something so difficult in our world, in ourculture today, you know, world of fake news and fact checkers. whogets to the side what is really true? And how do we know that whatwe're being told is really the truth? So we might not be able toinfluence what other people say, but...

...we do have the ability to tryand control what we do say and the truth that we tell. We needto 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 thesame body. I love what Paul does here. He says you can'tcontrol them, but you can stop telling lies. And why would you dothat? Because you're not going to tell lies to your neighbors. You're notgoing 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 bebeneficial to us and we'll try and say this thing in order to get somethingin 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 betrue 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 thatyou speak to them. The second thing that Paul sells us to do withour words is and don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let thesun 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 thatwe 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 whatyou say? When you meet someone new, what motivates you to engage in aconversation with them? Do you make...

...time for them? Do you truereally care to listen to them, or do you have your kind words thatyou say and then move on with your life? Or when you get homefrom a long, frustrating day at work and your spouse or your children cometo you, and how are your interactions with them? Is Everything fine,is everything good, or it was the worst day ever? And I can'tbelieve she said that in my bosses and and because of that, you areand I can't believe you did that and you forgotten. And do we letour anger control you, control us in the daytoday circumstances that we find ourselvesin, and there's absolutely things that we should get rightly angry at. Weshould. But here's the question. What controls you? Are you allowing thatanger 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 wedo. Paul has some practical advice to make this possibly. Says don't letthe sun go down on your anger. And so many of us have yearsworth of sunsets on the anger that we hold inside, and Paul says thatshouldn'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 yourlife. The adversary wants to get into your life and and what weknow about the devil is that he is the father of lies. And sowhen we start lying, when we start abandoning truth, we're really living intothe devil's plan for for our life and...

...for the world, and it doesn'tlead to good places. Jesus tells a illustration. He says the devil islike a thief that comes to kill, steal and destroy. He wants todo that in your life and we can't let him get a foothold in ourlife. So we want to deal with what's inside. We want to dealwith 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'snot as clear with our words, but you'll see in a second. Hesays, if you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use yourhands 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 manyways it is. But we all have hands and we have hand. Manyof 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 dowith your hands? If you describe yourself as a thief, you'll be athief. But if you take those very same hands that cause you to steal, those very same hands can be used for great, great purposes, forhard work and generously giving to others in need. So it's oftentimes the verythings that are so negative in our life so just tear us down and makeus cause us do the wrong thing. oftentimes it's those very things that Godwants to use to heal, to redeem and to restore, to use forhis great purpose. In Your Life. See The way that you frame asituation, describe a situation, really changes. It shapes the purpose, the meaningin 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'rea thief? Then the more you say that over, the more you saythat 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 abusivelanguage 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 othersituations. Don't say those words to God or to others, not to yourkids, not at work, not at school. Don't use foul or abusivelanguage. Instead, let everything you say be good and helpful, so thatyour words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. See, ifwe just try and use not well, if we try and use the rightwords all the time, if we try to avoid certain words, try andnot say certain things, and will never get anywhere with that. There's toomany 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 anencouragement, to be helpful, to be good, then we can focus moreon what God wants us to do rather than what he tells us not todo. Because words are so abstract, right. I mean, is itreally a lie? Is it not a lie that I did I say somethingfound, 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'reat on that spectrum when it comes to our words. But the more wetry and focus on how to be an encouragement, how encouraging was what Ijust said, how helpful was what I just said, that changes the waythat we live. And so that's practice.

What is an encouraging word you cantell someone today in the chat, for our final time together in thechat? What is an encouraging word you can tell someone today? Get someonein mind and practice saying something encouraging to them and I'll be back to wrapit up. Communities die one toxic sentence at a time. Relationships die onetoxic 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 hurtfulor harmful or could be more encouraging, could be better, please listen tothem because what we say, what we think we're saying. We wouldn't sayit unless we thought it was the right thing to say or the good thingto say. But what we say oftentimes doesn't translate a hundred percent into whatother people here and so let's be open to when other people have feedback forus to say, Hey, I think your words aren't so kind, theyaren't so helpful, they aren't so good, and and just be open and honestthat, you know, sometimes we don't get it right and we saythe wrongs thing. And so when we do that, Paul tells us thatwe bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way that we live. AndI don't know about you, but when I say something that causes someone Ilove 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 worstfeeling in the world. And Really, is that what you say cause someoneto have such a reaction, so negative and it's not good. It's notgood and I'm sorry for that, but...

God has that kind of relationship withyou, he wants to have that kind of relationship with you. And andthe 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 wordsthat you use, the words that I use, he says, remember thathe has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved onthe day of redemption. God has identified you as his own. God hasthis relationship with you as that person that loves you. God loves you evenmore than that has. It wants to have of even better relationship with youthan that person that is so close to you. God has that, he'sidentified you as his own, and what we say really, really matters toGod, and he's saved us to the day of redemption. Like God gaveeverything to purchase you, to be with you, to have a relationship withyou. He gave his own life. Jesus died for you in your placeso that you could have a right relationship with God, as you believe inJesus Christ, and he has this kind of relationship with you and what yousay really matters to God. And so here's Paul's advice. What we shoulddo in situations when we don't get it all right, we feel in thisway. He says, get rid of all bitterness. We get bitter.Get rid of all rage and anger and harsh words and slander, as wellas all types of evil behavior. Let's let's throw that off. That's theold self. Let's get rid of all of that and instead, here's whatwe should do. Be kind to each other, tender hearted, forgiving oneanother, just as God through Christ,...

...has forgiven. You see, whenwords 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 fullof Raige, full of anger, uses harsh words or and the slanders people, it hurts people. It hurts people. Sometimes we just feel like we needto say things, we need to get it out, we just needto clear the air, we just need to express our thoughts, we justneed to get it out there. I just need to get it out becauseI'm so angry. But what's the best? And to dope for that, forthat feeling, for that desire is it to really get it out,or is it to forgive? Believe God wants us to forgive. Forgive oneanother. If we forgive one another, our words will be so much betterto them. If we need to forgive, just as God, through Christ,has forgiven you everything that you've done to wrong, God, to hurtGod, God has already forgiven you. He's forgiving you for everything you've donein the past, everything you're doing right now, when everything that you willdo in the future, it was all taken care of and all paid foron the Cross by Jesus Christ. He has forgiven you. So we needto forgive one another. Sometimes the most powerful words we could ever ever sayis I'm sorry, I'm sorry, will you please forgive me? It takeshumility to say that, and out of...

...the same mouth that causes so muchhurt and so much pain and so much division can also come so much healingand so much restoration. God did that for you, and so let's dothat for other people. No matter what happens in your life, you canuse your words in powerful ways. In many ways, you can shape theworld in which you live by the words that you use. You can livewith 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 sothat what comes up out of our mouth brings life, brings healing andbrings encouragement.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (79)