And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XI, Number 43 September 21, 2008
In this issue:
October 5-10, 2008
lessons nightly, Mon-Fri at 7:00 PM
(From I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
Communication comes from a Latin word that means “to impart, share, lit. to make common” (Online Etymology Dictionary). Good communication is essential for strong relationships. When communication fails, relationships weaken and decay.
Nowhere is this truer than in the Lord’s church. Showing love, brotherly kindness and honor to one another, serving each other with patience and prayer, and addressing one another’s needs – all require communication in order to accomplish (Rom. 12:9-13). Christians who fail to communicate will often fail to behave as a Christian should. A lack of good communication weakens our fellowship with other Christians – and with God.
Trouble comes when communication stops. How often can the fracturing of fellowship be traced to a failure to speak clearly and listen carefully (cf. 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:1-3)? There are important things we must remember to do in order to be good communicators. Here are some of them.
When we speak we must:
* Speak the truth. “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another” (Eph. 4:25). Christians are members of one another in Christ. Therefore, we should not sin against one another by speaking lies.
* Speak plainly. Confusion reigns where there is ambiguity and vagueness of speech. “So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air” (1 Cor. 14:9). Brethren must speak the truth plainly. Some seem to never get to the point, as if speaking the truth plainly is offensive. It is not. Straightforward speech clarifies and advances truth (2 Cor. 1:18-19; Acts 20:20).
* Speak to help and not hurt. “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword; but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (Prov. 12:18). Many are adept at hurting others with stinging words but never learn to speak in ways that comfort, edify and strengthen (see Col. 4:6). Your words reveal your intent to either help or hurt others.
* Choose our words carefully. The Bible says to be “slow to speak”, indicating the wisdom of carefully choosing our words instead of speaking rashly (Jas. 1:19). “Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few” (Eccl. 5:2). Verbal restraint is a mark of wisdom: “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Prov. 10:19). Some seem to be experts on everything and do not hesitate to share their expertise; they are verbose and obnoxious. Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps his mouth shut (Prov. 17:27-28). Those who are wise avoid impulsive words that lack helpful insight.
This is not an exhaustive list of what to do when we speak, but it is a start. We must be aware that what we say and how we say it affects whether we effectively communicate with one another. Controlling the tongue to speak good things is evidence of a heart that is under control. It shows that one wants to fairly and accurately communicate in order to impart good things. (Next week: Being good listeners.)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:57-64
Without God’s word, man would be lost without a compass and drowning without
a lifeline! (Jer. 10:23) Psa. 119:57-64.
I. DENY AND DOUBT IT, Gen. 3:1-6.
A. Denial and Doubt Lead to Disobedience, 2 Tim. 3:16-17; cf. Acts 13:44-45. (Heb. 4:2)
II. TRY TO GET YOU TO “LOSE” IT, 2 Kgs. 22:8, 11, 13.
Through Worldliness, 2 Kgs. 21:9; Jno. 3:19-21; Gal.5:19-21.
III. MAKE IT VOID THROUGH THE TRADITIONS OF MEN, Matt. 15:1-9.
By Convincing us that our Opinions are Equal to God’s Will, Col. 2:8, 20-23;
3:16; Gal. 1:8-9.
IV. CROWD IT OUT OF OUR LIVES, Lk. 8:14.
Through the Cares of the World, Materialism and Desiring Other Things (Mk.
4:19; Lk. 8:14 (Deut. 6:6-9).
Conclusion. The devil wants people to think word of God is a dead letter (He. 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:22-25).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:25-27
John’s life teaches us lessons about faith, conviction, sacrifice, truth,
and the powerful persuasion of truth (11:2-15).
I. REACTIONS TO THE WORDS OF JOHN, Matt. 11:16-19.
A. Some saw John
as a Curiosity, 11:7-8 (1 Pet. 2:9; 4:3-4).
II. REACTIONS TO THE WORKS OF JESUS, Matt. 11:20-24.
A. His Works
were Rejected, Jno. 10:37-39.
III. THE LORD’S INVITATION, 11:25-30.
A. God’s Plan:
Reveal His Will to the Humble in Heart, 11:25-27 (Matt. 13:11-13); Jno.
1. There is no wisdom
in rejecting the truth.
Treasure that does not Fail
This has been a wild week on Wall Street, with financial institutions going under, being taken over and being bailed out. The U.S. government is proposing guarantees, loans, bad debt relief and more – all in an effort to stabilize the nation’s financial system. Time will tell whether these measures help or hurt. Invariably, nations rise and fall – and the cycle repeats itself. There is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9).
Which is one very good reason not “to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). Jesus noted that wealth fails, yet we must be faithful in our use of it while realizing our true wealth is in heaven (Lk. 16:9-12).
Many people are anxious over the current economic climate in this country. This is not new. People in the days of Jesus were anxious about material possessions. Jesus warned against being distracted from seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. He confidently said the Father knows our needs and will supply our needs. Our priority must be to loyally serve God (Matt. 6:24-34).
We have been given the kingdom of God; what greater wealth is there?! Jesus said, “But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys” (Lk. 12:31-33).
Money bags that do not wear out do not hold material riches; they hold the treasures of heaven. Salvation and eternal life, being a child of God, fellowship with the Almighty: these are among our riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19). Treasures in heaven will never fail. Where is your treasure deposited? (Matt. 6:19-21)
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 09/23/2008
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA