a glimpse towards Sunday 1.16.15


Words are so incredibly important. My children’s visible demeanor can rise and fall on words or the lack thereof. A person boasting a top love language of affirming words becomes a confident warrior with even the slightest encouragement. That same person can also become a pile of mush with a mere barbed comment. I know all about such dynamics.

You should see the wonderful cards I keep on my desk. One of my favorite Christmas gifts was a small wooden box filled with little pieces of soul-elevating papers. Those tiny notes are Godly application of healing ointment to my often tenuous self. I become easily impassioned with grateful words, and assume a fetal position with harsh words of criticism.

Words, most of the time, are worse than sticks and stones and better than money.

Biblically, words are important too. Our encouragement as Jesus followers is to speak with love. Our faith is proven by our loving, gentle, active words.

Paul teaches how our hearts of faith should overflow into words claiming Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10). It’s a stated, commanded, expectation of the very faith we claim. Words are a part of our commitment to Jesus.

Many will lazily gravitate to a religion settling for a bumper fish, a Christian tee, or a quiet, white-picket fence house as proof of their burial in Christ. Once praying a safe prayer NOT found in the Bible (“I accept Jesus as my personal Savior.”), the work is done and cruise control to heaven is set.

What Jesus actually requires is a death to self and a carrying of His cross. What Jesus actually asks of us are pointed and poignant words. Jesus requires a transformed heart, which believes in Him via attached words communicating such faith. Jesus will have wonderful, welcoming, congratulatory words for us someday in heaven, but He also requires words for and about Him as we live out our lives now.

On Sunday, we’re continuing our intentional slide into the New Year with thREe strategic words. We did the “REnew” thing on January 4th. Last week, we REiterated vision. This week we’re throwing out our privilege as Jesus followers to RElate the gospel to captives who need good news. Our text is Matthew 10:26-34. Just so you know, this is not an optional type of thing we’ll be considering.

We’re going to have great gatherings together at 9 and 11 a.m. You should bring a friend to this one. Bring a few good words to disperse as well. We’ll be challenged to sign another canvas of commitment as we apply commands to RElate the gospel.

It will be good to see you this Sunday. I’m excited about 2015 and all God is doing in, through, beyond Cumberland.


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