Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jesus' Words and My Life

Last year our Pastor challenged us to read through the Gospels over and over while we were studying discipleship. We're finished studying discipleship but I'm still cycling through them because what's better than studying what Jesus did? 

I've been searching lately to add to and remove from my words. I want my speech to bring honor and glory to God (Pro. 31:26) and speech can be such a powerful weapon for good or bad. 

So when I found four references in one chapter of Luke on what kinds of words Jesus spoke I sat up (figuratively speaking) and paid attention. 

photo courtesy of master isolated images/

1. Jesus spoke gracious words.  Luke 4:22 (Gracious is one of my "code" words for God's lady so I was really excited to see this describing the words that Jesus spoke.) Gracious= favorable, kind, excellent

I should be gracious to my children when I talk to them. Even instruction and correction can be (and should be) given graciously. I should be gracious to my husband. Why do we so often forget that these "rules" apply to those we love the most? I should be gracious to everyone who comes into contact with me whether at the grocery store, the doctor's office or the library. 

Are my words really excellent? Do I use a lot of slang? Am I sloppy and careless in what I say about others? Do I say mean things to be funny? 

How would others characterize my speech? What about when people are irritating me or my children are misbehaving or I'm tired? My speech should be gracious in each occasion. 

2. Jesus spoke powerful words. Luke 4:32 I need the Holy Spirit's power in my words. I can speak words of life to my children as we go throughout our day and as I correct them but only God can use those words to move their hearts. When I give out the Gospel my words are only powerful through the filling of the Holy Spirit.  Only God can show Himself through simple language. God can use words of encouragement in a powerful way in someone's life but only He can do that! 

Do I pray about my speech? Do I ask God to use my voice to speak for Him? God chose to use human voices to tell others about Him and I *think* He's willing to help us. 

3. Jesus spoke rebuking words.  Luke 4:35 The only people under my circle of judgement are my children. I rarely rebuke anyone else (with some exceptions like kids at church if I'm the adult around; if I were in charge of something, etc, etc.). But it is essential that some of my words are rebuking words. My children are sinners. My words should reveal their sin to them and point them to God. I must confront them with God's truth.  

Am I consistently confronting my children with their sin? Not just to change their own behavior but to show them that they need Jesus? If I don't rebuke the sin in their lives then they will think it's ok. Rebuke is essential in their shaping. 

4. Jesus spoke preaching words. Luke 4:44 No, I'm not a preacher. But what about proclaiming the truth? That's what preaching does, right? I am to proclaim the truth to my children. I need to teach them what the Bible says and how it applies to them. I am to proclaim truth to my husband. We discuss life. He asks my opinion. My words influence him. I want them to proclaim truth. 

Do I carelessly comment on other people's methods, my children, or parts of my life in ways that make God look bad? If my opinion or what I'm saying doesn't match up with the Bible, then I shouldn't be saying it! What about when I whine about how hard I work? Am I proclaiming the truth that children are a blessing and His grace is sufficient? No, I am saying that God's ways don't work.

Jesus really is our example. I'm seeing that over and over and over as I reread the Gospels. His life is a motivating- and challenging- example to follow. 

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