THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 3-16-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD'S PECULIAR PEOPLE: A PECULIAR SPEECH"
Good morning! Thank you for joining us today for God's Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week, and I hope your weekend was a profitable one also.
Now, here we are on another glorious Lord's Day morning. What a wonderful opportunity we have again today to join together in the worship of our Redeemer. I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.
As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible's handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let's begin by talking to our Father in prayer!
At this time, we want to sing our first song of the morning. Won't you all join in with the congregation at this time as we praise God together with the hymn, " To Canaan's Land I'm On My Way."
(SONG # 1)
Wonderful things happen in all of our lives on a regular basis. In fact, I think most of us realize just how blessed by God we truly are. With this in mind, let me ask you to consider for a moment where you might fall in the following thoughts.
Think for a moment about the feeling you had the first time you met your one and only. Think about those feelings you had whenever you were together or whenever you were apart!
Think about that feeling you had when you walked toward him down that aisle or when she came toward you up the aisle to become your mate for life. Think about that feeling you had when you saw your first child, a wonderful creation and gift given from God.
Think about that first day of school, when you watched your child go into that big building all alone. Think about that day your son or daughter got married and left your home. Think about that day that you saw your first grandchild and held it in your arms.
Think about that day you stood by the hospital bed, as your loved one suffered. Think about that day you cried by the coffin as you lost your better part! Think about that feeling which makes all these moments possible and more special. Think about that human emotion which we are all blessed to share in. Think about Love!
No doubt one of the greatest privileges and emotions we share in this life is the ability to love others and to build special relationships. We get this ability directly from the one who loved us first, our creator, God the Father. John said, "We love Him because He first loved us," 1 John 4:19. John also confirmed the fact that, "God is love!"
Love is such a glorious and wondrous part of our lives. It is a feeling that we all share in and are made better by. Love is the foundation of everything and for everything in this life. Furthermore, love is the foundation of all spiritual things we share together as followers of God and with the Giver of all Himself!
Paul may have put it best as he was addressing the Corinthian church, when he said, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." Truly love is the greatest. Won't you chose to be like the Father and learn to love in all things, just as He loves us?
Our study this morning will again focus on, "God's Peculiar People." Our specific topic today is entitled, "A Peculiar Speech!" So please continue with us and in a few minutes I will return with this study of the morning. Now, let's join in our second hymn of the morning. The name of the song, "Lord We Come Before thee Now!"
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We're glad you've continued with us this morning as we again return to God's Word and look at a lesson concerning "God's Peculiar People." Certainly we know that we are special in the sight of God, that we are chosen and royal and in fact even called "the Priesthood of God." With this in mind then we want to continue to investigate different texts in scripture that help us to understand just why we are so special. Certainly if not understanding that God has picked us, if that were not enough, but there are many other reasons as well.
If you'll notice with me there beginning with Proverbs chapter 25 we are introduced to our topic of the day. It says, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." You can imagine an arrangement, a bouquet of flowers or something that is just gorgeous and beautiful, but yet it is actually made of something precious such as gold or silver. Then again the beauty of it is something that is compared to what? Words, words that are fitly spoken. To be fitly means that they fit into place. They are as they should be. They are exactly what is needed or required in a given situation.
We might also look there in chapter 15 or Proverbs and look together at verse 23 as it says, "A man has joy by the answer of his mouth and a word spoken in due season how good it is." Now again the same idea, a word that is used or a word that is spoken in due season, at the right time, in the right place is going to be a word that does what? That is fitly proper and exactly what it should be.
But on the other hand, what can words do? We can find just as many Proverbs that talk about how words can tear down or destroy or harm. And so it is of the utmost importance that we understand that as God's peculiar people that we also ought to have a peculiar speech. We are to be different. We are to stand out as those who when we talk are recognized as being different, not like everyone else, not using language like everyone else or involved ourselves in maybe the things that others might say or profanities or even euphemisms or whatever it might be, that our language sets us apart once again, distinguishes us as those who take a higher calling, a higher road. And someone certainly and instantly begins to realize there is something different about the way this person talks or the way they don't get involved or interact in those things that are being said that really should not be said.
With these things in mind then, I want you to look with me at perhaps one of the best passages I think in the New Testament that's trying to show us the root of the problem. You might notice with me there in the book of James. In James chapter 3, James does a great job of talking about a member of our body, which is the tongue. Although the tongue is very small and it fits into our mouth, what does it help us to do? Well it helps us to do several things such as taste or even to speak and to make the sounds that we make with our mouth, but specifically what he's talking about here is the ability to make words and therefore he says in verse 1 that "we should be those who are cautious as teachers because we will receive a stronger judgement." The word that he actually used here was "a stricter judgement." For we have spoken things with what? Our tongue. We have made words. We have had speech that actually not only affects our own salvation, but the salvation of others for they hear and what might they do? They might either obey and believe and follow or turn away from God. Verse 2 goes on to say, "For we all stumble in many things, but if anyone (what?) does not stumble in word (again that tongue) he is a perfect man able to bridle the whole body." So he gives us this great example and he says, "What about a horse?" A horse is controlled by a small bit in the mouth, maybe weighing 600-1000 lbs. or possibly even more. A horse is controlled by something very small. The next verse he says is a ship, a vast ship is controlled by a very small rudder in comparison to all those things that really are on the ship, the giant masses or the giant size. There again in verse 4 we see that the rudder is small but yet controls and maneuvers the entire vessel. Then in the next verse he talks about a fire. He says, "A small spark or a little fire can kindle a (what?) a great forest fire and destroy thousands and thousands of acres."
What does that tell us? Small things can have great effect. Small things like the tongue, like our mouth, like our words that seem so insignificant can either cause someone to be either so happy and excited and joyous and feel so good or on the other hand to feel so torn down and worthless and rotten and no good. You see our mouth is so powerful. We can speak things and do such good with them but at the same time, we can destroy. So therefore, he goes on to tell us that our speech must be right, must be godly and it can't be both ways. You know sometimes you meet that person who says, "I'm a child of God or I'm a Christian" and yet one minute they're saying something good or worshipping God and the next minute they are saying something ugly. Well that's exactly what he goes on to confirm here in the text. He says in verse 9, "With it some bless God and Father and then they curse men." Then it says, "This ought not to be so." How can we have speech on one hand that is godly or righteous or what it should be, but on the other hand it is completely the opposite of what God commands? What does that tell us? It means that we are not accepted by God, at least our speech is not accepted. It is rejected by God. Although we might say some good and do some good, but overall we have chosen to have a speech that is not special, that is not peculiar, that is not holy or righteous as God is, but a speech that is like the world and everything else.
Then he gives the example as to why. He says there in verses 11-12, "Well a spring doesn't put forth fresh and bitter water." He says, "A fig tree doesn't bear olives or a grape vine does not bear figs." So he says, "You know if you speak with your mouth and it is good and wholesome and righteous and those things that ought to be, people will know you're of God. But if you speak trashy or ugly or you use words that you shouldn't, people question if you even know God or have even any interest in God. So no wonder when we back up to passages like we've already looked at, we understand the power of words. We understand the power of things that are said.
Around the same passage there... We can go all the way back to Proverbs and find there in 23 and verse 7 that our heart is also involved. In fact, the text said that, "As a man thinks in his heart so is he, so is what he says, so is what comes forth, for that which comes out of the heart shows us what a man is all about." You know you might be able to fool some folks some of the time, some folks all the time, but you can't fool God. You can't fool God because God knows the heart and ultimately we can't fool everybody all of the time because what ends up happening? What is really inside eventually gets to us and we begin letting it out, don't we? Have you ever been surprised by a word a thing that someone said that you never would have thought they would have said and then all of a sudden you see them in a different light. One moment you've seen them in such an elevated way and you think, "I would love to be like that person." The next moment after you've heard what you not believingly heard then you're changed because now in your eyes they are something different.
A peculiar speech. A unique speech. A speech that shows us that our life, our service daily is about committing ourselves to God. That's exactly what the writers of the Bible continue to speak about and really investigate as they try to help different churches: Corinth, Ephesus and others to really know what it is to be those who speak and have the speech God requires as His special people. The speech again that shows us forth as God's elect not as our own.
Therefore, we would certainly read passages such as the first part of Ephesians 4:29 where it says, "Let your words be proper." Now it says to not let that corrupt communication then to come out of your mouth. Don't say things that you shouldn't. Don't use those profanities. Don't say those ugly words. Don't speak those jokes that you shouldn't speak in the sight of others. All those things that cause jesting or that gossip, any way that we use our mouths again as we read here can cause it to be considered as corrupt. That's the communication that we should not have, that we should not be involved in. We're going to look at this verse a little bit later again as we see really what it is supposed to be, but here specifically he warns the Ephesian church to get the corrupt and wicked talk out of your mouth because it does not profess one who is of God or who is striving to show forth godliness.
You and I don't have to think very hard on this. We certainly understand. We know that that's certainly the case for you and I have seen it in others and maybe at times been guilty ourselves. So yes, we learn here that no corrupt words, no corrupt speech, nothing ought or contrary to God should come out of our mouths.
So what must our speech be? There are about five or six things I want to mention just quickly. You might want to write these verses down because we might not certainly have the time to look at each and every one of them. But we find there first of all our speech should be true or trustworthy or that which is truthful in all. Now that's really important because how often today do people tell you things and then they don't fulfill it? How often do they say, "Sure I will," or "yes, I will," or "I volunteer," and then the next thing guess what. You get to do it anyway. Well, the Bible says, "Let your yeah be yeah or your yes be yes and your no be no," James 5 and verse 12.
You see, our words must be those that are counted on. In a sense we might say, "Take it to the bank," so they'll really know that what we are saying is something that will happen. Well, trustworthy. Our speech should be that which people can hear and believe it no matter what.
We also find in Colossians 4:6 another idea. It speaks there in this way. "Let your speech always be (what?) seasoned with salt that you may know how you ought to answer each one." Here it speaks as your speech as a seasoning. What is salt for? Well it is something that I use way too much of but when I put it on my food, I love the enhanced food that it gives the food, so I sprinkle it on there and the pepper. It's the salt that seasons and enhances that makes things better. That's the idea we're beginning to find out then. Our speech is not only to be trustworthy and truthful, but it is to be that seasoning salt, as we read here, that also may give the answer to someone that they need to hear. As we read back in Ephesians 4:29 that it might do what? Edify the hearer. Build them up. Make them feel better, and even make them possibly make them feel like a million bucks. Doesn't it make you feel good to make others feel good? Doesn't it feel good to know that you have caused someone to be happy? Certainly! Even though it might be in the smallest way. "You look nice today." "I like that shirt, that outfit." Or on the other hand how quickly someone by a snicker or a giggle can tear down.
So a true speech, a seasoned with salt speech, an edified speech as we've mentioned and then also a speech as we read in the book of Timothy that is to save self and others. Have you ever though about that? There in the book of 1 Timothy chapter 4 and verse 16, he encourages this young evangelist and he says, "Take heed yourself into the doctrine. Continue in them for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." Those who what? Hear you! Not just see what he is doing and practicing, but what they have heard from him. Now what does that cause? What is the outcome? That you will be saved and those who hear, that means unto obedience, will be saved as well. So our speech is now something that is in a whole other realm not only affecting us or harming someone or helping someone, but now saving someone and giving them an opportunity at eternal life. Well no doubt that's why Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and so many other places dealt with this same idea, the seasoned salt, the actions, the words that should be what they are.
There in Matthew chapter 12 and verse 37, I wish you would notice with me as again Jesus tells us ultimately why this is such as important topic. He says, "For by your words, you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned." By your speech, by the things that we say... I don't know about you but that puts a whole new light on it. It puts it in an almost scary realm that knowing everything I say, not only what I do, but everything I say I can be held accountable for. So what does that encourage me to do? It makes me want to see that all that I say is for the right reason, that all of my speech is unique and peculiar and special and God's way as God has instructed me to use it.
Then as we finally see in Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 14 beginning that "It is a speech as well that is not according to the trickery of men or those who are tossed to and fro or those who are deceitful in some way." But verse 15 says, "A speech that is taught in the truth." Speaking the truth. In what way? In love that we might grow up in all things, not only ourselves but all people. What is our speech about? God, the love of God. Speaking His truth. Being counted on and trustworthy, edifying, building up, encouraging as seasoned salt giving the answer to those that need the answer. Our speech is such that we are able to save ourselves and others that we come in contact with and Jesus said knowing that when we stand before Jesus Himself to be judged that by our very words and speech, we will be judged and by our words, we will find condemnation or justification, salvation or eternal damnation.
So you and I have that great privilege today and every day to make sure that we have the speech that we need, to clean our mouths out with soap, if need be, and to get right with God and make sure that today and everyday we strive to say those things and to do those things that bring glory and honor to His name that we might have a home in Heaven eternally.
(SONG # 3 - "Higher Ground")
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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May we strive every day to have a speech that is befitting of a Christian! And by this may we show forth the spirit of God in all that we say and do!