Program Air Date - 4-7-02



Thank you for joining us for the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning. It is always a privilege to have you with us for this time of offering to God. We welcome you to this service for our Creator. Today, we have the opportunity together to worship and praise our God. This morning we will glorify our Lord through songs of praise and through the study of His perfect Word. Won't you do your part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let's begin our praise to God in prayer.

This morning, I would like to let all the ladies know that there is a special Ladies Day planned for April 20, at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ - activities begin at 8:30 a.m. This year's the theme is, "My Cup Runneth Over." The speaker for this time before God is Rebecca Jorgensen, of Arnold, Missouri. I hope that all of you who are able will begin making plans now to be a part of this special day for Ladies.

It is time to begin our song of praise. Won't you join in with the brethren at this time as we sing the song, "There Is Sunshine In My Soul."

(SONG # 1)


We all like to please others and to receive recognition for it. There is nothing sweeter to our ears than hearing someone say encouraging words about us, because of kind and good things which we have done or said! How big our heads often swell when we are rewarded for our kind deeds or good actions. The only problem is, we often forget the one from who we should desire the greatest praise or acknowledgment - that being God! We usually forget that the one we should want to please the most is our God!

Even the Bible talks about how important it is that we please God. In fact, some things are clarified as being required, because without them we can not be pleasing to Him. Let's consider what the Hebrew writer said in chapter 11:6. There we read, "but without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Here we see that we can not please God without faith in Him.

Why then do we see so many who do not have a faith in God today, yet they claim to follow God? What is faith? In the same chapter, verse 1, we read, "now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Here we see that faith is something that is hoped for, that we really don't have concrete evidence to support. What do we mean by concrete? This means something that is solid or can be held in the hand. For example, we have faith or a belief in God, but we have never actually seen God Himself. You see this is the very essence of faith. Being able to believe in something despite the fact that we can't see it or haven't seen it with our own eyes. Another example which might help us to understand faith is when we think of a far away place like Africa. Now, most have never been there, but we have faith that it is there because we have those who have told us so - eye witnesses! Likewise, if we can't believe in God without seeing him, then we can not please Him.

Another important aspect of this faith is love. In 1 Corinthians the thirteenth chapter, we see that here love is discussed. In the opening verse we read that we can have a great faith, so as to do great things, but without love it is worth nothing. In verse 13 of the same chapter, Paul summed it up in these words, "and now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." Here we see that even greater than faith is love, so without love it would also be impossible to please our God. As you and I know - God is love!

Let's remember how important it is to please God above all else! As we have studied, let's keep in mind that faith and love are at the heart of pleasing our creator.

This morning we will again consider a lesson from our series on "The Christian Home." Our specific topic today answers the question, "How Important Is Communication?" So please stay with us through our next song and after that I will return with this study from God's Word. Now it's time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "We Praise Thee O God."
(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ray Sullins

Thank you for continuing with us this morning as we now have opportunity to look more specifically into the Word of God as we continue to deal with the topic of really looking at communication in our series on the Christian home. What better discussion I wouldn't really know of in our day and time than to talk about the Christian home when we look around in our day and time, our society and see such problems in the homes of those around us, such problems with divorce, and such problems with people not being able to get along and children, people having problems with their children, parents having problems. On and on and on we could go because people have stopped finding the basis for what they do in God and really the examples that God has left us.

You know if you look to the Bible and really throughout the New Testament as we see that Jesus came to the earth and He began to live and to do the will of the Father proclaiming the Word of God, we know that truly He was the great communicator. In fact, often He is referred to as the Master Teacher or one that was able to communicate beyond understanding. And there are so many examples that we have and parables, so many stories and illustrations, so many actual events where He was approached and questioned and He again would answer and sometimes Himself use questions. Over and over and over again we have examples of what a great communicator Jesus was, and I think this is important to our lesson today because it shows us how important communication is in our lives. Have we forgotten that really communication affects every part of our life? Whether it is work or school that you might go to every day, you have to be able to communicate with those around you. It doesn't matter you're talking about the person next door, that neighbor who lives next door, if you're going to have a decent relationship and be able to get along, there's going to have to be some type of an avenue of communication. Even if we talk about family and friends, there has to be communication there again to deal with situations sometimes and problems and things that might come up. Whether it be good things or bad things, we have to be able and willing to communicate.

Well, why would it be any different then in the Christian home? When we talk about husbands and wives, the need that they have to communicate between one another clearly in order that they might trust each other and know that we are sincere and love one another.

What about again parents to children? What about that importance of communication there? And again, the Biblical examples that we have that show us clearly that children are to obey their parents and to honor them and how are they going to do that unless they are able to communicate and talk with their parents as well as hear from their parents the things that they would have and need them to do. And on and on and on we could go in relationship to the Christian home in understanding that communication is so important.

But if you were to look in homes today, what type of communication do we find? Even in those who are Christians in the church. I think rather we usually find a lack of communication, a lack of discussing, of letting one another know what our thoughts and intents are, sometimes not even letting one another know what our daily activities are, not even so interested in knowing what our wife has done that day or our husband has done or what the children did at school. More interested rather in the television or radio or some type of activity or golf or sewing or something that we selfishly desire rather than to spend the time talking and getting to know each other and working through problems and issues and even good things as we live together in this world.

Well the fact is communication is a problem in all relationships and without good communication, I can assure you that no relationship can survive or will survive, and if there is no communication then there will be not only a problem, but greater problems because when we don't communicate we can't work problems out and we can't sort through the things that come our way on a daily basis.

There are several things from God's Word that we want to consider as we think about the power of communication. Think about how much it means when we say something. How great an effect it can have on those who hear what we say.

I want you to begin with me there with David in Psalm 119 and I want you to notice in verse 103 what he said about our words. In verse 103, he begins, "How sweet are your words to my taste. Sweeter than honey to my mouth, through your precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every false way." Notice here the importance and the validity that David puts towards this Psalmist, this great man of God, this king who was chosen and hand-picked by God. He says, "Your words are that which are sweeter than honey." They are special and unique and wonderful and "your precepts give me everything that I need." Well now you begin to see the great importance of words, how they can build us up and show us the way to go and let us know what we should do and how they can make people feel good.

On the other hand, words can also be used to destroy. Words can be used to tear down and harm those that we come in contact with.

I want you to go to the next book, the book of Proverbs, again a great man of God writing this book, a wise man. In Proverbs chapter 16 if you'll look with me first of all in verse 27, notice here what Solomon had to say. It says, "An ungodly man digs up evil and it is on his lips like a burning fire." Notice there from the heart, the idea and the concept of being evil or having evils within or thinking on things that are improper. When we do that, it says here that they burn on our lips and actually come out in things which really we should not say. They affect others because we again are harming and hurting others in what we say.

Now I want you to go back just one chapter to chapter 15 and notice again what this same wise man said there in 15 and verse 2 as he said, "The tongue of the wise is used in knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness." There again, a fool will only use his mouth in an improper way, an improper way that again harms or hurts or tears down.

I might also ask you to turn back several chapters again to chapter 12. You can obviously see that this is a situation of that day, a real problem because this man is dealing with it over and over. If you'll look with me though in chapter 12 and verse 17, notice here again communication. "He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit. There is one who speaks like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health. The truthful lips shall be established forever, but a lying tongue but for a moment." There again, when we use our mouth for good and glorious and wondrous things, oh how sweet and precious they are. Again, like honey. But as here we read again, Solomon says, "On the other hand, our words when they are wicked or wrong or evil or based in that which is contrary to God, they bring forth about every wicked and evil thing." They don't bring joy, but they tear down and they harm and they hurt and as the verse here says, "causes us to be considered as wrong and liars and improper before our God."

Well you might say then, "Well, just how powerful is my tongue?" How powerful is it when I communicate and when I use it for the good, or when I use it to the bad and I tear down? Well, I think James helped us with that. If you'll turn over in your New Testaments, and we'll look there into the Bible to see what James had to say. In fact, he spent a great deal of his time there in chapter 3 dealing with the tongue. Here again communication are those words that come out of our mouths as we talk with one another and as we say things, ask questions and so on and so forth. So when we talk about the tongue, we're talking about that very thing. If you'll notice in verse 2 of chapter 3 again in the book of James, he says, "Therefore, we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in the Word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body." You see, if you're able to control your words, you're able to control your whole body. You're able to do everything again according to what God would ask you to do. In fact, considered as perfect or complete before God. But then notice the power of the tongue mentioned as he goes on in verse 3. "Indeed we put bits in horse's mouths that they may obey us and we turn their whole body." And verse 4 says, "Look at the ships. Although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by even a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires." Here we see with large horses that we might ride or large ships, small things are able to control them. So in verse 5 it says, "Even so the tongue is a little member but boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles. A small spark can destroy acres, thousands of acres of forests. So can a tongue do the same thing.

Now if you'll drop down with me in verse 9, we'll look there further at what it says about the tongue. It says the tongue can be used again in two different ways. If you'll notice there, we can communicate before God righteously or in an unrighteous way. In verse 9 it says, "With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceeds blessings and curses. My brethren, these things ought not to be so."

You see our communication can't accomplish good and bad at the same time. We can't say something hateful or wrong or evil and it accomplish something good. You see, it has to be one way or the other. And as he uses the example there in verse 12, "a tree can't bear different types of fruit, or a spring can't bring forth good and pure water and bitter water at the same time." We must make sure our communication accomplishes great things.

So now that we understand what communication is as we talk one with another and that it can do good things or bad things and we understand the power of communication and how that it can really build up and glorify and praise God or how it can curse and tear down and cause us to be unjustified before our God. Now, let's consider what must be the purpose of communication. I think this is summed up best by Paul. If you'll turn again to your Bibles to the book of Ephesians. In Ephesians chapter 4, as Paul talks there to the church at Ephesus, he tells them something about communication. In fact, if you'll look with me in verse 29, he says there, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is that good and necessary edification that it might impart grace to the hearer." Here we see that good communication. Some translations are actually used here, the communication, the words that come out of our mouth, that ability that we have to talk one with another and discuss and agree on things and maybe even disagree at times and argue. Here again, he says, "Let nothing corrupt come out of your mouth." But everything should be for what? For edification. It should be to build up and to glorify.

In fact, in verses 30 and following, he goes on to explain this further as he says, again in Ephesians 4, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God and Christ forgave you." See, put away evil speaking and clamor and all these wicked and evil things that which proceeds out of your mouth and replace it with what? Good godly and righteous things. Those things again that will build up, that will make us better, that will make us to be perceived in this world who are good and godly and righteous striving to do and to accomplish those things that God would have us to.

We started in our lesson this morning by looking at what David had to say and again the Psalmist. But I want to look there also at what Solomon had to say as we consider that also. In Proverbs chapter 29, notice now what he said about our words. Notice what he had to say again about really how good our words can be and how they should be proper and righteous before our God. In verse 20 of Proverbs 29 it says, "Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than him." Here we see one who misuses his words will have no hope before God. So again, we see the power of words and we see as we are talking about here that they can be for good and build up and be accomplished before God or they can be just the opposite.

Again, we can go back to the book of James if you'll turn there. In James chapter 1, we see this very same idea presented once again in verse 19 as James says, "So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath." You see, I think he gives the equation here of how our words can be good and right and proper because he says if we'll be slow to speak, and will not be so quick to say things and maybe think about what we're going to say and take more time hearing and listening, then when our words come out and our communication is made, we'll have had time to think about it and make sure that it is good. You see, I think he is giving that equation here for that good communication that will edify and build up and glorify all those that we come in contact with.

Yes, our speech must be of God and before God and to make Him to be the one who is praised and honored in everything that we do. Because as his children, aren't we to show forth Christ Jesus our Lord?

I think again that's why I like the way the Psalmist said it there in Psalm 119 and 105 when he said that "the word of God was a lamp unto his feet, a light unto his path." You see here again words can show the way. They can help. They can encourage. They can make people happy and joyous and words can also harm and hurt and destroy.

In Psalm 19 rather, and verse 14, again understanding that every word must be according to God's will, must be for that purpose of encouragement and edification.

I want to end this morning by turning to Matthew if you will, the gospel according to Matthew. We want to look at chapter 12 because here we find out why our topic is of such importance. When we talk about communicating between husbands and wives and parents to children and children to parents, why is communication so important as well as in every facet of life? There in Matthew 12, verse 36 says the following, "But I say to you that every idle word men speak, they will give an account of in the day of judgment." You see, our words are so important because some day when we are judged, we will give an account for every idle word, every word that is useless. And then notice the next verse, verse 37 of Matthew 12. "For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned." Do we understand that as it says there in Colossians 3 and 17, "We must do all in the name of the Lord, and with word or deed make sure that it is proper," because someday we will be judged by those things that we do and say. Someday God will say your words have found you justified. So as husbands and wives and as parents and children, let's make sure that our communication is good so that our home might be able to be the basis and foundation to make us good communicators and then when we go out into life and our jobs and the workplace and school, that we might be those communicators again that people can see forth Christ in us because all that we say is for edification and good and for righteousness sake. And if we learn to be good communicators in the home, the Christian home, to God be the glory, because then and only then can we be well pleasing in His sight.
(SONG # 3 - "Rock Of Ages!")


Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

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May we all learn the importance of communication in every facet of our lives. Without good communication no relationship can survive!

(Program closing)