September 23, 2013

 Are You Speaking Life or Death?
Psalm 16:11 
You make known to me the path of life;
 in your presence there is fullness of joy;
 at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
This week were going to focus our attention on a tiny little part of our body that can impact us in enormous ways. In fact, it’s so powerful that it can be a matter of life and death. This small, yet very significant apparatus can lead us to a live fully ALIVE in Him or cause us to feel weak, small and kill all confidence and joy. What useful, yet destructive weapon am I talking about? You guessed it the tongue!
Proverbs 18:21 says  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
We can speak life and joy into our hearts and the hearts of others, or we can speak death and destructionThe choice is ours!
It is so easy to become anxious or angry and let our tongues loose in frustration. This type of behavior harms others, causes heartache and pain and can lead to irreparable  damage in relationships. Those types of damaging words not only hurt others, but can also be destructive to our own sense of well being.
So what types of words should we be using?
Gods Word supplies the answer for our question. After all,Gods Word is living and active. Sharper than any two-edged sword … Hebrews 4:6  
Ephesians 4:29  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
We should be speaking that which is good for building up and is grace-giving. If it is destructive, sarcastic, hurtful or ugly, dont say it! If it imparts grace (favor, sweetness, that which affords joy and delight), use it.
What do we do if someone needs to hear “the truth”?
Ephesians 4:15  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.
This verse states that though we may be called to speak truth into a persons life, we are to do so remembering to let love be our guide.
This reminds me of Philippians 2:3-4 which says, Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Yes, we are called to speak truth to those around us, but we are to do so in a way that God can work in their hearts and bring about change. We should not speak the truth in order to prove ourselves right or so that we can get some vain satisfaction, but rather in order to point them to Christ, thus allowing the Holy Spirit to do His job of changing and renewing. And remember, always pray beforehand. Just because you know what the truth is doesnt mean that God wants you to share it every time. He may give you restraint and ask you to say nothing, or to pray and let Him take care of it.
What type of “self-talk” should we be doing daily?
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
As women we talk to ourselves all the time (sometimes out loud, but always in our heads). It is of utmost importance that we maintain positive, life-giving self-talk. If we are constantly talking to ourselves negatively, then that is what is going to spill out onto others as well. Negative self-talk also robs us of remembering who we are in Christ. 
Words of life are a joy and delight. They make us ALIVE in Him and cause us to shine brightly in a world that is full of hate and destruction. Below are some verses I pray will help you this week as you seek to live fully ALIVE in Jesus presence through the words you speak to yourself and to others.
Psalm 16:24 – Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
James 1:19-20 – Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Luke 6:45 – The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 
Take time each day to be still before the Lord and allow Him to nurture your heart so you can speak words of joy and delight to others.
In her book Me, Myself and Lies, Jennifer Rothschild puts it this way:
“The Holy Spirit will not shut down the noise of our busy world to counsel you. He won’t try to silence all the racket in your thought closet to be heard. To hear His counsel, we have to quiet ourselves and truly listen.”
Quiet your mind today and allow the Holy Spirit to speak words of life into you. Then you’ll be ready to speak words of joy and delight to others.
Have a wonderful, joy-filled week and remember to always seek to live fully ALIVE in Him …
Jacqueline C. Heider
Director of Discipleship & Women’s Ministry