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Abraham set an example of speaking to God, and speaking for God. Can you imagine speaking face-to-face with the Lord as Abraham did? The Lord God had enjoyed a meal with Abraham and then decided to let him know about the purpose of the Lord’s trip to Sodom. Would we have the same reverent, respectful approach? Would we be willing to negotiate with God, for the lives of others, as did Abraham? It is a fascinating story of the importance of our willingness to communicate with God. Or, would we be like Daniel, intervening on behalf of his people, and believing his words with God could make a difference?
Moses God’s Spokesman
Moses example is instructive to those who would speak for God. He is initially described as “powerful in speech and action” as the son of the daughter of Pharaoh. Yet many years and trials later he is reluctant to speak for God, when confronted at the burning bush. Through experience he had gained a realistic understanding of what was required of those who are called to speak with God and for God. He had learned through the things he had suffered. He came to understood that it was God’s power and not his own that enabled him to speak for God.
Samuel, David, and Other Prophets
Samuel learned as a young child the importance of speaking the truth faithfully as God had delivered it to him directly. He was very careful so as to “let none of God’s words fall to the ground.” David communed with God regularly, and handled the word of God faithfully. In his role as king of Israel he had the duty to read, write, and then teach the people the words of God. His Psalms remain as examples of his teaching. Yet there were other teachers who were not faithful. There were those who used God’s name to teach their own lies. As ambassadors for Christ, are we handling God’s words faithfully? Are we steadfast in our role as teachers of the truth even in the face of opposition?
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. James 3
Taming the Tongue is a challenge. The apostle James likened it to controlling a powerful horse with a bridle or taming a wildfire. Our ability to do so grows through diligent study, a lifetime of experience, and compassion for those who listen to us. It requires godly insight to be able to offer the right words at the right time. It takes wisdom to know when to speak and when the “sound of silence” is your best response. In a world of bloggers, social media rants, trolls and tirades, it takes the gift of discernment to know what to say and how to say it. So what are some of the aspects one must consider when taming the tongue? Here are some videos to give you insight into what God has to say about how and when we should speak.
God’s wisdom tells us that there is a time for everything, a season for silence and a time to speak
As those called by God’s mercy into a relationship with him, we begin a new life of walking with God. We are to live by every word of God. Like the ancient nation of Israel, God advises all who believe in him to choose life — obeying his teachings, and loving his ways. And as parents and grandparents one of those commands is to speak with our children about our walk with God. More
Christ, the Lord of our lives, wants us to be prepared to give an answer to others. The Lord is our shelter and sanctuary. When men ask us questions about our faith, we are to respond as if we were in God’s presence. For, we will have to give account to the Lord for our words. We are his ambassadors. The answer we give is to be an “apologia” — a well reasoned-argument with compelling proof. The Lord is asking us to be prepared to give a logical defence. But there is more to it than an intellectual response.
Be Careful How You Say, What You Say.
When we engage with others in discussing our belief in God and His purpose, we are instructed to do it in a specific way. With godly fear, “phobos,” so as to give an answer that would be approved by God. As Christ’s ambassadors, we must speak respectfully with gentleness. Why? Our goal is to exhibit God’s love for others with our words. So in accordance with our prime directives, our answers should encourage with wholesome words. We are to express love for God and neighbour. Are we prepared to give an answer to everyone?
Who’s the Audience?
As God’s servants, we must not quarrel. Yet, there are those who would like to drag us into foolish speculations, and endless controversies. God advises us to avoid this kind of argumentation. Instead, we are to be gentle, kind, and patient with everyone. We need to understand our audience, their prejudices, attitudes, and motivations. Then, we can answer with wisdom. Different people need different approaches. God is the one who qualifies us to speak on his behalf. He makes us sufficient and prepared to give an answer. One that will be engaging and fresh to those who are truly desirous of knowing more about God and his way of life.
“Be careful with your words,” is good advice to many who have found themselves in the midst of a war of words.There can be grave consequences to the careers of media personalities who misspeak in a very public way. And the average social media user can find themselves lambasted or ostracized for their words. But how important is what we say, when it comes to God’s point of view? Jesus, when confronted by the leaders of his day, had this to say, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” What did he mean? More
Western media seems to be ignoring the plight of Christians. Very little response to persecution is being documented. Yet, in 2016, thousands were killed for their beliefs. In the first century, Jesus’ message was an affront to those in positions of power. He was a stumblingblock to both Jew and Gentile, and he was persecuted and eventually killed. He anticipated that his followers would also suffer persecution, just as he did. So he gave them the encouragement that there was a great reward when one is persecuted for doing what is right. We must consider that God intervened to save Daniel, so he is also able to deliver us. But while we wait for God’s deliverance, how does God want us to react to our enemies? More
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Law of Moses and the “Mega” command
The lawyers of Jesus’ day, experts in the law, wanted to subvert Jesus and his teaching. They asked him what was the “greatest commandment,” the “mega” command in the law of Moses. They came from a perspective of living a life, where one balanced good deeds against bad. They divided the laws into heavy and light ones, giving more weight to some and not the others. Jesus castigated them for “majoring in the minors.” Like many of today’s religious and political elites they were guilty of “straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.” They missed the essence of the law — the greatest commandment. What is it? More