(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)
Words are everywhere. We speak them, write them, study and learn them. They help us to communicate with each other, understand concepts and express ourselves. Words are valuable.
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A word over our lives
God speaks purpose and life-filled words over us. His word has value because of who He is, and it has the power to change our lives.
His “I love you” resonates in our hearts to restore identity and confidence, reminding us that we are children of God, fully loved by Him.
His “I forgive you” comforts and assures us that we can run back into His arms, even when things go wrong or when we mess up.
His “I have called you” reminds us that we are made with purpose and that life on earth is more than its trials and uncertainties.
The world also has words to speak over us and these are not always bad. Yet social media has shown some damaging effects words can have in our lives. If we allow the words of the world to be our primary influence, our lives can become clouded by unhealthy ambition, anxiety, doubt and depression.
However, if we allow God the final word, our worth, success and weaknesses will be caught up in his grace and in the knowledge that He wants the best for us.
The author behind a word gives that word value, and I want the Author of Life to speak my story.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John chapter 6, verse 63)
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A word over the church
Each member of Christ’s church has different talents and roles in kingdom work, but the same underlying purpose. God’s command to love Him and love one another are universal, though opportunities to demonstrate this vary.
I recently did some freelance writing for a magazine. Every word that made it through editing had a purpose and value. Simple joining words and elaborate adjectives all worked together to tell a story.
Similarly, the church together tells the story of God’s loving kingdom, though each member plays a different role in bringing that story to life. Every person has value in the eyes of God and there is no favouritism, only a real, all-enveloping love from the Father God to people of every nation and tribe.
Ephesians chapter 2 describes Christ as the cornerstone in whom the church is built together to be a dwelling place for God. Nehemiah chapter 3 describes different families working to rebuild parts of Jerusalem’s wall. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 speaks about having different spiritual gifts, but one Lord.
Salvation is a gift from God. It is not earned, and is not deserved, but is given out the grace of God. Sometimes we forget this and let envy, comparison and ambition seep into the work we are doing for God’s kingdom. Be on guard, and let us encourage the building of His kingdom with different gifts, callings and opportunities.
“…there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” (1 Corinthians chapter 12, verse 6)
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A word over our world
Just as God is continually speaking in our world, we have opportunities to testify in our spheres of influence.
A friend once encouraged me to “Be brave. Be bold. Use your pen as a weapon of light.” What are we using as a weapon of light? Where does our testimony shine through? That “pen” could be our personality, our work, our relationships. What a beautiful thing we can offer to others with the light of God’s spirit within us!
How does God see our world? The verse I remember time and time again is from the gospel of John. It is commonly quoted but holds a powerful message if we take the time to understand it.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John chapter 3, verse 16)
The love that God has for each person in the world sometimes seems beyond comprehension. Why would the great and holy God give His Son to die on the cross for a people who constantly reject Him?
I am grateful every day for the undeserved mercy and fatherly love that God pours out on us. If the Creator of the world will not give up on this earth, then let us join Him in contending for its transformation.
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Relationship requires communication and God loves to hear from us. Words have the ability to build up, heal and empower, but they also have the ability to tear down.
Psalm chapter 19 says this:
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm chapter 19, verse 14)
As we speak words over ourselves, over others and over this world, let us remember the One who has the final word. Let us speak our hearts to God, and declare His goodness over every situation. Let our words be worship, testimony and encouragement.