We can learn a lot from the ministries of John and Charles Wesley. Charles Wesley started a prayer and Bible study group at Oxford in 1729. Other students mocked them and called them the “Holy Club.” John joined as did George Whitfield. Charles wrote over 6000 hymns.
Here’s just a few:
Hark the Herald
Soldiers of Christ Arise
Christ the Lord is Risen Today
And Can it Be that I Should Gain
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
John Wesley preached the sermons, Charles wrote the songs. Of the Sermons or Songs, guess which are more widely remembered and still in use.
So, this morning let’s consider a new song. It’s our Seeking, Saving, Serving Mission put to song. It’s amateur and a bit rough, but I hope that it’s catchy; my grandkids did it with me and seemed to like it.
(Song) see Greg’s Corner blog post for 8-5-17 for words with recording.
Proverbs chapter 18 talks a lot about our talk.
A full third of it’s proverbs are about things people speak and the consequences and benefits of language. This is certainly not the only chapter in Proverbs with this focus, but in chapter 18:21 we have what I consider to be the most potent statement about our speech in the book.
It says: The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Before we look into this verse, lets consider some others.
Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things God hates. Two of the seven are specifically about things we say, and a third one is most likely about words spoken as well.
God knows the power of words. He spoke the universe into existence. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that God holds all things together by His powerful word. Words change and shape the world as we know it. God preserved His will for us through words. In Matthew 12:31-32 Jesus tells us that the one unforgivable sin that we can commit is something that we say. Words! They are more powerful than we may realize, shaping our lives and reputations and even our eternal destinies. What becomes of the person who honestly confesses faith in Jesus Christ and calls on the name of the Lord? What about the person who does not?
Revelation 19:11-16 tell us of Jesus coming in glory. His name is the Word of God.
James 3:2 says, We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. In other words, if you can control your tongue, you can control your life.
The Bible has so much to say about words, it is abundantly clear that we MUST be careful little lips what we say.
Now to return to Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
We literally have the power to speak life or death to one another. Sometimes it helps NOT to listen to what others say about you or even to you.
There’s a story about two frogs who were hopping through the woods and both fell into a pit. Other frogs gathered at the mouth of the pit to watch them. From the bottom of the pit these two frogs began to jump up and try to escape, but each time they would hit the wall, tumble and fall, landing with a painful bump at the bottom, sometimes banging their heads or backs. After a while the frogs at the top began to shout, “Give up! It’s too painful! Stop! You’ll never make it! Your as good as dead!” One of the frogs began to jump less and less and finally laid down and died. But the other frog kept jumping harder and harder, each time tumbling down, each time battering and bruising his warty little body. This made the frogs at the top more and more frantic with cries for him to give up. Then with one surge of energy the little frog leaped up and caught a root and climbed out! Much to the shock and surprise of the band of naysayers at the top. You see, this frog was deaf. He thought all along that the others were cheering for him.
We must be selective as to which voices we listen. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 1:10 If sinners entice you do not give in to them. On the other hand remember Proverbs 2:6 says, For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
God’s word shows the way of life and death. He speaks truth. He created language for our communion with Him. Satan, the liar, speaks folly and death, distorting, blinding and twisting the minds of those who listen to his words. 2 Corinthians 4:1-15 gives us a clear message on this: (read). Psalm 19:14 should be our prayer.
Let us seek God’s kingdom and righteousness above all things and listen to His word of life.