Welcome to Church on the Hill, Glenavon, Sask, Canada

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Words We Chose, The Words We Speak

Biblical refs: John 1:1, Proverbs 18:12, James 3:6, James 3:9,
Acts 17:16-34, John 1:14, Exodus 4:10-12

We had a treat on Sunday morning because Maurice Giroux delivered the message while Pastor Lorne and Dianne were away at the Christian Cowboy’s event.

Maurice started the message by drawing our attention to John 1:1. The Bible states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

He then gave a dictionary definition of the word “word”: a sound or combination of sounds that has meaning and is an independent unit of speech.

So, we have words. We can speak. We have a tongue. But the tongue is sometimes referred to as a double edged sword. Why? Because with it, you can build up someone’s esteem with praise, or you can cut them down with harmful, hurtful words.

But just as God gave us our intellect, he also gave us emotions. And when our emotions get riled and we don’t control them, our emotions throw our intellect out the window. Whether intentional or not, if we don’t think before we speak, our tongues can do immeasurable damage.

Maurice brought our attention to Acts 17:16-34. Paul is preaching. He was like the Billy Graham of his time. Did you know that Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the author of 2/3 of the New Testament?

Paul was in Athens waiting for Silas and Timothy. He had noted that the city was filled with idols so instead of just sitting around while he waited, he went to the synagogue and marketplace “preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection”. Some philosophers heard him and invited him to speak at the Areopagus. (Wikipedia lists the Areopagus as: the 'Hill of Ares', north-west of the Acropolis, which in classical times functioned as the chief homicide court of Athens.)

Acts 17:21 says: “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.” Maurice said Paul was probably thinking that his words wouldn’t be accepted but he had this huge crowd and he didn’t want to lose their attention. What did he do?

Well, Paul chose his words carefully. His topic was: ‘To an Unknown God’. He told them: “as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you." In other words, Maurice said, “Let me introduce you to the God of the universe.”

By doing this, Paul put a name to their unknown god and brought God into their lives. The Bible says in verse 32: “When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." And verse 34: “A few men became followers of Paul and believed.”

Maurice said we should let Paul be our role model.

He also said he can relate to the ancient Greeks. He learned about evolution in school. Scholars are still trying to find that missing link! Maurice thought going to church would make him a Christian. But, he didn’t know God. He didn’t know he could have a personal relationship with God. He didn’t know that God wanted to be involved in every aspect of his life.

He said to look at the bees. They are attracted to the honey nectar and not the vinegar. We should try to attract people to God by using our words like honey and not vinegar. We chose the words we speak. And once spoken, they can never be retracted.

Exodus 4:12 says “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

If you would like to talk to someone about this topic, you can contact Pastor Lorne at the info listed on the bottom of the right column. Your comments are invited.

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