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  • TFRStaff 4:30 am on 2017-02-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , words   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Malapropisms . . .) 

    MALAPROPISMS AND THINKING ABOUT THE CHURCH

    Likely, I should be among the last to write under the above heading. I did not grow up in a family that always used correct grammar or that always used a word in the right sense. All who speak and write are susceptible of inadvertently using the wrong word, to being “off” in their thinking, and to not expressing themselves either orally or in writing as clearly as they might like. Yet, those of us who speak and write to advance the cause of Christ should strive for accuracy—in our thinking, in our speaking, and in our writing.

    A malapropism is “misusing words, especially by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.” Many years ago in Clarksville, Tennessee I was preaching on the Lord’s Supper and made mention of a congregation that had two large silver “gobblers” from which the fruit of the vine was served—one for each side of the two sections of pews in the auditorium! I, of course, meant two large silver goblets. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 6:27 am on 2016-10-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , words   

    Talking to the World 

    You’re talking to the world, online,
    Every word an open letter,
    So make the light of Jesus shine,
    Give hope, and make our spirits better.

    J. Randal Matheny

     
  • TFRStaff 1:50 pm on 2016-03-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , words   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Words) 

    THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH

    David prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14, NASB).

    Someone said that it is easy to “slip” with our tongue because it is in such a slippery place. The brother of Jesus wrote: “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” (James 3:2, NKJV). Christ Himself said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 8:31 am on 2015-04-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , words   

    Comment this verse: Ephesians 4.29 

    “You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear” (NET).

    A friend commented on this verse elsewhere. It seemed appropriate to post it here and invite others to make their comments on it. What say you?

     
    • docmgphillips 9:14 am on 2015-04-14 Permalink | Reply

      While unwholesome speech should never be the usual speech of a Christian, this represents a special case, I think. If you are counseling a brother or sister with a problem, firm speech may be necessary, but cursing and/or making fun of them and/or downgrading them is not the answer. All things need to be done in love. While you may need to be quite firm and not necessarily sympathetic, you don’t need to berate and curse. The idea is to bring them to sincere repentance, helping them regain favor with God.

    • Eugene Adkins 6:18 am on 2015-04-15 Permalink | Reply

      I think what Doc says captures much of the essence in the context of the passage. If we’re going to reprove, rebuke and exhort, I believe we’re supposed to make sure there is a purpose to our words…namely to build back up after we carefully tare anything down.

  • John T. Polk II 11:19 am on 2014-01-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2nd Amendment, , extremist, , , idle words, , , , , , , words   

    Oops! 

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made it clear that pro-life, anti-gay marriage, pro-assault weapons voters aren’t welcome in “his” state: “They have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” (“Cuomo retreats after slamming pro-lifers,” by Lauren Ashburn, Published January 22, 2014,

    FoxNews.com) Then, after being “Tweeted” into a corner, his Attorney tried to get the egg off of his face by stating: “The Governor was making the point that he makes often: New York is a politically moderate state and an extremist agenda is not politically viable statewide.”

    Really?

    1. Define “extremist.” According to the dictionary, it means “belief in and support for ideas that are very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable,” or “radicalism.” Since the media uses the term “radical” to describe “Muslim terrorists,” then is the Governor telling “Muslim terrorists” they “have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are?” If not, then why not? Also, isn’t the governor’s place to represent all of his constituents, not some? It seems a governor is “extremist” who would run out of “his” state those who disagree with his political views, thus unbalancing “his” citizenry “very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable!” If “his” state now is “politically moderate,” how would it remain such by eliminating “correct or reasonable” views?

    2. If the Governor and his Attorney would get their minds out of their “ivory tower” they would learn that “most people consider correct or reasonable” the Bible teaching that, individually, all humans are: made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), not evolved animals (Genesis 1:28-31), formed by the plan of God (Psalm 139:13-16), given “the spirit of man within him” (Zechariah 12:1), and are the same human before and after birth (the word for an unborn “babe” is the same as for the born one, Luke 1:41,44; 2:16). According to the latest Fox News poll of voters (1/22/14), 48% are pro-life (against abortion), 45% are pro-choice (for abortion). A savvy politician who needs a majority vote, would acknowledge that his constituents are not “extremists,” but mainstream!

    3. Define “gay marriage.” Since the concept of “marriage” was begun and defined by God, He must approve any “marriage” or else it is disapproved, “For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:18). God (Who is the only adequate explanation for the world’s existence, Hebrews 3:4) made humans “male and female” (Genesis 1:27), and brought the woman made from the man’s rib back to his side to form the closest, most intimate relationship known to mankind (Genesis 2:21-25). Jesus Christ added His endorsement to what God did “from the beginning” (Matthew 19:4-6), which means one male for one female is the only marriage formula God approves! “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). Everyone who varies God’s plan, falls under the terms “fornicators and adulterers.” Because so many people sin, God “now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). Homosexuals are invited to leave their decision and be converted to Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Homosexual “marriage” has never been sanctioned by God!

    4. The U.S. Bill of Rights, as adopted on December 15, 1791, contains this Second Amendment: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This is not an “extremist” policy, but the standard by which all other views on the subject should be compared! Governor Cuomo’s characterization of supporters of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America as advocating “pro-assault weapons” is prejudicial, inflammatory, and disingenuous! If everyone who believes in the Second Amendment left the state, then government would be the only ones who possessed weapons, and that would make it a socialist dictatorship! Is that what he’s advocating?

    5. The Governor’s outburst was not a “Freudian slip” but a true statement of his belief. Jesus Christ said, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:34-36). The Governor either spoke the evil desire he had in his heart, or else, according to his Attorney, he used “idle words” without meaning what he said. Either way, he is accountable to Jesus Christ on the day of Judgment if he doesn’t repent! In the meantime, he should be held accountable by his constituents.

     

     
    • Eugene Adkins 5:52 am on 2014-01-23 Permalink | Reply

      Hey John, are the statistics that you referred to at the end of paragraph two supposed to be the other way around?

      • John T. Polk II 10:12 am on 2014-01-23 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the heads up. I had several polls available, and meant to use this latest one.

  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-09-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , seasoned, words   

    (#61) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:23-A Fool is a Blabbermouth! 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 12:23: “A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.”

    “Knowledge” is based upon facts, certainty, and insight. When “knowledge” involves Bible truths, we must all be as David, who said, “I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know” (Psalm 40:9). Though Peter confessed Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), Jesus was not ready for this to be widely known at that time, so “He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ” (Matthew 16:20). However, when this truth was fully revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul had “not shunned to declare…the whole counsel of God” in Ephesus (Acts 20:17, 27). In dealing with the judgments of our daily lives, the “prudent” (sensible, wise, judicious) don’t need to tell everything at once! Since “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12), this principle is applicable to Christians (1 Peter 4:8). Solomon later would say, “There is a time to keep silence, And a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Those with good judgment will make timely conversation, hence, Christians must “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).

    When blabbing anything and everything one knows about others with the excuse that, “I’m just being honest,” one becomes a fool who is without good judgment! Other proverbs that add to this truth are: “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19); “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly” (Proverbs 13:16); “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness” (Proverbs 15:2); “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:27-28). There is a common saying based upon this truth: “Better to be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” One who is “slow to speak” (James 1:19) is either “wise” or a fool who is mistaken as wise! Meanwhile, “a fool” will use a “multitude of words” to lay “open his folly” and pour forth “foolishness.” Running off at the mouth is never good, while shutting up the mouth in good judgment can be “perceptive!” When our heart is in our mouth, truth may be lost in the moment! God gives us a mind with which to filter what we say: “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips” (Proverbs 16:23). Since God’s people are now the Christians, Solomon’s wisdom is timeless: “Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-07-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , corrupt speech, perverse tongue, , , truth in love, , words   

    (#32) The Proverbs of Solomon 10:31-32-Hush Your Mouth! 

    Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 10:31-32: “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, But the perverse tongue will be cut out. 32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.”

    It is certainly true that “I believed, and therefore I spoke” (Psalm 116:10), for the heart is expressed through the words of the mouth. David well said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). A heart full of God’s Wisdom cannot help but speak with it. Jesus used the illustration of a tree to express what an effort it would be to control a “perverse tongue.” “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:33-34). Jesus had taught, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:19). “The lips of the righteous” speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), and “always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6). Thus a Christian will “put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” and will “not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:8-9). A righteous heart will speak the truth appropriately to build up faithful conduct, but the wicked will cut the faithful down. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). The God-given human ability to speak, not only separates us from animals, but is a tool for good or an instrument for evil. Those who abuse this ability will lose it, eventually. Freedom of speech should be protected by the laws of the land, but the morality of speech will be judged by God and His Word.

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-07-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , dishonesty, , , inheritance taxes, journalists, lawyers, , , , , words   

    (#28) The Proverbs of Solomon 10:19-22-A Fool And His Money 

    Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    10:19-21: It is truth that the mouth speaks what is in the heart, and the heart speaks through the mouth. The more words a person uses, generally, the easier it is to sin with the mouth, and, the greater effort is being put in to hide a sin. Not an earthen heart (dirty) but a “righteous” heart produces words as precious as “choice silver.” On the other hand, if the “heart” is “wicked,” the words it uses will be of “little” value. “Lips” speaking from a “righteous” heart “feed many” (produce much good), whereas, the heart that “lacks wisdom” speaks “foolishly” (has no worth). This is a theme carried out in other Proverbs: 12:17-words of “truth” from a heart of “righteousness,” or a heart of “deceit” speaks “false witness;” 14:5-a heart of “faithful witness” speaks “no lie,” or the heart of “false witness” will speak “lies;” 14:25-“true witness” in the heart “delivers (saves) souls,” but a “deceitful” heart speaks “lies.” Lying, falsifying information, comes from within. Those known for their lying are “liars,” not just slips of the tongue. All liars are children of the Devil (John 8:44) and bound for hell (Revelation 21:8) unless they repent. Jesus absolutely taught this: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil of the treasure brings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34-35). There are occupations that are notoriously associated with lying, such as, lawyers, used car salesmen, politicians, contractors, advertisers and journalists. One wonders why people keep putting so much trust in them without thoroughly checking out their statements! Why depend upon lawyers to establish truth in legal matters? Why re-elect politicians who are deceitful? Why buy papers/magazines that misrepresent information so? Why spend time and money on shopping trips when the merchandise is not “as advertised?” Why buy cars from those whose claims cannot be trusted without a “second opinion?” Why let contractors sell their agreements to build to others who aren’t under the original contract? When lying is accepted as “the way everyone does business,” then whom can anyone trust?

    10:22: True wealth come from the LORD’s “blessing,” and He “adds no sorrow with it.” When life is lived according to God’s Wisdom, blessings abound, and there is no regret. But sorrow comes with those who obtain wealth by their standards, not God’s: Proverbs 13:11: “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase;” Proverbs 13:22: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous;” Proverbs 20:21: “An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning Will not be blessed at the end;” Proverbs 28:22: “A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.” Dishonest wealth “will be diminished,” that is, easy come, easy go. The sinner’s wealth “is stored up for the righteous,” that is, it will not remain in the family’s hands for long, since righteous principles are not passed along with the wealth. It is criminal for all who make it difficult, or impossible, for “a good man” to leave his “inheritance to his children’s children.” Inheritance taxes, “death taxes,” are against God’s Will!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:02 am on 2013-04-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , snares, traps, , words,   

    Psalm 141 Shut My Mouth 

    This Psalm of David could have originated at one of several times in his life, so the historical background is not definitely set, but it clearly is similar to other of his Psalms.

    Verses 1-2 appeal to God to hear this prayer;

    Verses 3-4 concerned with one’s words;

    Verse 5-concerned with one’s thoughts;

    Verses 5c-7 concerned with one’s bones;

    Verses 8-10 concerned with one’s eyes.

    Verses 1-2: To “cry out” expresses immediate need(s). For prayer to be “set before” God “as incense” (Exodus 30:1-10), helps us see that when Moses’ Law was taken out of the way by the cross of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:14-16), Christian prayers ascend before God instead of incense (Revelation 5:8).

    Verses 3-4: It is not asking for God to choose our words, but knowing we have called attention to the problem we have with wrong words should keep us more keenly aware (Matthew 12:34-37). “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (James 1:26). “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” (James 3:2). In fact, David realizes, to avoid sin, we must not lean toward “any evil thing,” “practice wicked works,” associate with evil workers, or commonly associate with sinners. This progression into sin is similar to Psalm 1.

    Verse 5: If we find ourselves heading in the wrong direction, the rebuke of a righteous person should bring us back to spirituality. “Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed” (Proverbs 27:5). “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

    Verses 5c-7: Our prayers should be not only for us to be strong, but for the wicked to be blunted and weakened. “Judges” are their leaders, but “sweet” “words” of a prayerful appeal to God can see them taken down. Their damage, however, may break up God’s people as if physical bodies had been plowed under!

    Verses 8-10: “Eyes,” rightly focused on the goal, must not be misled. Once a person has been buried in the water of baptism into Jesus’ death (and not before), and raised to a new life with Him (Romans 6:3-5), they are saved (1 Peter 3:21). “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3). By obeying God and following Jesus Christ, God will “keep” (avoid sin, 1 John 3:6) a Christian from the “snares” and “traps” the wicked continually provide. It was the partial obedience of the Israelites in cleaning the wicked nations out of the Promised Land, that God warned they would become “snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you” (Joshua 23:13). “Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them” (Proverbs 22:5). David did not pray out of vengeance or hatred, but simply that God let “the wicked fall into their own nets” and he be allowed to “escape.” When the wicked are treated with their own wickedness is not only just, it is fair for the righteous. “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him” (Proverbs 26:27). A rolling stone may not gather moss, but often it punishes the ones who started it rolling!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:31 am on 2013-03-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Comforting, , , words   

    What Do You Say When You Don’t Know What To Say? 

    What a question! Have you ever been there before? I’m not talking about times when you have something to say but you don’t know how to say it. I’m talking about the times when something needs to be said but you don’t know what to say.

    Sometimes the feeling is brought on by unfortunate circumstances people get placed in, sometimes by unfortunate words that have already been spoken and sometimes by unfortunate decisions that are just now coming home to roost.

    It seems as if this speechless emotion shares its time between wanting to say something to help but lacking the words to assist, and wanting to say something in response to what someone has done that’s out-of-line but lacking the words to correct.

    What do you do in a situation like this? I don’t know the perfect answer. If I knew the perfect answer I wouldn’t have necessarily asked the question – it’s not rhetorical after all. I only have a few suggestions that may help:

    1) Remember that few words and even no words spoken isn’t always a bad thing. “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19)

    2) Remember that your presence can paint a picture that’s worth a thousand words. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)

    3) Remember you can’t fix it all. “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble…But his flesh will be in pain over it, and his soul will mourn over it.” (Job 14:1, 22)

    4) Remember to rely upon the grace of God. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

    5) Remember that the Lord always gets the last word. “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”” (Jude 9)

    How does that sound? Have any other suggestions on what to say when you don’t know what to say?

    Related Article:

     
    • Stephen R. Bradd 7:35 am on 2013-03-14 Permalink | Reply

      Where appropriate, ask a question when you don’t know what else to say.
      Some have suggested that we should never make an assertion in personal dialogue where a question will do.
      What do you think?

      • Eugene Adkins 9:54 am on 2013-03-14 Permalink | Reply

        If you don’t know the answer, ask a question that will help you find it. Makes perfect sense to me.

    • J. Randal Matheny 8:02 am on 2013-03-14 Permalink | Reply

      Stephen has a great point, er, question, together with your points, Eugene. I might add: Remember that affirmations of love and concern are almost always appropriate.

      • Eugene Adkins 9:57 am on 2013-03-14 Permalink | Reply

        Seems like I remember a saying that goes something like, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Good advice, Randal.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:46 am on 2013-03-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , record, , words   

    The Record Is Always On 

    There are times when cultural “stars” of varying levels want to speak to reporters but they want to speak “off the record”. The idea is that they want their words to be heard, but they don’t want to be seen as the source. They want to get people talking, but they want people talking about them.

    There are several reasons why someone living in the cultural arena would want their words to remain anonymous. One is that they do not want to deal with the negative effect of the repercussions, and another is that they may want to benefit from positive effect of the repercussions without it being obvious. Regardless of the situation the “stars” of the world find themselves in, the “stars” of the church must remember that there is never a time when people speak off the record.

    But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

    Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” (Philippians 2:14-16)

    Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.” (Luke 12:3)

     
  • John Henson 6:51 pm on 2011-10-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , words   

    Words That Can Make Better People 

    During our last gospel meeting, we had a television commercial that pointed out the Bible was the only how-to book someone needs to learn how to become a better person.

    Often, the Apostle Paul’s inspired direction to Christians came in simple statements. They were designed to help people improve themselves. A good example of this is Colossians 4:1-6.

    • “Grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.” Few of us have slaves these days, but shouldn’t our dealings with all men be just and fair? When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus combined two into one by saying, “The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these,” Mark 12:29-30). We must remember we have a Master in heaven who expects us to do what is right.
    • Devote yourselves to prayer…” The components of this devotion include steadfastness and watchfulness with thanksgiving. The word “steadfastly” was also used in Mark 3:9, describing how the little boat was to keep close to the shore, ready to be used by the Master. This is the kind of devotion we should have. Watchfulness is a component, too, a present active participle, meaning we should never stop.
    • “Walk in wisdom…” The Bible often uses the word “walk” to indicate how we should conduct ourselves as Christians. We are being watched. People are making judgments about Christianity based on what they see in our lives. A large part of that conduct is composed of what we do with our speech, isn’t it? It is how we speak that determines what people think.
    • “Seasoned with salt…” The two important parts of speech are grace and salt. Of this verse, A.T. Robertson said, “Grace and wit make an ideal combination.” Adam Clarke said the Christian’s speech must not only be holy, “but wise, gracious, and intelligent.” Salt seasons food, but it also prepares it. Good speech prepares us to influence others for Christ.

    Grant, devote, conduct, seasoned are simple words, but the wisdom they communicate is beyond human attempts to order peoples’ lives. The Bible is, indeed, the only how-to book that can help us all become better people and fit our souls for heaven.

     
    • J. Randal Matheny 7:20 pm on 2011-10-29 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us, John. The broader application of the slave relationship, rather than limiting it to a employer-employee situation, helps us to put it to use. I love that walk metaphor.

    • John Henson 8:16 pm on 2011-10-29 Permalink | Reply

      I love expository preaching. It has a way of bringing little jewels of scripture to be seen. It’s like looking at a red blood cell through a microscope.

  • Ron Thomas 7:07 am on 2010-11-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , words   

    A Word Spoken 

    Proverbs 10:19 says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Many years ago I learned that the value of a word fitly spoken penetrates powerfully. Though I learned this I did not always do what I learned. While I was in the USAF, stationed in Guam, I heard a brother in the Lord answer someone’s question about why he spoke so little. He responded, “I’m tired of eating my foot.” Those few words said more to me than all the philosophy classes I took in college. What is your impression of a person who seems to always be talking? My impression, sometimes, is that the person doing all or nearly all the talking doesn’t have much to say, but it is going to be said anyway. The context, of course, of the circumstances (and words) will determine how this is to be interpreted. The proverb writer does not speak anything profoundly spiritual. He simply utters a truth that any mature adult can understand. I wish, though, that many adults would transfer this understanding of theirs into actions. Someone has said that if you give a man enough rope and he will hang himself. I think I’ll carry a short rope! RT

     
  • John Henson 8:39 am on 2010-10-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: unheard, words   

    Unheard Words 

    Most of my unheard words went into and out of the ears of those married couples I tried to help. I remember one couple who ignored every Biblical quote I made. The only time the man listened to what I was saying was when I told him that if he didn’t try to remain faithful to his wife, she was going to divorce him and take everything he owned. He listened to that.

     
  • Mike Riley 6:39 am on 2010-10-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , unheard, , words   

    When do my words go unheard? Usually when my wife doesn’t want to listen to any instructions that I’ve given her, and goes ahead and does what she wants to do anyway. 🙂

     
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