Words have power!


Words have the power to build up! Words have the power to tear down! Words have the power to do good! Words have the power to do evil! Words have the power of death and life! Words have the power to edify people which is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen! Words come from the overflow of your heart! Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Words have the power to acquit and the power to condemn! The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. So how will you use the power that come from your words today? Will you choose to use them for good?


Day 36: Bible In One Year 2017
Devotional, Proverbs 4:1-9, Matthew 24:1-31, Job 35, Job 36, Job 37

Did you know:

The Oxford English Dictionary lists more than 250,000 distinct words, not including many technical, scientific, and slang terms.

Did you know:

On an average day a women speak about 20,000 words. While men only speak about 7,000 words. Men and women speak and average of about 10,000 words per day. Even people who are considered shy often speak thousands of words per day.

But as we mentioned at the beginning, words have power. So what’s most important isn’t how many words you use but rather what words you choose to use! As we described above with the power of the word or the tongue, we need to choose the words we use because the results and impact can be severe! Will you choose words to build people up? Will you choose words to tear people down? Will you use words to tear down strongholds? Will you choose to use words for good or for evil? Ever day we get to choose! Today it’s your choice knowing this to decide how you will live out your day!


Today’s devotional covers:

Six Keys to Using Your Words for Good

1. Listen to wise words … Proverbs 4:1-9

1Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;pay attention and gain understanding. 2I give you sound learning,so do not forsake my teaching. 3For I too was a son to my father,still tender, and cherished by my mother. 4Then he taught me, and he said to me,“Take hold of my words with all your heart;keep my commands, and you will live. 5Get wisdom, get understanding;do not forget my words or turn away from them. 6Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;love her, and she will watch over you. 7The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8Cherish her, and she will exalt you;embrace her, and she will honor you. 9She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.” –from Proverbs 4

  • the value of learning from the wise words and teaching of others:
    • 4Then he taught me, and he said to me,“Take hold of my words with all your heart;keep my commands, and you will live. 5Get wisdom, get understanding;do not forget my words or turn away from them.
  • to learn is at the heart of wisdom, it requires hard work, and it is of immense value:
    • 7The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
  • Importance of learning from others – parents, elders, mentors, … and the importance to share with the younger generation…
    • 1Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;pay attention and gain understanding
  • Value learning! Esteem learning! Embrace learning! Never stop learning!
    • 8Cherish her, and she will exalt you;embrace her, and she will honor you.
  • Go beyond listening to wise words and start putting them into action
    • 2I give you sound learning,so do not forsake my teaching.
    • 4Then he taught me, and he said to me,“Take hold of my words with all your heart;keep my commands, and you will live.
    • 5Get wisdom, get understanding;do not forget my words or turn away from them.
  • Gain wisdom and understanding
    • 8Cherish her, and she will exalt you;embrace her, and she will honor you. 9She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”

2. Hold on to the words of Jesus … Matthew 24:1-31

1Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2“Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” 3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. 29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

–from Matthew 24

Jesus will be coming back! We can stand on His Words that will never return void! We can trust them all the days of our lives! His Words are true!

  • We know that His words about the temple took place AD 70
    • 2“Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
  • We know what to expect so that we won’t be tricked when the end is coming
  • We know that although the world will pass away, His Words will pass the test of time!
    • 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
  • Some people predict the end of the world by human hands, some predict natural disasters, some predict wars, Jesus confirms for us signs of the end coming so that we won’t miss out or be deceived.
    • Don’t be tricked by false claims that will come
      • 4Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.
      • 23At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
    • Trust in God during the upheaval, persecution, division and even falling away for they are signs of the end drawing nearer
      • 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
    • Beware the divisions and the love of the people growing cold
      • 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
    • When Jesus comes back you won’t be able to miss it! So just be prepared and live out a life that will glorify Him!
      • 27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. 29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Today’s devotional closes with great words of advice:

The first time, Jesus came in weakness. The second time he comes, he will return in power (vv.27,30–31).

As you wait for Jesus to return, hold onto his words and refuse to allow your love to grow cold (v.12). It is so important to keep your heart on fire with love for him, remembering your first love (Revelation 2:4). As Joyce Meyer writes, ‘Stir up love in your life – towards your spouse and towards your family, friends, neighbours and co-workers. Reach out to others who are hurting and in need. Pray for people and bless them. Grow to the point that one of your first thoughts each morning in your heart is about how you can bless someone else that day.’

— from Day 36: Bible In One Year 2017

3. Discern prophetic words … Matthew 24,
Daniel 7,9,11,12, Isaiah 13,34

Today’s devotional pulls it all together this way:

‘Prophecy’ is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Listen carefully to the words of the ‘prophet’. This passage reminds us of the importance of genuine prophecy (although no modern-day prophecies will have the same level of authority as those in Scripture).

We need to distinguish between true and false prophecy. Jesus warns against false prophets who ‘will appear and deceive many people’ (Matthew 24:11). He warns that the false prophets will try to deceive people by claiming, ‘I am the Christ’ (vv.4–5). People will say, ‘‘‘Look, here is the Christ!” or, “There he is!”’ (v.23). Jesus warns us not to believe them. They are ‘Fake Messiahs and lying preachers [who] are going to pop up everywhere’ (v.24, MSG).

On the other hand, Jesus affirms the words of the true prophets. He announces that the words ‘spoken of through the prophet Daniel’ (v.15; see Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11) will be fulfilled. He quotes from the prophet Isaiah (see Isaiah 13:10; 34:4): ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken’ (Matthew 24:29).

In fact, in his description of his return (v.27 onwards; see especially v.30), he is making an implicit claim to be the messianic Son of Man prophesied by Daniel (see Daniel 7:13).

— from Day 36: Bible In One Year 2017

4. Speak life-changing words … Matthew 24, Romans 1

Today’s devotional pulls it all together this way:

The words of Jesus totally changed my life when I was eighteen years old. Since then I have watched with joy, and often astonishment, the power of his message to transform the lives of other people.

Between the first coming of Jesus and his second coming, we have been given the task of taking the life-changing message of the gospel to the whole world. ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come’ (Matthew 24:14).

The words of the gospel are powerful and life-changing. The apostle Paul wrote, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes’ (Romans 1:16). Never give up on the proclamation of the gospel. You have the great privilege of being entrusted with words that have the potential to change people’s lives in a radical way – for this life and into eternity.

— from Day 36: Bible In One Year 2017

Jesus’ Words touch me daily in my morning readings! I felt the tug on my heart most of my life but back in 2001 when the reality of God and having a living relationship with Him clicked, my world and my life have never been the same! It’s impact me, my wife, my kids, and everyone we come into contact with as the love of Jesus shines in and through us because of His love for us and His Word which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path!

5. Avoid speaking empty words … Job 35:1-37:24

Today’s devotional speaks to the words from Job this way…

Elihu’s verbal attack continued with his usual mixture of falsehood and half-truths. He said, ‘Be assured that my words are not false’ (36:4). Actually they were. He suggested that our sins do not affect God (35:6). In fact, our sins do have an effect on God as we see supremely in the cross of Christ.

Ironically, he said something about Job that, although not true of Job, was actually true of himself. He said, ‘So Job opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words’ (v.16). (‘Job, you talk sheer nonsense – nonstop nonsense!’ v.16, MSG). This is a perfect description of Elihu’s own speech. It is empty talk without knowledge. Elihu ‘multiplies words’, criticising Job.

The fact that we are all capable of talking nonsense does not mean that we should be silent. Rather, it means that we should realise the enormous potential that every human being has to affect the lives of others through their tongues. We may not have the power that comes from money, fame or position, but all of us have the power and the potential that come from being able to communicate with words.

— from Day 36: Bible In One Year 2017

6. Put God’s words into practice … Job 37

Today’s devotional finishes with …

Elihu said a number of things in this passage about God’s words (37:4–13). Thankfully, the Lord is about to speak himself. What a relief! We have had chapter after chapter of false comfort and empty words. We live in a world like this. It is such a relief when God speaks. The words of God are like manna from heaven, and water in a desert.

— from Day 36: Bible In One Year 2017

So let’s read through today’s reading from Job together:

1Then Elihu said: 2“Do you think this is just? You say, ‘I am in the right, not God.’ 3Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me, and what do I gain by not sinning?’ 4“I would like to reply to you and to your friends with you. 5Look up at the heavens and see; gaze at the clouds so high above you. 6If you sin, how does that affect him? If your sins are many, what does that do to him? 7If you are righteous, what do you give to him, or what does he receive from your hand? 8Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself, and your righteousness only other people. 9“People cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful. 10But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, 11who teaches us more than he teaches the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?’ 12He does not answer when people cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked. 13Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it. 14How much less, then, will he listen when you say that you do not see him, that your case is before him and you must wait for him, 15and further, that his anger never punishes and he does not take the least notice of wickedness. 16So Job opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words.”

Job 35

1Elihu continued: 2“Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s behalf. 3I get my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe justice to my Maker. 4Be assured that my words are not false; one who has perfect knowledge is with you. 5“God is mighty, but despises no one; he is mighty, and firm in his purpose. 6He does not keep the wicked alive but gives the afflicted their rights. 7He does not take his eyes off the righteous; he enthrones them with kings and exalts them forever. 8But if people are bound in chains, held fast by cords of affliction, 9he tells them what they have done—that they have sinned arrogantly. 10He makes them listen to correction and commands them to repent of their evil. 11If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. 12But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge. 13“The godless in heart harbor resentment; even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help. 14They die in their youth, among male prostitutes of the shrines. 15But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. 16“He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food. 17But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and justice have taken hold of you. 18Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a large bribe turn you aside. 19Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in distress? 20Do not long for the night, to drag people away from their homes. 21Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction. 22“God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him? 23Who has prescribed his ways for him, or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’? 24Remember to extol his work, which people have praised in song. 25All humanity has seen it; mortals gaze on it from afar. 26How great is God—beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out. 27“He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; 28the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. 29Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion? 30See how he scatters his lightning about him, bathing the depths of the sea. 31This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance. 32He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark. 33His thunder announces the coming storm; even the cattle make known its approach.

Job 36

1“At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place. 2Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth. 3He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. 4After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. 5God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. 6He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ 7So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labor. 8The animals take cover; they remain in their dens. 9The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. 10The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. 11He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them. 12At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them. 13He brings the clouds to punish people, or to water his earth and show his love. 14“Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. 15Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? 16Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge? 17You who swelter in your clothes when the land lies hushed under the south wind, 18can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze? 19“Tell us what we should say to him; we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness. 20Should he be told that I want to speak? Would anyone ask to be swallowed up? 21Now no one can look at the sun, bright as it is in the skies after the wind has swept them clean. 22Out of the north he comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty. 23The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. 24Therefore, people revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?”

Job 37

 

 

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