September 19, 2007
In Pastor's Words
The Enduring Influence of Our Words
If ever you were to visit the Elsinore Castle of Denmark, erected about 1200 AD, you would hear the interesting story of how the king of Pomerania built the castle and another one across the Skagerrak Channel (Sweden, today) in order to control entrance into the heart of Europe. Today the castle at Elsinore is in disrepair, the castle in Sweden is gone, and the Pomeranian king’s name is all but forgotten. But tourists still flock to Elsinore because William Shakespeare later in history chose that castle for his drama, Hamlet, highlighting that the power of the pen outlasts the power of the sword.
To an even greater degree, the Word of God is so enduring that it will never be outdated, diminished or eradicated. Jesus promised, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished“ (Matthew 5:8). Further, “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). Peter also weighs in on this thought with, “the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever” (1 Peter 1:25). The Bible, then, remains God’s absolute standard of faith and practice for all people for all time.
As we mentioned on Sunday, our words also have an enduring effect upon others for good or for evil. Words that leave our mouth cannot ever be retrieved, taken back, changed or improved upon. If you live with the conviction that God’s Word is truth and to be heeded, as I do, then consider Jesus’ strong warning in Matthew 12:36: “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.” Why? Because, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34). What is in our heart comes out of our mouth. What comes out of your mouth? Profanity, criticism, slander, or other expressions of evil? Or praise, affirmation, encouragement and other expressions of goodness? Our speech betrays our inner identity and has an enduring influence over our family, our friends and even our church for good or for evil.
For our words, the outflow of our heart, to have an enduring positive effect on those around us, our inner being must be surrendered to and controlled by Jesus Christ. With the presence of Jesus and His enduring Word controlling our heart, negative influence will give way to positive influence in our relationships at home, at school, at work and with God.
Pastor Ralph Partelow
Posted by Jennifer Herrmann at September 19, 2007 02:56 PM