Reclaim the Ordinary | Words

Words are Powerful! {For Audio File of the Sermon, Click Here}

  • With our first Words we signal growth as a human being. What was your first word/s? 
  • With the Words, “I do” - Covenant is established. 
  • With Words we create Worlds to Imagine - “In a Galaxy far far away…” 
  • With Words the Serpent deceives Adam and Eve. 
  • With Words Peter became the Rock. And with words the same guy was rebuked and called “satan” by Jesus. Matthew 16: 16-18 (Peter’s confession) & 16: 21-23 (Peter Rebukes Jesus and Jesus calls him Satan)
  • God created the world with Words.
  • When establishing his Covenant with Israel, God gave them 10 Words, (Commandments). 
  • With Words we express our inner conviction and Faith in Christ.
    Romans 10: 9, If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” 
  • With a Word, Jesus raised Lazarus from the Dead.
    John 11: 43, When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
  • With Words the thief on the Cross expressed his Faith in Christ and we follow his example till this day. Luke 23: 42-43, Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. " Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
  • With Words, Jesus proclaims his faith in God, “Father I commit my spirit…” and becomes the sacrificial lamb that bore the sins of the World on Calvary.
    Luke 23: 46, Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.
  • The Power of Words - The Catholic world is moved by the fact that Pope Francis “confesses”. Words are simply powerful.
Transient

The Savior of the World Identified Himself as God’s Expression, God’s Word!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” - John 1: 1-3

“Jesus Christ is God’s language. When God wants to communicate, He does so through His Son.” - Sweet, Leonard; Viola, Frank / Jesus: A Theography

Satan is known as the Accuser, The “word” against the Brethren.
The Accuser, the Slanderer who uses words to alienate and slander God and us. (See, Job 1 & 2, Zech 3: 1, 2 and Revelations 12). The Slanderer in the Garden of Eden, slandering God. 

“His (Satan’s) ultimate aim is to disrupt or destroy their (God’s people’s) faithfulness to, and trust in, God, and thereby induce in them the seeds, if not the flowering, of disobedience to covenantal obligations.” - Eerdmans, “Dictionary of the Bible” 

Satan uses words to bring about destruction, disobedience and ultimately disconnection with God and Others. This is ultimate death isn’t it? 

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” - Proverbs 18:21

Even if you’re not a Words of Affirmation person, Words are powerful.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.” This is the biggest lie ever. Many of us are still working out the seeds of these careless words. We are shaped by them. (You may now not need words but see what happens when you take the words, “I love you” from a child…)

We need to Reclaim our Words, because it directs the course of Lives! {Sanctification}
“Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” - James 3: 4-12

How Shall We Reclaim It? Do the following with your mouth and words.
Protect / Preach / Praise / Pray / Prophesy
{“May the words of my mouth & the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you”… Psalm 19}

Protect
“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” - Psalm 82: 3-4 {speak up for the hurting, the minority, the one bullied in your world}

Preach
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” - 1 Peter 3: 15 {or simply brag about God}

“If necessary use words” - St. Francis; but there has to be a day when you do use words!
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” - Romans 10: 14-15

Praise God
“Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.” - Psalm 105: 2 

Praise and Enjoy his Creation, Others, Art, Music, Nature, Life.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. - Philippians 4: 8 {You used to delight in evil, now delight in good}

You Used to Complain, now Praise!
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” - 1 Thess 5: 16-18

{To listen to the worship song I sang during the sermon, click here. Start at 4:00 min.}

Pray without Ceasing
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” - 1 Thess 5: 16-18

You Used to Stress, now Pray!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” - Philippians 4: 6

Prophesy
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy… everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.” - 1 Corinthians 14: 1-3

You Used to Criticize and Tear Down, now Build Up!
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” - Ephesians 4:29

Criticizing vs Compliments (Coaching Well)
Are you an inspirational coach or just a good coach? A good coach knows what’s wrong, what to fix, a great inspirational coach knows how to inspire, lead, change, serve and say the right things. You Used to Speak Harshly now Speak with Kindness and Affection.

You Used to Argue, Get Offended, and Debate, now Seek to Understand!
Philippians 2:14-15, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…” 
(See also, John Francis' Story on TED - Planetwalker’s Story)

To Reclaim our Words we need to practice silence, choose words that edify and build rather and instead of picking fights we seek to understand!

You Used to Gossip, now Pray for Others.
" A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.” - Proverbs 16: 28 

Gossip Separates?! What was Satan’s primary objective? To separate, alienate people from each other and people from God. 

If you know things about people at church, at your job, etc and they weren’t the ones to tell you or confess to you, than you may likely be a gossip or a slanderer. 

Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan… Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. - 1 Timothy 5: 13-19

Remember what Satan was called? Slanderer, Accuser. 

Pure Worship is Slander-less Lifestyle + Praise to God
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” - James 3: 9-11

Feather Story / Benediction Reflection 

 

Parable on Gossip | Collect All the Feathers
A man went about the community slandering the parish priest and spreading malicious falsehoods about him. One day he felt remorse at what he was doing and so visited the priest to beg his forgiveness. He indicated that he was willing todo anything to make amends. The priest told him to take several feather pillows from his home, cut them open and scatter the feathers to the wind. While it was a rather strange request, it was a relatively simple matter to execute.

Having done as he was told, he came back to so inform the rabbi. «Now», said the priest, «go gather up all the feathers. For despite your obviously sincere remorse and willingness to correct the evil that was done, it is about as possible to repair the damage done by your words as it will be to recover all the feathers». - Robert Najemy | Contemporary Parables

Meditate on how You’ve Used Your Mouth thus Far. 
Let’s think about how we’ve been using our Words. As we gather up the feathers and clean it all up, let’s repent and commit to using our words wisely.

Psalm 15: 1-5
“1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? 2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, 4 who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, 5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”