What Do You Do With Your Head To Get Your Mouth Open

Don’t you just loveWORDS?! How fascinating that the Creatorof Life decided to use little clusters of letters as His means of communication with Him, and prescribed the same means for us humans to connect at the deepest levels of our hearts. Scripture makes it clear that WORDS have the power of life and death. WORDS can inspire a person to incredible feats, or WORDS can rip out one’s heart. Satan’s lies can destroy, while God’s Truth always heals and blesses anyone who believes it.

Have you noticed the haphazard way in which so many people today, even those in the public eye, use words, and how bad their grammar is? That’s because the Devil, the “father of lies,” is doing his best to cripple people’s communication skills, and his primary goal is to stop people from (a) reading, (b) understanding, and (c) sharing with others the written Word of God. Such folks need to stop laying around so much and perservere so as to improve their comunication skills so they can convince others to follow the Lord Jesus. And they can do so knowing that one benefit of being born again is having some friendly guardian angles, each of which can spell. Can you?

Speaking of WORDS, have you noticed the progression of topics in the last few FODs? We are doing our best to set forth pertinent and practical truth that you can both apply and share with others. In April we wrote about The Death of Death, elucidating the great truth about our glorious Hope guaranteed us because of the Resurrection of Christ. In May for Pentecost we wrote Signed, Sealed, and Delivered, expositing what God says about the permanence of our salvation and the phenomenal proof of that we have via speaking in tongues. In June we sent you, Are You Letting Your Conscience Be Your Guide?, elaborating upon what the Bible says about the role of one’s conscience. Last month you received Cultivating Your Garden of Grace, in which we set forth the indispensable biblical truth of grace unto works, showing that we work for God not to gain anything from Him, but because He saved us and we are so thankful. In this FOD, we’ll consider how to overcome F-E-A-R of speaking the Word to people. Been there, not done that due to such fear.

So what are we afraid of? Being killed? No. Beaten up? No. Put in jail? No. Stripped of all possessions? No. Kicked out of a church of wonderful people that teaches the Truth? No. Looking foolish? Too late. I guess it would be rejection—someone thinking less of me than I like. So the question to ask is, “So what?” Also, “Who is rejecting me?” If it were someone who means a lot to me—God, Jesus, Elizabeth, or Steph Curry, one could understand, though not condone, my sheepish silence in the face of great human need. But why should I fear what someone I hardly know thinks of me. AND, if I do open my mouth and speak words of light and life…THEY MIGHT BELIEVE!!!—right then, or later while they ponder my words as the “good seed” I planted germinates within them. If I don’t speak, they can’t believe.

Paul’s encouragement to his sidekick “Timbo” is pertinent here: “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Tim. 1:8-9). I don’t know about you, but I’ve never experienced anything close to the kind of persecution and suffering Paul is talking about. The following verses also epitomize this selfless attitude:

Acts 5:41-42
41So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame forHis name42And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

So if you need a little more rejoicing in your life, “GO, STAND, SPEAK to the people all these words of life.” There’s no doubt some will reject you, and then you can rejoice that you are in good company, so to speak, because, as God told David, “They’re not rejecting you, but Me.”

The power of words, and their judicious use in any relationship, cannot be overstated. One of my favorite Bible words is the Greek word parrhesia, usually translated “boldness.” It literally means to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said how it needs to be said to whom it needs to be said. Yes, the content is most important, but Jesus was The Master at confronting people in a way that they could see the benefits of following his advice. In this month’s live WWF, Freedom of Speech? I share a word study on parrhesia. Hope you’ll listen to it soon.

“Uh oh (or do you think, “Oh boy, I’m gonna love this person!”), there’s a human approaching me at 9 o’clock. Neither of us has yet spoken, and both of us are assessing the other’s looks. Despite that outfit, he/she is made in the image of God. How do I know this person will not become the best friend I’ve ever had? I don’t.“ After all, the woman who is now my wife was a complete stranger the first time I met her. So why don’t I ask the Lord if there is anything in particular he wants me to say to this dude, like, “May I please have a drink of water?” That worked pretty well for Jesus with the woman at the well in John 4. And if I receive no striking revelation for an opening line, why don’t I just give the person a big smile and say, “Hello; God bless you, I hope you’re having a great day.”

Romans 10:11-16
11For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 14How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

As Christians, we need to be aware of any laws being considered or passed that dilute our cherished freedom of speech. Today we live in what some call a “post-truth culture,” and the prevailing standard dictates that it is evil to judge others’ beliefs. Our culture now leans toward restricting “startling” speech. Oh, you mean like Peter’s piercing, provocative, precise, penetrating Pentecost proclamation? OK, he’s sorry about that; he didn’t mean to offend anyone. Are you kidding? It was that dynamic discourse that launched the Christian ekklesia!

God’s Word also shows us how Satan works to squelch God’s truth by intimidating believers. Many Christians don’t care if they are rebuffed when holding forth the Word of life, and they artfully negotiate both their own fear and the other person’s objections to reach his heart with God’s love. This is how society is supposed to work, but “society” is growing increasingly “unsocial,” and the Devil wants laws passed that make it illegal to speak God’s Word. Of course those laws contradict the First Amendment to our United States Constitution, but lawless people do not care about that. As a reminder, here is the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Thank God for that! So let us not unconsciously pass our own “internal law” by which we allow FEAR to restrict our boldness of speech. See each encounter with a “made-in-the-image-of-God” human as a golden opportunity for dialogue that could open someone’s heart to the Truth. Think about how much you love that person rather than about how afraid you are to speak to him. Some people are “duds,” but most have certain wonderful qualities, and you and the Lord can unlock their hearts and get to know the Real Them. Push the envelope. You might try using appropriate humor in your initial remarks to get the person’s attention. E.g., while waiting on a corner to cross the street, I said to a guy wearing plaid pants, ”Well, no one will run over you while you’re wearing those pants!” There is also something to be said for SHOCK VALUE, like at a NJ college where, minutes before the meeting of a couple hundred folks began, I went into the crowded cafeteria on the floor below, got up on a chair and yelled loudly, “May I please have your attention; if you’ve never heard anything about God that makes sense, come upstairs in five minutes, and you will.”

Many of us are heading into the home stretch (the last 20-30 years) of our lives. We want to go out in a “blaze of glory,” so to speak. How sad our Lord Jesus must be to see not only the pitiful state of the world, but also the sad state of his ekklesia, the vast majority of whom have no idea what He says about so many critical issues. My continuing prayer is: “Father, please connect us with everyone on the planet who would love your Truth that we teach.”

TLTF belongs to everyone who “belongs to the truth.” This is your ministry. It is your gifts that enable us to reach out with God’s Word. It is your sharing the Word with people that gives God the opportunity to win their hearts. And it is your prayers that somehow help give God entrée to reach them (cp. Eph. 6:19-20). Will you please make it a priority to PRAY that everyone who loves what we teach finds hungry souls in that same category? Maybe we can see an influx of believers before the Lord Jesus shows up and has to sort of “re-introduce” himself to those brethren who think he is God.

Thank you for praying for Elizabeth and me to get the “God-deal RV” that He has for us somewhere on the planet so we can hit the road asap (early January?) and minister to God’s dear saints—and stir up trouble for the enemy. TLTF definitely has “the product” that some people want: Truth. The sad thing is that 99% of Christians cannot tell them what you can tell them about the Word. Why? Because although they mean well, no one has taught them the Truth. On the contrary, YOU have heard the Truth, so you can share it with those who need it. What a privilege!

There is no power in what we do not say. God cannot back up words we do not speak, but when we speak His Word into a situation, He unleashes His power to bring to pass His Will. Each day is a new day, with different people coming into your life. GO, STAND, SPEAK to the people all these words of life!

Leave a Comment