Summary: The core of our faith is loving God and loving others.
1. Life is like an onion; we grow layer by layer.
2. The core is eventually covered up.
3. We must strip away our stuff and scabs to focus on our real core.
B. RELATIONSHIPS MATTER
1. The core of our faith is loving God and loving others. “A lawyer asked Jesus, what is the greatest commandment, he answered . . . love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . soul . . . and mind . . . then love your friends, relatives, associates and neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39, ELT).
Christianity is a relationship with God.
How we relate to others reflects our relationship to God.
What we speak outwardly, reflects us inwardly.
2. If you got word you were “terminal” how would it influence your speech?
a. Honest _______________________________________________________________
b. Love _________________________________________________________________
c. Heal _________________________________________________________________
d. Give _________________________________________________________________
e. Encourage ____________________________________________________________
f. Warn ________________________________________________________________
C. STOP USING WORDS THAT TEAR DOWN
1. What’s in the heart comes out of the mouth. “You teachers . . . and Pharisees, hypocrites! You try to look like upright people outwardly, but inside your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matt. 23:27-28, NLT).
2. Outward anger and rage comes from the heart. “You have heard . . . do not murder . . . murders will be subject to judgment. Anyone who is angry with his brother . . . and says, ‘You fool’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” (Matt. 5:21-24, NLT).
God forgives a cursing mouth, but not an angry heart that has not been regenerated.
3. The first crime was anger that led to murder. “Cain was very angry” (Gen. 4:5).
4. Anger inflames us. “The tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself” (James 3:6).
5. Jesus focused on our problems. “What you say flows from what is in your heart” (Luke 6:45, ELT).
6. EXPLODERS: express anger emotionally, uncontrolled evil. (Slam doors, kick puppies, get even)
7. IMPLODERS: express anger internally, uncontrolled hateful stewing (scream on the inside and it tears them up internally.)
8. Exploders become a cancer to others, imploders become cancerous to themselves.
9. Steps to overcome anger:
a. Put your guard up.
b. Think twice, speak once
c. Shut up.
d. Stop it. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh word” (Eph. 4:31, NLT).
e. Realize your tendencies.
f. Yield your anger to God. “Do not yield your members as instruments of sin (Rom. 6:13, ELT).
g. Fill your heart and mouth with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
h. Pray for strength and self control.
i. Empower your mind with God’s words.
D. START USING WORDS TO BUILD UP
• Give me liberty or _______________________________
• I regret I have but one life _________________________
• Remember _____________________________________
• Never, never, never ______________________________
1. Replace angry words with powerful words. “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Eph. 4:29, NLT).
How destructive are wrong words?
How constructive are right words?
How healing are God’s words?
2. If you could take back one of your words? What __________________________________. Why ______________________________________________________________________?
3. The three greatest words of all time:
• “It is finished,” cover our sins.
• “He is risen,” power to overcome sin.
• “I will come again,” hope for perfection in Heaven.
Words are like a scattered bag of feathers, impossible to retrieve.
4. There is life in the Word of God. “The words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
5. God’s Word can transform our words. “Being born again . . . by the word of God” (I Peter 1:23).
A careless word may kindle strife.
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A bitter word may hate instill.
A brutal word may smite or kill.
A gracious word may smooth the way.
A joyous word may light the day.
A timely word may lessen stress.
A loving word may heal and bless.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.