Summary: We’ve all heard the quote falsely attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, "Preach the gospel at all times. use words if necessary;" words are necessary and this message encourages believers to speak boldly.
MEN’S RETREAT – NOV 3, 2007
Speaking in the Fight
Col.4:6 - Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
1. Why speaking is a fight: hard to take a stand, etc.
a. Speaking is difficult.
i. We’re scared to speak!
1. It’s been said - "Top 3 fears: First, speaking in front of people, second, dying and third, speaking in front of people and dying."
a. Very funny, but really, peoples’ fear of speaking is greater than even their fear of death.
ii. Moses was scared to speak:
1. Ex.4:1, 10-15 - Then Moses said, "What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, `The LORD has not appeared to you.’ "Then Moses said to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." The LORD said to him, "Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? "Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say." But he said, "Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will." Then the anger of the LORD burned against Moses, and He said, "Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. And moreover, behold, he is coming out to meet you; when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. "You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do.”
iii. 4 Distinctively frightening points in speaking:
1. Meeting someone.
2. Starting a conversation.
3. Transitioning to a spiritual conversation.
4. Bringing them to a point of decision.
b. It is hard to practice what you preach.
i. James 1:22 - Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
ii. 1 Jn.3:18 - Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
2. Power of the tongue:
a. James 3:1-12 - 1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. 3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or 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. 5Likewise 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. 6The 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. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and saltF6 water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
b. Pr.18:21 – The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
c. Mt.18:18 - I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
d. Corresponding responsibility!
i. Mt.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.
3. This fight must come out of your walk with God.
a. 2 Cor.4:13 - It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.
i. If it comes from me it will be no good.
ii. From Him it will be words of life.