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Summary: The reason we think and many times say such terrible things about others is that we do not truly accept that we are accepted. We are haunted by guilt because we have never accepted and forgiven ourselves.

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Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Or so we have been told.

However, the Bible tells us that our words have the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). God also tells us that only wholesome talk should come from our mouths and that we should encourage one another daily so that we are not hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Ephesians 4:29; Heb. 3:13).

What we say reveals what is in our hearts - the heart is used in Scripture as the seat of our personality, feelings, desires, joy, pain, love and the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit – and reveals who we really are. Jesus said: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks,” (Matthew 12:34). If what we say is filled with anger, accusation, manipulation, domination, intimidation, bitterness, envy, selfish ambition, greed, lust, earthly concerns and desires, ungodly thoughts and ideas, confusion and disorder, then we are motivated by Satan. If what we say is filled with mercy, love and consideration for others, peace, submission, sincerity and impartiality, and righteousness, then our hearts are filled with God’s Holy Spirit and wisdom.

I am convinced that we say what we say because of what we believe. If we truly believed that God accepts us, just the way we are, just the way we are right now, that we are made in His image, that we are His sons and daughters, His beloved children in whom He is well pleased, then our speech and our lives would more reflect the kingdom of God – righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).

The reason we think and many times say such terrible things about others is that we do not truly accept that we are accepted. We are haunted by guilt because we have never accepted and forgiven ourselves. And if we haven’t forgiven ourselves we have never really accepted God’s forgiveness. But the moment I understand that God, Who sees me exactly the way I am, and Who says of me, "I am satisfied with you in the blood of Christ. You are accepted by me," then I have no right to say anything less about myself or anyone else. And that means that I can also accept you. I can accept the fact that you, like me, are not perfect, we are under construction and that you need forgiveness and encouragement and unconditional love, and it becomes my privilege, my honor to extend grace to you, by saying, "That’s okay, I’m not going to hold it against you. I’m glad to forgive you because I have been forgiven so much more than anything you could ever say or do against me."

If we could truly get hold of, really understand, that we are accepted, adopted, blameless, chosen, forgiven, predestined, and sealed by God’s Holy Spirit on the basis of Christ’s atoning work, we would be so busy praising God all the day long that we would find no opportunity for petty differences. God was satisfied by Christ for sin - Jesus died because I deserved to die. Jesus took my place and died for me. Scripture says that He actually became us: "He who knew no sin, was made sin for us," (2 Corinthians 5:21) - something far more than simply becoming a substitute – He took my sins upon Himself and God put Him to death, because that is what I deserve.

Jesus took my place and paid the full price, and therefore I am free. God fully accepts me. There is nothing ever to hinder Him in the least degree. I can look my guilt in the face and acknowledge it, admit my state, point to the Cross, and say, "The Cross has settled it. I am no longer what I once was because of that." And God treats me in that way.

Jesus said: "All those who are with me gather, and all those who are against me scatter," (Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:23). You can tell whose side you are on by the effect of your life. Are you gathering, or scattering? Are you dividing, or do you bring unity? Are you healing, or hurting? Are you bringing together, or breaking up? Do you gossip, slander, and bicker against authority? Which is the direction of your life? What would others say? God’s plan is to heal and make whole. Whose kingdom do you serve? Your words and actions reveal your true heart.

We may be able to hide our hearts to some degree, but what comes out of our mouths is a sure indication of what our hearts are truly like. To some extent we may be able to control what comes out of our mouths, but eventually, what is in our hearts will be revealed. We cannot solve our heart problem just by cleaning up what we say. We must allow God’s Holy Spirit to fill us with new attitudes and motives, then, what comes from our mouths will be wholesome. We must realize that godliness comes only by divine transformation of our hardened, rebellious hearts – from the inside out – and not by any self-effort. God has given us a new heart and His Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26,27), and will bring about real transformation by renewing our minds and hearts and filling them with His Spirit.

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