This morning a friend of mine posted something on Facebook that my wife Pat and I discuss a lot. She and I struggle with the ugly way people tear each other down. My friend, Machell’s post, was simple and to the point. I liked it. Show kindness.
“Life is so much better when people are kind to each other. It isn’t that hard to do. We all should be building each other up, not tearing down.”
I read that, and I immediately got a nudge by the Holy Spirit reminding me that there is a scripture that speaks to that very thing. So I searched for the passage. Frankly, Google is quicker than the concordance. I found the passage that Machell had paraphrased. It was in Ephesians.
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Now I love Machell. She is a very sweet and tender-hearted person, and what she said is something we should strive for, but when Paul says it the phrase carries with it authority. It is not just a good idea, but a command from the Word of God. Now I pondered this a long time before I decided to use this on my blog today. It all just rolled around in my head like a ball in an empty room; once in a while it hit a wall, and I would remember the thought. But I continued with my study, and I read “The Book of Mysteries” by Johnathan Kahn.
“The Book of Mysteries” Day 39
Day 39 was titled “Celestial Seed.” In the one page story or devotional the teacher was holding a bag of seeds, and he spoke of how the seeds did no good in the bag. They needed to be planted where they could grow. He talked at length about the sowing of seed, but halfway down the page, he tells the student that is not why he brought him there. He stops talking an pulls a Bible out of his pocket and begins to equate the seed to the Word of God.
“If the Word stays on the pages and is never sown to life, then its life stays unlocked, unrealized. So the Word must be sown. “
“Sown to what soil?” I asked.
“Sown into the soil of life, ” He replied. “Sown into the lives of others… and to the soil of your own life. The seed must become one with the soil. So the Word must become one with your life. So you need to sow the Word into every situation of your life and let it become one with the soil-the soil of your heart, your thoughts, your emotions, your life. For when the Word becomes one with your life, then its shell will break open, its plan will be activated, its promise unlocked, its life released, and its miracle begun.” “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Kahn Day 38
I pondered this passage from the book for a long time this morning. You know how I am always talking about the need to be in the Word. Well, this morning I was reminded that I could use any words to make a point… any, but if I use the Word of God, there is power in those words. The Lord also reminds me of Isaiah that there is something else special about His words.
Isaiah 55:10-11 (ESV)
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
I do not know about you, but as I read that passage, I got a cold chill or goose bumps or whatever you call it.
As I ponder these passages and how the Holy Spirit used the writing of a dear friend to prompt all this I am overwhelmed. There is such a subtle difference between what my friend wrote and what the Holy Word says that one could almost see the first in a contemporary translation of the Word save for one thing. The text from Ephesians ends on grace, and if you go to the Word of God to get the context of that one sentence, you get this.
Ephesians 4:30-32 (ESV)
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Jonathan Kahn is right. The Word of God left on the page cannot grow or bear fruit. These Words are “celestial seeds” that must be planted and to do that we must first plant them in our hearts. If they are not there, we cannot accomplish anything.
At the end of day 35, Jonathan Kahn prompted the reading of 1Peter 1:23 but I needed the context, and it is powerful.
1 Peter 1:22-25 (ESV)
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
I look at this passage, and I see the path of the Christian and our dependence on the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to help me understand it. What a gift he has given us and what great news we have to share.
As I consider this flood of information that God shared with me through His Word with a simple prompt of a godly woman I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving. It simply further fuels my hunger for God’s Word so that I might know it better and listen and act in accordance with His Will; the Truth of His Word.
I cannot help but be reminded of the Lord’s command for the King of Israel in Deuteronomy 17.
Deuteronomy 17:18-20 (ESV)
18 “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.
A command for a king. A king that did not yet reign, but one that God knew would. If he needed the book of the law to keep him humble why wouldn’t I, and given the gift of the new covenant and the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide me in prayer and study of the Word why would I not hunger to know more? What a gift we have in God’s plan. I give thanks for the living water of His Word.
Father, today my prayer is so simple. I am really at a loss for words. My only thought is Thank you for all provision; both physical and spiritual. To you, Lord be the Glory! In Jesus name, I pray, AMEN!