Remember a week or so back I asked you to join me in a fast, a fast of criticism? So how are you doing? I have to admit that there have been a few times that I’ve had to stop and repent and get back on track. Our words are so important.
You might not think that a teaching on words has much to do with the Christmas season but it really does. God started everything with His words. He said, “Light be” and it was. He spoke the plan of Christ’s birth was spoken out in words hundreds of years before the event took place. God had the prophets repeated that message again and again until it came to pass.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 KJV
Then the angel came to Mary and told her that she had been chosen to give birth to the Messiah. Listen to her response.
“26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth…
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:26-38 KJV
According to your word. Mary knew that it was only necessary for God to speak a word for things to happen.
Words are filled with power – power to create or power to destroy. The writer of Proverbs penned it this way
“ A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:20-21 KJV
This is why it’s so important that we “fast” those words that are critical and condemning. We don’t want to end up eating our unkind words, we need to feast on words that life giving.
Our casual approach to the spoken or written word can undermine our faith. My favorite Bible verse, Numbers 23:19 focuses on the importance and power of God’s word.
“God is not a man; he will not lie. God is not a human being; his decisions will not change. If he says he will do something, then he will do it. If he makes a promise, then he will do what he promised.” Numbers 23:19 ERV
When God speaks His word – it comes to pass. He has faith in what He has said and that’s why Mary could have such life-changing faith in the message that Gabriel brought her from God. We can have that same conviction and faith in God’s words.
At Christmas, and throughout the year, make your words a gift. A gift that brings life and encouragement. A gift of forgiveness and peace. A gift of kindness and love!
“Don’t let me do wrong on purpose, Lord, or let sin have control over my life. Then I will be innocent, and not guilty of some terrible fault.14 Let my words and my thoughts be pleasing to you, Lord, because you are my mighty rock and my protector.” Psalms 19:13-14 CEV