Honor God In What You Say
Your words have the power to minister to someone. Pray before you speak. If you fill your mind with God's Word, it will come out in your words. Pray before you say something.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? It’s your good friend Bob Cook, and we’re back together again looking at 1 Peter 4. We were walking around in a kind of a review of verse 10, talking about ministering the gift God has given us. Every person has a different set of gifts, but you can apply these gifts for God’s glory and for eternal profit as you help to meet the needs of other people. You minister when you meet a need, sharing God with people at the point of their need. Now, we go on to something else in verse 11. He said, “If any man speak.” Now, this has to do with the out-working of that concept of ministering. Part of your ministry is speaking with people. You can’t go around with your mouth shut all the time. Now, sometimes it’s a good thing to keep quiet. It’s better to be silent and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt, said someone. And, of course, I love that Hispanic proverb. They call them dichos.
It says, “A boca cerrada no entran moscas.” The flies do not enter a closed mouth. I love that one. [chuckle] So there are some times when one ought to be silent and it is a wise person who knows when those times arrive. However, you can’t go through life with your mouth shut. You do talk with people. And so there needs to be a Christian approach to talking. Had you ever thought of your Christianity in those terms?
A Christian approach to speech and talking. Now, what does he say? “If any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God.” “Let him speak as the oracles of God.” Now, that’s something, isn’t it? What do you make of it? “If any man speak… ” I’m looking at my Greek New Testament now. This is a very simple, concise sentence in the Greek New Testament. “If somebody speaks as the mouth of God,” or as the Word of God. Now, that’s an awesome concept, that when you open your mouth as a believer indwelt as the scripture teaches us by the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of God comes in to dwell in your life when you receive Christ as Savior. So as a believer indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God that when you open your mouth you actually are the mouth of God speaking to people. That is, it just blows your mind away, doesn’t it? And yet, there you have the truth, God in his infinite grace has made it possible for you and for me to be his mouthpiece.
“If any man speak let him speak as the very mouth of God, the Word of God.” Well, what do you do about that, other than having Bob Cook remind you of it? What do you do about it? Number one: You make up your mind that talking with people is far more important than you thought it was. For the most part, we’re quite careless about our speech, aren’t we? A chance remark that I made years ago in my office was repeated by somebody else and twisted a little, and as a result, somebody else called me up from California and said, “Did you say so and so?” Well, no, I didn’t, but what I did say, I shouldn’t have said at all. It’s that important, that your words, your words are actually indwelt by the Spirit of God, you are the mouthpiece of God. Now, the first thing to do is to think about it and pray about it, until God has impressed that upon your mind. Second: Every day commit your mouth and the mind that works it to the control of the Holy Spirit of God.
As a teenager, I would sometimes talk with my father about things. And one day I said, “Tell me something about my mother.” I don’t really remember anything about my mother, ’cause she died when I was 16-months-old. And so, he told me some very precious things about her and about their life together, and then he mentioned that every day she prayed a certain prayer taken from the scriptures. And I said, “Well, what was that?” He said, “Because she had a very quick mind and a quick tongue, she prayed every day and I remember hearing her pray,” he said, from the Psalms, “Set a watch, O Lord before the door of my mouth. Keep the door of my heart.” The door of my… “Set a watch before my mouth and keep the door of my heart.” There you have it. And this dear lady, whom I hope to meet in the glory, prayed every day that the Holy Spirit of God would control what she had to say.
That I think would be the next step, wouldn’t it? If you want to speak as the very mouthpiece of God, then first of all decide that this is so. Second: Pray every day that God will guide and control what you have to say. Then what? Well, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh, the Bible says, and so it’s a good thing to fill your mind and memory with the Scripture. Whatever you think about all the time turns out to be that on which you will risk your life and your destiny. Whatever man thinks about all the time becomes that for which he is willing to risk the whole bundle, so that if you will fill your heart and mind with Scripture and have that in the background of your thinking, what you say is more apt to honor and to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Then of course, it always helps to think a little before you open your mouth. This is something that I have to learn and re-learn, after having lived a while, as I have, the tendency is to open mouth, insert both feet. [chuckle]
But before you answer a question, before you make a pronouncement, before you say something in a judgmental way or a critical way, before even you open your mouth to laugh at something, if you just in that split second ask the question, “Is this gonna honor the Lord? Is this gonna to encourage people? Is this gonna glorify God?” It doesn’t take but a split second in that mind of yours to double check. Before taking off in an airplane the pilot and the co-pilot go through a safety check. You know about that, I guess, don’t you? And they look at all the gauges and all the dials, and they move the the elevator fins in the tail section, and the rudder, and they move the flaps to see if they work, the wing flaps. They look at the temperature gauges and they look at the oil pressure gauges and they check everything out. That’s known as as a routine safety check, and they have to do it. Well, not so time-consuming, but even much more important. Before you take off in a flight of words, to continue the figure of speech, you better do a momentary safety check and say, “Is this going to help or to hinder? Is this going to honor God?”
It doesn’t take but a split second. Your mind works faster than anybody could describe it. You know that. In that millisecond before you open your mouth, just double check to be sure that you’re going to be a help and that you’re gonna honor God in what you say. Now, this comes to be, after a while, a matter of habit. And if you’ll form that habit early in life… I’m talking to some younger people as well as to the rest of us who are what we call, mature. [chuckle] That takes in everything from 30 years on to 100, doesn’t it? So if you can learn this early in life or whatever stage of life you’re in, start today to practice thinking and praying about what you say before you say it. Start today filling your life with Scripture, so that you’ll speak out of the abundance of your heart. Start today by making up your mind that what you say has to be an expression of the very grace and presence and blessing of Almighty God. Good idea? “If any man speak let him do it as the very mouth of God.”
And I think it’s the Italians that have a saying that, when translated, it says, “From your mouth to God’s ears.” Have you ever heard that used? I hear it from my Italian-American friends oftentimes. Well, we could change that beautiful saying and we could say, “From God’s heart through your mouth.” Because that’s the way he wants to work, right? Then, he said, “If any man minister… ” And now we’re back to that same verb diakonao; minister in helping to meet needs. “Let him do it as of the ability which God giveth.” Now, you have the new dimension here. You got the gift in verse 10. You got God’s gift to you. But now, how to use that gift, he says, “God gives you the ability to use it.” You see, we can go astray if in our own self-will we decide to run our lives our way. Many of my hearers, I think, can empathize with the concept that somebody wanted to do it his way and wrecked his life as a result or got into heartache or problems.
We just tend to get into trouble if we go our own way. “All we like sheep have gone astray,” said Isaiah, “We have turned everyone to his own way.” That’s the way human sinful human nature goes. But the obverse of that concept is to use the gift God has given you in God’s way and with the ability he gives. You never say “I can’t” if you’re a believer. Because, “I can,” Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” And if you’re in the middle of an assignment where you almost despair of being able to meet the responsibility, look heavenward and say, “Lord, you said you’d give me the ability. Now, help me now.” He will. We’ll talk about this again the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, work through us, speak through us, use the gifts thou hast given us for thy glory, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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