pen of the pastor: Breathing the word of Jesus into our lives | Columnists

Words. When I’m tired and it’s late, I sometimes have trouble communicating. I get dyslexic when I speak and return words that confuse what I’m trying to convey. As my husband likes to tease me, “words are hard”.

The Message version of Proverbs 18:21 says, “Words kill, words give life; they are either poisons or fruits — the choice is yours…” Words are used in all sorts of ways in our culture. They can be used to convey feelings, describe events, create division, produce art, make a statement, etc.

The disciples realized the importance of words and those who spoke them. They lived in a world of religious leaders (Pharisees, Sadducees) who had a lot to say. Then Jesus came on the scene. The words he spoke were sometimes direct and at other times cryptic and mysterious.

In John chapter 6 we see many of his disciples abandon him after he described to them what we now know as the sacrament of communion. After many of them have left, he then asks his 12 disciples in verse 67, “…Are you also going to leave?” To which Simon Peter, the group’s informal spokesman, replied in verse 68: “…Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Saint of God.

People also read…

The disciples, having followed the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees all their lives, saw the fruits they produced. Jesus called them to follow him. Of all the conventional rabbis, they chose to accept his invitation. They didn’t just sit under his teachings; they lived by his side and walked with him. They saw who he was when the crowds weren’t around and the fruit he produced. Although they did not understand all of his teachings at the time, they recognized that there was something different in the words he spoke.

In John chapter 12, Jesus tells us about the difference. In verse 48 he says, “I do not speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know that his commandments lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.

It can be difficult to understand. Not only did Jesus say what the Father told him to say, he also WAS the word. John 1:1-5 and 14, “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to all that was created, and his life brought light to all. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never put it out… Then the Word became man and took up residence among us. He was full of unfailing love and fidelity. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only begotten Son of the Father.

Christian singer and songwriter Jeremy Camp, in his song “Words of Life” sings,

“Because you called me out of the grave

So I can live like I’ve been changed

There’s a new song in my soul

And it starts when I breathe in

To imagine. What would it be like if we breathed Jesus’ words of life? Now imagine what the world would be like if we breathed out his words of life?

On the one hand, our world could use fewer words. Technology and social media have turned words into a tsunami of information that is, at best, overwhelming. Christians can release the Word to the world. He brings light to dark places, truth where there is deception, peace where there is anxiety, clarity where there is confusion, and love where there is hate, silencing the roar deafening of the tsunami. Doesn’t that sound refreshing? Speak His Words of Life today!

Deborah Schrader is pastor at Lighthouse Church in Kearney.

Comments are closed.