All praise to the Lord Jesus the Word of God who is all wise and humble and gracious to those who seek him in spirit and in truth. Glory to the Lord God the giver of all that is eternally good and eternally enduring. Thanks be to God for sending the Holy Spirit to lead us in all truth.
As the world which is away from the truth by the Lord God above you will notice its impurity in what it speaks. The movies keep getting more and more obscene and words in them likewise. What was unacceptable about 40 years ago in the movies is passed of contemporary language these days. More worse is, when they make the children use hideous profanity on-screen. And the worldly literature or what passes off as literature, has many books and articles which contain most shallow and foul-mouthed words. And depending on the reader groups the writer’s cater to, the vile words they use can be outright rude or willfully subtle. What a fallen world indeed!
O people of the Lord God, who call yourself by the name of the Lord do not fall into the world’s slime lest you become a part of it. Stay pure for the sake of the Lord. Practice wisdom in your thoughts, words and actions, so that all people who see you give glory to the Lord, and not find an occasion to slander Jesus Christ the Son of God, on account of your bad behaviour!
Today I write about speaking words that are pleasant. This is going to be simple but effective if you put it into practice. I break it down into three things; thoughts, words and timing.
Thoughts when speaking
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure. (Proverbs 15:26)
What use is it to speak kind words to another when you have deceit in your heart? Have clear and pure thoughts that are presentable to the Lord God when you speak to anyone. For the Lord knows the heart of man. Many vile murderers and fraudsters have all the wrong thoughts though they may use pleasant words when luring their victims to death and loss. Be not like them all. Hate, pride, malice, jealousy, greed, deceit and the like are not the type of thoughts you should expect to be acceptable to the Lord God. And just imagine a seller, trying to be most polite to a prospective buyer, when trying to convince him to buy his house, but inwardly thinks the buyer is too dumb to buy the house. And then either by slip of tongue or by a gossiping servant of the seller the prospective buyer know the true mind of the seller. Then wouldn’t that buyer call off the deal before the sale is made? The seller may suffer losses financially and reputationally but what’s more dangerous is at the end of his or her life he is answerable to God.
So even before you speak pleasant words to others don’t have foolish motives but genuine respect and wisdom when doing so.
The words spoken
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24)
When you have the right intentions why not speak the right words as well? Have the words that are truly acceptable in the presence of the Lord God. I can suggest a few such combinations as the following but do take due diligence and time to find more such words; thank you, please can I, that’s very kind of you, have a great day/weekend, good effort etc. There are people who have the right thoughts but fumble at speaking the right kinds of words that are actually pleasant. A word of advice to such people, God knows your heart when you speak so don’t give up on your good thoughts but please by all means do surely try to improve on the pleasant words you speak. In all humility, even if you are an adult take time to go through books or articles which suggest more gracious words. Be gracious as Jesus Christ when speaking to the poor, widows and orphans etc, for Jesus, never mocked the afflicted but spoke words kind and fully consistent with his Divine calling from the Lord’ so that people received their healing in mind, body and spirit.
So even as you speak use words that are actually pleasant and consistent with the wisdom of the Word of God.
The timing of the pleasant words
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear. (Proverbs 25:11-12)
Doesn’t it makes sense to have the right thoughts and words when its the right time to do so, rather than the wrong time? At funerals people cry out for their deceased loves ones in deep sorrow. Indeed what grief is there especially at the death of a parent or a young baby! It’s important to express your emotions at this stage. However coming to the point, I’ve seen people speak so well of their parents, when for most part of their life, they would neglect their parents or even speak rudely to them. Such is the tragedy of life, that these very people are filled with remorse now want to talk good but the person who they are talking about is longer with them. If only such people could make that time to wish their parent’s all things pleasant while they were still alive. It’s important to speak pleasantly to your loved one’s all the time for you don’t generally know the time of life and death. And when talking to people who are not relatives be it co-workers, government staff etc be sensible and alert enough to speak pleasant words at the right time. Because people can find a person who is pleasant for the sake of it at the wrong time, very repulsive! It’s very risky to thank your manager for helping you avoid the mandatory overtime (due to your illness), in the middle of a meeting with a delegation of clients who take pleasure in dumping loads of work over to all. You can instead thank him or her when such demanding clients are totally away from you both, if you get what I mean.
So always speak kindly to your relatives and loved one’s and speak in due time to the rest, so that you are truly wise steward of the time your Lord God has given you.
There are times when people will need help from you. They might need your prayers and also encouragement to to what is right. Sometimes they might need to be corrected gently. Then again they may be in need of godly counsel from you. Are you ready for it? If not then train yourself to help others.
Please avoid saying that you are not equipped so you can’t help. That may be true but what stops you from getting trained? You can even get trained in church at times besides you can always learn from the Bible. Please avoid saying that every time a troubled person comes all you will do is refer him/her to your pastor or preacher. There are times when it makes sense to directly refer them. However there are times when you can at least a short pray and speak Biblical exhortation before you send the person to your pastor or preacher.
You don’t need to be an ordained church minister to help others in need. Does giving food to the poor, need you to have a theology degree? Certainly not. Does being kind to a person who suffered an accident, need you to first attend a seminary? Absolutely not. Don’t ever let any legalism stop from doing what is right and in your power to help others in need!
Christ be with you.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:13-15)
Never ever be a legalistic person in trying to restrict children from coming to Christ. Because Jesus does not restrict himself to only the grown ups. He is there for the kids too. If a child wants to read the Bible or sing praises to God then you might as well encourage such things. There is nothing in the Bible that says to discourage kids from trying to learn about Jesus our Lord.
Deuteronomy 11:18-19 says this about teaching children the word of God; “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
No wonder, when a child wants to know about Jesus Christ do not give excuses saying that they are not come of age. Don’t delay their walk into the church services. Just think, how come the Evil One doesn’t bother about the age of children? He won’t hesitate to let children learn obscene language at school. He will try to make them focus too much on the TV instead of studies. So why make the Devil have a field day tempting children via the various deceptions of the world while you wait till the kids are grown up? Be a real soldier for Christ and cut off the plans of the Devil for your children. Teach your child about the Gospel. Teach them to be alert and prayerful. Most importantly teach them everything about Jesus Christ and his saving power.
I remember a preacher saying, ‘Christian youth are not the future, they are the present’. This couldn’t be more true. Why wait for Christian kids or youth to cross like 35-40 years to be zealous for God and so work for him? Instead you can always encourage them to do whatever little thing they can for the glory of God. Like singing in the choir, making Christian art work and poems, praying if they hear of someone in need etc. There’s always something good a child can do. All they need is the right direction and encouragement. This can happen best when they are aware of the grace and salvation that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. Never let them be denied this.
Christ be with you!
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8
Training oneself physically helps you stay fit and agile. Regular exercise prevent excess weight gain. To climb mountains, a person undergoes a lot of conditioning both physically and mentally. This helps one climb up and down the mountain safely and effectively.
Athletes and soldiers exercise almost everyday, so that they can be in prime fitness whenever needed. Even animals such as dogs and monkey do some form of excercise, which looks very amusing to me. Astronauts in space are needed to excercise to maintain optimum muscle function.
So I surely can say that physical training is good for you. What physical training you need to follow is up to you. You would need to a bit of personal research, though speaking to a professional can help too. If you are on medication take your doctor into confidence about what training program you intend to do.
Now, 1 Timothy 4:8 doesn’t say not to excercise physically. It rather shows that spiritual training or training for godliness is much more beneficial than physical training. Physical training helps us in this life. Spiritual training helps us in this life and the after life as well.
Now what does training for godliness include. It includes reminding yourself of your new nature in Christ. It includes honoring the sacrifice of Jesus in partaking of the Lord’s Supper. It includes reading the Bible with the intent to grow. It includes hearing the Gospel regularly. It includes
remembering the prophecies in the Bible. It includes using the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It includes avoiding being a ‘solo’ player in Church but instead helping others in it. It includes training yourself to pray in all forms, such a silent and vocal prayer, praying in tongues etc. It includes training yourself to worship Jesus with all your mind and strength.
So by now you may notice that spiritual training includes a lot of things. You need to train yourself against all attacks of the devil to steal your faith. You need to carry your cross daily. With mass media you can also read or hear and watch a lot of sermons on various spiritual topics.
I used to train myself a lot in casting out evil spirits. I didn’t bother to listen to any critic but decided to only use a bibical approach and avoid any foolish mystical stuff. This benefited me. On a few occasions that came up suddenly I found myself casting out demons though I was not an excorcist. This gave me a chance to preach the gospel even more to the affilicted person.
A point in spiritual training is that you must never overdo stuff and instead be balanced. I mean it’s really extreme to read books only on healing others most of the time but neglecting the overall training in godliness. With all due respect, you might become a good healer from God but you could miss on fellowship with other church members due to being constantly busy.
Too much emphasis on excorcism will make you concentrate on trying to detect spirits even in normal people. It can really annoy people in the business world if you are constantly talking about demons instead of work. You need to therefore take all spiritual training which will also teaches when and how to behave in a particular social setting.
With that said you must train for godliness in all areas adequately. If you are weak in a particular area like counselling a terminally ill person then do take help from people who are known to be proficient in that area. You can even ask the Lord to give you wisdom in that area and he will give it to you abundantly and without adding reproaches.
Take up training for godliness not in fear but with a desire to glorify God. Happy training!