Words matter. When we use words to preach the Word, God transforms lives. God’s words are particularly powerful…don’t forget that He spoke the world into existence! Our own words of grace and truth have the ability to provide tremendous encouragement and motivation to fellow believers. At the same time, words that are deceptive, divisive, or thoughtless can cause pain. The example of Jesus, the wisdom of the Bible, and the power of the Holy Spirit can transform our hearts such that the words that come out of our mouths can be used for God’s glory.
God’s words edify. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
Words of praise. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; tell of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! – Psalm 96:2-3 ESV
Words of grace. A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1 ESV
Words of truth. There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. – Proverbs 12:18-19 ESV
Be quiet sometimes. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. – Proverbs 17:28 ESV
No slander. The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool. – Proverbs 10:18 ESV
Lying is destructive. Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day. Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit. You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. – Psalm 52:1-3 ESV
Don’t be crude. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. – Ephesians 5:4 ESV
When it comes to our words our primary aim is to share the Gospel with as many people as possible. We can do this both directly and indirectly. We should always be looking for opportunities to speak the Gospel frankly, to tell others about Jesus. In addition, when we season the tone and content of our daily conversations with thoughtful intent, we present the Gospel in a different way. Conversely, our words can become a Gospel distraction when they are biting, untruthful, or unloving. We must ask God to give us the boldness to speak about Jesus and to help us use all of our words to help point people to Him.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
Christ Centered Preaching, by Bryan Chapell
Between Two Worlds, by John Stott