Title: A Renewed Mouth
Topic: New Years Message
A truth worth grasping today is found in Isaiah 53:10. I love the way the New American Standard Bible translates it, “But Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief. If He would render Himself as a guilt offering. He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)
A Renewed Mouth
Introduction: It is that time of the year when we hear those New Year resolutions. Many proclaiming this or that - but there is one I would like to run by you this new years season. 1 Peter 1:13-16 gives us the perfect New Year resolution, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'” Let us pray!
There are three ways to accomplish holiness to God: 1.) Have a “Undefiled, Mouth, 2.) Have Undefiled Ears and 3.) Have Undefiled Eyes - today we will talk about our mouths.
Propositions: I would like to propose to you that the church that gets used of God to carry the message of Christ on to the next generation has Christians who grasp the powerful truths found in this message.
Christians can experience the same kind of life that the Apostle Paul lived. Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
King David foresaw of a time when “…future generations will be told about the Lord.” (Psalm 22:30) A time when people of God would “…proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn…” (Psalm 22:31) The Apostle Peter wrote about the work of Christians in 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
Transitional Sentence: The first desire of the heart should be to have an undefiled mouth. Listen to what Isaiah wrote about Jesus Christ, “…He had done no violence nor was any deceit in His mouth.” (Isaiah 53;9) Jesus never spoke falsely; therefore, what He taught on the matters of what comes from the mouth should be noted.
I am fully convinced that Jesus taught that speech as a whole is a reflection of who a man really is. Jesus taught, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:33-37)
As he said these words, Jesus’ healing ministry and miracles were spoken of by the Pharisees as acts done through Beelzebub. Our Lord was affirming that what they said was a reflection from what they truly believed in their hearts.
If our speech is predominately true, proper, chaste, instructive, and righteous, then it proves that the heart is right before God. If it is often false, envious, malignant and unrighteous, then it proves that the heart is wrong. The words that we speak as a whole show forth the fruit that is inside our heart, just as we can know the tree by the fruit it bears.
Joseph Stowell spouted off to his teacher at school and told her to shut up, and then he stood up and walked out of the classroom. As he walked down the block to his house he noticed that his mother was working in the yard. He stopped dead in his tracks. He thought “What am I going to tell her?” He considered his options. He could tell his mom the truth or fabricate a lie. From past experiences he knew she would most likely find out the truth eventually. He could spend the rest of the day out in the world—though he deemed it unwise considering where he lived—or he could go back to school and face the teacher.
He eventually chose the least of the three and went back to school. Upon his arrival the teacher took him by the arm and they walked into the bathroom and he got his mouth washed out with soap. Joseph later said, “I needed more than a mouthwash, I needed a heart washing.”
The human heart is like a dandelion; the key to its survival is its roots. Children may pick their pretty little flowers, but as long as the roots remain they’ll keep growing back. People who have the responsibility to weed the dandelions must make sure they get the roots.
Anyone who tries to overcome a speech issue that is ugly or unpleasing to the Lord by their own efforts is facing a losing battle. Only the Holy Spirit of Christ can go down deep into the spiritual heart and clean it up and make it aright with God. Our speech is simply a reflection of what is in the heart.
Let the Holy Spirit prepare your heart for the kind of speech that prolongs the Days of Christ.
Transitional Sentence: After letting the Holy Spirit to cleanse the heart, we can take the first step to having a undefiled mouth. I think we can start with the heartfelt prayer of the psalmist who wrote, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19: 14) We defeat all spiritual attacks by doing what the Apostles did, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) The Apostle Paul tells us
"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God." (1 Peter 4:10-11)
Before speaking, pray for divine control over our speech. Christians are to be kind, gracious, and speak the truth in love. Let us take a practical look on how to prolong the message of Christ in a sin-cursed world.
Professor Amos R. Wells says: “Sometimes a mountain avalanche is so delicately poised that the vibration of a voice will bring it down. Many an avalanche of sorrow has been brought down by a hasty word. Carelessness in word and action may result in the shipwreck not only of one but of many lives." (AMG Bible Illustrations)
Power of the Tongue
The tongue is the expression of our inward states of mind, and so, its reach is immense. It can rise to the very highest themes of spirituality, and all experiences therein. It can be the minister of love. It can be an instructor through imagination. It can give knowledge. It can give encouragement, cheer, consolation. It can bind up wounds. It can salve them and soothe them. Or, it may be the instrument of wrath, ignoble appetites and passions. For the mischief that it can do, for the malignity that it can express, it has no rival. For the transcendent beauty which it may exhibit, for the comfort and knowledge which it may minister, it also has no rival. The pen works for a longer period, but then the pen is dry. The tongue is a living force. It adds to the mere enunciation of any theme or feeling that electric impulse which every man carries with him. The pen has no blood; the tongue has much. We do well to take heed of it. (AMG Bible Illustrations)
In the workplace when a group of people get together it is all too easy to fall into their patterns of speech to tear down someone's work, rather than speak words of encouragement. Try to commend someone's work, before doing healthy criticism. When giving instructions, it’s best approached with the understanding that the gifts and talents you have were given to you by God; therefore, ask the Lord to give to your students what He has given you. Pray what the Lord has revealed to you, He will reveal it to others.
You and I have seen it time and time again; people who think that they have pulled themselves by their own boot strings have little patience with those who do not have the same talents or gifts.
Christians who use their speech in gracious tones are a loud voice for the Lord, especially when speaking appreciative of co-workers and speaking kindly to those they instruct. Words are of bold correction are to come only from those who have authority over the workforce.
For the church, God has a word that comes from the Holy Spirit given through faithful Christians who exercise their gift through sacrificial love. (1 Corinthians 12-14) There is "the word of knowledge" (gnosis). In 1 Corinthians 12:8 it is to have the knowledge of and having the ability to expound the deeper principles and truths of the Christian life. (The Complete Word Study of the New Testament) It is the Spiritual gift to share with others how they should live a life pleasing to the God who created them. It is to have knowledge of God's truth in regard to every-day living. (The Preacher's Outline Bible)
For the Body of Christ the Holy Spirit has "the word of wisdom (sophia)." (1 Corinthians 12:8) It is the ability to share with others the wisdom of God truths, putting His truths in understandable language so hearers may be able to put the teachings of God's Word in practical applications. (The Preacher's Outline Bible) It comes forth by a Christian's heart attitude of having his relationship with God regulated by the whole counsel of God's Word. (The Complete Word Study of the New Testament)
After years of prayerful seeking the council of God's Word, I felt called by the Lord to put my Biblical teachings into writing. In 1994 while attending NACI 94, overseen by the Billy Graham Association, the Lord led me to men gifted with the word of knowledge and the word of wisdom. A man came to me and taught me the whole council of God's Word of what is meant to preach the Word of God found in 2 Timothy 4:2.
The charge, “Preach the Word!” “Preach” (k¬¬erússo) means to especially preach, publish or announce religious truth, the gospel with its attendant privileges and obligations, in this gospel dispensation. It is to proclaim publicly after the manner of a herald always with authority such as to beckon people to listen and obey what is proclaimed. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary; Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament; Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon: Wuest Word Studies in the Greek New Testament)
Not only does the New Testament Greek tell us to publish the word, but the Old Testament prophets were told to write truth down as well. Isaiah 8:1 we read, “The Lord said to me, ‘Take a large scroll and write with an ordinary pen…’” Exodus 17:14 says, “…Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered..." Isaiah was told, “Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness…” Matthew Henry writes, “Orders were given to the prophet to write this prophecy, and publish it to be seen and read of all men.”
Another man gave me wise council: be sure to do your writing sacrificially, and giving your teaching freely; God will bless you. This is keeping with 1 Corinthians 12-14, doing the long hours of study and writing down and donating it freely. After my gift was rejected by a local church, I donated the teaching I completed to SermonCentral and the local newspaper, the Norton Telegram. To date CrossRoads Messages have numbered over 266,000 readings and the Norton Telegram seeks out our website almost weekly to get sermons for the Friday church page.
Closing: Each and every one of you can think of a time when the Lord has sent someone into your life and spoke a blessing, giving you knowledge of God's word and wisdom on how to apply His truth into your life.
Everyone has known the pain that comes when you were harshly put down in the workplace. Most of us also have felt the joy that comes when our efforts and work has been spoken well of by others. All Christians have seen the open door to speak the aroma of kindness and appreciation to their co-workers. Everyone has been given the opportunity speak well of other's gifts and talents.
Why not make the New Year resolution to commit to speak words of appreciation, words to build, and the truth in love. If you have the gift of knowledge, share your knowledge of God's word with others and seek His wisdom as you council others. Make every effort to be like Jesus, who had an undefiled mouth.
Let us pray!