“Speak Life”

(Mark 5: 35-43) 35 While he was still talking, some people came from the leader’s house and told him, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?” 36 Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.” 37-40 He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader’s house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: “Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn’t dead; she’s sleeping.” Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. 40-43 But when he had sent them all out, he took the child’s father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child’s room. He clasped the girl’s hand and said, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, get up.” At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy. He gave them strict orders that no one was to know what had taken place in that room.

Did you ever hear that the strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue?  Most of us have heard so at some point, and though this little “fun fact” ins’t exactly true, the tongue is pretty fascinating when you think about it.  It can twist, it can bend, it can cup, and it’s often used playfully to blow raspberries and to make silly faces.  Interestingly enough, it isn’t just one muscle — it’s a network of several muscles, giving it the ability to bend and flex in many different ways, enabling us to speak, eat, drink, and swallow.  What is most amazing though, is that the tongue NEVER TIRES!  Think about that for a minute.  The one thing that is probably the most difficult for us to control and tame is also the one part of our bodies that never grows weary.  You know, much of what happens in the physical realm of our lives mirrors what is going on spiritually, so it does make sense that our tongues can get totally out of control when we don’t monitor it properly.  It’s like an annoying toy with brand new batteries (yeah, I was thinking of the Energizer Bunny too!) — eventually you’d have to stop being lazy and actually make the effort to reach over and physically turn that thing off! 

There is power in what we say.  The Bible tells us that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”  (Proverbs 18:21)  Our words verbalize what we are already thinking and feeling.  That is why we so often find ourselves with a “foot” in our mouths — because eventually what we truly believe comes spewing out, and it can be hurtful or embarrassing much of the time.  My grandmother used to tell me that there is always a little truth to every joke…you know, when you say something a that’s little mean and you quickly bandage it with a “just kidding” or a wink.  Be honest, if you didn’t think it…even just for a moment…it could never come out of your mouth.  Luke 6:45 says,  “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”  Your words may not always be the truth, but they’re definitely your truth…reflecting what you think, what you feel, and who you are inside. 

The bottom line is that we are Christians, striving to live our lives as a reflection of Jesus, and as such we have to monitor what we say very closely.  When Jairus’ daughter died, all of the people surrounding his home began to chatter and gossip and speak death into Jairus’ ears.  Their words were a reflection of their measures of faith.  Jesus never once said that the girl was dead and that he would raise her from such.  Instead, He just spoke words of life.  What we speak into the lives of others can be life-changing.  A simple compliment can turn someone’s entire day around for the better…life.  A cutting remark can take root and hang on for a lifetime…death.   We must speak life, as much and as often as we possibly can!  We each have a powerful tool that never gets tired, so let’s use it the way our Lord intended us to— by confessing our sins and praying, by singing praises, by telling others of His love and faithfulness, and by encouraging one another with truth and love.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  (Ephesians 4:29)

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I don’t ever want to be the Debbie Downer, busybody gossip standing outside with a casserole.  Instead, help me to bridle my tongue when it gets to flapping, so that I can instead be a Peter, a James, or a John — full of faith and life-giving words.  I want to be on the inside with You, Lord, where healing and life take place.  Amen.    

Umm… You Can’t Talk to Me!

Mark 1:32-34 – That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak… … … they knew him.

The mind can be quite the playground for the devil if he’s allowed access. Whether you have trouble with anxiety on a regular basis or not, I guarantee you’ve had times in your life where you’ve assumed the worst of situations, drove yourself mad for a few days, and then realized all that negative energy was in vain. While you may have “turned out okay,” those moments in between had you worked up, distracted, and ineffective in radiating positivity and the joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ. Can we all now raise our right hands and plead guilty to that?

But let’s try and remember a few things:

1- “If destruction fails to entangle us, distraction will do it’s best.”- Beth Moore

This is why it’s so important that we keep our minds fixed on Jesus. He is the only one that provides true peace and clear direction. We should daily “feed” our Spirit with things that will keep our thoughts in order and our positivity on point. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3  God is not the author of confusion, but of peace… 1 Corinthians 14:33

 

2- “Don’t let the devil put a question mark where God has already put a period.”

If you read the account of Jesus in the wilderness, Matthew 4:1-11, you’ll see where Satan tried to tempt Him. He even used the very Scriptures to try and cause Jesus to rethink what He knew to be true; twist it in a way that would cause Him to fail. But, he did not succeed, for Jesus had kept His mind pure, so that the words in which God had spoken could not be taken out of context. Even in his most vulnerable state, because He kept his thoughts aligned with God Almighty, He wasn’t hindered in the slightest! Know the Word of God and hold to it tightly! For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

 

3- “Faith can move mountains. Doubt can create them.”

The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:17 But, what is faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 Faith is as solid and strong as cold, hard evidence. When you’re communing daily with Christ, there is an assurance He gives that can’t be explained, only experienced. So, when decisions need to be made, we don’t have to stress or try to figure it out on our own. We can ask Him to lead us, and that faith we’re carrying will hold us until the task is completed. There’s no need to analyze every possible outcome so we can better understand what He may be doing… that’s when problems arise! Satan’s entrance takes place here and he will start feeding you worries and “what if’s” to get you off track. Remember what God said and don’t stray from it! Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

 

4- “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” -Jesus Christ in John 14:12

We will also do the works that He did… and even greater? Yes, sir. Yes, ma’am. And what did He do in Mark 1? He would not permit the demons to speak… We don’t have to listen to the devil’s lies. John 8:44 We can refuse to even let him speak anything at all into our lives. Rebuke him in the name of Jesus Christ and go forward living life victoriously and confidently. This can be done! We have the power to achieve this through Him! Romans 8:11

We are children of the Most High King. The devil has no place, no power, and no authority in our lives! When you start to doubt what you know to be true, when fear begins to creep in and invade your mind, when anxiety steals your peace and cripples you, tell him to shut his mouth! Remind him that he does not have permission to speak to you. Remind those demons Who you belong to… because they know Him!

 

Prayer: Jesus, I thank You for reminding me how victoriously I can live every day of my life through You. Going forward I will not permit the devil to speak any lies into my life. I am Your child, and I know Your voice. You are the only One I will listen to. In Your precious and powerful name I pray, amen.