The Power of the Spoken Word

“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never harm me.”

Despite what this phrase may suggest, modern studies show that verbal abuse can actually have long-lasting psychological effects, which may sometimes manifest in physical ways. Wounding words do not necessarily have to come exclusively from bullies. They can also come from friends, family members and loved ones, according to Psychology Today. Just like there is no single defining type of verbal abuse, there is no single defining stereotype of a verbal abuser.

As a Pastor, preacher, teacher, and counselor I rely heavily on words. I have learned that the right choice of words spoken under the unction of the Holy Spirit can transform or liberate a life. I have seen the devastation caused by words in the lives of people as well. I have seen how careless words spoken in emotional instability can bring great division, hurt and even different forms of death. Words are used every day to incite riots and hatred. 

Words are not simply sounds caused by air passing through our larynx. Words have real power. God spoke the world into being by the power of His words (Hebrews 11:3), and we are in His image in part because of the power we have with words. Words do much more than convey information. They have the power to destroy one’s spirit. They not only exacerbate wounds but inflict them directly. Of all the creatures on this planet, only man has the ability to communicate through the spoken word. The power to use words is a unique and powerful gift from God.

This Sunday we are going to explore the power of the spoken word from various perspectives. I truly believe that this is a message that if we are truly willing to hear and respond can bring great transformation in many areas of our life. 

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Prayer by Will

“I waited patiently for you”

“Greater is the One”

“Open Up Our Eyes”

 

10:27 China team report - Sharon, Naomi, Michael

 

10:39 Michael

 

I do want to take a minute and be reminded that today is the anniversary of 9/11. There were 2996 people killed. 6000 injured. To this date, there were 21000 who have injuries or ailments associated w/ 9/11. This will always be a day people remember with great sorrow. I want to take a moment to pray for all of those experiencing the pain of this day.

 

Prayer: Father, I come to you with your promises. You said, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”. We pray for our country, for those who remember this day with sorrow. Give them comfort, strength, resolve. Take  that tragedy and bring good out of it. Increase my heart to love and care. Let their hearts not be hardened, but softened and burdened to love those who experience tragedy. We pray for your peace for those who are struggling. We pray for our country. Intervene in our country. Help us turn our hearts to you. Amen

 

There really is great power in the spoken word. What does Word of God say about the spoken word? This is part one. Next week, we’ll talk about how we can experience the word spoken to our lives.

 

A couple of foundational verses:

 

Genesis 1:25-28 

 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

 26* ¶ Then God said, ‘‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’’

 27* So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

 28 And God blessed them. 

 

God invoked a blessing over them. And he SAID this to them:

 

And God said to them, ‘‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’’

 

 

When God created other things, he said they were good. When he made man, he made us IN HIS IMAGE. He spoke a blessing upon them. Through the same power he used to speak the world into being, he speaks blessing upon them.

 

Here we see the power of the spoken word as He speaks.

 

Hebrews 11:3

 3* By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

 

Again, God created the world, the universe, by His word. By speaking things into being.

 

We were the only ones created “in his image”. And we’re the only ones given the ability to speak, proclaim blessings and curses. We’re not physically in his image, but we have the gift and power of speaking. There’s authority that comes with the power of speaking. And responsibility that comes with the spoken word.

 

Ezekiel 37:1-10 

 37:1 ¶ The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.

 2 And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry.

 3 And he said to me, ‘‘Son of man, can these bones live?’’And I answered, ‘‘O Lord GOD, you know.’’

 4 Then he said to me, ‘‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.

 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.’’

 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.

 8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them.

 9 Then he said to me, ‘‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.’’

 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

 

God took a man—created in HIs image—and he said, Ive created you with purpose. And as you speak, life will come. Ezekiel spoke and life came. What was dead came alive. Miracles happened as he spoken. That happens when we speak what God commands.

 

James 3:1-10

 

There was conflict among the believers. Confusion. Some following the world. We see a point being made about the things we say and how we speak:

 

 3:1 ¶ Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

 2 For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.

 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

 

We have the power by what we speak to direct the body. There’s power in what we speak.

 

 5* So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!

 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

 

These are pretty powerful statements he’s making here.

 

 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,

 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

 

Words can inspire and motivate. Comfort and bring healing. Reconcile warring parties and bring clarity. Wound and kill a person’s spirit. Tear down or build up. Bring hope or despair. Communicate and change the course of lives, history, or countries. Words are powerful tools and weapons.

 

My dad spoke encouraging words. “Here comes Michael Man”.

 

My family used to tell me when I was little—I had a big head and they would call me “Fat head”. I had a subconscious thought that I had a big head. They showed me video that I followed my head.

When I played football, I was embarrassed by the size of my helmet.

I had another nickname. “Filthy McNasty” My parents would call me this when they looked at my room. It wasn’t just the words they said, but the way they said it. It would make me feel belittled. Like I was a filthy little despised thing. I know they didn’t mean it this way. They wanted me to clean my room and take a bath and be presentable. But the way they used these words, it made me feel unwanted and worthless. That’s the power of the spoken word.

 

Proverbs 12:6 (NLT) -  6 ¶ The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.

 

The foul words we speak in a heated altercation “I hate you” “I wish I’d never married you.”

 

The words of the godly saves lives.

 

As Godly people, made in God’s image, as inspired by the Holy Spirit… the words they speak should bring healing. It has the power to bring resurrection into the lives of others by the words we speak.

 

Proverbs 18:21  21 ¶ Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

NLT: The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

 

We will reap the consequences of the words we proclaim.

 

Question: The words we speak — are we using them to build the person up or destroy them?

In counseling I say, “When you argue, if you win, you still lose, because you’re one.” When you are speaking negative things toward your spouse, you’re bringing death to the relationship. You’re killing yourself by the words you’re speaking.

Your words: filled with hate or love? bitterness or blessing? complaining or compliments? lust or love? victory or defeat? Ask yourselves. What is the intent of the words you speak? I guarantee you that the intent you have for those words… sometimes we say things we intend for a MOMENT, but that have LASTING effect.

 

Words are tools. They can be used to help us reach our goals, or to send us spiraling into deep depression. All the time I hear, “Im worthless. I’m stupid.”

 

When watching the commercials during the olympics, the athletes were SAYING “I can run faster. Jump higher…” there truly is power in the things we speak. It’s been shown through history.

When in battle, people have been known to do great things because of the words of their leaders that have inspired them.

 

Ephesians 4:25-29  25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

 

Some of us “satanize” all the time. We’ll be accusers of the brethren. We’ll speak about someone behind their back. Trying to get others on our side to speak division about a person so that others will take up our cause, our offense.

As believers, the LAST thing we’re called to is to ‘satanize’ the brethren. We’re one body in X!

 

 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

 27* and give no opportunity to the devil.

 

The enemy knows the power of words. He puts specific words and thoughts in our hearts because he knows if he can get us to speak unwholesome things, it can destroy spirits, destroy relationships, devastate lives.

Don’t give the enemy this opportunity. Check our hearts. Check our words before we speak. Ask ourselves, “Are these words going to bring life or death?”

 

 28* Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

 

What does this have to do with the power of the word? You were once lost. You had some bad habits from your sinful nature. You were a thief before, say. You would take what you wanted.

But now your nature has been changed. You’re no longer a thief. No longer steal. Labor. Do honest work. So you can share.

 

 29* 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.

 

When you were a nonbeliever, you may’ve had a critical spirit. Everyone in your environment always spoke negative, critical things. But now as a believer, your nature has been changed.

Young people, if you’ve given your life to X, your nature has changed.

Adults, college students, seniors, your nature has been changed. No longer are we to have a critical spirit. We’re to speak life, hope, peace.

 

 29 (again) 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.

 

grace - giving the Holy Spirit to influence to our lives. So when you speak those words, you know know the Holy Spirit is at work to influence the individual to walk according to God’s purpose and plan.

 

The Greek word for “corrupt” can be translated “rotten”. It means we don’t use foul, rotten language, but only what can benefit those who hear.

 

Col 4:6 -  6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

 

salt is a preservative that stops decay. Use words that bring preservation. Stop the decay, rottenness, junk. Bring forth life. Seasoned with salt.

 

Even if a person is speaking foulness and rottenness to you, child, parent, stranger, doesn’t matter. As a believer, with the spirit of God within, we’re to speak forth life. Be gracious. Bring life, not death.

 

One more passage:  33 ‘‘Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.

 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.’’

 

Our salvation comes as we confess who Christ is (Romans 10:13).

 

Careless word. That word “word” is “rhema”, it’s about the communication of the message, the intention of the message, not just the logic of it.

So when we speak sarcastically, those are careless words. We’ll be judged by those words.

 

careless words = “rhema argos”. careless or unprofitable words.

 

Want to check your heart? Check your words.

Walking right wth the Lord, submitted to his spirit? Check your words.

Things going good or bad? Check your words.

In conflict? Check your words.

Your words reveal what’s in your heart. Those words reveal what’s in your heart.

 

A final question: is my tongue yielded to the Holy Spirit? 

James says that in our owns strength, we cannot tame the tongue.

 

Ps 141:3 -  3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

 

As we yield t the Holy Spirit, God’s able to tame our tongues and our hearts.

There’s power in the spoken word. If you’re wondering why your marriage is falling apart, check your words. Why your family is falling apart? Check your words. Walking in anger? Anxiety ?Full of junk? Sour disposition? Check your words.

When I speak, you know who a captive audience is? Me. I hear everything I say.

There’s power in the spoken word.

 

Will come forward please.

 

11:21 - My heart is for us all. We just want to be real. I remember one day Will wearing flip-flops in the worship service and he said, “I couldn’t find my shoes.” IT’s because we’re not about show, we’re about the heart. We want to walk in life.

Church. Family. If God’s speaking to your heart, and you say, “I don’t know what it is, but I”m wrapped up. Tied up. Something inside wants me to speak death. And then I give in and speak it.”

We’ve allowed the enemy to have a foothold in our lives. We need to get that back.

Holy Spirit, come in and do surgery in my life. In my heart. I need you to surgically remove this and bring life back into my life. Take care of the darkness.

Any time we respond to what God’s doing, don’t worry about what other people are thinking. There’s nothing greater than to hear from God. Not only are you hearing from God, but you’re obeying what God is speaking.

Never let pride dictate our response to the Lord. Amen?

 

If you need to come forward for prayer. To give your life to Christ. OR for some other reason, please follow the promptings of the Lord.

 

11:24 Singing “This word is temporary… I surrender every moment to know that all of my life is yours.”

 

11:33 Praying - God, I pray for any here who feel like they continue to walk in the muck and mire of despair, dismay, hopelessness. I pray that would be broken in the name of Jesus. That they would experience life. Transformation. We ask and know that you’re the God of all creation. You’re supernatural. We’re no longer natural human beings. We’re a royal priesthood. Called by you. We thank you that it’s our nature to walk in the supernatural.

We *expect* you to be who you are. We continue to pray “Have your way.” Let your kingdom be established in our lives. I pray for a breaking. An establishment of your authority and your kingdom in our lives.

 

 

11:36 - Will - Matthew 28:18-20