This last weekend at Willow, Pastor Dave continued our series Faith That Works, exploring the wisdom found in the New Testament book of James. This week we focused on the power of life and death within that pesky little muscle in our faces: our tongues.
I’m a writer and a communicator. I love words: writing words, reading words, speaking words, and sharing words. I’m terrible at crossword puzzles, but I have played Wordle almost every day in 2022 (though I have failed to get it on the first try). I love the power of words to move me and move others.
Words are remarkable. We can’t touch them. We can’t taste or smell them. Words are intangible, and yet words have power. Books have been burned for the words written in them; people have been burned for the words they have spoken.
For better or for worse, words are dangerous.
So it’s interesting to me that the Apostle John refers to Jesus as “the word” (John 1:1).
As a self-professed “wordsmith,” I write and pray that my words move people. But THE Word creates worlds. In the beginning, God spoke, and everything that wasn’t came to become. Every atom in the universe can trace its origin back to those four words spoken by God: “Let there be light.” According to the Doppler effect, those four words continue to create and expand galaxies.
We read in Mark that Jesus spoke the words “hush!” into a storm and the storm dissipated. John later tells about the account where Jesus had been betrayed, and soldiers came to take him away. Jesus asked them who they were looking for, and when they told him, Jesus said, “I am he.” Anyone within earshot of Jesus’ words would have instantly recognized that he wasn’t just saying, “I’m the guy you’re looking for,” but was actually saying, “I am the God of the universe. I am the maker of the sea and the giver of the breath you breathe. And when Jesus spoke those words, the soldiers were knocked off their feet.
When I read things like this, I come face to face with not just the power of words but the power of THE word. As much as we sometimes prefer the docile version of Jesus (read: Jesus looking angelically to the sky and snuggling lambs), Jesus is not weak. When He speaks, it is powerful and authoritative.
And Jesus speaks to and over you.
Whether or not you know or believe that right now does not negate the truth of it. The same God who spoke into the darkness and declared, “Let there be light,” specializes in speaking newness into the farthest reaches of our souls, calling out new life.
So, now what? Start with what has already been said. That Bible sitting on a shelf collecting dust–open it today. If you really want your life to be changed and want the answers to the questions you are asking, start digging in. Ask God to show up and speak words of power to you. Start with just a few verses if you must. Journal. Ask questions. Join a small group to study God’s word together. The promise is this: God’s word will accomplish powerful things in the hearts of those who are bent on receiving it.