Posted by: mikenicholsblog | July 31, 2011

His words, not ours

My experience in public speaking has taught me that you have to be careful with words. Inevitably, words that are reckless, ill-timed or simple misstatements often will be remembered far longer than the valued insight you are trying to convey. I was reminded of this principle last week when a sincere preacher got carried away with his prayer before a NASCAR event. He was giving a prayer of thanksgiving, and before you knew it, the words, “Lord, I want to thank you for my smokin’ hot wife”(YouTube: NASCAR pastor praying) came out. His sincerity will be long forgotten, but that comment will be long remembered. All of us have said our share of “oops” words that we wanted to recapture. In contrast to our radical, reckless misstatements, I read several powerful, life changing statements from the lips of Christ in the last few days.

Communication from the lips of Christ never came without meaning. As I was reading in the Gospel of John over the last few days, I witnessed great statements that present salvation, abundant life, resurrection power and confidence in prayer. You may have read and re-read these statements over the years. In them we find hope for eternity and joy for living. Note His words:

To the woman caught in adultery, He said: “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.

His purpose for Christ followers is seen in the words: “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.

When He came to the tomb of Lazarus, Christ cried out: “Lazarus, come forth!

He left no doubt about the only way of eternal life with His words: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Christ gave us confidence to pray with these words: “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Viewing the different scenes in the life of Christ referenced above, gives us clarity about the heart of our Savior. He showed incredible wisdom and unparalleled compassion in forgiving the woman caught in adultery. In another scene, Christ left no doubt about His desire for His followers to have abundant life. We talk about the power of Christ, and it was dramatically displayed the day Lazarus came forth. Today people want to believe that there are many ways to heaven. Christ with His own words stated unequivocally that there is only one way, through Him. In viewing another scene, we are given the confidence that if we ask in His name, He will do it.

The words of Christ mentioned above, and every other statement He made in Scripture can be trusted. Too often, we read the marvelous counsel He gives us and then we refrain from applying it. To know the forgiving Savior, who is the only way to heaven, who promises abundant life to His followers and tells us He will answer prayer, is to say the least, life changing. And to top it off, He has the power to resurrect, and did so himself. But if we are not careful, His life changing words become too ordinary and lose their emphasis.

 

To make my point, what will be easiest to remember from this article? You guessed it, a pastor’s faux pas in praying. You may have already been to YouTube after it’s mention above.  But what all of us ought to remember (including me) is the life changing power of God that is available to us in salvation. His words tell the story of forgiveness and hope and abundant life. That’s what’s most important to remember! Read His words this week with new freshness and an open heart.


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