The Power of a Word

(a two minute read)

What we say is powerful, perhaps more powerful than we know.

You and I are made in God’s image. So, just as His words have creative power, our words have creative power.

My words, and the ideas they contain, are planted as seeds. If they fall on good soil, and are fed and watered, there’s a harvest. If they are good seeds, a good harvest. If not – there’s trouble.

Since my words have creative power, I should be careful what I say. Not because other people will judge my words, but that God may.

Words, like actions, have consequences. They are also our offspring, and I’m responsible for them. If a minor child is in trouble with authority, isn’t the parent held responsible? So it is with words. If something I say creates trouble, or strife, or negativity, or distress, shouldn’t I carry the consequences for that word?

My words are also powerful in my own life. Do I use words to build myself up, or tear myself down? Do I proclaim myself accident-prone and then see that become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Or do I speak words of grace and dexterity over myself?

What I say about myself comes out of my secrets, the things I hold closest to my heart. My beliefs about myself. I say what I believe, and believe what I say. And it shapes me. So what’s my template?

If I myself is all I have, so as to only measure myself against myself, or – worse still – against you, my options are very limited.* But when I measure myself against who God says I am, my growth potential is unlimited. So I go looking for those words.

To have success, and make positive change in my life, I speak God’s words. Because with God, nothing is impossible. And His words? Well now, His living word – that’s Jesus Christ. What could be more effective than that?

*2 Corinthians 10:12
† 1 Peter 2:9

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Finding Myself Again

(a two minute read)

I have people in my life who will say that I ‘found Jesus.’ Others will say that I ‘came to faith.’ They misunderstand. The opposite is true. God came to me. I wasn’t looking for Him. But He was looking for me. Endlessly. And when my time came, I couldn’t ignore Him.

He approached me first, then I found Him. Then I came to find faith in Him. Only then could I hear Him say ‘Follow Me’. Only then could I follow Him.

In that faith that I found, I now know that there are great things in store for me. I’m God’s masterpiece, ‘created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that (I) should walk in them.’ *

Here’s the deal: I was His masterpiece before I followed Him in faith. I was His masterpiece when I was still His enemy and hated Him. I was His masterpiece when I was broken. That’s why He came after me, because I was broken and had thrown myself in the trash. I was like Forky in Toy Story 4. Because I lived in the trash, I thought I was trash.

God disagreed, and tracked me down. What artist paints a masterpiece and throws it in the trash? Or, in my case, if the masterwork is thrown in the trash, doesn’t the artist go to retrieve it? To redeem it?

It’s by God’s grace that I was pulled from the scrap heap, saved from my own destruction. Now, I may finally ‘walk out those good works that God prepared beforehand.’

I do this successfully only through complete surrender. Surrender is difficult sometimes, but it renders the Christian life very simple. The simple answer to every question is to turn to Jesus, who tracks me down no matter how far I wander. And when He reaches me again, He says ‘Follow Me’. And I do, because He’s the one worth following, and I find myself again.

* Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

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Photo by Rachel Richards

Prayer Quiver

Prayers are the arrows of the warrior,
Not aimed at the enemy’s heart,
But shot into the air.

Under attack from my enemy,
I fire arrows into God’s throne room,
Messages tied round the shafts.

They fall at His feet,
He picks them up and reads them,
He adds them to His collection.

Just as He saves our tears,
He saves our prayers,
They last for all time.

Stand against the enemy He says,
But don’t be mute like small-g gods,
Stand and pray in His image.

Fire round after round,
As many as it takes because,
He will never let your quiver go empty.

Drawing by Mark Zechin

Read more poetry here