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“A Word for this Week” - Pastor Bill Mugnolo
Week of August 2-8, 2021: “Speaking the Truth in Love”… Ephesians 4:15
We live in a world where much speaking done. But all too much of it, these days, is “uncivil discourse”especially on certain social media platforms. We also hear much about “the truth”, but so often in the context of “I have my truth for me, you have your truth for you.” Then, there is much talk about love. But how often is this merely about “fleeting feelings”?
In this 21st Century world in which we live, we are called to go about, as did 1st Century Christians, “speaking the truth in love”. Just what might this involve? Or, as Martin Luther might have phrased it in his Small Catechism, “What does this mean?” First, while actions so often speak louder than words, we are nonetheless called to speak to others in the Name of Jesus. Here, we recall the courage of Peter and John as they boldly confessed Christ against the opposition of the Jewish Leaders (Acts 4:18-20).
Then, we are called to speak not “a truth”, not “truths”, but the truth that we have in Christ (John 14:6). Here, He calls us not merely to confess, “Jesus is Lord”, but all that He has taught us to observe (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 20:27). Thirdly, we are called to be considerate and loving in our choice of words mindful of what is written in Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
“Speaking the truth in love”: It goes beyond just speaking; it goes beyond even speaking the truth. It’s a tall order that is something that we so often fall short at and even fail in doing. In love, Jesus speaks His truth-filled words of forgiveness to us so that our tongues would be loosed and we’d be given wisdom and courage to go about, once again, “speaking the truth in love” to His honor and glory.
Replace today's negative thoughts with God's eternal truths, guided by the following list passed down to us from an unknown source.
This is especially important in dealing with the Coronavirus and all the bad news we are hearing.
Keep God's Word close at hand to combat the negative thoughts.
The world says: "Its impossible." God says: "All things are possible." (Luke 18:27)
The world says "I'm too tired." God says: "I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30)
The world says: "Nobody really loves me." God says: "I love you." (John 3:16, 34)
The world says: "I can't go on." God says: "My grace is sufficient." (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15)
The world says: "I can't figure things out." God says: "I will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5- 6)
The world says: "I can't do it." God says: "You can do all things." (Philippians 4:13)
The world says: "I'm not able." God says: "I am able." (2 Corinthians 9:8)
The world says: "It's not worth it." God says: "It will be worth it." (Roman 8:28)
The world says: "I can't forgive myself." God says: "I forgive you." (1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1)
The world says: "I can't manage." God says: "I will supply all your needs." (Philippians 4:19)
The world says: "I'm afraid." God says: "I have not given you a spirit of fear." (2 Timothy 1:7)
The world says: "I'm always worried and frustrated." God says: "Cast all your cares on Me." (1 Peter 5:7)
The world says: "I'm not smart enough." God says: "I give you wisdom." (1 Corinthians 1:30)
The world says: "I feel all alone." God says: "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)