Blog

LOGOS (WORDS) Part 1

Posted by Jana Jobe on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 @ 1:08 PM

If you include scientific words, there are over 1,000,000 words in the English language. The average educated person knows about 20,000 words and uses 2,000 different words a week. Women and men both speak about 16,000 words a day on average. Words matter. But what matters most is not the number of words we speak but the kind of words we choose and the purpose for which we use them. The apostle James tells us that although ‘the tongue is a small part of the body’ it is extremely powerful (James 3:5). In Proverbs 4:1-9, Matthew 24, and Job 35-37 we see how words can be used, just as the apostle James describes, for good or evil. Each day we have great potential: either to destroy or to build. If your tongue is a rudder, the words you use today will determine where you will be in the future!

Proverbs 4:1-9 ... Get Wisdom at Any Cost

1Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. 2I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. 3For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. 4Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. 5Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. 6Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 9She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”

Never stop listening and learning from wise words!

I do not want to get to the end of my life and look back with regret at the decisions I have made. Wisdom helps you to make decisions now that you will be happy with later. In this passage we see the value of learning from the wise words and teaching of others: ‘Lay hold of my words with all your heart … do not forget my words or swerve from them’ (vv.4–5). A willingness to learn is at the heart of wisdom. Although it requires hard work, it is of immense value: ‘Though it cost all you have, get understanding’ (v.7b). Here the focus is on the young learning from the old. A father teaches his sons: ‘Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction …’ (v.1). Children are encouraged to learn as much as they can from their parents. Parents have a responsibility to pass on as much wisdom as possible to their children. All the way through our lives we need to value learning, to esteem it and embrace it (v.8). As my grandmother used to stay: ‘The day I stop learning, I wish to die.’ It is not enough to listen to wise words. We also need to live them out (vv.2,4,5b). If we put God’s words into practice we will acquire wisdom. If you gain this wisdom and understanding, ‘She’ll make your life glorious. She’ll garland your life with grace. She’ll festoon your days with beauty’ (vv.8–9, MSG).

Lord, help me to grow in wisdom by reading and listening to wise words – and putting your teaching into practice in my life.

Taken from Daily Readings at Bible.com.

LOGOS (WORDS) Part 2

Posted by Jana Jobe on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 @ 1:05 PM

If you include scientific words, there are over 1,000,000 words in the English language. The average educated person knows about 20,000 words and uses 2,000 different words a week. Women and men both speak about 16,000 words a day on average. Words matter. But what matters most is not the number of words we speak but the kind of words we choose and the purpose for which we use them. The apostle James tells us that although ‘the tongue is a small part of the body’ it is extremely powerful (James 3:5). In Proverbs 4:1-9, Matthew 24, and Job 35-37 we see how words can be used, just as the apostle James describes, for good or evil. Each day we have great potential: either to destroy or to build. If your tongue is a rudder, the words you use today will determine where you will be in the future!

Read Matthew 24

Hold on to the eternal words of Jesus

When will the world end? How will it end? Jesus’ words here to his disciples are about the future. He answers their questions about the fall of Jerusalem (which took place in AD70), and about the end times (the question is in Matthew 24:2). The passage can seem confusing, as it is difficult to disentangle the two themes. Jesus’ purpose was not to give a specific schedule for the future, but to help his disciples not to worry or be distracted by what will happen. Jesus says, at the end of this section (which starts today and ends tomorrow), that ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away’ (v.35). There is a lot of uncertainty about the end times. However, some things are clear: There will be lots of false claims (vv.4–5,23–26) There will be upheaval, persecution and even falling away (vv.6–12) The love of the great body of people will grow cold (v.12, AMP) When it does actually happen, it will be obvious to everyone (vv.27–31). The first time Jesus came in weakness. The second time he comes, he will return in power (vv.27,30–31). As we wait for Jesus to return we need to hold onto his words and not allow our love to grow cold (v.12). As Joyce Meyer writes, ‘Refuse to let your love grow cold. Stir up love in your life – towards your spouse and towards your family, friends, neighbours and co-workers. Reach out to others who are hurting and in need. Pray for people and bless them. Grow to the point that one of your first thoughts each morning in your heart is about how you can bless someone else that day.’

Lord, thank you that your words are eternal. Thank you that you promise that you will return. Thank you that when you do so, everyone will know it. While I wait may my love never grow cold. Help me to stir up love in my life.

Listen to prophetic words with discernment

‘Prophecy’ is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We need to listen carefully to the words of the ‘prophet’. This passage reminds us of the importance of genuine prophecy (although no modern-day prophecies will have the same level of authority as those in Scripture). Jesus warns against false prophets who ‘will appear and deceive many people’ (v.11). He warns that the false prophets will try to deceive people by claiming ‘I am the Christ’ (vv.4–5). People will say, ‘ ‘‘Look, here is the Christ!” or, “There he is!” ’ (v.23). Jesus warns us not to believe them. They are ‘Fake Messiahs and lying preachers [who] are going to pop up everywhere’ (v.24, MSG). On the other hand, Jesus affirms the words of the true prophets. He announces that the words ‘spoken of through the prophet Daniel’ (v.15; see Daniel 9:27, 11:31; 12:11) will be fulfilled. He quotes from the prophet Isaiah (see Isaiah 13:10; 34:4): ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken’ (Matthew 24:29). In fact, in his description of his return (v.27 onwards; see especially v.30), he is making an implicit claim to be the messianic Son of Man prophesied by Daniel (see Daniel 7:13).

Lord, help me to distinguish between true and false prophecy. May I not be deceived when false prophets claim to be the Christ. Thank you for the power of true prophecy, and for the fact that I can trust the words of the prophets in the Scriptures.

Speak the most powerful words in the world

The words of Jesus totally changed my life when I was 18 years old. Since then I have watched with joy and often astonishment, the power of his message to transform the lives of other people. Between the first coming of Jesus and his second coming, we have been given the task of taking the life-changing message of the gospel to the whole world. ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come’ (v.14). The words of the gospel are powerful and life-changing. The apostle Paul wrote, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes’ (Romans 1:16). We must never give up on the proclamation of the gospel. We have the great privilege of being entrusted with words that have the potential to change people’s lives in a radical way – for this life and into eternity.

Lord, thank you that you give us this immense privilege of being able to use the most powerful words in the world to see people’s lives transformed by Jesus. Help me to take every opportunity to get this message out to as many people as possible.

Taken from Daily Readings at Bible.com.

LOGOS (WORDS) Part 3

Posted by Jana Jobe on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 @ 1:00 PM

If you include scientific words, there are over 1,000,000 words in the English language. The average educated person knows about 20,000 words and uses 2,000 different words a week. Women and men both speak about 16,000 words a day on average. Words matter. But what matters most is not the number of words we speak but the kind of words we choose and the purpose for which we use them. The apostle James tells us that although ‘the tongue is a small part of the body’ it is extremely powerful (James 3:5). In Proverbs 4:1-9, Matthew 24, and Job 35-37 we see how words can be used, just as the apostle James describes, for good or evil. Each day we have great potential: either to destroy or to build. If your tongue is a rudder, the words you use today will determine where you will be in the future!

Read Job 35-37

Try to avoid talking nonsense and speaking empty words

Elihu’s verbal attack continued with his usual mixture of falsehood and half-truths. He said, ‘Be assured that my words are not false’ (36:4). Actually they were. He suggested that our sins do not affect God (35:6). In fact, our sins do have an effect on God as we see supremely in the cross of Christ. Ironically, he said something about Job that, although not true of Job, was actually true of himself. He said, ‘So Job opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words’ (v.16). (‘Job, you talk sheer nonsense – nonstop nonsense!’, (v.16, MSG)). This is a perfect description of Elihu’s own speech. It is empty talk without knowledge. Elihu ‘multiplies words’ criticising Job. I love what Laurence Sterne, novelist and clergyman (1713–1768), wrote: ‘Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world, though the cant of hypocrites may be the worst, the cant of criticism is the most tormenting!’ The fact that we are all capable of talking nonsense does not mean that we should be silent. Rather, it means that we should realise the enormous potential that every human being has to affect the lives of others through their tongues. We may not have the power that comes from money, fame or position, but all of us have the power and the potential that come from being able to communicate with words.

Lord, help me to avoid empty words. May the words I speak today be guided by the Holy Spirit. Give me wisdom I pray. Put a guard over my lips and a watch over my tongue.

Hear God’s words, speak them and put them into practice

Elihu said a number of things in this passage about God’s words (37:4–13). Thankfully, the Lord is about to speak himself. What a relief! We have had chapter after chapter of false comfort and empty words. We live in a world like this. It is such a relief when God speaks. The words of God are like manna from heaven, and water in a desert.

Lord, thank you that you are a God who speaks to us. Thank you that your words are so powerful and life-changing. Help us to be those who hear your words, speak them and put them into practice.

Taken from Daily Readings at Bible.com.

LIVE LOVE

Posted by Jana Jobe on Friday, January 23, 2015 @ 3:23 PM

Oh if it were only that easy! To live the life of love that Jesus lived for us - wouldn't that be great?!? But it's easier said than done. People hurt you. They betray you. They let you down. They just get on your nerves! That's human, right? So often we stop there and say we'll - I'm only human. I can't help it. They don't deserve my love. But we're called to so much more than that! We are told to be imitators of God! To be like Him. To be better than merely human. And with Christ it is possible! We can LIVE a life of LOVE! To everyone! The next time you're tempted to just say - well, I'm only human. Can't help it. Remember Ephesians 5:1-2 and know that because Christ died for us, you and I can live the life of love that He calls us to live!

Email A Friend
From Name
From Email
To Name
To Email
Note